Rovinj Croatia is, according to many, the nicest town in Istria, if not in the entire Croatia. The old town is situated by the sea, on a hilly peninsula, with the tower of St. Euphemia Church marking its highest point.
Rovinj is very picturesque town. It is considered one of the most photogenic places. Its colorful houses are rising from the sea. Its steep pedestrian streets are full of art galleries and lively bars and restaurants. Its harbor is busy with small pleasure and fishing boats.
Rovinj is one of those towns where you never feel bored. Its beauty is just so inspiring, it makes you feel good just to walk its narrow cobbled streets up and down.
Rovinj Croatia at a glance
Best time to visit Rovinj is spring, fall, early and late summer. Rovinj is romantic and it is nice at any time of the year. But winters could be pretty rainy, cold and lacking any activity. Summer is hot, busy and crowded. For me, the perfect time to visit is in September. There is far less people, the sea is still warm, accommodation prices are more affordable.
Food: Rovinj is proud of its long fishing tradition. Thus, Rovinj has very good seafood restaurants. There are also some high end restaurants, like restaurants Wine Vault and Monte, considered among the best restaurants in Croatia. However, there are some good but cheap places to eat as well. Pizzeria Da Sergio makes thin crust pizzas in a wood-burning oven, restaurant Orca, out of the old town, is very popular among locals and offers excellent value for money. Restaurant Maestral is Croatian version of a fish and chips joint, not a high-end cuisine, but honest food, fair prices and great view over the old town. And regarding the prices, just like at the rest of the country, you can have a light meal for 6-8 €, or lunch-size pastry for as low as 2 €. For a dinner at the good seafood restaurant, you’ll pay at least 30 € per person.
Accommodation: There are many hotels in and around the town, ranging from 2 to 5star. However, majority of the hotels belong to the same hotel company – Maistra. Hotels in Rovinj are more expensive than in other Istrian towns. You can expect to pay 10-20% more in Rovinj than in Porec for the same category hotel. You pay for the premium destination. There are two brand new 5star hotels here: design hotel Lone and luxury hotel Monte Mulini. They are awesome! If you are not staying there, go at least for a coffee to these hotels. On Sundays, hotel Lone offers sweets buffet (all you can eat sweets for 6 € per person including hot beverage. Old town has lots of apartment rentals and small, boutique hotels. Prices vary a lot over the year. E.g. a double room in a 5star hotel Lone in winter months costs 112 € per day, while in August it goes up to 350 € a day.
Internet: There are free WiFi hot spots throughout the town. Many bars and restaurants also offer free WiFi. However, you’ll need to ask for a passcode. Private accommodations mostly come with free WiFi, as well as 4 and 5star hotels. Other Rovinj hotels seem to be laggng behind in offering free internet. Most of them still charge for it, and they charge a fortune. I heard that as from 2014, majority of hotels will offer a free WiFi.
Beaches in Rovinj resemble those of the rest of Istria. Coast is actually very rocky, and there are many cemented platforms for sun bathing. Popular beaches are: Monte beach, a small rocky beach in the old town, and Lone Bay beach (new in 2014!).
Transportation: Rovinj is small and the best way to explore it is by walk. The old town is located on a hilly peninsula. Old cobbled streets can be very slippery. If you stay out of the town, there are also local buses and taxi boats running to and from the town. If you come to Rovinj with your car, there are two big parking lots on the each side of the old town. Parking costs 0.5 to 1.5 € an hour depending on the proximity of the town. You can reach it either by bus, car or plane. The closest airport is Pula. Other airports are: Treviso, Trieste, Venice and Ljubljana. If you are arriving with the plane, try to arrange transfer directly with your hotel. Many of them offer the service free of charge.