Rovinj - a complete travel guide on visiting Rovinj
Nestled along the Adriatic Sea Rovinj, with its maze of cobblestone streets and radiant buildings, stands as one of Croatia's most enchanting coastal towns offering a captivating blend of ancient charm and modern vibrancy.
The historic old town of Rovinj rises on a hilly peninsula, crowned by the iconic St. Euphemia Church, a testament of Rovinj's rich heritage. Take a stroll along the bustling harbour and settle at some of the seafront eateries serving up the region's culinary delights. Don't forget to also try some of the renowned ice cream.
Whether you're drawn by its architectural beauty, delectable cuisine, or the allure of its art galleries and town squares, Rovinj promises a unique blend of tradition and contemporary culture.
Dive into our comprehensive guide and discover why Rovinj, pedestrian-friendly and brimming with attractions, should be your next Croatian escapade.
Where to stay
Sure, you might find it a tad pricier than some other spots along the Istrian coast, but that's because Rovinj is the place everyone's raving about. So, whether you're splurging on luxury, hunting for a bargain, or somewhere in between, Rovinj's got the perfect spot for your Adriatic getaway.
Travelling to Rovinj
Rovinj sits cosily on Istria's west coast, roughly 30 km from both Poreč up north and Pula down south. It's the perfect starting point to check out Istria's other gems. And here's a fun fact: Venice is just a stone's throw away at 260 km. You can make the Venice to Rovinj trip in less than 3 hours.
Coming from Zagreb? It's about the same distance. Handy, isn't it?
Now, if Split is on your radar from Rovinj, give it more than a day. It's a 500 km stretch, and by car, you're looking at a 5-hour journey. But don't sweat it; the drive's a breeze on the modern multi-lane highway.
Flying to Rovinj
The closest airport to Rovinj is Pula Airport, located 50 kilometers to the south. It serves as the primary gateway for travellers coming to explore the Istrian region.
During the period from May to October, Pula Airport becomes a focal point for several low-cost airlines, facilitating connections to and from a selection of European cities such as Berlin, Frankfurt, Hamburg, Brussels, Oslo, Stockholm, Helsinki, Rome, London and more.
For alternative airport choices you can consider Krk, Trieste, Treviso, Venice, Ljubljana, and Zagreb, all within a range of up to a 3-hour drive from Rovinj.
Upon arrival at Pula Airport there are several transportation options available to convey you to Rovinj. These include car rentals, private transfers, and public transportation. Established car rental companies operate conveniently from the airport premises.
Opting for a private transfer entails an approximate cost of 80€ for a one-way journey. On the other hand, while public transport is often the most cost-effective choice, it might not always align with convenience. Check out prices and availability for private transfers to Rovinj from Pula, Rijeka, Venice and more.
Embarking on the public transport route, a single ticket for the bus incurs an expense of 18 Euro. Alternatively, by purchasing your ticket through the Brioni-Fils website in advance, the price drops slightly to 15 Euro. Those mindful of their budget can seamlessly access Rovinj from the airport by utilising the shuttle to travel to Pula's central bus station. From there, a bus journey to Rovinj can be undertaken.
The shuttle service from Pula Airport to Pula bus station demands a fare of 6 Euro, while the subsequent bus ride from Pula to Rovinj involves a ticket price ranging from 7 Euro. The carriers Fils Ltd. and Broini Ltd. in cooperation provide departures to: Pula - Verudela, Medulin, Puntižela, Fažana, Rovinj, Poreč, Novigrad, Umag and Rabac.
Why should you visit Rovinj?
Rovinj is undeniably one of Croatia's crown jewels. A must-see for anyone stepping foot in the country, especially if it's their first time. While Dubrovnik might steal the limelight as Croatia's most visited town, Rovinj holds its own, especially among European travellers. Surprisingly, many from further afield overlook this gem. Let's dive into why Rovinj deserves a spot on every Croatian travel list!
Romantic and magical
Some places just have that magic, and Rovinj is undoubtedly one of them. To truly grasp its essence, you've got to immerse yourself in it. The old town is a nostalgic dream, oozing romance at every turn. Trust us, your camera will be working overtime here.
A Blend of Old and New
While the old town whispers tales of the past, many Rovinj's hotels scream modernity and style.
Rovinj's culinary scene is a treat for the senses.
Alright, let's set the record straight: if you're hunting for endless sandy shores, Croatia might not be your first pick. But Rovinj? It offers a unique coastal charm and Rovinj's beaches are a sun-seeker's paradise.
