I hope you’re doing well? I’m so excited to be writing my Croatian travel blog so that I can relieve some of the joy I felt whilst visiting the city of Pula. My boyfriend and I booked this on the basis that it would be a “relaxation” holiday where together we could just chill. Typically our trips a busy, with a full itinerary for the days we are there – so it was a nice change of pace to breeze through the days more casually.
We flew from London Stansted with flights costing around £90 each (return) – this is a little more than we’ve spent in the past (other than to America) but flying from London meant we got a much better deal than if we had flown from Leeds or Manchester, our more local airports. We had an early departure on Sunday and a late return Thursday meaning we were really able to maximise our short break.
We arrived mid-morning and after a little trouble we were able to get an Uber to our apartment which we booked through Airbnb. The location of the apartment was perfect, round the corner from a huge supermarket, a 20 minute walk from the old town which has bus links to Verudela and other parts of Pula. However, we used Uber to get to and from Verudela since it was only around £5. The host gave us a detailed talk about Pula and made notes across our map to help us out. Mateo recommended Jupiter’s Pizza as a nice spot for dinner so we decided to head into Old town that afternoon and have dinner there.
Our first look at the historical landmarks of Pula was definitely my favourite – The Amphitheatre. Built-in 27BC this enormous structure is one of the most impressive things I’ve ever seen! I can’t even begin to imagine how this must have been built, I mean that in itself is amazing. During this trip into the old town, we were also able to see the Arch of the Sergii, Temple of Augustus and The Forum. All of this Roman architecture was stunning, for us seeing landmarks like these really makes the travel worth it – I’d say this is my favourite part of visiting a new place.
Travel had made us tired so after enjoying some pizza at Jupiter’s – during a tropical thunderstorm, which in itself was very cool – we headed back to our apartment. We fell asleep pretty quickly even though the time difference is only forward by an hour.
The sun was beaming by the time we rolled out of bed, we sat on the balcony and ate breakfast together; I’ve decided this is my favourite way to start mornings. Seeing as we had spent the previous day exploring the old town we decided to hit the beach. We got an Uber to Verudela and then went onto Ambrela Beach. Most of the beaches in Pula are made up of big rocks with some pebbles on the shallow shore. Since it was mostly big rocks we weren’t able to layout on our towels and properly relax so instead we took some pictures, had a quick swim and flew our drone. We followed the shoreline and found ourselves on Hawaii Beach, this was similar to the first beach but we found an area of flat concrete that had a beautiful view out across the ocean.
Haydn and I laid out our towels, and read our books. These peaceful moments were perfect. Relaxing together after the previous busy 6 weeks was the perfect way to unwind and truly get into that holiday mode.
Our Apartment host had recommended that we visit Veruda island which could be reached by a small boat that cost just 10 kuna per way (which is around £1.50). The island was really pretty and it was nice to go for a little wonder before sitting by the shore. It seemed like everyone there had gone across for a camping trips
The sun tired us out so we decided to make Spaghetti Bolognese in our apartment and watch some TV in bed. As you can probably tell – we aren’t really the couple to go out in the evenings and have a few drinks. We prefer staying in and enjoying each other’s company.
Tuesday was our adventure day! We had a Sea Kayaking and cave exploring tour booked for the morning so we had to be up early to get our stuff sorted and head down to the beach. We met our instructors and the rest of the group – everyone was nice and I was excited to head out on the kayaks. Haydn and I sat in a double which meant working as a team to move across the water. I thought we were pretty good at rowing but since we were the last back on our return maybe I was a little biased!
Kayaking to the cave took about 30 minutes, it was really hard work, but worth it. Going into the cave was unbelievably cool, it felt like a real adventure and our surroundings were just unreal. We saw back out through the cave and were able to enjoy the rocks and area around us. Some of the other people in our group did some cliff jumping but I wasn’t brave enough to do that so instead Haydn and I stood on the lower rocks and held Sea Urchins.
The kayaking back was much harder since we had to work against the wind. This pushed us as a couple and was honestly such a struggle. I’m just so glad that Haydn works out since he was really pulling us both through towards the end.
We went back to our apartment for some lunch and a few snacks – Haydn in particular enjoyed the Milka chocolate fingers that were available in the store around the corner from us. Since we spent so much time in the salty water I needed to shower off and get ready for the afternoon/evening. The afternoon was mostly written off though since I fell asleep which turned into a 2-hour nap. Once I had woken back up we decided on a place for dinner and went into the town.
Asides from our awesome kayaking adventure I think this was my favourite day in Croatia. We found a new beach in Verudela – we’re pretty sure it was part of Hotel Brioni – it had flat steps cut into the rocks meaning we could still be surrounded by natural beauty but were also able to lay out a towel. We found a nice private flat slab nestled between rocks making our own little paradise. We lay for hours just listening to the waves rushing up and down the rocks whilst reading our books.
I went for a little swim before we went back up the top of the hill for some lunch. We both enjoyed a tasty burger and some fries. We then went back down to our little spot. Before the sun started setting we headed back to Ambrella Beach where we had been on previous days so that we could enjoy the sunset over the sea. Besides the phrases pure bliss and total paradise, I have no words to describe this entire experience. Haydn and I talked as we watched the golden, orange and pink sunset painting the sky.
For our final day in Croatia, I wasn’t wasting any time. I was up at 8, showered, packed and ready to head to the beach by 9:30 that morning. We went back to the little spot found by Brioni Hotel. Knowing that I wouldn’t have an opportunity to shower again I wasn’t able to go for a swim but it was still just as nice to lay on the rocks and enjoy some final hours of sunshine.
Check out for our Apartment was 4pm so we headed back in the afternoon to give back the keys and put our stuff in a safe place. Since our flight wasn’t until much later on we were able to head into Old Town one last time to pick up some souvenirs and take in the Roman Architecture once more. We then took an Uber to the airport ready for our flight back to London.
I’m actually pretty sad that this trip is over since I don’t have any more trips booked at current. Fingers crossed we can fit something in towards the end of September but right now we don’t have any specific plans!