Visiting Croatia First Stop Rovinj

Blue door Rovinj

Back in October Ewelina and I spent 5 nights in Croatia, the first night being in Rovinj. I had been in Croatia back in 2010 but Ewelina had not visited before. Despite my earlier visit to Croatia I don’t remember visiting Rovinj, apart from possibly checking out a campsite.

Rovinj – Initial Impressions

Since this was going to be a short visit I did do some research about the places we would be visiting so we would make the most of our time. My guidebook described Rovinj as one of the must see locations in Croatia and a quick look at imaging websites revealed what two keen photographers might expect.

Croatia is a great destination to visit by motorhome, especially as part of a longer European tour. However for this trip we simply hired a small car and used basic hotels for accommodation. October is low season in Croatia and prices for accommodation are very reasonable. Doing a campervan tour gives you extra flexibility compared to pre-booked accommodation but I’m not convinced it’s the cheaper option at this time of year.

We parked our hire car in the main car park by the ocean. In front of us we could see the old town, built on a hill with the Church of St. Euphemia dominating the skyline.

View from the car park looking towards Rovinj old town

Rovinj is in the far North West of Croatia, in the heart shaped area known as the Istrian Peninsula. Rovinj and Pula are probably the two most visited places in Istria. Rovinj has more for the tourist, whereas Pula feels more like a working town but with some impressive Roman ruins. In any case within the first hour of our arrival in Rovinj I could tell I would enjoy it.

Rovinj Old Town

Our accommodation was at Casa Casale, right in the heart of the narrow streets of the old town. After checking in and leaving some belongings we began to explore. We walked around the outside of the church that dominates the skyline. Close to the church we found the building with the blue door that is the main image to this article. It’s just a blue door you might think but it must be one of the most photographed places in Rovinj! Just check out #Rovinj on Instagram and you will see what I mean.

The narrow streets of the old town complete with cobblestones have plenty of character and atmosphere. It does remind you of Venice in some ways but on a smaller scale and in a more understated way. The image below illustrates perfectly what it’s like to walk through the old town.

Rovinj Old Town
Rovinj Old Town

The old town area is quite small and it should not take you too long to see it all. We only spent one night in Rovinj but understand many like to do things at a more relaxed pace.

Rovinj Harbour

The old town is not the only attraction in Rovinj. It also has a pretty little harbour which is easy to find. We would often reach the marina via an another attraction called Balbi Arch.

Balbi Arch, Rovinj
Balbi Arch

The harbour mostly contains small, simple boats, probably locally owned and used for pleasure boating. It’s not full of millionaires super yachts. They do operate boat trips from the harbour but Ewelina and I did not take such a trip. The harbour area has a number of shops, bars and restaurants. It’s a great place to spend an evening as we did, eating a meal, drinking some local wine and watching the sunset.

Rovinj Harbour
Rovinj Harbour

We would be leaving Rovinj late the following morning but had enjoyed our one night visit. It had been a good start to our Croatian adventure. Good weather, good food and wine and friendly and welcoming locals.

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