Slovenian Istria In Your Pocket

May 7, 2018 | Author: In Your Pocket City Guides | Category: Slovenia, Bus, Menu, Apartment, Yacht
Share Embed Donate


Short Description

The 2013 edition of our Slovenian Istria guide has 40 pages of things to see and do, places to stay and eat, and much mo...

Description

Maps Events Restaurants Cafés Nightlife Sightseeing Shopping Hotels

Slovenian Istria 2014/2015

Includin g Koper Including Ko per,, Izola, Piran, Portorož, Postojna and the Karst

inyourpocket.com Issue N°6 - FREE COPY

Contents E S S E N T I A L   CITY

GUIDES

 IN YOUR POCKET  MOBILE  MOBILE In Your Pocket   is now available on all smartphones

via our responsive mobile platform, found at m.inyourpocket.com . Featuring more than 100 cities across Europe, In Your Pocket Mobile   is an invaluable resource which puts our unrivalled content together with the technical capabilities of today’s smartphones. In Your Pocket Mobile  allows you to view all venues in a city on a map, quickly showing which are the closest to your current location. Smart filters can be used to ensure that only those places which matter to you are displayed. You can also leave comments about venues, as well as rate them, right in the mobile platform. You can even share your comments with your friends via the most popular social networks. Point your phone’s web browser to m.inyourpocket.com  now.

In recent years, the Port of Koper has seen increasing arrivals from cruise ships, photo by Ubald Trnkoczy

Arrival & Trans Transport port

5

Planes, trains, buses and cars

Koper

6

 The capital of the coast

Izola

12

A fishing village with soul

Piran

18

Slovenia’s prettiest town

Portorož

24

A top resort destination

The Karst

28

Explore this amazing inland region

Postojna

32

More than just a cave Socerb Castle offers breathtaking views as far as the eye can see, photo by Ubald Trnkoczy

Maps

36

2014

www.adriaservice-yachting.com facebook/slovenia.inyourpocket

Foreword

Publisher IQBATOR Ltd.

Slovenian In Your Pocket Drenikova 33, 1000 Ljubljana, Slovenia, Tel. +386 30 316 602 [email protected] Director

Niko Slavnic M.Sc. [email protected] Printed Eurograf Printed Eurograf Published Once Published Once per year Maps  Maps Monolit Editorial

Managing Editor Yuri Editor Yuri Barron Writers Will Writers Will Dunn, James Cosier, John Bills Layout & Design Radomir Design Radomir Lazović Consulting Craig Consulting  Craig Turp Photos Local Photos Local tourist associations, Shutterstock, Slovenia In Your Pocket Cover photo www.kpss.si / Creative Commons license Sales & Operations Management

Irena Jamnikar, Karmen Hribar, Stanka Parkelj Rozina, Leon Šlajpah Copyright notice

 Text and photos copyright IQBATOR IQBATOR d.o.o. Maps copyright carcartographer. All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced in any form, except brief extracts for the purpose of review, without written permission from the publisher and copyright owner. The brand name In Your Pocket is used under license from UAB In Your Pocket (Bernardinų 9-4, Vilnius, Lithuania, tel. (+370) 5 212 29 76).

 ABOUT IYP

ESTONIA RUSSIA

LATVIA LITHUANIA

NORTHERN IRELAND

BELARUS

IRELAND NETHERLANDS

POLAND UKRAINE

GERMANY BELGIUM

CZECH REPUBLIC  AUSTRIA

SWITZERLAND

HUNGARY

ROMANIA

SLOVENIA CROATIA ITALY

BOSNIA SERBIA BULGARIA MONTENEGRO FYR MACEDONIA  ALBANIA GREECE

GEORGIA

It’s now 22 years since we published the first In Your Pocket guide - to Vilnius in Lithuania - in which time we have grown to become the largest publisher of locally produced city guides in Europe. We now cover more than 100 cities across the continent (with Gudauri, Gudauri, in Georgia, the latest city to be pocketed) and the number of concise, witty, wellwritten and downright indispensable In Your Pocket  guides  guides published each year is approaching five million. We will be expanding even further this year, with the publication of a guide to Johannesburg: burg: our first outside of Europe.  To keep up up to date with all that’s new at In Your Pocket , like us on Facebook  (face (facebook.com/inyourpocket) or follow us on Twitter  (tw itter.com/inyourpocket). itter.com/inyourpocket).

SOUTH  AFRICA

Slovenian Istria In  I n

3

 Arriving & Getting Around Around

Even amongst Slovenes the phrase ‘I’m going to the coast’ more often than not refers to a trip south to Croatia, which is understandable, as not only were they part of the same country just over two decades ago, but the Croatian mainland and its numerous islands cover some 5,835km of Mediterranean coast, which makes Slovenia’s 47km (or 46.6km to be exact) somewhat comical in comparison. However, to quote the philosopher Plato: ‘Necessity is the mother of invention’, and since the current national borders were established following the Second World War, Slovenia has made the most of what it was left with, giving it what is in our not so humble opinion centimetre for centimetre the finest coastline in the world! Lest you think we’re just wantonly throwing around hyperbole (which admittedly wouldn’t be the first time, as we are a tourist guide after all), take a minute and tell us where else along a less than 50km stretch of the Mediterranean one can find two still-functioning ancient salt pans, a protected nature reserve, a major shipping port and cruise liner terminal, several well-preserved Venetian old towns, kilometres of waterfront cycling and walking paths, an international airport, one of Europe’s top nightclubs, both large public beaches and small secluded swimming spots, a breakaway municipality that was the subject of a recent constitutional court ruling, the highest cliff on the entire Adriatic, a modern seaside resort town, countless major events held throughout the year and lots of other things we’re likely forgetting at the moment. Go ahead, we’ll wait! In all serious though, the Slovene coast, like the country itself, offers visitors an incredibly diverse selection of things to see, do and experience, and we’ve tried our best to include many of them in the following pages, while much more info can be found on our website. As always we welcome any and all feedback, be it on Facebook, Foursquare,  Twitter or even even old-fashioned email. email.

4

2014/2015

Your Pocket

slovenian-istria.inyourpocket.com

GETTING TO ISTRIA 

BY CAR

 The Slovene coast is well-connected to the rest of the country by trains and buses (usually requiring a transfer in the capital Ljubljana if you’re planning to go further), but getting to or from neighbouring Italy or Croatia on public transport is surprisingly difficult, in spite of the fact that you can literally see one or both of them at nearly all times. Coming by car is usually the best option, as it’s not only much faster, but also allows easily exploration of the beautiful countryside, although parking in or near the old town centres can be a complicated and/or expensive proposition, especially in Piran.

Coming to the Slovene coast by car not only allows you more freedom during your stay, but is also considerably faster than public transport. The drive from Ljubljana to Koper should take just about an hour, while Bled is only 1.5 hours away and Maribor on the other side of the country is just over two hours. Unless you get lost or stuck in traffic (the latter being more common), it shouldn’t take much more than 30 minutes to get between any two points in the region, as this is the average time from Koper to Piran at the far end of Slovene territory. Some the country’s most popular tourist sites are also very close, including the white horses of Lipica (30km), Škocjan Caves (35km) and Postojna Cave (58km), while Trieste in Italy is only 22km. If you’re coming with your own car, don’t forget to purchase a vinjeta sticker for your windscreen at the border if you plan on using the motorways - this is the system that replaced tolls some years ago.

BY PLANE While Portorož technically has it’s own international airport, there are currently not any regularly scheduled flight operating, although if you have your private jet or are arriving on a chartered flight it is obviously the most convenient option. However, for the non-Jet Set, the nearest airports are Ljubljana Jože Pučnik Airport (LJU) situated near the city of Kranj some 125km from Koper, Ronchi dei Legionari Airport (TRS) north of Monfalcone a bit over 60km away, and Venice Marco Polo Airport (VCE), the latter offering by far the most direct international connections. During the summer season, there are also cheap budget flights and many charters to Pula, Rijeka and other towns along the norther Croatian coast.

BY TRAIN If you’re coming to coast by train, the station in Koper is the end of the line, so if that’s not your final destination you’ll have to take a local bus, taxi, bike or a long walk from there. From Ljubljana there are five trains per day (six at weekends), which take two to three hours and cost €9-11 for 2nd class. If you’re planning a weekend you can take advantage of special return fares. More info can be found on the site of Slovenian Railways at w ww.slo-zeleznice.si. ww.slo-zeleznice.si. Koper’s railway station is situated about 1km due south of the old town gates, and offers an ATM and luggage storage but not much else. However, it’s conveniently located right next to the bus station, which makes onward travel a breeze.

BY BUS  There are a dozen or more buses between Ljubljana and Koper on weekdays and few less at the weekends, which can take anywhere between 1.5 and 2.5 hours. Be aware that the vast majority of these go to Koper in the morning hours, and return to the capital in the evening. The fares are similar to those for trains, but most of the buses also travel onwards to Izola and Portorož. In all towns at the coast the main bus stations (or s ometimes just a stop) are located in or very near the centre, and local buses will make lots of stops so make sure to check which will get you nearest where you ultimately want to go. Tickets can be purchased from the driver, or in advance at bus stations in larger towns. facebook/slovenia.inyourpocket

BOAT CHARTERS ADRIA SERVICE YACHTING  There’s no better better way to experien experience ce the Adriati Adriatic sea than than on a private boat. However, if like us you’re not fortunate enough to have your own vessel, don’t worry, Adria Service Yachting have a fleet of nearly two dozen sail boats, power boats, luxury yachts and catamarans on which you can experience your dream holiday. Standard charters are by the week, especially during the peak summer season, but day and weekend charters are also possible, as are excursion, business trips and team-building activities. Adria Service Yachting is also a fully licensed travel agency, which means they can arrange accommodation and airport transfers, as well as organise your participation in one of the many regattas that take place int eh Adriatic each year, including the most famous of them all, Trieste’s Barcolana.Q6310, Tomažičeva 2, tel. +386 (0)5 640 1102/+386 (0)5 640 1103, [email protected] com, adriaservice-yachting.com.

TAXIS TAXI ŠTEFAN Štefan is the man to call for all your transport needs, including day tours and longer transfers to and f rom the rest of Slovenia, as well as Croatia and I taly. Fixed prices can be found on the website.QObala 122, tel. +386 (0)51 303 100, prevozi-portoroz.com. ALEJA - PERSONAL TRANSPORT - NON STOP 24 /7

TAXI ŠTEFAN

051 303 100 +386 51 303 100 e-mail: [email protected]

2014/2015 5

Foreword

 Arriving & Getting Around Around

Even amongst Slovenes the phrase ‘I’m going to the coast’ more often than not refers to a trip south to Croatia, which is understandable, as not only were they part of the same country just over two decades ago, but the Croatian mainland and its numerous islands cover some 5,835km of Mediterranean coast, which makes Slovenia’s 47km (or 46.6km to be exact) somewhat comical in comparison. However, to quote the philosopher Plato: ‘Necessity is the mother of invention’, and since the current national borders were established following the Second World War, Slovenia has made the most of what it was left with, giving it what is in our not so humble opinion centimetre for centimetre the finest coastline in the world! Lest you think we’re just wantonly throwing around hyperbole (which admittedly wouldn’t be the first time, as we are a tourist guide after all), take a minute and tell us where else along a less than 50km stretch of the Mediterranean one can find two still-functioning ancient salt pans, a protected nature reserve, a major shipping port and cruise liner terminal, several well-preserved Venetian old towns, kilometres of waterfront cycling and walking paths, an international airport, one of Europe’s top nightclubs, both large public beaches and small secluded swimming spots, a breakaway municipality that was the subject of a recent constitutional court ruling, the highest cliff on the entire Adriatic, a modern seaside resort town, countless major events held throughout the year and lots of other things we’re likely forgetting at the moment. Go ahead, we’ll wait! In all serious though, the Slovene coast, like the country itself, offers visitors an incredibly diverse selection of things to see, do and experience, and we’ve tried our best to include many of them in the following pages, while much more info can be found on our website. As always we welcome any and all feedback, be it on Facebook, Foursquare,  Twitter or even even old-fashioned email. email.

Publisher IQBATOR Ltd.

Slovenian In Your Pocket Drenikova 33, 1000 Ljubljana, Slovenia, Tel. +386 30 316 602 [email protected] Director

Niko Slavnic M.Sc. [email protected] Printed Eurograf Printed Eurograf Published Once Published Once per year Maps  Maps Monolit Editorial

Managing Editor Yuri Editor Yuri Barron Writers Will Writers Will Dunn, James Cosier, John Bills Layout & Design Radomir Design Radomir Lazović Consulting Craig Consulting  Craig Turp Photos Local Photos Local tourist associations, Shutterstock, Slovenia In Your Pocket Cover photo www.kpss.si / Creative Commons license Sales & Operations Management

Irena Jamnikar, Karmen Hribar, Stanka Parkelj Rozina, Leon Šlajpah Copyright notice

 Text and photos copyright IQBATOR IQBATOR d.o.o. Maps copyright carcartographer. All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced in any form, except brief extracts for the purpose of review, without written permission from the publisher and copyright owner. The brand name In Your Pocket is used under license from UAB In Your Pocket (Bernardinų 9-4, Vilnius, Lithuania, tel. (+370) 5 212 29 76).

 ABOUT IYP

ESTONIA RUSSIA

LATVIA LITHUANIA

NORTHERN IRELAND

BELARUS

IRELAND NETHERLANDS

POLAND UKRAINE

GERMANY BELGIUM

CZECH REPUBLIC  AUSTRIA

SWITZERLAND

HUNGARY

ROMANIA

SLOVENIA CROATIA ITALY

BOSNIA SERBIA BULGARIA MONTENEGRO FYR MACEDONIA  ALBANIA GREECE

 To keep up up to date with all that’s new at In Your Pocket , like us on Facebook  (face (facebook.com/inyourpocket) or follow us on Twitter  (tw itter.com/inyourpocket). itter.com/inyourpocket).

SOUTH  AFRICA

4

Slovenian Istria In  I n

GEORGIA

It’s now 22 years since we published the first In Your Pocket guide - to Vilnius in Lithuania - in which time we have grown to become the largest publisher of locally produced city guides in Europe. We now cover more than 100 cities across the continent (with Gudauri, Gudauri, in Georgia, the latest city to be pocketed) and the number of concise, witty, wellwritten and downright indispensable In Your Pocket  guides  guides published each year is approaching five million. We will be expanding even further this year, with the publication of a guide to Johannesburg: burg: our first outside of Europe.

Your Pocket

slovenian-istria.inyourpocket.com

GETTING TO ISTRIA 

BY CAR

 The Slovene coast is well-connected to the rest of the country by trains and buses (usually requiring a transfer in the capital Ljubljana if you’re planning to go further), but getting to or from neighbouring Italy or Croatia on public transport is surprisingly difficult, in spite of the fact that you can literally see one or both of them at nearly all times. Coming by car is usually the best option, as it’s not only much faster, but also allows easily exploration of the beautiful countryside, although parking in or near the old town centres can be a complicated and/or expensive proposition, especially in Piran.

Coming to the Slovene coast by car not only allows you more freedom during your stay, but is also considerably faster than public transport. The drive from Ljubljana to Koper should take just about an hour, while Bled is only 1.5 hours away and Maribor on the other side of the country is just over two hours. Unless you get lost or stuck in traffic (the latter being more common), it shouldn’t take much more than 30 minutes to get between any two points in the region, as this is the average time from Koper to Piran at the far end of Slovene territory. Some the country’s most popular tourist sites are also very close, including the white horses of Lipica (30km), Škocjan Caves (35km) and Postojna Cave (58km), while Trieste in Italy is only 22km. If you’re coming with your own car, don’t forget to purchase a vinjeta sticker for your windscreen at the border if you plan on using the motorways - this is the system that replaced tolls some years ago.

BY PLANE While Portorož technically has it’s own international airport, there are currently not any regularly scheduled flight operating, although if you have your private jet or are arriving on a chartered flight it is obviously the most convenient option. However, for the non-Jet Set, the nearest airports are Ljubljana Jože Pučnik Airport (LJU) situated near the city of Kranj some 125km from Koper, Ronchi dei Legionari Airport (TRS) north of Monfalcone a bit over 60km away, and Venice Marco Polo Airport (VCE), the latter offering by far the most direct international connections. During the summer season, there are also cheap budget flights and many charters to Pula, Rijeka and other towns along the norther Croatian coast.

BY TRAIN If you’re coming to coast by train, the station in Koper is the end of the line, so if that’s not your final destination you’ll have to take a local bus, taxi, bike or a long walk from there. From Ljubljana there are five trains per day (six at weekends), which take two to three hours and cost €9-11 for 2nd class. If you’re planning a weekend you can take advantage of special return fares. More info can be found on the site of Slovenian Railways at w ww.slo-zeleznice.si. ww.slo-zeleznice.si. Koper’s railway station is situated about 1km due south of the old town gates, and offers an ATM and luggage storage but not much else. However, it’s conveniently located right next to the bus station, which makes onward travel a breeze.

BY BUS  There are a dozen or more buses between Ljubljana and Koper on weekdays and few less at the weekends, which can take anywhere between 1.5 and 2.5 hours. Be aware that the vast majority of these go to Koper in the morning hours, and return to the capital in the evening. The fares are similar to those for trains, but most of the buses also travel onwards to Izola and Portorož. In all towns at the coast the main bus stations (or s ometimes just a stop) are located in or very near the centre, and local buses will make lots of stops so make sure to check which will get you nearest where you ultimately want to go. Tickets can be purchased from the driver, or in advance at bus stations in larger towns. facebook/slovenia.inyourpocket

Koper

SARAJEVO ‘84 Voted by In Your Pocket readers as the best Balkan restaurant in Ljubljana for 2013, Koper is now the third city in the country (with nearby Piran being the other) to have this unofficial representative of the Bosnian capital turning out delicious grilled meat dishes, which are inevitably washed down with bottles of famous Sarajevsko beer and followed by authentic Turkish coffee. Located at the eastern edge of Koper’s old town, this restaurant themed on Sarajevo’s shining moment in the international spotlight back when it hosted the Winter Olympics in 1984 is a fine place to fill up before or after exploring the city’s sights.QF-1, Gramšijev Trg Trg 8, tel. +386 (0)8 383 59 44 , www. sarajevo84.si. SKIPPER  The seamen’s and sailor’s choice, the highlight of this place in the heart of the harbour is the raised terrace overlooking the marina and shipyards. Expect to dine very well

Koper’s fine Venetian old town is not to be missed, photo by Jaka Jeraša

 The somewh somewhat at kitsch kitsch slogan slogan used used by Slov Slovenia enia’s’s neigh neighbou bours rs to describe their coastline is “the Mediterranean as it used to be.” Slovenians are more clever than that. That’s why one local of the gorgeous seaside town of Koper told Koper In Your Pocket that the Slovenian coast is in fact, simply, “the Mediterranean as it is.”Brilliant, as is Koper, a town of not all that many people just an hour from Ljubljana, yet in attitude and outlook it might just as well be one million miles away. If Ljubljana reeks of Austrian influence, Koper is Slovenia’s Italian connection. “It’s Slovenia, Jim, but not as we know it.” Wandering around Koper’s Old Town, all narrow streets and Venetian-style houses, you could be forgiven that you had indeed crossed the border into Italy. You are as liable to hear Italian spoken as Slovenian, there are Italian signs everywhere, and it’s all a reminder that the border between one country and another has never really mattered all that much in these parts. Always something of a blur, it disappeared disappeared forever three years ago when Slovenia joined the Schengen block.

RESTAURANTS CITYBURGER Don’t be fooled by the name, Cityburger is decidedly not a simple fast food joint. Not only does the interior have the appearance of an country bistro, but the menu also offers an enormous selection - with dozens of pizzas, steak, seafood, pasta and salads all vying for your attention. Of course they also prepare some tasty burgers, including the namesake Cityburger, which boasts a jaw-breaking two beef patties Slovenian Istria In  I n

ADRIA SERVICE YACHTING  There’s no better better way to experien experience ce the Adriati Adriatic sea than than on a private boat. However, if like us you’re not fortunate enough to have your own vessel, don’t worry, Adria Service Yachting have a fleet of nearly two dozen sail boats, power boats, luxury yachts and catamarans on which you can experience your dream holiday. Standard charters are by the week, especially during the peak summer season, but day and weekend charters are also possible, as are excursion, business trips and team-building activities. Adria Service Yachting is also a fully licensed travel agency, which means they can arrange accommodation and airport transfers, as well as organise your participation in one of the many regattas that take place int eh Adriatic each year, including the most famous of them all, Trieste’s Barcolana.Q6310, Tomažičeva 2, tel. +386 (0)5 640 1102/+386 (0)5 640 1103, [email protected] com, adriaservice-yachting.com.

TAXIS TAXI ŠTEFAN Štefan is the man to call for all your transport needs, including day tours and longer transfers to and f rom the rest of Slovenia, as well as Croatia and I taly. Fixed prices can be found on the website.QObala 122, tel. +386 (0)51 303 100, prevozi-portoroz.com. ALEJA - PERSONAL TRANSPORT - NON STOP 24 /7

TAXI ŠTEFAN

051 303 100 +386 51 303 100 e-mail: [email protected]

2014/2015 5

Koper PIZZERIA 33 We’re not sure if there are 33 pizzas on offer, however there are enough to cause headaches when choosing. Pizza 33 also offers a range of dishes from grilled meats and local seafood to pastas and salads. Whilst the drinks list isn’t quite as expansive as the food menu it is nice to have options other than Laško and Union. The pizzeria is located on the coast road between Koper and Izola with views of the sea. It’s a bit hard to reach without a car though they do deliver.QIstrska 67, tel. +386 (0)5 90 12 580/+386 (0)31 33 33 96, www.pizza33.si. Open 10:00 - 24:00.

