This post may contain affiliate links, which means I may receive a commission, at no extra cost to you, if you make a purchase through a link. Please see my full disclosure for further information.

17 Amazing Day Trips From Pula Croatia

Looking for the best day trips from Pula Croatia? I’ve got you covered!

Istria is my absolute favorite region in all of Croatia. It is so breathtakingly beautiful, with endless rolling hills, fairy-tale villages, and the most spectacular rugged coastline you’ve ever seen. And let’s not forget the sprawling olive groves and vineyards that carpet the landscape—perfect if you’re keen to sample some of the local flavors (trust me, you’ll want to!).

Since moving to Croatia in 2014, I’ve made it a tradition to visit Istria every year, sometimes even multiple times per year, because I simply just can’t get enough. If you’re in Pula, consider yourself perfectly positioned to dive deep into everything Istria has to offer.

There is so much to see beyond the Roman Arena Pula and other historical sites, and I’m here to show you all of them in this Pula travel guide!

Planning a day trip from Pula?
🚗 You’ll need a car to get around! Rent a car here.
🚑 Make sure you have travel insurance.
📱 Stay connected on the road with Airalo.
🗺️ Get your FREE Croatia Google Map with over 500 location pins.

1. Rovinj

A day trip from Pula to Rovinj is a fantastic choice (and my number one recommendation)! Rovinj is the most darling town in Istria, characterized by a cluster of pastel-painted houses crowded onto the seafront of a pedestrian-only peninsula.

Walking through the maze of cobblestone streets is like walking through a storybook. The streets are lined with local boutiques, art galleries, and ateliers filled with unique and handcrafted items.

While you can easily get lost in the streets on your own, you’ll want to join a walking tour of Rovinj for insider tips and recommendations from a local.

A charming view of Rovinj Old Town in spring, with the iconic church tower rising above terracotta-roofed houses, framed by vibrant pink blossoms in the foreground, under a clear blue sky.

2. Bale

Bale is not too far from Rovinj and is a super cute town to walk around. It’s quite small, so I recommend going in the evening and enjoying a dinner on the terrace of Hotel La Grisa. Be sure to try their fuži s boškarinom, a traditional Istrian pasta dish.

It’s also a good idea to combine your visit to Bale with a nearby winery. Relais and Wine San Tommaso is a foolproof choice for a wine tasting in the relaxing setting of a traditional Istrian village. I stayed at this 150-year-old estate in 2020 and got a tour of the facilities as well as sampled all of their wines and highly recommend it!

For a more upscale experience, make your way to Meneghetti Wine Hotel & Winery, an elegant and romantic property set amongs Istrian vineyards and olive groves. Here, you can do a wine tour and tasting, or if you decide to splurge and spend the night, you can take advantage of their beach club, bike trails, and spa.

A serene scene at San Tomasso Bale in Istria, with a woman in a white, flowing outfit standing by a tranquil swimming pool that reflects the surrounding trees and the stone facade of an elegant building. The setting sun casts a soft, warm light, enhancing the calm and picturesque atmosphere.
Hanging out by the pool at San Tommaso.

3. Vrsar

Not quite as well known as its sister town of Rovinj, but equally charming. You’ll experience less crowds here and get a more authentic feel for Istrian life. Set atop a hill with breathtaking views over the sea, and just a stone’s throw from the impressive Lim Fjord, Vrsar is an ideal destination for a Croatia road trip or a leisurely day trip from Pula.

The tiny town is a web of cobblestone streets and colorful houses with one of the most scenic harbors in the region. Nearby, pristine beaches with crystal clear turquoise waters await! So you have an ideal balance of cultural explorations and beach relaxation in Vrsar.

Over 500 locations at your fingertips

Get access to my 🇭🇷 Croatia Google Map for FREE, including my top recommendations for restaurants, bars, beaches, must-visit attractions and more. Drop your email below and I’ll send it to you so that you can travel Croatia like a local! 🇭🇷

    We respect your privacy. Unsubscribe at any time.

    4. Poreč

    If you’re into history, then you’ll love Poreč. In addition to being a popular resort town among European travelers, Porec is well-known for its 6th-century Euphrasian Basilica complex located right in the heart of the Old Town. The basilica is a treasure trove of Byzantine art, featuring stunning mosaics and offering a fantastic view of Pula from the top of its tower.

