One of the most famous tourist destinations in Croatia, is truly an ancient town. Archaeological data shows its small peninsula was very likely inhabited way back in the Neolithic Age. The first Roman settlement sprang up in 2nd century BC and developed into what is today known as the old Roman core of Porec, with its famous Decumanus Maximus street.
The old part of Porec is riddled with the remains of ancient times and embellished with the architecture of the later ages. It is this pronounced charm of history that draws so many to visit this ages-old town that, along with its history, has an excellently developed tourist offer. It’s not all history and Romans, as you’ll no doubt find out when you visit.
Most important historical locations in Porec
2. Euphrasian Basilica
Absolutely the most famous historical landmark in Porec and one of the finest examples of Byzantine art in the whole of Europe. Don’t miss to enjoy its magnificence, have a look at the gorgeous mosaics indoors and climb its bell tower for a great view.
3. Pentagonal Tower
While the current structure of the Pentagonal Tower dates back to the middle of the 15th century, archaeologists have found that it was originally built during the Roman reign. If you climb to the top you’ll be able to dine in the tower’s restaurant and have a great view of the old town’s cityscape.
4. Gothic House
This beautifully preserved example of local Gothic architecture looks like it could have served as a part of a set in a period drama. It is one of the several Gothic-styled buildings in the Decumanus street, another famous one being the Zuccato Palace.
5. Zuccato Palace
The stones used in the building of this Gothic palace were brought in from the island of Korčula. It sits on the corner of Decumanus and Cardo, with windows overlooking both streets. Its interior has been turned into an art gallery.
6. House of the Two Saints
Named after the reliefs of two saints that adorn its facade, this Renaissance building with Romanesque details is the home of the city’s Conservation Office.
7. Round Tower
This tower used to be an important part of the city’s defence system. It was built in the late 15th century as a part of the preparations against the Ottoman attack.
Walk along the Roman center of Porec
8. Decumanus Street
The most popular old Roman street in Porec is dotted with several of the best historical locations in the city: the Pentagonal Tower, The City Museum and the Zuccato Palace. There are plenty of bars and restaurants hiding in its nooks and crannies, too, for a unique experience of dining among the Roman ruins.
9. Comitivum Bar
This romantic and sophisticated corner in the old Roman street of Porec is a wonderful place for an evening’s night out, especially if you’re looking for a more intimate setting.
10. Marafor Square
This Roman square used to be the location of a temple dedicated to the Roman god Mars. Only parts of it remain visible now, but if you’re a fan of ancient ruins, the Temple of Neptune is located near by. Both these sacred buildings were erected in 1st century AD.
11. Great Temple of Neptune
While only the foundations and a part of the walls remain of this once grand temple, it played an important part in the social and religious life of the Roman Porec.
12. Cardo Maximus Street
One of the two main streets in the old Roman core of Porec, the Cardo Maximus Street acted as the main perpendicular street, connecting the north and the south of the then Poreč. Today its period buildings house a number of souvenir shops, bars and restaurants, and make a very lovely urban scenery during a sightseeing walk.
13. Marsal Tito Promenade
Following the Cardo Maximus southwards will take you onto the Obala Marsala Tita promenade and the ferry port of Porec.
Outdoor activities in Porec and its neighbourhood
14. Horseback riding at Horse Center Jelena
If you’re looking for a truly memorable holiday experience head out to the Horse Center Jelena. Aside from horses you will be able to meet chickens, goats and wild rabbits, a sure treat for any kid.
While you’ll be able to hang out with all of them, the horse-back riding is the main attraction. The riding trail will take you from the center’s paddock and into the forest. The horses are excellently trained and make riding easy even for the inexperienced rider.
15. Take your family to the Motodrom Porec
Go-kart, Kart-Cross, Quad, off-road rides, paintball, adventure park, a sports bar and a garden designed for lounging - you name it, the Motodrom Porec has it all. If half of your family is on the lookout for an adrenaline adventure or two and the other half would prefer to enjoy a drink in a lovely scenery, look no further.
