Porec is the most popular holiday resort in Istria and is frequently named the top resort in Croatia by the Croatian National Tourist Office. There are over 100,000 beds available in the area, but hotels and other facilities are widely spread so the place never feels too crowded.

The main tourist areas are two bays south of the town, called Zelena (Green) and Plava (Blue) Laguna (lagoon). They are almost like small towns, with several hotels in each, as well as camping facilities, a marina and shopping and entertainment areas. Most visitors stay in one of the two.

If you’re in the main part of town and fancy a bit of swimming and sunbathing, head to nearby Sveti Nikola island which you can reach by a regular boat (the journey is only a few minutes).

Porec harbour

Getting to Porec

It is more than likely that you will fly to Pula, which is the main airport in the region – see our Getting to Istria page for details of flights to Pula from the UK, Ireland and Europe. From the airport, there are public shuttle buses that operate to Porec – see the timetable on the FILS website.

For more options, you could also transfer to the main bus terminal in Pula (either by taxi or transfer bus) and then take another bus from there to Porec.

Alternatively, you may like to arrange a private transfer from Pula Airport directly to Porec, which may not work out too expensive if there are a number of you travelling together. Pula Airport is about 34 miles/55km south of Porec.

You could also fly to Trieste and then get a bus to Porec, or fly to Venice and get a catamaran across. See our guides on travelling from Trieste and Venice to Croatia for details of bus and catamaran routes.

History of Porec

Porec’s history extends far, far back to prehistoric times. The largest settlement during this period was called Picugi, which was home to an Illyrian tribe called the Histri (which is where Istria gets its name) in around 800 BC.

In 129 BC, the Romans succeeded (after various attempts) in capturing Istria and the Roman settlement Parentium – present-day Porec – emerged and evolved. It grew in strength and importance and included Roman military and army bases.

After the fall of Rome, Porec came under the rule of various empires until it became part of the Venetian Empire in 1267 under whose control it remained until 1797. During Venice’s reign, Porec suffered considerably from plagues over the centuries so its population – which at one point was a healthy 3,000 people – only topped 100 people by 1646. The Venetians therefore brought in people from Dalmatia, Bosnia, Montenegro and Albania to help bolster the population of the town.

When the Venetian Empire fell, Porec came under the control of the Austrian Empire until 1918, when it once again became Italian, as part of the Kingdom of Italy. During this period, the Slavic population was oppressed and some left to live in the Kingdom of Yugoslavia.

Porec suffered quite badly during World War II, and was heavily bombed by the Allies, especially so during 1944 when 75% of houses in the town were destroyed.

Istria (and Porec) was assigned to Yugoslavia in 1947, and in 1991 was part of Croatia when it declared independence.

Sightseeing in Porec

Given the town’s long history, a visit to the Old Town is a must due to its numerous historical sites. In particular, the 6th-century Euphrasian Basilica (below) is wonderfully preserved and is well known for its beautiful gold mosaics. The Basilica is really a collection of various buildings, including a baptistry and the Bishop’s Palace. Entry to the church is free, although a small donation is much appreciated. The Basilica was declared a UNESCO World Heritage site in 1997.

Porec - Euphrasian basilica
The atrium of the Euphrasian basilica

Spend time strolling the Old Town‘s numerous little cobbled streets is the perfect way to really get a feel for the town and how it once was. The Decumanus is the main street in Porec which runs east-west through the centre of the old town. It was also the main road during prehistoric and Roman times.

Marafor Square (Trg Marafor) is where a Roman forum was once situated. Parts of two temples – to Neptune and Mars – can still be seen here.

North of Marafor Square, the Parliament Buildings (of the then Istrian regional parliament; the buildings are now a museum) can be found. These were converted from a Franciscan church which was built in the 13th and 14th centuries.

The Romanesque House is quite a striking building with the Old Town (o Marafor Square) that hails from the 13th century. Unfortunately not in the best of shape these days, it is still worth seeking it out to admire it’s unusual wooden balcony structure.

An aerial view of Porec Old Town

Baredine Cave

Located just outside of Porec, Baredine Cave stretches down 132 metres in depth (although visitors only go down to 60 metres) and covers five “rooms”. The cave was created through water movement millions of years ago; the water helped creature the crystalline forms visible, stalactites and stalagmites and numerous underground stone sculptures – some of which have now been given names such as “The Snowman”. Baredine Cave has a permanent air temperature of just 14C (so bring a jacket when you visit!) and you might be able to view the cave’s resident, the olm (a salamander creature).

Entry to the cave includes a guided tour that can be conducted in different languages.

There are additional attractions in the surrounding area to the cave, including Traktor Story – a collection of tractors and farm equipment – a playground and a small collection of farm animals, a geological exhibit, and a small restaurant serving traditional Istrian cuisine.

Nearby animal attractions

Papago Park, located just outside Porec, covers an area of 30,000 square metres and is home to over 200 birds of 30 different species. Visit to view macaws, plenty of colourful short and long-tailed parrots, waterfowl, exotic birds and more.

Dinopark Funtana is an absolute must for any dino-obsessed kids. It is a dinosaur theme park that offers several rides, plus a dinosaur show, multiple playgrounds and even a small zoo. (Not featuring dinosaurs!)


The Yellow Submarine is essentially a sem-submarine that sets sail from the centre of Porec slightly out to sea to allow visitors to see the wonders of aquatic life. After sitting up on the deck when the boat sets sail, descend into the glazed cabin to see the many Adriatic fish.

