In this second part of our Pula series, we are talking more about what kind of fun activities we did in Pula, and what sort of recommendations we have for you if you plan on travelling there too.
In general, the south of Croatia has been a more popular destination for tourists than the north of the country. Nonetheless, you can tell by now that there is a huge increase of German supermarkets and shops as the demand has considerably risen during the last years. Which means that activities in and around Pula are exploding too. Here are four fun activities we totally recommend:
- Dolphin watching during sunset
This was such an overwhelming experience. Actually, we booked this tour when we were going through our Pula-down (which of course wasn’t justified in the end), meaning that we didn’t expect much from the tour. If I remember it correctly, each of us paid 30euros, dinner inclusive. The tour was amazing, we got free drinks, that is wine, soft drinks and all that jazz and they even had a decent vegetarian option for me. The food was super yum and fresh, but still very authentic. And we’re lucky because we actually saw the dolphins! It was a beautiful experience. Croatian sunsets have an amazing reputation, but watching them offshore is even more magical. So we spend more than two hours at sea and returned when the sun had set. Just in time to marvel at the colourful lights of the Uljanik cranes. This boat trip was definitely one of the highlights of Croatia, if not of the whole holiday!
On our third day, we drove to a neighbour fishing town called Fazana. In terms of architecture, I preferred Fazana to Pula. It’s smaller, cosier and looked like I pictured the stereotypical Croatian fishing village: clear sea, the harbour in light stones and little, colourful houses. Besides the very crowded Verudela beach at Pula, we returned to Fazana to come to the beach which wasn’t as popular, but therefore a little bit more calm. The highlight in Fazana however, was that we (il)legally rented a boat. Well, we paid for it, we carried all the legal papers on board BUT none of us is in possession of a boat license. Apparently, it is OK for the kind of boat we had, but I’m still wondering if at that point it was more about the money than the laws. Anyway, Andy knew pretty well how to handle it, and after I’d finally overcome my trust issues (cough cough), it was a really fun experience. And it really wasn’t difficult to steer the boat, even I was able to do it. HOWEVER, there was something unexpected that happened to us. From one moment to the other, clouds were piling up in the sky, and the sea got rougher. At first, it was a bit daunting, but then we just started to really enjoy it and we were literally flying over the waves- until we reasoned that it was safer to return to the haven.
- Brijuni National Park
Only a couple of kilometre offshore Fazana are the Brijuni islands. After the Second World War, no one less than Tito used the islands as personal state summer residence. Besides from the beautiful residences and golf facilities, a variety of exotic animals, such as zebras and giraffes were imported as presents for Tito. After Tito’s death, the island was declared a National Park. Apart from the animal safari and the traces of richness, the archaeological and cultural heritage attracts many tourists. It also has nice beaches from which the sea is very easily accessible. It was a good experience to explore the island, to understand the hubris that shows so often as a side-effect of political leaders. Nonetheless, I believe that this trip has become very touristy, and is maybe more appropriate for people with smaller children (in particular regarding the train tour that takes you through the whole island).
We only spent one day in Porec, but it is a really charming city to visit. The promenade is really beautiful and little bit posher than in Fazana. The popular Euphrasian Basilica in the city centre is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Apart from walking around, we didn’t do much that day. The only thing I noticed that as a vegetarian, I struggled to find something appealing on the menu that wasn’t for children. So maybe that’s something to keep in mind if you’re vegetarian as well.For more visual impressions you should definitely check out our travel vlog.