Porec, Croatia: An Expert Travel Guide!
The city Porec in Croatia is not only a beautiful coastal town, in summer it is also one of the most popular vacation destinations on the peninsula of Istria. A whole range of attractions awaits you during a visit! The most important places to see in Porec include the beautiful UNESCO World Heritage Old Town, the harbor with the romantic waterfront and the countless idyllic beaches. Also the area around Porec is worth exploring, offering a wide range of unforgettable excursion destinations as well as a comprehensive offer of sports and leisure activities. In addition, the well-managed hotels, modern campsites and private apartments guarantee an unforgettable vacation in Porec!
In this travel guide we give you all the important information about Porec in Croatia. We will provide you with an overview of the most beautiful things to do and the most amazing beaches, show you the best pictures and tell you where to find recommended accommodation.
General Information about Porec
The town of Porec, which has about 17,000 inhabitants, is one of the most important coastal towns in Istria, along with Rovinj and the port city Pula. Situated on a long, narrow peninsula and surrounded by an ancient city wall, the old town is a real jewel on the Adriatic. Also beautiful is the small offshore island of Sveti Nikola, which is located just a few hundred meters off the coast and dominates the townscape. Probably the most famous attraction of Porec is the beautiful Euphrasius Basilica, which has been added to the list of UNESCO World Heritage Sites.
The history of Porec as a tourist destination dates back to 1907 when the Austrian Riviera Company was founded in Istria. Today, the resort is a true paradise for sun-seeking beach vacationers. Here you will enjoy a unique mix of 2,000-year-old history, sightseeing, sports, entertainment and fantastic beaches, which are located along the coast lined with pine forests!
Things to do in Porec
In Porec there are quite a number of amazing things to do. Most of the attractions are located directly in the old town and can be easily explored by taking a city walk. But also the surrounding area of Porec is worth seeing and offers visitors many highlights! In order for you not to lose track, we have summarized the best things to do in Porec at a glance:
Waterfront and Harbor
A real gem in Porec is the long waterfront promenade. The so-called Lungomare Porec circles the entire old town and during a walk you can enjoy a fantastic ambience here. Especially the harbor scenery with the historic wall, the countless pastel colored town houses, the fabulous restaurants and cafes and the luxurious yachts is unique in Porec. In addition, this promenade connects the city center with the beautiful bays and beaches along the coast. The two beautiful green peninsulas Zelena Laguna and Plava Laguna are also connected to the old town of Porec via the sea promenade.
Basilica of Euphrasius
The most famous attraction of Porec is the Basilica of Euphrasius, which has been a UNESCO World Heritage Site since 1997 and is one of the most valuable cultural monuments of the port city. It is a bit hidden in a side street of the old town, just after the shopping street. The basilica was built in place of an oratory dating back to the 4th century and is now one of the most important sacred sites in Croatia. Many parts of the complex date back to the 6th century and are now open to the public as a museum. The highlights of this church include the ornate, very well-preserved mosaics and the column capitals, which can be viewed during a visit.
Tip: The view from the tower over the old town is also fantastic!
Main Square & Church Gospa od Andela
The main square, also known as Trg. Slobode is a popular place for cultural as well as other events, concerts and small festivals, especially in summer. It is located right at the beginning of the old town and important attractions are also in the immediate vicinity. Fantastic are also the cozy cafes on the square, where you can enjoy the unique and sometimes boisterous atmosphere.
The 18th century church Gospe od Andela is also located directly on the main square. It is the largest church in the city and thanks to its interesting paintings it is also worth seeing from the inside.
The main street Decumanus
Probably one of the most beautiful places to visit in Porec is Decumanus street, the promenade of the coastal town, which dates back to Roman times. Lined with countless stores and boutiques, this cobblestone street is a true shopper’s paradise. It begins in the east at the main square, Trg. Slobode, and leads visitors across the old town, past many historical attractions and buildings, such as the Pentagonal Tower and the Municipal Museum.
The Towers of Porec
The towers of Porec are another interesting attraction of the old town. There are still 3 towers left today from the fortifications which were built between the 12th and 16th centuries. The most famous tower is probably the Pentagonal Tower in the shopping street; on the top there is a lovely restaurant with a panoramic view. Also interesting is the Northern Tower from 1473 near the former city wall and the Round Tower near the harbor that scores with a terrace, including a really cool cocktail bar.
