Rovinj is a little, colourful gem located on the Istrian peninsula in Croatia. Surrounded by crystal clear beaches, colourful buildings that sparkle under the Mediterranean Sun and medieval cobbled streets, Rovinj is truly a jewel of the Adriatic.
Hello everyone & welcome back to my blog! In today’s post, I am going to be talking about our trip to Croatia! We got back yesterday and I was so excited to share with you my experience! So much so, that I had other blog posts scheduled before this one but I wanted to post this blog post first.
Tips for your perfect trip to Rovinj:
- Rovinj is a little seaside town on the shore of Croatia. We were originally going to Split or Dubrovnik but the flights were €700 from Germany (crazy!). Instead, we booked flights to Venice Treviso for only €9.99 and drove to Rovinj.
- If you are driving to Rovinj, you are going to be stopped for inspection of your documents when entering Croatia and when leaving Croatia. Make sure you have your passports handy, and if you are military, your military ID is required.
- Renting a car from Italy was easy. However, you need to inform the renting company that you are going to take your car across borders. We did not know about this until I casually mentioned the fact that we are driving our of Italy and to Croatia. He told us that we had to pay a €30 cross border fee and if we got caught taking the car out of the country without letting them know, the fine was €600!
- The beaches in Rovinj are all rocky beaches, and therefore, if you don’t want the soles of your feet to be bruised, get yourselves some water shoes. We didn’t think this through before and realised what a mistake it was when we went swimming. That same day, we went to the mall and bought ourselves a pair for only 78HKR (which amounts to €10.53).
- Take cash with you. Croatia has its own currency and there are a number of restaurants and bars that do not accept cards.
- It is true what they say: Croatia is cheap! Counting gas and food, we did not go over €300 for two people.
Somethings you should know:
- Just like any other summer destination, it gets hot. The best time to visit is during summertime.
- The Venetians ruled over Rovinj for hundreds of years. As a result, you can still see the Venetian influence in their buildings and language.
- Italian is a widely spoken language in Rovinj and knowing how to speak it comes in very handy.
- As mentioned above, the Croatians haven’t adopted the Euro and still use their own currency.
- You will encounter a lot of cyclists there and apparently, walking in the middle of the road is very much normal.
For our four day trip, we stayed at Romano Apartments. Our room looked nothing like in the pictures. The kitchen stove was old and there was no AC or TV. Instead, we were given a very flimsy fan. However, we did enjoy our stay and we were comfortable. The location is superb as it is only a 15-20 minute walk to the beach and another 15-20 minute walk to the old town. If you have a car, the old town is about 5-minute drive and the nearest beach is around the same distance.
Finding a place to stay is not hard. At almost every corner, we saw signs for apartments and hotels!
Where to eat in Rovinj:
- On our first day, we ate at Maestral. The food was delicious, the staff were really nice and most importantly, we had an unobstructed view of the Old Town. What more could you ask for?!
- Mlinar Panificio: Panificio places are very common around Italy and even Croatia. They are bakeries selling sweet and savoury foods perfect for breakfast. For most of the time, we cooked breakfast from home because we bought groceries from LIDL (which is way cheaper than in Germany!). However, we did buy food twice from Mlinar and loved it.
- Irundo Bar: This hidden gem is the perfect bar to get some pretty cool Instagram shots and delicious drinks. My friend who lives in Rovinj took us there and we loved it!
- Gelateria Italia: This place has 5-star ratings and for good reason! We stopped by after dinner and were not disappointed. The ice-cream was scrumptious! Gelateria Italia is an Italian family-owned business and they make their ice-cream right there in the shop! They also offer Italian delicacies such as cannoli.
And for the best dinner spot in Rovinj, definitely check out 👇🏼
This place deserves it’s own paragraph because it is that good! My friend recommended this place to us and we headed over there on our last night. Tipico is located in the heart of Old Town and we had to walk through the winding, medieval streets of Old Town to get to it. Not to mention that the food was absolutely delicious! You can see what we ate in the slideshow below! The food was top quality and you can actually see the staff preparing the food. In the end, we paid only €56 for the whole dinner. Cheap and delicious!
What to do & see in Rovinj:
▷ Walk around the Port & Old Town:
Old Town stole my heart. It is the perfect location to walk around in and admire the narrow medieval roads which add to the charm and allure of Rovinj. We went to Old Town every day and every day we found a different street or a unique spot to snap a picture!
