Top Things to Do in Rovinj (2020. Updated)

The center of Rovinj is surrounded by numerous galleries, restaurants, bars and shops. During the summer months there are lots of events going on such as concerts, performances, gastronomic festivals and local fishermen’s parties. Events like Rovinj Photo Days, the Rovinj Music Festival and the Red Bull Air Race are particularly worthy of mention.

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Top Things to Do in Rovinj Croatia

Enjoy a walking tour of the city along the Rovinj Riviera, explore the famous marvelous street – Grisia, familiarize yourself with the old Rovinj customs of the construction of a special kind of fishing boats – Batana … If you want to explore the surrounding area of ​​Rovinj, we recommend visiting the park of Zlatni Rt (Golden Cape), The Lim canal and Palud’s ornithological reserve. For those who are looking for sports activities and healthy lifestyles, Rovinj offers various forms of active vacation such as biking, climbing, diving, surfing, sailing, wellness … Visit Rovinj and feel the true spirit of the Mediterranean as it used to be.

Rovinj is an ideal place for holiday of young people, families and the elderly.

A large number of beautiful beaches such as those in the park forest Zlatni rt (Golden Cape), sports facilities on the beach and sports facilities on land, many restaurants, large offer of nightlife and natural beauty of this city – have so far met many who keep coming back.

The town has a wealth of features to suit all tastes. You can swim off the rocks in crystal clear waters, stroll around the charming working harbour of fishing boats or cycle along the coast for many miles around the trails of the national park. There is also a tennis school and 10 minutes away by boat, on Red Island, a luxurious wellness spa.

Among the sights in Rovinj, the most impressive is certainly the Rovinj Old town, which has a particularly beautiful sight from the Church of St. Euphemia. The old fishing port is connected to the Old town. Rovinj also has a port for larger ships and ferries and a marina located near a hotel. Worth visiting are the the old fortress walls and city gates which represent the entrance of the new district in the old town.

Except the Franciscan monastery and the seven-cornered baptistery of the Holy Trinity, other attractions in Rovinj undoubtedly include the artist’s lane Grisia where the painters, potters and artisans have their studios and galleries. Many other, smaller churches complete the range of sightseeing opportunities in the Rovinj Old town.

For those interested in regional marine biology, there is the Maritime Museum. One of the main tourist attractions in Rovinj and the surrounding area that should definitely be visited is the Baredine Cave with many beautiful stalactites and unique cave animals to admire.

Other attractions in Rovinj and the surrounding area include: the town of Pula with the Porta Herculea, Triumphal arch and the Amphitheater; the ruins of the 200 houses of the medieval town of Dvigrad – spread over more than 16,000 square meters, testify of life in Istria in the seventeenth century.

 

The complete list of top things to do in Rovinj

Explore Rovinj Old town & Get know the history of Rovinj

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Old Town in Rovinj Croatia

Once in Rovinj, you can start your exploration in the Old Town which so poetically reveals both the history of the Town and the multilayered culture of the surrounding area. Take a leisurely walk to the top of the Old Town, see the magnificent Church of Saint Euphemia and climb its bell tower, from where, weather permitting, you can see as far as Venice.

Walk throught the Rovinj waterfront

Another Rovinj highlight is the waterfront, the longest in Istria. Here is the Italian flair of this Italian city of Croatia especially present. Stroll and enjoy in the numerous street cafes with southern ease. The picturesque fishing port and the chic marina make the Mediterranean atmosphere just perfect.

Visit the beach

The climate in Rovinj is typical Mediterranean, with average temperatures around 16°C, which in summer grow much above 25 °C and in winter descend on average 5°C. Summer brings warmth and sunshine, and days with more than 10-hours of sunlight. This means that the sea and the beaches are ideal for various sports such as diving, swimming and volleyball. There are around 20 beaches in the Rovinj area and You will surely find Your favorite.

