Rovinj is a small town on the Istrian peninsula of northern Croatia, and is known as one of the most picturesque towns in all of Croatia. The town has even been listed as one of the world’s most beautiful coastal towns.
And none of that is hard to believe when you step into the charming city, with its Old Town of pastel houses and art-filled cobblestone streets, all climbing towards a pretty church on the hilltop overlooking the town. The port is full of small fishing boats, with a promenade of bustling restaurants and cafes where patrons can be seen enjoying fresh sea food with an Aperol spritz. The town gets lively in the evening, as people share libations on the rocks overlooking the sea.
Rovinj is definitely a vacation destination in every way, and thus the population explodes in the summer time. Our arrival in June seemed great in terms of timing: the weather was good, but the crowds and prices were still manageable.
We spent our daytimes at the beach. Rovinj has a number of pebble beaches to choose from, the best ones found a 1.5 km walk from the town center in Golden Cape (Zlatni rt) national park. The park is full of big cedar and pine trees, which provide much needed shade during the hot summer days, as well as a number of nice walking and biking paths. Between the trees and the sea are several small coves and beaches, many of which feel more quaint and quiet.
There are also several nearby islands a quick taxi boat ride away, including Katarina Island and Red Island. We spent a day at Red Island which was great, but not that much different than the beaches that can be found along the coastline of Rovinj.
In the evenings we explored Old Town, a car-free area that makes up the small peninsula Rovinj is on. Old Town evokes a feeling of romance, with it’s Venetian-style houses that extend from the harbor to the hilltop. The area historically was a part of Venice, so it’s not a suprise to see its heavy influence.
Many of the buildings in Old Town are pastel in color, with clothing lines criss-crossing over the narrow streets and laundry drying in the gentle breeze. It’s all very dreamy.
Along with the Venetian architecture, Rovinj also kept much of the fresh mediterranean coastal cuisine. Fresh seafood, oysters, cheeses, wines, and our favorite – truffles. We spent our nights outside enjoying dinners that were much too gluttonous for our own good. It’s hard not to want to indulge in multiple courses sitting at restaurants like Puntalina, where your outdoor table is situated on the rocks overlooking the sea with the sun setting along the horizon…
Accommodations: Hotel Spirito Santo. A brand new boutique hotel with exceptional service, great location, and a delicious breakfast made of home baked goods. Full post coming soon.
Food: Cafe Rio for a casual restaurant located right on the pier with great local food. Puntalina for a romantic dinner on the rocks overlooking the sea.
Sights: Walk to Zlatni Park, where you can bike, hike or enjoy the beach. Explore Old Town in the early morning or late evening, and take in the stunning views from St. Euphemia church on the hilltop. Take a boat ride to any of the nearby islands to escape the crowds, including St. Katarina or St. Andrews.
Thanks for “test-driving” Croatia for us! We’ve just been discussing a potential trip there. As always, I love your pics.
Hello Claudia! No problem, haha. This time we only visited Rovinj, as it was along our drive into Slovenia. But we have been to Croatia previously, visiting Dubrovnik, Split, Plitvice and Hvar. We loved them all and I would definitely recommend visiting. Cheers!
Thanks Sandra, I have to check your previous posts from those visits. I’ve worked for a few weeks at an oceanographic field station in Split over 40 years ago when Croatia was still part of east-block Yugoslavia. It was utterly awful there then! The poverty unimaginable and food scarce. I’m looking forward to seeing the changes.
Haha, those posts may not be overly helpful. I was on a trip with my girlfriends back in school, and I remember writing very little and taking terrible photos off an old phone. But we all loved it there; a few of them have gone back to visit since then as well. But it sounds like based on your experience there, it would be very interesting for you to visit Split again. I can’t imagine what that would have been like. Seems like it has changed dramatically since you have been there and you would have a great outlook visiting it now!
Hi to the most adventurous couple that I know!
t’s always so nice to see the new places that you
travel to. Surely you must see some of the same
features that you have seen somewhere before.
Would love to chat about that sometime.
Congratulations on the beginning of your new career, Shane!
Thanks Aunty Isabelle. While we may see some of the same things from place to place, each area seems to have its own unique character and I think we find joy in seeking that out. Sometimes we are happy with what we find, and others not so much, but that is all part of the excitement! Thank you for the congratulations. It has been a long time coming and it feels so great.
Hi Shane and Sandra.
It sounds fabulous and dreamy.
Thanks for sharing.
Is there a grand 1st anniversary later this month?
Will be thinking of you.
Aunt Del xoxoxo
Thanks Aunty Del. We are having a great time! We didn’t have anything specific planned for a 1st anniversary… YET. Thanks for the idea, we need very little encouragement to get creative and find something fun :).