Sunday, 21 February 2021

People Also Ask Google: Is Porec in Croatia Worth Visiting?

February 21, 2021 – Continuing the TCN series answering the questions posed by Google's People Also Ask function. Is Porec in Croatia worth visiting? The shortest answer would be – of course – and here are all the reasons why.

What is Porec like in Croatia?

Located on the west coast of the Istrian peninsula in Croatia, Poreč can most simply be described as a seaside town with many tourist attractions but also with a rich and indispensable cultural history. It is perhaps best known as the home of the Euphrasian Basilica (so-called Euphrasiana) from the 6th century, one of the seven UNESCO's world heritage sites in Croatia.

However, in the last few years, Poreč has been filling newspaper columns as one of the best cities to live in Croatia, which has been contributed to by its economic, cultural, and social development. A famous tourist town that lives throughout the year? It seems like it could be. Since I have been spending almost every summer in Poreč since I was born, I would unquestionably like to get to know it better from the perspective of living in it. Maybe one day, but for now, I will focus on what I know Poreč is worth visiting for.

Historic center: Is Porec in Croatia worth visiting for culture and heritage?

Apart from the aforementioned Euphrasian Basilica, a must-see cultural site to visit, the whole old Poreč city core is a cultural monument. The peninsula on which the old town of Poreč is located hides historic traces dating back thousands of years. The main street that passes through it – Decumanus – is full of tourists in summer due to its numerous shops and restaurants. At the intersection with Cardo Street, the so-called Dekumanova Street reveals several Gothic and Baroque palaces.



The Euphrasian Basilica in Poreč is one of the most beautiful preserved monuments of early Byzantine art in the Mediterranean.


Built in the 6th century during Bishop Euphrasius, after whom it is named, the Euphrasian Basilica is famous for glittering mosaics dating from the 3rd century. The picture shows the Euphrasian Basilica's apse decorated with Byzantine mosaics.

At the entrance to Dekumanova Street from Sloboda Square, attention is drawn to the Pentagonal Tower, at the top of which is a restaurant. At the top of the nearby Round Tower overlooking the waterfront, tourists love to enjoy a cafe.


Dekumanova Street / Decumanus Street in Poreč

Evidence of life from ancient times is hidden near the oldest square of Marafor. Also, Poreč is the proud home of the largest Roman shrine in Istria, the Large Temple, and to the north of it are the remains of the Temple of Neptune.

For me, one of the usual evening activities in Poreč is a walk through the old town in the mentioned Decumanus Street, as well as along Poreč's lungomare or Ante Šonja Coast, with a romantic view of the north side of Poreč – Peškera Bay (where the city beach is located), Pical, and Materada. I call it the quiet side because there are no stands on it, for which the other part of the city is famous, just the open sea in front of you, with some lighthouse flashes.


The old town of Poreč and Poreč lungomare / Romulić and Stojčić

I usually continue my walk along the coast to the newly renovated city waterfront, i.e., Marshal Tito's Coast, thus embracing the entire old core of Poreč. I admire numerous yachts, tourist boats, and fishing boats moored in the Poreč port along the waterfront side.


Last year, the Poreč waterfront, an integral part of the Poreč old town, got a new attire – new facilities with signposts to the old town's sights. / Poreč Tourist Board

Is Porec in Croatia worth visiting for beaches and sports activities?

I stayed in Poreč during all stages of my life – from a playful child, through a demanding teenager, to a serious student – and at no time was I bored in Poreč, nor my parents who have been spending their summers in this beautiful Istrian city for almost 30 years. As we are a family that likes a combination of active and lazy holidays, we love Poreč because we get both there – beautiful and clean beaches, as well as many cultural, gourmet, adventure, fun, and sports facilities.

As my all-time favorite activity is rollerblading (and as I'm not a fan of swimming), I enjoy long rides from the center of Poreč along beaches trails. There is a crystal clear sea on one side of the trail, while on the other side, there are various sports and catering facilities. The first beach to reach is Beach Brulo. Located in the mild Mediterranean and sheltered bay, surrounded by pine trees, it is ideal for a real summer vacation.


Brulo Beach / Croatian Tourist Board

The trail along the coast goes all the way to Poreč Blue Lagoon, Green Lagoon, and White Bay, beautiful bays and hotel resorts. I recommend the popular tourist train that goes from the south side of Poreč Riviera! Also, If you like cycling and similar recreation, you will love cycling in Poreč.