    Beyond its historical allure, Porec has some amazing beaches along the seaside walkway, Šetalište Antona Ninija Štifanića. This area is also a hot spot for outdoor activities, with options for parasailing, diving, beach volleyball, and kayaking.

    The tower of the Euphrasian Basilica in Porec rises towards a clear blue sky, punctuating the landscape behind well-kept cream-colored buildings with terracotta roofs. Lush green trees and a well-manicured lawn in the foreground complete this serene scene.

    5. Brijuni National Park

    A day trip to Brijuni, also known as Brioni, is a classic day trip from Pula. You can venture there independently by driving to Fazana and catching a ferry, or opt for the ease of an organized day tour. Brijuni is a stunning archipelago off the Istrian coast, known for its unspoiled beauty and a scattering of uninhabited islands, except for a few exotic animals that add a touch of the wild to the serene landscape.

    Once there, you have the freedom to rent a bike and meander through the islands at your own pace. Alternatively, a guided tour can take you to some of the more hidden parts of the islands, ensuring you get the full experience of this pristine natural retreat.

    🏨 Find the perfect hotel in Pula to take day trips from!

    A woman walks along a pine needle-strewn path flanked by tall, slender pine trees in Brijuni National Park, creating a peaceful and secluded atmosphere.

    6. Cape Kamenjak Nature Park

    Kamenjak Nature Park, situated in Premantura at the southernmost tip of the Istrian Peninsula, is about an hour’s drive from Pula Old Town. Trust me, it’s a trip worth making, as this park is home to some of the most beautiful Pula beaches!

    The scenery here is simply stunning, with fragrant pine trees providing plenty of shade and majestic cliffs that invite you to dive right into the crystal-clear waters below. If cliff jumping isn’t your thing, no worries—there are also plenty of serene pebbled beaches to enjoy. This area truly captures the rugged beauty of Istria’s coastline and should not be missed.

    7. Motovun

    Motovun is an enchanting hilltop village that is not just a gem of Istria—it’s one of my absolute favorite places in the region. Crowned with medieval walls built in the 14th century by the Venetians, a stroll along Motovun’s perimeter offers picturesque views of lush vineyards, the serene Mirna River, and the truffle-rich forests that have put Istria on the culinary map.

    This area is well known for its award-winning wines and olive oil production, but it’s the truffles that really steal the show. If you’re up for something truly special, you can join a local truffle hunting expedition to really immerse yourself in the culture and gastronomy of Istria.

    Hilltop town of Motovun in the middle of a valley in central Istria.

    8. Grožnjan

    Don’t be deceived by its quaint size—Grožnjan, or Grisignana as it’s known in Italian, is a hilltop haven bursting with artistic spirit. Since the 1950s, when artists began to populate its medieval structures, Grožnjan has transformed into a haven for creatives, earning the nickname “the town of artists.”

    This town is a personal favorite of mine and is just a 15-minute drive from Motovun, so you can easily combine the two towns into one day trip. While smaller, Groznjan offers a unique vibe with its cobblestone streets lined with local art galleries and chic boutiques.

    While exploring, don’t forget to stop by Truba Bar, a cool music-themed cafe-bar, to grab a drink or a snack and soak in the local atmosphere.

    📍 Find the exact location of Truba Bar in my FREE Croatia Google Map

    A woman walks in contemplation through the cobblestone streets of Grožnjan, passing by historic buildings with weathered facades and arched doorways. A sense of tranquility is conveyed by the gentle architecture and the presence of blooming flowers on windowsills.

    9. Momjan

    This day trip from Pula is more of a relaxing, hedonistic one, where you’ll spend the entire day indulging in good food and even better wine!

    Just an hour’s drive north of Pula, the medieval village of Momjan dates all the way back to 1035! Nestled around the remains of the ancient Momjan Castle are fertile valleys covered in vineyards taht produce some of the finest wines in Istria.

    A must-visit is the Kozlovic Winery, where you can enjoy a wine tasting on their gorgeous terrace and tour their facilities. Right next door is Konoba Stari Podrum, a traditional Istrian tavern offering the chance to savor phenomenal local cuisine in a beautiful ambience.

    Woman leaning out of a car window holding a bouquet of yellow flowers in her hand.
    You can catch a glimpse of the remains of Momjan Castle in the background.

