8 Istrian experiences to discover
Summer is here, and it is time for new experiences and diverse adventures waiting for you in the Slovenian Istria.
Treat your taste buds to a traditional Istrian breakfast
Before embarking on your adventures, why not sample an Istrian breakfast? This is the perfect opportunity to sample selected premium local products, such as homemade bread, jam, salami, cheese, seasonal vegetables, and other homemade delicacies, and explore the culinary heritage of Slovenian Istria. You can order the classic or vegetarian version of the Istrian breakfast by phone or online; alongside your meal, you will also be treated to free local experiences.
Discover the wonderful sights and culinary delights of Strunjan
You can also sample Istrian delicacies in the Strunjan Landscape Park, a beautiful green oasis, where you can try the delicious fruits of the earth like Strunjan persimmons and artichokes in the splendid surroundings. Spend the day in the company of a local guide, who will take you on a pleasant hike. The route will lead you from Strunjan via Portorož, where you can sneak a quick pit stop for coffee and a sweet treat. The road then leads through the Valeta tunnel, where the Parenzana narrow-gauge railway track once ran, past the Strunjan salt pans. There, you can seize the day and take a refreshing dip in the sea. From there, you will continue on past Stjuža, the only Slovenian marine lagoon, towards Moon Bay (Mesecev zaliv) and then to Belvedere. The day trip will conclude at the homestead, where you will sample olive oil, enjoy a glass of wine, and explore the rest of their offer. The length of the walk can be adapted, if necessary.
Visit the wine fountain
Prepare for a wonderful sight in one of the best outlook points in the Slovenian Istria. The village of Marezige offers a stunning view of the Istrian hinterland and the Bay of Koper, as well as the first and, so far, the only wine fountain in Slovenia. The fountain has the best wines from the Slovenian Istria on tap; you can purchase them along with other local products at the nearby store. You can also take a vintage American bus to the wine fountain.
Relax among the olive groves on the hillsides of Piran
The winding road from the village of St. Peter in the hinterlands of Piran leads to the green valley of the Dragonja River and the Organic agricultural holding. Sitting in the shade on the courtyard in front of a typical Istrian house, locals will explain how life in this Istrian hamlet is based on principles of sustainability. The owner, Jani, is a biologist and ardent nature conservationist; he will teach you about the olive tree, work in an olive grove, and some basic ecological terms. You will learn how to determine the quality of extra virgin olive oil, which will help you detect the characteristics of individual samples. The visit will satisfy all lovers of nature and the Istrian landscape, concluding under the shade of the pergola, with the table beneath laden with home-made delicacies.
Explore the Mediterranean park
The Ankaran Peninsula features a Mediterranean park with plants from every continent. The park is located in the Youth and Health Resort of the SRC Debeli Rtič and spans over about seven hectares. It is home to over 4,500 major plants, which belong to over 230 plant species from all of the continents. Conifers are predominant, especially the Mediterranean cypress, black pine, and cedar; among the larger shrubs are mostly oleander, laurel, and sticky plants. Most plants are approximately 50 years old, but some trees, like the like oak and pubescent oak, reach the age of 120 to 150 years.
Venture along the educational trails
The Mediterranean park is also a part of the Debeli rtič Landscape Park, where you can embark on the recreational and educational trails. Information boards display the marked educational trails and points of interest, which highlight and remind us of these gems of nature.
Experience the sea from a different perspective
They say the best things in life are wild and free. This is precisely what the Bele skale Beach in Izola is like, sprawled beneath a mighty cliff in the area of the Strunjan Landscape Park. If you want to experience the freedom of the sea from a different perspective, test your balance on a SUP board and see the beach from a new viewpoint. You can rent the SUP in the Tourist Information Center in Izola.
Travel back to Roman times
You can also paddle your SUP board from Bele skale to the Archaeological park Simonov zaliv, which features remnants of a Roman coastal villa and various mosaics. Visit the park’s interpretation center to learn about life in Roman times and other points of interest. The park is open from Friday to Sunday from 4 pm to 7 pm in June; in July and August, the park’s operating times are Tuesday to Sunday from 5 pm to 8 pm.
Photo 1: Strunjan Landscape Park (Photo: Nik Jarh)
Photo 2: Marezige Wine Fountain (Photo: Matia Ščukovt)
Photo 3: View of the Mediterranean park and Debeli Rtič Landscape Park (Photo: Jaka Ivančič)
Photo 4: Bele skale Beach and SUP (Photo: Luka Kaše, RIIBA)