Enjoy Rovinjs amazing sunset

You can walk through the old streets of Rovinj, enjoy the view of sunset and the walks in the nearby park forest with century old pine trees, or the romantic ambience of numerous restaurants offering local delicacies. Pick Your own favorite location and enjoy in the perfect sunset view in Rovinj.

Rent a taxi boat to Red Island

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Red Island near Rovinj

Particularly popular among tourists – a dozen small islands are located near the city. Most of them can only be reached by your own boat, but to the island of St. Catherine and island of St. Andrew (Red Island) run water taxis. The picturesque island of Crveni Otok is also a beautiful destination for a day trip. It actually consists of two tiny islets, which are connected by a dam. A Benedictine monastery from the 6th century, which was taken over by Franciscan monks, represents the main attraction on this island conglomerate.

Spend a day at the Golden Cape forrest park

The Golden Cape (Zlatni rt, Punta Corrente) is a well known forest park where You can see the “native” Istrian oaks and alpine pines, as well the cedars and cypresses brought and planted with love. All this forest splendor is another contribution of a beautiful Mediterranean nature in Rovinj.

Except the natural beauty of the park forrest there are also located the most beautiful beaches (Lone, Balsamake and Škaraba). Thanks to the path that stretches along the coast – it offers a wide range of sports and recreational activities as well long walks in nature and cycling races. Spend a nice & relaxing day while enjoying the natural beauty of Golden Cape park forest.

Walk down the Grisia Street

A special experience is a walk through the famous artist lane – Grisia Street. A variety of artists and craftsmen have their studios and galleries in this alley. You can not only buy art objects here, but also watch them emerge. On the top of the hill, the tower of the Basilica of St. Euphemia invites You to enjoy in the wonderful view over the city and the Adriatic Sea.

Discover Rovinj history by traditional rowboat – batana

Batana – is an unique boat built on the basis of the fishermen tradition in Rovinj. The beauty of this traditional wooden boat – batana, was especially appreciated by the artists who painted the most beautiful motives on this subject and exhibit them on Grisia, the artists street.

Batana Boat Rovinj
Batana Boat of Rovinj

Construction of the traditional fishing boat batana is presented in the eco-museum „The House of Batana (Kuća o batani)“ and its also a chance to hear fishermen’s songs „bitinade“ sung in the specific Rovinj dialect.

Visit St. Euphemia Church

The impressive and towering building of St. Euphemia Cathedral is the landmark of the city, perched on the highest point of the Rovinj Old Town. The church was built in 1736 and is the largest Baroque building in Istria. Inside, you should pay to visit the grave of the patron saint of Rovinj , whose remains are full of legends. St. Euphemia was born about 290 years ago and tortured, thrown to the lions for feeding and then her body was taken to Constantinople, from where the sarcophagus was taken back by ship to Rovinj in a stormy night.

Day trip to Lim Fjord

Beautiful excursions also lead to Lim Channel or Lim fjord – one of the most magnificent natural attractions in the region of Istria. The Lim fjord was formed in the last ice age and its lined on both sides by hills. There you can go fishing and taste fresh oysters that are bred in the fjord. Also visit the famous Romuald cave situated on the north shore of the Lim channel.

Find the best view of Rovinj

Rovinj urban medieval nucleus, close-built on the one-time islet dominated by St. Euphemias Church at the top, whose bell tower is topped by the sculpture of the patroness of the town – was proclaimed a cultural monument and is visited by thousands of tourists. Rovinj and its wooded coves and islands represent a harmonious blend of natural and urban beauty.

Rovinj is probably, the most photographed and the most picturesque town in Istria.

Visit St. Cahterine and St. Andrew Islands and try to find Your favorite view!  From there you can enjoy an amazing view of the gray and red roofs topped with chimneys, the mosaic of streets and squares and the cozy port, where fishing boats and luxurious yachts sway on the waves. The city of Rovinj is dominated by the baroque church of St. Euphemia, its 60-meter tower providing views of a port and a pier with ships and boats and a marina harboring yachts. The magnificent view of the Adriatic Sea and the small islands make a holiday in Rovinj an unforgettable experience.

