We’ve become sunset junkies in Rovinj. Regardless of which daytime activities we partake in – swimming, boating, hiking, biking and/or touring around Istria – we know we’ll end our day watching the sun go down. Whether the glowing sphere slips, uninterrupted, into the horizon or if clouds shift the light into varying shades of orange and pink, the sunsets in Rovinj don’t disappoint. As Rovinj’s old town is situated on a peninsula, there are numerous spots to witness the spectacle; actually, almost anywhere along the shoreline will do.
Like clockwork, each afternoon we grab our liter bottle of Vivoda wine, pack a few snacks and plastic cups and venture toward the coast. On a mission to find the best place for viewing sunsets in Rovinj, we seldom watch from the same place twice, but a few places have become our favorites.
Sunsets in Rovinj from the pillbox
On the western tip of Rovinj, below the lighthouse (which is below St. Euphemia Church), is an old, military pillbox. Sitting atop the elevated concrete structure provides broad, unobstructed views of the Adriatic Sea and the setting sun, yet is close enough to the shore that we can still hear the sounds of the water on the rocks. As a bonus, the vantage point is fantastic for seeking out pods of dolphins in the distance.
Sunsets in Rovinj from the rocky beaches
The rocky beaches along the southern edge to the western point are ideal for taking in the sunset. The soundtrack of water lapping the shoreline complements the view.
Sunsets in Rovinj from the pier
Easy to get to and encompassing a view of Katarina Island and the old town, the pier is one of the most popular places for watching the sun set.
Sunsets in Rovinj from the harbor
The edge of the harbor that faces west provides a stunning view of the old town and bell tower. There are many cafes along the walkway, but plenty of open space to watch the sunset, too. While the view isn’t unobstructed, the bobbing boats in the foreground add a special touch.
Sunsets in Rovinj from the dock
Hanging around gas pumps for sunset hardly sounds romantic, but the spot at the western end of the north car park is great for watching the sun set from a different angle.
Sunsets in Rovinj from the mainland
A short walk inland (past the north parking lots, slightly uphill, take the first street on the left and cut down to the rocks) is a fantastic place to watch the sunset. It is more secluded, yet still has amazing views of the old town and nearby islands. However, the view of the sunset could be altered by the number/position of large ships in the harbor.
Sunsets in Rovinj from cafes
There are several cafes along the shore between the pier and the beaches, offering drinks with a view, sometimes music – and always a higher price tag.
Riviera wasn’t exactly ideal for sunset watching, as you have to twist in your seat to see and risk having other patrons block the view. But, even located right next to the pier, it does have fairly inexpensive drinks and usually a lively crowd.
Located along Svetoga Kriza/Santa Croce, Monte Carlo has a seaside terrace with tables, but higher prices. However, the view over the water from the waterfront tables is amazing!
Mediterrraneo Bar, a place with a chill vibe and bean bags for chairs, is accessed through an archway and down a set of stairs. Unfortunately, since it is tucked into the rocks, only those sitting right along the water get the view.
The pretentious Valentino has the best view, but we were put off by the uncharacteristic velvet rope and wait-to-be-seated sign that doesn’t jive with the rest of Rovinj’s relaxed atmosphere – not to mention their high drink prices which don’t exactly fit into our budget. However, during our shoulder season visit, we saw them close their doors for the winter, leaving their prime perch on the rocks open to the public and BYOers like ourselves!
Sunsets in Rovinj from a boat
To be honest, we never actually did a sunset cruise, but we took the same route as the sunset cruises during the day. The price for the hour long (sometimes more) jaunt around the islands is 75 kuna (about $11.25 USD). Had we opted for a sunset cruise, we definitely would have chosen the intimate Mare Panorama boat that had music and a friendly captain, with our second choice being the Delfin, a bigger boat offering a similar excursion, with wine included, at the same price.
Wherever we watched sunsets in Rovinj, we were never alone. We were always accompanied by tourists, photographers and fisherman. However, we noticed that tourists often leave the moment right after the sun dips below the horizon, rather than staying 15 minutes more when the sky becomes most brilliant. We stay put until it was almost dark, relishing the last bits of colorful light in the sky.
Note: We visited Rovinj from mid-September to early October. There may be better/different places to watch the sunset during other times of the year.
We want to know: Have you watched the sunset in Rovinj, Croatia? Tell us about your favorite spot to watch the sunset in the comments!