6

BOAT CHARTERS

Your Pocket

TOURIST I NFORMA NFORMATION TION Koper’s well-stocked tourist information centre is located in the centre of town on Tito Square. The friendly multi-lingual staff will gladly make recommendations for what to see and do both in Koper and the surrounding countryside, and free brochures and maps can be found for pretty much everything there is to see and do in the region.QB-4, Titov Trg 3, tel. +386 (0)5 66 4 64 03, [email protected], www.koper.si. Open daily 09:0020:00 (June-Sept), and 09:00-17:00 (Oct-May). on huge pieces of fresh fish c aught that day. Wash it down with a couple of the great local wines on the menu. QE1, Kopališko nabrežje 3, tel. +386 (0)5 626 18 10, emil. [email protected], www.skipper-koper.com. Open 11:00 - 22:00 Holidays 11:00-22:00. JAGBK VODIŠEK   This restaurant at the family-run BIO hotel has a long tradition of preparing large portions of local cuisine for both guests and non-guests alike. House specialities include fresh fish prepared on a wood-fired grill and succulent slow roasted meat dishes, as well as various pasta and vegetarian options. Three separate dining areas can fit between 12 and 150 people, while there’s also a shady outdoor terrace open during the warmer months.QVanganelska 2, tel. +386 (0)5 625 88 84, [email protected], www.hotel-bio.si.

and three pieces of bread (although for the record we usually opt for either the bacon or chicken burger). Located in Koper’s main commercial district just east of the old town centre, there is plenty of free parking available.QG-2, Ankaranska 7, tel. +386 (0)5 630 9920/+386 (0)41 93 49 32, [email protected], www.cityburger.si. Open 10:00 - 24:00. PTALVBS ISTRSKA KLET SLAVČEK  Fantastic! Plates of sea food nibbles such as deep fried squid in batter served as appetisers or simple snacks for the many locals who come here for lunch or an early dinner. There is also for once a good non-fish menu: check the daily specials on the blackboard, like the brilliant minestrone soup. Super location too, and plenty of outside seating.QB-5, Župančičeva 39, tel. +386 (0)5 627 67 29. Open 07:00 - 22:00. Closed Sat. (€39.5). JULGBK PEKING One of four popular Chinese restaurants run by the Ji family from Shanghai, Koper’s Peking is located just south of the H5 motorway near the Mercator Centre. Known for its extensive menu, huge portions and friendly service, this is our favourite place for authentic Chinese food on the coast. Try to grab a table in the garden, where you can dine amongst bamboo trees and intimate lighting under the smiling gaze of a large Buddha statue.QF/G-5, Cesta Marežganskega Upora 13, tel. +386 (0)5 625 08 08, www.kitajska-restavracija.si. Open 12:00 - 23:00. PTAL slovenian-istria.inyourpocket.com

 w.k oper-card.si  w w w. TIC KOPER, Titov trg 3, Koper T: +386 5 6646 403 E: [email protected]

facebook/slovenia.inyourpocket

2014/2015 7

Koper

Koper PIZZERIA 33 We’re not sure if there are 33 pizzas on offer, however there are enough to cause headaches when choosing. Pizza 33 also offers a range of dishes from grilled meats and local seafood to pastas and salads. Whilst the drinks list isn’t quite as expansive as the food menu it is nice to have options other than Laško and Union. The pizzeria is located on the coast road between Koper and Izola with views of the sea. It’s a bit hard to reach without a car though they do deliver.QIstrska 67, tel. +386 (0)5 90 12 580/+386 (0)31 33 33 96, www.pizza33.si. Open 10:00 - 24:00. SARAJEVO ‘84 Voted by In Your Pocket readers as the best Balkan restaurant in Ljubljana for 2013, Koper is now the third city in the country (with nearby Piran being the other) to have this unofficial representative of the Bosnian capital turning out delicious grilled meat dishes, which are inevitably washed down with bottles of famous Sarajevsko beer and followed by authentic Turkish coffee. Located at the eastern edge of Koper’s old town, this restaurant themed on Sarajevo’s shining moment in the international spotlight back when it hosted the Winter Olympics in 1984 is a fine place to fill up before or after exploring the city’s sights.QF-1, Gramšijev Trg Trg 8, tel. +386 (0)8 383 59 44 , www. sarajevo84.si. SKIPPER  The seamen’s and sailor’s choice, the highlight of this place in the heart of the harbour is the raised terrace overlooking the marina and shipyards. Expect to dine very well

Koper’s fine Venetian old town is not to be missed, photo by Jaka Jeraša

 The somewh somewhat at kitsch kitsch slogan slogan used used by Slov Slovenia enia’s’s neigh neighbou bours rs to describe their coastline is “the Mediterranean as it used to be.” Slovenians are more clever than that. That’s why one local of the gorgeous seaside town of Koper told Koper In Your Pocket that the Slovenian coast is in fact, simply, “the Mediterranean as it is.”Brilliant, as is Koper, a town of not all that many people just an hour from Ljubljana, yet in attitude and outlook it might just as well be one million miles away. If Ljubljana reeks of Austrian influence, Koper is Slovenia’s Italian connection. “It’s Slovenia, Jim, but not as we know it.” Wandering around Koper’s Old Town, all narrow streets and Venetian-style houses, you could be forgiven that you had indeed crossed the border into Italy. You are as liable to hear Italian spoken as Slovenian, there are Italian signs everywhere, and it’s all a reminder that the border between one country and another has never really mattered all that much in these parts. Always something of a blur, it disappeared disappeared forever three years ago when Slovenia joined the Schengen block.

RESTAURANTS CITYBURGER Don’t be fooled by the name, Cityburger is decidedly not a simple fast food joint. Not only does the interior have the appearance of an country bistro, but the menu also offers an enormous selection - with dozens of pizzas, steak, seafood, pasta and salads all vying for your attention. Of course they also prepare some tasty burgers, including the namesake Cityburger, which boasts a jaw-breaking two beef patties 6

Slovenian Istria In  I n

TOURIST I NFORMA NFORMATION TION Koper’s well-stocked tourist information centre is located in the centre of town on Tito Square. The friendly multi-lingual staff will gladly make recommendations for what to see and do both in Koper and the surrounding countryside, and free brochures and maps can be found for pretty much everything there is to see and do in the region.QB-4, Titov Trg 3, tel. +386 (0)5 66 4 64 03, [email protected], www.koper.si. Open daily 09:0020:00 (June-Sept), and 09:00-17:00 (Oct-May). on huge pieces of fresh fish c aught that day. Wash it down with a couple of the great local wines on the menu. QE1, Kopališko nabrežje 3, tel. +386 (0)5 626 18 10, emil. [email protected], www.skipper-koper.com. Open 11:00 - 22:00 Holidays 11:00-22:00. JAGBK VODIŠEK   This restaurant at the family-run BIO hotel has a long tradition of preparing large portions of local cuisine for both guests and non-guests alike. House specialities include fresh fish prepared on a wood-fired grill and succulent slow roasted meat dishes, as well as various pasta and vegetarian options. Three separate dining areas can fit between 12 and 150 people, while there’s also a shady outdoor terrace open during the warmer months.QVanganelska 2, tel. +386 (0)5 625 88 84, [email protected], www.hotel-bio.si.

and three pieces of bread (although for the record we usually opt for either the bacon or chicken burger). Located in Koper’s main commercial district just east of the old town centre, there is plenty of free parking available.QG-2, Ankaranska 7, tel. +386 (0)5 630 9920/+386 (0)41 93 49 32, [email protected], www.cityburger.si. Open 10:00 - 24:00. PTALVBS ISTRSKA KLET SLAVČEK  Fantastic! Plates of sea food nibbles such as deep fried squid in batter served as appetisers or simple snacks for the many locals who come here for lunch or an early dinner. There is also for once a good non-fish menu: check the daily specials on the blackboard, like the brilliant minestrone soup. Super location too, and plenty of outside seating.QB-5, Župančičeva 39, tel. +386 (0)5 627 67 29. Open 07:00 - 22:00. Closed Sat. (€39.5). JULGBK PEKING One of four popular Chinese restaurants run by the Ji family from Shanghai, Koper’s Peking is located just south of the H5 motorway near the Mercator Centre. Known for its extensive menu, huge portions and friendly service, this is our favourite place for authentic Chinese food on the coast. Try to grab a table in the garden, where you can dine amongst bamboo trees and intimate lighting under the smiling gaze of a large Buddha statue.QF/G-5, Cesta Marežganskega Upora 13, tel. +386 (0)5 625 08 08, www.kitajska-restavracija.si. Open 12:00 - 23:00. PTAL

Your Pocket

slovenian-istria.inyourpocket.com

 w.k oper-card.si  w w w. TIC KOPER, Titov trg 3, Koper T: +386 5 6646 403 E: [email protected]

2014/2015 7

facebook/slovenia.inyourpocket

Koper

Koper  AROUND KOPER

Ankaranska 7, Koper Every day from 8 to 24 h

SIGHTSEEING Koper, the Old Town at least, is one big sight. The joy of coming here is to wander its streets, often getting lost, mixing with locals, visitors and hoardes of day trippers. Old Town’s main street -if you can call it that - is Cevljarska, which is no more than two or three metres wide in places, and is packed from dawn to dusk when it, like most of Old Koper, disappears inside. Cevljarska leads up from Muda Gate to the town’s main square, Titov  Trg,  Trg, which which is domina dominated ted by the the bell bell tower tower of of the the St St Mary’s Mary’sof the Assumption Cathedral, visible from all over Koper. BELL TOWER Rising up 54m from the centre of the old town, the city’s famed Bell Tower, will likely be the first sight visitors see no matter if they’re arriving by road, rail or sea. Originally part of a Roman fortification, the tower was transformed into its present appearance between the 15th and 17th centuries, and has been used for liturgical purposes ever since. Panoramic views of the entire region (weather permitting of course) can be had by ascending 204 s teps to reach the viewing platform at 43m. QB-4, Titov Trg. Summer hours 09:00-14:00, 16:00-21:00. €2 per person.

the outer staircase and balustrade added fifty years later, and the overall appearance of the façade taking shape in 1664 after significant renovations. After serving various purposes following the downfall of the Venetian Republic at the hands of Napoleon in 1797, the building underwent a decade long restoration in the 1990s and now once again serves as the municipal seat and mayor’s office, as well as the Tourist Information Centre.QB-4, Titov Trg 3. Free guided tours can be arranged in advance through TIC. TAVERNA �ST MARK’S SALT WAREHOUSE� For much of the past millennium salt production served an important role along Slovenia’s coastal region, with documented exploitation of the salt pans dating from

8

Slovenian Istria In  I n

Your Pocket

Stretching to the south and east of Koper, the rolling hills and valleys of the Istrian countryside are dotted with ancient villages, Roman ruins, cliff-top churches and countless hiking and cycling trails just waiting to be explored. You’ll likely need your own car, or at least a driver, to reach most of what the region has to offer in a timely fashion, but the wealth and proximity of sights makes renting an easily justifiable expense. We’ve listed a few of our favourites below, but for a complete run down of all there is to see or do - as well as maps and other info - visit either the Koper or Ankaran tourist offices. BERTOKI Located just off the Koper-Trieste road near the Rižana River, Bertoki is a small settlement formerly known as RižanLazaret or simply Lazaret. The village boasts a gorgeous little parish church dedicated to Mary’s Assumption, which displays the 400 year-old ‘Crucified Christ’ painted by an unknown local artist. Next to the church is a Venetian-style bell tower added in the 18th century. The area was once famous as for the sprawling summer manors that belonged to the noble families of Koper, and a tree-lined promenade leading to the church still remains from this time.Today Bertoki is home to the only surviving colonial estate in the Primorska region, which is a protected cultural heritage site.  The nearby nearby Škocjanski Škocjanski Zatok Zatok nature nature reserve reserve (established (established in 1998) is easily combined with a visit to the village.

CATHEDRAL OF MARY’S ASSUMPTION Koper’s cathedral originally dates back to the 12th century when the city acquired its own diocese, and a Roman basilica actually stood on the same location as far back as ancient times. The current façade combines architectural styles, with a Gothic lower half and a noticeably Renaissance upper half. Inside the Cathedral there are numerous sights of note including the large altarpiece ‘Madonna with Child on the Throne of Saints’ by Vittore Carpaccio from 1516, the 15th century stone sarcophagus of St Nazarius (Koper’s patron saint), and an organ decorated with two additional painting by Carpaccio, ‘The Presentation in the Temple’ and ‘The Slaughter of the Innocents’. The entire interior was redecorated by the famous Italian architect Giorgio Massari in the 18th century.QB-4, Titov Trg. No admission fee. PRAETORIAN PALACE Dominating the southern side of Tito Square is the imposing yet beautifully ornate Praetorian Palace, which has served as the municipal seat for some eight centuries. It’s Venetian Gothic design dates from the middle of the 15th century, with

Discover the Church of the Holy Trinity and its famous frescoes in Hrastovlje, photo by Ubald Trnkoczy

ČRNI KAL  The village of Črni Kal lies just off the main motorway motorway a dozen or so kilometres east of Koper, at the natural border of the Karst region. For most visitors, the most immediately noticeable feature of the area, is the enormous Črni Kal Viaduct. Completed in 2004, at 1065m long and 95m high, it’s currently the longest bridging structure in the country. Conspicuously perched on the rocky cliffs above the village are the remnants of an 11th century fortress, which was part of the defence system of the Venetian Republic,

while on another nearby hill there’s the odd-looking bell tower of the Baroque Church of St Valentine. Dating from 1680, the tower now has a noticeable lean to it, and is secured in place by steel wires.  The village village itself, has typical typical Istrian-Karst Istrian-Karst architecture tecture with numerous decorative stone details. One house in particular, the so-called Benkova Hiša, is officially considered to be the oldest farmhouse in Slovene and the earliest example of Slovene folk architecture, dating from 1489. The rocky slopes above the village offer over 100 climbing routes of various levels of difficulty, and provide spectacular views of the valleys and hills below leading towards Koper and the sea, and there are even more hiking and cycling opportunities in the surrounding countryside. HRASTOVLJE  The Istrian Istrian village village ofHrastovlje Hrastovlje is most most famous famous for its its Church Church of the Holy Trinity, which dates back to the 13th century. The entire interior of the the church is covered in frescoes by the 15th century Slovene artist Janez of Castua, including the eerily enchanting Dance of Death or Danse Macabre [editor’s note: this is also the title of a great album by an indie dance punk band from Omaha called The Faint  ].

Most of the equally impressive other works take their themes from the various parts of the Old Testament, and some include inscriptions in Glagolitic - the oldest known Slavic alphabet, developed by Saints Cyril and Methodius in the 9th century. The church is surrounded by 16th century walls with two defence towers, originally built to fend off the Ottomans.  The quaintly picturesque picturesque Hrastovlje village, with its traditional Istrian architecture, is also worth a stroll, and as with many of the village in the area it’s a popular starting point for hiking, cycling and motorcycle trips into the surrounding countryside. For art lovers two galleries in the centre of the village are also worth perusing, the Jože Pohlen Gallery and the Victor Snoj Gallery.

Koper’s bell tower is the city’s trademark sight, photo by YMB

slovenian-istria.inyourpocket.com

facebook/slovenia.inyourpocket

2014/2015 9

Koper

Koper  AROUND KOPER

Ankaranska 7, Koper Every day from 8 to 24 h

SIGHTSEEING Koper, the Old Town at least, is one big sight. The joy of coming here is to wander its streets, often getting lost, mixing with locals, visitors and hoardes of day trippers. Old Town’s main street -if you can call it that - is Cevljarska, which is no more than two or three metres wide in places, and is packed from dawn to dusk when it, like most of Old Koper, disappears inside. Cevljarska leads up from Muda Gate to the town’s main square, Titov  Trg,  Trg, which which is domina dominated ted by the the bell bell tower tower of of the the St St Mary’s Mary’sof the Assumption Cathedral, visible from all over Koper. BELL TOWER Rising up 54m from the centre of the old town, the city’s famed Bell Tower, will likely be the first sight visitors see no matter if they’re arriving by road, rail or sea. Originally part of a Roman fortification, the tower was transformed into its present appearance between the 15th and 17th centuries, and has been used for liturgical purposes ever since. Panoramic views of the entire region (weather permitting of course) can be had by ascending 204 s teps to reach the viewing platform at 43m. QB-4, Titov Trg. Summer hours 09:00-14:00, 16:00-21:00. €2 per person.

the outer staircase and balustrade added fifty years later, and the overall appearance of the façade taking shape in 1664 after significant renovations. After serving various purposes following the downfall of the Venetian Republic at the hands of Napoleon in 1797, the building underwent a decade long restoration in the 1990s and now once again serves as the municipal seat and mayor’s office, as well as the Tourist Information Centre.QB-4, Titov Trg 3. Free guided tours can be arranged in advance through TIC. TAVERNA �ST MARK’S SALT WAREHOUSE� For much of the past millennium salt production served an important role along Slovenia’s coastal region, with documented exploitation of the salt pans dating from

8

Slovenian Istria In  I n

Your Pocket

Stretching to the south and east of Koper, the rolling hills and valleys of the Istrian countryside are dotted with ancient villages, Roman ruins, cliff-top churches and countless hiking and cycling trails just waiting to be explored. You’ll likely need your own car, or at least a driver, to reach most of what the region has to offer in a timely fashion, but the wealth and proximity of sights makes renting an easily justifiable expense. We’ve listed a few of our favourites below, but for a complete run down of all there is to see or do - as well as maps and other info - visit either the Koper or Ankaran tourist offices. BERTOKI Located just off the Koper-Trieste road near the Rižana River, Bertoki is a small settlement formerly known as RižanLazaret or simply Lazaret. The village boasts a gorgeous little parish church dedicated to Mary’s Assumption, which displays the 400 year-old ‘Crucified Christ’ painted by an unknown local artist. Next to the church is a Venetian-style bell tower added in the 18th century. The area was once famous as for the sprawling summer manors that belonged to the noble families of Koper, and a tree-lined promenade leading to the church still remains from this time.Today Bertoki is home to the only surviving colonial estate in the Primorska region, which is a protected cultural heritage site.  The nearby nearby Škocjanski Škocjanski Zatok Zatok nature nature reserve reserve (established (established in 1998) is easily combined with a visit to the village.

CATHEDRAL OF MARY’S ASSUMPTION Koper’s cathedral originally dates back to the 12th century when the city acquired its own diocese, and a Roman basilica actually stood on the same location as far back as ancient times. The current façade combines architectural styles, with a Gothic lower half and a noticeably Renaissance upper half. Inside the Cathedral there are numerous sights of note including the large altarpiece ‘Madonna with Child on the Throne of Saints’ by Vittore Carpaccio from 1516, the 15th century stone sarcophagus of St Nazarius (Koper’s patron saint), and an organ decorated with two additional painting by Carpaccio, ‘The Presentation in the Temple’ and ‘The Slaughter of the Innocents’. The entire interior was redecorated by the famous Italian architect Giorgio Massari in the 18th century.QB-4, Titov Trg. No admission fee. PRAETORIAN PALACE Dominating the southern side of Tito Square is the imposing yet beautifully ornate Praetorian Palace, which has served as the municipal seat for some eight centuries. It’s Venetian Gothic design dates from the middle of the 15th century, with

Discover the Church of the Holy Trinity and its famous frescoes in Hrastovlje, photo by Ubald Trnkoczy

ČRNI KAL  The village of Črni Kal lies just off the main motorway motorway a dozen or so kilometres east of Koper, at the natural border of the Karst region. For most visitors, the most immediately noticeable feature of the area, is the enormous Črni Kal Viaduct. Completed in 2004, at 1065m long and 95m high, it’s currently the longest bridging structure in the country. Conspicuously perched on the rocky cliffs above the village are the remnants of an 11th century fortress, which was part of the defence system of the Venetian Republic,

GALERIJA MEDUZA An excellent collection of contemporary art by various local artists, all of which is for sale. Friendly staff will help with onward shipping should you require.QB-5, Čevljarska 34, tel. +386 (0)5 627 48 37. Open 09:00 16:00. Closed Sat, Sun. KOPER REGIONAL MUSEUM Housed inside a wonderful Venetian Palace, the Koper Regional Museum presents a rather condensed history of Koper, Izola and Piran. While there’s precious little to actually see, there are some rather nice paintings to admire, and the building is wonderful. Walking around is not the worst way in the world to kill half an hour. QA-4, Kidričeva 19, tel. +386 (0)5 663 35 70, [email protected] arnes.si. Sep-Jun Mon-Fri10:00-18:00, Sat and Sun 09:00-13:00; Jul-Aug: 09:00-13:00, Tue-Sun 18:0021:00, Mon closed. MUZEJSKA GALERIJA Part of the Koper Regional Museum (which is next door), the gallery museum presents changing exhibitions of vari-

slovenian-istria.inyourpocket.com

facebook/slovenia.inyourpocket

note: this is also the title of a great album by an indie dance punk band from Omaha called The Faint  ].

Most of the equally impressive other works take their themes from the various parts of the Old Testament, and some include inscriptions in Glagolitic - the oldest known Slavic alphabet, developed by Saints Cyril and Methodius in the 9th century. The church is surrounded by 16th century walls with two defence towers, originally built to fend off the Ottomans.  The quaintly picturesque picturesque Hrastovlje village, with its traditional Istrian architecture, is also worth a stroll, and as with many of the village in the area it’s a popular starting point for hiking, cycling and motorcycle trips into the surrounding countryside. For art lovers two galleries in the centre of the village are also worth perusing, the Jože Pohlen Gallery and the Victor Snoj Gallery. 2014/2015 9

Koper ous interest throughout the year. When we las t visited the current exhibition was a superb presentation of the role of profane art and music in Venetian society. Check the gallery’s website for details of current exhibitions.QA-4, Kidričeva 21, tel. +386 (0)5 663 35 70. Open 10:00 18:00, Sat 09:00 - 13:00. Closed Sun. KOPER CITY BEACH �MESTNO KOPALIŠČE KOPER� Koper’s small pebble beach lacks sand, but is a lovely place to soak up the sun or to swim in the war m (depending on the time of year of course) water. You will find it on Kopalisko Nabrežje, next to the marina. There are large areas of lawns for sunbathing, and an enclosed swimming area. Lifeguards are on hand to make sure you do not swim off  out into the boating lanes. There are changing rooms, showers, children’s playgrounds, a restaurant and a café. QE-1, Kopališko Nabrežje 1, tel. +386 (0)5 627 81 78.

 ACCOMMODATION BIO In the newer part of town, some way from the Old Town (but accessible by bus) the Bio is a good choice f or those on a budget. Rooms are simple but rather nice, and considering the almost negative cost you get plenty of value for your money.  There’s an onsite restauran restaurantt complete complete with a terrace terrace serving ng local specialities.QVanganelska 2, tel. +386 (0)5 625 88 84, fax +386 (0)5625 88 85, [email protected], www.hotel-bio. si. 29 rooms (singles €38-53, doubles €57-79, triples €76). PTHAR6LGBKW hhh

HOSTEL HISTRIA A much welcomed (and much needed) addition to the budget accommodation at the Slovene coast, the renovated historical building has had some of its centuriesold charm preserved in the form of stone walls, wooden shutters and heavy iron fixtures, and is conveniently located just around the corner from Prešeren Square and the main southern entrance to the old town, within easy walking distance from the train and bus stations and just steps away from several popular pubs, cafés and restaurants.QB-5, Pri Velikih Vratih 17, tel. +386 (0)8 38 240 38, [email protected], www.hostel-histria.si. Two 8-bed and three 6-bed dorms, (€13-15/person OctApril, €15-17 May-Sept). JW GARNI HOTEL PRISTAN  Though it looks less than promising from the outside, this is just about the best hotel in town, and as such is the default choice of the business classes. It’s spick, span, and the well sized rooms are faultlessly attired. Bathrooms are great, there are plenty of freebie toiletries and the staff are both friendly and helpful in a wide variety of languages. Note that not all rooms have balconies, and as there is no extra cost for such luxuries ask for one when reserving or checking in.QG-1, Ferrarska 30, tel. +386 (0)5 614 40 00, [email protected], pristan-koper.si. 10 rooms and 6 suites (singles €77, doubles €60, triples €50). PJHAULGBKD CW hhhh hhhh KOPER  The only full-sized hotel located within Koper’s old town, what its name lacks in originality it makes up for in location - with its façade dominating the waterfront promenade opposite the small harbour and the statue-packed Hlavatyev Park. Part of Terme Čatež chain of hotels, resorts and spas, it comes with the standard 3-star amenities and great views from most of the rooms. There are also two onsite conference halls for business or other events.QA4/5, Pristaniška 3, tel. +386 (0)5 610 05 00, fax +386 (0)5 610 05 94, [email protected], www.terme-catez.si. 55 rooms, 10 suites (singles €74-92, doubles €114-150). PTHRULGBK hhh hhh PADNA APARTMENTS Set at the edge of the idyllic village of Padna in the heart of Slovenia’s Istrian region, these two large, wellfurnished apartments are a perfect combination of traditional style and modern amenities. Both apartments have multiple bedrooms, bathrooms, a living room and kitchen on two floors, as well as access to a balcony and terrace with sweeping views of the surrounding countryside. Padna is easily accessible from anywhere on the coast, with the most direct route being directly south of Koper on the road to Pula. Booking in advance is highly recommended during peak seasons.QPadna 65b, tel. +386 (0)40 432 077, [email protected] si, www.apartmajipadna.si. Apartment A4 €60-90, Apartment A5 €90-120. Bikes can be rented for only €3/day. PTAL

10 Slovenian Istria In Your Pocket

HRASTOVLJE  The Istrian Istrian village village ofHrastovlje Hrastovlje is most most famous famous for its its Church Church of the Holy Trinity, which dates back to the 13th century. The entire interior of the the church is covered in frescoes by the 15th century Slovene artist Janez of Castua, including the eerily enchanting Dance of Death or Danse Macabre [editor’s

Koper’s bell tower is the city’s trademark sight, photo by YMB

Koper as early as 1182. Taking up the lion’s share of Carpaccio Square on the western edge of the old town is the Taverna building, which formerly served as a salt warehouse before becoming at various times an inn, a fish market and of course a tavern. Today the structure is used as a multipurpose space for various events, including many live concerts and other performances.QA-4, Carpacciov Trg.

while on another nearby hill there’s the odd-looking bell tower of the Baroque Church of St Valentine. Dating from 1680, the tower now has a noticeable lean to it, and is secured in place by steel wires.  The village village itself, has typical typical Istrian-Karst Istrian-Karst architecture tecture with numerous decorative stone details. One house in particular, the so-called Benkova Hiša, is officially considered to be the oldest farmhouse in Slovene and the earliest example of Slovene folk architecture, dating from 1489. The rocky slopes above the village offer over 100 climbing routes of various levels of difficulty, and provide spectacular views of the valleys and hills below leading towards Koper and the sea, and there are even more hiking and cycling opportunities in the surrounding countryside.

slovenian-istria.inyourpocket.com

facebook/slovenia.inyourpocket

VILLA ANDOR Housed in a beautifully preserved centuries-old Venetian-style villa, Andor enjoys protected historic status as it had previously served as both a private and official state residence before being opened as a hotel in the mid-90s. It s 14 double rooms all come with antique furnishings as well as modern amenities, and most have at least partial sea views. Try to request room four (the Honeymoon suite), which has French doors opening onto a large private balcony.QVinogradniška Pot 9, tel. +386 (0)56 15 50 00/+386 (0)41 65 51 00, fax +386 (0)56 15 50 17, [email protected], www.andor. si. 14 rooms (singles €50-55, doubles €80-90). POA6ILBKX VODIŠEK  About half-way between the Old Town and the bus and train stations, the Vodisek is a good budget choice. Expect distinctly average rooms but at a more than reasonable price, and friendly staff eager to help you find your way around their town. The terrace café gets busy with locals and appears to be a centre of gossip. All adds to the fun of staying here. Note the reception is around the back, through the shopping mall. QF-2, Kolodvorska 2, tel. +386 (0)5 639 24 68/+386 (0)41 634 877, fax +386 (0)5 639 36 68, [email protected], www.hotel-vodisek.com. 33 rooms (singles €59, doubles 88, triples €107)44,2544,35. THR6ULBK hhh hhh 2014/2015 11

Koper as early as 1182. Taking up the lion’s share of Carpaccio Square on the western edge of the old town is the Taverna building, which formerly served as a salt warehouse before becoming at various times an inn, a fish market and of course a tavern. Today the structure is used as a multipurpose space for various events, including many live concerts and other performances.QA-4, Carpacciov Trg. GALERIJA MEDUZA An excellent collection of contemporary art by various local artists, all of which is for sale. Friendly staff will help with onward shipping should you require.QB-5, Čevljarska 34, tel. +386 (0)5 627 48 37. Open 09:00 16:00. Closed Sat, Sun. KOPER REGIONAL MUSEUM Housed inside a wonderful Venetian Palace, the Koper Regional Museum presents a rather condensed history of Koper, Izola and Piran. While there’s precious little to actually see, there are some rather nice paintings to admire, and the building is wonderful. Walking around is not the worst way in the world to kill half an hour. QA-4, Kidričeva 19, tel. +386 (0)5 663 35 70, [email protected] arnes.si. Sep-Jun Mon-Fri10:00-18:00, Sat and Sun 09:00-13:00; Jul-Aug: 09:00-13:00, Tue-Sun 18:0021:00, Mon closed. MUZEJSKA GALERIJA Part of the Koper Regional Museum (which is next door), the gallery museum presents changing exhibitions of vari-

Koper ous interest throughout the year. When we las t visited the current exhibition was a superb presentation of the role of profane art and music in Venetian society. Check the gallery’s website for details of current exhibitions.QA-4, Kidričeva 21, tel. +386 (0)5 663 35 70. Open 10:00 18:00, Sat 09:00 - 13:00. Closed Sun. KOPER CITY BEACH �MESTNO KOPALIŠČE KOPER� Koper’s small pebble beach lacks sand, but is a lovely place to soak up the sun or to swim in the war m (depending on the time of year of course) water. You will find it on Kopalisko Nabrežje, next to the marina. There are large areas of lawns for sunbathing, and an enclosed swimming area. Lifeguards are on hand to make sure you do not swim off  out into the boating lanes. There are changing rooms, showers, children’s playgrounds, a restaurant and a café. QE-1, Kopališko Nabrežje 1, tel. +386 (0)5 627 81 78.

