2 castles, a cliff walk & the Italian seaside!

We didnt believe it, so don't worry if you don't believe it, but it's true, the closest coast to Lipizzaner Lodge is actually the Italian Adriatic! It takes less than 30 minutes to reach the Italian limestone cliffs and sorry, it isnt even possible to see all the secret places we will tell you about now in just one day! So you will just have to choose which ones to do and come back another time to see the rest!

We have been amazed at how many beautiful places and different things to do we found in Slovenia. We knew about some of the fantastic places close by in Italy and have visited and listed many of them as "secret places" tips already, such as Trieste & OpcinaMuggiaPalmanova & Venice, we are even less than an hour away from the Prosecco wine region!

But we were just blown away by what we found so close to the Lodge on our latest fact finding "secret places" mission to Italy!

    harbour at sistiana on the adriatic sea    beach at sistiana on the italian coast

Ok, so here's what we did in just one day.. we went to 2 castles, the second largest tourist cave in the world, walked along a breath taking cliff path and also made it to Grado, a modern Italian Seaside development, where we had a choice of restaurants and went for Italian pizza in Italy!

It takes a little more than 20 mins to zip over the non existent border to Opcina, which is the gateway to this section of rocky Italian coast. In fact, when many of our grandparents were born, this entire, beautiful section of coastline was Slovenian and the castles were built from the Austro-Hungarian Empire times, so expect to see all this history, but now with an Italian flavour.

We went to check the location of Grotte Gigante, which has 500 steps down into a giant cavern. There is a free car park and excellent visitor centre. Guided tours leave on the hour and if you are going to see some other attractons in this mini region then you can buy a 24/48hr or weekly ticket to save money. A really great idea.

We are saving going down the cave until next time, but we cannot wait! We drove on to pretty Duino along the coast road. (You can also go directly to Duino on the motorway, direction Trieste). There is a fantastic castle here, but the parkng is tricky, we tip you to park a little further away from the castle on the edge of the village. The castle is open from mid March and closed Tuesdays, but again the visit will have to wait for next time as we were intent on finding the cliff walk. Just go a little along from the castle (facing the sea to the left) and you will soon find a little side road for the start of the walk.

    italian seaside close to lipizzaner lodge    trieste by the sea canal

WOW what a walk.. At all times you feel safe as there is a wooden fence at dodgy parts and lots of viewpoints and benches along the way. This is the point where the rocky karst cliffs meet the softer sandstone and clay surace of the Adriatic and you will be impressed how this path has been cut and eroded into the rock surface. Some rocks are shiny with the amount of footsteps over the centuries.

We walked about 40 minutes along the cliff and then down to the next bay of Sisitiana. In fact, now we know this walk, we actually recommend you do this walk the other way around and park in the Sistiana beach car park first, then walk to Duino, see the castle, come back and have a dip in the sea and a spot of lunch at Sistiana.

The views are really breath taking, we came just weeks before the spring blossoms explode into colour and cannot wait to see this walk again. There is a secret bunker along the way as a reminder of the strategic importance of these cliffs and also a cafe half way along to stop off at in the summer heat. We cannot recommend this walk enough, it was really lovely.

    coastal walk along adriatic sea from duino    beautiful cliff walk near to trieste

After coffee in Sistiana, we decided to drive out to see Grado, which is like a new seaside development, with yacht moorings, a golf club, lots of restaurants and a long sandy beach about 20 mins from Trieste airport. It's quite a big area and we need to come back to explore more, but we did find the main street lined with a big choice of Italian cuisine, lots of ice cream, cafes and with the beach, this is a place you could come for a traditional day by the Italian seaside. Don't forget you have to pay rent for your sun lounger or deck chair!    

The drive between Grado and Trieste is quite stunning and completely different to any other terrain you will find in Slovenia.. you go through low wetlands, covered in farming fields, but with a spectacular view back to the Slovenian Alps and Italian Dolomites towering and shimmering on the horizo. All this with the Adriatic sea like a big lake on the other side of the road!

Compared to Slovenia, it was a bit strange to be somewhere so flat. We whizzed back along the motorway to Trieste, it's a toll road, but not that expensive for the convenience and were back at Trieste in no time with just enough time to get a glimpse of Miramare castle.

    grado restaurant    miramare castello near trieste

This is another fairy tale imperial castle sitting at the bottom of the highest cliffs in the Mediterranean with fabulous sea views and gardens to stroll in before visiting the house. Take about an hour for the gardens and 40 mins for the castle. It is white on the outside, (a little reminiscant of the Taj Mahal) and inside there is a lot of wooden walls and furniture and many spectacular views out to sea and back to the ciyy of Trieste. Don't forget though, the gardens are really great, so leave time for them!

All this to choose from, so one day is not enough and yet still more to investigate.. We heard there is a lovely walk down fron the pretty village of Opcina, high up on the cliffs overlooking Trieste, all the way down to Miramare castle on the coast! We also heard about yet another pretty fishing village along the coast, not too far from Malfalcone, near the airport and we can't wait to find it!

We also want to visit the Isonzo delta, where the Slovenian Soca river meets the sea in Italy and we also heard about a really great cycle path along an old railway line from Kozina in Slovenia all the way down to Trieste!

Email: info@lipizzanerlodge.com

Address: Landol 17, Postojna 6230, Slovenia

Phone: +386 5620 3443
Mobile: +386 40 47 0239 or +386 40 37 8037