Porec, a tourist hotspot at the west coast of Istria, can be an interesting weekend getaway for anybody longing for some sea, sun and simple joys of life. The one rule I’ve followed while writing this post is to add only those things and places that require no car to be used.
Porec Guide: Day One
Within 5 hours drive from major European hubs, Porec is perfectly located for a weekend break, away from big cities. On the other hand, the closets airport with loads of low cost airlines flying in are Trieste, Treviso and Venice airport. You can also arrive in style with a boat connecting Venice and Porec (the boat service run from April to October).
14.00 Hotel Check-in
For your stay choose one of the hotels conveniently located at Porec seaside promenade in the old town Porec. Valamar Riviera Hotel & Residence is a 105-room hotel decorated in naval style. More intimate than Valamar Riviera Hotel, hotel Mauro is a 21-room hotel with nice outdoor terrace.
A 74-room Grand Hotel Palazzo is as close to the waterfront as it gets. And for a cheaper option opt for hotel Jadran, a 2-star hotel at Porec waterfront.
15.00 Explore Porec Old Town
Get lost in old town’s maze of narrow winding cobblestone streets and alleyways. Enjoy delightful architecture, venetian style houses, cozy cafes and souvenir shops. You probably don’t want to miss Unesco protected Basilica dating back from 4th century. Stop at Porec Heritage Museum. The museum was founded back in 1884., it is housed in the baroque palace. It contains many artifacts witnessing the tradition of living in this area through the centuries.
After a long stroll in the old town, stop for a well-earned break in one of numerous bars. Frank’ suggestion is Epoca Bar at waterfront promenade. If you love a glass of bubbles, order a glass of dry sparkling wine and watch the world go by. Aperitif comes with a complementary bowl of olives and some chips. Epoca bar overlooks Porec yacht dock.
For dinner head for one of the town’s popular restaurants. Avoid tourist traps with high prices and mediocre food. Frank would suggest dining by the water, at waterfront promenade. St. Nicola is the waterfront restaurant very popular among yachting clientele. It is a fine dining spot with really good food and extensive wine list, but it is also the most pricy restaurant in Porec.
Another option is restaurant Divino, just next to St. Nicola. Similar in style with a waterfront terrace and classy dining option, it is a notch bellow St. Nicola. But it is also more affordable, with prix-fixe three course menus on offer.
22.00 Late night fun
For late evening, you’ll be the best off parking yourself at Tequila. Unpretentious beach bar at beach just bellow hotel Zagreb. If you are more into house mood, head for Porec old town and dance a night away either at Saint & Sinner bar or at Villa Club.
Porec Guide: Day Two
Hotels offer breakfasts, but if you are in a mood to wander, head for one of Porec breakfast bistros. At the busy street, just above the church, there is an Alter Cafe, french style brasserie, offering excellent choice of patisserie and sandwiches as well as excellent selection of coffee and tea.
11.00 Be active
Depending on your taste you can either rent a bike, or enjoy water activities. Or do both. Rent a bicycle for an afternoon. Take one of Porec cycling paths and enjoy the ride. Cycle by the sea, through pine forest and olive groves to Zelena Laguna Resort. If you are in a mood for more cycling, just continue to the village Funtana, and off to Agrolaguna vineyards. This is a beautiful bicycle trail passing literally through the vineyards.
Sea aficionados can head to Zelena Laguna for some fun under the sun. Ski lift can be a great place to spend your afternoon. Porec ski lift offers water skiing with two speeds: 30 km/ hour and 58 km/ hour. With its 5 kickers and sliders and night skiing, it is the ultimate water activity in Porec.
If you are in a low activity pace, take a 5-minute boat to St. Nicola Island for some swimming and sunbathing, or simply rent a boat for a day and discover numerous Porec beaches.
17.00 Wine and/ or olive oil tasting tour
Late afternoon you should dedicate for one of numerous Porec wineries or olive oil mills. Istrian wines, especially its genuine sort malvasia, are of the exceptional quality. They are light, fruity and easy to drink. Istrian malvasia is a trendy wine you don’t want to miss.
As much as Istrian wine is great, Istrian olive oil is one of the best in the world. It is maybe less known than its spanish and italian counterparts, but nevertheless it is excellent. In Porec there is a big producer – Agrolaguna, with whom you can arrange wine and olive oil tasting.
One of the hidden and less known Porec restaurant is a restaurant Hrast. This restaurant is away from the main drag of restaurants on Porec seaside promenade but is worth seeking out. It has a superb terrace right above the water.
22.00 Late night out
Head to Marafor Square for a cocktail, glass of wine or schnapps shots. There is a handful of bars, with outside terraces and good vibe. If you are in the mood to dance the night away, head for Byblos, town’s popular disco and night club located in Zelena Laguna Resort. There is a regular transfer service from and to the town.
Porec Guide: Day 3
Another breakfast spot is Porec Tea & Coffee House. A lovely little bistro tucked away in a side street, close to Porec green market. As it names says, it offers wide variety of teas and coffees, as well as cakes and simple dishes.
This would be Frank’s suggestion for your 48 hours in Porec.