If you’re thinking about visiting Rovinj, great choice! It was the first place we stopped on our Croatia road trip when we moved to Croatia in 2022 and wow did it set my standards high!
In this guide I’ll take you through how many days in Rovinj you’ll need to get the most out of your stay, and if you’re planning just one day in Rovinj, don’t worry - that’s plenty of time to see some of the main sights too!
Or click here for more things to do in Rovinj if you’re staying for more than 1 day in Rovinj.
Plan an epic Rovinj, Istria Croatia trip with this Rovinj itinerary!
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Need to start planning your trip to Rovinj ASAP?
Below are some of the top rated tours, hotels and recommendations for visiting Rovinj. Make sure to book ahead of time to ensure availability!
Top Hotels and Accommodation in Rovinj:
1) The Grand Park Hotel (Famous for being on the BBC Amazing Hotels show!)
2) Maistra Select Island Hotel Katerina (Unique stay on an island close to the mainland)
3) Apartment City Center (where I stayed for a budget-friendly self-catered apartment)
Where is Rovinj, Croatia?
Rovinj is a stunning town in the Istria region of Croatia, located on the Adriatic coast, close to the border with Slovenia and just 50km from Italy (the stunning city of Venice is just a ferry ride away!)
Istria is a real hidden gem in Croatia and offers such a variety of activities, cultural experiences and things to do in Rovinj and beyond that you can easily spend a week here or more!
How many days in Rovinj, Croatia?
If you’re just passing through as part of a longer trip in Croatia, then 1 day in Rovinj (and maybe one night in Rovinj too!) is fine to see the unique old town and the main sites.
However there are plenty of things to do in Rovinj and you can easily spend your entire holiday based here in Rovinj. If you’re thinking about doing that, I’d suggest one week in Rovinj as a base to explore the town, surrounding islands and coastline and also to have a day trip to central Istria too.
How to get to Rovinj, Croatia?
If you’re flying, the nearest airport to Rovinj is Pula. However Pula only has international flights during the season, so if you’re visiting out of the season then you’ll need to fly into another international airport such as Venice or Zagreb. Both are a 3 hour drive from Rovinj.
Alternatively, fly into Zagreb and take a domestic flight to Pula which is just 40 minutes from Rovinj.
If you’re driving to Rovinj, the town is extremely well-connected to Zagreb and central Croatia, as well as Slovenia, Austria, Italy and really the rest of central Europe!
Where to stay in Rovinj
Rovinj has a variety of accommodation options with plenty of places to stay in Rovinj depending on your priorities and budget.
Luxury hotels and resorts
If you’re planning a trip to Rovinj and want to make the most of proximity to the beach and some of the luxury hotels Rovinj has to offer then, Grand Park Hotel or The Lone Hotel - both by the Maistra Collection are a great option.
The Grand Park Hotel was featured in Amazing Hotels: Life Beyond the Lobby on the BBC in 2018.
Mid-budget hotels and unique places to stay in Rovinj
Maistra Select Island Hotel Katerina. Not only is this a great option for those looking for a resort vibe for a lower price. It's also located on Katarina island, which is a short boat ride from the mainland and looks directly across the bay with stunning views of the Rovinj peninsula. Boat rides to the island are free for guests and the beachfront location and beautiful pool area are just stunning.
Budget accommodation in Rovinj
What to do in Rovinj: one day in Rovinj itinerary
9am - Breakfast at Hotel Adriatic
The breakfast at Hotel Adriatic was outstanding and they had so many choices from full cooked breakfasts to classic brunch options. The interior is beautifully decorated and I loved that you could sit outside with a view of the harbour too.
Although this is a little pricier than other options in Rovinj, you’re paying for the view and the service which were definitely worth it for a treat on one morning of our trip!
10am - Explore the Old Town
Spent some time exploring the colourful Venetian style old town before the tour groups arrive around 11am!