    10. Svetvincenat

    The sweet hamlet of Svetvinčenat, nestled in the heart of southern central Istria, is a special hidden gem in Croatia. Despite its modest population of just 2,000 people, Svetvinčenat is rich in history that stretches back through the centuries, with some remarkable historic attractions to show for it.

    The crown jewel of the town is the Morosini-Grimani Castle, a magnificent example of Venetian architectural influence in Istria. Here, you can take a trip back in time to soak up the grandeur of the past, or switch it up with a modern twist by trying out the escape room that covers the whole castle grounds.

    The courtyard of Morosini-Grimani Castle in Svetvinčenat under a clear blue sky, showcasing historical siege weaponry including a large, wooden catapult and a ballista. The well-preserved stone walls and towers of the castle rise in the background, evoking a medieval atmosphere.

    11. Labin

    Perched on a hill above a quaint former fishing village, Labin is a postcard-perfect destination that was made for strolling and sipping espressos on Italian-style piazzas. As you wander through its labyrinth of winding cobblestone streets, each step brings pretty views of pastel colored houses and narrow alleys that reveal the town’s irresistible charm.

    In addition to being a super charming town, Labin is also home to the most delicious pizza in Croatia! You’ll find it at Pizzeria Rumore, located on the edge of the Old Town with a huge terrace overlooking the forest below and Adriatic Sea in the distance.

    A woman in casual attire sits on an old stone bench, smiling gently, against a rustic orange wall adorned with a mosaic and a decorative fountain in Labin. Greenery drapes softly over the wall, adding a touch of nature's charm to the serene urban scene.

    12. Rabac

    Just a short 5 km drive southeast from Labin, Rabac is a cute little resort town that makes for an idyllic day trip from Pula. Tucked away in a pebbled cove, Rabac is quickly becoming a popular getaway spot for locals and European tourists. The waterfront is lined with upscale resorts while a stunning seaside boardwalk wraps around the perimeter of the town.

    This quaint Mediterranean village is a perfect setting for a peaceful stroll along the coast or for enjoying a refreshing dip in the crystal clear waters on one of the pebbled beaches.

    A serene view of a pebbly beach in Rabac, Croatia, with clear turquoise waters gently lapping against the rocky shore. Lush greenery and a staircase can be seen on the left, leading to the inviting beach, while the distant hills across the calm sea under a blue sky with a solitary cloud complete this picturesque landscape.

    13. Novigrad

    Novigrad is a lovely coastal town sandwiched between the bustling resort destinations of Umag and Poreč on Istria’s western coast. This tranquil town is a great choice for getting away from the usual tourist crowds. Take some time to stroll through the streets to discover ancient relics and monuments from the various rulers have left their mark on this town.

    Once you’re finished exploring the old town, there are a number of beaches not far from the city center where you can flop down on a towel and soak up some sun.

    A charming street in Novigrad, Istria, adorned with a colorful array of hanging umbrellas above, creating a vibrant canopy. The quaint buildings lining the street display traditional architecture with shutters, while pedestrians and cyclists enjoy the tranquil ambiance under a clear sky.

    14. Umag

    Umag is a small coastal town that holds the title as the sports capital of Istria, renowned for hosting the Croatia Open. This prestigious event is the largest and oldest men’s tennis tournament in Croatia, drawing top international players to Umag each year.

    The town offers a delightful backdrop for leisurely strolls and enjoying a cup of coffee in the expansive main square, blending sports excitement with relaxed, everyday life. Just outside of town, Konoba Nono is one of my top recommendations for anyone looking to try authentic local cuisine.

    📍 Find the exact location of Konoba Nono in my FREE Croatia Google Map

    A serene waterfront view of Umag, with historic stone buildings basking in the warm glow of the sun. The town's charming old-world architecture is highlighted by terracotta roofs and a prominent church spire against a clear blue sky, reflecting the tranquility of coastal living in Istria.

    15. Buzet

    Buzet, lovingly dubbed the Truffle Capital of Istria, is a quaint town steeped in ancient history and sleepy charm. A visit here isn’t complete without wandering through its historic core, where 15th-century streets echo stories of the past. Just a stone’s throw away from the center, you’ll find Aura, Istria’s most famous distillery.

    Aura is known for its expertly crafted Istrian liquors, including biska (traditional Istrian brandy) and terranino (a sweet red wine liqueur). Beyond these, the distillery also produces an impressive selection of brandy and liqueur flavors, award-winning gin, and local sweet treats like jams and chocolates.

