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Fun Things To Do In Poreč, Croatia
If you’re looking for a small and charming coastal town with plenty to see and do during the day as well as in the evening, Porec is the ideal choice, a picturesque town packed with sightseeing options. What’s particularly great about this town is that it’s small enough to explore in a day but also makes for a great base to explore the rest of Istria.
We recommend spending at least two full days, preferably three, in the area. This blog post contains the best things to do in Porec and recommended beaches, restaurants, bars, and accommodations.
Situated on the pretty Istrian coastline, ideally placed to explore further afield too, the picturesqueness and nightlife of Porec may be a strange combination, but it’s one that works fantastically!
It’s virtually impossible to get lost in Porec, which is ideal for those who enjoy wandering around as they please, seeing what they can find along the way. The beaches in and around the town are also typically idyllic. The crystal-clear water is what the Adriatic sea is so famous for, and there’s plenty of that in this area.
There is also lots of history around the town, including the famous Euphrasian Basilica, which dates back to the 6th century and is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Nature also abounds, with walking trails and endemic flora, fauna, and wildlife to explore.
Things To See And Do In Porec
Episcopal Complex Of The Euphrasian Basilica
History fans will love this particular sight in Porec, dating back to the 6th century and built during the Byzantine Empire. This site is UNESCO World Heritage-listed, and the architecture is just stunning. History echoes around every corner in this unique church. The building itself is very well preserved, with beautiful murals on the walls and ceiling.
Of course, the view from the top is also breathtaking, overlooking the impossible blue of the sea just a stone’s throw away. Do be sure to check opening times when you visit, though. At certain periods of the year, e.g., Easter and Christmas, the church is closed to visitors.
Around 6 kilometers inland, easily accessible by bus or car, you’ll find the natural wonder of the Bardine Caves. You can take a 40-minute tour through the caves, which involves descending a pathway until you are 60 meters underground. This is where you’ll see a shimmering underground lake with intricately decorated chambers.
Additionally, some endemic wildlife, for example, the blind white salamanders and the cave olm, are worth trying to spot. Of course, there are the typical stalagmite and stalactite formations as well, giving the caves this weird and wonderful feel. You will find many tour excursions to the caves, making them easily accessible.
Poreč Old Town
A wander around the cobbled, narrow streets of the Old town of Poreč’s is a must-do. The town is not overly big, but a simple stroll around can still easily fill half a day if you take your time. Many small cafes and restaurants stop at if you fancy a pitstop or a refreshment, while the old buildings will offer you a window to the past. The church inside the Old Town (see above) is very well preserved and a major highlight. Basically, this whole area gives you a feel of times gone by, still relatively free from mass tourism.
The Round Tower
This interesting and historic building gives you something a little different in terms of a coffee break! The restaurant inside the tower is fantastic for refreshments, while the narrow curved steps to the top lead you to a stunning view over the town and distant peninsula. Be aware that the steps are quite steep, so take your time.
This is another historic part of Poreč, which hints back to the former Roman Empire, with buildings and structures still very well preserved. A modern twist is evident here, too, with many shops, cafes, and restaurants. This is a busy part of the town, especially during the peak summer season, and you will get a real taste of modern Croatian life here.
As a hint to take into account, to see the best of the architecture, you need to look upwards, as the buildings are very tall. They are so intricate that you need to crane your neck to see the best of it! This is a straight street, so it is impossible to get lost. Going for a stroll on this iconic street is truly one of the best things to do in Porec.
Day Trips To Nearby Towns
The town’s excellent location allows you to venture further into the Istrian Peninsula and discover the diversity of the region. Buses leave the station in Porec regularly to nearby Pula and Rovinj, or you can hire a car and drive yourself through the gorgeous Tuscany-esque countryside.
Rovinj has a stunning Old Town, with artists showing you their talents on Grisia Street. Or head to Pula and visit the massive Roman amphitheater. Alternatively, the inland hill-top town of Motovun, surrounded by vineyards and truffle forests, is a major Istrian highlight as well. You should certainly take advantage of the ease of travel around the region. When basing yourself in Porec, you can have the ultimate holiday experience combining sea, sun, cuisine, history, and culture.
