Written by Iztok
Feb 18th, 2014
Hiking The Slovenian Coast
So you have a spare day and a car rental in Ljubljana and you're wondering how to put it to a good use, huh?
After all, you've probably heard so many good things about Slovenia.
Actually, with so many choices, there is no easy answer. Most Slovenians would suggest taking a day trip, but choosing a destination is a hard one.
The country is small but diverse, with many beautiful, historic and natural sights, mountains, forests, caves, ski resorts, lakes, wine growing regions, you name it.
And of course, there is a coast in the mix.
Day Trip from Ljubljana
Compared to neighboring Croatia, Slovenia's coast is pretty short. Nevertheless, Slovenians love it and grab every opportunity to drive down to famous tourist destinations Piran and Portoroz.
They just love the fact it's often sunny and warmer than the mainland, the sea is warm and even at Miss Daisy's pace they pretty much get there in one hour from Ljubljana.
What to do?
There are many things one can do in Portoroz or Piran. Sightseeing, cycling, relaxing on the beach, swimming, visiting one of the biggest spa and wellness centers in Slovenia, gambling even.
More details can be found at the Portoroz-Piran tourist information center.
I find lying on the beach, drinking endless cups of coffee boring so I follow a routine every time I take my family down there. And it involves hiking.
Hiking? On a spare day? Nah, you say? Well, think again.
Before you brush the idea aside you should know that the trail takes you through both major coastal towns, Portoroz and Piran, also smaller resorts Fiesa and Strunjan. You hardly lose sight of the sea.
You walk along cliffs, saline, through an old train tunnel, some backcountry. There will be plenty of opportunities to rest, jump into the water, refresh, there are places to eat and drink along the way.
Locals make an excellent coffee. Especially white coffee or cappuccino. They learned it from Italians I guess.
Where to start?
We usually leave a car at a public parking spot at the end of Portoroz in Lucija, just across Portoroz marina and the tennis center. It is more of a large lawn really, but it is free.
We grab something to eat at a bakery just at the corner of the tennis arena. It always comes handy later and it's delicious.
We hit the beach and follow the path through Portoroz all the way to Piran.
Don't waste your time in Portoroz at this point, you'll get back to it. It's a round trip.
First stop, Piran
It is pretty straightforward to Piran, where you can make a first major stop.
With an old city center, typically packed with houses, overlooked by a church and protected by the formidable wall, Piran is one of the prettiest towns in Slovenia.
Feel free to explore it, take a swim on the far side of the town, refresh and replenish your energy.
What a view
Once you are ready, climb to the church and then follow the path that leads below the cliffs down to a small resort Fiesa. The view of the beach along the way is awesome.
The hardest part
From Fiesa to Strunjan it's a bit tricky. It's the most strenuous part of the trail, but the view is awesome and the backcountry trail leads almost to the saline where you can rest, hit the water or grab a bite again.
Close to finish
From here, Portoroz is closer than you think. Ask for and old rail tunnel, dating back to the times of Austrian empire. Go through the tunnel and you are back to Portoroz.
It usually takes me two hours to complete the roundtrip, even though I take kids with me. It is very rewarding, though. We always feel a bit tired, but happy because of a good workout, fresh air and different experiences along the way. It is never boring.
- Round trip
- Portoroz - Piran - Fiesa - Strunjan - Portoroz
- 11 km
- App 2 hours
- The Same trail can be followed by a bicycle
Author: Iztok Golob