Getting to Rovinj

The closest airport to Rovinj is in Pula—approx 25 minutes away. It is served by Ryanair (www.ryanair.com) on a Tuesday, Thursday, and Saturday from London Stansted. You can also fly with Ryanair to Trieste (1 1/2 hours away) or Venice Treviso in Italy (2h 45 mins away). Both BA, Jet2 and Easyjet also fly to Pula.

Pula is also served by Thomson from Glasgow, Manchester, Birmingham, Bournemouth, Bristol and London Gatwick (in the summer season). See www.thomsonfly.com for more details. 

Easyjet fly to Rijeka from London Luton 4 days a week. Rijeka is about an hours drive from Rovinj. 

From Pula a taxi is the best option. We will be happy to put you in touch with a driver locally who speaks English and will not rip you off. Call / Text / WhatsApp Sasha on +385 (98) 760 922 He can collect up to 8 people for transfer to Rovinj. He is a man mountain but the nicest guy. Tell him you are staying with us on Carera St. He can also help for day trips etc.

Hiring a car is another option with all the major companies represented at the airports, with Enterprise probably the cheapest option in Rovinj. The centre of Rovinj is pedestrianised to help preserve the wonderful old-world charm, but parking near the centre is available albeit for a fee. This has steadliy increased over the years and is now at 7 kuna an hour. This is charged 24 hours a day so mounts up. Sadly all the free parking in Rovinj no longer exists unless you are miles from the centre. We very rarely hire a car for more than a day or so. 

Things to do in and around Rovinj

The weather in Rovinj is generally warm and sunny. The latest forecast is here

St Katarina island is a two minute boat ride from the small pier (it’s the Island you can see from the harbour) for a few Kuna. There is a large hotel, beach and other things to help pass the day. It also has wonderful views back across to Rovinj. 

Venezia lines runs ferries to Venice taking about 3 hours direct from Rovinj. Their website is here. Also try Adriatic Lines here: http://adriatic-lines.com/en/booking-en/

One of the best ways to get around Rovinj is by bike. There are numerous bike hire places all over town at relatively reasonable prices, or our representative can arrange for you. New for 2016 are electic scooters which are great fun for 100kn an hour. BIkes and scooters are frowned upon for use on Carera Street given how busy it often is. 

Continuing to walk past the Hotel Park (the Hotel Park is in the process of being demolished and replaced by a mega 5* hotel)brings you to Rovinj’s beach. Much of the beach area has recently been redeveloped with new pebbles everywhere, a new beach bar, beautiful people and sunbeds to hire for all budgets. Further on is the ‘free’ beach. It’s reatively quiet and secluded and the water is warm and gently shelving. Watch the rocks underneath the water as they can catch knees and toes and easily draw blood. There is  an inflatable water park which the kids can’t get enough of. 

On the subject of boats, there are a seemingly endless array of vessels offering boat trips by the hour, half-day, day, or more. They are all round the harbour and we would particularly recommend a trip to the Lim Fjord which stretches some 10 km inland, and where there is also a beach, or on a ‘Delfin’ (dolphin) sunset cruise. Although undeniably ‘toursity’ you really are likely to see a dolphin or ten.

Eating and drinking in Rovinj

One of Rovinj’s principal attractions is it’s food. A unique blend of Italian and Istrian, with some of the finest seafood you will find anywhere. Some of our favourite restaurants include: 

 Maestral (try the barbequed sea bass) a 5 minute walk towards the Hotel Park out of town. Probably our favourite restaurant in the World, and certainly in Rovinj. The sunset is stunning from the outside tables (which is all they have nowadays!)

• Veli Joze (anything fishy is wonderful here) situated on Sv. Kriza in the heart of the old town. Also on Sv Kriza is La Puntalina with argubly the best spot in town, and really top notch food albeit prices are a notch above some of the other places mentioned here. 

• Pizzeria Leonne is towards the bus station end of Carera St (come out of hte partment and turn right and you can’t miss it) The owner, Christian, - for my money - makes the best pizza in Rovinj. Mini is perfectly adequate, Normal if you’re hungry. Jumbo to share only! For similarly cheap eats the Mexican (La Concha) - yes really - is a fun night out, with reasonable Mexican food as a bonus. 

• Balbi in the heart of the old town (through the Balbi Arch) is a great restuarant. You may have to queue to get a table but it’s worth it. 

• Al Gastaldo (most things are great) for a romantic meal, or a wonderfully cosy meal in Winter

• Around the harbour most of the places are much of a muchness. One exception is Del Piero which surprised enough when we accidentally went there that we went back several times. 

• For breakfast try Trevisol. Its a super funky place even if the choice is a little limited.

• For takeaway croissants Mlinar bakery 50 yds from the apartment (turn left) is hard to beat as the queues out the door every morning testify.

• As far as drinking goes there are seemingly endless choices. There is a wonderful selection of prices from fantastic Croatian beer (Ojusko, Favorit, or Karlovacko are all similar) starting at about €2.50 a pint, to cocktails at €12 each! We’ve previously recommended Valentino but frankly they’ve got far too big for their boots, and have become really quite rude. Try their neighbour Mediterraneo instead, or the new bar further up Sv. Kriza. on the right. 

• Walking towards the beach you’ll find the brand new beach bar at Mulini Beach- a slice of Ibiza in Rovinj! Slightly further out of town is Havana (walk out of town past the small harbour towards the Hotel Park) which has cigars to match the name. 

• No piece on eating in Rovinj would be complete without mention of the numerous ice cream parlours around town. It may look slightly synthetic but it tastes fantastic to even the most hardened anti-sweet tooth, and there are enough flavours to keep you coming back for “just another small please”. 

• Finally, coffee. Served (generally) as espresso is fabulous quality and readily available.

Further afield 

Day trips to Pula, Motovun, and Rijeka are 30, 45 and 60 minutes away respectively by car. Pula is the largest city in Istria and remains a large naval base today. Much of the old town is over 2000 years old and it is home to an amazing amphitheatre - perhaps second only to the Colosseum in Rome. 

Motovun is a artisan citadel sitting atop the highest point around. Visible from many miles away it’s a wonderful place to spend a day. Try and combine with a stop in the other hilltop village and artists haven, Grožnjan, nearby. Rijeka has great shopping at City Tower, and the old town is as beautiful as any in Croatia - if you do decide to go to Rijeka come back via Opatija which retains many of the historic villas from the Habsburg era. 

One of the many National Parks in Croatia (and a UNESCO World Heritage site) Plitvice Lakes is a stunning collection of 16 interlinked lakes and waterfallsall in the most incredible turquoise hue. 3 1/2 - 4 hours drive from Rovinj (take the coast and mountain road from Rijeka for the best views) but worth every second when you arrive. If you take a few days near Plitvice there is all manner of action sports; karting, zip-wiring, white water rafting and all manner of other things. Nwearer to Rovinj is Glavani Paerk which is highly recommended (although note I have not yet visited). Have a look at the website: http://www.glavanipark.com/en/

 


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