A popular summer resort located in the heart of the western coast of Istria, Poreč is a town of culture, tourism, sport, and entertainment. This ancient Roman town has been awarded for its clean streets many times over. Being the centrepiece of a vast tourist resort system that stretches north and south along the west coast of Istria, it attracts tens of thousands of tourists from June to September. Mass tourism means this is definitely not the place for a quiet getaway, unless you come out of season. However, there are many sights in this town that will capture your heart, such as a UNESCO protected basilica, a medley of Romanesque, Gothic, and Baroque buildings, and many more.
Things to do
Poreč is best-known for its UNESCO protected Euphrasian Basilica. Built in the 6th century during the Byzantine rule, the Basilica’s glittering mosaics in the apse of the church remain intact. It is not only a sight to be admired, but also a sight that will take you back to the past. The Roman Forum in Poreč was once a place where public gatherings happened. Today, it’s known as Marafor Square, but the original pavement has been preserved. What once were the Temple of Neptune and the Temple of Mars are nothing more but ancient debris today. Nonetheless, let yourself imagine what the temples must’ve looked like as you gaze at the ruins. Poreč is protected by three different towers in its Old Town – the Round Tower, the Pentagonal Tower, and the Northern Tower, each of them valued for their original architectural forms.
Poreč is a small town with only one museum which tells the story of the town. If you want to know more about this ancient town, then the Poreč Museum is the perfect fit.
Poreč is filled with beautiful beaches, making it one of the most cherished tourist resorts in Istria, if not the entire Croatia. If you want to go for a quick swim in town, go to the Old Town beach, located just outside the city walls. It isn’t really a beach though – it’s more of a boardwalk. If you’re brave enough, do as the locals do and just set your towel down somewhere before jumping in the sea. In case you’d like to go to a tamer beach, then beaches such as Pical, Špadići, and Materada. Rent a jet-ski, see what flyboarding is all about, or let yourself tan in the warm sun on these beautiful beaches. For those of brave hearts and adventurous souls, the so-called wild beaches are located just after the Materada Beach. With no infrastructure whatsoever, the wild beaches are perfect for those who don’t mind a rocky sea entrance. Make barbecue in the shade of the trees as the calmness of the wild beaches relaxes you.
Another Beach worth mentioning is more of an island just 500 m south of Poreč. The St Nicola’s Island has pebble and concrete beaches, rocky breakwaters, shady pine forests, and great views of the town. You can get there by small passenger boats from May to October.
There are many events happening in Poreč all year, but especially during the season. All you need to do is know what interests you, ask a local tour guide about the events happening or search them on the internet, and go where your heart takes you.
The Lighthouse Festival is an electronic music festival that attracts around 4000 guests and more than 20 performers. Enjoy the bumping music from May 29th to June 2nd.
Poreč Historical Festival Giostra gathers over 250 participants in baroque costumes. Learn more about the baroque period during this two-day festival, and make sure to see the central event – the Giostra knight tournament.
Top places to eat
If you want a rustic cuisine experience, make sure to visit Konoba Daniela. This family-run tavern just 5 km east of Poreč is known for its steak tartare, huge beefsteaks, ravioli stuffed with mushrooms, and seasonal Istrian mainstays. Finish your big meal with a nice dessert such as cinnamon dumplings with jam. If you’re craving good burger, pay a visit to Burgerija, located on the shore near the Old Town. For those who want to eat something Mediterranean in a fancy restaurant can go to Sv. Nikola http://www.svnikola.com/. This restaurant, although the swankiest of them all, offers friendly and charming service along with a kid’s menu.
Top places to sleep
Poreč is packed with resorts, hotels, and family guesthouses – you can choose from many accommodation options, depending on which suits your needs the best.
Set in the heart of the Old Town, Hostel Alma 2 Poreč is just 50 m from the UNESCO-protected Euphrasian Basilica. The hostel provides rooms fitted with air conditioning. Free Wi-Fi is available throughout the property. The nearest beach is just steps away.More on Hostel
B & B
Featuring a beachfront location, Minella Residence is set in Poreč, 1 km from Poreč Main Square and from The Euphrasian Basilica. Free Wi-Fi is available and free private parking is provided.More on B&B
Set in the historic building right on the vivid seaside promenade, Boutique Hotel Mauro offers elegantly decorated rooms overlooking the Adriatic Sea or Poreč historic core. The UNESCO-listed Euphrasian Basilica is just 200 m away. Free Wi-Fi and free private parking are provided.More on Hotel
Poreč doesn’t have public transport, but since it’s a small town, you can go on foot or rent a bike. If you want to visit something just outside of Poreč, you can call a taxi. No matter the type of transportation, look around you and take in the beauty of this ancient Roman town.