In addition to being a town of romance, Rovinj is, without any doubt, a place with an abundance of sport and entertainment activities. If you are not one of those people for whom a summer vacation is just lying on the beach, we would like to recommend you to explore some of the numerous attractions and areas of natural beauty in Rovinj and in its surroundings. Afterwards, you can choose one of the challenging adventures, depending on what you prefer, practising a sporting activity or spending a relaxing day full of fun with your family.
The possibilities are endless and a vacation is always too short, which is why we tried to pick out some of the most popular activities you can practise in our town and within an hour’s drive away from it. Most additional information on the activities is available at our agency.
1. Cycling and walking trails
Bike and hike lovers among you will certainly come into their own here, regardless of whether they practise actively mountain biking or they prefer trekking: here everyone will find something to enjoy. The trails in Rovinj and in the surrounding area are prepared and marked very well. They will take you through extremely interesting landscapes, giving you the opportunity to enjoy natural parks, beaches, old railways, ornithological reserves, old churches, rural tourism structures… What needs to be said here is that the trails are mostly not covered in asphalt and that mountain bikes are more appropriate for the terrain configuration.
There are four main walking and cycling trails which can be then used according to one’s desires and physical preparation:
- Basilica Trail: 18.7 km (asphalt 7.6 km; macadam 10.4 km; field path 700 m), the highest point 151 m, the lowest point 8 m, ride duration 1.5 hours (one direction), walk duration 2-3 hours (one direction)
- Limes 201 Trail: 27.5 km (asphalt 15.7 km, macadam 11.8 km), the highest point 160 m, the lowest point 2 m, ride duration 2–2.30 hours
- Rubinum 202 Trail: 27.5 km (asphalt 10.7 km, macadam 16.8 km), the highest point 170 m, the lowest point 2 m, ride duration 2–2.30 hours
- Vistrum 203 Trail: 32.5 km (asphalt 8.6 km, macadam 23.8), the highest point 70 m, the lowest point, ride duration 2-2.30 hours
More detailed information on the trails with the possibility of downloading the GPS coordinates is available on the website istria-bike.com, while the map of the trails in PDF format is available here.
Bike rental: you can hire a bicycle at our agency for 60 kunas for one day, 50 kunas for 3 days, 45 kunas for 6 days or for 40 kunas for 7 or more days.
Because of the very attractive submarine world, diving in Rovinj is a very widespread sport. There is a series of diving clubs that organise courses for beginners as well as group diving lessons at attractive locations such as the wreck of the Austrian ship ‘Baron Gautsch’, which in 1914 sunk after hitting a mine in the sea in front of Rovinj and has been since then at a depth of 39 m. Some other very attractive locations and reefs can be found around the islands of Figarola, Banjol, Šturag and Sveti Ivan, as well as in the area surrounding the Limski Channel.
For snorkelling, that is diving without the diving equipment, with only flippers and a mask, no additional permissions are needed, but due to the busy sailing and boating traffic during the summer months, it is advisable to drag a signal buoy.
3. Kayaking and windsurfing
Regardless of what you prefer, paddling or sailing, both ways are perfect if you want to become acquainted with Rovinj’s archipelago. The sea here is very calm most of the times, while during the summer there is a light landward breeze, and these are the excellent prerequisites for a leisurely day trip. If you do not have your own equipment, go to a windsurf centre or an agency that organises kayaking tours, whereas additional information awaits you at our agency.
4. Rock climbing
Rock climbing is a sport in which man becomes one with nature and the experience is complete when the rocks are surrounded by an impressive setting, as is the case in Rovinj. Therefore, it will not come as a surprise to anyone that this sport attracts today in Rovinj a large number of active climbers from all over the region, who visit us in the period from early spring to late autumn. The most visited climbing site is the one located within the forest park of Zlatni rt (Golden Cape), in the area of a stone-pit abandoned a long time ago, only around 30 meters from the sea. It is a rock which is relatively easy to climb and the best time to climb it is in the morning or late in the afternoon, when from its top you will be able to experience unforgettable sunsets.
The other two climbing sites in Rovinj’s surroundings, about a 15-minute drive away, are equally attractive, but you have to bear in mind that these rocks are very demanding. One of them is located near the abandoned medieval town of Dvigrad, whereas the other one is situated in the central part of the Limski Channel.
5. Horseback riding
What has been said about the cycling and hiking trails is true of horseback riding as well. However, it goes without saying that exploring the areas of natural beauty by riding high-bred horses will only contribute to the overall impression, which is why this is one of the activities we strongly recommend. In Rovinj there are riding schools, while the local equestrian clubs offer organised itineraries adapted to suit your own riding skills. And when the time spent together with this noble animal becomes spiced up with numerous cultural and historical sites available along the way, as well as with gastronomic pleasures, the riding experience will be complete. The most famous clubs are Farma Haber (Saint Euphemia) and "Ranch Moncerlongo". Additional information is available at our agency.
