Slovenian Seaside – Piran and Portoroz
Slovenia has only 47 kilometers of coastline. Looking at the map it looks unfair, almost as Italy and Croatia took pity on it and gave it a bit of a seaside as well. Everyone is going to the nearby countries for vacation and as anyone else we didn’t think of Slovenia as a destination for a summer retreat. Oh, how wrong we were! Once you are on the picturesque road to the seaside, you will not be able to take your eyes off the landscape around you. Thank God, we weren’t the drivers so we can enjoy the amazing view. Probably no one in the car was talking because everyone was stunned! We highly recommend you to circle around some of the coastal towns but because seeing the sea among the famous Slovenian greenery is just perfect. The most famous towns to visit are Koper, Piran and Isola or as they call them the pearls of the Slovenian Adriatic sea. After our great night at Mesto Oblikovanja in Ljubljana the Big Berry team had planned a fun sea adventure for us in Portoroz and Piran. Although we have spent only an afternoon there we will try to show you the best of it through our pictures and tips.
Slovenian seaside – between Italian beauty and Balkan hospitality
There are a lot of Italian tourists and even the waiters speak Italian. No wonder, considering you can reach Trieste in about 30 minutes by ferry or a car. Which would be a nice adventure if you do have the time.
The Slovenians really made the most of this limited area with building beautiful piers every 100 meters and even some concrete and wooden lounge spaces from where you can easily immerse yourself in the mesmerizing blue water. Due to the fact that most people prefer going to the bigger sea resorts nearby in Italy and Croatia, these two towns are not so crowded. You will instantly feel the Italian spirit of the streets and the architecture. While Portoroz looks more modern, Piran is the perfect romantic medieval town!
What to do in Piran
The city of Piran had a long and fast changing history throughout the years before finally being ceded to Slovenia. It was part of the Roman Empire, the Republic of Venice, Austrian Empire and Yugoslavia. Although now a small city, Piran has lots to offer for a daytrip.
If you climb the spectacular medieval fortress you will be rewarded with an amazing panorama of the whole city and the deep waters of the Adriatic sea. Taking a long stroll through the cobbled Italian like streets of Piran and contemplating the colorful facades of the buildings while discovering small charming squares was definitely worth to stand the sweltering heat. Our walk took us to a big Church square sitting on top of one of the medieval walls which used to be around the whole city. The view from there was absolutely amazing! From one side you can see Piran with its red-roofed houses and from the other what seemed to be a never-ending blue heaven. If you focus hard enough you can spot Italy not so far away. We could have stayed there laying on top of the wall forever while observing the amazing blue sea and wondering what would be like sailing on one of these beautiful boats. The truth is that Piran can be easily seen in a couple of hours or even a day if you’re looking for a nice lazy time. The best thing you can do is just walk around!
Where to eat and drink
The main street that goes along the coast is lined up with restaurants where you can find not only seafood but also a spectacular view of the sea. We decided to avoid the most touristic places as usual and dive deeper into the small streets of Piran. Located on a small square, Fritolin pri Cantini welcomed us with the huge smiles of the staff and the delicious smell of calamari and mussels. The traditional style of the restaurant and the rich taste of the food totally won us over! A whole post dedicated to this restaurant with more information is coming soon.
Your coffee craving can be satisfied at Caffe Neptune – just at the entrance of Piran on the main street “Dantejeva” ulica. We were surprised to find an amazing cold brew in a hipster bottle for take away. The cafe has also a terrace where you can enjoy the sunset.
Motorbike festival and special events
The day we visited Piran and Portoroz there was a special event going on. The annual H.O.G. (Harley Owners Group) motorcycle rally was held there this year and it was packed with riders. Even if you are not a fan, you’d surely be impressed by the vintage Harleys and so many brave people driving hundreds of kilometers to reach this year’s location for the event. Every year there’s a different location to keep the adventurous spirit going and this summer the Slovenian seaside was chosen for the beautiful historic towns that provide a lot of activities and events. From wellness and spa to boat trips and fishing. There’s even a “Musical Evenings” event held at the local monastery’s atrium. The main square Tartini was packed with Harley fans and riders listening to music and taking part of the competitions. The riders were welcomed with a message in the air brought by a plane which did a few circles around the town.