A Croatian classic
Porec, in the middle of the Istrian Riviera, is a pretty city that stretches across a peninsula and looks out onto a cluster of exotic islands. There’s Roman architecture, Venetian houses and a Byzantine Basilica here – not to mention plenty of bars, clubs and discos. In the background, the rolling olive groves and hilltop towns make this the Adriatic version of Tuscany, while the beaches between here and Zelena in the south are all within 30 minutes on a dinky road train.
Porec and Zelena are connected by 5 kilometres of rocky coastline, with little scalloped coves. Along the way there’s lively Plava Laguna – this stretch of water begins up at Porec Town Beach, the city’s most popular swimming spot. It’s dotted with shady pines and comes with bars, cafés and a children’s playground. There’s more of a party vibe at Delfin Beach, 30 minutes’ away in Zelena – here there’s volleyball, jet-skis and parasailing, along with a pulsating music bar.
Porec is well-placed for daytrips to Rovinj and Pula, both on the Istrian Peninsula and less than an hour’s drive away. There’s the old town in Rovinj, famous for the artists’ workshops on Grisia Street, and the huge Roman amphitheatre – Croatia’s answer to the Coliseum – in Pula. For a more subterranean experience, the Baredine Caves are 15 minutes’ drive away. Here you can spot blind white salamanders among the towering stalactites and stalagmites.