A Diamond Among Adriatic Jewels
Rovinj is a visually striking town with a Mediterranean atmosphere perched on the northern coast of Croatia, an area known as the Istria peninsula. Istria is the meeting point for Croatia, Slovenia, and Italy, which makes Rovinj an ideal addition to your itinerary whether you’re traveling nearby in Europe or visiting the Dalmatian Coast. The courtyards and seaside cafés of this historic fishing village offer a relaxed scene compared to larger, more bustling cities like Split and Dubrovnik. Street signs welcome visitors in Croatian (hrvatski) and Italian, and most of the 15,000 residents speak multiple languages, including English. The tourism industry is a mainstay of the town, and people are generally friendly to guests.
Beaches, Cafés, Fresh Fish, Cobblestone Streets
Surrounded by the crystal blue Adriatic Sea on three sides, the town buildings and homes at the heart of Rovinj edge right up to the water along a jagged, rocky shore. Stroll through the plaza by the harbor, and then follow the cobblestone road that slopes uphill along the town perimeter to catch glimpses of the sea between buildings. The St. Euphemia church steeple ornaments the highest point of the hill that is the main town, and offers a breathtaking view after a short climb.
At sunset, make the most of this romantic setting and find one of the cafés on the water where you can sip your drink while sitting on a rock at sea’s edge, or from a more sheltered seat on the café patio. Look for a restaurant serving fresh fish, caught local of course, for dinner. In the morning, explore and relax at one of the many beaches in and around Rovinj.
From Rovinj, Travel to Pula and Brijuni Islands National Park
If you learn your way around town and tire of the cafés, the produce market, local shopping stalls, and nearby beaches, sign up for a boat ride across the petite bay to St. Catherine’s Island. On one side, it boasts a breathtaking view back across the water to Rovinj. There are also hikes throughout Istria, bike rentals available, bus trips to the nearby towns (such as Pula, where there is an arena that dates back to Roman times),and access by bus and boat to Brijuni Islands National Park.
There are plenty of hotels or bed and breakfasts to choose from, as well as campsites available in the surrounding area. One of the most popular ways to stay in Croatia, however, is to board in a privately owned room or rent an apartment, or studio. If you haven’t arranged accommodations prior to your trip, a quick visit to the tourist office when you arrive in town will help you get situated, and connect you with available rooms in the area. Or, you can take a chance on one of the many room owners who are likely to introduce themselves to tourists at bus stations, ferry stations, and all around town. Remember, it’s always a good idea to ask to see the room before you agree on a price or commit to stay there.