 ACCOMMODATION BIO In the newer part of town, some way from the Old Town (but accessible by bus) the Bio is a good choice f or those on a budget. Rooms are simple but rather nice, and considering the almost negative cost you get plenty of value for your money.  There’s an onsite restauran restaurantt complete complete with a terrace terrace serving ng local specialities.QVanganelska 2, tel. +386 (0)5 625 88 84, fax +386 (0)5625 88 85, [email protected], www.hotel-bio. si. 29 rooms (singles €38-53, doubles €57-79, triples €76). PTHAR6LGBKW hhh

HOSTEL HISTRIA A much welcomed (and much needed) addition to the budget accommodation at the Slovene coast, the renovated historical building has had some of its centuriesold charm preserved in the form of stone walls, wooden shutters and heavy iron fixtures, and is conveniently located just around the corner from Prešeren Square and the main southern entrance to the old town, within easy walking distance from the train and bus stations and just steps away from several popular pubs, cafés and restaurants.QB-5, Pri Velikih Vratih 17, tel. +386 (0)8 38 240 38, [email protected], www.hostel-histria.si. Two 8-bed and three 6-bed dorms, (€13-15/person OctApril, €15-17 May-Sept). JW GARNI HOTEL PRISTAN  Though it looks less than promising from the outside, this is just about the best hotel in town, and as such is the default choice of the business classes. It’s spick, span, and the well sized rooms are faultlessly attired. Bathrooms are great, there are plenty of freebie toiletries and the staff are both friendly and helpful in a wide variety of languages. Note that not all rooms have balconies, and as there is no extra cost for such luxuries ask for one when reserving or checking in.QG-1, Ferrarska 30, tel. +386 (0)5 614 40 00, [email protected], pristan-koper.si. 10 rooms and 6 suites (singles €77, doubles €60, triples €50). PJHAULGBKD CW hhhh hhhh KOPER  The only full-sized hotel located within Koper’s old town, what its name lacks in originality it makes up for in location - with its façade dominating the waterfront promenade opposite the small harbour and the statue-packed Hlavatyev Park. Part of Terme Čatež chain of hotels, resorts and spas, it comes with the standard 3-star amenities and great views from most of the rooms. There are also two onsite conference halls for business or other events.QA4/5, Pristaniška 3, tel. +386 (0)5 610 05 00, fax +386 (0)5 610 05 94, [email protected], www.terme-catez.si. 55 rooms, 10 suites (singles €74-92, doubles €114-150). PTHRULGBK hhh hhh PADNA APARTMENTS Set at the edge of the idyllic village of Padna in the heart of Slovenia’s Istrian region, these two large, wellfurnished apartments are a perfect combination of traditional style and modern amenities. Both apartments have multiple bedrooms, bathrooms, a living room and kitchen on two floors, as well as access to a balcony and terrace with sweeping views of the surrounding countryside. Padna is easily accessible from anywhere on the coast, with the most direct route being directly south of Koper on the road to Pula. Booking in advance is highly recommended during peak seasons.QPadna 65b, tel. +386 (0)40 432 077, [email protected] si, www.apartmajipadna.si. Apartment A4 €60-90, Apartment A5 €90-120. Bikes can be rented for only €3/day. PTAL

10 Slovenian Istria In Your Pocket

slovenian-istria.inyourpocket.com

VILLA ANDOR Housed in a beautifully preserved centuries-old Venetian-style villa, Andor enjoys protected historic status as it had previously served as both a private and official state residence before being opened as a hotel in the mid-90s. It s 14 double rooms all come with antique furnishings as well as modern amenities, and most have at least partial sea views. Try to request room four (the Honeymoon suite), which has French doors opening onto a large private balcony.QVinogradniška Pot 9, tel. +386 (0)56 15 50 00/+386 (0)41 65 51 00, fax +386 (0)56 15 50 17, [email protected], www.andor. si. 14 rooms (singles €50-55, doubles €80-90). POA6ILBKX VODIŠEK  About half-way between the Old Town and the bus and train stations, the Vodisek is a good budget choice. Expect distinctly average rooms but at a more than reasonable price, and friendly staff eager to help you find your way around their town. The terrace café gets busy with locals and appears to be a centre of gossip. All adds to the fun of staying here. Note the reception is around the back, through the shopping mall. QF-2, Kolodvorska 2, tel. +386 (0)5 639 24 68/+386 (0)41 634 877, fax +386 (0)5 639 36 68, [email protected], www.hotel-vodisek.com. 33 rooms (singles €59, doubles 88, triples €107)44,2544,35. THR6ULBK hhh hhh 2014/2015 11

facebook/slovenia.inyourpocket

Izola

Izola TOURIST I NFORMA NFORMATION TION A bit more difficult to find after moving from the waterfront promenade to a parallel pedestrian street just around the corner, the newly renovated premises now stock a large selection of gifts and souvenirs (including a whole wall full of local wines) in addition to the usual brochures and guides. To get there take the small alleyway next to the municipal building at Sončno Nabrežje 8, and turn left when you reach the end.QA-2, Ljubljanska 17, tel. +386 (0)5 640 10 50, fax +386 (0)5 640 10 52, [email protected] si, www.izola.eu. Open 09:00-16:00, Sat 10:00-14:00, and closed Sun (Sep-May); 09:00-19:00, Sun 09:0017:00 (June); everyday 09:00-20:00 (July-Aug). the main dining room, there is a large terrace that can be transformed into an enclosed winter garden during colder months, and a small private salon with a fireplace that can be reserved for special occasions. After dinner you can head to the equally grand wine cellar downstairs.QKorte 44b, tel. +386 (0)5 620 96 57, [email protected], www. hisa-torkla.si. Open 12:00 - 22:00. Closed Mon.

 The town of Izola was formerly an island, hence the name (isola is is Italian for island), photo courtesy of Tourism Izola

Still an easygoing fishing village at heart, Izola doesn’t get nearly as much love as some of Slovenia’s other coastal towns and is often overlooked by tourists racing by on their way to Piran for a day trip. However, as far as we’re concerned it’s a beautiful little Venetian port town with enough amenities to keep you comfortable, windy old streets to wander and sights to see to make it a worthwhile destination in its own right.

RESTAURANTS GUŠT One of several places within a block of each other on Drevored 1. Maja (or The 1st of May Avenue), Gušt always seems to have the fewest empty seats on its long terrace, and for good reason. Its thick menu has a bit of everything, but for our money the brick oven pizzas are probably the best in town. For those staying farther afield they also deliver to most nearby areas.QE-2, Drevored 1 Maja 5, tel. +386 (0)41 67 59 53/+386 (0)41 65 03 33, [email protected] Open 08:00 - 24:00. (€4.5-19). JAVBS GOSTIŠČE OBALA Located in the Jadranka Avtokamp along the waterfront  just east of of town, this no frills lls restaurant restaurant offers a relaxed and and authentic dining experience without the crowds of the city centre, with free parking and panoramic views of the old town offering further enticement. Grilled meat and vegetable dishes are well-represented on the menu, as of course 12 Slovenian Istria In Your Pocket

are fish and other seafood specialities, while the awardwinning pizza is what draws many a local family here. Fresh locals ingredients from surrounding countryside are used, and prices are incredibly reasonable. It’s open year-round for lunch, and dinner as well during the high season.QPolje 8 (Avtokamp Jadranka), tel. +386 (0)41 528 787, camp.  [email protected],  [email protected], avtokamp-jadranka.si. GOSTILNA KORTE Locals and tourists alike make regular pilgrimages up into the hills between Izola and Portorož to dine at this traditional inn. The menu has a mix of Slovene, Mediterranean and regional Istrian dishes, and a great selection of local wines - a bottle of which should be mandatory with any meal. It’s also not a bad place to come for a drink if you need an excuse to get out and enjoy the fresh air, but are not in the mood to eat.QKorte 44, tel. +386 (0)5 642 02 00/+386 (0)41 60 78 63, [email protected], www. gostilnakorte.si. Open 11:00 - 23:00. Closed Tue. HIŠA TORKLA Situated in a beautifully restored traditional 19th-century Istrian house in the charming hilltop town of Korte, the cuisine at Hiša Torkla is just as exceptional as the setting. Prepared using fresh seasonal ingredients from local farmers, hunters and fishermen, many of the dishes are based on age-old Slovene recipes with a little bit of modern innovation from head chef Sebastijan Kovačič. In addition to slovenian-istria.inyourpocket.com

MARINA In spite of the stereotypes often associated with hotel restaurants, Marina is widely regarded as one of the best in town, and considering the top quality it’s a surprisingly good-value option for those looking for a bit more upscale dining whilst in Izola. Under the watchful eye of master chef Ivica Evačić-Ivek, the kitchen strictly adheres to the motto of ‘From the sea to the plate’, which to be fair is only a journey of a few metres given that the hotel is set right 11, tel. +386 (0)5 660 41 on the harbour.QA-1, Veliki Trg 11, 00, [email protected], www.hotelmarina.si. Open 12:00-23:00 in spring/summer, 12:00-22:00 in autumn/ winter. PJALBW MANJADA Set high above the road overlooking the San Simon Resort and Adriatic sea in the distance, Manjada is an excellent choice for lunch or dinner, combining the modern dining experience with a homey traditional-style. House specialties included meat and seafood dishes from a charcoal grill,

Gostlna in Pizzeria Manjada Morova 25d, 6310 Izola Tel: 05/64 16 321 www.gostlna-manjada.si

facebook/slovenia.inyourpocket

fresh fish from the Adriatic, and every kind of pizza imaginable, with the daily lunch specials always a good choice. For a real treat, come for dinner and try one of the excellent (and very reasonably priced) five-course tastings menus, with each course accompanied by a perfectly matched Slovene wine.QMorova 25d, tel. +386 (0)5 64 16 321, www. gostilna-manjada.si. Open 10:00 - 22:00, Fri, Sat 10:00 23:00. Closed Mon. PERGOLA Open only during the peak tourist season, you can be assured of fresh ingredients and a crowded house at this seafood restaurant found at Hotel Delfin near the entrance to the marina. Free parking for guests in another added benefit, and another likely reason why the place is popular amongst locals and others who aren’t staying at the hotel or even visiting its pools. QTomažičeva 10, +386 (0)5 6607 421, www.hotel-delfin.si. Open 10:0021:00 from April till October. PTAL RIBIČ Located beside Izola’s picturesque fishing port in the centre of town, Gostilna Ribič has been pleasing customers for more than 140 years. After enjoying a relaxed weekend lunch we can see why its still around, the atmosphere is authentically rustic, the service friendly, and they even serve a complimentary appetiser. Ribič (‘fisherman’ in Slovene) are specialists at preparing (surprise surprise) the freshest seafood and their classic Adriatic and Mediterranean dishes are delicious as are the local wines on offer.  The non- seafood items on the menu look good as well, though we turn into pescatarians whenever we’re at the coast.QA-1, Veliki Trg 3, tel. +386 (0)5 641 83 13, www. ribic.biz. Open 10:00 - 23:00.

KILOMETRE ZERO In order to promote the rich culinary heritage of the Istria region, the Tourist Association of Izola in cooperation with the town’s Chamber of Craft and Small Business has developed the Kilometre Zero initiative, which both encourages and ensures the use of local products, and also organises various ongoing events under one unique brand. Currently, 18 restaurants within the municipality of Izola have joined the project, meaning that at least 80% of their ingredients are purchased from local suppliers. This no only guarantees guests the chance to try authentic recipes and local specialities, but also means that seasonal dishes, both from the sea and the land, are in constant supply. Events connected with the projects include a special culinary evening known as Forgotten Flavours of Istria, which takes places at a different restaurant on the first Tuesday of each month (except January), a Saturday farmers’ market from May to September, and The Sea on the Table, where participating restaurants restaurants serve up the freshest lunches possible from the morning catch of local fishermen. See the  Tourist Association’s official website for for more info. info. 2014/2015 13

Izola

Izola TOURIST I NFORMA NFORMATION TION A bit more difficult to find after moving from the waterfront promenade to a parallel pedestrian street just around the corner, the newly renovated premises now stock a large selection of gifts and souvenirs (including a whole wall full of local wines) in addition to the usual brochures and guides. To get there take the small alleyway next to the municipal building at Sončno Nabrežje 8, and turn left when you reach the end.QA-2, Ljubljanska 17, tel. +386 (0)5 640 10 50, fax +386 (0)5 640 10 52, [email protected] si, www.izola.eu. Open 09:00-16:00, Sat 10:00-14:00, and closed Sun (Sep-May); 09:00-19:00, Sun 09:0017:00 (June); everyday 09:00-20:00 (July-Aug). the main dining room, there is a large terrace that can be transformed into an enclosed winter garden during colder months, and a small private salon with a fireplace that can be reserved for special occasions. After dinner you can head to the equally grand wine cellar downstairs.QKorte 44b, tel. +386 (0)5 620 96 57, [email protected], www. hisa-torkla.si. Open 12:00 - 22:00. Closed Mon.

 The town of Izola was formerly an island, hence the name (isola is is Italian for island), photo courtesy of Tourism Izola

Still an easygoing fishing village at heart, Izola doesn’t get nearly as much love as some of Slovenia’s other coastal towns and is often overlooked by tourists racing by on their way to Piran for a day trip. However, as far as we’re concerned it’s a beautiful little Venetian port town with enough amenities to keep you comfortable, windy old streets to wander and sights to see to make it a worthwhile destination in its own right.

RESTAURANTS GUŠT One of several places within a block of each other on Drevored 1. Maja (or The 1st of May Avenue), Gušt always seems to have the fewest empty seats on its long terrace, and for good reason. Its thick menu has a bit of everything, but for our money the brick oven pizzas are probably the best in town. For those staying farther afield they also deliver to most nearby areas.QE-2, Drevored 1 Maja 5, tel. +386 (0)41 67 59 53/+386 (0)41 65 03 33, [email protected] Open 08:00 - 24:00. (€4.5-19). JAVBS GOSTIŠČE OBALA Located in the Jadranka Avtokamp along the waterfront  just east of of town, this no frills lls restaurant restaurant offers a relaxed and and authentic dining experience without the crowds of the city centre, with free parking and panoramic views of the old town offering further enticement. Grilled meat and vegetable dishes are well-represented on the menu, as of course 12 Slovenian Istria In Your Pocket

are fish and other seafood specialities, while the awardwinning pizza is what draws many a local family here. Fresh locals ingredients from surrounding countryside are used, and prices are incredibly reasonable. It’s open year-round for lunch, and dinner as well during the high season.QPolje 8 (Avtokamp Jadranka), tel. +386 (0)41 528 787, camp.  [email protected],  [email protected], avtokamp-jadranka.si. GOSTILNA KORTE Locals and tourists alike make regular pilgrimages up into the hills between Izola and Portorož to dine at this traditional inn. The menu has a mix of Slovene, Mediterranean and regional Istrian dishes, and a great selection of local wines - a bottle of which should be mandatory with any meal. It’s also not a bad place to come for a drink if you need an excuse to get out and enjoy the fresh air, but are not in the mood to eat.QKorte 44, tel. +386 (0)5 642 02 00/+386 (0)41 60 78 63, [email protected], www. gostilnakorte.si. Open 11:00 - 23:00. Closed Tue. HIŠA TORKLA Situated in a beautifully restored traditional 19th-century Istrian house in the charming hilltop town of Korte, the cuisine at Hiša Torkla is just as exceptional as the setting. Prepared using fresh seasonal ingredients from local farmers, hunters and fishermen, many of the dishes are based on age-old Slovene recipes with a little bit of modern innovation from head chef Sebastijan Kovačič. In addition to slovenian-istria.inyourpocket.com

MARINA In spite of the stereotypes often associated with hotel restaurants, Marina is widely regarded as one of the best in town, and considering the top quality it’s a surprisingly good-value option for those looking for a bit more upscale dining whilst in Izola. Under the watchful eye of master chef Ivica Evačić-Ivek, the kitchen strictly adheres to the motto of ‘From the sea to the plate’, which to be fair is only a journey of a few metres given that the hotel is set right 11, tel. +386 (0)5 660 41 on the harbour.QA-1, Veliki Trg 11, 00, [email protected], www.hotelmarina.si. Open 12:00-23:00 in spring/summer, 12:00-22:00 in autumn/ winter. PJALBW MANJADA Set high above the road overlooking the San Simon Resort and Adriatic sea in the distance, Manjada is an excellent choice for lunch or dinner, combining the modern dining experience with a homey traditional-style. House specialties included meat and seafood dishes from a charcoal grill,

Gostlna in Pizzeria Manjada Morova 25d, 6310 Izola Tel: 05/64 16 321 www.gostlna-manjada.si

fresh fish from the Adriatic, and every kind of pizza imaginable, with the daily lunch specials always a good choice. For a real treat, come for dinner and try one of the excellent (and very reasonably priced) five-course tastings menus, with each course accompanied by a perfectly matched Slovene wine.QMorova 25d, tel. +386 (0)5 64 16 321, www. gostilna-manjada.si. Open 10:00 - 22:00, Fri, Sat 10:00 23:00. Closed Mon. PERGOLA Open only during the peak tourist season, you can be assured of fresh ingredients and a crowded house at this seafood restaurant found at Hotel Delfin near the entrance to the marina. Free parking for guests in another added benefit, and another likely reason why the place is popular amongst locals and others who aren’t staying at the hotel or even visiting its pools. QTomažičeva 10, +386 (0)5 6607 421, www.hotel-delfin.si. Open 10:0021:00 from April till October. PTAL RIBIČ Located beside Izola’s picturesque fishing port in the centre of town, Gostilna Ribič has been pleasing customers for more than 140 years. After enjoying a relaxed weekend lunch we can see why its still around, the atmosphere is authentically rustic, the service friendly, and they even serve a complimentary appetiser. Ribič (‘fisherman’ in Slovene) are specialists at preparing (surprise surprise) the freshest seafood and their classic Adriatic and Mediterranean dishes are delicious as are the local wines on offer.  The non- seafood items on the menu look good as well, though we turn into pescatarians whenever we’re at the coast.QA-1, Veliki Trg 3, tel. +386 (0)5 641 83 13, www. ribic.biz. Open 10:00 - 23:00.

KILOMETRE ZERO In order to promote the rich culinary heritage of the Istria region, the Tourist Association of Izola in cooperation with the town’s Chamber of Craft and Small Business has developed the Kilometre Zero initiative, which both encourages and ensures the use of local products, and also organises various ongoing events under one unique brand. Currently, 18 restaurants within the municipality of Izola have joined the project, meaning that at least 80% of their ingredients are purchased from local suppliers. This no only guarantees guests the chance to try authentic recipes and local specialities, but also means that seasonal dishes, both from the sea and the land, are in constant supply. Events connected with the projects include a special culinary evening known as Forgotten Flavours of Istria, which takes places at a different restaurant on the first Tuesday of each month (except January), a Saturday farmers’ market from May to September, and The Sea on the Table, where participating restaurants restaurants serve up the freshest lunches possible from the morning catch of local fishermen. See the  Tourist Association’s official website for for more info. info. 2014/2015 13

facebook/slovenia.inyourpocket

Izola KINO OTOK

04.06 WEDNESDAY � 08.06 SUNDAY Kino Otok is not only the second largest film festival in Slovenia and one of the most high-profile cultural events on the Slovenian coast, but it’s also one of our personal favourites, with screenings taking place outdoors under the stars on Mazioli Trg in the old town of Izola. In addition to its unique venue, the festival also prides itself on promoting genuine interaction between filmmakers and audiences, making the event an unforgettable experience for everyone involved. The festival’s programme, which is due to be announced on 22 May, is sure to be as international as in previous years, with the selection of films accompanied by a full schedule of Q&A sessions, industry meetings, film education panels, workshops for youth and children, art exhibitions and much more. This summer Kino Otok will also be celebrating its 10th anniversary, guaranteeing the event an even more festive atmosphere than ever before.QManziolijev Trg 5, tel. +386 (0)1 43 18 008, [email protected], [email protected], www.isolacinema.org. www.isolacinema.org.