When is the best time to visit Rovinj?
Rovinj isn't just for summer fun. Trust us, there's something special about this place every season. Picture this: basking on sunny beaches, wandering the historic streets in spring, diving into the sea in summer, marvelling at the golden autumn vibes, and then warming up in a cosy local café when winter hits. Seriously, Rovinj's magic never stops. You can experience it all year round!
Rovinj in summer
Oh, it's a gem! If you're looking for that perfect blend of luxury and nature, you can't miss the Monte Mulini area. Nestled right by the Golden Cape forest park, it's where you'll find some of the swankiest hotels, all boasting views of the gorgeous Mulini Beach and its chic marina.
Travelling with the fam? Rovinj's got you. From its kid-friendly beaches and playgrounds to a variety of stays (think posh hotels to homey private spots), there's something for everyone. And if you're the kind who loves waking up to the sound of chirping birds and the smell of pine, the campsites here are just dreamy.
But there's more to Rovinj than just its natural beauty. Come summer, and the place is buzzing! From the foot-tapping beats of the Croatian Summer Salsa Festival to the artsy vibes of the Grisia art show, there's always something happening. And if you're into music, the Batana Boat Parade is an experience you won't forget. Oh, and for those who keep an eye on the latest in the communication world, the Weekend Media Festival is a must-attend.
For the adventurers, Rovinj's surrounding islands are a paradise. Whether you're diving deep to explore shipwrecks or just skimming the surface on a windsurf, the Adriatic won't disappoint.
And before you leave, take a leisurely stroll through Rovinj's old town. It's like stepping into a painting. The cobbled streets, the historic St. Euphemia's church, the quaint galleries - it's a trip back in time. And if you're into history, the Batana House Eco Museum is a treasure trove, so much so that UNESCO thinks it's special too.
So, if you're planning a trip to Croatia thin summer, make sure Rovinj's on your list. Trust us; it's worth it!
Rovinj in spring
Springtime in Rovinj? Oh, it's an adventurer's dream! Imagine cycling through the lush trails of the Golden Cape forest park or maybe trying your hand at free climbing. And for those who love their sports, Rovinj's got top-notch facilities - think football stadiums, tennis courts, and more. Whether you're an amateur looking for a kick about or a pro in training, Rovinj has got you covered.
Ever heard of the Štrika-Ferata route? It's this old railway track turned into a scenic bike path. Riding along, you'll be treated to some of nature's finest views. And speaking of views, a stroll through Rovinj's historic heart feels like you've stepped into a time capsule. The cobbled streets, the iconic St. Euphemia's church, and those quaint little galleries - it's like walking through a living museum. And if you're a history buff, the Monkodonja and Mušego archaeological sites are a must-visit.
Spring in Rovinj also means it's event season! From gourmet tours and food festivals to sports events like "Popolana", there's always something happening. And for the diving enthusiasts, the clear spring waters are perfect for exploring Rovinj's underwater treasures. The Baron Gautsch steamboat wreck? It's a sight to behold.
Fancy a day trip? There's a ton of places you can visit. Medieval towns, ancient amphitheatres, and even national parks - it's all just a short drive or boat ride away. And after a day of exploring, unwind at one of Rovinj's wellness centres. Trust us, their Mediterranean herb treatments are pure bliss.
Oh, and if you're here for work, Rovinj's top-tier accommodations and conference facilities make business meetings a breeze. But if it's love that's brought you here, you're in for a treat. Rovinj, with its romantic vibes, has been the backdrop for countless weddings. And with its picturesque settings, every photo feels like it's straight out of a fairy tale.
So, whether you're here to explore, relax, or celebrate love, Rovinj in spring is where memories are made. Come and see for yourself!
Rovinj in autumn
Ah, Rovinj in the fall? It's like stepping into a vibrant painting! Those cool breezes are perfect for outdoor adventures. Picture yourself cycling, trekking, or even scaling some rocks. And for such escapades, the Zlatni rt forest park, a hop away from the city buzz, is your go-to spot. Here's a little secret: don't miss out on the free bike tour by the Tourist Board. It's their way of letting you 'Feel the breeze of Rovinj', and trust us, it's exhilarating!
For the sports enthusiasts, Rovinj rolls out the red carpet. Whether it's kicking a ball, shooting hoops, or acing in tennis, there's a venue just for you. And for the cyclists, the revamped Štrika-Ferata path, once an old railway line, promises vistas that'll make your heart skip a beat.