    The best part? You can drop by Aura anytime. Their friendly staff are always ready to welcome you with open arms, offer a tour of their facilities, and share insights into the distillation process of their spirits.

    A woman sitting on a chair in a beautiful Mediterranean garden with a drink in hand.

    16. Venice

    It is totally possible to go on a day trip from Pula to Venice, and easy too!

    You can hop on a ferry from the Pula harbor and arrive in Venice about 3 hours later. Of course, it would be best to leave early in the morning so that you can enjoy a full day in Venice. To make the most of your day there, consider joining a small group tour of Venice with a local guide who can show you all the must-see sights and hidden gems so you don’t waste any time.

    It’s a long journey, so you may want to extend your trip to Croatia with a visit to Italy and spend a few days in Venice.

    A pastel view of Venice's canals with a gondola floating through

    17. Plitvice Lakes

    A day trip from Pula to Plitvice Lakes is a good option if you want to see Croatia’s most famous national park. The best way to do this is to rent a car and drive yourself since the drive from Pula to Plitvice Lakes is at least 3 hours.

    You’ll need about 4 hours in the park, or more, depending on how much time you want to spend exploring. Be sure to pack all of the essentials because it will be a full day of walking!

    A view looking down onto a small curving wooden walkway over blue-green waters surrounded by lush green vegetation with waterfalls flowing through.

    FAQs About Pula Croatia Day Trips

    Is it worth staying in Pula?

    It is worth staying in Pula and using it as a base to explore other destinations around the Istria region.

    Can you do day trips in Croatia?

    Yes, you can do day trips in Croatia. Pula, in particular, is well positioned for taking day trips to some of the top destinations in Istria, making it a great place to base yourself for a few days.

    Are day trips from Pula to Dubrovnik possible?

    Due to Dubrovnik’s location at the very southern tip of Croatia, about 714 kilometers away from Pula, a day trip from Pula to Dubrovnik is not possible.

    Is Pula Croatia a good holiday destination?

    Pula can be a good holiday destination if you enjoy history but also like taking day trips to other towns in the area. It offers a mix of cultural experiences and outdoor activities.

    Final Thoughts on Pula Day Trips

    That wraps up the best day trips from Pula Croatia!

    As you’ve probably already realized, many of these destinations are fairly close to one another, so it’s easy to combine several of them into one day trip. If you’ve been eyeing the cheap flights to Pula Airport, rest assured this coastal town makes a great base for exploring all that the region of Istria has to offer!

    Before you go…be sure you don’t miss the top things to do in Pula while you’re in town!

    You Might Also Like

    Croatia Travel Planning Guide

    💸 What is the currency in Croatia?
    As of January 1st, 2023, the official currency of Croatia is the Euro and NOT the Kuna (which is also the name of the national animal of Croatia).

    🇭🇷 What language do they speak in Croatia?
    Croatian is the official language of Croatia. Learn some phrases in Croatian before your trip with the Ling app!

    🚑 Should I buy Croatia travel insurance?
    10000% YES – Seriously, don’t leave home without it. You never know what can happen on the road. I like SafetyWing because they provide excellent coverage for as little as $1.50 a day.

    📱 Will my phone work in Croatia?
    Maybe – check with your provider to see if you’ll have service while traveling Croatia. If you don’t have service (or it’s too expensive) I recommend getting an eSIM like Airalo. Airalo allows you to have data while traveling without the high costs of roaming. They have super affordable plans available for 190+ countries, including Croatia. Download the app and get your plan before you leave home so that you have data as soon as you touch down in Croatia!

    🏨 What’s the best way to book my Croatia accommodations?
    For Croatia hotels, Booking is by far the best site.

    🛫 What’s the best site to buy Croatia flights?
    I always use Skyscanner to find the cheapest flights.

    🚗  Is it safe to rent a Car in Croatia?
    Yes! – In fact, renting a car in Croatia is one of the best ways to see the country! I recommend Discover Cars because they check both local and international rental companies to ensure you get the best deal. (Get your Croatia road trip itinerary here)

    💦 Is it safe to drink the water in Croatia?
    Tap water in Croatia is completely safe to drink, so bring your reusable water bottle and fill up!

    🪪 Do I need a visa for Croatia?
    Depending on where you are coming from you may or may not need a visa to enter Croatia. Check the official Republic of Croatia Ministry of Foreign Affairs website for more information on who should apply for a visa.

    Similar Posts