How you react to POREČ (Parenzo) may well depend on what time of year you arrive. From May to late September, Istria’s largest tourist resort can seem positively engulfed by mass-market tourism; outside this period it can be just as charming as any other well-kept Mediterranean port. Happily, Poreč’s gargantuan hotel complexes are mainly concentrated in vast tourist settlements like Plava Laguna and Zelena Laguna to the south, and the town’s labyrinthine core of stone houses – ice-cream parlours and tacky souvenir shops notwithstanding – remains relatively unspoiled. The main points in Poreč’s favour are the Romanesque Basilica of Euphrasius, Istria’s one must-see ecclesiastical attraction, and the town’s transport links, which make it a convenient base from which to visit the rest of the Istrian peninsula.

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