Piran The Ideal Day Trip Destination
Picturesque Piran is the ideal day trip destination. Perched at the very tip of a narrow peninsula, this Adriatic gem may just be the prettiest place to be found in all of Slovenia.
Its labyrinth of cobblestones, lanes and lovely pastel-coloured buildings exude an understated but unmistakable charm. With stunning architecture, winding alleyways, superb sunsets and delectable seafood cuisine awaiting you, prepare for a laid-back, indulgent day of adventure along the Slovenian coast.
Lovingly named ‘Mini Venice’ Piran has a distinct Italian ambience, not surprising as Piran was once a part of the Venetian empire from the late 13th century to the end of the 18th century, and then a part of Italy up until the middle of the 21st century. Today Piran boasts a unique appeal for visitors, you’ll find a fascinating blend of Slovenian, Austrian, and Italian culture. A place laden with treasures just waiting to be discovered, and you can experience it all in one magical day.
Piran is best explored on foot but if you choose to travel by car then be sure to park in the garage just outside the Town, at the main entrance. Piran is not made for cars! You can then meander through the lanes taking in the grand Venetian-inspired buildings, the beautiful churches and the distinctive ambience Piran is celebrated for.
When you wander the streets of Piran, a new discovery lies around every corner and under every archway – cats linger on crumbling walls, art abounds in sleepy little shops while ordinary people go about their lives. Make your way to Tartini Square (although it is in fact oval-shaped), oldtown’s beating heart, for some excellent people-watching in one of the many charming cafés. You can visit the information office here for a fun treasure hunt; this is filled with places to visit and interesting titbits on the history and quirks of Piran. In Tartini Square you’ll also find one of the town’s most impressive and eye-catching buildings, the red mid-15th-century Merchant’s House, with its triple-lancet windows, arabesque stone carvings and balcony.
Romance, Elegance & Nonchalance
There is a romantic tale attached to this house that the locals know well. The legend goes that a wealthy Venetian merchant fell deeply in love with a beautiful local girl, who quickly fell prey to gossip and slander, much to her distress. The Merchant built this incredible structure for his new-found love and included a stone relief of a lion with a banner in its mouth with an inscription that reads: ‘Lassa pur dir’ or ‘Let them talk’ to the scandal of the town and the delight of his lover. This tale is so evocative of the romance, elegance and nonchalance of this wonderful little town, something you will definitely experience as you wander around.
Other places to visit include the archaic 7th Century Town Walls, you can find the road that leads up to these just behind Tartini Square. These fairly intact fortification walls cross the hilltop and offer spectacular views of the town and over the bay to Croatia. There are quite a number of steps but it’s well worth the small trek for these incredible views. Below the walls, a beautifully landscaped hillside rolls down to the town’s orange rooftops. For more fantastic vistas, be sure to explore the 16th century bell tower of the Church of Saint George. Clamber up the wooden steps, relish the marvellous views and take in all that amazing sea air. You can experience the clanging of the bells closeup every quarter hour too!
PIran also has a modest Maritime Museum at the Gabrielli palace, right on the waterfront. Here you can gain insights into the history of Piran, sailing, salt-making and the Adriatic Sea. There is also an Aquarium to wander through too with a selection of aquatic flora and fauna to marvel at.
For a real taste of the sea, be sure to explore the Harbour with its thriving alfresco dining scene. The Harbour is the perfect place to spend some time with its laid-back vibes, relaxed atmosphere and superior food. You’ll find an abundance of inviting restaurants and cafes where you can enjoy a bite to eat. With its strong fishing tradition, it’s almost guaranteed the seafood will be fresh and delicious in Piran, and the seafood dishes are especially celebrated, with many eateries using daily fresh catches for their recipes. Don’t be surprised to see a fisherman or two delivering their fresh fish to any one of the cafés and/or restaurants you may find yourselves in. There are some speciality wines to be found in Piran’s restaurants as well, so be sure to try a sample of this original and somewhat acquired taste too!
Be sure to make the Harbour your last stop though because once you’ve gorged on the delectable food and drink, you won’t want to be walking anywhere else! Settle down and take in the marvellous sunset reflected across the pristine, still waters of the bay and reminisce about the incredible day you’ve just had in this ideal day trip destination.