The most photographed town in Istria. Colourful facades and intricate stonework; narrow alleyways packed with bars, restaurants and boutiquesRovinj is unquestionably the most picturesque of the medieval Venetian towns on the Adriatic. Every guide book features the colourful facades of the tightly packed houses that encircle this tiny peninsula with the cathedral of St Euphemia and its dominating 60 metre bell tower standing over the town. The harbour is tightly packed with local fishing boats and the cafes on the harbour front are the perfect place to relax. As you walk up the narrow cobbled roadways between the old stone houses every corner brings another scene that seems perfectly composed for a photograph; a glimpse into an ancient courtyard or the subtle fading paintwork on wooden shutters. Around one corner a lively konoba (bistro); around another a gallery with local craftwork. Rovinj has classy cocktail bars and smart restaurants overlooking the bay as well as simple pizzerias and bistros down side streets.
From the harbour there are excursions and taxi boats to nearby islands, notably Red Island, that are ideal for a day swimming and relaxing. There are also many beaches to choose from on the mainland shore. The "Blue Flag" beaches of Valalta and Villas Rubin and the beach in Lone Bay are amongst the most popular.
In the vicinity of Rovinj there are opportunities for tennis, paintball and rock climbing. Climbing is organised at Zlatni Rt on the coast and inland near the ruined fortified medieval town of Digrad in the Lim valley. The Lim estuary (Limski Kanal) is another place for a relaxing swim with excellent restaurants beside the beach.
Other coastal towns
Within easy reach of Rovinj are other attractive coastal town such as Vrsar and Porec. The inland hilltop town of central Istria such as Motovun and Groznjan are a short drive and provide a relaxing contrast to the coast with scenic landscapes, stunning views and many excellent restaurants.
Getting there. Rovinj is 40 km from Pula airport and 150 kilometres from Trieste airport in Italy. There are regular ferries from Venice to Rovinj making it an ideal destination to combine with a couple of days in Venice. But day trips to Venice are also possible.