As there are pebble, sandy, rocky, and concrete beaches, you will indeed find a beach tailored to your needs in Poreč. In 37 kilometers of the Poreč shore, there are as many as 22 beaches with a Blue Flag, an international symbol of clean sea and landscaped coastline. That is as many as 20 percent of all Blue Flags which flutter along the Croatian coast!

What I always liked about beaches in Poreč are numerous fun activities, such as water sports – pedal boats, canoes, paragliding, banana boats, parasailing, aquapark, and sports facilities such as tennis courts, volleyball courts, and mini-golf.

It is important to emphasize that the City of Poreč works tirelessly to provide access to all cultural facilities to people with disabilities. For example, last year, they carried out an adaptation project in the Euphrasian Basilica, and many beaches have been adapted for people with disabilities.

Our all-time favorite daily activity is visiting the Saint Nicholas island across Poreč, also known as Valamar Isabella Island Resort. In the summer months, the island is connected to the Poreč waterfront by a full-day ferry line. The boat from Poreč to the island goes every thirty minutes in both ways. The boat ride takes only five minutes, and the ticket price is 40 kunas (5,30 euros).


The island of Saint Nicholas in Poreč and Isabella Castle, Valamar Isabella Island Resort / Poreč Tourist Board

I recommend visiting this lovely island across Poreč at least once during your stay to enjoy beautiful, clean, and tidy beaches. It has always been a kind of undiscovered place for my family and me, even before it was renovated by Valamar, the biggest tourism company in Croatia. A nice walk around the island to experience nature's calmness and see the old but now renovated Isabella castle is a must!

On the island and in the whole city, a lot of effort has been put into facilities and activities for children. Along the beaches, you can find numerous children's playgrounds and toboggans. Poreč invests a lot in education, which I witnessed last year when I found out they even have summer tourism workshops for children. Also, children's camps are organized on the beaches, where you can often see many animators with groups of children. There is also a diving school on Brulo Beach.


Poreč Tourist Board

Is Porec in Croatia worth visiting for daily boat excursions?

Daily boat excursions from Poreč to surrounding bays and cities are among the most popular activities among tourists. While walking along the waterfront during the evening, when many tourist boats are waiting for their next venture, you can book one-day boat trips to Rovinj, Vrsar, and Lim Fjord, fish picnic trips, and submarine ride. You can also find boats and taxi boats to the nearby Poreč bays, such as Green Lagoon, Blue Lagoon, and White Bay.

One of my earliest travel memories was a one-day trip to Venice from Poreč when I was eight, which I totally recommend. Even though I have seasickness, my first trip to Italy was by boat from Poreč, and I absolutely loved it. Hopping to another country and another city in the middle of your holidays was so exciting back then, and I hope that soon the circumstances will allow the like journeys again.


Tourist boats in the Poreč waterfront / Poreč Tourist Board

Is Porec in Croatia worth visiting for nightlife?

Here comes the fun part. During the summer evenings, at the beginning of the city waterfront, you will not be able to miss the sounds of the world's greatest hits and dance rhythms from the famous Poreč club Saint & Sinner.

There is no shortage of night bars and clubs in the city, and the Poreč casino is also popular. Various performers (most often musicians) perform at the summer terraces of hotels and restaurants almost every day. One of the most famous such summer bars is the Lapidarium.


Saint & Sinner / Poreč Tourist Board

At the very top of the Poreč peninsula, at the foot of the Riviera Hotel, music from the attractive Palazzo Club attracts attention. Besides, there are numerous lounge and beach bars by the sea.

I also remember seeing organized transport vehicles around Poreč offering transport services for party people to the nearby famous nightclub Byblos. I'm sure I'm not the only one who is nostalgic about crazy summer parties! Last summer, it was relatively quiet in Poreč, but let's hope for the better in the upcoming summer season.

As for parties, Poreč is also known for hosting Poreč Open Air Festival, an all-summer-long festival that consists of street performances, music nights, cinema, theatre, and special events. The MTV Summerblast in Poreč was also held, but due to the current situation with the coronavirus, the holding of all festivals is uncertain for now.

Is Porec in Croatia worth visiting for gastronomy, adventure, and education?

Although the temperatures in Poreč are high and the sea is warm, I will not lie - almost every year, I experience one rainy day during holidays. However, such days allow me to explore Poreč and its surroundings.

In addition to the many hotels and apartments, many famous restaurants and cafes in Poreč offer only the best Istrian delicacies. Getting to know the local specialties is an indispensable part of getting to know the destination. In Poreč and Istria, those are, among others, truffles, olive oil, Istrian prosciutto, Istrian boškarin beef, asparagus, and seafood, offered in best of Poreč offer. Along the Dekumanova Street in the old city core, you can find many patisseries with ice cream.


