Rovinj, a picturesque Croatian town and known as the Blue Pearl of the Adriatic, lies on the west coast of the Istrian peninsula, with the 14 islands of the Rovinj archipelago just off the mainland. The old town lies within an egg-shaped peninsula with its pastel coloured houses stretching down to the shoreline. Romantic and mysterious, the historical centre is crammed with strong Venetian influences - even the town clock bears the Venetian lion. A web of steep cobbled streets and piazzas, filled with boutiques and cafs, leads to the Baroque, hilltop church of St Euphemia. Here the 61-metre Venetian bell tower (a copy of the one next to St Mark's Basilica in Venice) dominates the skyline. And the views from the top are spectacular. Just minutes from town you'll find gorgeous pine-fringed beaches, the Punta Corrente Forest Park, a Roman amphitheatre and the subterranean Baredine Cave.