Rovinj, a small city situated on west coast of Istrian peninsula, is one of Croatian star cities. Crowded with tourists during the summer and very calm out of the season. Of course, there are lots of fun things to do in Rovinj, but most of them are focused on summer only. What can you do in Rovinj if you visit in October or March, for example?
Here is the thing. Croatian coast offers lots of fun, sun, and sea during the summer months, but the high season itself is quite short (June – August only). June and September are considered to be touristic months as well, but nothing in comparison with those two months. In the other words, most of the day trips, activities etc. are still offered mainly only during the summer, or with much lower intensity the whole year round. There are still lots of things to do in Rovinj during the whole year, you will just need to try a bit more to find them.
FUN THINGS TO DO IN ROVINJ ALL YEAR ROUND
Get lost in the Old Town
Old Town was where the life started in Rovinj. Back then it was an island and it was connected with the land in the 18th century when the city started to grow significantly. Rovinj’s Old Town is a magical place. Since locals were very limited by space, they were forced to build narrow streets and houses as well as small, tiny plazas. Today, these narrow streets hide lots of secret, fantastic restaurants, and unique souvenir shops.
We gave ourselves a couple of hours to explore it, peering into every hidden street. We discovered nicely decorated courtyards (check out the one creatively decorated with shells), handmade soaps shop and a wonderful restaurant. The old town is very small and doesn’t be afraid to get lost in it, it is the only right way of exploring it.
See more photos here.
Learn about Rovinj’s fishing tradition
Somewhere I read how Rovinj is one of the last true Mediterranean fishing ports. For centuries, Rovinj has been a fishing town and fishing is in their blood. Almost every citizen had his small boat called batana (batana is a traditional, flat-bottomed fishing boat from Rovinj) and everyone was connected with the fish, in one way or another. Lately, they are trying to revive and preserve traditional values. According to it, they opened a museum dedicated to batana. House of Batana is a charming little museum which is honoring city’s fishing traditions and culture.
If you take a walk around the harbor in the morning, you can enjoy the views on fishermen haul their catch, followed by numerous sea gulls. They empty and mend their nets while chatting with fellow fishermen and locals. Seize the opportunity and buy amazingly fresh fish.
Visit the magnificent church of Saint Euphemia
Did you ever ask yourself why a small city like Rovinj has such a big church? Church of Saint Euphemia is the largest baroque building in Istria. It was built to honor the patron, Euphemia who’s faith was tested by Emperor Diocletian before she was thrown to the lions. The legend says her body disappeared and together with heavy sarcophagus appeared on Rovinj’s coast. They were unable to move it until the young boy appeared with two calves. The sarcophagus was moved to the top of the hill. Today, it can be found in the church which was built to celebrate this miracle. Church is situated in the middle of Old Town and entrance is free.
Enjoy local food
Istria is known for its outstanding traditional food. Istrian cattle (boškarin), prosciutto, fresh seafood, traditional pasta like fuži or pljukanci combined with world class truffles and olive oil are only some of the examples. Rich in history and food variety, Istria is the most famous and diverse gourmet region in Croatia. Also, it offers remarkable local wine to pair with those tasty dishes.
In Rovinj, we walked in Tipico – Old Town Restaurant. It was supposed to be one of best restaurants in the city and after one local lady told us the same, we decided to give it a chance. Jaime was still stuffed so he ordered a salad only (and it was a great looking salad, I must say!), and a friend of ours went for baked mozzarella with bacon and vegetables. I decided to try a traditional dish, pljukanci served with prosciutto. The food was delicious and set the bar high for our subsequent meals in Istria. With our bellies full, we happily walked back to our apartment.
See more photos here.
Go island hopping
If you check out the picture below, you can see how close are the islands to Rovinj itself! In the archipelago of Rovinj can be found even more than 20 beautiful, green islands and islets which make a perfect afternoon getaway. You can rent out the boat and visit some of them. Most popular for short visits are Sveta Katarina (engl. Saint Catherine) and Crveni otok (engl. Red Island).
Go for a walk or a run in Punta Corrente
If you continue walking south out of the city center, after about 1,5 km you will reach Punta Corrente Forest Park. There you can walk, ride a bike, swim, run or just admire the view onto islands. It is the place for nature lovers and those who want to enjoy active vacations. Rent a bike in the city and do not miss to enjoy this pearl! Jog a bit, climb some rocks and then relax. Bring a picnic, bottle of wine and a blanket to seize the day. During the summer you can find nice small beaches and enjoy some privacy in crowded Rovinj.
Did you already visit Rovinj? Which activities were your favorite?
Read more about Istria in our other posts:
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