Poreč (Parenzo) is a town on the western coast of the Istrian peninsula; its major landmark is the 6th-century Euphrasian Basilica, designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The town itself is almost 2,000 years old and is set around a harbour protected from the sea by the small island of Sveti Nikola. Ever since the 1970s, the coast of Poreč and neighboring Rovinj has been the most visited tourist destination in Croatia.
Today, it is surrounded by large hotel complexes taking advantage of its less intense Mediterranean micro-climate but its historic centre is worthy of exploration and is easy to wander around on foot where you will see much evidence of Roman, Byzantine and Venetian architecture. The landscape has rich Mediterranean vegetation, with pine forests. The fertile red soil is ideal for the production of organic foods, olives, grapes and quality wine varieties such as Malvasia, Gamay, Merlot, Pinot, and Teran, an important part of Porec economy.
Marafore square was, in ancient times, the forum with important public and administrative buildings and temples. Some of the buildings located on the square have regained their public function – primarily the Town Library whose interior holds a fragment of the original ancient pavement. Ground floor areas of several buildings have become bars and restaurants, while a portion of the original Marafor pavement and the foundations of its buildings are visible on the north-west side of the Square.
The Euphrasian Basilica (Poreč's cathedral) is one of the most important cultural and historical monuments in Croatia, and its importance is recognised by UNESCO, when it was included on the world heritage list in 1997. The cathedral area is on the northern side of the Poreč peninsula and includes, apart from the church, the bishop’s palace, the font, valuable archaeological remains of older churches and mosaics.
Hotels to visit
The Boutique Hotel Mauro is situated by the southern walls of the medieval town of Porec.