About Porec beaches
Croatia’s biggest and most developed resort eases visitors into a sun-drenched Mediterranean holiday akin to something you might expect to find in Spain or Greece. Porec, though, has much more to offer than sun, sea and pebbly beaches. The Istrian town has a history that dates back to Roman times and its attractive old core is littered with relics harking back from this period, with the UNESCO World Heritage-listed Basilica of St Euphrasius the highlight. For those who want to explore this idyllic region of Croatia in more depth, Porec is also an ideal base for forays into the historic resort town of Rovinj, the pleasant low-key resort of Umag and the port city of Pula, as well as a flurry of inland hill towns that are increasingly being lauded as the New Tuscany.
The coastline around Porec is dotted with rocky and pebbly beaches, as well as concrete bathing terraces, with those at the resorts of Pical, Brulo Plava Laguna and Zelena Laguna enduringly popular. For the best beach take a boat from Porec harbour to the Island of St Nicholas. The Sloaris, Ulika and Zelena Laguna are naturist camps with nudist beaches.
Beyond the beach:
In the Basilica of St Euphrasius (off Eufrazijjeva), Porec harbours one of the most impressive Byzantine structures in the world and this UNESCO World Heritage site is simply unmissable. Highlights include intricate mosaics that date back to the fourth century and stunning sixth-century frescoes, a riot of precious and semi-precious metal and stone. Soak up panoramic city views from the top of the 16th-century bell tower, and check out the ruined Temple of Neptune (Trg Marafor) or the Romanesque House (Decumanus).
Porec is an excellent resort for families with the sea and shingle beaches on the doorstep of hotels that were constructed with children in mind. Most hotels have swimming pools. Tennis, mini-golf, banana-boat rides, cycle hire, pedalos and other watersports are available in the resorts. Restaurants are family-friendly.
Inland Istria has been courting much more attention recently, with its rolling hills, picturesque hill towns, bountiful local truffles, and vineyards earning it favourable comparisons with Tuscany. For a memorable tour of Istria’s verdant hinterland don’t miss the chocolate-box-pretty Motovun or dreamy Groznjan with its colourful resident artists.
Enjoy one of Croatia’s most decadent gastronomic experiences at Restaurant Zigante (www.zigantetartufi.com) in Livade. Sumptuous set menus feature truffle-infused carpaccio, truffle-filled Istrian pasta, meat or fish with truffle. Even desserts are flavoured with truffle. Delectable food, an opulent interior and an elegant courtyard are guaranteed to impress.