Matije Gupca Square
Matije Gupca, formerly called Piazza dei Signori, is one of the most beautiful squares in the old town and a popular meeting place for locals and tourists. Especially worth seeing here are the countless beautiful city palaces, such as the picturesque Venetian Zuccato Palace in Gothic and Baroque style. Unfortunately, the western facade of the square was destroyed in World War II, thus, today there is a small pretty park. You will also find a really cozy café there, where you can enjoy a cool drink and enjoy the picturesque old town scenery.
One of the most interesting things to see in Porec is the Romanesque House in the old town. It dates back to the 13th century and is one of the oldest houses in the city. Located near the square Marafor, this popular photo motif can hardly be missed during a stroll through the city. Once there was a stable on the first floor and a large living room with a fireplace on the upper floor. Today, there is a small ethnographic exhibition on the 1st and 2nd floor.
Park J. Dobrile
A jewel of the port city is the hidden park J. Dobrile. This small green area is located directly in the old town of Porec and enchants with an exceptionally romantic ambience. Interesting is also the Roman archway in the center of the square, which gives this place that certain something. Nearby is the bust of bishop Juraj Dobrila. Around the park there are some really good restaurants and also some cool boutiques.
Otok Sveti Nikola
The enchanting island of Sveti Nikola is located only 400 meters from Porec and can be reached by boat in just 5 minutes. During a walk on the island you can experience a real quiet island feeling, lush green pine forests, well-tended gardens and a variety of beaches. There is even a specially built sandy beach on Otok Sveti Nikola. The view of Porec that you can enjoy from the island is also phenomenal and a real highlight.
Sveti Nikola is part of the Isabella Valamar Collection Island Resort but can still be visited by non-hotel guests. A shuttle boat will take you to and from the island several times a day for a fee.
Somewhat hidden in the upper part of Porec is the small square Marafor. This was the forum in Roman times and on the edge of it were the two temples of Mars and Neptune, both built in the 1st century. Remains of the former temple complex have been preserved until today and can be visited free of charge.
Beaches in Porec
The beaches in Porec and its surroundings are also amazing and a real highlight. From white pebble beaches and clean rocky beaches to fine sandy beaches, everything is here. Many of these beaches even carry the Blue Flag, a seal for top cleanliness, water quality and facilities. The most popular bathing resorts are located in the north of the city, on Lanterna and in the south on the peninsulas of Plava Laguna and Zelena Laguna. But also near the old town two beautiful beaches have been built along the promenade, perfect if you want to combine sightseeing with sunbathing and swimming.
Things to do around Porec
Not only Porec is worth seeing, also in the surroundings there are numerous possibilities for excursions and activities. Thanks to its good location, you can discover many of the most beautiful places of Istria from the resort. Here are the best attractions to visit near the coastal town.
Only 10 kilometers from Porec is Baredine Cave, the most beautiful stalactite cave in Istria with countless stalactites and stalagmites, where very interesting guided tours are offered.
Other fun attractions are the aqua parks of Porec; Aquacolors Porec, which is only 4 kilometers away and Istralandia, which is 23 kilometers in the north.
Where to stay in Porec
In Porec Old Town, but also in the surrounding area and on the picturesque beaches, there is a great offer of accommodation. From fantastic hotels to private apartments and campsites, you can choose from a huge offer. If you’re looking for a recommended place to stay in Porec, we can share these accommodation tips with you…It’s worth a look!
- Mobile Homes: The new Mobile Homes – Lanterna Premium Camping offer plenty of space, are very clean and are close to the sea. In general, the camping resort with its great facilities is highly recommended!
- Apartment: The NEW RIVA LUXURY ONE – with sunny terrace & big garden is a nicely equipped apartment with a quiet terrace and in the best location. From here you can easily reach the beach and the center of Porec by foot.
- Boutique Hotel Old Town: The Boutique Hotel Mauro is located in a historic building on the picturesque seafront and offers elegant rooms with a view of the Adriatic Sea.
- 4-Star Hotel: The Hotel Parentium Plava Laguna is a modern 4-star hotel in a great location directly on the beach. The pool and garden area are also very beautiful and invite to relax. In addition, guests love the delicious breakfast.
- 3-Star Hotel: The Minella Residence is a lovely 3-star hotel. Here you can enjoy the location directly by the sea, the view of the old town and the quiet setting. In addition, you can reach the city center in just a few minutes on foot.
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