Slovenia only has a tiny bit of Adriatic coastline – about 30km of it sandwiched between Croatia and Italy. Luckily, What it lacks in size it makes up in personality. We settled on Piran because the old town looked really cool, and it had the resort town of Portoroz on its doorstep. We had 3 days here and wished we could have had more.
Little boring this – again we had a hire car. Our real problem was that driving from Croatia our sat-nav got a little excited and took us through the middle of nowhere. We arrived at the Slovenian/Croatian border and the officials there looked gobsmacked that 2 English tourists in a French hire car had appeared from the woods. If you use a sat-nav to get there, make sure you check which way it’s taking you first. The motorways might look a lot longer but take it from someone who has done it – the lanes through the mountains are not worth the stress.
On the peninsula itself, the roads are pretty tiny but they’re quiet and there’s plenty of parking knocking about. To go to the beach we just parked in the hotel car parks – they’re supposed to be for guests only but there is (or was at the time of writing) no way for them to check, and the barriers weren’t down at any point.
Afraid it was an AirBnb job again for us, by far the cheapest option for a short stay. We stayed with Daniel at a place Google identifies as Nastanitve Jeselnik (nope, me neither). It was fantastic. The view from the balcony was worth the price alone – we enjoyed sitting and eating our dinner there while watching the sun go down over the Croatian headland on the other side of the bay.
Hotel Park – We treated this little spot in Slovenia like a mini-break. There is plenty of seaside to relax by – our preferred spot was the private marina (I don’t call it a beach because there was no sand, just grass) behind the Hotel Bernadin. Not only was it quiet, hassle free, safe and had parking, but on site there were a few restaurants, bars and shops to cater for the hotel residents. We spent at least one entire day here doing very, very little. Perfection.
Piran Old Town – The other great attraction in the area is Piran old town. I don’t think our photos do justice to quite how nice this little place is. It is only tiny, a few hours’ walk at most, but it’s well worth it for the views from the church and the old city walls, not to mention getting lost in the winding old streets. We stumbled across a market in an old town square where we bought fresh cherries for next to nothing, perfect on a baking hot morning.
Food & Drink
This little peninsula is well sorted for food. It has the influence of Croatia from the south, Italy from the north and of course Slovenia itself from the east, and all of these influences can be seen. Somewhat shamefully, on arrival we were a bit too tired to go out for dinner, following the aforementioned cross-mountain trek, so we got takeaway pizza. Our host rang them for us (funnily enough I don’t speak Slovenian) and they delivered it to the door, and I can honestly say it was the best take-out pizza I’ve ever had. Proper Italian fayre, none of this cheese-drowned American rubbish. The place was called Cenik and they were cheap as well as delicious.
We also had a beautiful seafood platter in Portoroz at a little place called Fritolin, right next to the Mercator supermarket in the middle of town. The place was packed – always a good sign – but our waiter was great and the food was brilliant.