Izola VILA RAINERI Located next to the Hotel Delfin complex just outside the town’s modern marina, Vila Raineri makes for a good familyfriendly destination after a day spent cruising out on the Adriatic, or just splashing around at the hotel’s pools or private beach. Some two dozen pizzas come in four different sizes, so everyone should be able to find the perfect size and variety.QTomažičeva 10, tel. +386 (0)5 6607 426, www.hotel-delfin.si. Open 11:00 11:00 - 23:00. TAL

MANZIOLI PALACE Originally built in 1470 under the direction of one of Izola’s first mayors, Tomasso Manzioli, the recently renovated palace is one of the oldest buildings in the city and home to both the offices of the local Italian self-government and an incredibly charming wine bar. Frequently held art exhibitions are a good excuse to see the beautifully restored interior.QA-1, Manzioli Square 5, tel. +386 (0)5 616 21 31, [email protected]

SIGHTSEEING

PARENZANA MUSEUM In 1902 the Parenzana railway line was built connecting Trieste with Poreč (or Parenzo in Italian, hence the name) 123 kilometres to the south in present-day Croatia. Although it was only in operation until 1935 it garnered quite a reputation for the beautiful scenery along the route, much of which serves as a footpath and cycling road today. Dedicated to preserving the history of the short-lived line, this tiny museum opened its doors in 2000. It also houses an impressive model train collection that is probably a must see attraction for anyone interested in such things. It’s a good idea to ask for directions and confirm its working hours at the tourist office.QI-7, Alme Vivoda 3, [email protected] izola.si. Open 09:00 - 15:00. Closed Sat, Sun. Admission: €2.10/1.50 for adults/children.

BESENGHI DEGLI UGHI PALACE Considered by many to be the finest building in Izola, it has sadly seen better days and from the looks of things now serves as a nightly hang out for the beer-swilling local youth. Although if you can imagine it without the grafitti and low hanging power lines it gives you some id ea of the city’s past glory. By day it currently serves as Izola’s music school, which means visitors can take a look around while lessons are taking place.QGregorčičeva 76, tel. +386 (0)5 662 67 00/+386 (0)40 631 034. CHURCH OF ST MARY OF HALIAETUM  The oldest church in Izola does its part to help make make Manziolijev Trg one of the most aesthetically pleasing places in town. Other than the summer, it’s not often open to the public, but if you settle in for a drink at the nearby wine bar on any given Saturday af ternoon you’ll likely be able to catch a wedding ceremony or two.QA-1, Manziolijev Trg.

ST MAURUS CHURCH Sitting atop Izola’s modest high point is the parish church of the town’s patron saint, who is also responsible for watching over the Azores, shoemakers, coppersmiths and the disabled. The present church was originally built by the Venetians in 1547, with the bell tower, which bears some resemblance to its larger predecessor in St Mark’s Square in Venice, coming some forty years later. The church last saw major renovations at the end of the 19th century and still holds regular services.QD-1, Trg Svetega Mavra. THE UGO FAMILY PLAQUE Well above ground level on a tiny side street not far from Café Alle Porte, you can find the family plate of the once powerful Ugo family, who originally installed it back in 1450. After seeing several large photographs and reading a bit about its history at the tourist office, we found it slightly underwhelming in real life, especially given the fact that it clings to the wall of a newly

 AMPELEA 

gsm: 040 794 216 (Tomi) e-mail: [email protected]

 A beautiful day on the Slovenian coast 33.33 eur/person

(maximum 12 people)

Hiring a boat to cruise around the Adriatic Sea is hands down one of the most enjoyable activities that can be undertaken on Slovenia’s petite coast - a sentiment that we’ve often heard repeated by many a Slovene as well. Not only does this afford you and your fellow sailors the luxury to go where you want when you want, but you can also avoid the crowded beaches during the summertime and explore sights off the proverbial beaten path. While the harbours of Slovenia’s coastal town are full of boats for hire, one of the most unique experience you can have is on the Ampelea, which offers a passengers the same convenience of the rest, along with some authentic charm and history.  The Ampelea is a type of sailboa t called a štilac , which was commonly used as a cargo vessel in the eastern Adriatic during the second half of the 19th century. The boat itself dates back to 1930, and underwent more than a year of renovations after being purchased from a small Croatian fishing village by the current owners in 2004. It can comfortably accommodate up to eight people on longer journeys, and shorter half-day, full-day and romantic evening cruises are also available. Further details, prices and more info about the boat’s history can be found on the website.Qtel. +386 (0)40 794 216, [email protected], www.ampelea.com. renovated building, but we’ll admit that when we stumbled upon it quite by mistake one morning it felt like winning some kind of sightseeing scavenger hunt. QA-2, Gasilska Ulica.

SHOPPING VINA BOŽIČ  The Božič family has been tending their vineyards in the hills surrounding Izola for well over a century, 1902 to be exact, with the current generation combining the age-old knowledge acquired from their ancestors with modern production, bottling and storage methods in order to produce some of the highest quality wine in the area. Primarily growing the local Istrian grape varieties Malvasia and Refosco on some 12 hectares of lands, the family launched a new label in 2005, which has already been awarded multiple gold medals at several prestigious wine festivals. Their still very reasonably priced bottled can be purchased at their shop in 14 Slovenian Istria In Your Pocket

slovenian-istria.inyourpocket.com

facebook/slovenia.inyourpocket

2014/2015 15

Izola KINO OTOK

04.06 WEDNESDAY � 08.06 SUNDAY Kino Otok is not only the second largest film festival in Slovenia and one of the most high-profile cultural events on the Slovenian coast, but it’s also one of our personal favourites, with screenings taking place outdoors under the stars on Mazioli Trg in the old town of Izola. In addition to its unique venue, the festival also prides itself on promoting genuine interaction between filmmakers and audiences, making the event an unforgettable experience for everyone involved. The festival’s programme, which is due to be announced on 22 May, is sure to be as international as in previous years, with the selection of films accompanied by a full schedule of Q&A sessions, industry meetings, film education panels, workshops for youth and children, art exhibitions and much more. This summer Kino Otok will also be celebrating its 10th anniversary, guaranteeing the event an even more festive atmosphere than ever before.QManziolijev Trg 5, tel. +386 (0)1 43 18 008, [email protected], [email protected], www.isolacinema.org. www.isolacinema.org.

Izola VILA RAINERI Located next to the Hotel Delfin complex just outside the town’s modern marina, Vila Raineri makes for a good familyfriendly destination after a day spent cruising out on the Adriatic, or just splashing around at the hotel’s pools or private beach. Some two dozen pizzas come in four different sizes, so everyone should be able to find the perfect size and variety.QTomažičeva 10, tel. +386 (0)5 6607 426, www.hotel-delfin.si. Open 11:00 11:00 - 23:00. TAL

MANZIOLI PALACE Originally built in 1470 under the direction of one of Izola’s first mayors, Tomasso Manzioli, the recently renovated palace is one of the oldest buildings in the city and home to both the offices of the local Italian self-government and an incredibly charming wine bar. Frequently held art exhibitions are a good excuse to see the beautifully restored interior.QA-1, Manzioli Square 5, tel. +386 (0)5 616 21 31, [email protected]

SIGHTSEEING

PARENZANA MUSEUM In 1902 the Parenzana railway line was built connecting Trieste with Poreč (or Parenzo in Italian, hence the name) 123 kilometres to the south in present-day Croatia. Although it was only in operation until 1935 it garnered quite a reputation for the beautiful scenery along the route, much of which serves as a footpath and cycling road today. Dedicated to preserving the history of the short-lived line, this tiny museum opened its doors in 2000. It also houses an impressive model train collection that is probably a must see attraction for anyone interested in such things. It’s a good idea to ask for directions and confirm its working hours at the tourist office.QI-7, Alme Vivoda 3, [email protected] izola.si. Open 09:00 - 15:00. Closed Sat, Sun. Admission: €2.10/1.50 for adults/children.

BESENGHI DEGLI UGHI PALACE Considered by many to be the finest building in Izola, it has sadly seen better days and from the looks of things now serves as a nightly hang out for the beer-swilling local youth. Although if you can imagine it without the grafitti and low hanging power lines it gives you some id ea of the city’s past glory. By day it currently serves as Izola’s music school, which means visitors can take a look around while lessons are taking place.QGregorčičeva 76, tel. +386 (0)5 662 67 00/+386 (0)40 631 034. CHURCH OF ST MARY OF HALIAETUM  The oldest church in Izola does its part to help make make Manziolijev Trg one of the most aesthetically pleasing places in town. Other than the summer, it’s not often open to the public, but if you settle in for a drink at the nearby wine bar on any given Saturday af ternoon you’ll likely be able to catch a wedding ceremony or two.QA-1, Manziolijev Trg.

ST MAURUS CHURCH Sitting atop Izola’s modest high point is the parish church of the town’s patron saint, who is also responsible for watching over the Azores, shoemakers, coppersmiths and the disabled. The present church was originally built by the Venetians in 1547, with the bell tower, which bears some resemblance to its larger predecessor in St Mark’s Square in Venice, coming some forty years later. The church last saw major renovations at the end of the 19th century and still holds regular services.QD-1, Trg Svetega Mavra. THE UGO FAMILY PLAQUE Well above ground level on a tiny side street not far from Café Alle Porte, you can find the family plate of the once powerful Ugo family, who originally installed it back in 1450. After seeing several large photographs and reading a bit about its history at the tourist office, we found it slightly underwhelming in real life, especially given the fact that it clings to the wall of a newly

 AMPELEA 

gsm: 040 794 216 (Tomi) e-mail: [email protected]

 A beautiful day on the Slovenian coast 33.33 eur/person

(maximum 12 people)

Hiring a boat to cruise around the Adriatic Sea is hands down one of the most enjoyable activities that can be undertaken on Slovenia’s petite coast - a sentiment that we’ve often heard repeated by many a Slovene as well. Not only does this afford you and your fellow sailors the luxury to go where you want when you want, but you can also avoid the crowded beaches during the summertime and explore sights off the proverbial beaten path. While the harbours of Slovenia’s coastal town are full of boats for hire, one of the most unique experience you can have is on the Ampelea, which offers a passengers the same convenience of the rest, along with some authentic charm and history.  The Ampelea is a type of sailboa t called a štilac , which was commonly used as a cargo vessel in the eastern Adriatic during the second half of the 19th century. The boat itself dates back to 1930, and underwent more than a year of renovations after being purchased from a small Croatian fishing village by the current owners in 2004. It can comfortably accommodate up to eight people on longer journeys, and shorter half-day, full-day and romantic evening cruises are also available. Further details, prices and more info about the boat’s history can be found on the website.Qtel. +386 (0)40 794 216, [email protected], www.ampelea.com. renovated building, but we’ll admit that when we stumbled upon it quite by mistake one morning it felt like winning some kind of sightseeing scavenger hunt. QA-2, Gasilska Ulica.

SHOPPING VINA BOŽIČ  The Božič family has been tending their vineyards in the hills surrounding Izola for well over a century, 1902 to be exact, with the current generation combining the age-old knowledge acquired from their ancestors with modern production, bottling and storage methods in order to produce some of the highest quality wine in the area. Primarily growing the local Istrian grape varieties Malvasia and Refosco on some 12 hectares of lands, the family launched a new label in 2005, which has already been awarded multiple gold medals at several prestigious wine festivals. Their still very reasonably priced bottled can be purchased at their shop in 14 Slovenian Istria In Your Pocket

slovenian-istria.inyourpocket.com

facebook/slovenia.inyourpocket

Izola the city centre (located one street south of the main roundabout) or on a visit to their wine cellar in Jagode just west of town.QPostojnska 7, tel. +386 (0)41 784 719, [email protected] vina-bozic.com, www.vina-bozic.com. www.vina-bozic.com.

NIGHTLIFE AMBASADA GAVIOLI Designed by Italian architect Gianni Gavioli, who’s something of a legend in the clubbing world, this massive 1600 square metre complex can comfortably fit over 2500 people and is one of the region’s top destinations for serious club goers. The building itself is a hodgepodge of themes, materials and styles but maintains something of a warm Mediterranean vibe throughout. Events are usually only held once or twice a month at most, but could be worth planning your trip around if you’re a big fan of electronic music.QF-3, Industrijska 10, www.ambasadagavioli. net. PALE KANTINA  The wine bar in the cellar ar of Hotel Delfin, Delfin, attracts a boisterboisterous mix of visitors during the peak months of the summer season, it’s cool air and authentic Istrian stone walls providing a much needed respite from the scorching sun. Of course there’s also a wide selection of both Slovene and international wine to choose from, and various meats, cheeses and other light snacks to ensure that it all doesn’t go to your head too quickly.QTomažičeva 10, tel. +386 (0)5 6607 426, www. hotel-delfin.si. Open only for private groups.

Izola MOBY DICK BAR In a town that’s essentially still an old fishing village at heart, it’s fitting that the most popular night spot is named after Melville’s famous whale, however there’s no guarantee that it’ll be packed on any given night - especially out of season. In addition to the nautical-themed paraphernalia ia plastered over every square centimetre of wall and ceiling, you can find an electronic dart board awkwardly positioned near the entrance and a billiard table in the back.QD-3, Dantejeva 4, tel. +386 (0)51 64 65 65, [email protected], [email protected], ww w.mobydickisola.com. w.mobydickisola.com. Open 07:00 - 24:00, Sun 09:00 - 24:00. PJALB WINE BAR MANZIOLI Operated by the Zaro family, who have called Izola home for around 700 years, the bar occupies the ground floor of a former palace on the old town’s most picturesque square. It’s one of our favourite spots on the entire coast for a drink, and the best place in Izola to sample quality local wines. If you’re there on a Saturday afternoon you’re also likely to catch at least one wedding ceremony at the church opposite.QA-1, Manziolijev Trg 5, tel. +386 (0)5 616 21 37, [email protected] Open , Mon, Tue, Wed, Thu, Sun 8:00 - 24:00, Fri, Sat 8:00 - 01:00. JAB

 ACCOMMODATION DELFIN Located right next to the marina, Deflin has been welcoming guests for more than 30 years. With a heated outdoor sea water pool, a smaller indoor pool and its own beach, it’s

 Tomažičeva 10, 6310 Izola Izola

16 Slovenian Istria In Your Pocket

2014/2015 15

slovenian-istria.inyourpocket.com

one of the best options around for those wanting to spend a significant amount of their time in the water. Request a sea-facing room for some incredible sunsets over the Adriatic and lovely views of Izola’s old town, which is only 500m away along a well-kept walking path.QC-3, Tomažičeva 10, tel. +386 (0)5 6607 400, [email protected]fin.si, www.hotel-delfin.si. 219 rooms (singles €45-64, doubles €76-114). PTALBKC hhh STARA ŠOLA KORTE  This beautifully renovated old schoolhouse is a great option for those who would prefer the charms of a peaceful countryside village to the more tourist-centric coastal towns, although it definitely helps to have your own transport as Korte is actually closer to the Croatian frontier than Izola or Portorož. Brightly coloured private rooms and dormitories are reasonably priced especially

facebook/slovenia.inyourpocket

for larger groups and longer stays, and the surrounding hills, villages and vineyards are just begging to be explored by bike, foot or horseback. QKorte 74, tel. +386 (0)5 642 11 14/+386 (0)31 375 889, [email protected], www.hostel-starasola.si/eng. www.hostel-starasola.si/eng. 17 rooms & 2 apartments (dorms €20-24, doubles €40-48, quads €68-84, apartments €80-100). A6LW BELE SKALE TOURIST AGENCY Can arrange rooms and apartments around Izola, although be aware that the former are often in short supply and there is a strict 3 night minimum for the latter (even if you’re in town doing research for a guide book), so advanced booking is must. They also offer various excursions as far afield as Venice, and boat trips lasting from 3 hours to an entire day.QE-2, Cankarjev Drevored 2, tel. +386 (0)5 640 35 55, www.beleskale.si.

2014/2015 17

Izola the city centre (located one street south of the main roundabout) or on a visit to their wine cellar in Jagode just west of town.QPostojnska 7, tel. +386 (0)41 784 719, [email protected] vina-bozic.com, www.vina-bozic.com. www.vina-bozic.com.

NIGHTLIFE AMBASADA GAVIOLI Designed by Italian architect Gianni Gavioli, who’s something of a legend in the clubbing world, this massive 1600 square metre complex can comfortably fit over 2500 people and is one of the region’s top destinations for serious club goers. The building itself is a hodgepodge of themes, materials and styles but maintains something of a warm Mediterranean vibe throughout. Events are usually only held once or twice a month at most, but could be worth planning your trip around if you’re a big fan of electronic music.QF-3, Industrijska 10, www.ambasadagavioli. net. PALE KANTINA  The wine bar in the cellar ar of Hotel Delfin, Delfin, attracts a boisterboisterous mix of visitors during the peak months of the summer season, it’s cool air and authentic Istrian stone walls providing a much needed respite from the scorching sun. Of course there’s also a wide selection of both Slovene and international wine to choose from, and various meats, cheeses and other light snacks to ensure that it all doesn’t go to your head too quickly.QTomažičeva 10, tel. +386 (0)5 6607 426, www. hotel-delfin.si. Open only for private groups.

Izola MOBY DICK BAR In a town that’s essentially still an old fishing village at heart, it’s fitting that the most popular night spot is named after Melville’s famous whale, however there’s no guarantee that it’ll be packed on any given night - especially out of season. In addition to the nautical-themed paraphernalia ia plastered over every square centimetre of wall and ceiling, you can find an electronic dart board awkwardly positioned near the entrance and a billiard table in the back.QD-3, Dantejeva 4, tel. +386 (0)51 64 65 65, [email protected], [email protected], ww w.mobydickisola.com. w.mobydickisola.com. Open 07:00 - 24:00, Sun 09:00 - 24:00. PJALB WINE BAR MANZIOLI Operated by the Zaro family, who have called Izola home for around 700 years, the bar occupies the ground floor of a former palace on the old town’s most picturesque square. It’s one of our favourite spots on the entire coast for a drink, and the best place in Izola to sample quality local wines. If you’re there on a Saturday afternoon you’re also likely to catch at least one wedding ceremony at the church opposite.QA-1, Manziolijev Trg 5, tel. +386 (0)5 616 21 37, [email protected] Open , Mon, Tue, Wed, Thu, Sun 8:00 - 24:00, Fri, Sat 8:00 - 01:00. JAB

 ACCOMMODATION DELFIN Located right next to the marina, Deflin has been welcoming guests for more than 30 years. With a heated outdoor sea water pool, a smaller indoor pool and its own beach, it’s

 Tomažičeva 10, 6310 Izola Izola

16 Slovenian Istria In Your Pocket

slovenian-istria.inyourpocket.com

one of the best options around for those wanting to spend a significant amount of their time in the water. Request a sea-facing room for some incredible sunsets over the Adriatic and lovely views of Izola’s old town, which is only 500m away along a well-kept walking path.QC-3, Tomažičeva 10, tel. +386 (0)5 6607 400, [email protected]fin.si, www.hotel-delfin.si. 219 rooms (singles €45-64, doubles €76-114). PTALBKC hhh STARA ŠOLA KORTE  This beautifully renovated old schoolhouse is a great option for those who would prefer the charms of a peaceful countryside village to the more tourist-centric coastal towns, although it definitely helps to have your own transport as Korte is actually closer to the Croatian frontier than Izola or Portorož. Brightly coloured private rooms and dormitories are reasonably priced especially

for larger groups and longer stays, and the surrounding hills, villages and vineyards are just begging to be explored by bike, foot or horseback. QKorte 74, tel. +386 (0)5 642 11 14/+386 (0)31 375 889, [email protected], www.hostel-starasola.si/eng. www.hostel-starasola.si/eng. 17 rooms & 2 apartments (dorms €20-24, doubles €40-48, quads €68-84, apartments €80-100). A6LW BELE SKALE TOURIST AGENCY Can arrange rooms and apartments around Izola, although be aware that the former are often in short supply and there is a strict 3 night minimum for the latter (even if you’re in town doing research for a guide book), so advanced booking is must. They also offer various excursions as far afield as Venice, and boat trips lasting from 3 hours to an entire day.QE-2, Cankarjev Drevored 2, tel. +386 (0)5 640 35 55, www.beleskale.si.

2014/2015 17

facebook/slovenia.inyourpocket

Piran

Piran waiter didn’t seem overly amused when we tried to order dolphin (‘You don’t have dolphin? But isn’t delfin  Slovene for dolphin?’).QA-1, Kosovelova 4, tel. +386 (0)5 673 24 48, delfi[email protected], delfi[email protected], www.delfinpiran. si. Open 10:00 - 23:00. (€6-21). PJAB FONTANA  Tucked away behind a large stone ciste rn on the 1st of May Square, Fontana is the place to come if you’ve grown weary of seafood. Of course this being Piran fish is not absent from the menu entirely, but the focus here is on Balkan cuisine which generally means plates piled high with a variety of meat that has been spiced and grilled to perfection. Combination platters for two are a great value and will let you have a taste of everything.QB-1, Gallusova 2, tel. +386 (0)5 673 12 00. Open 15:00 - 24:0 0, Tue Closed during winter. (€5-16). PJAB

18 Slovenian Istria In Your Pocket

Boasting perhaps the best address of any tourist information centre in Slovenia, TIC Piran has the privilege of calling the ground floor of the town’s gleaming white Venetian town hall on Tartini Square home. While the interior is on a bit more humble scale than the façade would suggest, there’s a huge selection books, brochures, maps, flyers and more from seemingly every tourist-oriented venue on the coast and beyond. But don’t worry, the cheerful staff manning the counter can help you make sense of it all.QC-2, Tartinijev Trg 2, tel. +386 (0)5 673 44 40, fax +386 (0)5 673 44 41, [email protected], www. portoroz.si. Open 09:00-17:00, Sun 10:00-14:00 (SeptJune), 09:00-20:00 (July-Aug).

GOSTILNA PRI MARI  This cosy, cosy, rustic rustic restauran restaurantt isjust yourtypical typical story story of a girlrl from from GALEB Venice falling in love with a Slovene boy, moving to Piran and In the north of town just around the corner from the sometime thereafter opening a restaurant specialising in Istrian pathway leading up to St George Cathedral, this small and Venetian cuisine fresh from the sea. Okay perhaps that’s family-run affair is another great option for superb not the most typical of stories, but now more than a decade on, home-made seafood dishes. Savo Ristič handles things the little restaurant near the entrance to town has built a repuin the kitchen, while his wife Mija stays out front maktation as one of the coast’s top dining destinations, as much for ing guests feel at home as they crowd around a half the convivial atmosphere and genuine hospitality ity of the hosts dozen cosy tables. Highly recommended for a more Mara and Tomi, as for the excellent cuisine they serve.QDanteintimate dining experience.QA/B-1, Pusterla 5, tel.  jeva 17, 17, tel. tel. +386 +386 (0)41 (0)41 616 488/+ 488/+386 386 (0)5 673 673 4735, 4735, www. +386 (0)5 673 32 25. Open 11:00 - 16:00; 18:00 -23:00. primari-piran.com. Open 12:00-22:00, Sun 12:00-18:00. (€5-19). JAG Closed in January, and 16:00-18:00 in summer. PA

Piran is quite likely Slovenia’s prettiest town, photo by Matej Kastelic / Shutterstock

Piran is to the Adriatic what Bled is to the Alps and Slovenia as a whole is to Central Europe: tiny, friendly and overwhelmingly picturesque. It's a town that is almost impossible not to fall in love with on your first visit, and if you only have time for a day trip you'll likely want to make plans to return. We also only half-jokingly added "family residence in Piran - preferably renovated" to our list of things we now look for in potential significant others, but that's only because we're superficial. Despite it's modest size Piran is awash in superlatives. It boasts what is undeniably the country's finest square, the 19th-century Tartinijev Trg named after the composer Giuseppe Tartini, and what has to be one of the most dramatically situated churches anywhere in Europe, St George Cathedral and its spectacular bell tower perched on the hill overlooking the town and the sea. In addition, its numerous restaurants not only turn out some of the best seafood we've ever eaten but also serve it in some equally unforgettable settings. Metre for metre this petite Venetian port can hold its own against anyone, including the imperial capital just over the horizon that was responsible for much of its fortune. In fact Piran does have the s ame kind of open-air museum feel to it as Venice, only on a much much smaller scale (and without the €6 espressos, stagnant lagoon smell, periodic flooding and constant worry of sinking into the sea). However, once you venture from the heavily trafficked waterfront and central square down the narrow back s treets,

TOURIST I NFORMA NFORMATION TION

the crumbling façades of ancient villas, freshly-laundered clothes hanging from windows overhead and the odd overgrown garden let you know that Piran should not be mistaken for some manufactured cultural Disneyland - the charms are real and, yes, people do actually live here.

