The picturesque town of Rovinj sits on the western coast of the Istrian peninsula, facing out towards Venice. While one of the Mediterranean’s last true fishing ports, it’s also an important city as the third most populous in Croatia. Thanks to its fetching Adriatic charms and a sunny climate averaging ten sunshine hours a day during the long summer season, Rovinj is proudly one of coastal Istria’s star attractions.
Once an island, the old town now occupies an intriguing oval-shaped peninsula that juts out from the mainland. Its past stretches back through Illyrian, Roman, Byzantine, Frankish, and Austrian settlers and today, you can see the remains of medieval defensive walls and one of the old town gates, the 17th century Balbi’s Arch. Inside the town proper, you’ll find steep cobbled streets leading to Venetian piazzas, little artist workshops, fine-dining restaurants, a Baroque palace turned heritage museum, and even a late-Renaissance clock tower. Get a bird’s eye view of all of this from the top of the 60-metre-high bell tower of St. Euphemia’s Cathedral before enjoying a coffee at a chic waterside lounge bar while listening out for the melodious Istriot, an ancient Romance language that’s still spoken by some of Rovinj’s inhabitants today.
Spend a day relaxing on Rovinj’s beach, Lone Bay, a long gathering of small shingle beaches, and make sure to leave some time to explore the fragrant wooded hills that surround the old town such as the pine-coated Punta Corrente Forest Park and the Zlatni Range with its ancient oak trees. You can also pass a pleasant afternoon exploring some of the 14 green and rugged islands of the Rovinj archipelago.
When to go
Rovinj's peak season is between May and September.
What to do
- Get a bird's eye view of the town from St. Euphemia's Cathedral
- Vsit Rovinj Heritage Museum, housed in a 17th-century Baroque palace
- Tour centuries-old artists’ workshops and pick up some unique souvenirs
- Relax on Lone Bay, Rovinj's gathering of small shingle beaches
- Enjoy the Punta Corrente Forest Park and Zlatni Range "the Golden Cape"
- Explore the pristine beauty of Rovinj archipelago's 14 islets