Rovinj Croatia: A Symphony of Sun, Sea, and Culture
Travel and Destinations

Rovinj Croatia: A Symphony of Sun, Sea, and Culture

Author: Damir Kapustic

Rovinj, which is one of the most popular and famous towns in Croatia, lies on the western coast of Istrian peninsula. The cobbled streets are lovely, buildings are colorful and the old town is full of history and life. Rovinj is dominated by its monumental Church of St Euphemia that offers awe-inspiring views of the sea together with its surrounding islands. In this harbor fishermen have worked side by side with modern pleasure boats for decades.

The culinary scene in Rovinj combines Mediterranean flavors, fresh seafood, local wines, and truffles. Nature enthusiasts can enjoy a hike or bike ride through Zlatni Rt (Golden Cape) Forest Park. These beaches have clear water making them perfect for swimming, sunbathing or engaging in water sports. Art lovers will find many galleries while Grisia art exhibition takes place annually.

Rovinj’s wellness centers as well as spas offer a welcomed relaxation retreat to their customers whenever. Every corner in Rovinj has a story behind it and each moment lived creates unforgettable memories.

History and Culture

Rovinj has a long and fascinating history dating back to prehistoric times. Originally settled as an island, it was connected to the mainland by a causeway in the 18th century. The town has been under the rule of the Romans, Byzantines, Venetians, Austro-Hungarians, Italians, and finally, Croatia, which is reflected in its diverse architectural and cultural heritage. The dominant building in Rovinj is the Church of St. Euphemia, which towers over the town with its high bell tower and Baroque style.

The old town of Rovinj is characterized by narrow stone streets, small squares, and colorful houses that stretch all the way to the sea. One of the most famous streets is Grisia, known for its numerous galleries and art studios. Rovinj is also known for its picturesque harbors and fishing tradition.


Nature and beaches of Rovinj

Rovinj is located in beautiful nature with clear blue seas. The coast offers a multitude of beaches and bays where you can swim, dive and do other water sports. It is the largest protected area in Istria, ideal for hiking, cycling or simply relaxing in nature. One of its main attractions is Punta Corrente – a green peninsula covered by thick pine forests which are among the last preserved examples along Croatian Adriatic coastline.

People sunbathing at Zlatni Rt Golden Cape Beach in Rovinj.

People sunbathing at Zlatni Rt Golden Cape Beach in Rovinj.


There are many fantastic traditional Istrian dishes offered in Rovinj such as ham (pršut), cheese (sir), truffles (tartufi), seafood (plodovi mora) and local wines. Numerous restaurants and taverns in the town offer authentic flavors and a first-class Mediterranean dining experience.

Restaurants on promenade in Rovinj.

Restaurants on promenade in Rovinj.

Events and activities

Throughout the year there are numerous cultural events taking place all over Rovinj. Some of them include international photography festival known as Rovinj Photo Days, various events like fisherman’s nights, concerts or summer festivals. Also available are a wide range of outdoor pursuits such as sailing, cycling or hiking.

Interesting facts about Rovinj


The legend of St. Euphemia

The patron saint of Rovinj is Saint Euphemia, commemorated in the church that towers over the town. The legend goes that a sarcophagus with her remains washed up on the beaches of Rovinj in 800AD. Unable to move the sarcophagus, the Rovinj inhabitants awaited a miracle. A boy with two oxen was called in, managed to pull it up to the top of the hill where the church still stands.

Town on an island

Once upon a time, Rovinj was an island. In 1763, it was linked to the mainland, thus making Rovinj a peninsula for easy access and expansion.

Rovinj's Grisia

Grisia Street in the old town is known for its artistic atmosphere. Every August turns it into one giant open-air gallery of art; many artists exhibit their works there. It attracts a lot of tourists and art enthusiasts.


Rich maritime tradition

Fishing has been part of life in Rovinj for long time. The town’s aquarium, one of the oldest in the Mediterranean, was founded in 1891 and gives an insight into marine life of this area. Traditional fishing methods are still being used by Rovinj’s fishermen to date while fishing evenings are aimed at showcasing this practice.

Historic walls and gates

Defensive walls were constructed around Rovinj during the 7th century, enclosing the town which had seven gates. Of these only three remain today; the Gate of St. Benedict, the Gate of the Holy Cross, and the Gate on the coast.

Zlatni Rt Forrest Park

Zlatni Rt Forrest Park Forest Park (Punta Corrente) is one of Istria's most important protected areas. This green oasis offers beautiful hiking trails as well as cycling routes with numerous spots for relaxation amidst nature. Nature lovers can travel here from across Croatia to enjoy various sporting activities.

Baroque architecture

Apart from St Euphemia Church, Rovinj boasts other baroque structures. The old town has numerous houses with baroque facades and narrow streets that are typical of such settlement types. Trg maršala Tita central square is surrounded by some nice buildings belonging to different historical periods.


