Porec is just 40 minutes by car from Rovinj. An easy drive, very well sign-posted and definitely worth it to see this lovely Roman town which juts out into the blue Adriatic. We found a parking space close to the centre and set off to explore.
Porec is probably the most popular resort in Istria. The marina with its flashy boats is a good place to start. We strolled around, Son played on the shingle beach and paddled in the sea. Check out that water again – crystal clear.
Tito planned to use resorts like Porec to draw in much needed currency from all over Europe. It worked and thousands of visitors came. The war dented tourism, but left no physical damage. Today Porec is again a busy resort with plenty of cafes, bars, restaurants and boat trips. We easily found the Basilica of Euphrasius – the main reason to visit. This is Europe’s second oldest basilica, built in the 6th century it has glittering mosaics, marble columns imported from Constantinople and fine sculptures. It is UNESCO protected, extremely well preserved and an absolute must see. Inside it is quiet and atmospheric. We saw older mosaics near the main door that have been uncovered below floor level. These date to the 4th century. The wooden pews on the other hand are positively modern – they just date from the 15th century!
Son spotted steps to climb and was off like a rocket. There are 120 to be precise taking you up to the steeple. Well worth the climb and the small charge for the panoramic views of Porec and its environs.
Basilica done, our afternoon was spent wandering around the town. We stopped for delicious pizzas in the main square, then loitered in the narrow streets and alleyways. The town is small but perfectly formed and picturesque with its red roofs and cobbled streets. Towering above everything, wherever you go is the campanile.
We found an aquarium in the centre and paid to go in. Big disappointment – just one little room and we were done in 5 minutes. Add to that dirty tanks and the saddest array of sea creatures ever – we should have given it a miss. Son liked it though.
On the way back to Rovinj we took the coastal road and found Limski Fjord. Lots of boat trips take tourists here from all the resorts, however coming upon it on our drive back was an unexpected treat. We parked right at the water’s edge. Peaceful, quiet, lovely vistas and more of that amazingly green-blue crystal clear water.