The colourful streets are charming both in the old town on the mainland and on the peninsula. I highly recommend walking the route around the peninsula to see the town and also the coastal views.
This is also a great way to see the independent shops, cafes, bars and swimming spots that you can scope out for later - especially if you’re spending more than one day in Rovinj!
Make your way through the winding alleys and cobbled streets towards the peak of the peninsula where you’ll reach the church.
11.30am - Climb the tour at the Church of Euphemia
I will caveat this by saying, if you don’t like heights - do not do this activity!
Climbing the tower costs around 6 euros and the views from the top are spectacular. However the stairs up are more like ladders, with large gaps in between and the wood is so worn in places it looks like it’s been there for centuries - clearly none of the money you pay to climb the tower is being used on the maintenance of the steps!
Even though I don’t really have a fear of heights, it was the gaps between the wooden steps that really unnerved me. Being able to look between the wooden slats and see 4-6 floors below really made my stomach lurch!
But as you can see, the views from the top really are spectacular so it’s up to you to weigh up whether it’s worth climbing the tower on your Rovinj itinerary!
12.30pm - Relax at Lone Bay or explore the Golden Cape
Lone Bay is one of the most famous beaches in Rovinj located on the Golden Cape, just south of the town itself. There’s plenty of space, some good shaded areas and if you walk further down the beach you can find some quieter places away from the crowds if you’re visiting during the season.
However parking is limited and costs around 7 euros a day so I’d recommend walking there or hiring a bike - ask at your hotel as many hotels provide bikes for free or a small fee or alternatively can suggest a bike hire agency.
The beach is a small pebble so I’d also recommend water shoes for comfort!
You can rent a sun lounger or bring your own towel and beach accessories.
If you’re not a beach person, I really recommend following the walking trail around the Golden Cape which is where Lone Bay is located. This is a lush parkland area with plenty of swimming holes, small sand and pebble beaches and beautiful coastal views where you can see the islands off the Istria coast. The walk is relatively flat and easy and there are also a few cafe bars along the way if you want to make it a leisurely stroll.
5pm - Take a sunset cruise and go dolphin spotting
After your afternoon on the Golden Cape, you cannot miss the chance to take a boat trip in Rovinj during your Rovinj itinerary!
There are plenty of boat trips to choose from and if you’re staying for more than a day in Rovinj, I recommend booking a couple of boat trips, perhaps to Lim Fjord or one of the 14 islands off Rovinj. You can even take a boat to Venice for the day.
Early evening is the best time to go dolphin spotting in Rovinj, so these tours usually take place around 5.30-6.30pm so you can catch the sunset too - although these times will change as sunset changes throughout the year so make sure you check before you book.
This sunset and dolphin spotting tour is a great option that runs throughout the season and is one of the most popular tours in Rovinj, it includes unlimited drinks and sunset swimming too.
Or alternatively, this sunset dolphin cruise doesn’t involve swimming and is a bit more expensive but also has a clause that you can go out on their next trip for free if you don’t see dolphins on the cruise you book.
7pm - Dinner at Konoba Kantinon
We discovered this restaurant by accident on our first visit to Rovinj because we were there in February and it was one of the few places that was actually open!
We loved the rustic industrial vibes and their tapas-style dishes so we could try plenty of fresh fish, local cheeses and homemade focaccia. The octopus and cheese were a real standout for me.
Also the service was wonderful, we had a great waiter who was very attentive, had a good laugh with us and was happy to give recommendations too. Although February was too chilly to sit outside, their outside al fresco seating has spectacular views across the harbour to the old town peninsula - perfect for a summer’s evening meal with a view.
Summary: How to spend one day in Rovinj
I hope this Rovinj 1 day itinerary has shown you how much you can achieve with just one day in Rovinj! It’s a beautiful town and being so compact and walkable makes it an excellent option for a Rovinj day trip if you’re passing through or hopefully this will give you some inspiration if you plan to stay in Rovinj for more than one day.
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