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.
In Izola, the International Refuscus Mundi Wine Festival takes place every year in Manzioli Square and in the Manzioli Palace. The festival is an important meeting point for winemakers to show their public all the refosco's potential. The winemakers are mainly wine-makers from Slovenian wine-growing regions of Slovenia Istria and "Kras", as well as their colleagues from Italy and Croatia.
The start of the race goes back to 2014. By 2016, it was called the Grand Prix di Isola. The aim was to connect all four coastal municipalities of Izola, Koper, Piran and Ankaran. With the growth of the Slovenian Istria brand, the race got its new name, the Grand Prix of Slovenian Istria.
The race annually announces the start of the cycling season and further enriches the winter holiday atmosphere in Slovenian Istria.
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.
We invite you to come for walk following the water sources of the Izola countryside, wich takes place every year. The walk begins and end in Korte, in front of the local meeting hall.
By following the trail of the water sources of the Izola countryside, the walk organiser - the Šparžin Tourism Association from Korte - is drawing attention to the meaning of water sources for our health and for a sustainable life. At the same time, they try to raise awareness among people in order to keep this important natural richness and preserve the memory of the place it used to take in the culture of the Izola countryside.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.