A day trip from Croatia to Piran, Slovenia
Croatia has myriad delights to experience – from its incredible beaches and coastal towns to its bounty of world-class wines and food that will take your breath away, as well as its many jaw-dropping historical sites (some from the Roman era).
It’s safe to say that Croatia has something for everyone, and when you book with us, our knowledgeable and friendly team will direct you to one of our tours that will provide adventure, history and multi-sensory delights that make up the vacation of a lifetime.
However, if you’re in Croatia and are feeling adventurous – and feel you want to spread your wings a little and pack as much into your trip as possible – why not hire a car or catch a bus just over the border to Piran, one of Slovenia’s only coastal towns?
It’s only 80km from Rovinj and is well worth a visit.
The best way to get there from the north part of the country is to hire a car and travel up the coast – in many cases, it’ll be a two-hour journey and it’ll give you flexibility to plan your day as you want to.
Sitting prettily between the border of Italy and Croatia, Piran stretches out on a cape that overlooks the beautiful Adriatic and, on a clear day, Venice stares back at it from the other side of the gulf.
With Trieste just over the border in Italy, the town is a prime hotspot for visitors who want to experience coastal living in this beautiful and historic part of the world.
And what history.
It’s with Venice that this town is inextricably linked. For 500 years – from 1283 to 1797 – Piran was part of the Republic of Venice, and its ties to the world-famous city over the water meant that even as late as the mid-20th century Italian was the official language.
But this picture-postcard town has a personality and an attraction all of its own, and is one of the more stunning along the Adriatic coast, with its compact Old Town packed with superb examples of Venetian Gothic architecture.
Some even say that the town is a handy alternative to Venice for those who want to experience all the grandeur but not the crowds (although it has to be said, Piran also gets crowded during the summer months).
With crystalline waters enveloping the town – the waters are so clear that you may spot sea bream and needlefish darting in and around the fishing boats – there’s plenty to see and do in the town, which makes it perfect for a day trip.
Tartini Square is the town’s main hub and focal point, and is full of colorful buildings, including cafes and restaurants, while one of the sides of the square opens up on to the harbor.
If you want the best view of Piran, however, it’s best to climb the 146 steps up the Bell Tower. There is a reward for all the hard work – once you get to the top you’re greeted by a magnificent view that takes in the town, Slovenian Istria, Italy and Croatia. (It should be noted that entrance to the bell tower incurs a €1 fee.)
Elsewhere, you can walk around the town by following the medieval walls. These fortifications were built in the 15th century in order to ward off invaders from Turkey and to get to them an uphill walk is required. Once you’re there you’re provided with more stunning views over the town.
But it’s the town’s Old Town that is really worth losing yourself in. A maze of narrow, cobblestone lanes and colorful houses, no maps are needed because it’s a small compact area and all you will eventually end up back in Tartini Square or the beach.
For sheer charm and enchanting Slovenian history, the Old Town is well worth exploring.
When you’ve worked up an appetite, there’s plenty of fantastic, drool-inducing seafood dishes on offer in the local tavernas or higher-end restaurants – think cuttlefish risotto, sea bass carpaccio and fresh pasta dishes – all flavored by the local, world-famous salt.
Salt? Yes, it’s true.
The local soil composition in Piran creates one of the most highly-prized salts in the world, and it’s used to flavor everything from food to the local chocolate (do try the dark chocolate with sea salt if you can).
Add in delicious local wine aplenty and the incredible olive oil and Piran will reward you with a fabulous meal – as well as history and Venetian-style culture – before you head back into Croatia.
To find more about our tours that give a true and authentic flavor of Croatia, simply speak to a member of our friendly and knowledgeable team. Our regional experts – many of them on the ground in Croatia – provide a bespoke level of service that is second to none. With their in-depth local and regional knowledge, our team looks after you from start to finish, delivering itineraries tailored to you and your needs, helping create an unforgettable experience for you and your companions.