Croatia is now definitely “in”, with some 400,000 arrivals from the UK in 2013, up 25 per cent on 2012. ..And with its stunning coastline, unspoilt nature (including eight national parks) and beautifully-preserved centuries-old harbour towns, it offers a less commercial take on the sun, sea and sand holidays you would expect in Greece or Spain. So where exactly should you head for? Fly to Pula in the north-west to explore Istria, a green peninsula with close cultural ties to northern Italy. Popular with both Italians and Central Europeans on account of its accessibility, it’s also the most highly organised region in terms of tourism facilities and infrastructure.The region is best known for its Venetian-era port towns on the west coast, including its top seaside destinations, Porec and Rovinj. THE TELEGRAPH
Walk down the Decumanus Street in old town Porec. These cobbled streets are almost 2000 years old. If you turn right in one of its narrow streets you’ll reach the Euphrasian Basilica, a Unesco World Heritage Site, dating from the 6th century. The basilica is a must see monument in Porec. Step inside and enjoy its well preserved mosaics.
Carry on walking on the Decumanus street and look up to see its magnificent buildings. Once you reach Marafor Square on your left, you’ll see a magnificent Romanesque House
; a beautifully preserved
Venetian Gothic palace.
If you need another reason to visit the Euphrasian Basilica, then go up the stairs of the bell tower and take in the view of Porec old town & the marina. It’s worth it!
While walking through the Decumanus street climb up on one of the Porec well preserved towers. There are two; Kula bar and Peterokutna Kula the restaurant. They both have magnificent views over Porec harbour. Perfect picture taking spots!
Restaurant Istra on the corner of ul. Marsala Tita and Vialle is a traditional family owned restaurant. Ask for the daily specials to get the freshly caught fish of the day. Porec has many Ice cream parlours, so make sure to have one while you’re sightseeing. For something less formal, try some of Porec’s many bakeries and pick up one of those amazing cheese or spinach pastries called burek.
As with most beaches in Croatia, Porec beaches are rocky. Which means rocks with man built entry in the clear water. Sunbathing is usually done on the grass just next to the rocks. Many beaches have sand playgrounds for the young ones. We like Brulo beach
just south from Porec centre; it’s easy to walk to, has great bars and restaurants, many facilities, bike & diving rentals.
St. NICHOLA’S ISLAND
Take a little taxi boat that runs every half an hour to the island directly opposite Porec town centre. Enjoy the view of Porec and it’s surroundings from the island. Walk across the island and enjoy the wild rabbits jumping around the Isabella castle, located in the centre of the island. Jump in the crystal clear water from one of the rocks.
Renting a bike is a great way to see Porec and it’s surroundings. A path from Porec towards Zelena Laguna is particularly easy and pleasurable, as one cycles next to the sea and in the shade. There are many bike rental places in and around town. They charge per hour or per day.
Take a stroll down the marina and enjoy the view of many luxury yachts. Sit down in one of many cocktail bars, great for people watching.
RUINS OF ROMAN’S TEMPLES
The Romans built in Porec two beautiful temples: Big Temple and the temple of Neptune, which was dedicated to the god of the sea. Only fragments of these remain preserved.
Head over to Tequilla bar in Pical just north of Porec. Sit down in this shabby chic beach bar order a cocktail and watch the magnificent sunset with Porec in the background. It’s peaceful and magical.