RESTAURANTS CASA NOSTROMO A relative newcomer (only opened in 2013), Casa Nostromo has quickly become a popular addition to Piran’s culinary scene. Located just opposite the old town harbour, the nautical-themed restaurant specialises in simple, fresh Istrian cuisine, prepared using only local ingredients and accompanied by a well-chosen wine list. The selection of cocktails and spirits is also said to be quite ample - it is officially referred to as a ‘restaurant and lounge bar’ after all.QTomšičeva 24, tel. +386 (0)30 200 000, www.piranisin.com. www.piranisin.com. DELFIN Boasting a bit more authentic charm compared to some of the competition around the corner, Delfin lays claim to being the oldest fish restaurant in town and has the unique distinction of being located in a 500 year-old former municipal building. The food is quite good - especially when accompanied by some cheap house wine - and the service friendly and unhurried, although our slovenian-istria.inyourpocket.com

Ribja restavracija Tri vdove Prešernovo nabrežje 4, 6330 Piran/Pirano tel: + 386 5 673 02 90

facebook/slovenia.inyourpocket

2014/2015 19

Piran

Piran waiter didn’t seem overly amused when we tried to order dolphin (‘You don’t have dolphin? But isn’t delfin  Slovene for dolphin?’).QA-1, Kosovelova 4, tel. +386 (0)5 673 24 48, delfi[email protected], delfi[email protected], www.delfinpiran. si. Open 10:00 - 23:00. (€6-21). PJAB FONTANA  Tucked away behind a large stone ciste rn on the 1st of May Square, Fontana is the place to come if you’ve grown weary of seafood. Of course this being Piran fish is not absent from the menu entirely, but the focus here is on Balkan cuisine which generally means plates piled high with a variety of meat that has been spiced and grilled to perfection. Combination platters for two are a great value and will let you have a taste of everything.QB-1, Gallusova 2, tel. +386 (0)5 673 12 00. Open 15:00 - 24:0 0, Tue Closed during winter. (€5-16). PJAB

18 Slovenian Istria In Your Pocket

Boasting perhaps the best address of any tourist information centre in Slovenia, TIC Piran has the privilege of calling the ground floor of the town’s gleaming white Venetian town hall on Tartini Square home. While the interior is on a bit more humble scale than the façade would suggest, there’s a huge selection books, brochures, maps, flyers and more from seemingly every tourist-oriented venue on the coast and beyond. But don’t worry, the cheerful staff manning the counter can help you make sense of it all.QC-2, Tartinijev Trg 2, tel. +386 (0)5 673 44 40, fax +386 (0)5 673 44 41, [email protected], www. portoroz.si. Open 09:00-17:00, Sun 10:00-14:00 (SeptJune), 09:00-20:00 (July-Aug).

GOSTILNA PRI MARI  This cosy, cosy, rustic rustic restauran restaurantt isjust yourtypical typical story story of a girlrl from from GALEB Venice falling in love with a Slovene boy, moving to Piran and In the north of town just around the corner from the sometime thereafter opening a restaurant specialising in Istrian pathway leading up to St George Cathedral, this small and Venetian cuisine fresh from the sea. Okay perhaps that’s family-run affair is another great option for superb not the most typical of stories, but now more than a decade on, home-made seafood dishes. Savo Ristič handles things the little restaurant near the entrance to town has built a repuin the kitchen, while his wife Mija stays out front maktation as one of the coast’s top dining destinations, as much for ing guests feel at home as they crowd around a half the convivial atmosphere and genuine hospitality ity of the hosts dozen cosy tables. Highly recommended for a more Mara and Tomi, as for the excellent cuisine they serve.QDanteintimate dining experience.QA/B-1, Pusterla 5, tel.  jeva 17, 17, tel. tel. +386 +386 (0)41 (0)41 616 488/+ 488/+386 386 (0)5 673 673 4735, 4735, www. +386 (0)5 673 32 25. Open 11:00 - 16:00; 18:00 -23:00. primari-piran.com. Open 12:00-22:00, Sun 12:00-18:00. (€5-19). JAG Closed in January, and 16:00-18:00 in summer. PA

Piran is quite likely Slovenia’s prettiest town, photo by Matej Kastelic / Shutterstock

Piran is to the Adriatic what Bled is to the Alps and Slovenia as a whole is to Central Europe: tiny, friendly and overwhelmingly picturesque. It's a town that is almost impossible not to fall in love with on your first visit, and if you only have time for a day trip you'll likely want to make plans to return. We also only half-jokingly added "family residence in Piran - preferably renovated" to our list of things we now look for in potential significant others, but that's only because we're superficial. Despite it's modest size Piran is awash in superlatives. It boasts what is undeniably the country's finest square, the 19th-century Tartinijev Trg named after the composer Giuseppe Tartini, and what has to be one of the most dramatically situated churches anywhere in Europe, St George Cathedral and its spectacular bell tower perched on the hill overlooking the town and the sea. In addition, its numerous restaurants not only turn out some of the best seafood we've ever eaten but also serve it in some equally unforgettable settings. Metre for metre this petite Venetian port can hold its own against anyone, including the imperial capital just over the horizon that was responsible for much of its fortune. In fact Piran does have the s ame kind of open-air museum feel to it as Venice, only on a much much smaller scale (and without the €6 espressos, stagnant lagoon smell, periodic flooding and constant worry of sinking into the sea). However, once you venture from the heavily trafficked waterfront and central square down the narrow back s treets,

TOURIST I NFORMA NFORMATION TION

the crumbling façades of ancient villas, freshly-laundered clothes hanging from windows overhead and the odd overgrown garden let you know that Piran should not be mistaken for some manufactured cultural Disneyland - the charms are real and, yes, people do actually live here.

RESTAURANTS CASA NOSTROMO A relative newcomer (only opened in 2013), Casa Nostromo has quickly become a popular addition to Piran’s culinary scene. Located just opposite the old town harbour, the nautical-themed restaurant specialises in simple, fresh Istrian cuisine, prepared using only local ingredients and accompanied by a well-chosen wine list. The selection of cocktails and spirits is also said to be quite ample - it is officially referred to as a ‘restaurant and lounge bar’ after all.QTomšičeva 24, tel. +386 (0)30 200 000, www.piranisin.com. www.piranisin.com. DELFIN Boasting a bit more authentic charm compared to some of the competition around the corner, Delfin lays claim to being the oldest fish restaurant in town and has the unique distinction of being located in a 500 year-old former municipal building. The food is quite good - especially when accompanied by some cheap house wine - and the service friendly and unhurried, although our slovenian-istria.inyourpocket.com

Ribja restavracija Tri vdove Prešernovo nabrežje 4, 6330 Piran/Pirano tel: + 386 5 673 02 90

2014/2015 19

facebook/slovenia.inyourpocket

Piran IVO  This place place came came highl highly recomm recommended ended by some some of our our Slovene ovene friends who know a thing or two about quality cuisine, and we can’t say that we were disappointed. It may look a little worse for wear than some of the other places you pass along the promenade, but every item on our reasonably-priced combo platter was cooked to perfection. Would we be able to tell it apart from the competition in a blind taste test? It’s highly unlikely we’ll ever have to.QA-1, Gregorčičeva 31, tel. +386 (0)5 673 22 33. Open 11:00 - 23:00. (€6-24). PJAB LA BOTTEGA DEI SAPORI A relative newcomer to Piran’s culinary scene, Bottega nevertheless boasts one of the finest locations of any restaurant on the coast - occupying a sizeable swath of the town’s famed Tartini Square. With 40 years of experience, head chef Sergio Vuk sees to it that each and every dish coming from the kitchen is a worthy compliment to the venue, and the menu features traditional Istrian dishes with hints of Italian and French influence. Perhaps best of all the reasonable prices here belie the high quality, so ordering multiple courses and lingering over a bottle of prized Slovene wine is definitely recommended. QKa juhova 12, tel. +386 (0)59 920 474, [email protected] gmail.com. Open 10:00 - 22:00. Closed Mon. PJB PAVEL & PAVEL 2  This extrem ely popular family -run seafood restaur ant is something of an institution on the waterfront of Piran. In order to accommodate the demand from both

Piran tourists and locals, they had to open a second location - the imaginatively named Pavel 2, lest there be any confusion - just a couple steps away. The covered outdoor dining area is close enough to the sea to catch your own dinner, although it’s probably a better idea to  just en joy the superb v iew and leave the a ngling to old Pavel. But most importantly the food actually manages to back up its oversized reputation. QA-1, Prešernovo Nabrežje, tel. +386 (0)5 674 71 02/+386 (0)5 674 71 01, [email protected] Open 11:00 - 23:00. TJAUBK PIRAT A quieter alternative for those who would like to avoid the omnipresent crowds at the main clutch of seafood places on Prešernovo Nabrežje but still fancy a proper plate of fish with views of the water, although in this case that water is the port rather than the open sea. There are usually a couple of daily specials sans fish for around €7, but prices tend to be on par with those at its higher volume competition on the other side of town. QA-1, Župančičeva 26, tel. +386 (0)5673 14 81. Open 10:00 – 23:00. (€5.5-18). (€5.5-18). PJAB PIZZERIA PETICA  The kin d of place whe re locals drop in for a d rink befo re heading home, kids wait impatiently for takeaway pizzas, and cute scruffy dogs give looks that make it irresistible not to feed them on the sly when their owner’s not looking [editor’s note: we admit nothing], Petica is

Ribja Kantina Restaurant Restaurant Savudrijska ulica 1 6330 Piran - Pirano Phone: + Phone: + 386 (0)41 574 509

a Piran institution, and on top of everything else they make perhaps the best pizza on the coast. The menu also includes excellent homemade pastas, various grilled meat dishes and salads, all of which are a great value. During the lunch and dinner rushes you’ll likely have a bit of wait. QŽupančičeva 6, tel. +386 80 3588. Open 11:00 - 23:00. RIBJA KANTINA Walking along the Piran shoreline it is hard to distinguish from which of the many restaurants the delicious aromas are wafting. What is for sure is that Ribja Kantina is contributing its share. A stone’s throw from the promenade and few minutes’ walk from Tartini Square, this specialist seafood restaurant serves up beautiful fresh seafood with classic Adriatic dishes and excellent daily specials. Order a glass (or bottle) of local wine to complete the quintessential Piran experience.QB-2, Savudrijska 1, tel. +386 (0)41 574 509. Open 10:00 - 22:00. TRI VDOVE Boasting a well-deserved reputation for friendly and efficient service, Tri Vdove (or the Three Windows) is an excellent spot to stop for lunch or a sunset dinner along Piran’s main waterfront promenade. It should come as no surprise that the menu is dominated by page after page of fish and other seafood dishes, however, various steak and grilled meat dishes are also available for those who have already had their fill of sea-based creatures.  The house wine has the benefit of being both hig h quality and inexpensive, giving you an extra reason to linger after the meal and appreciate the views. QPrešernovo Nabrežje 4, tel. +386 (0)5 673 02 90/+386 (0)41 507 653. Open 10:00 - 01:00. €€.

CAFÉS CAFÉ TEATER Housed in the golden yellow theatre building between Hotel Piran and the pier, Teater’s always busy terrace spills over onto the promenade where you can lounge atop comfy pillows and observe the comings and goings of the port. The café pulls double duty as the town’s premier nightspot, which would come highly r ecommended even if it had some competition. If that weren’t enough they also rent scooters and some fabulous apartments across the harbour.QB-2, Stjenkova 1, tel. +386 (0)41 63 89 33, www.piranjein.com. Open 07:00 - 02:00. PJAB TARTINI CAFÉ In a town were the famous composer unwittingly lends his name to just about everything, we’re not exactly sure how this became the Tartini café but we assume it wasn’t an easy feat. In any event, housed in a beautiful building that was once the old town Loggia in the north corner of  Tartini Square, it’s definitely worthy of of the name- although it’s pastel furniture and futuristic egg shell chairs do seem a bit out of place.QTartinijev Trg 3, tel. +386 (0)5 673 33 81. Open 07:00 - 24:00. PJAB

20 Slovenian Istria In Your Pocket

slovenian-istria.inyourpocket.com

facebook/slovenia.inyourpocket

Gostišče Delfin  Kosovelova ulica 4 6330 Piran 

Tel: 05 673 24 48 Fax: 05 673 44 48 E-mail: delfi[email protected]�ail.com 

 www.delfinpiran.si  2014/2015 21

Piran IVO  This place place came came highl highly recomm recommended ended by some some of our our Slovene ovene friends who know a thing or two about quality cuisine, and we can’t say that we were disappointed. It may look a little worse for wear than some of the other places you pass along the promenade, but every item on our reasonably-priced combo platter was cooked to perfection. Would we be able to tell it apart from the competition in a blind taste test? It’s highly unlikely we’ll ever have to.QA-1, Gregorčičeva 31, tel. +386 (0)5 673 22 33. Open 11:00 - 23:00. (€6-24). PJAB LA BOTTEGA DEI SAPORI A relative newcomer to Piran’s culinary scene, Bottega nevertheless boasts one of the finest locations of any restaurant on the coast - occupying a sizeable swath of the town’s famed Tartini Square. With 40 years of experience, head chef Sergio Vuk sees to it that each and every dish coming from the kitchen is a worthy compliment to the venue, and the menu features traditional Istrian dishes with hints of Italian and French influence. Perhaps best of all the reasonable prices here belie the high quality, so ordering multiple courses and lingering over a bottle of prized Slovene wine is definitely recommended. QKa juhova 12, tel. +386 (0)59 920 474, [email protected] gmail.com. Open 10:00 - 22:00. Closed Mon. PJB PAVEL & PAVEL 2  This extrem ely popular family -run seafood restaur ant is something of an institution on the waterfront of Piran. In order to accommodate the demand from both

Piran tourists and locals, they had to open a second location - the imaginatively named Pavel 2, lest there be any confusion - just a couple steps away. The covered outdoor dining area is close enough to the sea to catch your own dinner, although it’s probably a better idea to  just en joy the superb v iew and leave the a ngling to old Pavel. But most importantly the food actually manages to back up its oversized reputation. QA-1, Prešernovo Nabrežje, tel. +386 (0)5 674 71 02/+386 (0)5 674 71 01, [email protected] Open 11:00 - 23:00. TJAUBK PIRAT A quieter alternative for those who would like to avoid the omnipresent crowds at the main clutch of seafood places on Prešernovo Nabrežje but still fancy a proper plate of fish with views of the water, although in this case that water is the port rather than the open sea. There are usually a couple of daily specials sans fish for around €7, but prices tend to be on par with those at its higher volume competition on the other side of town. QA-1, Župančičeva 26, tel. +386 (0)5673 14 81. Open 10:00 – 23:00. (€5.5-18). (€5.5-18). PJAB PIZZERIA PETICA  The kin d of place whe re locals drop in for a d rink befo re heading home, kids wait impatiently for takeaway pizzas, and cute scruffy dogs give looks that make it irresistible not to feed them on the sly when their owner’s not looking [editor’s note: we admit nothing], Petica is

Ribja Kantina Restaurant Restaurant Savudrijska ulica 1 6330 Piran - Pirano Phone: + Phone: + 386 (0)41 574 509

a Piran institution, and on top of everything else they make perhaps the best pizza on the coast. The menu also includes excellent homemade pastas, various grilled meat dishes and salads, all of which are a great value. During the lunch and dinner rushes you’ll likely have a bit of wait. QŽupančičeva 6, tel. +386 80 3588. Open 11:00 - 23:00. RIBJA KANTINA Walking along the Piran shoreline it is hard to distinguish from which of the many restaurants the delicious aromas are wafting. What is for sure is that Ribja Kantina is contributing its share. A stone’s throw from the promenade and few minutes’ walk from Tartini Square, this specialist seafood restaurant serves up beautiful fresh seafood with classic Adriatic dishes and excellent daily specials. Order a glass (or bottle) of local wine to complete the quintessential Piran experience.QB-2, Savudrijska 1, tel. +386 (0)41 574 509. Open 10:00 - 22:00. TRI VDOVE Boasting a well-deserved reputation for friendly and efficient service, Tri Vdove (or the Three Windows) is an excellent spot to stop for lunch or a sunset dinner along Piran’s main waterfront promenade. It should come as no surprise that the menu is dominated by page after page of fish and other seafood dishes, however, various steak and grilled meat dishes are also available for those who have already had their fill of sea-based creatures.  The house wine has the benefit of being both hig h quality and inexpensive, giving you an extra reason to linger after the meal and appreciate the views. QPrešernovo Nabrežje 4, tel. +386 (0)5 673 02 90/+386 (0)41 507 653. Open 10:00 - 01:00. €€.

CAFÉS CAFÉ TEATER Housed in the golden yellow theatre building between Hotel Piran and the pier, Teater’s always busy terrace spills over onto the promenade where you can lounge atop comfy pillows and observe the comings and goings of the port. The café pulls double duty as the town’s premier nightspot, which would come highly r ecommended even if it had some competition. If that weren’t enough they also rent scooters and some fabulous apartments across the harbour.QB-2, Stjenkova 1, tel. +386 (0)41 63 89 33, www.piranjein.com. Open 07:00 - 02:00. PJAB TARTINI CAFÉ In a town were the famous composer unwittingly lends his name to just about everything, we’re not exactly sure how this became the Tartini café but we assume it wasn’t an easy feat. In any event, housed in a beautiful building that was once the old town Loggia in the north corner of  Tartini Square, it’s definitely worthy of of the name- although it’s pastel furniture and futuristic egg shell chairs do seem a bit out of place.QTartinijev Trg 3, tel. +386 (0)5 673 33 81. Open 07:00 - 24:00. PJAB

20 Slovenian Istria In Your Pocket

slovenian-istria.inyourpocket.com

facebook/slovenia.inyourpocket

Piran SIGHTSEEING Not much of an effort needs to be made to go sightseeing in Piran, in fact quite the opposite is true: it would take a Herculean feat to avoid seeing the town’s wealth of sights. In addition to a lengthy must-see list of churches, squares and palaces, there are countless less-heralded sights to be en joyed. Piran’ ran’s cobbled backstree backstreets ts and alleyways are literally literally lined with statues, arches, coats of arms, intricately carved doors and stately old villas just waiting to imprint themselves in visitors’ memories. The region’s long seafaring tradition is also well-represented at two nautical themed museums, and a number of art galleries - both public and private - hold regular exhibitions. Piran is easily covered on foot, although a hike up to the cathedral and further on to the remaining section of the old town wall is enough to leave us in need of a cold beer and a siesta, especially during the summer. Also be aware that many of the museums and galleries keep shorter hours in the winter, some even open by appointment only, so if you visit during the low season it’s always a good idea to drop by the helpful tourist office for all the latest information. 1ST OF MAY SQUARE �PRVOMAJSKI TRG�  The administ administrative rativecentre centre ofPiran untilthe 13th 13th century century,, these these days it stands in stark contrast to the glistening Tartinijev Trg only a couple hundred metres away: scruffy and an unkempt with the odd clump of grass poking up between stones and more than one façade unintentionally revealing brick walls beneath crumbling layers of paint, in other words, perfect. In addition to several restaurants, art galleries and a great little wine bar, a large stone cistern elevates nearly half the square a metre off the ground and serves as a stage for various music, dance and theatre performances during the summer. Flanking the stairs leading up to the now dormant wells are two allegorical statues representing Law and Justice, both of which are obligingly photogenic.QB-1. TARTINI SQUARE �TARTINIJEV TRG� Already arguably the most impressive squares in Slovenia, all debate was put to rest last year when it was transformed into a pedestrian only zone with outdoor cafés taking the place of parked cars - a fact that has yet to be reflected on most internet sites, including Google Maps. Fronted by two large neo-Renaissance buildings on one side and a mélange of smaller buildings of varying architectural styles on the other,

Tel: 05 673 24 48 Fax: 05 673 44 48 E-mail: delfi[email protected]�ail.com 

 www.delfinpiran.si  2014/2015 21

Piran BRODARSTVO GORJAN  This family -run mariti me comp any ha s bee n in the passenger transport business for three decades, nowadays catering primarily to foreign and Slovene tourists with sightseeing trips along the Slovene coast. In addition to regular return services between Portorož to Izola in the summer time, they also offer dining excursions with several different seafood meal options for 30 or more guests, with the larger of their two vessels accommodating up 147 people. More detailed info can be found on their website.QRegenta 13, tel. +386 (0)5 6730 780/+386 (0)41 664 132, [email protected], www.brodarstvo-gorjan.si. the square itself is younger than almost all of them, having been part of Piran’s harbour until it was filled in in 1884. The square’s inner oval was given its distinctive shape when it served as the terminus for an electric railway that connected Piran to Portorož and Lucija until 1953, while its white marble surface was something of a posthumous gif t to the late Tartini in 1992 on what would have been his 300th birthday.QC-2. TOWN HALL  The modern modern town town hall dominates dominates the the northern northern end end ofTartinini jev Trg Trg and is the administra administrative tive centre centre of of the Municip Municipality ality of Piran, which includes the nearby towns of Portorož, Strunjan and Lucija. It was originally built by the Venetians shortly after their arrival at the end of the 13th century, but was torn down in 1877 and rebuilt in a more contemporary sty le. Several statues and coats of arms that adorned the original building are on display in the atrium.QC-2, Tartinijev Trg 2. ST GEORGE CATHEDRAL Watching over the town and visible from nearly every open space is the massive cathedral dedicated to Piran’s patron saint, the dragon slaying young knight from Capadoccia, George. Legend has it that towards the end of the 16th century the cathedral fell into a state of disrepair, which was so troubling that the Saint George himself made an appearance in order to motivate the citizenry to undertake the necessary renovations, and even blinded a sceptical mayor to show he meant business. True or not, the cathedral saw some major

renovations shortly thereafter, including the addition of a nearly 50m bell tower, which is a scale copy of the San Marco Campanile in Venice. Throw in some stunning views of both the city and the sea and you have the makings for one of the most impressive churches in Slovenia.QC-1, Adamičeva 6.

slovenian-istria.inyourpocket.com

RESTAURANT - PAVEL & PAVEL 2

TARTINI HOUSE Originally going by the name ‘Casa Pizagrua’ this somewhat modest palace next to St Peter’s Church on the eastern side  Tartinijev  Tartinijev Trg was the the birthplace rthplace ofthe compos composer er - and namenamesake of roughly half of Piran - Giuseppe Tartini. It underwent extensive renovations in the late 1980s and is now home to the main offices of the Italian Community in Piran. There is also a small museum on the first floor displaying, among other things, one of the master’s violins, his death mask and various letters, manuscripts and scores.QC-2, Tartinijev Trg 7.

 ACCOMMODATION MAX Up the hill from Tartini Square, this small boutique hotel is housed in a beautiful 300 year old house and is one of our favourite places to stay on the coast, although if you’re a light sleeper the over-active bells at the cathedral next door may prove bothersome. Max, the owner and apparently sole employee, is a friendly old bulldo g and ardent Liverpool supporter who’ll be glad to carry your luggage up the narrow stairs or talk your ear off over coffee, but we’ve also heard rumours that he can have a bit of bark if you interrupt his afternoon siesta.QC-2, Korpusa 26, tel. +386 (0)5 673 34 76/+386 (0)41 69 29 28, [email protected], www.maxpiran.com. 6 rooms (doubles €60-70). PJA hhh TARTINI With apologies to several other worthy contenders, Tartini Square is without any question the finest urban space in all of Slovenia and for our money the views overlooking it from this adjacent hotel of the same name are the best in town - all the better that they come without the €10 premium charged for rooms with a sea view. Inside, the well-appointed rooms are warm and spacious, and the hotel’s lone suite and its private terrace are a great value if there is someone you’d like to impress.QC-2, Tartinijev Tartinijev Trg 15, tel. +386 (0)5 671 10 00 , [email protected] hotel-tartini-piran.com, www.hotel-tartini-piran.com. 45 rooms and 1 suite (singles €62-88, doubles €84-118, triples €114-1 €114-162, 62, suite €140-192). hhh hhh VILA MIA CHANEL  These family run rental rental apartments apartments are the perfect place place to unwind and relax. Behind the postcard cute façade lies six spacious and luxuriously decked out apartments that come complete with equipped modern kitchenettes and all have views of the beautiful Piran coast, which is only 20m from the front door, while the private terrace is the perfect place to enjoy the sunset. Vila Mia Chanel also has private parking spaces at no extra cost (an absolute rarity in Piran) so even your car gets a great sea view.QB-5, Dantejeva 31, tel. +386 (0)41 711 888/+386 (0)51 694 100, [email protected] com, www.piranisin.com. From €120 per night.

