Izola, the real Slovenian jewel of the Adriatic
If you just read the paper thin and dull guides about Slovenia you will probably arrive here and be absolutely convinced that Piran should be one of the days packed into your probably too limited time in the most beautiful country in Europe! And really, we wouldn't argue with that at all.. it's just there's more.. a lot more!
Indeed, if you are that convinced, then really no need to further read this tip! We have also had a few of our own guests go to Izola and basically "not get it", which is slightly disappointing, but perfectly understandabubble.
As Slovenia is such an undiscovered holiday destination for so many, most of our guests are here for the first time and so we completely understand this and will very often tip Piran over Izola as your first experience of the Slovenian Riviera!
The truth is, if you have been 3 times to Piran and Izola you will almost certainly prefer Izola, but those who have only visited Piran once will think we are mad when we tip Izola so highly.
Yes, Piran is picture perfect, a Venetian paradise where you can swim, eat and shop, whilst pinching yourself and thinking wow, I never knew the Slovenian coast could be so beautiful.
Yes, Piran is the best known gem of the Adriatic and we are absolutely delighted and lucky to be only 45 minutes away from one of our favourite places in Slovenia.
It's just that Izola is better!
Izola is actually bigger than Piran as a town, but the island, now peninsular (Izola means island in Slovene as it actually was an island in Roman times) is smaller than the Piran peninsular. Izola has everything that Piran has.. restaurants, ice cream, swimming, an old town with narrow Venetian streets with every front door being different and a little harbour, but it isn't as picture perfect for your first impression when compared with Piran.. not many places are... Piran is stunning.
But Izola is so much quieter, you will have it to yourselves. It's so much easier to walk around and so much easier to park. The beach is stone pebbles and not picture perfect like Piran, but a great place to swim, particularly for kids. We had a family from Spain who drove down to Izola just for the evening and were swimming in the warm salty water watching the sun set and then had a marvellous meal.. they told us they loved it and these are people who know something about a coast!
There are fewer restaurants, but you will still get a fantastic and huge choice of meals here. You will also get 2 unique choices of local wine made only here in the vine covered Izola hinterland.
This pretty, relaxed and sleepy town is just 35 mins from the Lodge. There is a wonderful hidden museum, a fantastic hidden park side restaurant specializing in Slovenian cevapcicci (sausages) which you probably won't find without our little map and an art deco cinema near the bandstand in one of the 4 parks.
If it's your first visit to Slovenia, we will still probably send you to Piran for the day, but we will mention Izola and don't be surprised if you end up stopping off on the way home and are watching the sun set by the seaside at a fab restaurant.
In Izola you have to look and you will see, you have to search and you will find.. we absolutely love it and we hope you will too.