Istria with its ancient cities, countryside charm and aromatic food is without doubt amazing. Aside from Rovinj and Grožnjan, I was most impressed by Poreč when we’re talking about history and foreign architectural style.
What’s particularly great about this town is that it’s small enough to explore in a day, yet at the same time is a great base from which you can easily explore the rest of the Istria peninsula. Or you can just stay in an apartment or hotel and relax for a couple of days. There are lots of water sports to enjoy, deck chairs, sun umbrellas, boats and jet skis to rent, sand pits and playgrounds for children, bars, restaurants and designated areas for dogs. Poreč coast is mostly rocky, and so are the beaches. All of them situated in and around the town are just typically idyllic. Crystal-clear water is what the Adriatic sea is so famous for and there’s plenty of that in this area. Within resorts many beaches are manmade with cemented sunbathing areas, and shingle swimming areas. All Poreč beaches, however, offer lots of space, and the most important lots of shade under the pine trees, so you’ll most likely enjoy it nonetheless.
It’s practically impossible to get lost in Poreč, what is ideal for those who enjoy wandering around as they please, seeing everything what they can find along the way.
There is also lots of history around the town, including the famous Emphrasian Basilica dating back to the 6th century, which is also a UNESCO Heritage site. Nature also abounds, with walking trails and endemic flora, fauna, and wildlife to explore.
The Old Town is situated on a peninsula. All of Istria has been inhabited since prehistoric times so Poreč has got really fascinating architecture, too, starting in the symmetrical streets running east-west and north-south and with a main square at its hub, where public gatherings have been taking place since the Roman times; and finishing around the Neptune’s and Mars’ temple, both constructed already in 1st and nd centuries; and several Romanesque and Gothic buildings, including Zuccatto Palace and the House of Two Saints lying nearby.
Your first stop should be the already mentioned Euphasian Basilica. It’s super impressive, one of Europe’s finest intact examples of Byzantine art! Built on the site of a 4th-century oratory, the complex includes a church, an atrium and a baptistery. The glittering 6th-century mosaics in the apse of the church are the highlights. The belfry, accessed through the octagonal baptistery, affords an intimate view of the old town.
The Pentagonal Tower, Round Tower and Northern Tower were all built in the 15th century during Venetian rule to guard against a potential Ottoman invasion of Istria. These are three of the original 11 Poreč towers that made up the city walls to have been preserved and prove a popular attraction for visitors. Remains of the walls and the dwellings carved into them are still visible all around the town.
Located at the junction of Decamanus Street and Marafor Square, the Romanesque house is one of the few residential buildings still preserved in its original form and is a popular Poreč attraction. One of the most impressive features is its beautiful facade featuring an ornate wooden balcony.
In and around Poreč, you’ve also got ample possibilities for wine tasting.
Agrolaguna Winery has the most convenient location, right in the city centre, so no car is required. Agrolaguna is the largest wine producer in the region. They offer two different wine tastings: standard and premium wine tasting. Regular wine tasting costs 9€ per person and it includes tasting of their three wines accommpanied with a tasting of two extra virgine olive oils, and two cheeses. A premium wine tasting costs 13€ per person, and it includes tasting of their five wines, three extra virgine olive oils and two cheeses. Both wine tastings include a guided visit to their wine cellar.
Okay, I think I’ve listed enough reasons to visit Poreč, nietwaar?
(“nietwaar” is a unique Dutch world, something like “not true?” as a rhetorical question after a sentence. I love using it, I can’t think of a better way to express myself when wanting to highlight the meaning of the sentence.)
A little Dutch corner is over, have a great day!