By Johanna Menzel
A small bay in the crystal-clear sea, a romantic harbor, and sights from the Roman times which shine pastel-colored in the Croatian sun – you have arrived in Pula! The largest and oldest town on the Istrian peninsula is with good reason one of the most popular tourist destinations in Croatia. The port city bursts with life. No wonder that culture lovers, families and couples come here to enjoy the alleys and get a taste of the unique atmosphere. Pula combines holiday atmosphere, history and Croatian culture in such a perfect way; hence most holidaymakers have not been here for the first or last time. Its sheltered location and pleasant mild climate make the beginning of May to the end of October the ideal time to travel to Pula. Fly Aeolus has compiled you a bucket list with sightseeing spots and beaches you should not miss during your holidays in Pula.
Sightseeing during your holidays in Pula
Hard to miss and of great importance is the huge amphitheater, also known as the Arena of Pula. The ancient amphitheater is not only one of the most important landmarks in Pula, but it is also in the whole of Istria. It was built in the 1st century and is now the sixth largest arena in the world. As in the Colosseum of Rome, which was built at the same time, in Roman times and in the Middle Ages all kinds of battles were fought here. The Pula Arena is unique in its kind, as it has often been claimed that it is the “only remaining Roman amphitheater to have four side towers and with all three Roman architectural orders entirely preserved”. As a comparison, the famous Colosseum in Rome has had two-thirds of its original structure destroyed over the millennia.
Today, the arena hosts numerous concerts and events. One of the biggest is said to be the ‘Pula Film Festival’, which was first launched in 1954. A real tourist magnet, which you should definitely visit once during your holidays in Pula.
Temple of Augustus and Forum in Pula
Forum, the central square of the ancient and later medieval city of Pula, is located on the west side of the city. It was built in the 1st century BC in the designated square along with the buildings of the entire city administration. The forum in Pula also had two side temples besides the central one.
Only the Temple of Augustus has been completely preserved. It was used to build the town hall. Its impressive portico consists of six Corinthian columns of white stone blocks which are about 8 meters high. At the end of polytheistic antiquity, the temple became a church, then a grain silo and in the 19th century AD a museum. During the Second World War (1944) the building was bombed and severely damaged. The reconstruction lasted from 1945 to 1947 and today the temple is again a lapidarium (a place where stone (Latin: lapis) monuments and fragments of archaeological interest are exhibited).
Inside the Temple of Augustus there is a small exhibition where you can see ancient Roman stones, bronze statues and portrait busts. The entrance fee is only a few cents which equals to about 2-4 Kuna.
Venetian Fortress (Pula Castle)
Throughout its history Pula has been an important port for maritime traffic throughout the entire northern Adriatic. Therefore, during the times of the Venice Republic many fortresses were built on the territory of Pula, including a Venetian castle which was built on the highest hill of the city. Its task at that time was a defense one while today it is serving as a tourist attraction. The fortress was built in 1630 based on the sketches of the French architect Antoine de Ville. The ground plan of the fortress is quadrangular, and several polygonal bastions rise from the complex.
Today the walls house the Istrian Historical Museum. The collection starts in the Middle Ages and includes objects from urban and maritime history, shipbuilding, economics, and the military. A total of 40,000 exhibits are on display here.
Triumphal Arch of the Sergians
The 8-meter-high ancient triumphal arch is located in the pedestrian zone of Pula. It was built by the Sergii family in the years 29-27 BC and is therefore also called “Archs of the Sergii”. Salvia Postuma Sergia had this arch built at the family’s expense as a monument in honour of her three brothers who had died in the battle of Actium around 30 BC. The arch of the Sergii leaned against the former city gate “Porta Aurea”. Since it had gold-plated or gold-decorated arches, it was also called the “Golden Gate”.
Most beautiful beaches in Pula
Pula has become one of the most popular seaside resorts in Croatia. And rightly so there are many different beaches here, from pebble and rocky beaches to beautifully arranged sunbathing areas. Most of the beach sections also offer water sports like jet skis or pedal boats. Many of the beaches near Pula have been awarded the Blue Flag. The Blue Flag is a recognition for particularly clean beaches and clear water. Here is a list of our favorites you should definetly check out during your holidays in Pula:
Hawaii beach is located in the tourist zone Verudela bay, near the town of Pula. It is a pebble beach with a shallow entrance, which makes it interesting for families with children. The end of the swim line is marked by a chain. The sides are rocky, with a medium height they are suitable for water jumps.
