Hotels in Pula
Places similar to Pula to visit
Discover the beauty of the westernmost region of Croatia with holidays to Istria. Nestled between Slovenia, Croatia and Italy, this heart-shaped peninsula is framed by rugged natural landscape and the tranquil blue of the Adriatic Sea.
The Istrian Riviera promises an authentic holiday experience, attracting foodies and history buffs from across the globe. Here you can uncover its fascinating past, unwind on pebble beaches and wander around bustling seaside towns.
Home to a Roman amphitheatre, a 150-mile stretch of coastline and numerous watersports facilities, there’s plenty to see and do. This idyllic part of Croatia boasts many outstanding resorts, the most popular being Pula and Rovinj – often referred to as the Pearl of Istria. Whether you’re visiting as a family or planning a peaceful retreat as a couple, Istria has something for everyone.
Italian and Balkan Influences
Istria showcases a fusion of Italian and Balkan influences. Until the early 20th century, Istria was part of Italy, the impact of which still echoes throughout the entire region today. You only have to visit one of the picturesque vineyards or villages to understand why it’s often referred to as the new Tuscany.
Istria’s Italian influence is strongly apparent in its cuisine, and homemade pasta dishes dominate much of the food scene here. The coastal location means shrimp and other seafood dishes are also popular throughout the region.
As the largest city in Istria, Pula is one of the most popular resorts among holidaymakers. Its impressive amphitheatre points towards the city’s Roman history and is an essential point of interest for those who want to learn more about Istria’s past.
Pula also boasts a range of exquisite restaurants serving traditional Istrian cuisine. From Tivoli to Epulon Food & Wine, there are plenty of delightful eateries to explore. And of course, this breathtaking resort isn’t short of beaches. Soak up some rays and relax with a book on Gortan Cove Beach, or head over to Hawaii Beach and enjoy an afternoon of snorkelling.
Rovinj’s cobbled streets and awe-inspiring architecture charm holidaymakers year after year. This town was originally an island until its narrow channel was filled around 250 years ago.
Rovinj is lively with galleries, cafes and an active fishing port, and there are plenty of sightseeing opportunities available. Gaze up at the Church of St Euphemia – the largest Baroque building in Istria. Or spend some time in the Old Town before heading to the harbour for a bite to eat.
If fun-filled activities are on the itinerary, why not try out scuba diving? Explore the Baron Gautsch wreck and witness the ancient remains of a boat beneath crystal-clear waters. Or for something more laid-back, stroll along the Golden Cape – one of the most beautiful stretches of landscape in Istria.
Ever-popular with sun-seekers, the town of Poreč offers something for families and younger crowds alike. From buzzing cocktail bars to a plethora of rocky and sandy beaches, there are plenty of reasons to visit Poreč.
Poreč is rich in history and is home to the Episcopal Complex of Euphrasian Basilica, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Other must-visit spots include the Roman temple, the town walls and the Round Tower, which dates back to medieval times.
This area is also the best cycling destination in Istria. Those who fancy a spot of exercise during their holiday can hop on a bike and explore the 250 kilometres of trails. And when the sun sets, you can sample delectable grilled meat, pasta and seafood dishes at one of Poreč’s many restaurants.
More Travel Guides
Rovinj holidays are postcard-perfect. A cluster of pastel-coloured townhouses adorns the peninsula, framed by the brilliant-blue Adriatic Sea. In the morning, St Euphemera, a Baroque church rising above the hilltops, rings its bells to awaken the city. And if you’re staying near the port, you’ll probably hear the sound of the morning catch being hauled in.
Holidays to Rovinj feature beaches with a faraway feel, stunning Italianate architecture and a foodie scene that punches well above its weight for a town of this size. This is one of Croatia’s Michelin-starred destinations, but you’ll also find affordable, family-run restaurants with sea views, where you can tuck into some of that freshly-caught seafood, washed down with local Istrian wine.
Take a wander up the cobbled streets of Rovinj’s old town to browse the local arts and crafts. One of the most popular spots is Grisia street, which is home to several quirky galleries and cute cafes. To get a real feel for the city, explore its fishing traditions with a visit to the Batana House Boat museum, then stroll along the pine-fringed coastal path until you find a wild cove where you can lay down your towel and dive into the Adriatic.
Find your private paradise
The coastline looping around Rovinj is wild and rocky, and there are plenty of secluded bays and coves where you can enjoy peace and quiet. With fine shingle and easy access, the city beach is ideal for families looking to cool off. Or you could hike to the Golden Cape, a forested peninsula where you’ll find the bulk of the hotel resorts, hidden amongst the pines. With private beaches and elevated bars, you can enjoy the sunset as the sky turns brazen shades of orange at sunset – sit back with a cocktail and soak up the view.
Immerse yourself in ancient history
The Italian-influenced Rovinj is brimming with history and culture. This former island was once surrounded by stone walls, and you can still see some of them around the old town. Connected to the mainland in the 17th century, the town grew rapidly as people fled the plague that afflicted the neighbouring towns of Porec and Pula.
Walk up the sloping cobbled streets until you reach the hilltop and the Venetian-style church that overlooks the city. Here you’ll find the remains of Saint Euphemia, preserved in a sarcophagus dating back to the 6th century – alongside a wealth of antiquities and religious art. Wander past the crumbling walls that once guarded this church, where you’ll stumble upon the occasional bar or cafe nestling among the ruins.
Dress up for dinner
Rovinj is easily one of Croatia’s most luxurious destinations. Even the nightlife here is sophisticated, with fine-dining restaurants and wine bars where you can hear the tinkling of piano keys alongside the crashing waves. Sip on a cocktail or two at a harbourside bar and enjoy the lively atmosphere while taking in the views of the stunning coastline.
The legendary Monte restaurant is an excellent choice if you’re looking to fork out for a fancy meal. Expect exquisite gourmet cuisine, and a price tag to match. On the waterfront, a cluster of family-run restaurants provides a typical Istrian welcome and simple, affordable dishes. Try the local specialities like Istrian black Fuži pasta, served with lashings of truffles.
More Travel Guides