Aquacolours Porec is an aquapark/waterpark – the largest in Croatia, no less – that offers all manner of fun water-based activities. There are plenty of tranquil options for those of you who aren’t thrill-seekers such as the family rafting slide. On the other hand, there are also lots of adrenaline-inducing slides, including the free-fall slide and the multi-surf slide. Of course, there is also a fun kid’s crocodile pool with lots of mini-slides for the younger ones, plus a playground if they want to spend time outside of the water. And the biggest draw must surely be Crocodile Cave Bar – a swim-up bar for adults where you get served from…a giant crocodile’s head!

If you’re a bit of a petrolhead and need your motor-racing fix whilst on holiday, Motodrom Porec is the place you need to head to. Karting is the order of the day here, and there’s mini-karting for younger motorists too. If that’s not enough, there’s also a quad-biking trail here…and paintballing.

If a trip to Baredine Cave (see above) has inspired you, Speleolit offers the amazing opportunity to try out a professional guided rope descent into a cave. Participants can be aged 9 and above.

Skyfox Adventure Park is an aerial adventure course for several different ability levels, with an 800-metre-long zip line and a standard climbing wall too.


Porec is lucky to have numerous beaches all along its coastline, many of which are right by particular hotels and apartments. You’ll likely be only a few steps away from being able to dive right into the Adriatic!

Parentino Beach to the north of town offers plenty of the typical beach facilities as well as bars/cafes for when you get hungry, plus shade from the pine trees next to the beach. Lovely views of Porec Old Town too.

Porec - Parentino Beach
Parentino Beach

A little south of the centre of town is the Town Beach which is a rocky/pebble-y beach (bring your water shoes). There’s plenty of shade from the nearby pine trees when the sun gets too hot, and there’s also a nearby playground.

For a sandy beach option, head to Sveti Nikola island for Maro Beach, a small but very pretty beach. You can rent beach furniture, enjoy a drink in the cafe, or have a bit of bouncy fun on the inflatable water park.

The two aforementioned bays, Plava Laguna and Zelena Laguna, are home to their own beaches that serve many of the surrounding accommodation sites. Both are of the pebble variety, and both offer numerous facilities such as changing cubicles, cafes/bars, water sports offerings and more.

Day Trips from Porec

One of the most relaxing day trips you can make from this town is a boat trip to the Limski Kanal (Lim Channel) near Vrsar, an unusual 12-km-long channel that is similar to a Norwegian fjord. Many companies offer such boat trips (ask locally), most including a simple fish lunch on board, and the trips may also include a stop in Vrsar, or even Rovinj as well. Take a look below for some options:

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It is possible to head to Venice on a day trip utilising one of the Adriatic Lines fast catamarans. It is quite a long day – you leave Porec early in the morning and only arrive back in the evening, and the sailing is 4.5 hours each way. However, it’s a great opportunity to visit the amazing Italian city if you’ve never been before.

Eating and Drinking in Porec

The award-winning Restaurant Spinnaker offers a wonderful fine dining experience with beautifully presented dishes – they are practically works of art! The freshest local ingredients are combined in sometimes unexpected ways to produce masterful plates. There’s an “Istrian Stories” tasting menu, with all dishes connected to locations in the region, or a “New Stories” menu which includes options such as octopus and duck.

Casa Manzolin is another special option, located in a pretty setting right in the heart of the Old Town, serving traditional dishes with an excellent wine list too.

Tunaholic Fish Bar is a truly modern “fast food” kind of place with all the dishes beautifully presented with care and attention, and thoroughly tasty too. The inventive burgers – with tuna, shark, sardine or salmon options for the filling – come piled high whilst there are also fish and chips and fish and rice bowls available.

Torre Rotonda is a spectacular place for drinks, located as it is at the top of a 15th-century Venetian tower that offers a view and a half. Come for a coffee during the day and cocktails at night.

Pizzeria Nono (Zagrebacka ulica 4) is definitely the place to come for hearty pizzas, although it’s certainly a quick “chow down your food” kind of place.

Sveti Nikola restaurant is located right by the harbourfront – you can’t beat its location. This one is another option for a special occasion, with expertly presented dishes such as their meat (steak) and fish specialities.


The Parenzana Bike Event takes place each year at the end of April/early May. The Parenzana Trail is located on what used to be a narrow-gauge railway stretching from Porec to Italy; these days it’s a lovely bike and walking/hiking trail. The event starts and ends at Cave Baredine and there are two trails that will be used on the day – one 15km in length, the other 30km in length. After the cycling participants will gather for a lunch and musical entertainment. Pre-registration is required.

Porec hosts the large-scale Vinistra wine fair every May. A great opportunity to come and sample some local wines!

The Mediterranean Summer Tango Festival takes place over six days in June each year.

A farmer’s market selling products made by Istrian producers (honey, wine, olive oil, fruit and veg items, natural cosmetics) takes place on the main Trg Slobode late on Thursday afternoons each week through the summer months.

A garlic festival is held in Porec each early August – just the place to pick up all your garlic products!

Porec Dolphin is a fun swimming event held at the end of August in which participants can compete in different swimming courses just off the coast of Porec – the shortest course is 500m in length whilst he longest is 5000m. Even children can take part, although the must be accompanied by an adult.

Accommodation in Porec

Take a look at the search map/box below to view the wide variety of accommodation options in the town, both hotels and rentals:

Please see our Accommodation in Porec page to see the range of hotels, apartments, rooms and more available in the town.

General Info

More information online can be found on the Porec Tourist Office website or at the Istria Tourist Board’s section on Porec.