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The coast's three most important towns are Venetian at the core, with tortuous alleyways that seem to lead nowhere, centuries-old palazzi (large, palatial urban buildings) and sun-bleached churches, but each is quite different. Koper, the most populous and Slovenia’s busiest port, is a working as well as a tourist destination. Laid-back Izola fronts the most perfect bay and shelters the nation’s fishing fleet. Everybody’s favorite, Piran, is the stuff of postcards, with an embarrassment of delightful period buildings and a strip of fish restaurants up against the water. Beyond the Venetian ports is the resort town of Portorož, where Slovenia ...

The coast's three most important towns are Venetian at the core, with tortuous alleyways that seem to lead nowhere, centuries-old palazzi (large, palatial urban buildings) and sun-bleached churches, but each is quite different. Koper, the most populous and Slovenia’s busiest port, is a working as well as a tourist destination. Laid-back Izola fronts the most perfect bay and shelters the nation’s fishing fleet. Everybody’s favorite, Piran, is the stuff of postcards, with an embarrassment of delightful period buildings and a strip of fish restaurants up against the water. Beyond the Venetian ports is the resort town of Portorož, where Slovenia lets its hair – and a lot of everything else – down. Once a bit honky-tonk, Portorož has gone upmarket in recent years with the long-awaited reopening of the old Palace Hotel (now the Kempinski Palace) and the refurbishing of the excellent thermal spa and treatments center. If you’d really like to see a different coast, though, head south to Sečovlje, with its wonderful nature park and saltworks, or head inland and visit the hilltop villages of Slovenian Istria to try the local wines.

Steve Fallon
About the Expert

Steve Fallon has more than two dozen years of experience as a travel writer and guidebook author, having written or contributed to some 80 Lonely Planet and other guides.

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Steve Fallon for Triporati

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Facts at a Glance

  • Location: Northernmost arm of the Mediterranean Sea
  • Language: Slovenian and Italian
  • Currency: Slovenian Tolar
  • Research: Wikipedia
  • Weather: Rainfall | Daylight
  • Current Time:

Climate

  • Best Time to Visit:

    May to October, since many of the hotels, camping grounds, tourist offices and restaurants close or severely curtail their opening times during the off-season (November-March).