Rovinj is a small Croatian fishing town on the headland of the Istrian peninsula, with pastel-coloured buildings tip-toeing up to the edge of the water. It's built on a gentle hill and from within the town's cobbled streets, it can feel like you're in a labyrinth as you navigate the steep, narrow passages. Rovinj is also the entrance to the Rovinj archipelago, with 20 islands dotted out to sea.
You can stay in a Rovinj hostel in the Old Town, close to the historic sights as well as artist's wares, or in quieter Centener, if you'd like a more peaceful retreat. Choose a place with an outdoor terrace to meet new people while you lounge in the sun, or one with an on-site bar to toast to your trip. Some Rovinj hostels have bike hire available, and many have air con to keep you cool.
The headland is a place to spend lazy afternoons wandering with no real plan in mind. Its narrow, winding streets are lined with boutiques, coffee shops and lively bars and restaurants. Look out for local art galleries, and stop in Tito Square to admire the 19th-century clock and watch boats coming and going from the small pier. For a relaxing experience, you can spend a day on Crveni Otok (Red Island), where you can swim and snorkel, and stroll through the pines. On Katarina Island, you'll find peaceful beaches, a vineyard and old olive trees.
Rovinj is less about attractions and more about relaxing, but there are some sights to tick off your list. The 18th-century Church of St Euphemia dominates the skyline and its whitewashed facade is a must for your holiday photos. You can climb the 192 steps to the top of the bell tower for panoramic views of the surrounding sea. Sip an evening cocktail in one of the bars that ends at the water's edge, and take in the fresh sights and bustling sounds of the Green Market, with fresh produce from the local area. Nature lovers can escape to Punta Corrente, a forest park known as Golden Cape.
Pula Airport is the closest to Rovinj, just a 40-minute taxi ride away. Venice Airport is the largest nearby, and it's a 3-hour drive away or depending on the season, you can catch a ferry. The town is easily walkable, or you can cycle. To reach the islands, you'll need to catch a boat.