16. Taste the best of Istrian wines
Sosich family has been in the wine-making business since the late 19th century. Generation after generation perfected the art of growing grapes and turning them into some of the finest Istrian wines, blending the old traditional ways with the ever-developing modern technology.
Tour of their wine cellars is more than just a wine tasting: it is a celebration of Istria and its wine-making tradition, a story of decades of hard work and the joy of tasting the fruits of your labour. If you’re looking for a wholesome wine-tasting experience don’t miss to book your tasting tour at the Sosich winery.
17. Make a splash at the Aquacolours Aquapark
With more than twenty water-based attractions this aquapark is the largest in Croatia and one of the most modern and advanced in the whole of Europe. If you eventually decide to take a break from all the water-fun there’s plenty of lounging space for you to relax over a wide selection of food and beverages.
18. Get your adrenaline running at the Ski Lift Porec
For your daily measure of water sports while in Porec you won’t find a better place than the Ski Lift Porec. It has seven hundred meters of cableways and you’ll be able to ride down all of them at the speed of 30 km/h using any equipment available.
Aside from water skiing competitions, both professional and amateur, the center hosts parties, beach volleyball tournaments and various other events, and is known for its laid-back and fun atmosphere.
19. Visit the Istrian Stonehenge
Mali Sveti Andeo (The Little Holy Angel) also known as the Istrian Stonehenge, is the only megalithic circle of its kind in Croatia. Located on the Mordele Hill near Porec it has preserved the secrets of its construction to this very day.
20. Do the ‘Porec Boogie’ over the Istrian landscape
The Porec Boogie isn’t strictly a dance - it’s actually way better than dancing. It is a skydiving jump event that will have you plunging from the height of 4000 meters into a full minute free fall before continuing on with a parachute.
If you’d love to try it but haven’t done anything like it before, no need to worry - the licensed skydiving instructors will be with you every step of the way.
And, you’ll be able to get a video recording of your jump, which you know will be the best holiday video you’ve ever had. For bookings, strictly come skydiving to the Aeroclub Cumulus.
Best beaches in Porec
21. Astra beach
Located in the Zelena Laguna Resort this beach is equipped with all the amenities and facilities you might need, and sheltered by the shade of cedar and oak trees.
22. Bellevue beach
This beach has made sea access easy for everyone, kids and the elderly especially, with a number of arranged entryways to the sea. Aside from this it has a rescue service and a selection of entertainment and sports activities on offer.
23. Hawaii beach
This secluded corner of the shore is adorned with a gorgeous blue sea, pebbled terrain and a pine tree forest, and will make a great choice for those looking to get away from the summer crowds.
24. Porec city beach
If you’re looking for the closest beach possible to pop to for a swim and some sunbathing that also offers activities for both children and adults, the city beach in Porec is your best choice. It comes with natural shade and a great view of the town, too.
Where to dine in Porec
25. Restaurant Peterokutna Kula
If you’re looking to dine over the best view of Porec, the restaurant on top of the Pentagonal Tower will give you exactly what you’re looking for - and more. With its molecular cuisine menu made of local Istrian ingredients it is sure to delight even the most discernible of palates.
26. Restaurant St. Nicholas
The star of the fabulous Istrian food menu here is the fish panna cotta, although the rest of the dishes based on seafood will not disappoint you, either. Overlooking the town’s waterfront, this restaurant makes for a lovely romantic dinner spot.
27. Tavern Dvi Murve
This traditional tavern will wow you with its diverse menu. Next to some great fish and seafood dishes you’ll be able to order the traditional Istrian goulash with dried lamb.
28. Tavern Ulixes
This fish restaurant specializes in the Istrian version of ‘surf & turf’: seafood plus truffles. You’ll be able to try the latter as a part of a pasta dish or complimenting sheep cheese or carpaccio. Blended with the seafood menu of octopus, squid and fresh fish, dining here will be a truly delicious experience.
29. Ancora Storm Fish Shop
Whether you’re looking to get some perfectly fresh fish or grab a bite during your city walk or after your day on the beach, pop over to the Ancora Storm fish shop. They do their own fishing, and will roast or bake your fish in case you don’t feel like doing it yourself.