About Pula beaches
Effortlessly marrying the attractions of its resorts (sea, beaches and swimming pools) with centuries of history and culture, Pula is an excellent holiday choice. Blessed with year-round sunshine and warm days May to October, Pula also boasts one of the most well-preserved Roman amphitheatres in the world and a handful of other relics from this period. The magnificent arena impressed the city’s former Venetian occupiers so much that they weighed up the possibility of dismantling it and then rebuilding it back in Venice. Throw in family-friendly restaurants, an eclectic range of shops and the city’s close proximity to lively nightspots and it is easy to appreciate why an increasing number of airlines are adding Pula to their flight schedules. Great transport links also make Istria’s largest city a good base for exploring the nearby resort towns of Rovinj and Porec.
The Pula Riviera has plenty of rocky and pebbly beaches, as well as concrete terraces from which you can ease yourself into the clear and warm waters of the Adriatic Sea. The best beaches are located in Punta Verudela, Banjole, Fazana and Premantura. In Medulin the Bijeca Beach even boasts a kilometre of sand. Watersports like windsurfing, kayaking and snorkelling can be organised locally.
Beyond the beach:
Pula’s Roman Amphitheatre is the front-runner when it comes to attractions. Like Roman remnants all over Croatia, the arena is no mere museum piece, instead it remains at the heart of the city’s social and cultural life; the thrill of listening to classical music resonate around the colossal oval stadium is hard to beat. Pula’s Roman walls, the Triumphal Arch of Sergius, the Temple of Augustus and Archaeological Museum are other striking reminders of the city’s former incarnation as Polensium.
Pula is an excellent resort for families with enough beaches, watersports, hotel swimming pools and sports courts to occupy children for days. Kids are also thrilled by the city’s Roman remains and its aquarium. Nearby go-karting tracks and cycle routes add to the fun. Restaurants are family-friendly.
The Brijuni National Park (www.brijuni.hr) protects the eponymous Brijuni Islands, although it is only possible to visit two: Veli and Mali Brijun. This natural wonderland, which was a favourite haunt of Tito, boasts a handful of manmade attractions. Look out for the ruined Byzantine castle, museum and, quite bizarrely, the safari park.
Impress at Valsabbion (www.valsabbion.hr). The main draw is the award-winning restaurant, which flamboyantly serves an innovative fusion of Croatian and international cuisine. If you can’t bear to leave the attractive waterfront setting, then check into one of the stylish rooms. Residents can use the pool and fitness centre.