Shore Excursions from Rovinj, Croatia, ReadyClickAndGo

The pretty seaside resort of Rovinj is the gateway to the Croatian province of Istria, a heart-shaped peninsula in the far north of the country, and whilst it is a charming town, you should try and explore further afield too on a day tour of Istria – hilltop villages, medieval churches, vineyards, forests, orchards and olive groves and some of the finest food Croatia has to offer.

Rovinj is known as ‘the Blue Pearl of the Adriatic’, and lies at the opposite end of Croatia from Dubrovnik, the original ‘pearl’ of the Adriatic – but is in many ways much more appealing, with fewer crowds and therefore more romantic.  The narrow streets and hidden squares of this ancient and very picturesque medieval town are lined with grand, crumbling architecture of many styles from when the town was an important part of the Venetian Republic, and there are chic boutiques, galleries, tempting cafes and many churches to explore. Admire too its town walls, gates, archway and a clock tower all overlooked by the beautiful Church of St Euphemia which has wonderful views from the tower, a replica of St Mark’s in Venice, of the rooftops and distinctive chimneys and island-studded coast. It is best to simply wander with a Rovinj tour guide to appreciate the history and hidden gems.

Motovun makes for a lovely day tour in Istria. It’s one of Croatia’s most famous villages, perched on a hilltop and surrounded by its old walls along which you can walk, filled with medieval houses, churches and galleries, and gorgeous views – it’s a romantic and fairytale place! Just 500 people live here amongst the quaint alleyways and corners, the cosy stone houses, and fantastic viewpoints. It is also famous for its black and white truffles which you can enjoy on a special truffle tasting, and you can even borrow a couple of dogs and go truffle-hunting yourself!

There are many remote beauty spots in Istria that are easily discovered on a shore excursion from Rovinj. Groznjan is home to many artists who have breathed new life into the old stones of another picturesque village, and you can browse its workshops and galleries before enjoying a wine tasting at one of the local vintners. Pazin has a famous Ethnographic Museum in the once-formidable medieval castle where you can see costumes, instruments, farm implements and even an exhibition of church bells. If you are here on the first Tuesday of the month you will also be able to visit Pazin’s traditional market. At the tiny village of Beram you can see a real ‘hidden gem’, St Mary’s Church of Skrljine and its unique ‘dance of death’ fresco, if you can find the single custodian of the church key!

Day Excursions from Rovinj, Croatia, ReadyClikcAndGoInstead of heading inland, follow the coast south on your day tour from Rovinj to Pula. The most famous sight in Pula is the well-preserved Arena, the 1st century Roman amphitheatre that seated 22,000 spectators at gladiatorial combats or Christians being thrown to the lions. See the Temple of Augustus at the Forum, which now houses Roman statues, and the Sergius Triumphal Arch which was built by a grieving mother for three soldier sons who died at the Battle of Actium. James Joyce wrote some of A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man here, and its film festival has hosted Elizabeth Taylor, Richard Burton and Orson Wells.

North of Rovinj you can have an easy day trip to Porec, a natural harbour settled by the Romans who laid out the original street grid in the old town, including the Decumanus, the Cardo Maximus and the Marafor square which was the old Forum, with two temples. After the Romans left the town became part of the Byzantine Empire and the most splendid building in Porec was constructed during this era, the 6th century Euphrasius Basilica, whose floor and wall mosaics have earned it UNESCO World Heritage status. In medieval times the town became part of the mighty Republic of Venice for 500 years, and town walls, gates, churches and palaces were built, many of which are still standing today. Between Rovinj and Porec is the Lim Fjord, although it was not created by a glacier but the river tumbling into the Adriatic. The sides are steep and covered in thick macquis and forests, the waters clear and ideal for the oyster and mussel farms that have been here since Roman times.

Then of course there are many many islands off the coast of Istria that you can discover on a small boat – keep an eye out for another blog post on these!

For  Rovinj day tours, walking tours of  Istria, Croatia day trips and shore excursions,  please check our site at or email



About the author: Tara


The travel professional with years of experience in the travel industry – in guiding, reservations, operations, contracting, customer service and product development – and have travelled extensively in Asia and Eastern Europe not just on holiday but also for work, inspecting hotels, visiting attractions and seeing exactly what each destination has to offer. The only way I could do this properly was with my own guide, car and driver and this inspired me to create my own range of customised private day tours for other people to be able to explore in-depth and learn to love their destination as much as I do.