Piran, Slovenia

Piran, sits on the Adriatic Coast in Slovenia between Italy and Croatia. It is one of the best seaside destinations with a charming ambiance, surrounded by a stunning turquoise sea.

Tartini Square is the heart of the Piran Old Town with cobblestone streets and cafés. There is always a continuous stream of people that gravitate towards the centre before disappearing down the narrow streets that lead off of it. Another sight in the square is the statue of Giuseppe Tartini. This bronze version has been standing in the centre of Piran since 1896. Right behind the statue is the Venetian Municipal Palace, the most famous Piran building and oldest preserved structure on the square. Built in the 15th Century in a Gothic-Venetian style, the Venetian House features a unique corner balcony and a Venetian winged Lion.

Other buildings that surround the square include a Church and the birthplace of Tartini that date back to the 14th and 15th Centuries. Even older are the 9th Century stone pillars at the base of the flag poles that mark the entrance to the square from the Piran Harbour.

Just past the entrance of Tartini Square, is Piran Harbour. The small oval shaped harbour is common of Slovenian coastal towns with fishing boats that line the semi-circular area.

Built at the top of a hill, the St. George Church Bell Tower reaches a height of 155 feet with the Archangel sitting a further 12 foot higher. If you feel adventurous then climb the 146 steps as you will be rewarded with the best 360 degrees views over Piran and the Adriatic Sea and even further afield across the borders of Italy and Croatia. In front of the Church, the Renaissance façade looms high overhead. This imposing influence was intentionally designed as a deterrence to possible invaders arriving by sea.

St. George’s Church was built on the site of a previous Church at the beginning of the 1600’s and was named after the town’s Patron Saint. The interior of the Church is adorned with frescos and statues, the most notable however, is a piece of artwork ‘The Crucified from Piran’, a realistic wooden sculpture of Christ on a cross.

Standing at the very tip of the Piran Peninsula is another place to visit when in Piran. There is a Church that also serves as a lighthouse that sits on the point of the Peninsula. The Church was built in the 13th Century. Originally named the St. Clement’s Church it was later renamed in the 17th Century to Our Lady of Health Church to protect Piran from the plague.

Like much of the Adriatic Coastline, Piran beaches are made of rocks and concrete and not sand. Without a true sandy beach in Piran, the breakwater rocks are where tourists sunbathe by the sea. The City of Piran has initiated local artists to chisel the rocks into sculptures making it quite a unique sight to come and see while in the city. One of the beaches is the Plaza Piran, situated on the north side of the Peninsula, being the closest beach. However, there are nicer beaches nearby like Beach Fornace and Strunjan Beach.

If time allows set some time aside to take a boat trip from Piran. Sailing from Piran Harbour out on the Adriatic Sea provides you with one of the most amazing views of the historic town. The vantage point highlights the dominance of the Church that dwarfs the rest of the surrounding area. A good time to set sail would be around sunset as the views over the medieval walls of Piran are just glorious.

Portorož is another resort town on Slovenia’s Adriatic Coast, just 3 kms from Piran. There are three different ways to get there from Piran, by bus, taxi or by walking. It offers Spa therapeutic treatments based on the mud and brine from the nearby Sečovlje Salina Salt Pans as well as a lovely sandy beach with wooden piers. The hilltop Church of St. Bernardin is a former Monastery from the 15th Century and well worth a visit.

Another place to venture is the Strunjan Nature Park, a protected Natural Reserve, approximately 14 minutes East of Piran. There is a trail that tracks the rocky Slovenian Coastline from Piran to the Strunjan Cliffs that are covered in trees, Olive groves and vineyards.

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