Izola’s strong bond with the flavours of the sea and the Istrian land is also celebrated at its traditional events. The hospitable locals are glad to share the traditions and customs of their Istrian ancestors with the visitors and give them a taste of fresh seafood. The remnants of the cultural heritage of Izola can be discovered at every step and the town truly lives and breaths culture, especially when visited by film enthusiasts during the acclaimed international film festival. You certainly won’t get bored during summertime – all of the smaller parks and squares host various events throughout the warm summer months.
The locals are also known for their exceptional sport skills, since many an Olympic medal ended up right here in Izola. And due to the favourable Mediterranean climate many traditional festivals in Izola feature sporting events and competitions both on land and at sea.
The Fishermen’s feast is a long-standing tradition, taking place every third weekend in August for the past 50 years. During these days, the town is filled with the mouth-watering aroma of seafood, while the streets and squares are brimming with life and music. This authentic Mediterranean feast hosts performances by many famous musicians as well as sporting events and cultural activities aimed at preserving traditions and customs. The visitors are sure to experience something new at their every turn – from the initiation ceremony for young scullers to the old boat regatta and the presentation of various fishing tasks and equipment. Heaps of fun, a note of typical Istrian humour and a plate full of fish are the perfect recipe for a festival that has been attracting tourists from around the world for decades.
This year the festival will take place on the
17th and 18th of August 2018.
INTERNATIONAL ORANGE WINE FESTIVAL
Orange wine? That’s right. Orange wine! Orange wines are produced using a procedure usually reserved for red wine production. It is, however, a traditional procedure, for in the past white grapes were left in contact with grape skins over a longer period of time, which gave the wine a deep colour reminiscent of old gold or amber.
The Orange Wine Festival (OWF) is a presentation of white wines, produced through a procedure of prolonged maceration. This annual festival takes place the last Friday in April and attracts numerous wine lovers. The festival in Izola has already become one of the most important venues promoting the sustainable, eco-friendly regional wine production and especially the ever-growing family of winemakers, devoted to the production of orange wines. Every November the International Orange Wine Festival moves to Vienna.
INTERNATIONAL FILM FESTIVAL “KINO OTOK – ISOLA CINEMA”
The seaside town of Izola comes alive as a true cinematic island just before the main summer season. The Mediterranean character of the Kino Otok film festival reveals a fine balance between relaxation and temperament that works like a charm – anyone who has ever experienced it will surely want to return. Form its first edition in 2004 it has been a festival in the true sense of the word, a place where filmmakers and enthusiasts meet, with an excellent selection of films and renowned guests from around the world. A careful selection of films and related accompanying events put Kino Otok on the map of the most relevant film festivals in the broader European area and the ever-growing audience attests to its success. Kino Otok returns to Izola every year in early June.
6-10 June 2018
OLIVES, WINE AND FISH FESTIVAL
Every year we enter the high season with an event, particularly well known among foodies and Mediterranean food lovers. In mid-June, the narrow streets of the old town host local producers. At their stalls, visitors can get a taste or buy homemade wine, olive oil and many other culinary specialties from the Slovene Istria. Be sure not to miss the opportunity to taste the deliciously fresh fish from the Adriatic Sea. This two-day event features a number of small concerts at various venues across town. The Olives, Wine and Fish Festival usually takes place in early June in Izola.
1-2 June 2018
THE FLAVOURS OF IZOLA
Visitors can enjoy the typical flavours of Izola and Istria throughout the summer. Every year the local restauranteurs join the “kilometre zero” initiative for locally harvested mussels that takes place in late May or early June. The warm summer sun ripens the homegrown tomatoes, which can be purchased at the farmers’ market, where local farmers sell their surplus crops. Once they are ripe, the tomatoes may end up in one of the pots at the yearly fresh homemade tomato sauce contest on Ljubljanska street. The town centre fills with the aroma of homemade “salsa” on the first Saturday in August. Tomatoes taste even better with a pinch of basil and this fragrant herb is at the core of another culinary event, the “Bazilikjada” basil festival, which invites for a stroll around the old town centre on the first Saturday in September. The last Saturday in September is certainly the hottest day in autumn! The “Čiliada” chilli festival welcomes all those who love spicy food.
As one of the biggest running events, the Istrian Marathon connects the four coastal towns: Koper, Izola, Piran and Ankaran. This mainly sporting event also promotes tourism and sustainability as well as a healthy lifestyle and outdoor leisure time activities in the clean and wholesome Istrian environment. The runners can enter either the Marathon (42 km), a Half Marathon (21 km) or a recreational race (10 km). The start and the finishing line are set in one of the four Istrian towns. The Marathon is usually held on the second weekend in April.
7-8 April 2018. This year the Marathon is hosted by Izola.
ISTRIAN CYCLING MARATHON
The Istrian Cycling Marathon is the largest cycling event in Istria. It attracts with its exceptional environment, diverse routes for every taste and proficiency level, wonderful views and a rich accompanying programme. The start and the finishing line are set in one of the four Istrian towns. The Marathon is usually held on the second weekend in October.
6-7 October 2018. This year the Marathon is hosted by Izola.