Luxury Vacation in Pula in Istria | Croatia Luxury Travel Blog
Luxury Vacation in Pula

Luxury Vacation in Pula

The 3,000-year-old city of Pula (Pola, Poła, Puola, Pietas Iulia, Pul, Pulj, Polei) is the most recognizable jewel of charming Istria. Nowadays this remarkable destination represents the mixture of cultural heritage, gastronomy, great traffic connection and serves as a road intersection perfect for visitors coming from all European directions.

Table of Contents

Wonderful Pula is located on the southern part of the Istrian peninsula, surrounded by the National Park Brijuni from the north and overlooking Italian Veneto on the west.

Pula coat of arms

Pula coat of arms, source: Wikimedia Commons, author: Conquistador

1. How to get to Pula?

No matter how you decide to reach Pula, you can do it easily. Since Pula has its own international airport (Airport Pula) it is well-connected to other parts of the world and the guests can travel and reach Istria easily. The flights to Zagreb are daily. The direct lines connect Pula with European destinations such as London, Manchester, Dublin, Edinburgh, Zurich, Amsterdam, Oslo, Vienna, etc. The airport is distant some 5 km from the center.

The town also boasts a train and a bus station. Pula is connected to the Croatian and Slovenian motorway network by the Istrian Y highway and with European countries through routes E70, E61, and E65.

The Istrian Y Highway

The Istrian Y Highway, source: Wikipedia, author: Jarba

Advice for travelers: if you are coming from the east reach Rijeka from Zagreb, further through the Ucka Tunnel and Pazin you will reach Pula. If you are traveling from the west use the direction Trieste – Koper – Buje – Pula. If you are coming by car from the north, the best would be to use the highway from Villach to Ljubljana, then follow directions to Kopar – Buje – Pula.

Panorama of the city of Pula, source: Wikipedia, author: Orlovic

2. Pula monuments

Pula abounds in the historical monuments, temples, and triumphal arches. The 3 most famous Pula monuments are the Roman Amphitheater, the Temple of Augustus, and the Triumphal Arch of the Sergi.

Roman Amphitheater

The Arena of Pula, the magnificent historic evidence of Roman times was built in the 1st century AD during the Emperor Vespasian reign. It is strong evidence of the Roman influence in this part of the world. The huge Arena could seat 20 000 spectators who enjoyed to watch the bloody gladiators' fights. Irresistibly reminds of the Rome Colosseum and was built in the same period. It is located outside the city center and has all four side towers completely preserved. Today it serves as a venue for different events – concerts, Pula Film Festival, etc. If you want to visit it adults will pay 70 HRK, students and children 35 HRK (Croatian kuna).

Roman amphitheater (Pula Arena)

Roman Amphitheater (the Arena of Pula)

Temple of Augustus

It was constructed after the death of the Emperor, between 2 BC and AD 14. It is dedicated to Emperor Augustus and the goddess Roma. It was destroyed in 1944 and reconstructed between 1945 - 1947. Once was a church, a museum for stone monuments, and a granary, but today here you can find a collection of ancient stone and bronze sculptures. Behind it, there is the Temple of Diana. Tickets for the Temple for Augustus for the adults cost 10 HRK, children and students will pay 5 HRK.

Temple of Augustus

Temple of Augustus, source: Pixabay

The Triumphal Arch of the Sergi – Golden Gate

Triumphal arches are one of the most influential and distinctive types of Roman architecture. The triumphal arch of the Sergi, named Porta Aurea of the Golden Gate because it had a lavish decorative arch or the gild on the town gate. With its 8 m high arch from the 1st century BC it is a majestic example of Late Hellenic Roman times. This magnificent architectural achievement built was erected between 29 and 27 BC by Salvia Postuma Sergi. The arch was dedicated to Sergi family members: Lucius Sergi, Lucius Sergi Lepid, and Gnaeus Sergi. They were in important positions in Pula in that period. Nowadays, various manifestations are held on the square.

The Triumphal Arch of the Sergi

The Triumphal Arch of the Sergi, source: Wikipedia, author: Diego Delso

Forum

The main square in Pula - Forum was once the nucleus of the city life. It was built in the 1st century BC and was the center of religious, commercial, administrative, and legislative life. Nowadays, the Forum is the center of the administrative and legislative life in Pula and serves as a venue for various cultural events in the summer period.

Pula Forum

Pula Forum, source: Wikimedia Commons, author: Berthold Werner

The Twin Gate in Pula

The Twin Gate in Pula or the Porta Gemina Gate is located on the north. It is a double-arched gate built in the 2nd century. Pula was once surrounded by 10 city walls and this was one of them, well-preserved and visible even today.

