At a Glance
The town of Porec sits on a lemon-shaped landmass that extends from Croatia's mainland into the Adriatic Sea, affording it spectacular seaside views from all around. Here, small is considered beautiful, and that's certainly true of Porec's population and overall size. Hemmed in on its own little peninsula, the town resembles a cluster of white-walled terracotta-roofed buildings of traditional Croatian design. But size isn't everything and you'll find Porec has plenty to offer holidaymakers. From its picturesque streets lined with flourishing flower beds and palm trees to the wide and wonderful harbour, there are sights to be seen and sensations to be experienced.
The beauty of Porec's size is, of course, that finding your way around is pretty easy. Vast tourist settlements such a Plava Laguna and Zelena Laguna to the south are very accessible and can be walked to from the Old Town, and thanks to the fact that it is already on the coast, you won't have to look far for a beach. If you require transportation elsewhere, bus services to and from nearby hotel complexes are regular and there's also a taxi rank if you're in a hurry. It's worth remembering, however, that the frequency of public transport will depend vastly on the time of year that you choose to holiday. It is advisable to visit the tourist office in the Old Town, where you can receive the latest updates. Look for the blue logo.Pula airport is the main entry point to Porec, although you may find it cheaper to travel to nearby Trieste or Venice before completing your journey since these hubs offer a greater level of choice in flights and operators. It may prove cheaper to fly to one of these and rent a car for the last leg to Porec itself.
Eating and Drinking
Tourist-savvy locals have wasted no time in cashing in on Porec's status as a resort town, meaning that it can be more expensive to eat and drink here than the rest of Croatia. However, a brief nosy through the cluster of stone-walled buildings that make up the Old Town will take you away from the noisy tourist district and into the streets favoured by the locals. It is here that you will find the best Croatian and Italian cuisine, served up alongside rakija - a fruit brandy that might be made of anything from grapes and pears to apples and cherries. If eating out alongside the locals, observe their 'anything goes' etiquette when it comes to drinking the alcohol - pass it around the table and let everyone have a try!As far as individual venues go, it's worth trying out Ulixes at least once during your trip. This cosy little restaurant serves up traditional Croatian meals at their best - simple but extremely well done. Baked vegetables, steaks, whole fresh fish and more, the portions are generous and the menu is varied. Dine either in the charming stone-clad interior or out on the candlelit terrace.
Things to See and Do
Porec is a veritable hive of things to see and do during the day, and if you get even half of them done during your time in Croatia, give yourself a pat on the back. First on your agenda should be a trip to the Old Town. Wander the charismatic streets in search of trinkets and knick knacks from the surrounding shops - you never know what you might find in this town. Ice cream parlours and souvenir shops dominate the high street, but venture away from here and you'll find Porec feels like a very ordinary port town.One of the absolute must-sees for your list is the Romanesque Basilica of Euphrasius, Istria's one must-see ecclesiastical attraction. Considered the most valuable of Porec's monuments, it has a vast and extraordinary history but has been kept largely intact, allowing it to be inscribed on the UNESCO World Heritage List. Accidents, fires and earthquakes have barely affected its original shape, which was planned and constructed in the second half of the 4th century. Particular highlights of the church itself include a gorgeous oratorium and a peaceful garden where you can sit and collect your thoughts.Beyond the culture, you will find the usual collection of things to do that one can expect in a popular resort town. There are spaces for playing sports such as tennis and football, but you'll undoubtedly want to spend some time in the crystal clear sea. When all else fails, hit the beach.
Keep yourself occupied in the evenings by going out on the town in Porec, where you'll find plenty of places to drink, dance and people-watch. Well worth a visit is St Temple Bar, a wine and cocktail joint located on the corner of Marafor Plaza. Be sure to try the mojito and, if you fancy finding out a little more about the area, ask the owner if he'll share a little wisdom. For clubbing, visit the International Club, where the tourists party late into the night. Expect cheesy music and plenty of fun. Club Colonia is also worth checking out for its location right next to the water, reasonable drinks prices and no entrance fee.
There's always a lot going on in Porec, although a lack of interest in traditional Croatian festivals may disappoint some. However, a packed calendar of events ranges from the Malvasia Wine Festival and the Porec Swimming Marathon to the Valamar Jazz Festival and the Porec 24 Hours celebration - which, despite its name, actually lasts for three days and not one.