Istrian food - scallops, mussels, oysters / Poreč Tourist Board

I don't have to emphasize the importance and popularity of Istrian wines and wine roads. One must taste them when in Poreč, but what surprised me last year was the favorite activity of Istria people – truffle hunting. It was the best activity for me in the whole visit to Poreč and Istria the previous year, and it is worth experiencing!


As part of a truffle hunting tour, we ate an Istrian specialty - scrumbled eggs with black truffles / Donatella Pauković

And since Istria has been named the best olive oil region in the world for the sixth consecutive year, my next visit will for sure include olive oil roads in the Poreč hinterland.

Near Poreč, there are many entertainment and educational facilities, such as Motodrom Poreč with karting. In addition to karting, many other activities are offered: bigfoot riding, cross-kart driving, segway, quads motor wheels, paintball, and Adventure Park SkyFox. It is possible to ride horses in the nearby horseriding centers in Poreč.


Motodrom Poreč / Donatella Pauković

A few years ago, we spent a day visiting the Baredine Cave, at the bottom of which we saw one of the few specimens of a human fish. I recommend the Baredine Cave if you get bored of the heat because by descending to a depth of 60 meters, the air temperature also drops to 14 degrees Celsius, which is a shock compared to the outside 30 degrees during the summer days.


Human fish in the Baredine Cave near Poreč, Istria / Donatella Pauković

If you want to get the best from water experience, near the tourist resort Zelena Laguna in Poreč, you can enjoy the largest Croatian water amusement park – Aquacolors Poreč. Also, the attractive Aquapark Istralandia, recently named fourth best water park in the world, is only a 20-minute drive from Poreč.

If you want to learn something about astronomy, the Višnjan Observatory, one of the 12 most productive observatories in the world of all time, is 16 kilometers away from Poreč. During 2018 and 2019, the Observatory discovered and documented over 1,400 asteroids, and recently, as part of a crowdfunding campaign, they secured funding for further investment in scientific and educational facilities.

Conclusion: Is Porec in Croatia worth visiting?

Suppose you want to have active holidays, then yes. In that case, Poreč is worth visiting because it offers a combination of lovely beaches, city sights, beautiful sunsets, rich culture, numerous sports and adventure activities, great food, and even a great nightlife. Poreč simply has it all.

I have visited Poreč countless times in winter when it turns into a quiet town without tourists, and I would always rejoice to see some pizzerias, restaurants, and cafes open even during the winter. Poreč is also a host to many sports teams during winter, who do the preparations for sports competitions in six Poreč sports halls. Did you know that Poreč will soon even have a football camp? It is the result of a long-term investment in sports in Poreč.


Poreč Tourist Board

It is fascinating to me how every Croatian city and place hides many interesting facts, and sometimes it is challenging to discover them all in one visit. Therefore, I know there is a lot more to do and see in Poreč, and I can't wait to revisit it.

Although I have traveled a large part of the Croatian coast in my 24 years and the mainland, I think there is always something new to explore in Croatia, and I'm looking forward to finding out more about my beautiful country in the future.

To follow the People Also Ask Google about Croatia series, click here.

Tuesday, 21 July 2020

Poreč Secures Accommodation for Possibly Infected Tourists

July 21, 2020 – Traveling during the coronavirus pandemic represents many challenges. One of those challenges is how to take care of infected tourists. In Poreč, Istria, all tourists are provided with care in case they have symptoms of coronavirus. This challenge is overcome by securing organized accommodation for infected tourists, as well as for their families.

Information leaflets

Upon arrival at the accommodation, whether it's a private accommodation, camp or hotel, every tourist receives a leaflet with the phone number to call in case of a suspicion of coronavirus symptoms. The leaflets are provided by Poreč Tourist Board to be as transparent as possible and to inform tourists, which they consider very important. They can also be found on the Poreč Tourist Board website.

"We are working to ensure that our guests are well informed about the situation, starting at the border crossing. Also, we want to assure them that they will have someone to take care of them and have their loved ones taken care of if anything happens when they arrive in the destination,“ says Nenad Velenik, the director of Poreč Tourist Board.

Accommodation near Poreč

All useful information can be found on the leaflet. If a tourist comes to Poreč and notices symptoms of coronavirus, he can follow the instructions explained on the leaflet and contact a doctor. The tourist is given the opportunity to be tested for coronavirus. The on-duty medical team will meet the tourist at their accommodation (so that the tourist suspecting they might be positive move around as little as possible), and they're tested. If the guest is positive to coronavirus, he continues the treatment at the Pula General Hospital.

