Holidays to Rovinj take you to the pearl of Croatia’s Istrian Peninsula and give you beautiful Venetian architecture, old town bars and quiet, tree-lined beaches.
A Croatian gem
It’s no wonder they call Rovinj the pearl of the Istrian peninsula. Its Venetian old town spreads out across a magnificent oval-shaped peninsula, and little artist workshops make this a thriving cultural hub. Fine-dining restaurants are tucked away on steep narrow streets, while chic lounge bars line the waterside. As for the coastline, it’s backed by dense pine forests and dotted with tiny shingle coves.
Secluded shingle coves
Rovinj doesn’t have 1 single beach but rather many small shingle beaches known collectively as Lone Bay. It’s a 15-minute walk from the town and there are snack bars behind most of the coves. A further 15 minutes along the coast brings you to Montauro Cape – it’s hard to get to the water here because of the rocks, but benches set back in the forest offer spectacular views across the Rovinj Archipelago just off the coast.
Venetian old town
The Venetian old town starts from the grand Balbi Arch, the last remains of the old town walls. Along the cobbled streets, there’s the Rovinj Heritage Museum, which is housed in a 17th-century Baroque palace, along with centuries-old artists’ workshops on Grisia Street. All roads lead up to the Cathedral of St Euphemia – the view from the 60-metre-high bell tower stretches from the Rovinj Archipelago to the pine forests in the south.
A 45-minute drive takes you to Pula, where a 1st-century Roman amphitheatre – think of it as Croatia’s answer to the Coliseum – dominates the city. And there’s also a triumphal arch and the Temple of Augustus to see. For something different, you can visit the subterranean Baredine Cave – it’s got imposing stalagmites and little rock pools where strange fish like the Blind White Salamander flourish. It’s 40 minutes’ drive away.