Set on the scenic Istrian Peninsula, the port city of Rovinj is only 50 miles (79 km) south of Piran. The two cities are linked by an international highway, meaning the most convenient way to travel between the two is by car—rental or private transfer. The drive takes about 1.5 hours. Renting a car also gives you the advantage to explore the beautiful scenery of southern Slovenia and Istria. If you are interested in extending your visit, this 11-day road trip combines the highlights of both areas.
If you prefer public transportation, the bus is another option. Private companies will be your best bet, operating a route from Piran to Rovinj in 2.5 hours.
Because Piran is close to the Italian port city, Trieste, you can also consider a ferry route. During the summer months, ferries run from Trieste to Rovinj four days a week. In total, this route also takes about 2.5 hours.
By Rental Car or Private Transfer
Duration: 1.5 hours
The fastest way to reach Rovinj from Piran is by rental car or private transfer. Route 111 leaves Piran via Portorož and heads south towards the border with Croatia. Because Croatia isn’t in the Schengen Zone, you’ll need to stop and show your papers. If renting a car, check with the company as you may need to pay a fee. If you’re traveling in the summer, border lines (especially at this crossing) can be long, so prepare a little extra time just in case.
Once in Croatia, you’ll connect with the international highway, European Route E751. Along the way, you’ll find the scenic port towns of Umag and Poreč which make for great lunch spots. If you want to experience inland views, hilly and picturesque Motovun is the perfect detour and just 25 minutes from the highway. Once at the junction near Kanfanar, you’ll transition to road D303 and make your way to Rovinj.
Duration: 2.5 hours
The bus is a slightly longer option, but still convenient with the private company Flixbus. The route runs directly from Piran straight to Rovinj, and buses tend to include perks like free wifi, luggage, and seat reservations. Keep in mind that during summer months, buses might arrive late due to longer lines at the borders.
By Private Transfer + Ferry
Duration: 2.5 hours
You’re traveling to a major port city, so ferries are also an option. A 1-hour private transfer will get you to the port in Trieste, Italy. From there, a ferry will arrive in Rovinj 1.5 hours later.
Although not quite as convenient as the bus, this option is just as fast and arguably far more scenic. Keep in mind that this ferry route operates in July and August only and is a bit restrictive during the week. Departures leave Trieste twice on Wednesday and once on Friday, Saturday, and Sunday. Also note that you won't have to deal with a border crossing, but you'll still need to carry your documents with you.