Picture Perfect Piran


The beautiful nation of Slovenia is yet to experience a boom in tourism. Those who do visit Slovenia generally base themselves in the Capital Ljubljana or in the fabulous Julian Alps to the north. Slovenia, however, is a nation of great contrasts and surprises offering something for everyone to enjoy and that includes a stunning stretch of coastline.

Nestled between Italy and Croatia, the Slovenian coast is just 30 miles long but is well worth experiencing despite the fact that the more celebrated resorts of Croatia are right next door. The Jewel in the crown of this region is the beautiful town of Piran which sits on a promontory in the bay of Trieste. Here Venetian architecture dominates in a community of town houses and villas built into the hillside in what was once Italian territory.

There is no doubt that Piran is strikingly beautiful with the terracotta roofs stretching down to a pretty harbour and the sparkling Adriatic and there is a peaceful feel even in what could be considered peak times. Piran is a place to linger and relax on balmy days in the sunshine.

If you arrive by car your vehicle must be left on the outskirts of town but the walk into the centre is a pleasant one with magnificent views of the bay. You pass the marina with boast gently bobbing in the breeze before arriving at the heart of Piran, Tartini Square. Here it is well worth putting your feet up and enjoying a coffee al fresco whilst people watching and admiring the architecture.

Once fortified by your refreshments take a walk up the hill behind the square to visit the church of St George. There are amazing views across Piran and the Bay of Trieste and you can take a trip to the top of the bell tower which is clearly a close copy of the Campanile in Piazza San Marco, Venice. A few minutes admiring the Adriatic here will be enough to draw you down to the shoreline which is generally not too crowded.

piran coast

There are no sandy beaches in Piran just rocky shoreline and some platforms from which to dive but it is a pleasant place to while away the hours and the water is comfortably warm and wonderfully clear. There are a few shops along the shore selling nautical presents and nautical equipment and it is worth investing in a snorkel and mask. There is plenty of marine life to view very close to the shore and you will have large stretches of the water to yourself.

The waterfront is lined with some attractive restaurants and the food is generally of a good standard. It is a great place to dine by the sea and there is a fine selection of seafood on offer together with Italian cuisine and some Slovenian specialities. The prices are quite high, though, but they are worth paying for the great atmosphere and beautiful setting.

Before leaving do take a stroll around the back streets of Piran. There is some great architecture to take in and several interesting shops to explore selling local crafts. The ceramics on offer are particularly impressive as is the gorgeous local produce which you should sample if you are on a self-catering trip.

All in all Piran is a fabulous place to visit and it can only be a matter of time before more people discover its charms so get in quick before the crowds descend on this peaceful haven in Slovenia.


Article by Sally Stacey