Winner of numerous international awards, Poreč is a true star of Croatian tourism. This town with a thousand-year history has in fact developed an extraordinarily successful tourism industry that has won the sympathy of holidaymakers not only from Italy and Germany, but from all over Europe.
The ingredients of Poreč’s success are a wide choice of accommodation in hotels, rooms to let and campsites, a variety of beaches in the surrounding area and a high quality of tourist services, which compensates for somewhat higher prices than in other locations.
There is no shortage of interesting attractions and events, such as the beautiful Euphrasius Basilica and its golden mosaics, while the younger generation chooses Poreč as a destination for a fun-packed holiday.
Poreč’s location makes it an ideal base from which to visit other famous tourist attractions in Croatia. The Pula Arena is just over 50 km away, while the Plitvice Park with its stunning waterfalls can easily be reached on a day trip.
The Euphrasius Basilica is the wonder of Poreč. Declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site, it is one of the best-preserved Byzantine works of art in Europe.
It was built in the 5th century on the site of an earlier oratory at the behest of Bishop Euphrasius, whom you can see depicted in a mosaic inside the church.
The glittering mosaics on the walls of the apse are the real treasure of this church: executed in the 6th century, they depict biblical scenes, Istrian martyrs and archangels.
Before ending your visit to the basilica, climb to the top of the bell tower for a splendid panoramic view of the city.
Walking around the town of Poreč you will find numerous reminders of its rich history and the peoples who have dominated it over the centuries.
Evidence of Roman times can be found in Marafor Square, where the forum once stood. The original paving can still be seen today, and to the west of the square, the remains of the 2nd century Temple of Neptune and another temple from the 1st century.
Venetian rule has left its traces with three 15th-century towers (the Pentagonal Tower, the Round Tower and the Northeast Tower), while two interesting Gothic houses remain from the Middle Ages to the south-east of Marafor Square.
The elegant palace that houses the Istrian Diet, i.e. the regional parliament, can be visited every day. It stands near the Juraj Dobrila park on a 13th century Franciscan Gothic church that was modified in the 18th century and richly decorated in Baroque style. Take a look at the sumptuous stuccoed ceiling, decorated with illusionistic frescoes and gilded medallions.
There is an abundance of beaches in Poreč and this is one of the reasons why it is such a popular destination for holidaymakers. They are almost always equipped beaches, usually rocky, pebbly or paved, all washed by the crystal clear sea that has become the pride and main attraction of the area.
Here are some of the best beaches in and around Poreč:
Poreč and its surroundings are an ideal destination for lovers of active holidays because it offers countless opportunities for sporting activities. A few examples? Tennis, basketball, volleyball, windsurfing, water skiing, diving, sailing, kayaking… the list could go on!
For some physical activity without too much effort, treat yourself to pleasant walks or rent a bicycle and explore the rolling hills of the hinterland.
If you are looking for an adrenalin rush, try bungee jumping or another energetic activity such as parachuting, climbing, caving or go-karting.
The most popular destination for an excursion from Poreč is the small island of St Nicholas, which can be reached by boat in just a few minutes.
Day-long yacht trips to explore the beauty of southern Istria are also attractive, often including lunch or dinner. If you want to explore the seabed (without getting your hair wet!), you can hop aboard a tourist submarine.
There is no shortage of children’s attractions, such as the fun tourist train Parenzana Train and the Dinopark Funtana theme park, which will make your children feel like they are in the new Jurassic Park movie!
On a one-day tour you can visit other famous tourist destinations in Croatia, such as nearby Pula and Rovinj or the spectacular national parks.
Generally snubbed by mass tourism, the Istrian hinterland is worth a visit: it is a picturesque countryside dotted with old villages with stone houses.
The Poreč summer is studded with cultural events and manifestations, some designed especially for tourists, others more traditional.
The highlight of Poreč’s cultural calendar is undoubtedly the Poreč Euphrasiana Concerts, during which the basilica provides an atmospheric setting for prestigious chamber concerts.
Another important cultural event is the Poreč Yearbook, a long-running collective exhibition of contemporary art organised in the Istrian Diet Hall in August.
Poreč has established itself as one of the nerve centres of Croatian entertainment: party animals come here in search of movida knowing that they can choose from numerous clubs, discos, pubs, casinos and terrace bars.
Poreč’s discos have become legendary: internationally renowned DJs liven up the dance floor with the trendiest music of the moment, while crowds of young people from all over Europe party until late into the night.
The easiest way to get to Poreč is to travel by car, especially if you live in neighbouring countries. You can also take direct buses to Poreč.
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