Slovenia has a small but beautiful "Mediterranean feel" coastline on the Adriatic Sea, but you also have your pick of the North Italian and Croatian coastlines to spend your day by the sea. The water is warm, clear, calm and quite salty, so easy to float around in.
You can reach the Slovenian seaside in just 35 minutes and there are many things for you to do in each of Slovenia's coastal towns as they are all very different to each other.
Piran, (45 mins), is probably the place you have heard about and it is just as beautiful as they say. This little Venetian seaside town is crammed into a tiny peninsular with tightly packed venetian style houses and alleyways spilling out into beautiful little market squares and a long rocky beach sea promenade, all overlooked by a church that would not look out of place in Venice itself.
We recommend you explore the tight streets first. You will find little shops, cafes & restaurants and we also noticed that not one front door here looks the same, so it is fun to check out all the different doors! Then maybe walk up to visit the church for an incredible coastal vista and make your way back down to the seafront for even more restaurants with excellent seafood and delicious italian ice cream opportunities.
Just a 3km walk along the coast is Portorož, (45mins), which is very different to Piran, as a more glitzy, modern seaside resort with shopping, beaches, big hotels and casinos. There is lots of stuff for kids here along the coast, private beaches and swimming pools, play parks and pretty much all you need for a fun day out. Just along from Portoroz towards the Croatian border there are huge salt fields with a museum you can visit to see how salt families lived and worked to collect the sea salt that Jamie Oliver seems to like using.
If you just have one day for this part of the coast, then many guests have followed our tip to park in Portoroz and walk along the coast to Piran to see both seaside towns. From Piran you can catch the hopper bus back or walk. But it is also fun to cycle along the coast and there is also a dedicated cycle path converted from an old imperial railway line that you can follow along the entire coast.
For a quieter day by the seaside we really recommend Izola, (Island), (35 mins), which was a seperate island in Roman times and is now a pretty peninsula resort, a little like Piran, but with more space to relax. You can stroll along the tight Venetian streets, the promenade by the sea and visit lovely restaurants and a very special railway & yacht museum. There are some great swimming places. We will always remember a lovely Spanish family who went down to Izola just for a summer evening to have a meal and swim in the sea for the sunset.. they liked it a lot! We also have one of our partner vineyards in Izola, so you could combine a wine tasting of their award winning Reforsk into your day.
The biggest town on the coast is Koper, (35mins), which is Slovenia's main port, but also has a lovely old town and lots of shops. There is a nature preserve for birds closeby and this is where you can start the coastal cycle path along the Adriatic. It is also well worth taking a drive towards Italy and Ankaran, where we have found 2 hotel & camping complexes right by the sea, where, for a small fee, a family can go for another day out swimming by the sea or in pools, relaxing and using the hotel's facilities.
Our location is so good you can also easily get a taste of the Croatian or Italian seaside experience for the day! Incredibly, the Italian seaside is actually closer to Lipizzaner Lodge than the Slovenian! Just 30 minutes across the Italian border is Trieste's delightful little fishing village of Muggia, which is great for a seaside stroll, Italian style, there is also a jazz festival here in the autumn and all along the Italian Riviera, based in the Gulf of Trieste, is a huge yacht festival each year, called the Barcolana, (check our events page to see when).When you consider that Venice is just a 2 hour drive then there really is a lot of Italian coastline to explore.
If you fancy spending the day by an Italian beach then Sistiana is only 40 minutes away and you could also combine this with a walk along the incredible rocky coastal cliff walk that leads up from this bay.Slightly further afield is Grado, (70 mins), a much bigger and modern holiday village resort, with docks for luxury yachts and a long sandy beach, where you really could experience a typical day on an Italian beach, with the rented deckchair, umbrella and waiter service!
Maybe the bigger surprise for some guests is that it is very easy to have a day out in Croatia and be home for a nice glass of wine! Opatija (1hour 10 mins), has a fantastic 12km coastline promenade walk, the "Lungomare" (long sea), along the rugged Croatian coastline, built by the Emperor and still majestic. There is a completely different feel in this part of the world for you to experience and there is a large choice of rocky and pebble beaches to explore.
The bustling regional capital of Rijeka (1 hour 15), offers a coastal city experience with a great fish and Fruit & Veg market and it is possible to take in the beautiful Roman ampitheatre at Pula (1 hour 55) on a driving day out into the Istrian peninsula, which is shared by Slovenia and Croatia. A little closer is the Croatian seaside town of Porec (1 hour 30).
We get quite a few cyclists, particularly Dutch and Belgian, visiting Lipizzaner Lodge on their way down from Prague to Porec on their epic cycling adventure. You can combine a wonderful day round trip exploring the Istrian peninsula, dropping in on some Croatian seaside towns and then visiting one or two of several stunning hilltop villages on the way back to Slovenia. (For families there is a new Aquasplash facility on the way to Porec).