Gastronomes, brace yourselves! The autumn edition of 'On the paths of Rovinj delicacies' is a culinary journey you won't forget. Think delectable dishes at steal-deal prices all over town. And if you're someone who loves pedalling with a side of gourmet, the 'Weekend bike & gourmet tour' is right up your alley.
Got the explorer's itch? Rovinj's surroundings are a treasure trove. From age-old towns, historic amphitheatres, and basilicas that have caught UNESCO's eye, to enigmatic caves and pristine national parks, adventure is always around the corner.
Here for work? Rovinj's plush stays, equipped with top-tier conference amenities, ensure your business runs smoothly. And when the day winds down, rejuvenate at a local spa. Their therapies, steeped in Mediterranean goodness, are sheer bliss.
For those who resonate with the rhythm of the waves, autumn's mellow sun is perfect for sailing through Rovinj's islands. And as you meander through Rovinj's age-old lanes, it's like walking through a living museum. The architecture, the iconic St. Euphemia's church, and those artsy nooks are pure eye candy.
Before you bid adieu, make a pit stop at the Batana House Eco Museum. It's a nod to Rovinj's boat-crafting legacy and even has a UNESCO badge of honour. Rovinj in the fall is a mosaic of experiences waiting to be explored. Dive deep and soak it all in!
Rovinj in winter
Strolling through Rovinj's old town is like flipping through pages of a history book. Every corner, every hidden alley whispers tales of the past. The town's rich tapestry of culture and monuments will leave you in awe.
This year, while the Advent festivities might be a tad muted due to the pandemic, the spirit remains undiminished. Beneath the twinkling New Year's tree, the House of the Batana dishes out culinary wonders, while local artisans showcase their crafts. The town square hums with music, and if you're an opera buff, live screenings from the Metropolitan Opera and the Bolshoi Theater await at the cinema. And as the clock ticks down to the New Year, M. Tito square comes alive with melodies, mirrored by the gala feasts in Rovinj's hotels and eateries.
For the sporty souls, there's no dearth of action. From the festive "Rovinjski đir" race to the Istria Winter Cup football tourney and the Running League, adrenaline is always high. And if you're a foodie, "Antonja" is a must-visit. Held in Rovinjsko Selo, this gastronomic fiesta celebrates St. Antun with the finest wines, olive oils, and scrumptious Istrian soups.
Winter in Rovinj is mild, making the Golden Cape forest park a haven for outdoor enthusiasts. Whether you're jogging, cycling, or rock-climbing, the park is your playground. And with top-notch sports facilities dotting the town, both amateur and pro athletes can keep their game strong.
Seeking some winter pampering? Rovinj's wellness centres, with their Mediterranean-inspired treatments, are pure bliss. And for those on business, the town's plush accommodations, complete with state-of-the-art conference facilities, ensure your meetings go off without a hitch.
But don't just stay put in Rovinj. Venture out and explore the Istrian peninsula. The region's charming towns and historic cities are a sight to behold, promising to lure you back, season after season. Dive into Rovinj's winter wonder and let its magic envelop you!
What is the weather like in Rovinj?
Rovinj, like its coastal siblings, boasts a Mediterranean climate - think sizzling summers and gentle winters. Here's a fun fact: with a whopping 134 sunlit days annually, Rovinj clinches the title as Istria's sunniest spot and ranks third in Croatia's sunshine league. Plus, if you're not a fan of overcast skies, you're in luck! Rovinj takes the crown for the fewest gloomy days along the Adriatic.
Now, while the stats point to October and November as the wettest months, recent years have painted a different picture. October's been surprisingly splendid, while May's been a tad more drizzly than we'd hoped.
Winter here is pretty mild, averaging around 6°C. And thanks to its snug micro-location, biting winds are a rarity. As for summer, it's all about sun-soaked days. Rain's a rare guest in July, the driest month.
Average temperatures for July and August hover around 23°C, with the sea invitingly warm at 25°C. But remember, these figures factor in both day and night. On particularly hot days, the mercury can soar to 30°C. Prefer something a tad cooler? June and September offer a comfy 25°C, though the sea's a bit nippier, between 20-22°C. Dive into Rovinj's climate and soak in its warmth!
