Poreč (Italian: Parenzo; Latin: Parens or Parentium; archaic German: Parenz; Ancient Greek: Πάρενθος Pàrenthos) is a town and municipality on the western coast of the Istrian peninsula, in Istria County, Croatia. Its major landmark is the 6th century Euphrasian Basilica, a UNESCO World Heritage Site since 1997.
Poreč is almost 2,000 years old, and is set around a harbor protected from the sea by the small island of Saint Nicholas/San Nicolo (St. Nicholas). The town's population of approximately 12,000 resides mostly on the outskirts, while the wider Poreč area has a population of approximately 17,000 inhabitants. The municipal area covers 142 square kilometres (55 sq mi), with the 37 kilometres (23 miles) long shoreline stretching from the Mirna River near Novigrad to Funtana and Vrsar in the south.
Ever since the 1970s, the coast of Poreč has been the most visited tourist destination in Croatia.
In 1844 the Austrian Lloyd steamship company opened a tourist line which called at Parenzo. The first tourist guide describing and depicting the town was printed as early as 1845. The oldest hotel is the Riviera, constructed in 1910. Later came the Parentino and others.
Today, tourist infrastructure is intentionally dispersed along the 37 km (23 mi) long coastline, between the Mirna River and the deep Lim valley. The south hosts self-contained centres like Plava Laguna (Blue Lagoon), Zelena Laguna (Green Lagoon), Bijela Uvala (White Cove) and Brulo. To the north, mirroring centres are Materada, Červar Porat, Ulika and Lanterna. In the high season, the area's temporary population can exceed 120,000.
Poreč's heritage can be seen in the historic town centre, in museums and galleries hosted in houses and palaces, many of them still private homes as they have been for centuries. In the off season, weekend visitors from Croatia,Slovenia, Austria and Italy visit the area. Sports complexes are developed and used year-round.