Visit the Ruins of Monkodonja – „Istrian Stonehenge“

Monkodonja is an archaeological site located 5 kilometers from Rovinj. This well preserved site was discovered in 1953. and represents an important proof of life in the Rovinj area dating from times of the Bronze Age.

Monkodonja is a typical example of „Gradina“ type of settlement, made of stones and usually situated on the hills. The Monkodnja settelment or Gradina, was covered by a nearly-kilometer long city walls, about 3 meters wide, 3 meters high. It was built in the stone-walled drywall technique, using stones over a few tones weight.

Extra tip: Read our full guide of Natural attractions or Cultural sites in Rovinj!

 

Food and Gastronomy

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Rovinj Gastronomy & Best Restuarnants

Try Restaurant Monte – The first Michelin star awarded restaurant in Croatia

Restaurant Monte is well known as the first Croatian restaurant awarded with the Michelin Star. The restaurant is situated near by the impressive church of St. Euphemia in the Rovinj Old Town core. It is a family guided restaurant and offers innovative, creative and top quality meals. The restaurant Monte in Rovinj is open from April to October.

Drink a cocktail at Valentino

Valentino is a Cocktail & Champagne Bar located in the Rovinj Old Town, just a few meters from the sea. Valenitno is one of the cooIest spots in Rovinj that offers outstanding cocktails & champagne while sitting on the terrace with a fantastic seaview.

Feel the typical Istrian atmosphere at Veli Jože

Veli Jože is a typical Istrian Konoba which menu is constisted of fresh Adriatic seafood, meat dishes and typical Istrian cuisine flavors. Veli Jože restaurant is a place where You can feel the real Istrian atmosphere and its easily recognizable by the numerous decorations on the wall.

Pizzeria Da Sergio – A pizza lover dream

Pizzeria Da Sergio is situated in the famous artistic street in a Rovinj Old town – Grisia. I am a passionate pizza lover and I tried almost every pizzeria in Istria but I remember the first time I come to Da Sergio. It was late autumn and the first thing I notest was a simple but incredibly cute interior of the place with a very friendly atmosphere. I looked at other tables and notest that the pizzas were incredibile thin so I was a little bit concerned about it. My pizza came and after the first bite I was hooked. Give Da Sergio a try and I bet You will be hooked too! 😀

Do a wine tour

For those who are wine lovers, should try one of Istria Wine Tours which offer wine tasting in beautiful Istria inland. You will be surprised how many vineyards and wine cellars are situated in Istria. Istria is home of delicious wines like malvasia, muscat, teran, merlot and many others. Many wine cellars are open for tourists and wine tasting. And yes, You can also buy bottle of best Istria wine to bring it home.

Olive oil tasting

Because of the geographical position (45th parallel) and specific climate conditions, the region of Istria has became one of places with the best olive oils in the world. If You are in Rovinj, the olive oil testing is a must try.

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Olive Oil Testing in Rovinj Croatia

There are some hotels offering olive oil testing but the right way to experience it is to take a private tour. The guide will introduce You to the professional oil makers which will teach You all the magnificient things about olive oil producing & tasting. You will taste different types of olive oil, learn so much about the producing tradition – in the way You will never look at olive oil in the same way. Olive oil tasting is a highly recommended experience, You will never forget.

Taste and shop Truffles

As you already heard about, Istria is a treasure of black truffles and white truffles, and it is a perfect location to discover what truffle is. There are various Food Tasting Tours which offer You a trully outstanding experience of truffles tasting. You will get a chance to taste the traditional Istrian cuisine, drink first class wines, visit rural villages and gain insight into the culinary heritage of Istria.

If You get a chance You should buy truffles or truffle oil, and take your home a little bit of Istria.

Not decided yet? Read our post about Best Restaurants in Rovinj and Rovinj Excursions & Tours Guide.

 

Sport and Outdoor Activities in Rovinj

Being on the doorstep of the Adriatic, gives visitors the opportunity for a wide range of water sports. From kayaking to wind sailing you can enjoy the beauty of the Adriatic.