Things to do in Rovinj
Nestled along the coast, Rovinj is a treasure trove of experiences. Whether you're yearning for beach moments, thrilling adventures, or a taste of the local culinary scene, Rovinj has got you covered. And its prime location? Perfect for jaunts across Istria and even quick getaways to neighbouring Slovenia and Italy. Trust us, a week or two here will fly by.
Here's a glimpse of what Rovinj has in store:
Find your adventure at Punta Corrente forest park
A mere 15-minute walk from the old town will lead you to the tranquil Punta Corrente Forest Park. Established in the 1890s, it's a haven for cyclists, joggers, and those looking for a refreshing swim. But for the thrill-seekers, the limestone cliffs offer an exhilarating rock climbing experience, just a hop away from the sea's embrace.
Sailing memories with batana
The batana is a traditional wooden fishing boat and a symbol of Rovinj's deep-rooted heritage. While its fishing days might be numbered, the charm isn't lost. Experience a serene sail around the old town at dusk, courtesy of the House of Batana, followed by a hearty meal in a local eatery.
Dive into the deep blue
Rovinj's surrounding waters are a treasure trove for divers, especially with shipwrecks like the Baron Gautsch. This steamer, which has been resting since 1914, is a dive into history, lying between 28-40 m deep.
Discover the historic heart of Rovinj
The old town, perched on a quaint peninsula, is a labyrinth of homes, some seemingly rising straight from the sea. As you wander, you'll find yourself at St. Eufemia's church, the town's crown jewel. From art to architecture and charming boutiques, every corner has a story to tell.
Horseback through nature's beauty
Whether you're a horse riding pro or a newbie, Rovinj's landscapes invite you to explore them on horseback. With equestrian centres ready to guide you, each ride unveils Istria's blend of natural splendours and historical landmarks. And the adventure doesn't stop there - from riding lessons to outdoor activities and a taste of Istria's culinary scene, it's a gallop through diverse experiences.
Kayaking: a different view of Rovinj
Imagine viewing Rovinj from the calm waters, paddling leisurely and letting the town's beauty unfold. As you kayak, the islands of Sv. Katarina, Sv. Andrija, Maškin, Sturag, and Sv. Ivan beckon, each with its own tale. It's not just about the journey; it's about the stories and experiences you'll gather along the way.
Best things to see in Rovinj
By the shimmering waters Rovinj, a canvas of art and age-old tales, calls out to your curious heart. The city's ancient core seemed to whisper stories, reflecting a past rich in memories. The local museums and galleries felt like treasure chests, each piece telling its own intimate story. The architectural masterpieces speak of times long forgotten, making your journey in Rovinj feel like a personal dance with history.
Curious about what Rovinj has in store? Every corner holds a surprise. The old town gates and the iconic Balbi’s Arch are like gateways to another era. A walk down Grisia Street leeds you to the grandeur of Rovinj’s city palace, its sacred churches, and the mythical castle on St. Andrew’s Island. For us Rovinj isn't just a town in Istria; it is a journey into art, culture customs and traditions.
Rovinj Cuisine and Best Restaurants
The heart of Rovinj's culinary scene beats with the rhythm of the sea. Historically, locals would venture out into the vast ocean in their batanas, bringing back a bounty of seafood. To keep the essence of Rovinj's traditional cooking alive, the Batana House Eco Museum introduced "The Traditional Rovinj Cuisine Cookbook."
Here are our recommendations on what to order if available: Istarski Boškarin (autochthonous Istrian cattle breed), famous extra virgin olive oil from Istria, Pljukanci (also known as makaruni, a traditional, handmade Istrian pasta), Fritaja sa šparogama ( a popular Istrian egg-based dish, key ingredients are wild Istrian asparagus), Fuži (a traditional Istrian pasta variety) and Istrian pršut or prosciutto. For beverages we recommend to try Teran (a red grape variety that has been cultivated for centuries in Istria), Istarska malvazija (a native Croatian white grape variety predominantly grown in Istria) and Biska (a traditional Istrian mistletoe-flavored brandy).
When it comes to dining out we have some personal recommendations. Waterside Blue restaurant is a must-visit, known for its home-made thin pizza-style bread with rosemary, sea salt and award-winning olive oil produced nearby. Maestral offers simplicity with its vast menu, bustling summer terrace, and picturesque views of the town. For those seeking a luxurious experience, Monte presents a curated tasting menu. And for a genuine, homely touch, Jure serves up robust, comforting meals. But that's just the tip of the iceberg.
Here is our comprehensive guide on where to dine in Rovinj!