As a country that is bordered by Croatia, Austria, Italy and Hungary, Slovenia doesn’t have much of a coastline at all, in fact, only 46kms of it. Those 46km however, despite the distinct lack of sandy beaches, are one of the most interesting and attractive parts of the country. Explore and see the best bits of the coast and Karst region with car hire in Slovenia.
For starters, consider the resort town of Portoroz which means Port of Roses. Combining the gorgeously blue Adriatic Sea with palm trees, roses and evergreens there’s no denying that Portoroz is heavenly. The atmosphere is only enhanced by the variety of cultures to be found here, not to mention the rich gastronomy and long history. Go for a dip in the warm waters and take a leisurely stroll on one of the few sandy beaches of Slovenia. The town is popular with both locals and visitors and offers a great range of restaurants and shops, and with the bustling casino offering evening entertainment, a visit here can easily be a whole day affair.
Portoroz is closely connected to the small medieval town of Piran. Just a short distance away, Piran is known to have one of the largest saltpans in this part of the world with the natural elements including salt, brine and fango mud having played a huge part in the development of tourism in the area, particularly the many thermal spas that are now found here. Be sure to indulge in a visit to one or two of the spas in the area for some ultimate relaxation and treatment.
A visit to Piran itself is also incredibly worthy of your time. Hailed as the Dubrovnik of the North Adriatic because of its beauty and striking likeness to the Croatian town, Piran is located on the tip of the Slovenia Istra. The town is rich in medieval architecture and the narrow streets add a certain charm. Tartinijev Square just opposite the harbour is especially attractive and is the bustling hub of the town, great for photo opportunities and people watching. Climb to the top of the old city walls and admire the stretching views of the peninsular, go for a swim from one of the many piers or take the plunge and go scuba diving in the clear Adriatic Sea. The nearby saltpans provide shelter to numerous bird species during the nesting period and also act a suitable place for them to stop and rest during southbound migration. As such, bird watching is particularly enjoyable in this area.
The largest town of the Slovenian Coast is that of Koper. From a distance, Koper does not appear to be anything particularly special, but look past the cover and once you reach the medieval centre you will find that in fact there is some hidden inner beauty here. Although it’s age is much more apparent than you will find in Piran, the imperfect exterior of the buildings only adds authenticity. The web of narrow, criss-crossing streets in Koper lead to the central square where you will find the largest Cathedral in Slovenia, with other historic buildings to be found in other areas such as the 15th century Praetorian Palace. Interestingly, the town is bilingual where locals speak both Slovene and Italian and the combination of nationalities is evident in everything from the street signs to the food.
Although compact and by no means typical in terms of beach resorts, the Slovenian Coast is a beautiful and appealing part of Slovenia that definitely deserves a visit.
Written by Kerri Ware for Economy Car Hire.