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Sometimes called the "Lim Fjord", "Limski Bay", "Limski Kanal" or "Limska Draga", this 9km-long sea inlet cuts into the west coast of Istria between Rovinj and Porec. No matter the name, this drowned valley is one of Istria's most stunning features. The walls of the drowned valley become steeper as the water curves inland, reaching a height of 100m. No development mars the macchia-covered hillsides and the clean, calm water is a shimmering blue.
The area around the channel has been inhabited since the Neolithic era. These early settlers burrowed into caves along the valley which have been excavated to reveal remnants of their former occupants. Ancient Illyrians then moved in and settled around the hill-fort of Gradina. Under the Romans, the channel formed the border between the administrative units of Porec and Pula. The name lim is derived from the Latin limes for border. According to legend, St Romuald, founder of a nearby monastery inhabited one of the ancient caves for several years in the 11th century. The 105m long St Romuald's cave is open for visits in the summer.
Fishing in the Lim Channel has always been excellent. Now the natural species have been augmented by farmed mussels and oysters which are on offer in two excellent restaurants on the channel.
The easiest way to visit the Lim Channel is to take an organised excursion from Rovinj but it's also possible (and cheaper) to visit independently. Several excursion boats make hour-long runs up the channel from the main dock. The main season is from June to September and the boats run every hour. If you have to wait. . .no problem! There's a small beach shaded by pines right next to the dock. The water is slightly brackish to swim in but perfectly clean.
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