Best Beaches in Porec
Much of the coastline around Poreč is rocky and pebbly, so wearing water shoes or just a generally good pair of travel shoes is a good idea. Zelena Laguna is around 5 kilometers south of the main town, and there are countless small bays and coves to explore, making it easy to find your ideal spot for the day. There are many cafes and restaurants around, offering you the chance for a refreshment or meal halfway through the day. The nearby wakeboard park might interest active holiday enthusiasts’ water, while the small pebbly beach is ideal for children.
This is a favorite spot on the coastline around Porec. A picturesque rocky beach backed by a dense pine forest, Delfin Beach offers you plenty of shade if you want to escape the hot summer sun. This particular fact also makes this a good beach if you are traveling with children. However, there are some steep drops when you enter the water, so keep an eye out and don’t let your little ones head out unaccompanied. There are many different water sports available and kayak rental for those who want to do some marine exploration.
Around 2 kilometers from the town center, you will find the famous Brulo Beach. Again, there is plentiful natural shade, as the pine forest runs to the back of and around the beach itself. The beach is rocky, pebbly, and concrete, with adequate space for sunbathing. Children will enjoy the natural pool on one side of the beach, with shallow water for splashing, as well as the playground. Facility-wise, there are changing huts along the beach and lots of water-sports on offer. Note that in peak season, this particular beach can get very busy.
If you are staying in central Porec, this will be your most convenient choice of beach, located around 15 minutes from the resort on foot. Locals head to this particular beach on weekends, so be aware that you might encounter crowds. This is a good place for a good old-fashioned beach day, i.e., splashing and generally having fun. There is a picturesque promenade running along the length of the beach, and a children’s playground at one end, too. The beach is pebbly, and there is a Jet Ski Centre for those who feel an urge to get adventurous.
Continue walking along the promenade past Pical Beach, and you’ll reach Spadici Beach. This is another rocky and concrete beach, which also has a nice grassy area. There isn’t any natural shade on this particular beach, so perhaps not the best choice if you are visiting with children. There are, however, many facilities for changing and showering, and there are cafes and bars within a stone’s throw from the water’s edge.
Porec is also home to one of our favorite holiday parks in Croatia!
Best Places To Eat & Drink In Porec
Restaurants in Porec
Luna Beach Bar
If you’re looking for a cheap eat on the beach (and who isn’t?), this is the place for you. Considering the setting, the prices should probably be higher, but the menu is large and low in cost. This is a great spot to chill out during the daytime without spending a fortune and somewhere for a pitstop snack while exploring the town.
Kantun Grill Corner
Located in the Old Town, this café is bright and colorful, with a fresh yellow and green décor to greet you. The café actually feels modern and funky, despite its location, and the food is delicious, especially considering the low prices. Check out the burgers, which are grilled to perfection and certainly large enough to fill you up.
Located in the city center, this particular restaurant looks like it is more expensive than it actually is. The pasta dishes are to die for, and the staff is very friendly and attentive. This is a restaurant that has a lot of return guests, which indicates its delicious food and fantastic ambiance.
It’s always a good idea to try some local dishes wherever in the world you go. Konoba Daniela has a large menu that incorporates local cuisine with more international dishes so that everyone can find something to munch on. The steak tartar is a very popular favorite, prepared in front of you to prove its freshness.
For an exceptional night out with some delicious food and a beautiful setting, look no further than Restaurant Mauro. Located on the marina with a stunning view of the sea, it’s advisable to book your table in advance to avoid disappointment. The menu is eclectic, featuring local and Mediterranean dishes, while the presentation is outstanding as well.
Cotton Club Restaurant
While being a high-end restaurant, the prices here are at the lower end of that bracket, making it a fantastic choice for a special night out. The dishes on the menu are international and Mediterranean, and the presentation is certainly very artistic. Located on the main square, this is an easy place to find.
A historic town just across the Adriatic Sea from Italy, Porec has a few excellent pizzerias. Pizza lovers will certainly enjoy a visit to Stari Saloon, a recommended pizza restaurant in the heart of the Old Town. Its claim to fame is that it serves the largest pizza in town, 120 centimeters in diameter! This makes it a fantastic place for a casual dinner out with friends or family.
Restaurant Sveti Nikola
Situated near the tip of the Old Town of Porec peninsula, Restaurant Sveti Nikola offers stunning views over the Adriatic Sea. This popular establishment is one of the best restaurants in Porec, according to online ratings and reviews. Naturally, its menu is dominated by fish and seafood and Istrian specialty ingredients such as truffles. Definitely try their “Motovun wood” soup made with truffles and other mushrooms and the “Mare nostrum” carpaccio with monkfish, scampi, and octopus.