22 Slovenian Istria In Your Pocket

Gostišče Delfin  Kosovelova ulica 4 6330 Piran 

facebook/slovenia.inyourpocket

phone: +386 (0)5 674 71 01 email: [email protected] Piran

We can be found in the magnificent scenic fortified town of Piran, a town with a rich cultural heritage. Family restaurants PA PAVEL VEL and PA PAVEL VEL 2 are located side by side on the beautiful coast of Piran. We offer you international cuisine with an emphasis on seafood specialties. Welcome.

2014/2015 23

Piran SIGHTSEEING Not much of an effort needs to be made to go sightseeing in Piran, in fact quite the opposite is true: it would take a Herculean feat to avoid seeing the town’s wealth of sights. In addition to a lengthy must-see list of churches, squares and palaces, there are countless less-heralded sights to be en joyed. Piran’ ran’s cobbled backstree backstreets ts and alleyways are literally literally lined with statues, arches, coats of arms, intricately carved doors and stately old villas just waiting to imprint themselves in visitors’ memories. The region’s long seafaring tradition is also well-represented at two nautical themed museums, and a number of art galleries - both public and private - hold regular exhibitions. Piran is easily covered on foot, although a hike up to the cathedral and further on to the remaining section of the old town wall is enough to leave us in need of a cold beer and a siesta, especially during the summer. Also be aware that many of the museums and galleries keep shorter hours in the winter, some even open by appointment only, so if you visit during the low season it’s always a good idea to drop by the helpful tourist office for all the latest information. 1ST OF MAY SQUARE �PRVOMAJSKI TRG�  The administ administrative rativecentre centre ofPiran untilthe 13th 13th century century,, these these days it stands in stark contrast to the glistening Tartinijev Trg only a couple hundred metres away: scruffy and an unkempt with the odd clump of grass poking up between stones and more than one façade unintentionally revealing brick walls beneath crumbling layers of paint, in other words, perfect. In addition to several restaurants, art galleries and a great little wine bar, a large stone cistern elevates nearly half the square a metre off the ground and serves as a stage for various music, dance and theatre performances during the summer. Flanking the stairs leading up to the now dormant wells are two allegorical statues representing Law and Justice, both of which are obligingly photogenic.QB-1. TARTINI SQUARE �TARTINIJEV TRG� Already arguably the most impressive squares in Slovenia, all debate was put to rest last year when it was transformed into a pedestrian only zone with outdoor cafés taking the place of parked cars - a fact that has yet to be reflected on most internet sites, including Google Maps. Fronted by two large neo-Renaissance buildings on one side and a mélange of smaller buildings of varying architectural styles on the other,

Piran BRODARSTVO GORJAN  This family -run mariti me comp any ha s bee n in the passenger transport business for three decades, nowadays catering primarily to foreign and Slovene tourists with sightseeing trips along the Slovene coast. In addition to regular return services between Portorož to Izola in the summer time, they also offer dining excursions with several different seafood meal options for 30 or more guests, with the larger of their two vessels accommodating up 147 people. More detailed info can be found on their website.QRegenta 13, tel. +386 (0)5 6730 780/+386 (0)41 664 132, [email protected], www.brodarstvo-gorjan.si. the square itself is younger than almost all of them, having been part of Piran’s harbour until it was filled in in 1884. The square’s inner oval was given its distinctive shape when it served as the terminus for an electric railway that connected Piran to Portorož and Lucija until 1953, while its white marble surface was something of a posthumous gif t to the late Tartini in 1992 on what would have been his 300th birthday.QC-2. TOWN HALL  The modern modern town town hall dominates dominates the the northern northern end end ofTartinini jev Trg Trg and is the administra administrative tive centre centre of of the Municip Municipality ality of Piran, which includes the nearby towns of Portorož, Strunjan and Lucija. It was originally built by the Venetians shortly after their arrival at the end of the 13th century, but was torn down in 1877 and rebuilt in a more contemporary sty le. Several statues and coats of arms that adorned the original building are on display in the atrium.QC-2, Tartinijev Trg 2. ST GEORGE CATHEDRAL Watching over the town and visible from nearly every open space is the massive cathedral dedicated to Piran’s patron saint, the dragon slaying young knight from Capadoccia, George. Legend has it that towards the end of the 16th century the cathedral fell into a state of disrepair, which was so troubling that the Saint George himself made an appearance in order to motivate the citizenry to undertake the necessary renovations, and even blinded a sceptical mayor to show he meant business. True or not, the cathedral saw some major

renovations shortly thereafter, including the addition of a nearly 50m bell tower, which is a scale copy of the San Marco Campanile in Venice. Throw in some stunning views of both the city and the sea and you have the makings for one of the most impressive churches in Slovenia.QC-1, Adamičeva 6. TARTINI HOUSE Originally going by the name ‘Casa Pizagrua’ this somewhat modest palace next to St Peter’s Church on the eastern side  Tartinijev  Tartinijev Trg was the the birthplace rthplace ofthe compos composer er - and namenamesake of roughly half of Piran - Giuseppe Tartini. It underwent extensive renovations in the late 1980s and is now home to the main offices of the Italian Community in Piran. There is also a small museum on the first floor displaying, among other things, one of the master’s violins, his death mask and various letters, manuscripts and scores.QC-2, Tartinijev Trg 7.

 ACCOMMODATION MAX Up the hill from Tartini Square, this small boutique hotel is housed in a beautiful 300 year old house and is one of our favourite places to stay on the coast, although if you’re a light sleeper the over-active bells at the cathedral next door may prove bothersome. Max, the owner and apparently sole employee, is a friendly old bulldo g and ardent Liverpool supporter who’ll be glad to carry your luggage up the narrow stairs or talk your ear off over coffee, but we’ve also heard rumours that he can have a bit of bark if you interrupt his afternoon siesta.QC-2, Korpusa 26, tel. +386 (0)5 673 34 76/+386 (0)41 69 29 28, [email protected], www.maxpiran.com. 6 rooms (doubles €60-70). PJA hhh TARTINI With apologies to several other worthy contenders, Tartini Square is without any question the finest urban space in all of Slovenia and for our money the views overlooking it from this adjacent hotel of the same name are the best in town - all the better that they come without the €10 premium charged for rooms with a sea view. Inside, the well-appointed rooms are warm and spacious, and the hotel’s lone suite and its private terrace are a great value if there is someone you’d like to impress.QC-2, Tartinijev Tartinijev Trg 15, tel. +386 (0)5 671 10 00 , [email protected] hotel-tartini-piran.com, www.hotel-tartini-piran.com. 45 rooms and 1 suite (singles €62-88, doubles €84-118, triples €114-1 €114-162, 62, suite €140-192). hhh hhh VILA MIA CHANEL  These family run rental rental apartments apartments are the perfect place place to unwind and relax. Behind the postcard cute façade lies six spacious and luxuriously decked out apartments that come complete with equipped modern kitchenettes and all have views of the beautiful Piran coast, which is only 20m from the front door, while the private terrace is the perfect place to enjoy the sunset. Vila Mia Chanel also has private parking spaces at no extra cost (an absolute rarity in Piran) so even your car gets a great sea view.QB-5, Dantejeva 31, tel. +386 (0)41 711 888/+386 (0)51 694 100, [email protected] com, www.piranisin.com. From €120 per night.

22 Slovenian Istria In Your Pocket

slovenian-istria.inyourpocket.com

RESTAURANT - PAVEL & PAVEL 2

phone: +386 (0)5 674 71 01 email: [email protected] Piran

We can be found in the magnificent scenic fortified town of Piran, a town with a rich cultural heritage. Family restaurants PA PAVEL VEL and PA PAVEL VEL 2 are located side by side on the beautiful coast of Piran. We offer you international cuisine with an emphasis on seafood specialties. Welcome.

2014/2015 23

facebook/slovenia.inyourpocket

Portorož

Portorož STARA OLJKA Harkening back to simpler more relaxed time when locals used to while away hot summer days chatting under the cool shade of an olive tree, Stara Oljka, or the Old Olive Tree in English, offers traditional Istrian cuisine in a pleasant atmosphere right along the waterfront in the centre of Portorož. Fittingly, several venerable old olive trees still provide shade for diners on the large sea-facing terrace in the back. In addition to the wide selection of fish and seafood dishes, there are ample meat and vegetarian options on the menu, and the knowledgable staff can help recommend the perfect wine to compliment it.QE-3, Obala 20, tel. +386 (0)5 674 85 55, www.staraoljka.si. Open 10:00 - 24:00. PTA6IGBXSW

CAFÉS CACAO A modern, stylish café that’s as well-known for its homemade ice cream and cakes as it is for its coffee. The interior is done up in the minimalist nouveau Euro-style seems to be as popular in Slovenia as it is elsewhere on the continent, while the staff are generally attentive and fast. The place also functions as a bar once the clock hits a reasonable hour for drinking - what time this is exactly is not for us to say, but we can highly recommend the cocktails.QD-2, Obala 14, tel. +386 (0)5 674 10 35, www.cacao.si, Open 08:00 03:00. PTAR6UGBX

NIGHTLIFE KANELA BAR A fabulous rock ‘n’ roll hangout during the summer time, day and night. The bar is actually so small you can barely fit more than 10 people inside at any given moment, but most prefer the pleasure of th e beach directly in front of the amongs t the tall palm trees where the music is still heard loud and clear. Live rock concerts are frequent and the atmosphere surely heats up in the late hours with plenty of singing and dancing: a beach party in the making! We’ve personally spent many a late night (and early morning) here. QD-2, Obala 14, tel. +386 (0)5 674 61 81, www.kanelabar. com. Open 09:00 - 03:00. 6UEGBX PAPRIKA With an unbeatable location in the middle of Portorož Bay, Paprika’s position allows guests to enjoy the most beautiful views of the Istrian coastline, while they enjoy exceptional service, top quality drinks, cocktails, snacks and some of the best ice cream around. Of course many people come here for the views inside, as this café by day turns into one of the most popular nightlight venues on the coast after the sun goes down.QD-3, Obala 20a, tel. +386 (0)40 366 299, [email protected], www. paprika.si. Open 08:00 - 03:00. Admission free. PAULEGBXW

In Portorož the fun really begins after the sun goes down, photo by Urosr / Shutterstock

With only 47km of Adriatic coast Slovenes have to make the most of every centimetre. The result is a coastline dotted with half a dozen or so notable towns, each with its own unique character, strengths and weaknesses. The poetically named Portorož, or Port of Roses, is home to one of the largest modern marinas on the Adriatic and is the undisputed king of Slovenia’s coastal tourism trade. Although it lacks the Venetian old towns that can be found else where along the coast, its numerous hotels, restaurants, conference centres, spas and casinos make it a popular destination for both foreigners and Slovenes, and an excellent base for day trips and excursions farther afield. Portorož has been a tourist destination as far back as the 13th century, when it developed a niche as a health resort, and towards the end of the 19th century it became widely known for the healing properties of its mud and salt water baths. This reputation has persisted till today, with the city currently home to no less than six different wellness spas and resorts. Aside from spas, Portorož alsoplays host to various national and international conferences, exhibitions and trade fairs, which enables the city to maintain a bustling vibrant air throughout the entire year. One of its largest annual events is Internautica, an international boat show held every May, which attracts over 400 exhibitors and 40,000 visitors - it’s a sight to see even if you’re not in the market for a new luxury yacht. 24 Slovenian Istria In Your Pocket

RESTAURANTS PADELA Set near the Portorož Marina at the far end of the main seaside promenade, Padela is one of the few places in town that is both patronised and recommended by locals. The interior is modernly renovated, but in the classic Istrian style, with wooden ceilings and limestone walls, while there’s also a large outdoor terrace. Highlights of the menu include classic Istrian dishes like homemade pasta with truffles, seafood from the Adriatic and local Karst prosciutto, with much more reasonable prices than the majority of the more centrally located establishments. QObala 99, tel. +386 (0)5 902 36 59, [email protected] gmail.com. Open 10:00-23:00, Fri-Sat 10:00-01:00 FLEUR DE SEL Named for the crème de la crème of sea salts, for which Portorož has long been known, this fine restaurant within the Kempinski Palace combines modern fusion cuisine, a friendly laid-back atmosphere and exceptional views of the sea from its position on the first floor. The perfect place for a relaxed lunch during a long conference day or a morning spent at the pool.QD-2, Kempinski Palace, Obala 45, tel. +386 (0)5 692 7000, [email protected] kempinski.com, www.kempinski.com/portoroz. Open 11:00 - 23:00. PJAL slovenian-istria.inyourpocket.com

portorož - ljubljana - prague

facebook/slovenia.inyourpocket

2014/2015 25

Portorož

Portorož STARA OLJKA Harkening back to simpler more relaxed time when locals used to while away hot summer days chatting under the cool shade of an olive tree, Stara Oljka, or the Old Olive Tree in English, offers traditional Istrian cuisine in a pleasant atmosphere right along the waterfront in the centre of Portorož. Fittingly, several venerable old olive trees still provide shade for diners on the large sea-facing terrace in the back. In addition to the wide selection of fish and seafood dishes, there are ample meat and vegetarian options on the menu, and the knowledgable staff can help recommend the perfect wine to compliment it.QE-3, Obala 20, tel. +386 (0)5 674 85 55, www.staraoljka.si. Open 10:00 - 24:00. PTA6IGBXSW

CAFÉS CACAO A modern, stylish café that’s as well-known for its homemade ice cream and cakes as it is for its coffee. The interior is done up in the minimalist nouveau Euro-style seems to be as popular in Slovenia as it is elsewhere on the continent, while the staff are generally attentive and fast. The place also functions as a bar once the clock hits a reasonable hour for drinking - what time this is exactly is not for us to say, but we can highly recommend the cocktails.QD-2, Obala 14, tel. +386 (0)5 674 10 35, www.cacao.si, Open 08:00 03:00. PTAR6UGBX

NIGHTLIFE KANELA BAR A fabulous rock ‘n’ roll hangout during the summer time, day and night. The bar is actually so small you can barely fit more than 10 people inside at any given moment, but most prefer the pleasure of th e beach directly in front of the amongs t the tall palm trees where the music is still heard loud and clear. Live rock concerts are frequent and the atmosphere surely heats up in the late hours with plenty of singing and dancing: a beach party in the making! We’ve personally spent many a late night (and early morning) here. QD-2, Obala 14, tel. +386 (0)5 674 61 81, www.kanelabar. com. Open 09:00 - 03:00. 6UEGBX PAPRIKA With an unbeatable location in the middle of Portorož Bay, Paprika’s position allows guests to enjoy the most beautiful views of the Istrian coastline, while they enjoy exceptional service, top quality drinks, cocktails, snacks and some of the best ice cream around. Of course many people come here for the views inside, as this café by day turns into one of the most popular nightlight venues on the coast after the sun goes down.QD-3, Obala 20a, tel. +386 (0)40 366 299, [email protected], www. paprika.si. Open 08:00 - 03:00. Admission free. PAULEGBXW

In Portorož the fun really begins after the sun goes down, photo by Urosr / Shutterstock

With only 47km of Adriatic coast Slovenes have to make the most of every centimetre. The result is a coastline dotted with half a dozen or so notable towns, each with its own unique character, strengths and weaknesses. The poetically named Portorož, or Port of Roses, is home to one of the largest modern marinas on the Adriatic and is the undisputed king of Slovenia’s coastal tourism trade. Although it lacks the Venetian old towns that can be found else where along the coast, its numerous hotels, restaurants, conference centres, spas and casinos make it a popular destination for both foreigners and Slovenes, and an excellent base for day trips and excursions farther afield. Portorož has been a tourist destination as far back as the 13th century, when it developed a niche as a health resort, and towards the end of the 19th century it became widely known for the healing properties of its mud and salt water baths. This reputation has persisted till today, with the city currently home to no less than six different wellness spas and resorts. Aside from spas, Portorož alsoplays host to various national and international conferences, exhibitions and trade fairs, which enables the city to maintain a bustling vibrant air throughout the entire year. One of its largest annual events is Internautica, an international boat show held every May, which attracts over 400 exhibitors and 40,000 visitors - it’s a sight to see even if you’re not in the market for a new luxury yacht. 24 Slovenian Istria In Your Pocket

RESTAURANTS PADELA Set near the Portorož Marina at the far end of the main seaside promenade, Padela is one of the few places in town that is both patronised and recommended by locals. The interior is modernly renovated, but in the classic Istrian style, with wooden ceilings and limestone walls, while there’s also a large outdoor terrace. Highlights of the menu include classic Istrian dishes like homemade pasta with truffles, seafood from the Adriatic and local Karst prosciutto, with much more reasonable prices than the majority of the more centrally located establishments. QObala 99, tel. +386 (0)5 902 36 59, [email protected] gmail.com. Open 10:00-23:00, Fri-Sat 10:00-01:00

portorož - ljubljana - prague

FLEUR DE SEL Named for the crème de la crème of sea salts, for which Portorož has long been known, this fine restaurant within the Kempinski Palace combines modern fusion cuisine, a friendly laid-back atmosphere and exceptional views of the sea from its position on the first floor. The perfect place for a relaxed lunch during a long conference day or a morning spent at the pool.QD-2, Kempinski Palace, Obala 45, tel. +386 (0)5 692 7000, [email protected] kempinski.com, www.kempinski.com/portoroz. Open 11:00 - 23:00. PJAL slovenian-istria.inyourpocket.com

facebook/slovenia.inyourpocket

Portorož SIGHTSEEING AVDITORIJ PORTOROŽ CULTURAL CENTER  The auditorium’ auditorium’s logo doesn’t seem to have been updated updated since the disco era and it seems it ’s conference centre may not have had any major changes since then either, nonetheless it still plays host to a number of conferences and major concerts throughout the year. Check their schedule to see whether they’ve got something to your interest.QE-2, Senčna Pot 10, tel. +386 (0)5 676 67 00, [email protected], www.avditorij.si. FORMA VIVA Established in the early 1960s by two Slovene artists, this sculpture park now serves as home to a large park full of mostly abstract pieces by an international mix of artists. Head inside and along the beautiful grassy area for a meditative walk, or perch yourself on one of the many benches and watch the boats sail by. A very unique treat! QC/D-5, Seča, tel. +386 (0)5 671 20 80, [email protected], www. obalne-galerije.si. Open whole day. No admission fee. HOLY CHURCH OF OUR LADY OF THE ROSARY  Travellers lers who have grown accustomed accustomed to and bored with elaborate old European churches, might enjoy this interesting little break from the ancient and rarefied. Constructed in the 1980s, with wooden surroundings and small stained glass, this interesting piece of architecture seems to evoke a happy hippy feeling of Catholicism, with a not-so-pained Jesus leaning down from the cross to speak to a group of friends.The outside lobby offers free postcards and reading material.QD-3, Cvetna Pot 4, tel. +386 (0)5674 67 00.

Portorož INTERNAUTICA  07.05 WEDNESDAY � 11.05 SUNDAY  The Internautic Internauticaa Internationa Internationall Boat Show Show is the Adriati Adriatic’s c’s most significant marine lifestyle event with a long tradition dating back almost two decades. Held every year in Marina Portorož, it has a strong influence on purchasing and strategic decision-making in the nautical industry market. Internautica features the largest display of boats in the region, and each year there are more than 250 specialized exhibitors participating and well over 30,000 visitors from Slovenia and neighbouring countries.  The Show strives to offer boating ng enthusiasts asts the most complete picture of the marine market, whilst at the same time providing an entertainment package that will keep both enthusiasts and those simply looking for a good day out engaged and having fun for their entire visit. Internautica is committed to providing all exhibitors with the best possible environment in which to show their goods and services.QMarina Portorož, Solinarjev 8, tel. +386 (0)1 56 55 126, www.internautica.net. MARINA PORTOROŽ Located less than a kilometre from the centre of town, the vast modern marina in Portorož is the gateway to the Mediterranean not only for Slovenia but all of Central Europe. With over one thousand berths accommodating boats up to 22 metres in length, it is one of the largest marinas in the entire Adriatic. Aside from the standard dockside facilities the marina essentially contains a miniature resort with guest

rooms, restaurants and cafés, as well as sports facilities including tennis courts, swimming pools, a fitness centre and even a driving range. In May the marina plays host to Internautica, ca, a large international international boat show which attracts over 40,000 visitors each year.QE-4/5, Cesta solinarjev 8, tel. +386 (0)5 6761 100, fax +386 (0)5 6761 210, [email protected] marinap.si,www.marinap.si. SEČOVLJE SALINA NATURE PARK  Hundreds of years ago, salt was a commodity almost as valuable as gold and rulers fought to acquire and control its means of collection. Sečovlje was one such rarified area and today it is preserved as a park with a visitors’ centre and museum. A fascinating piece of history, the salt pans are not only an interesting public park, they are also a wellpreserved natural habitat for birds. The trek out to the pans is an interesting one but make sure to pack your insect repellant, not all of the inhabitants here are friendly. Qtel. +386 (0)5 672 13 30, [email protected], www.kpss.si. Open 08:00 - 17:00. Admission: €5 adults; €3 students, seniors; €10 families; free for children under age six.

 ACCOMMODATION  ACCOMMODA TION HOSTEL EUROPA PORTOROŽ  The Slovene coast’s newest hostel provides a much needed option for budget travellers visiting glitzy Portorož. And it’s not just the prices that are great, the hostel is located in the centre of town 50m from one of Portorož’s most popular beaches. Its nine themed rooms are clean and comfortable, and the dorms with en suites are particularly g ood as they have two toilets. Dorms can also be converted into family rooms and even pets are welcome (with advanced notice). Although there is no kitchen guests won’t go hungry as the hostel serves an excellent breakfast and in the afternoon their bar offers reasonably priced local wine and delicious bar snacks.QE-2, Senčna Pot 2, tel. +386 (0)5 90 325 74, [email protected], ehp.si. 9 rooms with 49 beds (dorms from €22 with breakfast, €24 in July/Aug €24). PiJBKW

ROYAL ADVENTURES ON THE SLOVENIAN SEA Fish picnics - Panoramic - Fishing - Private groups - Celebrations - Romantic dinners

+386 31 662 348, [email protected], www.barka-regina.si www.barka-regina.si

PADELA 

Discover its exquisite cuisine based on istrian culinary tradirion with influencesof the mediterraniean yet. Explore the fabulous taste of Adriatic sea food, special meat, istrian truffles and home-made pasta which is prepared.

+386 (05) 902 36 59 / [email protected] Obala 99, Portorož

26 Slovenian Istria In Your Pocket

2014/2015 25

slovenian-istria.inyourpocket.com

BARKA REGINA   There’s no better way to see Portorož, Portorož, Piran or the rest of the breathtaking Slovenian coast than from the sea! If you’re not one of the lucky few who have their own boats, no need to worry, the Barka Regina tourist boat offers various type of trips at reasonable prices. Panoramic sightseeing trips lasting up to three hours cost only €15 per person, while other organised itineraries cruise for almost twice as long and also include full seafood feasts with drinks. The so-called Queen of Portorož can also be chartered for extended fishing trips, birthday parties, romantic dinners and more. Amenities on the classic wooden boat include a bar, full kitchen, an entertainment entertainment system and even wireless internet.Qtel. +386 (0)31 518 338/+386 (0)31 662 438, [email protected] zlatecan.com,www.barka-regina.si. facebook/slovenia.inyourpocket

GRAND HOTEL METROPOL High up on a hill overlooking the beach area, Metropol is one of the major sprawling hotel complexes along the seaside strip. The complex also features a popular casino, an adult nightclub, and full (though slightly dated ) spa facilities. The hotel has the distinction of having a direct bridge to the beach from a passageway through the lobby, and from there you can also access their private swimming pool and lounge area on the beach front.QE-3, Obala 77, tel. +386 (0)5 690 10 00, fax +386 (0)5 690 19 00, [email protected], www. metropolgroup.si. 103 rooms (singles €185, doubles €250-270, suites €420-550). POTHARF GKDCW hhhhh KEMPINSKI PALACE PORTOROŽ  This iconic hotel has taken centre s tage in Portorož since it first opened in 1910 during the waning years of the Habsburg Empire. Combining Viennese elegance, modern design and of course the famous Kempinski flair for style and service, the hotel is quite simply one of the grandest places to stay in all of Slovenia. If price is no object, book one of the two Laguna suites, which include a rooftop terrace with a private Jacuzzi and breathtaking views of the Adriatic Sea.QD-2, Obala 45, tel. +386 (0)5 692 70 00/+386 (0)5 692 79 50, [email protected], www.kempinski.com/portoroz. 164 rooms and 17 suites (singles from €135, doubles from €155, suites from €450). PTJHAUILEB KXCW hhhhh 2014/2015 27

Portorož SIGHTSEEING AVDITORIJ PORTOROŽ CULTURAL CENTER  The auditorium’ auditorium’s logo doesn’t seem to have been updated updated since the disco era and it seems it ’s conference centre may not have had any major changes since then either, nonetheless it still plays host to a number of conferences and major concerts throughout the year. Check their schedule to see whether they’ve got something to your interest.QE-2, Senčna Pot 10, tel. +386 (0)5 676 67 00, [email protected], www.avditorij.si. FORMA VIVA Established in the early 1960s by two Slovene artists, this sculpture park now serves as home to a large park full of mostly abstract pieces by an international mix of artists. Head inside and along the beautiful grassy area for a meditative walk, or perch yourself on one of the many benches and watch the boats sail by. A very unique treat! QC/D-5, Seča, tel. +386 (0)5 671 20 80, [email protected], www. obalne-galerije.si. Open whole day. No admission fee. HOLY CHURCH OF OUR LADY OF THE ROSARY  Travellers lers who have grown accustomed accustomed to and bored with elaborate old European churches, might enjoy this interesting little break from the ancient and rarefied. Constructed in the 1980s, with wooden surroundings and small stained glass, this interesting piece of architecture seems to evoke a happy hippy feeling of Catholicism, with a not-so-pained Jesus leaning down from the cross to speak to a group of friends.The outside lobby offers free postcards and reading material.QD-3, Cvetna Pot 4, tel. +386 (0)5674 67 00.