The Twin Gate in Pula

The Twin Gate in Pula, source: Wikimedia Commons, author: Marcus Cyron

Verudela Fortress

Verudela Fortress is a coastal fortress built between 1881 - 1886. Once part of the Austro-Hungarian defense system of the city of Pula defended the city from enemies from the sea. It is located at an altitude of 31 meters. Nowadays houses an attractive Aquarium Pula.

Verudela Fortress

Verudela Fortress, source: Wikimedia Commons, author: Michael Newman

3. What to do in Pula?

Once you visit Pula, get to know its streets, take a tour guide and after – explore the city by yourself. The coastline around Pula is 30 km long, so if you visit it between June and September, we recommend going to one of the beaches.

Cape Kamenjak

Nature park Cape Kamenjak is the southernmost point of the Istrian peninsula. It is a part of Premantura village that is some 10 km from Pula. Cape Kamenjak has wonderful bays and beaches and is a must-visit. You can reach it by boat, car or on bikes. For pedestrians and cyclists, access is free of charge.

Nature park Cape Kamenjak

Nature park Cape Kamenjak, source: Pixabay

Pula Virtual Reality Experience – Virtual tour through Roman Pula

Book this unique walking tour in Pula and experience the city in a whole new way! The latest VR-Technology provides you this possibility by using virtual glasses, VR-Application, and a digital map. It is a great way to spend a few hours enjoying this visual and auditory experience. You can book a tour with a licensed guide or a self-guided tour.

Pula Virtual Reality Experience

Pula Virtual Reality Experience, source: TZ Pula

Verudela Underwater Park

The Verudela Underwater Park is located in the Brioni Hotel. It provides a unique feeling of the Istrian underwater world. You can learn a lot about the species of this area, observing sea urchins, feeding fish, and just enjoying the peaceful feeling that water gives. The underwater park has almost 200 m2 and its depth reaches approximately 4 meters.

Verudela Underwater Park

Verudela Underwater Park, source: TZ Pula

Aquarium Pula

The Aquarium is located within the 130-year-old Verudela fortress. Nowadays is inhabited by different fish species from the Adriatic and Croatian lakes and rivers. This is a perfect choice for a day trip with children.

Aquarium Pula

Aquarium Pula, source: Pixnio, author: Christels

Pula Castle Kastel exploring

Pula Castle is a fortress on a hill in Pula. It was built by the Venetians between 1630 – 1633 in the French style. Kastel was used for defense and control of the Adriatic. From here you can take great pictures of the Pula Arena because it serves as an impressive viewpoint. If you are planning to enter the fortress you will need to pay a small fee and take a look around its artwork and war exhibits. Nowadays, it houses the Historical and Maritime Museum of Istria.

Historical and Maritime Museum of Istria

The Museum is situated on the highest hill in Pula, between the hills Arena, Sveti Mihovil and Zaro, and the sea. It is a County institution that has a national heritage, from the Middle Ages to nowadays. The Museum has several departments with more than 40 000 artifacts. 


Historical and Maritime Museum of Istria

Historical and Maritime Museum of Istria, source: Wikimedia Commons, author: Diego Delso

Archaeological Museum of Istria

It was opened in 1949 as the specialized Archaeological Museum. Marshal Marmont started collecting the museum collection in Pula and that is how the museum was founded. Nowadays, the halls are being constantly enriched with the findings from the caves, Roman prehistoric findings, hill forts, sacral objects, etc. It is worth visiting!

Archaeological Museum of Istria

Archaeological Museum of Istria, source: Wikipedia, author: Orlovic

Museum Olei Histriae - The House of Istrian Olive Oil (Olive Oil Museum)

The Mediterranean part of Croatia has always had a long tradition of olive oil making. Istrian olive oils are considered to be one of the best in the world. In this museum, you can learn about olive growing in Istria. Every visit to the museum includes oil tasting with an expert. Here you can buy Istrian olive oil from different producers. Audio-guide is available in 12 languages. There is a kids-corner so you can leave your kids while you taste this gift of the earth. For adults, the price is 50 HRK, for children from 6 - 15 years of age is 25 HRK. Address: St. Theodore street 1a, 52100 Pula. You can check their website here.

Museum Olei Histriae - The House of Istrian Olive Oil (Olive Oil Museum)

The House of Istrian Olive Oil - degustation, source: Museum Olei Histriae

Memorial Room of Antonio Smareglia

A memorial room is dedicated to an Italian composer who was born in Pula and lived from 1854 – 1929. The materials were donated by the composer’s late daughter, her two children, and the composer’s great-granddaughters. Composer’s birth-house is located at the address: Augustov prolaz 3.