Hawaii Beach is one of the most popular beaches in Pula, especially among the younger population. The name Hawaii was probably given to it because of the high waves during Jugo (a warm Adriatic wind) in the cove, which does remind of Hawaii.
Brioni beach is also located at the entrance to Verudela. It is located below the hotel owning the same name. The beach is a rocky beach with some paved parts. The beach offers a restaurant, a coffee bar, a kiosk, numerous props for water sports and various facilities for children. There are also outdoor showers, public toilets and changing rooms with the possibility to rent beach chairs and umbrellas. Bathing shoes are recommended because there are sea urchins in the water.
Located in the small St. John Cove this beach is covered with pebbles and boulders. On its sides it is surrounded by authentic holm oak trees. Ambrela beach is very popular among the local population and guests. Due to the gentle access to the sea it is also very suitable for families with children. Near the beach there is a restaurant and a lounge bar called Ambrela, named to the so-called beach. On the beach you can rent sun beds, umbrellas, and pedal boats. Also, this beach offers public showers, restrooms and changing rooms. The entrance is free and parking nearby the beach is equally free.
In Pješčana Uvala, which got its name after the beautiful sandy bay, there is a marine and a beautiful sandy beach with pebbles. It is surrounded by dense treetops that provide shade all day long. The sea is mostly calm and shallow, and the beach is limited by a protective line which makes it suitable for small children and non-swimmers. A promenade with many bars, quality restaurants and many tourist facilities stretch along the coast.
Are you spending your holidays in Pula together with your dog? You will find several dog-friendly bays around Pula. One of the most beautiful beaches for dogs is located in the bay Sakucani, south of Pula. If you want to fly to Pula with your dog, check out our blog “Relaxing Pet Travel by private jet or air taxi!”. See for yourself how easy it is to travel with your dog in an air taxi.
A day trip to Brijuni National Park
The Brijuni Islands consist of 14 islands which are located opposite of the Istrian town of Fazana. It can be reached in 20 minutes by car from Pula. It was declared a national park on 27 October 1983. The park covers a total area of 33.9 square kilometers. To reach the Brijuni Islands, you need to board a ferry in Fazana. You can check the ferry timetables from Fazana to Brijuni National Park here.
The archipelago consists of two large islands, Veli and Mali Brijuni, and twelve smaller ones. Due to the extraordinary beauty and mild climate since the beginning of the last century, the islands are a popular destination for tourists from all over the world. The edges of the islands are mostly flat and rocky, easily accessible with sandy and pebble beaches. It’s an absolute insider tip!
This picturesque area has always attracted people seeking peace and nature, it was inhabited in Roman and Byzantine times. The remains of Roman villas, luxurious furnishings and decorative mosaics testify to the attractiveness of the place. The most interesting are the remains of a Roman villa in Verige. In this complex temples of Neptune and Venus can be found. On the west coast of the island of Veliki Brijun in the bay of Dobrika, there are Byzantine castles and Byzantine basilicas that are still preserved. Ruins confirm the existence of settlements until the sixteenth century.
The White House on the island of Veli Brijuni was the summer residence of Marshal Tito, during his tenure for Yugoslavia, where he received many officials and delegations.
Today on the island of Veli Brijuni there are about 600 endemic plant species, mainly Mediterranean. In the north you can find a safari park with deer, zebras, ostriches, giraffes, and other animals. There are no cars or busses on the island, it is recommended to explore the island on your own by bike or scooter. If you are feeling less adventurous, choose an organized tour.
Private Jet to Pula
Augsburg (Germany) to Pula (Croatia)
Flight time: 2:26 h
Price: 5.434,80 € for 3 people (stay-over more than 4 days)
Did we spark your interest having holidays in beautiful Pula? Book your Fly Aeolus air taxi now and start your holidays without stress. Fly Aeolus can depart from smaller airports closer to your home. You don’t lose time in check-in or security queues at big airports. Check out your air taxi flight price departing from the airport closest to you to fly to Pula.
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