After two soggy days in Maribor, driving into Piran on a sunny afternoon felt like the first day of summer vacation. Staring out from the bus windows at happy people biking, swimming, and basking in the warm weather we couldn’t wait to get out and join them. Making the 45 minute commute from the train station in Koper to the seaside town of Piran was one of the longest in my life.
Quaint, charming, laid-back, and peaceful are all ways one could describe the little slice of coastline occupied by Piran, and while it is definitely under-visited compared to it’s more touristy neighbours, when we arrived on Sunday afternoon Piran was absolutely hopping! As we wandered past restaurants overflowing with patrons and parking lots unable to squeeze in one more tiny compact car, we began to worry the quiet little town we’d been promised online no longer existed. Luckily, our worries were short lived, as the streets began to clear out after dark and the next morning we awoke to a much different, less-inhabited, place.
There isn’t much to do in Piran, and most of what it has to see can be covered in an hour or two, which is why the majority of visitors end up seeing the town as a day-trip from one of the busier, all-inclusive-hotel filled cities like Portorose (just 20 mins away). However, as our base for three sun soaked days, Piran was the perfect hideaway from the tourist buses and guided tours. With a charming marina, sea side promenade, and hill top city walls, we were able to fill two days while still finding time to relax and stare out at the ocean. This left our third day in the city free for a day trip to the nearby Skocjan Caves (which we will be sure to cover in a future post).
Leaving Piran wasn’t easy – we’d already quickly become attached to the lazy days and a delicious little seafood restaurant tucked away in a square off the main street**. Unfortunately we had no choice as there is even more of Slovenia we want to discover, including the capital of Ljubljana. Taking one last inhale of salty sea air and a good look around, we boarded the bus and left this slice of paradise, at least for now.
Logisitcs: Piran is just one of a number of small towns that dot the 42km of Slovenia’s Adriatic Coast. The hub for the region is Koper (17 km north), which is the only town connected by rail (and has frequent service to Ljubljana taking just over 2hrs). Frequent bus service connects Koper to Izola, Piran, and the other coastal resort cities (Koper to Piran takes about 45 mins and costs 3.60 per person). Piran can be traversed easily on foot (plus parking costs 24 Euro a day), so if you have a car leave it in one of the lots outside the city. Great views can be had from the old town walls – be aware they cost 1 Euro and they only take coins! You can get there from the main square, just follow the signs.
**The restaurant we enjoyed was Fritolin Pir Cantini, a local and more traditional self-service style place located on the smaller square (Trg 1 maja). You place your order at the counter and grab a drink from the bar next door if you want. When you’re done you pay both for what you had. Fried squids and fries (and bread) cost 7.90, a pretty good deal!