7 things to see and do in and around Rovinj
Photo Credits: Lorenzo (@l_oro_zen)
I had the opportunity to spend my second week of holiday in Rovinj, Croatia. A beautiful fishing village on the Istrian coast, nestled on a peninsula overlooking two wide bays with crystal clear waters.
In this article I will tell you about 7 of the most beautiful things to see and do in and around this stunning town.
VISIT THE GOLDEN CAPE FOREST PARK
Probably what we liked most and what surprised us most about the town of Rovinj. The Golden Cape (Zlatni Rt) Forest Park was founded in 1980 by an Austrian baron and it extends south of the town, along the coast. Easily accessible on foot or by bicycle, it is rich in indigenous plants and meadows, perfect for walks, sporting activities such as running and free climbing and, of course, swimming in its beautiful waters. It is also a great place to enjoy a cold beer/cocktail surrounded by nature.
WATCHING THE SUNSET FROM ONE OF THE TOWN'S CLIFFS
In Rovinj we have witnessed some truly incredible sunsets. If you get the chance, take some time and don't miss it. There are several spots all along the coast where you can watch the sunset. This photo was taken from Mulini Beach (a fairly fancy and overpriced beach bar and sun lounger spot), which has a beautiful location, but we also got to see the sunset again, with a dip, from a cliff further into the Old Town, at the foot of the road leading from Bar Mediterraneo (more on that below) to St. Euphemia's Cathedral.
STROLL THROUGH THE OLD TOWN
Photo Credits: Dirk Gonçalves Martins (@kokaleinen)
The historical centre of Rovinj is characterised by winding and very characteristic alleys, alternating with small squares (in one of these small squares we found our favourite place to have a drink, the Caffe Bar Bruno - in Piazza Matteotti) and narrow streets overlooking the sea. Strolling through the characteristic shops, small restaurants and typical places is a real pleasure. Here you will find many local products and unique handmade items. Towering over the town of Rovinj, at the highest point of the peninsula, there is the Church of St. Euphemia - the largest Baroque building in Istria. From here you can also enjoy a breathtaking view of the whole of Rovinj and its beautiful archipelago.
TOUR THE ISLANDS OF THE ARCHIPELAGO
The Rovinj archipelago consists of around 20 islands of varying sizes. The Red Island - consisting of two islets connected by an artificial bridge, St. Andrew's Island (Sveti Andrija in Croatian) and the island of Maškin - is the largest of them all, while closer to the coast is the island of St. Catherine. Reaching these islands is very easy and fairly inexpensive; all along the harbour you can find stands where you can buy tickets for round trips to/from the various islands. For the Red Island the cost is 75/80 Kuna per person (about 10€), while for the St. Catherine Island the cost is 50 Kuna per person (about 6€). The islands are excellent for walks in the nature and for dips in their crystal clear waters. On the Red Island (in the St. Andrew's part), near the boat dock, there is a tower from which you can admire the landscape of the entire archipelago (photo above).
HAVE A COCKTAIL AT THE MEDITERRANEAN BAR
Photo Credits: Tripadvisor
Probably one of the most famous bars in Croatia. Bar Mediterraneo is mainly known for its location - right by the sea (for real!). We went there after dinner, when the sky was already too dark to admire the beauty of the view, but it was still very impressive. If I had to advise you, I would obviously say to take advantage of the last light of day for an even more incredible experience. Their cocktails are great - perhaps a little higher priced than the average in Rovinj, but really worth it. In August it is very difficult to get a table, so I would recommend either booking or going well in advance to have time to wait for some little place to open up.
VISIT THE ZAREČKI KROV WATERFALLS FOR INCREDIBLE DIVES
The Zarečki Krov waterfall is about 40 minutes' drive from Rovinj - near Pazin, towards central Istria. It is only a few minutes' walk away (the road is well signposted and there is a free car park on the right) and you can reach the place via a small dirt road. This is a place where the Pazinčica River forms a waterfall (quite small during summer though) and a small lake where, if you are not afraid of cold and not very clear water, you can swim and dive (the height is about 10 metres). Perfect for a half-day trip to the hinterland.
TASTE THE EXQUISITE LOCAL TRUFFLES
On the way back from the waterfall, we decided to stop for lunch at a farmhouse on the way to Rovinj, with the idea of sampling the famous Istrian truffle. Browsing on the internet, we found a very well reviewed restaurant in the area, the Konoba "DOMA" and decided to give it a chance. The hours seemed to be quite peculiar to us, in fact the kitchen closes at 12 and then reopens at 14 on the dot. To keep in mind if you feel like dropping in. Apart from this detail, I must say that everything we ate was delicious. I had some excellent cheeses as an appetizer (but those who ate the cold cuts confirmed the quality anyway) and some really good ravioli with truffles. So, if you love truffles and you find yourself driving around the Istrian hinterland - stop for lunch / dinner, you won't regret it!