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Rovinj is the most beloved town in Istria, a top sight in Croatia, and one of its most romantic spots. With its pastel-coloured houses clustered together on steep winding streets and topped by a Venetian bell tower, you would think you were in Italy. (see pictures of Rovinj)
Just a short walk from town are the gorgeous pine-fringed beaches of Zlatni Rt nature park. For a luxurious beach experience, the new Monte Mulini Beach Club is the place. Located on Lone Bay between the five-star hotels Monte Mulini and Hotel Lone, this stunning beach club represents the latest in minimalist design and maximal comfort. It is one of the best beach clubs in Croatia.
The historical center of Rovinj is completely contained within an oval peninsula about 2 kilometres long. This is a fascinating and beautiful stroll. Shops, bars, restaurants and residences spill out from the Old Town onto the neighbouring streets and line the harbour. Walk east for 20 minutes along the animated harbour promenade and you come to a quiet neighbourhood of residences and several large hotels. Beyond, lies the leafy Zlatni Rt nature park. The offshore waters are dotted with 16 islands and islets, several of which can be reached by boat. (See Rovinj on a map of Istria).
Take a look at this orientation video to view Rovinj's north and south harbours, parking areas and ferry dock.
Rovinj has close cultural and historical ties with Italy. Fast boats link Rovinj and Venice in the summer which bring a crowd of Italian tourists. Restaurants augment local seafood with creative pasta and pizza dishes not only to tempt their visitors but because the locals have developed a taste for Italian cuisine. Most Rovinj residents are fluent in Italian; many work or have worked in Italy.
Just strolling the streets of the Old Town is a delight. The historical center is crammed with reminders of Venice, most strikingly in the Church of St Euphemia and the Balbi Arch. Climb to the hilltop punctuated by St Euphemia and you'll be treated to inspiring views over the town, sea and islets. Rovinj is not known for its museums but there is one good one: the Rovinj Heritage Museum. Read more.
Rovinj is a hugely popular destination. You'll find excellent hotels in Rovinj, cheap hotels in Rovinj, plenty of rooms and apartments and you can even stay in a lighthouse. Find out more about Rovinj accommodation.
Rovinj was originally an island that was not connected to the mainland until 1763 and it was under the rule of Venice from the 13th to 18th centuries. For nearly 30 years in the 20th century Rovinj was actually a part of Italy. Read more.
The Rovinj tourist office (tel 052-811 566) is on Obala Pina Budicina 12 just off the main square.
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