10 more reasons to visit Portoroz and the Slovenian Adriatic coast:
1. Wellness and SPA by the sea
There is a real time machine in the centre of Portoroz! Visit the swimming pool filled with “the source of primeval energy” – the 42,000-year-old Prehistoric Sea. The Prehistoric Sea contains thermal mineral water whose chemical composition makes it unique in this part of Europe. Dive into this elixir of life, be filled with energy, and connect with the spirits of ancestors, which are best portrayed on the murals from the prehistory.
The nearby Sečovlje salt pans are a source of two unique products that are derived from the sea: salt-pan mud and brine, also called "mother water". Experience them in their natural environment when you visit the outdoor spa centre Spa Lepa Vida.
2. See the sea life
In the old harbour of Piran you can find the Aquarium where you can experience the sea world in a different way. Twenty-five tanks illuminated with artificial light are held in newly constructed bigger rooms. If you are interested in Slovenian naval history and maritime tradition you can visit the Maritime Museum of Piran or visit Musem Parenzana in Izola with its collection of ship models. In Izola, 35 models of wooden sailing boats and traditional vessels are exhibited. The collection exhibits maritime activities and shipbuilding in northwestern Istria and ship modelling.
Just a few kilometers from Portoroz, embraced by green hills on one side and the Mediterranean Sea on the other, with the snow-capped Dolomites piercing the horizon to the north, Trieste can honestly claim to have one of the best majestic settings on Earth.
The main piazza in Trieste is one of the biggest in Europe that faces the sea and is certainly an imposing sight for those coming into Trieste for the first time. Besides the piazza, a great spot for a coffee is also by the canal. It is the prized jewel in the centre of Trieste and is lined with beautiful buildings and outdoor cafes which lead up to the amazing sight of the Saint Antonio Church. A trip to Trieste is not complete without a visit to the magnificent Miramare Castle, built by the Archduke Ferdinand Maximilian so that the Commander of the Imperial Navy could gaze out at the often turbulant blue seas of the Adriatic.
A boat ride away you can visit Venice (Venezia), the city that really needs no introduction. Venice is a glorious cliché, romantic, beautiful and more surprising than you could expect. No matter how many photographs or films you may have seen, it is still a jaw-dropping experience seeing Venice's canals and palaces for the first time. When in Venice, take a walk! The city is not that big, and you can walk from one end to the other in a few hours. Along the way you will discover marvelous art, superb architecture and breathtaking urban landscaping. Before sunset ride a vaporetto (Water Bus) down the Grand Canal. To see something really special, visit the Carnival of Venice, which is one of the most popular carnivals in the world. First organised in 1926 this carnival is particularly appreciated cause of the masks that are exhibited by its participants. During the carnival period the inhabitants of Venice are allowed to carry out unusual behaviours.
5. Barcolana – the biggest regatta in the world
The Barcolana is a historic international sailing regatta taking place every year in the Gulf of Trieste on the second Sunday of October. The Barcolana is the biggest regatta in the world with around 2000 sailing boats, 20.000 sailors and more than 250.000 spectators. With all the accompanying events this place of thousands yachting enthusiasts comes to life for the whole week beforehand. Baron the Coubertain's claim that "it is the taking part that counts not the winning" applies perfectly to the Barcolana.
6. Hiking paths – go between the olive trees
Experience Slovenian coast on foot. pleanty of hiking paths will acquaint you with the area's uniqueness. Safe, non-strenuous and panoramic, these footpaths will lead you through Piran, Portoroz, Lucija, Seča, Strunjan and their surroundings and will delight you in many places with the extraordinary beauty of Istrian nature, tranquillity and wonderful panoramic views. Do not miss walking the beautiful Strunjan cliffs nature reserve overlooking the Gulf of Trieste on one side and idyllic olive groves on the other and with the long rocky beach "the Bay of the Moon" at the foot of the cliffs.
7. Wine Cellar Tours
The best wines that mature in the cellars of Slovenian Istria reap awards at wine evaluations at home and abroad. Taste the best local wines that represent an interlacing of tradition and modern winemaking.
You are welcome to visit the largest and one of the most modern wine cellars in Slovenia. The Vinakoper cellar is an example of a typical Istrian cellar, constructed from the characteristic rock of the Slovene Istria - sandstone - which was transported during the building of the cellar from vineyards then under construction. The majority of the cellar is embedded into the Škocjan hill.
8. Mediterranean Cuisine
The coast, with its abundant vegetation, offers a wealth of culinary experiences, with fresh herbs and fish specialties. By the coast you can try excellent fish soups, marinades and similar dishes. Another speciality growing in Istria is truffles. Truffles have always been considered something special in culinary history and are known as a natural aphrodisiac. You can try many different dishes with truffles in the restaurants on the Slovenian coast.
9. Lipizzaner from Lipica
In the southwestern part of Slovenia stretches a region called the Karst, where you can find the picturesque village of Lipica. And right here for more than 400 years, the beautiful white Lipizzaner horses have been bred. A local guide will take you on a tour through the stables, pointing out the different stages of breeding and training these noble animals.
10. Caves and castles
You can visit the biggest and most world-renowned Slovenian cave system – the Postojna caves. A ride by electric train will be followed by a guided walk through a series of cave halls with stalactites, pillars and translucent curtains that create unforgettable impressions.
Only nine kilometres away stands one of the most interesting Baroque castles in Slovenia, Predjama Castle. It appears to hang dramatically in the middle of a 123-metre-high rocky cliff.
In the traditional Karst area the Škocjan caves are the biggest and best-known natural phenomenon. With their depth of 163 meters, Velika Dolina and Mala Dolina charm every visitor. These caves probably have the biggest cave hall in Europe, measuring 12,000 square meters (1.2 hectares) in cross section. The Reka River runs underground for almost 40 kilometres, to the sources of the Timav in the Gulf of Trieste (Italy).
Special bonus if visiting Portoroz in winter
From November to June do not miss “osmice”. “Fraske” – the typical signs along the roads which invite to try wine and culinary delicacies will call your attention. “Osmica” is a littoral particularity that allows the farmers to offer home-made wine and dishes on their farms. Home-made prosciutto, bread from the oven, sausages, sauerkraut, “bobiči” (casserole of beans), gnocchi, vegetables and home-made desserts are served in “osmice”.
Slovenian Adriatic Coast
Top 5 seaside cities: Portoroz, Piran, Ankaran, Izola, Koper
Coast length: 46.6 km
Official languages: Slovenian, Italian
Transport: taxi, quick bus connections to other coastal and Slovenian cities, Italy and Croatia, boat rides to Venice
Hotels and accomodation: hotels, hostels, private rooms, tourist farms and green accommodation
Climate: Mediterranean with hot and dry summers, friendly winters