Antonio Smareglia - Italian composer born in Pula

Antonio Smareglia - Italian composer born in Pula, source: Wikipedia, Fonte Storico Ricordi, Collezione Digitale Ricordi

Pula Market Place

Dalmatian cities have a tradition of purchasing goods at the market (Pazar). One famous is in Split, but Pula town also has a city market worth visiting. You can buy fresh fruit and vegetables and fish in the indoor fish market.

Pula market hall

Pula market hall, source: Wikimedia Commons, author: Michael Bechtold

Galleries

The city center is full of galleries. We recommend visiting the town gallery Pula in Kandler street 8, and the Museum and Gallery Center “Sacred Hearts” (“Sveta Srca”) in Pula, address: De Villeov uspon 8.

The Museum and Gallery Center “Sacred Hearts” (“Sveta Srca”)

The Museum and Gallery Center “Sacred Hearts” (“Sveta Srca”), source: Wikimedia Commons, author: Orlovic

Winter Season

Pula and Medulin are perfect during winter because Arena Stoja Camp and Grand Kazela Camp remain open throughout the year.

If you are interested in more events in Istria in 2021, check out the list on this link.

4. The most interesting tours from Pula

Brijuni National Park

Brijuni National Park, source: NP Brijuni

Brijuni National Park

Brijuni National Park is of the most attractive tourist destinations in Croatia. The archipelago is located some 6 km from Pula. It is well-connected with Fazana port by a daily boat service. Veliki and Mali Brijun are 2 larger islands, that attract a large number of tourists. More details can be seen on the official website of the National Park Brijuni. You can buy tickets here.

Brijuni island

Brijuni island, source: Wikimedia Commons, author: Logica olgica


Brijuni map

Brijuni map, source: Wikipedia, author: David Orlovic

Swimming around St. Jacobs island and beaches near Pula

In summer, sunbathing is definitely the best activity we can do for our health. The best beaches in Pula vicinity are: beaches on Saint Andrew island, Ambrela beach in the tourist area of Verudela, gravel Centinera beach on Frasker island, a well-equipped pebble Pjescana Uvala beach in the city, Verudela beach in  Pula on the peninsula of Zlatne Stijene, a rocky Lighthouse beach on the Zlatne Stijene peninsula, a pebble Havajka beach, Sveti Ivan beach Pula made of small gravel, a rocky and gravel beach in Saccorgiana Bay, a beach of the Golden Rock, the beach Mornar and Soline bay, the bay of Gortan beach, a paved Valkane beach, a pebble Stoja beach, Prostina beach near the Stinjan peninsula, the rocky sheltered beach in Muzilj bay.

Havajka Beach

Havajka Beach, source: Wikimedia Commons, author: Gwenael Saint-Genest 

Pula Seaside Bike Adventure

You can enjoy biking in small groups of up to 8 persons and explore the whole Pula area in an amazing adventure route. You can explore extraordinary coves, and beaches and relax while swimming, snorkeling in the crystal clear sea, jumping from the cliffs, and learn something more about the history of the town.

Bike adventures are the best for exploring a new area

Bike adventures are the best for exploring a new area, source: Pixabay

Cape Kamenjak Bike Experience

The Cape Kamenjak, located on the very south of the peninsula, is a perfect place for your action-packed holiday. You can explore islands, high sea cliffs, rocky coves, hidden caves, and the untouched nature of the Cape. After a bike tour, you can jump to the sea and relax in the magical views of this most southern tip of Istria. Taking great pictures will be inevitable. You can visit the Safari Bar that offers meals and drinks. 

Cape Kamenjak – swimming after a bike tour

Cape Kamenjak – swimming after a bike tour, source: Wikimedia Commons, author: Stefan Dreisiebner

5. Gastronomy in Pula

Pula has a long tradition of winemaking, fishing, and oil production, and those ingredients are the basis for many traditional dishes, in Istria and Dalmatia, as well.

In the Riviera Pula and Medulin, you can visit numerous bars and taste the diverse gastronomic offer. Istrian traditional food such as fuzi, gnocchi, pljukanci, Istrian prosciutto, various fish specialties, truffles, and other examples of modern cuisine. It will fit better with the typical Istrian wines, Malvasia and Teran. Try adding the internationally awarded Istrian olive oils. For dessert lovers, we suggest trying pulacinke (pancakes).

Olive Oil Museum in Pula, source: Museum Olei Histriae

Some of the best restaurants in Pula are Restaurant Oasi, Ribarska Koliba Restaurant, Restaurant Milan, Piazza Nove, Restaurant Farabuto, Vodnjanka – Trattoria, Valli Delicious Restaurant, Epulon Food & Wine Restaurant...

