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 Olympic medals 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.
Not to be missed
Every year in Isola
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 Grand Prix of Slovenian Istria
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.
Izola Spring Cup
The Izola Spring Cup Regatta - the strongest Olympic and other sailing regatta in the Eastern Mediterranean for one decade - and one of the most powerful spring regattas in Europe - will be organized for the thirty-third time in 2020. Thanks to the popularity of our spring regatta, the sailing conditions, the accessibility of the Slovenian coast and the openness of our borders with Europe are favorable. Most of the credit for making the Izola Spring Cup well established is due to the members of the Burja Sailing Club, who have persisted for thirty years and invested time, experience and work in this event.
Following the water sources of the Izola countryside
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 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.
1st May Wake up
Every year in Izola for the 1st of May we are woken by the Izola Wind Orchestra, traveling through the city and the surrounding villages and leading us with their performances into the Labor Day.
The Hangar Bar organizes the traditional Beer Fest every year in collaboration with the Delfin Hotel. In the parking lot of the Delfin Hotel, before entering the Hangar Bar - during the fun Easter holidays - you can taste a wide variety of beers while listening good music.
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 the end of May in Izola.
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.
The Municipal holiday
In Izola on July 11th we celebrate a municipal holiday, which is accompanied by a formal presentation of municipal recognitions and awards, as well as a varied music and cultural program.
During the summer, Izola will be filled with the mouth-watering aroma of seafood, while the streets and squares wil be brimming with life and music. There will be many music performances 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.
I feel Slovenia Ironman 70.3 - Slovenian Istria
On the Slovenian coast, the first weekend of September there is a challenge for all who are not afraid to move their borders. I feel Slovenia Ironman 70.3 - a swimming, running and cycling test for every athlete, but also a special sports program organized for the youngest! A challenging route through old cities, picturesque villages and nature with stunning views. The four beautiful coastal cities, Koper, Izola, Piran and Ankaran, will host athletes and their fans and offer them a special Mediterranean experience, each with its own unique sights and charms.
The Istrian Cycling Marathon
The Istrian Cycling Marathon is the largest recreational cycling event in Istria. It impresses with its unique environment, vibrant lanes for all tastes and levels of preparedness, beautiful panoramas and a varied accompanying program. Every years the start and finish are take place in one of the Istrian cities.The event is scheduled to take place on the first weekend in October.
In 2020, it will run from October 3-4.
The celebration of the legend of Isola
Every year the memory of the distant 23 October 1380, when the Genoese fleet sailed before Izola, is remembered in Izola with a Celebration of the legend of Isola.
According to legend, on this day the helpless townspeople resorted to prayer in the church, and a white dove flew from the church over the Genoese fleet. Sv. The Maver covered Izola with a miraculous misty cloud to protect her, and the Genoese, convinced that they were approaching the mainland, followed the dove, which in fact led them far out into the open sea. The dove returned to the church and dropped an olive branch from its beak in a sign of peace and security. Since then, the dove with an olive branch in its beak has been represented by the municipal coat of arms of Izola.
Among the cities that were under Serenissima - the Venetian republic - various games with a focus on rowing regattas will be organized in order to maintain friendship between the cities of the northern Adriatic.
The Flavours of Izola
Every year the local restauranteurs join the “kilometre zero” initiative for locally harvested mussels that takes place in 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 last Saturday in August. Saturday, September the 19th is certainly the hottest day in autumn! The “Čiliada” chilli festival welcomes all those who love spicy food.