Portoroz sur Mer
The Slovenian Riviera has a lot more to offer than just picture perfect Piran with each seaside town being quite different in look and feel to the others, whilst the warm salty Mediterranean Adriatic sea is always the same!
Portoroz is Slovenia's main seaside resort and the long promenade is stacked full of hotels and casinos.. it kinda provides the tutti frutti to Piran's beauty!
Whenever our guests pop down to the coast for the day, they have a big decision to make as to where to go. Do you want to swim, relax, shop, drop, walk or explore more? Are you a couple, a young family, teenage kids, slightly older legs? So it really does depend on what you want to do, see and of course, how much time you have.
Portoroz and Piran are a little like chalk and cheese, you might even find that different members of the family prefer a different one..
In Portoroz there is really lots and lots of stuff for kids and fun seekers, with go karting, bouncy castles, a lido, mini fun fairs and all the things you would expect from a seaside town.
There are fake sandy beaches and grassy parks along the bright blue sea promenade with several wooden piers going into the water for sun bathing and jumping off. You can rent a deckchair and an umbrella for the day at different locations and different prices all along the seafront, depending where you prefer to sit. (The more in the middle you sit and the more sandy it is will generally cost you more)!
There are noisy or quiet restaurants and bars to suit your choice and you can find a designer bag or a paper bag in the shops, but the good news, especially if you have forgotten your swimwear or snorkel or need to get a postcard for Granny is that there are quite a few different shops along the main prom.
So that is confirmation of the things you might expect from Portoroz, but here a few other things we like about it that you might not know about?
There is a cycle path along an old disused railway to the coast and a long bike tunnel that you can bike through from the Izola side popping out at Portoroz and as the town is quite big, there are also plenty of places to bike here.
"Piran salt" actually comes from Portoroz and there are vast "salt" fields on the far side of the town just before the Croatian border, with a salt museum that you can visit to find out more about how salt was farmed from the sea in big pyramids in the old days and now.
There are lots of restaurants here and a lot of choice.. we never usually recommend places to eat in the more touristy places like Ljubljana or Piran as you really have so much choice, restaurants come and go and it is also fun to go find the best place for you. But you don't need to eat at the biggest, most central restaurant by the sea in Portoroz, we know of a mobile bus, serving great street food and our guests often come back with happy stories of finding a quiet little restaurant with great seafood, so take your time and have a good look around.. it isn't difficult to find a nice restaurant here.
Park in Portoroz for Piran!
And please don't take this the wrong way, but one of the greatest joys of visiting Portoroz is actually leaving it!! What we mean is that often our guests would like to have a good walk by the sea and would still like to at least see a bit of Portoroz for their day by the sea, so we recommend they visit both Portoroz and Piran!
This is one of our most popular tips for the coast.. Portoroz has so many more parking possibilities compared to Piran, especially a big open air car park by the marina, so we recommend that guests park in Portoroz and make their way along the coast to Piran for a wonderful day by the sea.
People always want to know "distance" and "time", but this is relative to how long you spend admiring the coastal delights and attractions of Portoroz on the way to Piran. The actual distance is only a few km, but there are little parks along the sea wall and places to swim all along and of course those shops and restaurants & bars! So you could spend as long as you want getting to Piran, chill out there, maybe have a meal and then stroll back to the car in Portoroz for a wonderful day and walk by the sea!
If you walk directly and briskly between Portoroz and Piran it would take about an hour, you could easily take several hours with a swim and an ice cream, but the important thing for you to know is that it is VERY possible and easy to navigate as you are walking next to the sea in one direction!
The other thing to reassure you is that YOU CAN WALK DIRECTLY between Portoroz and Piran.. there are several private looking resorts and hotels along the way, but this will not stop you walking along the coast the whole way, (with a few very small detours around a car park for example)!
And actually the largest private looking resort between Portoroz and Piran is like a mini sea village with souvenir shops and very good ice cream!
The other thing to note is there is a public bus service between the two towns, just check which number bus stop you are in Portoroz where you park and then jump on the hopper bus at bus stop number 1 at the start of Piran. (Don't panic when the bus goes a little uphill and away from the sea after Piran, you will soon be back on track for Portoroz)!
So you could decide to walk both ways, or bus one way or there and back! It is perfectly possible to spend the bulk of your day out at Piran, but still experience the fun of Portoroz!
And after telling you all this, we should also let you know that our fave place by the sea is neither Piran or Portoroz as we love little Izola even more.. but that is a different story..
We often pop down just 45-50 mins to Portoroz from the Lodge for a bit of sea air, a stroll, an ice cream or a coffee, particularly at times when the kids are at school, which is of course the best time to visit Slovenia anyway.. if you can!
As you would imagine, Portoroz can get busy during the school hols, but outside those times, particularly in the long warm Mediterranean off season it can be a very relaxed, pleasant place to be.
Forget the nonsense you might read or hear from the ill informed that Slovenia's coast is tiny and is "just Piran", as Green Slovenia really does have a lot of choice for your coastal adventures and also a huge coastal Hinterland by the way! So hopefully now you know a little more about Portoroz and this will help you decide where to have your day's splash by the sea!