If you prefer konobas, with more traditional Dalmatian food feel free to visit Konoba Batelina with a famous Croatian chef David Skoko, Konoba Boccaporta, and Konoba Istriana

If you are a fan of a good old pizza like many people, we recommend going to Pizzeria TiVoli, Asterix, Peekaboo, and Peperoncino.

Istrian Truffles – the gourmet gem

Istrian Truffles – the gourmet gem, source: Wikimedia Commons, author: heatheronhertravels 

6. Villa selection in Pula area

Our enviable villas selection includes villas in or in the vicinity of Pula town.

Villas for events:

If you are looking for villa/villas for events for a large number of people our Energy Villas Complex in a quiet Istrian village is a perfect choice. A magnificent property with a surface of 11 000 m2 consists of 3 villas: Villa Energy Platinum with Pool, Villa Energy Gold with Pool, and Villa Energy White with Pool. All together they perfectly accommodate up to 34 persons. The terrace-set pools are idyllic as a venue for all kinds of events and private celebrations, wedding receptions, business presentations, yoga retreats, team buildings, etc.

Energy Villas Complex in Rezanci near Pula

Energy Villas Complex in Rezanci near Pula

Villa Energy Platinum with Pool is set on a lavish property of 7000 m2. It is 30 km away from Pula town. It has everything you need for your perfect stay in Istria: luxury accommodation in the middle of greenery and natural environment, a large pool, spa and fitness room, game room, different courts, walking trails wood near the villa. A 4-bedroom villa is suitable for up to 10 persons. You can book all 3 villas of the same Energy Complex.

Villa Energy Platinum with Pool and the spa

Villa Energy Platinum with Pool and the spa

Villa Energy Gold with Pool is a 5-bedroom villa set on a lavish property with walking trails and different sports facilities. It can accommodate up to 12 persons, 10 on main beds, 2 on extra beds. Villa can be booked with Villa Energy Platinum with Pool and Villa Energy White with Pool.

Villa Energy Gold with Pool - wonderful pool area

Villa Energy Gold with Pool - wonderful pool area

Villa Energy White with Pool is a 5-bedroom villa and is suitable for 12 persons. Villa comes with a huge garden, a large swimming pool, walking trails, spa and fitness room, game room. It can be booked with 2 sister villas: Villa Energy Platinum with Pool and Villa Energy Gold with Pool.

Energy Villas Complex in Rezanci near Pula

Energy Villas Complex in Rezanci near Pula

Luxury villas:

If you are looking for luxury villas near Pula please check our villas:

Villa La Vie with Pool  in Medulin is a 5-bedroom villa that sleeps up to 10 persons, stretches on 3 floors. Villa offers stunning views of the sea and the surroundings, gym room, sauna, indoor Jacuzzi, relaxation beds…


Villa La Vie with Pool in Medulin, Pula area

Villa La Vie with Pool in Medulin, Pula area

Villa Orchid with Pool in Pula is a modernly-designed 4-bedroom villa with a sauna and Jacuzzi. Its stunning yard with an alfresco dining area is perfect for a family and a group of friends. This villa is a great starting point for your active-packed holiday in magical Istria.


Villa Orchid with Pool in Pula by night

Villa Orchid with Pool in Pula by night

Family villas:

Villa Bambina with Heated Pool is a charming 4-bedroom villa situated in Krnica near Pula. With its lovely child-friendly yard is a perfect place for a vacation with kids. Villa sleeps up to 9 persons and is just 3 km away from the beach.

Villa Bambina with Heated Pool – the garden

Villa Bambina with Heated Pool – the garden

Villa Ambienta with Heated Pool   placed in greenery boasts 4 bedrooms, tennis court, Jacuzzi, sauna, and a spa chair. Villa is surrounded by lush Mediterranean vegetation. This mansion is 3 km away from the villa.


Villa Ambienta with Heated Pool – the court

Villa Ambienta with Heated Pool – the court

Holiday Home Green Escape with Pool, located on a verdant property is an idyllic villa for people who seek complete relaxation. Let this picture-perfect 4-bedroom villa with an alfresco summer kitchen be your nest during your holiday in Istria!

Holiday Home Green Escape with Pool and stunning garden

Holiday Home Green Escape with Pool and its stunning garden

More details regarding our villa selection can be seen on this link

For more information please contact our VIP Concierge team.

Pula Verudela

Pula Verudela, source: Wikimedia Commons, author: Gwenael Saint-Genest

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