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 every one of Slovenia's coastal towns as they each completely different to one another.
Piran, (45 mins), is probably the one Slovenian seaside town 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. It's a more glitzy, modern seaside resort with shopping, beaches, big hotels and casinos. There is lots of stuff here for kids lining the coast, with private beaches and swimming pools, play parks and pretty much all you need for a fun day out at the seaside.
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 same sea salt that Jamie Oliver seems to like using.
This is the TIP we give most if you have just one day for the coast: If you didn't realise how much there was to do in Green Slovenia and have just a day in your schedule for the Slovenian Riviera, 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 to Portoroz or walk.
For a quieter day by the seaside we highly recommend Izola, (means 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 also some great swimming places here along the stone beach in particular.
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 at sunset.. they liked it a lot and they know about a good coastline!
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 also a great place to swim close to Koper at Susterna, but it's very tricky to find, so please take our directions.
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 and a bite to eat.. Italian style. There is also a jazz festival here in the autumn and a little further along the Italian coast in the Gulf of Trieste, there 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 for you 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 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 in the evening 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 Austrian 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. A little closer is the Croatian seaside town of Porec (1 hour 30) and Umag (70 mins) is just over the Slovenian border.
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 young families there is also a new Aquasplash facility on the way to Porec).