Rovinj is a lively and attractive Croatian fishing port, benefiting from its location on the Istrian Peninsula on the Adriatic coast. The town has a rich history and culture, drawing on both Croatian and Italian influences. Originally founded in pre-Roman times, it has a rich array of buildings and monuments from all periods of its history.
The town walls are a great place to start your exploration of Rovinj's historic Old Town. The earliest parts date from the 7th century, with three of the original seven gates still intact. Within these walls, you'll find many historic buildings, including the City Palace, whose foundations date back to 1308.
One of Rovinj's most distinctive historic buildings, the Church of St. Euphemia, was built in the early 1700s. It houses the relics of Saint Euphemia, preserved in a sarcophagus dating to the 6th century. There are many other churches to explore, including the Church of Our Mother of Mercy, which dates back to 1487. Also, don't miss Rovinj's Franciscan monastery, a beautiful baroque building with an impressive library.
Rovinj's fishing industry remains one of the top commercial activities, so a tour of the harbor area is a great way to see local life first-hand. You can also try a shopping expedition down Main Street. If you're after some local souvenirs, you'll find many tourist shops and a vibrant market selling traditional regional food and drink. Top among the attractions here are the famous Istrian truffles, a prized local delicacy that can fetch substantial prices.
Renting a car or van in Rovinj allows you explore the area around the town, both coastal and inland. The coast here combines beautiful rocky outcrops, forested areas and occasional beaches. For example, Cuvi Beach, just south of the town, is a great place for sunbathing and swimming in the gloriously warm seawater.
Like much of the Adriatic coast, there are many unspoiled islands that support a wide range of bird life. For a closer look, it's possible to take a boat trip to Sveti Andrija and Crveni Otok. These islands feature distinctive ancient buildings.
Further inland, the area around Rovinj is hilly and forested. If you're looking for a little seclusion to commune with nature, this is a great place to explore. Also, take a look at the Bronze Age Monkodonja hill fort. Dating from 1800 BC, this ancient monument offers expansive views across the coast and over the forests inland.