6. Sport fishing and Big Game Fishing
You have always wanted to spend a day fishing from the coast, in the early dawn or pre-dusk hours, because nothing can be compared to the feeling of being relaxed and to the sweet anticipation of the first twitch of the fishing rod? Indulge in a fishing adventure in the rich local waters of Rovinj. If you would like to experience the big boys’ adventure, join the organised fishing tours aboard fully equipped boats which take place around ten miles from the coast and often end with a major bag, such as large tunas.
Regardless of how you practise fishing, from the coast or from a boat, you are required to obtain the sport fishing permit available at our agency at the following prices: one day 60 kn, three days 150 kn, seven days 300 kn and one month 700 kn.
7. Speleology: Baredine Cave and Feštinsko Kraljevstvo (Kingdom of Feštini) cave
About 40 minutes’ drive from Rovinj there is the Baredine Cave, the first caving location in Istria for tourism purposes. The 300-meter long path extends through five chambers decorated with stalactites and stalagmites, descending to a depth of 60 m, where an underground lake is located. Here you will encounter a rare species endemic to Karst areas, the ‘human fish’. Next to the cave there is the so-called “Traktor Story”, a very interesting exhibition of agricultural machines and equipment through which it is possible to become acquainted with the development of agriculture in these areas, from corn harvest to the processing of grapes and olives. Within the property there is also a restaurant.
The Feštinsko Kraljevstvo cave is somewhat smaller but more than interesting for a half-day excursion. It is situated near Žminj, less than a 30-minute drive from Rovinj, and it comprises two easily accessible chambers of an oval shape whose length is 67 meters, at a depth of 9 m. Although small in size, the cave is rich in cave decorations thanks to the terrain covered with exuberant forest vegetation. Next to the cave there is also a small zoo, as well as a playground and a small bar for refreshments.
8. A photo safari and a visit to the Brijuni National Park
The Brijuni NP represents a really unique group of islands located in front of the small fishing village of Fažana, a 30 minutes’ drive from Rovinj towards Pula. The beauty of this place was discovered very early, by the old Romans, which is why you will find here numerous remains of Roman villas, Illyrian palaces, Byzantine fortification, as well as Tito’s presidential residence from the 20th century, when this archipelago was visited by various statesmen, such as Churchill, de Gaulle, Brandt, Castro and Gaddafi, and more recently by stars like Elizabeth Taylor, Sofia Loren and Angelina Jolie.
The tickets are available in Fažana at the agency of the Brijuni National Park, on the pier from which the ship to Brijuni leaves the harbour. The half-day excursion comprises a guided tour and a visit to the island of Veli Brijun, the largest among the 14 islands with a large safari park, inhabited by exotic animals from all over the world and some rare plant species. The various parts of the island can be reached by a little tourist train. Bicycles are also available and can be hired.
9. Zip lining and rope jumping in Pazin
An excellent choice for the lovers of pure adrenaline – the zip line stretches above the very suggestive Pazin Cave in the very centre of the town of Pazin, reachable by car in about half an hour from Rovinj. The cave is around 100 metres deep and above it there are two lines, one of them is 220 metres long and allows you to reach a speed of 65 km/h and the other one is a little bit slower, while its length is 280 meters. Rope jumping is carried out from a bridge above an abyss which is 51 meters deep, whereas the height of the jump itself is 25 meters. More information is available on the Facebok page of the club.
Given the fact that it is a relatively short excursion and that you are already in the centre of Istria, this is also a chance to visit the green inland parts of the peninsula. Here you will find fabulous medieval towns on hills, full of history, culture, autochthonous offer and Mediterranean charm. We are talking about places such as Hum, Motovun, Oprtalj, Momjan… The choice is yours.
10. Water parks in Poreč and Brtonigla
You can spend a whole day on an ideal full-day excursion with your family in one of the two recently built water parks. The first one, Aquacolors, is located in Poreč, 35 km from Rovinj, and it offers water fun in an area of 2,700 square meters with 12 water slides, a lazy river which is 500 m long, an animation programme and a wide range of restaurants and bars.
The other water park, Istralandia, is located in Brtonigla, 60 km form Rovinj, and it comprises over 20 attractions, with slides whose total length goes beyond 1.2 km and the biggest slide in Croatia whose height is 27 m. Its water surfaces cover an area of 5,000 square meters, including the largest pool with artificial waves in this part of Europe.
11. Wellness and Spa centres
Although this was supposed to be a top 10 list, after all the recreational and amusement offers we had to add an activity for relaxation. Hydro massage baths, aromatised saunas, massage showers, massages in an open-air Mediterranean garden, relax zones with water beds, face and body treatments, pools… all this is available at the two wellness centres open for visitors which are located within the Island Hotel Istra on the island of Sveti Andrija and within the Hotels Eden sind.