"The tourist's family can then decide to wait for their return from the hospital, or returning home,“ Velenik explains.


Source: Poreč Tourist Board

If everyone in the household is negative to coronavirus, they can easily cross the border and return home. However, if they want to stay, they have a secure place near Poreč. Thus, people who have been in direct contact with infected people will be accommodated near Poreč.

Care for both tourists and renters

The recommendation of the Croatian Institute of Public Health obliges them to organize accommodation for potential patients. The Poreč Tourist Board director points out, they must „do everything in our power to make tourists feel as safe as possible and return home as happy as possible”.

Apart from tourists, the Tourist Board also takes care of accommodation renters.

"We never leave our renters aside. They always have a community that takes care of the things and, of course, we promptly report all possible changes,“ adds Velenik.

The Tourist Board must protect both themselves and their guests.

“The whole system has done a good job, which may not be seen enough, but the daily misinformation of foreign media about the security situation in Croatia is denied,” says Velenik and adds that they emphasize the fact that Istria has a low rate of illness and death.

This season has been the most demanding one in Croatian history in general, as Velenik describes it.

“I hope we will not have any sick guests at the destination which is a very good opportunity for the future. We are looking to survive this season so that we can do our best in the future to position ourselves and then begin to function normally,” concludes Velenik.

Tuesday, 21 July 2020

Number of Tourists in Poreč Rose from 500 to 15,000 in a Month and Half

July 20, 2020 – The Poreč Tourist Board expects 35 to 40 percent of last year's traffic and 50 to 60 percent of hotel occupancy compared to last year.

In the middle of July in Poreč, Istria marks the beginning of the peak of the tourist season, but this year, due to the coronavirus pandemic, there are far fewer tourists than in 2019. However, despite the worse situation compared to last year's record year, in the past month, the city of Poreč in Istria has recorded a significant increase in the number of tourists. As the director of Poreč Tourist Board Nenad Velenik said, at the beginning of June there were only 500 guests in the city, while on July 19 they have 15,000 guests, and that number is growing every day. From the beginning of the year to the middle of July, 400,000 overnight stays were realized in Poreč, which is approximately 28 percent compared to last year.

Private accommodation safest

Velenik adds that they expect "between 35 and 40 percent of tourist traffic compared to 2019 that was a record year in which we recorded 3.5 million tourist overnight stays“. He considers this a solid result, not a good one.

Poreč is among the top destinations in Croatia in terms of tourist overnight stays. As Ajna Temimović from the City of Poreč explains, together with the municipalities of Tar-Vabriga, Funtana, and Vrsar, which naturally gravitate to Poreč, about 10 million overnight stays a year are realized on the 70-kilometer-long coast, which makes up almost 10 percent of Croatian tourism. This year, the leading places are the ones in the safest conditions, which are private accommodation. It gives guests much more privacy and security which is very important at the moment. This is followed by overnight stays in camps, and then hotels that are gradually opening their doors and filling up as the peak of the season approaches.

"Today, Poreč is primarily a hotel destination and they felt the biggest change,“ Temimović notes.

"We plan to have hotels between 50 and 60 percent full by the end of the tourist season compared to last year, which is an excellent result,“ says Velenik. This result is expected if the epidemiological conditions allow it and if there is no re-closure of borders.

Favorable conditions

"We must take into account that Istria as a region is already positioned in our emitting markets,“ Velenik points out.

Poreč, but also the whole Istria are the closest destinations with the warm sea for tourists from Europe. Their guests come by car, mostly from Germany, followed by guests from Slovenia, Austria, the Czech Republic, and Italy.

“Certainly, the biggest role is played by the fact that Istria is a traditional car destination, but a great contribution is given by quality work, preparation and communication with many regular guests. All emitting markets have put Croatia on the green list, except Slovenia. Also, for the markets of Russia, Ukraine and Great Britain, guests have no problems accessing Croatia and local facilities,” says Tamimović.

When favorable epidemiological conditions are added to all this, Istria is a destination that guests still want to visit.

“Those are our comparative advantages,” Velenik explains.

_MG_6213 - Copy.jpg

Source: Poreč Tourist Board


Also, all restaurants are open. Some of the caterers are recording even 65 percent of the last year’s traffic, which is better than what is expected for this year in July.

