If you are visiting Slovenia for only a couple of days, and want to squeeze a coast trip in your tight schedule, you are lucky. First of all, because Slovenia has just 47 km of coastline on the Adriatic Sea and only 3 “major” seaside towns: Koper, Izola, and Piran. And secondly, because the capital Ljubljana is only 100 km away from Koper, so it will take you about one hour to reach your final sea view destination. Day drip to Slovene coast is therefore totally doable, especially if you rent a car and control your own time.
Tip: Try to avoid travelling on weekends in the summer season (late June – August), when the highway gets totally jammed.
While Koper (being one of the most important ports in the region due to its strategic location) is more “industrial” town with some lovely features from the 15th century, Izola and Piran are smaller and much more convenient for taking a stroll through the old town and have lunch in one of the restaurants overlooking the sea.
When visiting Slovene coast on weekends, Piran is always my first choice. The town’s center is closed for general traffic (only residents and local buses have parking permits), which might be a bit inconvenient, but if you take it easy and accept this fact as an opportunity to stretch your legs, you will have the opportunity to see Piran at its best.
I recommend you to park along Belokriška cesta (free if you find a “legal” parking space) or in Arze garage house where they charge 1.20€ per hour. Then turn left and head towards the old fortress called “the walls of Piran” for a breathtaking views of the town and the Adriatic Sea. The entrance is only 2€ per adult and it is definitely a must for all Piran visitors. There are some quite narrow and stiff stairs to climb if you want to reach all the way to the top, so leave your high heels at home. Take your time and enjoy the views – on a clear sunny day you can see Italy: Grado on the north-west and Trieste on north-east side. By the way, did you know there are only 54 nautical miles from Piran to Venice?
Continue walking down the granite paved road towards St. George’s Parish Church which is located above Piran and stop at the church wall for a nice view of the wild pebbled beach below. Don’t be surprised if you see some naked people there – that is actually a nude beach. Yep, right below the church 😉
The church, which was restored in 1990, is also quite an attraction as it can be seen from most parts of the town. You can access the bell tower for just for €1.
Finally you will arrive to the picturesque Tartini square, the largest and main square in Piran. It was named after a famous violinist Giuseppe Tartini, who was born in Piran in 1692 and now has a statue in his honor there.
Have some coffee in the square and then head towards the coast, on Piran’s promenade. In the summer the paved beach is crowded with people, while out of the main season the place is perfect for catching some vitamin D and having lunch in one of the restaurants. Seafood dishes and local wines are a must!
If you have time and energy, you can walk along the marina towards the other part of the town (Fornače) which is actually Piran’s “main entrance” and continue along Bernardin promenade for a late afternoon coffee. Keep in mind you will be around 2 km away from your car at that point so skip the sunset if you want to find it before it gets dark. Or just relax, enjoy and take a taxi. We do have taxis in Slovenia, you know 😉