Batana Museum

The Batana Museum is located in Rovinj and displays traditional wooden boats called batanas. The museum showcases how these boats have been made traditionally and their place within the local community.

Beautiful beaches

Among the most beautiful beaches in the Adriatic are those of Rovinj. Famous among them are Mulini Beach, Lone Beach and Golden Cape Beach, which have crystal-clear water and unique panoramic views.

Cuvi Beach in Rovinj, Croatia.

Cuvi Beach in Rovinj, Croatia.

Film festival

The city of Rovinj has many cultural gatherings including Rovinj Film Festival that pulls fans of films as well as tourists from every corner of the world.

What to do in Rovinj

Explore the old town

Take a walk through its constricted paved pathways, paying visits to fascinating shops and enjoying the multicolored buildings that provide a strong identity of this ancient quarter.


Visit the local markets

The Rovinj market has fresh local fruits and vegetables, as well as seafood, olive oil, and truffles.


Enjoy water activities

Those wishing to indulge in some swimming, snorkeling or sea-kayaking may also rent pedal boats or sail on small sailing boats in the crystal-clear Adriatic see.


Worth seeing

Church of St. Euphemia

The most noticeable landmark of Rovinj is this baroque church. For those who are brave enough it is possible to climb up a bell tower from which one can admire fabulous views of the town and towards the sea.


Zlatni Rt Forest Park

A place where you can go for hiking, cycling or just relaxing in nature is Zlatni Rt Forest Park (Punta Corrente). Look out for beautiful walks along the coast or in thick forests.


Rovinj Heritage Museum

Its exhibitions are dedicated to town’s history as well as art collections. It is situated at Baroque palace of Counts Califfi.

Rovinj Harbor

Alongside with fishing boats, yachters’ paradise offers various opportunities such as shopping and promenade for visitors.


Balbi's Arch

This historic structure signals arrival into old town by way of Balbi family’s name emblazoned on top of it; 1680 dates when it was built. This baroque arch was constructed during Venetian rule and has become a significant historical and architectural symbol within the city.


Batana House Eco-Museum

Here visitors will find interactive displays representing Batana traditional fishing boat as well as maritime heritage of Rovinj.

Additional activities

Take a boat trip to the nearby islands

One may visit St. Andrew (Crveni Otok) or St. Catherine, for example, which are part of the Rovinj archipelago.

Enjoy the local cuisine

These include such items as fresh seafood, Istrian truffles and local wines which can be tasted at one of the many great dining establishments in Rovinj.


Cultural events

They range from festivals and concerts through all year-round exhibits

What to do and see in the surroundings of Rovinj

Lim Fjord

The Lim Bay is a natural channel extending about ten km into the land. The area is surrounded by steep verdant slopes and is perfect for a boat trip or kayaking. In addition, there are mussel farms as well as fish farms where it is possible to enjoy fresh seafood.



Dvigrad is a medieval town that lies inland from Rovinj within Istria region. This archaeological site gives insights into the rich history of this place & it’s good for those interested in history as well as archeology in general.



Located some 13 kilometers away from Rovinj, Bale is an attractive village characterized by stone houses and narrow streets. Bale’s historical center features numerous cultural events making it an excellent location for those seeking relaxation amidst the local atmosphere.


Brijuni National Park

Situated on Istria’s west coast, Brijuni National Park comprises 14 islands offering different activities like guided safari tours, visits to archaeological sites, golfing or simply enjoying its natural beauty. To get here one should take a ferry from Fazana about thirty kilometers off Rovinj shore.



Istria’s biggest city is Pula; famous due its rich past and many remarkably preserved Roman structures including Arena – magnificent ancient amphitheater used nowadays for various performances and concerts. Pula is about thirty-five kilometers away from Rovinj.



Grožnjan is a lovely village known as the “town of artists” due to its numerous galleries, art studios, and cultural events. Located on top of a hill with an awesome view down the Mirna River valley, Grožnjan makes for a perfect place to unwind while enjoying art and culture.



Motovun is a medieval town that sits atop a hill and it hosts an annual film festival. It offers stunning panoramic vistas of the surrounding countryside. The town has gained fame in relation to truffles and wine; there are plenty of restaurants and wine cellars where you can have a taste of local delicacies.


Učka Nature Park

This nature park provides breathtaking hiking trails, cycling routes, and viewpoints that allow you to see Istria and Kvarner Bay in all their glory. Učka is a heaven on earth for all enthusiasts who are fond of nature.



Poreč is known for the Euphrasian Basilica - UNESCO World Heritage Site. There are also vibrant cultural life and nightlife in the city as well as many beaches with sports facilities.



The final word: Why visit Rovinj?

Rovinj is an amazing town because it is magnificent, historical with rich cultural heritage. Whether you’re looking forward to relaxing on sandy beaches or visiting historical landmarks or indulging in gastronomy at its bests Rovinj has something for everyone’s needs. This is one place you will never forget because it stays in your memory forever making you come back over again.