Sveta Katarina (St. Catherine's Island)

With enchanting forests, pretty parks and rocky bays, this small island is a popular destination for a daytrip.

Sveta Katarina is a lush and picturesque island off the coast of Rovinj. Covered in pine forests, it is mostly undeveloped and unspoiled, with just one hotel built here. Find hidden bays for swimming, trek along isolated paths and admire gorgeous views of Rovinj’s old town across the water.

In the past, this island has been owned by various aristocrats, including an Austrian archduke and Ignaz Milewsky, a Polish count. Milewsky, who bought the island in the early 20th century, made it more attractive by adding plants and trees, building piers and paving the paths that still weave across the island. View the hotel to see the only remaining parts of Milewsky’s old castle, which has now been integrated into the island’s hotel.

Check out the east side of the island for stony coves and beaches for swimming and sunbathing. This area also has many facilities connected to the hotel resort. Rent windsurfing or snorkeling equipment from the diving center or play a game of volleyball on the hotel’s beach court. Watch yachts and boats coming and going from Rovinj harbor and the Zlatni Rt Peninsula across the bay.

Explore the park’s well-kept paths, which wind through attractive conifer forests and flower-strewn gardens. Several secluded and quiet spots are great for bathing or a romantic stroll.

For some adventure, make your way to the western coast, where high cliffs and rocks tower up to 66 feet (20 meters) over the sea. Thrill-seekers often jump off the highest rocks of Zlatna Stijena (golden rock) into the Adriatic Sea. Even if you don’t brave the jump, visit the rocks for the spectacular views. If these heights are too scary, head to the smaller Srebrna Stijena (silver rock) or Brončana Stijena (bronze rock). 

To get to Sveta Katarina, take a water taxi from Rovinj. Boats leave the pier regularly throughout the day to make the 10-minute journey to the island.

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