This café is very popular for a daytime chill out, with a great range of light snacks and coffee on the menu, as well as alcohol if you fancy something with a little more kick! The café is located on the promenade, making it the perfect pitstop while walking from one end of the town to the other, with stunning views over the beach and out to sea.
Gelati & Baci
This is quite an upmarket coffee shop, but if you want quality coffee and ice cream, this is the place to go. The café has a unique feel to it, which is evident in its décor. It’s located in the Old Town so that you can head there for a break while you wander around the narrow streets of Poreč.
Bars In Porec
Located on the seafront, with its own section of beach, this is a very popular spot for chilling out by day and partying by night. Featuring resident and guest DJs, the club is spread over two floors, with a terrace on the ground floor. This bar is open during the summer season only, from May to October, but it is certainly a hotspot during that time.
Fora Le Porte
In the middle of the Old Town lies Fora Le Porte, a popular wine bar that’s revered for its extensive wine list, reasonable prices, and amazing atmosphere. People enjoy great food and excellent service. Note that this is not a party bar but simply a wonderful venue for a delicious meal and a good glass of wine after a long day of exploration.
This is one of the oldest nightclubs in Porec, dating back to 1967, and it’s also the largest place to head for a party. There is an admission fee, but it’s certainly worth it, with a promise of a fantastic night out and popular DJs playing here regularly.
Key Festivals & Events In Porec
100 Miles Of Istria Ultratrail
Are you a running enthusiast? Do you feel the need to run even though you might not be that experienced? If you said ‘yes’ to any of the above, this event is for you. This trail run takes you through some of the most amazing scenery and terrain around the Istria region, including Porec. The event takes place every year in mid-April and is a fantastic opportunity to see the area and keep fit at the same time.
If the thought of running brings you out in a cold sweat, this event might be more for you. The Parenzana is an old railway line that has been transformed into a path for walking, running and cycling. At the end of April every year, countless families, couples, groups, and singles take to the path to enjoy the 10-kilometer journey, which takes in Istria’s stunning scenery.
Mediterranean Folklore Encounters
The beginning of July sees something traditional and unique in Porec. Here you will learn about the region’s culture, with performances, parades, musical concerts, handicraft markets, workshops, and food tastings.
Traveling To Porec From Split
- Air. To reach Split from Porec, or vice versa, you can fly to cut down on time. To do this, you will need to take the bus from Porec to Pula, which takes around one hour. The flight from Pula to Split is about 40 minutes.
- Bus. There are daily services to Split from Rijeka, so you will need to first get a bus to Rijeka from Poreč.
- Car. Of course, you could avoid public transport altogether and hire a car and drive yourself, which would give you much more freedom to explore. To drive will take you around five hours.
Dubrovnik To Porec Or Porec To Dubrovnik
- Air. There are no direct flights between Pula and Dubrovnik. However, you can fly via Zagreb, which takes around 5 and 1/2 hours, including layover time, or via Split on a seaplane.
- Bus. As with most buses, the bus from Porec goes to Rijeka first and takes around 15 hours to reach Dubrovnik. This is a long trek. However, the passing coastal scenery is stunning.
- Ferry. If you want to combine amazing experiences, then why not get the ferry over to Venice for a day or so and then fly to Dubrovnik from there? This is quite affordable, and you get to see two places. The ferry from Porec to Venice takes around 2 hours 45 minutes, and the onward flight from Venice to Dubrovnik is about 1 hour 20 minutes.
- Car. Again, hire a car, and you can be in Dubrovnik in around 8 hours, although obviously, the more you stop, the longer it will take.
Zadar To Porec Or Porec To Zadar
- Bus. Your options when traveling from Porec to Zadar are bus or car. The bus will first take you to Rijeka and then onwards to Zadar. In total, the journey will take around 6 hours 45 minutes.
- Car. Hiring a car and driving to Zadar is the quickest option, taking around 4 hours 20 minutes, depending on traffic and stops.
Zagreb To Porec Or Porec To Zagreb
- Air. To reach Zagreb from Porec, you will need to go to Pula airport and catch the direct flight to Zagreb. There are daily departures for this route.
- Bus. There are multiple daily services to Zagreb from Rijeka, so you will need to first get a bus to Rijeka from Poreč.
- Car. Getting to Zagreb by car is easy and will take you around 3 hours.