Ljubljana to Trieste, Piran and Portorož
Slovenia is a small and well-connected country with a central location in Europe, which makes traveling to neighboring countries especially easy and convenient. From Ljubljana, we will hop across the Italian border and travel to Trieste and Miramare Castle, followed by a visit to Slovenian coastal towns Piran and Portorož.
Upon arriving in Trieste, we can drive to Miramare Castle, which was commissioned in 1860 by the Archduke Ferdinand Maximilian of Habsburg and built as a residence for himself and his wife. It offers today’s visitors an example of a luxurious aristocratic residence which has preserved its original furnishings. On Trieste’s main square – Piazza Unità d’Italia – we can appreciate the beauty and architecture around the Fountain of the Four Continents and the Town Hall and learn about Trieste’s unique historical development.
To experience the Mediterranean fairy tale, we will visit the beautiful seaport town of Piran, also known as “Small Venice”. This is a picturesque place of ancient tales, legends and mysteries that we will help you discover. We will stroll through the old town and Tartini Square until the viewing point overlooking the church of St. George with a view of three countries – Slovenia, Italy and Croatia. Piran is also known for its excellent seafood – what better place to have your late lunch or early dinner?
On our excursion to Piran, we will also shortly enjoy the beauty of the nearby modern capital city of Slovenian tourism – Portorož. With its Mediterranean climate, spa and wellness centers, this is the place to visit when you want to enjoy a relaying day. Local bars, cafés and restaurants offer unique culinary experience with exquisite local dishes and finger-licking good gelato. In addition, you will be amazed by the unforgettable sunset views over the Adriatic Sea.
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Trieste was one of the oldest parts of the Habsburg Monarchy from 1382 until 1918. In the 19th century, the monarchy was one of the Great Powers of Europe and Trieste was its most important seaport. Its role as an important Habsburg city and harbor was accentuated with the construction of the railway Vienna-Trieste. You will see the city center and the beautiful Miramare Castle, built by Archduke Ferdinand Maximilian I for himself and his wife Charlotte of Belgium.
What to see in Trieste
Trieste is a place of rich culture. Piazza Unità d’Italia with its Fountain of the Four Continents, numerous monuments and statues, such as the statue of James Joyce, Umberto Saba and Triestine maidens sitting by the sea, churches, cathedrals and museums such as the sobering Risiera di San Sabba… and the list just goes on!
What to do in Trieste
When in Trieste, you do what the Triestine people do – drink coffee! Best spot is, of course, by Piazza Unità d’Italia, for example at the Caffè degli Specchi, which opened in 1839 and is one of the most famous cafés in Trieste. You can learn about locals and their habits, as well as admire the surrounding architectural beauties.
Where to go in Trieste
Visiting Trieste’s top attraction – the Miramare Castle – is a must! Located on a steep cliff above the sea, it is just a stone throw away. The Barcola promenade leading to the castle is calling for you to take a walk on and feel the heartbeat of Trieste. It offers a beautiful view over the sea, unforgettable sunsets, bars, coffee shops, gelato stands and restaurants.
Piran is a romantic Mediterranean town with rich history and numerous cultural sites. It is inarguably the most beautiful town on the Slovenian coast, which flourished due to the proximity of the Piran Salt Pans, where salt is still acquired using traditional methods. You can still find influences from the times of the Republic of Venice that Piran once formed a part of. The town is protected as a cultural and historical monument.
What to see in Piran
Narrow streets and old stone houses with colourful window shields give Piran a special sense of cosiness and an undeniable charm. You can see churches and buildings with noticeable venetian architectural traits. The main square is crowned with a statue of Giuseppe Tartini, a composer and virtuoso violinist who was born in a house just steps from the square.
What to do in Piran
Since Piran is such a tiny town, you can just walk around it with our tour guide to get to know it better. If you walk down the pier, you will see the traditional fishermen, and if you walk away from the sea, you will find yourself in the middle of a lively market. Having coffee or lunch by the sea can become one of your most treasured memories.
Where to go in Piran
Climbing the hill to reach Piran City Walls will treat you with an amazing view of Slovenia, Italy and Croatia. The best cafés and restaurants are lined up around Tartini Square and down the main beach. Piran is also a popular venue for various traditional events in glory of local natural heritage and crops, such as the Salt Festival.
Portorož is the modern capital city of Slovenian tourism with the most luxurious hotel in Slovenia – Kempinski Palace Portorož. It has a long history of being a popular health resort for domestic and foreign visitors with beneficial climate and healing substances from the nearby Piran Salt Pans. It is a small place with high-quality wellness offer, casinos, bars and a vast selection of activities that include its surroundings.
What to see in Portorož
Sea, sand and sun(sets) – still the ultimate recipe for a great vacation! Portorož has a well-maintained central beach with cute beach bars and cafés, where you can spend time swimming or sea-gazing to relax and let your mind wander. In a quiet town like Portorož, families with children, couples and individuals can take some time off.
What to do in Portorož
Those of you who want a more active holiday can visit one of the local clubs, attend numerous events throughout the year, rent a car, bike – or take a horse ride to the nearby Istrian villages! For true sports enthusiasts, there are tennis courts, sporttracks, sport halls, pools and, of course, the warm blue sea.
Where to go in Portorož
A stroll through the main promenade and an evening walk from Portorož to Piran are nice and relaxing experiences even the locals never get tired of! If you are interested in cultural sights and natural attractions, you can take a trip to the nearby Sečovlje Salina Nature Park and Strunjan Nature Park or visit Piran.
- Duration: 10 h
- Price includes: Transport, licensed English-speaking tour guide, and organization.
- Optional: Entrance to Miramare Castle
* The price depends on group size and seasonality.
* Pick-up & drop-off in Ljubljana.