Portorož INTERNAUTICA  07.05 WEDNESDAY � 11.05 SUNDAY  The Internautic Internauticaa Internationa Internationall Boat Show Show is the Adriati Adriatic’s c’s most significant marine lifestyle event with a long tradition dating back almost two decades. Held every year in Marina Portorož, it has a strong influence on purchasing and strategic decision-making in the nautical industry market. Internautica features the largest display of boats in the region, and each year there are more than 250 specialized exhibitors participating and well over 30,000 visitors from Slovenia and neighbouring countries.  The Show strives to offer boating ng enthusiasts asts the most complete picture of the marine market, whilst at the same time providing an entertainment package that will keep both enthusiasts and those simply looking for a good day out engaged and having fun for their entire visit. Internautica is committed to providing all exhibitors with the best possible environment in which to show their goods and services.QMarina Portorož, Solinarjev 8, tel. +386 (0)1 56 55 126, www.internautica.net. MARINA PORTOROŽ Located less than a kilometre from the centre of town, the vast modern marina in Portorož is the gateway to the Mediterranean not only for Slovenia but all of Central Europe. With over one thousand berths accommodating boats up to 22 metres in length, it is one of the largest marinas in the entire Adriatic. Aside from the standard dockside facilities the marina essentially contains a miniature resort with guest

rooms, restaurants and cafés, as well as sports facilities including tennis courts, swimming pools, a fitness centre and even a driving range. In May the marina plays host to Internautica, ca, a large international international boat show which attracts over 40,000 visitors each year.QE-4/5, Cesta solinarjev 8, tel. +386 (0)5 6761 100, fax +386 (0)5 6761 210, [email protected] marinap.si,www.marinap.si. SEČOVLJE SALINA NATURE PARK  Hundreds of years ago, salt was a commodity almost as valuable as gold and rulers fought to acquire and control its means of collection. Sečovlje was one such rarified area and today it is preserved as a park with a visitors’ centre and museum. A fascinating piece of history, the salt pans are not only an interesting public park, they are also a wellpreserved natural habitat for birds. The trek out to the pans is an interesting one but make sure to pack your insect repellant, not all of the inhabitants here are friendly. Qtel. +386 (0)5 672 13 30, [email protected], www.kpss.si. Open 08:00 - 17:00. Admission: €5 adults; €3 students, seniors; €10 families; free for children under age six.

 ACCOMMODATION  ACCOMMODA TION HOSTEL EUROPA PORTOROŽ  The Slovene coast’s newest hostel provides a much needed option for budget travellers visiting glitzy Portorož. And it’s not just the prices that are great, the hostel is located in the centre of town 50m from one of Portorož’s most popular beaches. Its nine themed rooms are clean and comfortable, and the dorms with en suites are particularly g ood as they have two toilets. Dorms can also be converted into family rooms and even pets are welcome (with advanced notice). Although there is no kitchen guests won’t go hungry as the hostel serves an excellent breakfast and in the afternoon their bar offers reasonably priced local wine and delicious bar snacks.QE-2, Senčna Pot 2, tel. +386 (0)5 90 325 74, [email protected], ehp.si. 9 rooms with 49 beds (dorms from €22 with breakfast, €24 in July/Aug €24). PiJBKW

ROYAL ADVENTURES ON THE SLOVENIAN SEA Fish picnics - Panoramic - Fishing - Private groups - Celebrations - Romantic dinners

+386 31 662 348, [email protected], www.barka-regina.si www.barka-regina.si

PADELA 

Discover its exquisite cuisine based on istrian culinary tradirion with influencesof the mediterraniean yet. Explore the fabulous taste of Adriatic sea food, special meat, istrian truffles and home-made pasta which is prepared.

+386 (05) 902 36 59 / [email protected] Obala 99, Portorož

26 Slovenian Istria In Your Pocket

slovenian-istria.inyourpocket.com

BARKA REGINA   There’s no better way to see Portorož, Portorož, Piran or the rest of the breathtaking Slovenian coast than from the sea! If you’re not one of the lucky few who have their own boats, no need to worry, the Barka Regina tourist boat offers various type of trips at reasonable prices. Panoramic sightseeing trips lasting up to three hours cost only €15 per person, while other organised itineraries cruise for almost twice as long and also include full seafood feasts with drinks. The so-called Queen of Portorož can also be chartered for extended fishing trips, birthday parties, romantic dinners and more. Amenities on the classic wooden boat include a bar, full kitchen, an entertainment entertainment system and even wireless internet.Qtel. +386 (0)31 518 338/+386 (0)31 662 438, [email protected] zlatecan.com,www.barka-regina.si.

GRAND HOTEL METROPOL High up on a hill overlooking the beach area, Metropol is one of the major sprawling hotel complexes along the seaside strip. The complex also features a popular casino, an adult nightclub, and full (though slightly dated ) spa facilities. The hotel has the distinction of having a direct bridge to the beach from a passageway through the lobby, and from there you can also access their private swimming pool and lounge area on the beach front.QE-3, Obala 77, tel. +386 (0)5 690 10 00, fax +386 (0)5 690 19 00, [email protected], www. metropolgroup.si. 103 rooms (singles €185, doubles €250-270, suites €420-550). POTHARF GKDCW hhhhh KEMPINSKI PALACE PORTOROŽ  This iconic hotel has taken centre s tage in Portorož since it first opened in 1910 during the waning years of the Habsburg Empire. Combining Viennese elegance, modern design and of course the famous Kempinski flair for style and service, the hotel is quite simply one of the grandest places to stay in all of Slovenia. If price is no object, book one of the two Laguna suites, which include a rooftop terrace with a private Jacuzzi and breathtaking views of the Adriatic Sea.QD-2, Obala 45, tel. +386 (0)5 692 70 00/+386 (0)5 692 79 50, [email protected], www.kempinski.com/portoroz. 164 rooms and 17 suites (singles from €135, doubles from €155, suites from €450). PTJHAUILEB KXCW hhhhh 2014/2015 27

facebook/slovenia.inyourpocket

 The Karst

 The Karst warmer months and hearty central European dishes in the fall and winter. Highly recommended.QSlap 18, Vipava, tel. +386 (0)5 368 5010/+386 (0)41 405 903, [email protected], www.majerija.si. Multi-course meal with wine from €4070 per person. MORSKI KONJIČEK  Found near the town of Pivka just off the main Postojna-PivkaIlirska Bistrica road (some 15 minutes south of the A1 motorway), this sprawling countryside restaurant is a popular stop for Slovenes and tourists after a day at the coast. Given that its name translates ‘seahorse’ in English, it’s not surprising that fish and other seafood specialities are the main focus of the menu here, but for those who have already had their fill of such fare, there are plenty of other dishes and some fine pizzas. For families there’s a children’s playground for a before or after dinner romp, and for those who’d like to stay for a drink or five the place is open till the wee hours at the weekends. QMala Pristava 10, Pivka, tel. +386 (0)5 753 20 55/+386, (0)41 523 325, [email protected] Open 11:00-24:00, Fri 11:0004:00, Sat 09:00-04:00, Sun 09:00-24:00. Closed Mon except for holidays.

 The hilltop town of Štanjel is known as the Jewel of the Karst, photo courtesy courtesy of TIC Štanjel

Geographically speaking the Karst Plateau, or simply the Karst (Kras in Slovene), occupies the large area of limestone highlands stretching from the southern edges of the Vipava Valley in the north to the northern parts of Croatia’s Istrian peninsula in the south, which is not to be confused with the still relatively new Green Karst (Zeleni Kras) regional tourism brand, or the more general Karst topographical features that can be found in pockets across all of Slovenia. The region actually gave its name to the distinctive topography where layers of dissolved bedrock separate, often creating networks of caves and subterranean rivers, which has led to it often being referred to as the Classical Karst (just to make things more complicated). Regardless of semantics, the region is a fascinating place with many notable destinations that can be visited on easy day trips from Slovenia’s coastal towns. Perhaps most noteworthy are the UNESCO protected Škocjan Caves located just outside the town of Divača, while the small village of Lipica near Sežana is known throughout the world for its white Lipizzaner horses. Further to the north the hilltop town of Štanjel is about as postcard worthy as they come, with its winding cobble streets offering sweeping vistas of the valley below. Of course the re gion as a whole is perhaps best known for its gastronomic contributions such as the dry-cured Karst prosciutto (kraški pršut) and the dark red Terrano or Teran wine, which is also fashioned into a sweet liquor that is unfailingly offered at the end of every meal in the region. 28 Slovenian Istria In Your Pocket

RESTAURANTS GOSTILNA SKOK  An excursion into the Karst countryside is a must during any extended stay at the Slovenian Coast, and the charming family-run Skok guesthouse in the hills above Sežana makes an excellent destination. The menu here focuses exclusively on local seasonal dishes, with house specialties including jota stew with sausage, homemade gnocchi, hand-cut prosciut to, venison steaks and other dishes. In 2011, Skok was one of the founding members of the Gostilna Slovenija brand, which has strict criteria for guaranteeing the authenticity Slovene cuisine and wine at establishments proudly displaying its trademark bell. If the the village setting takes your fancy, there are seven spacious modern guest rooms available for overnight stays.QŠtorje 27, Sežana, tel. +386 (0) 768 54 0 9/+386 (0)41 725 504, [email protected], www.gostilna-skok. com. Open 10:00 - 22:00. Closed Mon. PTALB MAJERIJA  This villa la outside outside the village village of Slap ap is one one of the premier premier gasgastronomic destinations of the region, and, budget permitting, a perfect place to end a day of wine tasting in Vipava. A head chef who moonlights as a professor at a culinary school in  Trieste  Trieste endows the place with a certain pedigree pedigree and also guarantees a steady stream of Italian visitors at the weekends. All the ingredients are freshly sourced from local producers (or the herb garden out back), and the oft-changing menu is seasonal, focussing on light Mediterranean cuisine during the slovenian-istria.inyourpocket.com

RUJ Set in an unassuming stone house just steps from the Italian border, Ruj is perennially on the shortlist of Slovenia’s best restaurants and fittingly named after the Slovene word for Sumac - a small nondescript shrub that produces a brightly coloured fruit, which is ground into a tangy crimson spice. Despite the modest surroundings, a typical meal at Ruj features course after course of exquisitely prepared dishes, using only the freshest of local ingredients, each plate accompanied by the perfectly matched Slovene wine, and optionally followed by a post-meal cigar on the terrace. For lovers of good food, it is truly an experience not to be missed. Reservations highly recommended.QDol pri Vogljah 16, Dutovlje, tel. +386 (0)5 734 17 20, [email protected] Open 10:00 - 22:00. Closed Mon, Tue, Wed. €€€.

SIGHTSEEING ŠTANJEL  This hilltop ltop village, llage, known as as the Jewel Jewel of the Karst, Karst, is one of of Slovenia’s most spectacular towns. Steeped in history, the town was built by the Romans, while Ottoman raids in the 16th century prompted the ruling Counts of Cobenzl to add extensive fortifications. Despite sustaining considerable damage during the Second World War, this charming medieval

Gostlna in pizzerija Morski Konjiček Mala Pristava 10, 6257 Pivka

tel: +386 5 753 20 55 gsm:  +386 41 523 325 email:  [email protected] email:

facebook/slovenia.inyourpocket

Goslna SKOK / Štorje 27, Sežana / +386 (05) 768 54 09 www.gostlna-skok.com

The karst invigorate and creaons

town has since been restored to its former glory. Entering the town through the stone archway is like stepping back in time, gravel streets wind past traditional Karst houses leading onto cute little squares with ancient stone wells. To get a proper view into traditional life in Štanjel, head to the Karst House (Kraška Hiša), which has been converted into a fascinating little ethnographic museum. The parish church and remains of the 16th-century castle are the most prominent landmarks in town, with parts of the later having been converted into an exhibition space that houses an excellent collection of Trieste-born Slovenian artist Lojze Spacal, famous for his graphic representations of the Karst and coastal regions. The castle’s pleasant courtyard is an ideal place to soak up Štanjel’s timeless atmosphere, preferably with a glass of local wine and a plate of famous Karst pruscuitto. Beneath the village the picturesque Ferrari Garden (Ferrarijev Vrt) doesn’t feature any Italian luxury cars, but the well-kept pathways, restored stone walls and mancured flora have nevertheless been declared a national monument. The garden’s highlight is small stone pool and its stunning views over the Branica Valley. DIVAČA  This little town in the southwest of the country has long been a crossroads town and transport hub with this role only strengthening with the development of the railway - today it enjoys good connections with Ljubljana, the coast including Croatia and to the north towards Nova Gorica and Jesenice. If you do find yourself with a couple of hours to burn while waiting for a train, the 17th-century Škrateljnova house is one 2014/2015 29

 The Karst

 The Karst warmer months and hearty central European dishes in the fall and winter. Highly recommended.QSlap 18, Vipava, tel. +386 (0)5 368 5010/+386 (0)41 405 903, [email protected], www.majerija.si. Multi-course meal with wine from €4070 per person. MORSKI KONJIČEK  Found near the town of Pivka just off the main Postojna-PivkaIlirska Bistrica road (some 15 minutes south of the A1 motorway), this sprawling countryside restaurant is a popular stop for Slovenes and tourists after a day at the coast. Given that its name translates ‘seahorse’ in English, it’s not surprising that fish and other seafood specialities are the main focus of the menu here, but for those who have already had their fill of such fare, there are plenty of other dishes and some fine pizzas. For families there’s a children’s playground for a before or after dinner romp, and for those who’d like to stay for a drink or five the place is open till the wee hours at the weekends. QMala Pristava 10, Pivka, tel. +386 (0)5 753 20 55/+386, (0)41 523 325, [email protected] Open 11:00-24:00, Fri 11:0004:00, Sat 09:00-04:00, Sun 09:00-24:00. Closed Mon except for holidays.

 The hilltop town of Štanjel is known as the Jewel of the Karst, photo courtesy courtesy of TIC Štanjel

Geographically speaking the Karst Plateau, or simply the Karst (Kras in Slovene), occupies the large area of limestone highlands stretching from the southern edges of the Vipava Valley in the north to the northern parts of Croatia’s Istrian peninsula in the south, which is not to be confused with the still relatively new Green Karst (Zeleni Kras) regional tourism brand, or the more general Karst topographical features that can be found in pockets across all of Slovenia. The region actually gave its name to the distinctive topography where layers of dissolved bedrock separate, often creating networks of caves and subterranean rivers, which has led to it often being referred to as the Classical Karst (just to make things more complicated). Regardless of semantics, the region is a fascinating place with many notable destinations that can be visited on easy day trips from Slovenia’s coastal towns. Perhaps most noteworthy are the UNESCO protected Škocjan Caves located just outside the town of Divača, while the small village of Lipica near Sežana is known throughout the world for its white Lipizzaner horses. Further to the north the hilltop town of Štanjel is about as postcard worthy as they come, with its winding cobble streets offering sweeping vistas of the valley below. Of course the re gion as a whole is perhaps best known for its gastronomic contributions such as the dry-cured Karst prosciutto (kraški pršut) and the dark red Terrano or Teran wine, which is also fashioned into a sweet liquor that is unfailingly offered at the end of every meal in the region. 28 Slovenian Istria In Your Pocket

RESTAURANTS GOSTILNA SKOK  An excursion into the Karst countryside is a must during any extended stay at the Slovenian Coast, and the charming family-run Skok guesthouse in the hills above Sežana makes an excellent destination. The menu here focuses exclusively on local seasonal dishes, with house specialties including jota stew with sausage, homemade gnocchi, hand-cut prosciut to, venison steaks and other dishes. In 2011, Skok was one of the founding members of the Gostilna Slovenija brand, which has strict criteria for guaranteeing the authenticity Slovene cuisine and wine at establishments proudly displaying its trademark bell. If the the village setting takes your fancy, there are seven spacious modern guest rooms available for overnight stays.QŠtorje 27, Sežana, tel. +386 (0) 768 54 0 9/+386 (0)41 725 504, [email protected], www.gostilna-skok. com. Open 10:00 - 22:00. Closed Mon. PTALB MAJERIJA  This villa la outside outside the village village of Slap ap is one one of the premier premier gasgastronomic destinations of the region, and, budget permitting, a perfect place to end a day of wine tasting in Vipava. A head chef who moonlights as a professor at a culinary school in  Trieste  Trieste endows the place with a certain pedigree pedigree and also guarantees a steady stream of Italian visitors at the weekends. All the ingredients are freshly sourced from local producers (or the herb garden out back), and the oft-changing menu is seasonal, focussing on light Mediterranean cuisine during the slovenian-istria.inyourpocket.com

RUJ Set in an unassuming stone house just steps from the Italian border, Ruj is perennially on the shortlist of Slovenia’s best restaurants and fittingly named after the Slovene word for Sumac - a small nondescript shrub that produces a brightly coloured fruit, which is ground into a tangy crimson spice. Despite the modest surroundings, a typical meal at Ruj features course after course of exquisitely prepared dishes, using only the freshest of local ingredients, each plate accompanied by the perfectly matched Slovene wine, and optionally followed by a post-meal cigar on the terrace. For lovers of good food, it is truly an experience not to be missed. Reservations highly recommended.QDol pri Vogljah 16, Dutovlje, tel. +386 (0)5 734 17 20, [email protected] Open 10:00 - 22:00. Closed Mon, Tue, Wed. €€€.

SIGHTSEEING ŠTANJEL  This hilltop ltop village, llage, known as as the Jewel Jewel of the Karst, Karst, is one of of Slovenia’s most spectacular towns. Steeped in history, the town was built by the Romans, while Ottoman raids in the 16th century prompted the ruling Counts of Cobenzl to add extensive fortifications. Despite sustaining considerable damage during the Second World War, this charming medieval

Gostlna in pizzerija Morski Konjiček Mala Pristava 10, 6257 Pivka

tel: +386 5 753 20 55 gsm:  +386 41 523 325 email:  [email protected] email:

Goslna SKOK / Štorje 27, Sežana / +386 (05) 768 54 09 www.gostlna-skok.com

The karst invigorate and creaons

town has since been restored to its former glory. Entering the town through the stone archway is like stepping back in time, gravel streets wind past traditional Karst houses leading onto cute little squares with ancient stone wells. To get a proper view into traditional life in Štanjel, head to the Karst House (Kraška Hiša), which has been converted into a fascinating little ethnographic museum. The parish church and remains of the 16th-century castle are the most prominent landmarks in town, with parts of the later having been converted into an exhibition space that houses an excellent collection of Trieste-born Slovenian artist Lojze Spacal, famous for his graphic representations of the Karst and coastal regions. The castle’s pleasant courtyard is an ideal place to soak up Štanjel’s timeless atmosphere, preferably with a glass of local wine and a plate of famous Karst pruscuitto. Beneath the village the picturesque Ferrari Garden (Ferrarijev Vrt) doesn’t feature any Italian luxury cars, but the well-kept pathways, restored stone walls and mancured flora have nevertheless been declared a national monument. The garden’s highlight is small stone pool and its stunning views over the Branica Valley. DIVAČA  This little town in the southwest of the country has long been a crossroads town and transport hub with this role only strengthening with the development of the railway - today it enjoys good connections with Ljubljana, the coast including Croatia and to the north towards Nova Gorica and Jesenice. If you do find yourself with a couple of hours to burn while waiting for a train, the 17th-century Škrateljnova house is one 2014/2015 29

facebook/slovenia.inyourpocket

 The Karst

 The Karst

ŠKOCJAN CAVES

LIPICA STUD FARM

Quite simply put, Slovenia’s Škocjan Caves are one of the most astounding natural attractions on the planet, but you don’t have to take our word for it, as there is a significant amount of official documentation to support this assertion. One of only three locations in Slovenia to be recognised as a world heritage site by UNESCO (with the other two being the mercury mine of Idrija and the Prehistoric Pile-Dwellings of Ljubljansko Barje), Škocjan is the only one to be on the natural monument list, with this distinction also notably given to only three other caves in the entire world. Since 1996, the territory above and around the caves has been a protected regional park, and was also recognised as the first underground wetland in 1999 under the Ramsar Convention. However, at the end of the day it’s the magnificent Karst cave system itself that is responsible for attracting an estimated 100,000 visitors per year, the vast majority of whom (ourselves included) cannot believe their eyes. First written about during the 2nd century BC, the caves had actually been discovered long before this, with archeological evidence proving that they had been used as far back as the 12th century BC. Of the many artefacts found within the caves, the majority are weapons (eg spearheads, axes, swords) and fragments of vessels and other domestic items used by people during Bronze Age. Created by the Reka River, which flows for some 55km above ground before carving its way into the soft limestone that makes up the Karst region, one of the two possible tours of the caves follows the natural entrance made by the river near the village of Škocjan. This tour can be done both with or without a guide, and takes in the sections of the caves where many of the most important archeological finds were made. However, the more popular tour begins at the other end of the caves, through a man-made entrance, and passes by the main sights, including the so-called Silent Cave (Tiha Jama) and exits by way of the underground Reka River canyon, traversing the dizzying 50m-high Cerkvenik Bridge. Only guided tours are possible along this route. A third option is the above-ground educational trail, which circumscribes the landscape of the park, with special emphasis given to the flora and fauna, as well as the rich cultural heritage of the area. Located just outside the town of Divača in the southwest of Slovenia, Škocjan is easily reached by both car (via the A1 motorway) and train, with up to 16 of the latter travelling between Ljubljana and Divača each day, from where it’s a 3km hike along a well-marked path to the visitor information centre in Škocjan. Alternatively, several trains are met by free shuttle buses.QŠkocjan 2, Divača, tel. +386 (0)5 70 82 110, [email protected], www.park-skocjanske Admission prices vary greatly greatly for each of the  jame.si.  jame.si.  Admission

i i Stud Farm has flourished Lipica i ii tremendously sincel itsii coni ception over 400 years ago. . ii ll Set amongst beautiful natural l i only ii iihome surroundings,it is not to lmore than 350 Lipizzaner i i but also very rich in hisll horses, i its i foundation i . ii by the ii tory. Since Habsburgi Archduke Charles II in l III ii one of 1580, Lipica has become i i most prominent attractions Slovenia has toi offer. the i ofl the many i One reasons .this stud farm stands so proudi Lipizzaner. These capable ly today is the origin of the land distinguished i i i horses have i i taken. a major part llin the i i i development of this amazing establishment iisince the l beginning,i and are i reputed llii for having i an eagervery i particularly wellnessi toilearn. Best of all they have been ltrained . in thellart of riding, which has i l enabled l lll a large ii iassortment of i i activities i and events l to occur l frequently, i i now i making more than a fine time to payl a visit.i i i i . excels in portraying  To put it simply, Lipikum museum i i Lipizzaner l i i through modernl presentations, i ii the amazing i i ii It with bothi interactive displays and classical exhibits. i leave you i knowing i i more l than you l could i l hope ii ii to, .. II will ill l all through a pleasant i ll and and amusing experience for l l i both ladults and children. The Stud Farm alsoii offers a il tour. (available in English, l nice and linformative Italian, German, Croatian, i i i French and Slovene), il l i where llii friendly II lillilii guides will seeithat you are well linformed about Lipica’s i ll most beast, and extensive i beloved ill ll i history how ofii how ii l be. i i it came to iFor centuries. Lipizzaners have incorporated carriage drawing into i their i i area of expertise. i Now, you can take ii a carriage Lipica’s colourful and peaceful ati iride through i i . mosphere own friendly i of groomedigrounds, i l with your l ll i carriage driver. i ii ll  To get active, Lipica Stud Farm Farm hosts a varii a little i more .