Sports outdoor activities in Rovinj
Sports outdoor activities in Rovinj

If water sports are not your cup of tea, you can enjoy a cycle ride on one of the many paths that go in and around the city. Cyclers can enjoy splendid views of the sea as well as the forests that surround the city of Rovinj.

Go Fishing

If You like fishing, Rovinj and its aquatorium is the perfect place for You. There are a couple of agencies that offer fishing trips with proffesional guidance. The boat is included in the price and depending of the arrangement, You can choose different types of fishing: Bigfishing Game Tour, Classic Fishing Tour and Nigh Fisihing Tour. Every fishing technique offer a different catch so for example if You go a Big Fishing Game Tour You can expect to catch a big fish like tuna. Nighfishing is quite interesting if You are using a special kind of seaworm as bait. Ussually there a ton of quality fish like „šargo“, „kavala“, „pic“ etc.

Trek around Rovinj on Horseback

You can horseback ride on Moncerlongo Ranch, situated on the main road leading to Rovinj. The place is a family-run ranch and agrotourism offering a trail riding for begginers (1-4 hours) and one day trekking for experienced riders. The tours are available all the year. Professional instructors will accompain You. The Moncerlongo Ranch also offer: hippotherapy, horseshoening and taming.

Trekking around the horseback in Rovinj is a unique opportunity to taste local food, ride near the sea and see amazing natural sights.

Snorkeling Experience of Rovinj archipelago

Snorkeling has became very popular because its simple and dynamic. All you need is a basic swimming knowledge and an adventerous spirit. Explore the amazing Rovinj archipelago using only the mask, snorkel and flippers. There are various travel agencies or diving clubs offering snorkeling tours in Rovinj. They provide You the basic snorkel equipment and a professional tour guide. If You have luck You can see even a dolphins.

Cycling tours in Rovinj

If you want to spend a relaxing day going bike riding and sightseeing, or simply wish to enjoy the spectacular view of the sea and the islands – Rovinj bike tours are the right thing for You. A qualified guide will lead and help you discover the beauty of Rovinj and its natural surroundings making your day an unforgettable experience. There are plenty of different bike trails around Rovinj and we are sure You will find the right for You. Ride along the Rovinj coast and through the forest park “Zlatni rt-Punta Corrente”, visit the archaeological site of Moncodogno or cycle a pirates trail in Lim fjord.

Rovinj islands by Kayak Tours

Rovinj is a small Croatian town located on the Istrian peninsula, considered one of the most beautiful and interesting places in Istria. Rovinj is surrounded with an archipelago of 22 small islets. Surely,  Saint Andrew Island and Saint Catherine Island are the largest and the most beautiful.

If You are a proactive type of person, a Kayak Tour is a right thing for You. You will discover the beauty of Maskin island, Sv. Ivan Island, and St. Andrew (Crveni otok; Red Island) as well as Sv. Ivan na Pucini Lighthouse. Usually the price range for this kind of tour varies from 35-45 euros per person.

Go dive: Visit Baron Guatch and other wrecks

In addition to the wreck of the large ship “Baron Gautsch”, the divers can admire other sunken ships that are located around Rovinj. For a long time, the city was one of the port of the Austro-Hungarian Empire.

Visit St. Catherine Island

Sv. Katarina or St. Catherine island is located just a few hundred meters across the town centre of Rovinj in Istria, Croatia. The connection between the island and the Rovinj mainland is featured by taxi boats on a hourly basis departures from the city harbour. On St. Katarina island there is a namesake hotel – Hotel Katarina Hotel, sourounded by beautifull beaches, swimming pools, tennis courts and water sports. For the hotel guests the boat ride is free of charge, but visitors have to pay.

The island is great for a daytrip adventure beacuse it has many paths leading to the secluded parts of the island. The beaches are rocky especially on the eastern side of the island.

