Enjoy a Perfect Day in Rovinj

Rovinj is a stunning little city filling every inch of a peninsula bordered on three sides by the Adriatic Sea. The core of the old town is mostly Venetian and built with pale limestone that glows in the sun, containing exciting fragments from every stage of its turbulent history. It’s the Croatian version of St. Tropez before all the glitz and glamour… small, charming, laid back, and artistic. Yet, with the two top-notch 5star hotels and the highest accommodation rates in Croatia , Rovinj also attracts affluent guests but without feeling posh or pretentious.  Rovinj is one of those places you easily fall in love with; one of those places that simply feels right.  You can walk its cobbled streets, get lost within the old town, have a glass of wine by the sea, watch the world go by, and feel good.

Old Town. The old town is a little gem waiting to be explored. It’s located on a small, hilly peninsula, full of narrow cobbled streets, Venetian-style houses, interesting courtyards, art galleries, cozy restaurants, and buzzing bars.

Grisia. The town’s most popular street, La Grisia is hard to miss. The widest of all cobbled streets leading up to the church of St. Euphemia, La Grisia is full of art, jewelry, and souvenir shops, as well as a couple of restaurants.

Rovinj Port. The best views of Rovinj can be had from the city’s port. From this perspective you can see those beautiful painted houses that crowd the waterfront, and the marvelous campanile of St. Euphemia behind them. Turn seawards and you’ll witness a working port in action, with fishers setting out or coming home, or mending nets on the jetty.  All along the water’s edge are restaurants and cafes, and there’s surely no better place in the city to while away a couple of hours on a sunny day!

St Euphemia Cathedral. The square campanile of this baroque church dominate Rovinj’s skyline and closely resembles St. Mark’s in Venice. So it’s no surprise that the 17th-century St. Euphemia was built by the Venetians, who were in control of Rovinj throughout this period. To get the lie of the land you can make your way up the campanile, which is 61 metres-high and even offers views of the Alps to the north on a clear day. The church’s interior meanwhile boasts some sumptuous design, including a marble altar with a 15th-century statue of the saint before a sarcophagus containing Euphemia’s relics.

Lim Fjord. You can reach this strange and beautiful natural wonder by road or by tour boat from Rovinj’s port.  It is described as both a fjord and a canal, but really it’s a 10 kilometre-long river canyon guarded by steep wooded mountainsides that soar to 100 metres. What really makes this scene and gives it the appearance of a fjord is the width of the river, up to 600 metres in places. On land you can hike or bike through the mix of deciduous and coniferous forest and stop by at the restaurant at the mouth of the canyon. Here they serve seafood such as oysters and mussels farmed in these waters.

Punta Corrente Forest . The boot-shaped peninsula a short way south of Rovinj is a relaxing natural park. Punta Corrente (Golden Cape) was the vision of the 19th-century Austrian industrialist Johann Georg von Hütterott who purchased this land and allowed its nature to flourish. Now it’s nothing short of an idyll; a beautiful swathe of softwood forest, where cedars, Douglas firs, cypresses and Aleppo pines planted more than 100 years ago are thriving. Come here to saunter along the trails, relax on the grassy areas or unwind by the little rocky coves along the coast.

Balbi’s Arch. Leading to Grisla Street away from the main square is this imposing arch from the late 1670s, and named after Daniel Balbi who was the mayor at the time. The arch replaced an old town gate and bears the classic Venetian hallmark of the Lion of St. Mark. Sitting a top of the Balbi Arch is a lion with wings on its back, a symbol of the Venetian Republic, depicted holding an open book in its paw, which means that Rovinj once accepted the rule of the Venetians without conflict or war, on the inside of the arch is the architecture style typical of the Venetian Republic, while the exterior is in Turkish style. Said to be an exact, though a smaller, replica of St. Marco’s in Venice, the Rovinj bell tower stands 60 m high above the ground. You need to pay a small fee to climb up, and the stairs aren’t in the best shape. However, the views are great and well worth a climb. Snap few photos while atop.

Climb the Bell Tower. Said to be exact, though a smaller, replica of St. Marco’s in Venice, the Rovinj bell tower stands 60 m high above the ground. You need to pay a small fee to climb up, and the stairs aren’t in the best shape. However, the views are great and well worth a climb. Snap few photos while atop.

Dvigrad. Take a 20-minute trip through the Istrian countryside to see the ruins of a medieval town that was abandoned in the 1700s during a plague epidemic, never to be repopulated. You can see the castle’s crenellated tower from the Lim Fjord and on a visit you’ll be free to nose around these evocative ruins, including the town gate, walls, some 200 houses and the sagging ruins of the St. Sophia church.

Pula Amphitheatre. Even if you only hold a passing interest in ancient history, you have to get down to Pula in the south of Istria. The big landmark here is the Arena, a vast Roman amphitheater with high arched walls that rival Rome’s coliseum. So much remains that you can even see the original infrastructure; the tunnels that gladiators navigated beneath the arena, and the facilities enjoyed by the richer spectators.

Rovinj has some of the best accommodations and dining Croatia has to offer.

Choose from one of many beautiful seaside rental options or stay at a luxury world class resort.  Hotel Lone, Hotel Monte Mulini, Hotel Spirito Santo Palazzo Storico and the Grand Park are just a few of the standout properties in Rovinj.

And for dining, its local cuisine at its best at La Puntulina, Maestral, and Michelin rated Monte Restaurant.

End your evening with a stroll in the old town and enjoy a gelato at Gelateria Italia.  This small ice cream parlor, run by an Italian family from Brescia, has the best ice cream in Rovinj.

All In all Rovinj has it all for your Perfect Days in Croatia!