How to travel to Pula: Cheap flights and stays to watch Portsmouth's warm-weather training camp

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Pompey fans can travel from Heathrow, Gatwick and Luton to watch their team in pre-season training

It was confirmed yesterday that Pompey would be heading off for a warm-weather training camp in Pula, Croatia, at the start of July with fans invited to attend an open training session. The trip begins on Saturday 6 July with the camp ending on Friday 12 July.

The open training session will be available for the Blues faithful to watch on the Adriatic coast and those hoping to attend are asked to email [email protected] with their full name and details of where they are staying.

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But, where is there to stay in the beautiful coastal spot of Pula? While not the usual location for warm-weather training camps, Pula will certainly not be a disappointing trip for any fans hopeful of attending the open training session in the north-west of Croatia.

Here is all you need to know about how to fly out, where to stay and what to do if you are fancying a trip to the historic, seafront city on the tip of Croatia’s Istrian Peninsula.

How to fly to Pula

There are several direct flight options from England to Pula. The best options for those travelling from Portsmouth, however, are London Luton, London Stansted and London Gatwick. Other direct options include Bristol, Birmingham and Manchester.

For those seeking the cheapest way to travel, fans can travel out from London Luton Airport on Thursday 4 July and return on Thursday 11th at a cost of £69. To return on Saturday 13 July, and therefore catch all available football, fans would have to pay at least £100.

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There would also be an option to travel out from London Luton and return to London Stansted on Thursday 11 July with the price starting from £63. To use this travel method and return on Saturday 13 July would cost from £81. If fans wish to extend their stay, making the most of the Croatian weather, travelling from Thursday 4 July - Thursday 18th July from London Luton Airport would cost £65.

Fans wishing to use Gatwick airport, the best flight option would be to depart on Friday 5 July (£54) and return a week later on Friday 12 July (£66). The cheapest option, however, would be to return on Wednesday 10 July - thus unfortunately missing two days of the camp - with the return flight costing £54.

To travel from Bournemouth airport would have to include two stops, self-transfer and costs of over £350.

Where to stay in Pula

Pula city centre has very few hotel resort options, with those wishing for bigger complexes recommended to look further out of the city. There are, however, plenty of smaller B&B options and vacation rentals with flats on Airbnb starting from £64/night.

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Those wishing to travel on a more restricted budget are recommended to look at Stoja, a neighbouring town only 3km from Pula’s centre. It is well connected by bus and contains beautiful swimming spots, including Galebove Stijene, but is a cheaper alternative than Pula’s B&Bs and resort options.

Verdula, a tourist resort 5km south of the town’s centre, is where most of Pula’s hotels are located. The area includes restaurants, a marina, beaches, walking paths and the best and largest aquarium in Istia. Here are the top hotels, in descending financial order, as recommended by FrankAboutCroatia:

What are the best things to do in Pula?

With such beautiful coastline, the best activities in Pula are Kayak Tours; a boat excursion to the Brijuni National Park; Kotli waterfalls and Dolphin Cruises.

However, there are still plenty of other on-land options, including wine tasting at an organic winery in Sisan; a day trip to Rovinj and Pula with lunch from Porec; the Amphitheatre de Pula; the Temple of Augustus; the Pula Aquarium and a 360 degree view of the city at Kastel.

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The area also boasts lots of seafood restaurants and here are just some of the restaurants recommended by TripAdvisor:

  • Agripinna Street Food
  • Street Food Two
  • Veritas Food and Wine
  • Backyard Restaurant
  • Gaucho Steakhouse
  • Epulon Food and Wine
  • Piantina Fine Fast Food
  • Valli Fine Bistro
  • Konoba Batelina (Michelin)
  • Piezzeria Jupiter

What is the weather like in Pula?

The weather is currently 27C with the lowest temperature at 16C. The Met Office and BBC Weather are indicating there could be rain showers in the next few days, so fans would be advised to take a light rain jacket just in case!

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