“The ones who found their niche worked well last year and this year. The ones who did not, unfortunately, will suffer this year, just like the rest of us”, explains Velenik, adding that we’re all in this pandemic together.

As Temimović explains, “good results are certainly recorded by holiday villas, but also by all those who have attracted guests with the quality of their offer”.

She adds that Poreč has provided a total of 12 relief measures to help its businessmen during limited or prohibited work caused by a coronavirus, such as write-offs for renting terraces or business spaces.

Tourists must enjoy the destination

In this whole situation, the positive thing is that the waiters can be more dedicated to the guests, which is extremely important at this point. On the other hand, tourists can currently enjoy the cultural manifestations in Poreč that epidemiological measures allow. Those are concerts of classical music in the Euphrasian Basilica every Friday and jazz concerts every Wednesday in Bar Lapidarium, whose capacities are 30 to 40 people at a sufficient social distance.

“I notice that the guests are happy to come and praise the fact that we adhere to the measures and that they have an exclusive. The concerts are top-notch and the guest has an exclusive viewing of it. It's not overcrowded. A few bright tones and moments in this misfortune”, says Velenik.

The atmosphere in Poreč is relatively lively, even though the dynamic of life in the city has changed. Poreč has always been a city of numerous events, but this year it was temporarily suspended.

“It is felt that the habits of tourists have also changed, that today they may be looking for some different content, avoiding larger gatherings,” says Temimović.

Transparency and improvement

In addition to the quality catering and cultural offer, the Tourist Board makes sure that their guests are well-informed. The Poreč Tourist Board is working hard to ensure the safety of tourists. Their goal is for tourists, regardless of the pandemic, to enjoy what the destination has to offer.

Despite the 2020 crisis, Poreč has managed to realize one of the largest capital projects that is the arrangement of part of the city waterfront. They are also planning to arrange the rest of the old town core, but also the rest of Poreč and its surroundings.

“Of course, the plans from the beginning of the year had to be adjusted, but the City will do everything it can, within its capabilities, to maintain the achieved social, communal and social standards, which is why it has been declared the city with the best quality of life in Croatia in its category”, Temimović concludes.

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Saturday, 15 June 2019

After Promising Pre-Season, Poreč Ready for Excellent Tourist Season

As Glas Istre/Davor Sisovic writes on the 14th of June, 2019, a good pre-season is a cause for the expectation that the main tourist season in Poreč will be excellent, said Poreč Tourist Board's Nenad Velenik, announcing that next season, in summer 2020, will be prepared for and run more differently than ever before.

As the post-Easter Catholic holidays during which tourists typically come to Istria in a larger number decreased back in May 2018, falling similarly once again this year in June, the results of tourist traffic in most Croatian tourist destinations for the first five months of this year have been worse than they were during the same period last year. Poreč has recorded 130,000 tourist arrivals and half a million overnight stays from January to the end of May, which is 17,000 overnight stays less than were recorded during the first five months of last year.

While this doesn't necessarily sound very promising, this is in fact very good, as a worse outcome was actually expected.

''We expected a worse result given the fact that last year, Poreč enjoyed a record 3.4 million overnight stays. Easter and May the 1st were excellent, and the beginning of June has also been very good, better than it was last year, said the director of the Poreč Tourist Board, Nenad Velenik. The total registered accommodation capacity in Poreč is 32,000 beds, of which 17,000 beds per day are full during the pre-season.

Although half a year ago, warnings about a lack of seasonal workers was being warned of as an acute and serious problem, the Istrian town's numerous tourism companies haven't been complaining about their lack of a workforce in recent weeks. Velenik believes, therefore, that the area's hoteliers were properly prepared for the tourist season and brought in their workforce from other countries on time.

''We're a multicultural environment and everyone who wants to work here is welcome to,'' said Velenik.

On the ''eve'' of 2019's main tourist season, a major public tourist investment was completed in Poreč: Materada beach was renovated and restored to its full glory, a project worth 5.7 million kuna, out of which 1.5 million kuna was settled by the town's local tourist board.

There are plans for several more investments in Poreč's overall tourist infrastructure, which will not be completed this season, because no major works can be completed during the main season. By the end of this year, the plans to have an adrenaline bike park in Poreč's bathing area worth 750,000 kuna, in the future the plan is to build an outdoor playground for children, also located in the same area with a price tag of 300,000 kuna, and the Poreč façade will continue to be renovated this year, with an investment of 250,000 kuna, which also contributes positively to the public image of Poreč as a tourist destination.

In addition to all of the above, 5.2 million kuna has been allocated for various manifestations due to take place in Poreč.

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