Watch the birds in Palud near Rovinj

Palud is a popular bird watching site – the only ornithological site in Istria county, located about 10 km southeast of the town of Rovinj. The total area of the special ornithological reserve is 226,911 ha. The name „Palud“ transalted in Istrian dialect means swamp.

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Birdwatching in Palud near Rovinj

The basic phenomenon of the Palud is the variety and richness of birds, over 200 species that are nesting & wintering in the namesake area. Some of the bird species  include: wild ducks, lichens, bunnies, hens, bushes, hawks, shamrocks, swings, whiskers and various other bird species.

The entrance in Palud is free of charge all the year long. There is a possibility to hire a professional guide with a maximum number of 8 persons per group. It costs 50 kunas per adult person and 15 kn per children up to 40 years. The birdwatching tour lasts 2 hours (bird watching gear is included).

Rock climbing at Punta Corrente forest park

Rovinj is also a perfect place for seaside climbing. On the rocky walls near the Zlatni Rt headland (Golden Cape, Punta Corrente), about 80 climbing routes with varying degrees of difficulty were marked out. There is also a park that is considered to be the largest Istrian botanical garden.

Sunset paddle tour

During the last few year Stand Up Paddle (SUP) has became very popular among tourist, especially younger population. Rent a stand up paddle with/without a guide and enjoy the amazing shores of Rovinj. There are a few tourist agencies offering a paddle tour which include a drive around St. Andrew’s and Maskin Island, back to the Punta Corrente where it starts. The tour last three hours and include an guided assistance, paddle rent and refreshments. For more inforamtion You can check this site:

Explore Rovinj using Segway

Let explore the historical and natural wonders of the one of the most picturesque and romantic places in the world – Rovinj, using Segway. Segway consists of two wheels and a standing platform and it became a popular recreational way of travel. You can rent one or take a guided tour at the agency Segway Rovinj located in Polari Campingsite near Rovinj. The agency offers a few segway tour.

Not decided yet? Read our full Active vacation in Rovinj Guide or Biking in Rovinj Guide.

 

Health and Wealth

Enjoy wellness in Rovinj

The selection of spa & wellness in Rovinj, Croatia is extremely varied. No matter if You stay in a camping site, private luxory villas, traditional family hotel resorts or a modern design hotels – all of these spa & wellness attach great importance to personal service, and will help you with your holiday planning comprehensively.

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Wellness in Rovinj Croatia

Take advantage of the wide range of beauty and wellness treatments in Rovinj. After a soothing massage, or a typical bath, you will feel reborn. The harmony of mind and soul is a principle for physical well-being .

Find your wellness in Rovinj and experience a unique holiday characterized by relaxation and well-being for life.

Best Wellnes & Spa in Rovinj:

  • Wellness Centre in Hotel Lone
  • Wellness Centre Otok in Hotel Istra
  • Art Wellness Centre
  • Marwell SPA
  • Wellness Centre in Hotel Eden
  • Beauty Salon in Valalta Naturist Camp.

Extra tip: Check our Full guide of Wellness in Rovinj.

Visit Histria Aromatica

Histria Aromatica Park is located on a plot of more than 250 000 m2 in an idyllic Istrian property with amazing views of the Brijuni Islands, the old towns of Bale, Vodnjan and Rovinj overlooking the Učka Mountain on the other side.

Histrica Aromatica the is natural heaven for all the senses. This park offers a unique experience of learning about the natural world of Istria and Croatia – especially aromatic plants. Guided through several levels, the presentation is consisted of:

Presentation of plantations and gardens of indigenous and Mediterranean aromatic herbs, olive groves, vineyards and orchards.

Multimedia lecture hall with special scent and light effects.

Workshops according to plant species and annual season in plantations and gardens.

There is a Aromatica Shop – a specialized brand store of Bioaromatica products where visitors can buy natural cosmetics and galestive products made by hand, which are also the original souvenir of our region.

The home-cooked restaurant is certainly the highlight of the entire visit experience.

Also, in Histria Aromatica there is a LUXURY TENT HOTEL & AROMATICA SUITE where you can rest and enjoy the natural beauty.

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