▷ Balbi’s Arch:
Located in Old Town, this arch is a landmark for tourists. What is interesting about it is that at the top, there are two Venetian heads and in the middle, there is a bust representing an Ottoman man! This symbolizes the diversity this charming city has.
▷ Visit the Lim Fjord:
Lim Fjord is accessible from Rovinj’s port and it described as both a fjord and a canal! It is a river that stretches over 10 kilometres and it is one of the most beautiful natural resources of the Istrian peninsula. There are also panoramic viewpoints where you can stop by and take pictures, which is what we did!
▷ Take a ferry to the Red Island:
We stopped on the Red Island while we were on a kayaking tour (more on that below!). It is one of the most renewed tourist spots. The waters are crystal clear and there are a lot of seagulls flying around as well! I am actually glad we went there when there wasn’t a swarm of tourists.
▷ Head over to the infamous Pink Street of Rovinj:
You probably already saw this street on Instagram as it is a popular picture hotspot in Rovinj! You can take a seat and snap the perfect Instagram shot! I do recommend going early in the morning to get your perfect image.
▷ Visit local beaches:
There are no shortages of beaches in Rovinj. The bays are dotted all over the coast, which is 13km long, and from each one, you get a view of the Old Town. The bays we went to were Lone Beach, Cuvi, Golden Cape and Porton Biondi!
Luis brought his go pro and snapped some pictures and videos while we were diving. I love how this picture turned out, even though half of our faces are blurry!
▷ Walk up to the St Euphemia Church:
Not only is the Church absolutely beautiful, but the views surrounding it are something else. This baroque Church is located in the heart of Old Town and dominates the skyline of Rovinj.
This was something completely new for me but I had so much fun! We went with Adistra. They offer a range of tours and we went with the Sunset Paddle. Our group consisted of ten people and we were given a kayak that holds two people. First, you meet with your instructor at Punta Corrente and then, and after a quick briefing, you get on your kayak.
The tour takes you around the islands of Rovinj including Donkey Island and Red Island.
We stopped for a quick glass of wine with olives and cheese provided to us by Bob (our tour guide) on the Red Island and then we continued back to Punta Corrente. The sunset was spectacular. Even though my upper body hurt during and the next day, it was well worth it and I highly recommend you doing it!
▷ Take a day trip to Pula:
Pula is only 40 minutes away from Rovinj and I highly recommend you taking the time to visit! We spent the first part of our day swimming and snorkelling in Valkane Beach and then walked around the city.
One thing me and Luis really wanted to see in person is the Amphitheatre, also known as the Pula Arena. Pula was an important town during the Roman Empire and you can still see remains of it – one of them being the amphitheatre.
It resembles a lot the Colosseum in Rome and it amongst the world’s largest surviving Roman arenas.
▷ Go to the Rovinj Fest:
If you are lucky enough to be visiting Rovinj when this fest is held, make sure to go! This is a fest held every year and it is the highlight of the Summer for the locals. It is a two-day-long street festival and on the last day, the first band playing was a local band called the Party Band.
Afterwards, at exactly, 11pm there was an amazing fireworks display. We were in the front row and it was kind of hard to take pictures due to the stage but nonetheless, the fireworks were beautiful! After that, there was a 2-hour long concert by Toni Centiski. He is Croatia’s most famous male pop singer and the crowd went crazy when he came out to perform.
His songs are all in Croatian and we were the only two people not singing! Centiski actually noticed us and asked us where we’re from and talked to us for a bit as well. He is a fantastic entertainer and a very humble person overall.
- Monkodonja: an archaeological site
- Mini Croatia: just like mini Europe, here you’ll see miniature figures of the main attractions in Croatia
- Dvigrad: ruins of a medieval village and a stunning hiking spot
- Diving: experienced divers could explore the wreck of the SS Baron Gautsch, an Austrian merchant ship that was sunk after hitting a mine in the First World War
- Truffle hunting: truffles are common in Croatia and you can take a tour and the best part is .. there are dogs included! more info here.
Croatia stole my heart from the moment we drove over the Slovenian border. I am very glad we got to experience a more local side of the country and got to see some pretty spectacular sights and taste great food on the way! I really hope you enjoyed reading this post and found it helpful!
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