By Iva Ralica
Istria offers beautiful scenery, beaches and activities to enjoy. This time we will explore its very south.
This month travel experts from leading UK newspaper The Telegraph selected Pula in its list of the 20 best destinations to visit in 2017.
Here are some things worth checking out in and around Pula.
1. Visit Brijuni
Heaven on Earth, the Brijuni islands, 14 of them, famous for their beauty, Croatian National Park where you can enjoy the beautiful sea in a more private atmosphere. You can take a tour by train or bike around the island, see not only the breathtaking scenery, but also the remains of the temple of Venus and Roman villa rustica from the I. century B.C., former baths that now house exhibitions, early Christian basilica and spacious Safari park and ZOO that is a home to an elephant called Lanka. Famous performances by Ulysses Theatre that take place mostly on Mali Brijun during the summer are also one great opportunity to meet a part of the Croatian theatre scene.
2. Amphitheater in Pula
Thu Pula Arena is the only Roman amphitheatre with four side towers and three Roman architectural orders preserved. It is a beautiful sight to visit because it could even take you some ancient times. On the other hand, you could well enjoy the present, when experiencing the open concerts of the world´s and Croatia´s great artist held here.
3. Forum and the Temple of Rome and Augustus
Pula is the largest city in Istria County with a long history. Together with the amphitheatre, it hides other well-preserved ancient buildings such as the Arch of the Sergii and the Temple of Rome and Augustus built on the Forum. It is one of the two best complete Roman monuments outside Italy, and stands to witness the rich past times of these part.
4. The Twin Gates and the Archeological Museum of Istria
One of the few remaining gates of the city wall leads to the Archeological Museum and the Roman theatre. The Museum displays treasures from Pula from prehistory until the Middle Ages.
5. Aquarium Pula
This aquarium is the biggest one in Croatia, with 2000 m2! Sea world of the Adriatic sea, tropical marine and the rich underwater life of European rivers and lakes can be seen here. It is located in the fortress Verudela, built in 1886 on the peninsula near Pula, and the whole city can be seen from the roof top.
6. James Joyce
The famous writer lived in Pula for a while in his early years and wrote what became Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man. Commemorating him, there is a seated, bronze statue at cafe Uliks where Joyce read his newspaper everyday.
7. Pula Film Festival
Originally hosted in the amphitheatre since 1954, this festival is now held on a few locations in the city. This international festival, held annually in the summer, was once a major glam-festival with “big” stars such as Elizabeth Taylor and Sophia Loren. Today it is the Croatian equivalent of the Academy Awards held in America with the awards Golden Arenas.
8. Porer lighthouse
A large rock with only a beautiful lighthouse called “Lantern” that was built in 1846. With a rich history behind it, and many winds it had seen, today, it is a room with a view , a perfect getaway for people seeking quiet and peaceful place surrounded by the sea.
9. Windsurfing at Premantura
Windsurfing as a passion! Enjoy the sea, wind and waves while heading towards the deserted islands near the coast. Clean water, sunshine and salt sea and pine wood odor – what more to ask? Check out more details here.
Today a modern center and once a small fishing village. Beautiful sandy and rocky beaches, such as Bijeca, sport activities such as football, horse riding, tennis, sailing, flying, diving and many other, as well as the Vižule archeological site and windmills near the sea will ensure a great vacation! And probably no need to mention great sea food and truffles to enjoy?