Pula is situated on the tip of the Istrian peninsula, and its beautiful harbour and wealth of Roman architecture attract travellers from all over the world. Boasting year-round sunshine, Pula is a busy city and a commercial hub of the Croatian coast, yet it maintains the atmosphere of a classic Croatian town. The Romans placed Pula firmly on the world map in 177 BC, and while it doesn’t really have much of a seafront today, Pula continues to delight guests with its beautiful architecture and its image as a vivacious Riviera town. Pula’s classical and medieval sights - namely the impressive Roman amphitheatre - mixed with its bustling crane-rigged harbour make it an excellent destination on your sailing holiday in Croatia.
The star of Pula’s fantastic Roman architecture is the well-preserved Roman amphitheatre in the centre of the city. The city of Pula revolves around this incredible structure, which even doubles as a venue for summer concerts and events, hosting the Pula Film Festival in July each year. Threatened with destruction several times over the years, the Roman Arena is today the 6th largest surviving arena of its kind.
Pula’s city square was constructed on the site of the ancient Roman Forum, and today the Forum is a thriving accumulation of modern cafes, restaurants, bars and ancient architecture. Here, you’ll find City Hall, built in the 10th century, and the impressive Temple of Augustus, built for a Roman emperor in 2-3 BC. The Triumphal Arch of Sergii, the Twin Gate of Dvojna vrata and the Hercules Gate of Herkulova vrata are also sights not to miss.
Just a short sail south from Pula, a series of lovely beaches and coves await at the resorts of the Veredula Peninsula. The beaches in Punta Verudela are mostly pebbly with crystal clear water, and can get very busy in the summer. These include Ambrela, Havajsko, Valsaline and, further around, Banjole beach. But sail a few more kilometres south and you’ll find Kamenjak beach, a stunning and protected beach near Premantura, which is often more quiet.
A must-do while visiting Pula – and something perfect for having your own private boat – is to sail around to the incredibly beautiful Brijuni National Park. Brijuni is made up of two main islands – Mali Brijun and Veli Brijun – and around a dozen islets. Only the largest island, Veli Brijun, can be accessed by public ferry, so chartering your own boat and sailing through these pristine waters to quiet, hidden coves and islets is absolutely perfect.
While you’re anchored in Pula, be sure to stroll the Sergijevaca street, where many shops, stalls and restaurants lie. Some of the other sights to see are the Malo rimsko kazaliste, a small Roman theatre, and the Mornaricko groblje and Mornaricka crkva, an old sailor’s cemetery and church.
Pula has its own Airport, with daily flights from Zagreb and most other European cities. Pula has a scheduled bus transfer that makes trips from the airport into the main bus station in the city centre, or alternatively, you can take a taxi. The large central bus station connects Pula to all other Croatian and European destinations via bus routes.
Pula, the largest town on the Istrian peninsula, offers a diverse array of attractions for lovers of culture, history, architecture and naturally beautiful landscapes. This stunning stretch of coastline is ideal for sailing from cove to beach to bay and then anchoring in Pula’s safe and exciting harbour. Pula is a perfect stop as you sail Croatia, and it’s just waiting for you to arrive.