three paths, from €20/15/10 €20/15/10 for adults/students/children for a combined ticket for both underground routes, to free admission for the educational trail without a guide. 30 Slovenian Istria In Your Pocket

Škocjan Caves are truly one of Europe’s most amazing natural sights, photo by Borut Lozej / PŠJ Archives

of the best preserved examples of traditional Karst architecture is worth a look at as is the Slovenian Film Museum which it now houses. Despite not being the most interesting town itself, Divača is a good base for exploring the surroundings countryside where there are some amazing sights - not least the nearby UNESCO World Heritage listed Škocjan Caves. SEŽANA  The old road between Trieste and Ljubljana may take twice as long as the highway though its meandering route, dotted with little towns, historic sights and natural wonders, is well worth exploring. One of the interesting towns on the road is Sežana, located basically on the Slovene-Italian border it has long been a transpor t hub and regional centre for the lower Karst area. It’s also home to the huge Vina Kras winery and wine cellar, while the surrounding countryside is dotted with famed ‘osmice’ - farmhouses that traditionally open their doors for lunch and diner eight days per year. Apart from being a destination for the food obsessed, gambling obsessives flock to the town’s casino and there are also plenty of interesting cultural and natural sights in and around town. Highlights in the town include the botanical gardens which were once the private gardens of the noble Scaramanga family who developed the park in the 19th century and with hundreds of species from around the world the park was known as one of the finest in the Austro-Hungarian Empire and is still well worth a visit. Short drives from town are the impressive Vilenica caves and the famous stables of Lipica. slovenian-istria.inyourpocket.com

llii ll

ii

ii ii

ii

ety of iinvigorating ii horse riding ii ii programmes, as well ll l as i ii lllessons for more advanced riders. ii .. IIfI you ever iimagined ii i yourself of old ll as a brave knight ii ll then you just might ii want to seize ii the days and give ii iiti a try!!! On a side-note, ii they also for kids ll offer pony riding ii ii llessons ii between l three and seven years old, ll where, for a very reasonable ll price, the basics ii the llittle iilllllearn ii of riding ii ii horses, lii ll one will l and more iimportantly, how to treat them. ll .. i At the end of a tiring ii ii and eventfulll day, retreat to the comfort of your accommodation, where you can enjoy ii various delicacies ii llii ii of the Karst, and relay ll iin i the peace of the secluded ll llocation, ii resting ii up for the next day’s l onward journey.. . By virlllearning, ii riding, ii ii show or iindeed ii i tue of the ample the main ll facilities iillii ii iin ii centre, Lipica ii i i iin i i as excellent destination for alllll manner of conferlll ii ii either ii ences, or to get married. ii .. And llast but not lleast, iit would ll be folly ll not to mention ii l l i the classical ll ii ll riding ii ii school! ll!! The pride ii of the Lipica ii ii Stud Farm the cream of the crop stallions training their llili ii ii i i elll egant trots, turns and other skills. ililll .. The training ii ii sessions ii are open to spectators and of course thereiis a busy proi gramme of equestrian ii events and shows to be considii ered when planning your visit, including the following: ll ii ii ii ii ll ii llll i i Day of the Lipizzaner (18 May), FEI International Dressage i ii II I I ii l l Competition ii(23-25 May), FEI International Driving II II ii ll Comii i i i ii petitioni (27-29 June) and Days of the Lipica iStud Farm i ii i ii (12-14 September). .. Event or not, anyone with the ii even a passing ii iinterest iin i i Slovenia lllong faced beauties ii should ll not lleave ll ii without ii l paying i Lipica ii ii a visit! ii ii !!QLipica ii ii 5, Sežana, tel. ll +386 (0)5 739i 1580, fax +386 (0)5 739 1730,i [email protected], llii ii i www.lipica.org. li i li i

facebook/slovenia.inyourpocket

2014/2015 31

 The Karst

 The Karst

ŠKOCJAN CAVES

LIPICA STUD FARM

Quite simply put, Slovenia’s Škocjan Caves are one of the most astounding natural attractions on the planet, but you don’t have to take our word for it, as there is a significant amount of official documentation to support this assertion. One of only three locations in Slovenia to be recognised as a world heritage site by UNESCO (with the other two being the mercury mine of Idrija and the Prehistoric Pile-Dwellings of Ljubljansko Barje), Škocjan is the only one to be on the natural monument list, with this distinction also notably given to only three other caves in the entire world. Since 1996, the territory above and around the caves has been a protected regional park, and was also recognised as the first underground wetland in 1999 under the Ramsar Convention. However, at the end of the day it’s the magnificent Karst cave system itself that is responsible for attracting an estimated 100,000 visitors per year, the vast majority of whom (ourselves included) cannot believe their eyes. First written about during the 2nd century BC, the caves had actually been discovered long before this, with archeological evidence proving that they had been used as far back as the 12th century BC. Of the many artefacts found within the caves, the majority are weapons (eg spearheads, axes, swords) and fragments of vessels and other domestic items used by people during Bronze Age. Created by the Reka River, which flows for some 55km above ground before carving its way into the soft limestone that makes up the Karst region, one of the two possible tours of the caves follows the natural entrance made by the river near the village of Škocjan. This tour can be done both with or without a guide, and takes in the sections of the caves where many of the most important archeological finds were made. However, the more popular tour begins at the other end of the caves, through a man-made entrance, and passes by the main sights, including the so-called Silent Cave (Tiha Jama) and exits by way of the underground Reka River canyon, traversing the dizzying 50m-high Cerkvenik Bridge. Only guided tours are possible along this route. A third option is the above-ground educational trail, which circumscribes the landscape of the park, with special emphasis given to the flora and fauna, as well as the rich cultural heritage of the area. Located just outside the town of Divača in the southwest of Slovenia, Škocjan is easily reached by both car (via the A1 motorway) and train, with up to 16 of the latter travelling between Ljubljana and Divača each day, from where it’s a 3km hike along a well-marked path to the visitor information centre in Škocjan. Alternatively, several trains are met by free shuttle buses.QŠkocjan 2, Divača, tel. +386 (0)5 70 82 110, [email protected], www.park-skocjanske Admission prices vary greatly greatly for each of the  jame.si.  jame.si.  Admission

i i Stud Farm has flourished Lipica i ii tremendously sincel itsii coni ception over 400 years ago. . ii ll Set amongst beautiful natural l i only ii iihome surroundings,it is not to lmore than 350 Lipizzaner i i but also very rich in hisll horses, i its i foundation i . ii by the ii tory. Since Habsburgi Archduke Charles II in l III ii one of 1580, Lipica has become i i most prominent attractions Slovenia has toi offer. the i ofl the many i One reasons .this stud farm stands so proudi Lipizzaner. These capable ly today is the origin of the land distinguished i i i horses have i i taken. a major part llin the i i i development of this amazing establishment iisince the l beginning,i and are i reputed llii for having i an eagervery i particularly wellnessi toilearn. Best of all they have been ltrained . in thellart of riding, which has i l enabled l lll a large ii iassortment of i i activities i and events l to occur l frequently, i i now i making more than a fine time to payl a visit.i i i i . excels in portraying  To put it simply, Lipikum museum i i Lipizzaner l i i through modernl presentations, i ii the amazing i i ii It with bothi interactive displays and classical exhibits. i leave you i knowing i i more l than you l could i l hope ii ii to, .. II will ill l all through a pleasant i ll and and amusing experience for l l i both ladults and children. The Stud Farm alsoii offers a il tour. (available in English, l nice and linformative Italian, German, Croatian, i i i French and Slovene), il l i where llii friendly II lillilii guides will seeithat you are well linformed about Lipica’s i ll most beast, and extensive i beloved ill ll i history how ofii how ii l be. i i it came to iFor centuries. Lipizzaners have incorporated carriage drawing into i their i i area of expertise. i Now, you can take ii a carriage Lipica’s colourful and peaceful ati iride through i i . mosphere own friendly i of groomedigrounds, i l with your l ll i carriage driver. i ii ll  To get active, Lipica Stud Farm Farm hosts a varii a little i more .

three paths, from €20/15/10 €20/15/10 for adults/students/children for a combined ticket for both underground routes, to free admission for the educational trail without a guide.

Škocjan Caves are truly one of Europe’s most amazing natural sights, photo by Borut Lozej / PŠJ Archives

of the best preserved examples of traditional Karst architecture is worth a look at as is the Slovenian Film Museum which it now houses. Despite not being the most interesting town itself, Divača is a good base for exploring the surroundings countryside where there are some amazing sights - not least the nearby UNESCO World Heritage listed Škocjan Caves. SEŽANA  The old road between Trieste and Ljubljana may take twice as long as the highway though its meandering route, dotted with little towns, historic sights and natural wonders, is well worth exploring. One of the interesting towns on the road is Sežana, located basically on the Slovene-Italian border it has long been a transpor t hub and regional centre for the lower Karst area. It’s also home to the huge Vina Kras winery and wine cellar, while the surrounding countryside is dotted with famed ‘osmice’ - farmhouses that traditionally open their doors for lunch and diner eight days per year. Apart from being a destination for the food obsessed, gambling obsessives flock to the town’s casino and there are also plenty of interesting cultural and natural sights in and around town. Highlights in the town include the botanical gardens which were once the private gardens of the noble Scaramanga family who developed the park in the 19th century and with hundreds of species from around the world the park was known as one of the finest in the Austro-Hungarian Empire and is still well worth a visit. Short drives from town are the impressive Vilenica caves and the famous stables of Lipica.

30 Slovenian Istria In Your Pocket

llii ll

ii

ii ii

ii

ety of iinvigorating ii horse riding ii ii programmes, as well ll l as i ii lllessons for more advanced riders. ii .. IIfI you ever iimagined ii i yourself of old ll as a brave knight ii ll then you just might ii want to seize ii the days and give ii iiti a try!!! On a side-note, ii they also for kids ll offer pony riding ii ii llessons ii between l three and seven years old, ll where, for a very reasonable ll price, the basics ii the llittle iilllllearn ii of riding ii ii horses, lii ll one will l and more iimportantly, how to treat them. ll .. i At the end of a tiring ii ii and eventfulll day, retreat to the comfort of your accommodation, where you can enjoy ii various delicacies ii llii ii of the Karst, and relay ll iin i the peace of the secluded ll llocation, ii resting ii up for the next day’s l onward journey.. . By virlllearning, ii riding, ii ii show or iindeed ii i tue of the ample the main ll facilities iillii ii iin ii centre, Lipica ii i i iin i i as excellent destination for alllll manner of conferlll ii ii either ii ences, or to get married. ii .. And llast but not lleast, iit would ll be folly ll not to mention ii l l i the classical ll ii ll riding ii ii school! ll!! The pride ii of the Lipica ii ii Stud Farm the cream of the crop stallions training their llili ii ii i i elll egant trots, turns and other skills. ililll .. The training ii ii sessions ii are open to spectators and of course thereiis a busy proi gramme of equestrian ii events and shows to be considii ered when planning your visit, including the following: ll ii ii ii ii ll ii llll i i Day of the Lipizzaner (18 May), FEI International Dressage i ii II I I ii l l Competition ii(23-25 May), FEI International Driving II II ii ll Comii i i i ii petitioni (27-29 June) and Days of the Lipica iStud Farm i ii i ii (12-14 September). .. Event or not, anyone with the ii even a passing ii iinterest iin i i Slovenia lllong faced beauties ii should ll not lleave ll ii without ii l paying i Lipica ii ii a visit! ii ii !!QLipica ii ii 5, Sežana, tel. ll +386 (0)5 739i 1580, fax +386 (0)5 739 1730,i [email protected], llii ii i www.lipica.org. li i li i

slovenian-istria.inyourpocket.com

2014/2015 31

facebook/slovenia.inyourpocket

Postojna

Postojna ii ii ii ii ii

ii ii ii ii

ll ii

ii

ll

ii

ll .. ii ll

ii

ll

ii ll ii

ll

i i ll ll ii

ll

ii . .

ll

ii ii

ll ii

ii ll l l lili l l ilil ii lili ii ll ii l l

ii II llii ll ii ii ii .. llll ilil i i Stop by Proteus Restaurant for a g ourmet dining experience in the lcentre iofi Postojna ii ii ii l ii ii i.i. ii ll i i ii ll ii llll inside the cave, and thel lwalls ii logical formations found ll ililll of acclaimed Slovene l l ii are decorated withii works painter ii QTitov ii ll Trg 1, tel. +386 (0)8 . . 161ii 0300/+386 LeoiillVilhar. ii ii www. (0)40 457ll 483, [email protected], ii ii ll ll postojnska-jama.eu. ii ll

Postojna is one of the few towns that still boasts a Tito Square - photo courtesy RDO Postojnska Jama - Zeleni Kras ll l

i l than 10,000 inhabitants i i l one With Postojna isii barely i less l i i l l i l i but arguably l none are of the 20 largest towns in l i Slovenia, l i l ll l (including i l i the more well-known throughout that world ll l i l i i l l i l i l i lsettlecapital than this nondescript i l Ljubljana) l i lrelatively i l i l i i ll ll ment in the southwest of the country that wasn’t even i i ll ll il i course it not officiallyii recognise until 1909. The reason of il i i l i so much the i ltown itself, but ithe amazing network of karst li li i to the caves thatll lie iijust below iiits surface. First opened li li i l i public inl 1819, the world-famous iiPostojna Cave is said to i i l l i i i i have attracted more illi than i i 35 million visitors over the past i i centuries, i with one i of its first beingi Austro-Hungarian i two i i i i i I Emperor Francis iiI the year before it opened. I i were not enough, Postojnai isl alsol blessedi with anIfII this i i l l i l i i i i immediate i i ivicinity, i i other popular the magnifil i sight i iin its i i ii i i l cent PredjamallCastle located some 11km to the northwest l il i Built in the 13th century and i ll partially i of the town centre. il i i ll i l i l not only la situated under enormous l natural stone i arch, it’s l l i i castle ini its own right, l i but also sits atop another i fine touri i i l i i iist cave l and iis also associated i l withi several i l fascinatingil legi l i i l i i l il ii ends.Whileii the vast i i majority of visitors come to Postojna i i i l  just to see ione or both iof its star i at tractions, with lthree i i acproper hotels and many other guesthouses and private i i i l i i commodation i l i options located in andi around the town, it i l l parts i of central ll makes lal good base for exploring Slovenia i l l i ll i i I lthe Adrii asii well as the Karst region that extends i i towards I l i ll i l l to Postojna atic Sea ll andi Italyl - Trieste actually being closer l i and l 54km away respec tively). than Ljubljana (35km i l 32 Slovenian Istria In Your Pocket

RESTAURANTS AVIO PUB i just off the runway i at Postojna’s i i small i Found i i i i i recreational i out back where li diners l i airport, llthere’s a large garden i li l can i iwatch ill l i i take off and landi - many of which are i ill thel planes i i i i i li l i l l taking visitors on panoramic flights. Despite the i i lili name, ll i place is a full-fledged i l i i and wine this pizzeria, steakhouse i i l i i i i coming . crispy i and hot l from a wood-fired l i bar, with pizzas i i . i l l i l grilled to perfection l i . selection oven, steaks and a wide l l i . l i Tuesday i to Friday of Slovene wine from the cellar. From l i i i l there are multi-course lunch i l specials starting from only i l the cosy wood-covered l i lis very pub€6. Of course interior i l l i l like in appearance, and there are four types of draught beer on hand for those who are thirsty.QRakitnik 1a, Prestranek, tel. +386 (0)5 720 13 10, [email protected], i l iOpen l i www.aviopub.si. Sat-Sun and holii l i l 10:00-23:00, i i i TLBS days 11:00-23:00. Closed Mon. i i l l

. .

l l

i l i l

l l

i l l RESTAURANT i i i PROTEUS i l l i i i i a day i spent . i l After exploring Postojna’s famous cave i i . i l i to a first-class l meal at and other sights, treatll yourself i l i newly renovated i i Proteus. Set in a old i house l that is the i i i i l i region, l .the res taurant combines lcombines the traditypical for the i l . l l i i cuisinelserved tional andii modern with homemade local l i i l i i l are separated by l curtains of in an elegant interior. Tables i i l l i white string, which are meant to resemble the geofine i slovenian-istria.inyourpocket.com

RESTAURANT & PIZZERIA ČUK   This humble r estaurant and pizzeria keeps things simple l i i with good food and friendly Located on thel l l service. i i i i edge of town,iiČuklili is popularlwith locals and visitors alike. i li i Slovene i i i and excelOn offer arella range iof dishes i hearty i i i i i i pizzas as well as tasty daily specials. The lent wood-fired i i l l is greati for i familiesllwith a selection ll restaurant of kid’s l l i i ll ll i i i ones l bemeals and a playground to occupy the ililittle i li i l i Ifi you are staying . fore or after eating. in town andll don’t i i . i QPot vli Pivkii 4, l feel like heading out, Čuk also delivers. i li i l i 7201i 300, i l l tel. +386 (0)5 www. i i i [email protected], l pizza-cuk.si. Open 10:00 - 23:00, Fri 10:00 - 24:00, Sat 11:00 11:00 - 24:00, Sun 12:00 - 23:00. PTLV DOLENČEVI TOURIST FARM Slovenes are a rustic down to earth bunch with many families still growing their own veggies and producing ll brandy. i lThe i homemade delicacies from salami to plum ll i l i l i Dolenčevi tourist farm, an ecological family-run estate l i i i i to 10kmll from Postojna,ll is the perfect place for ivisitors i i ii i . connection i l and i taste ll experience ithis to thei i land i istrong . i l i ll i i i and i prepared i the fruitsiiof their labour the homegrown i i i i i i i l l food proi at Dolenčevi is excellent, with the house-cured ill i i l with i l i ll . sciutto especially i and gnocchi i l i locall game coming i ll . i l i l il highly recommended. The farm is located in a tranquil i li l i l i l . great opportunities for hiking iand forested area with i l . i i i (bike rental li i available), and the must-see Postojna riding i i li i . QiSajevče i and Škocjan caves are just a short drivei i away. . i i l +386 (0)5 756 20i 22, [email protected] i i 8, Hruševje, tel. l i i i i www.dolencevi.si. i net, From €20/person,lili €24 with i i l €34 with half-board. breakfast, l facebook/slovenia.inyourpocket

2014/2015 33

Postojna

Postojna ii ii ii ii ii

ii ii ii ii

ll ii

ii

ll

ii

ll .. ii ll

ii

ll

ii ll ii

ll

i i ll ll ii

ll

ii . .

ll

ii ii

ll ii

ii ll l l lili l l ilil ii lili ii ll ii l l

ii II llii ll ii ii ii .. llll ilil i i Stop by Proteus Restaurant for a g ourmet dining experience in the lcentre iofi Postojna ii ii ii l ii ii i.i. ii ll i i ii ll ii llll inside the cave, and thel lwalls ii logical formations found ll ililll of acclaimed Slovene l l ii are decorated withii works painter ii QTitov ii ll Trg 1, tel. +386 (0)8 . . 161ii 0300/+386 LeoiillVilhar. ii ii www. (0)40 457ll 483, [email protected], ii ii ll ll postojnska-jama.eu. ii ll

Postojna is one of the few towns that still boasts a Tito Square - photo courtesy RDO Postojnska Jama - Zeleni Kras ll l

i l than 10,000 inhabitants i i l one With Postojna isii barely i less l i i l l i l i but arguably l none are of the 20 largest towns in l i Slovenia, l i l ll l (including i l i the more well-known throughout that world ll l i l i i l l i l i l i lsettlecapital than this nondescript i l Ljubljana) l i lrelatively i l i l i i ll ll ment in the southwest of the country that wasn’t even i i ll ll il i course it not officiallyii recognise until 1909. The reason of il i i l i so much the i ltown itself, but ithe amazing network of karst li li i to the caves thatll lie iijust below iiits surface. First opened li li i l i public inl 1819, the world-famous iiPostojna Cave is said to i i l l i i i i have attracted more illi than i i 35 million visitors over the past i i centuries, i with one i of its first beingi Austro-Hungarian i two i i i i i I Emperor Francis iiI the year before it opened. I i were not enough, Postojnai isl alsol blessedi with anIfII this i i l l i l i i i i immediate i i ivicinity, i i other popular the magnifil i sight i iin its i i ii i i l cent PredjamallCastle located some 11km to the northwest l il i Built in the 13th century and i ll partially i of the town centre. il i i ll i l i l not only la situated under enormous l natural stone i arch, it’s l l i i castle ini its own right, l i but also sits atop another i fine touri i i l i i iist cave l and iis also associated i l withi several i l fascinatingil legi l i i l i i l il ii ends.Whileii the vast i i majority of visitors come to Postojna i i i l  just to see ione or both iof its star i at tractions, with lthree i i acproper hotels and many other guesthouses and private i i i l i i commodation i l i options located in andi around the town, it i l l parts i of central ll makes lal good base for exploring Slovenia i l l i ll i i I lthe Adrii asii well as the Karst region that extends i i towards I l i ll i l l to Postojna atic Sea ll andi Italyl - Trieste actually being closer l i and l 54km away respec tively). than Ljubljana (35km i l 32 Slovenian Istria In Your Pocket

RESTAURANTS AVIO PUB i just off the runway i at Postojna’s i i small i Found i i i i i recreational i out back where li diners l i airport, llthere’s a large garden i li l can i iwatch ill l i i take off and landi - many of which are i ill thel planes i i i i i li l i l l taking visitors on panoramic flights. Despite the i i lili name, ll i place is a full-fledged i l i i and wine this pizzeria, steakhouse i i l i i i i coming . crispy i and hot l from a wood-fired l i bar, with pizzas i i . i l l i l grilled to perfection l i . selection oven, steaks and a wide l l i . l i Tuesday i to Friday of Slovene wine from the cellar. From l i i i l there are multi-course lunch i l specials starting from only i l the cosy wood-covered l i lis very pub€6. Of course interior i l l i l like in appearance, and there are four types of draught beer on hand for those who are thirsty.QRakitnik 1a, Prestranek, tel. +386 (0)5 720 13 10, [email protected], i l iOpen l i www.aviopub.si. Sat-Sun and holii l i l 10:00-23:00, i i i TLBS days 11:00-23:00. Closed Mon. i i l l

. .

l l

i l i l

l l

i l l RESTAURANT i i i PROTEUS i l l i i i i a day i spent . i l After exploring Postojna’s famous cave i i . i l i to a first-class l meal at and other sights, treatll yourself i l i newly renovated i i Proteus. Set in a old i house l that is the i i i i l i region, l .the res taurant combines lcombines the traditypical for the i l . l l i i cuisinelserved tional andii modern with homemade local l i i l i i l are separated by l curtains of in an elegant interior. Tables i i l l i white string, which are meant to resemble the geofine i slovenian-istria.inyourpocket.com

RESTAURANT & PIZZERIA ČUK   This humble r estaurant and pizzeria keeps things simple l i i with good food and friendly Located on thel l l service. i i i i edge of town,iiČuklili is popularlwith locals and visitors alike. i li i Slovene i i i and excelOn offer arella range iof dishes i hearty i i i i i i pizzas as well as tasty daily specials. The lent wood-fired i i l l is greati for i familiesllwith a selection ll restaurant of kid’s l l i i ll ll i i i ones l bemeals and a playground to occupy the ililittle i li i l i Ifi you are staying . fore or after eating. in town andll don’t i i . i QPot vli Pivkii 4, l feel like heading out, Čuk also delivers. i li i l i 7201i 300, i l l tel. +386 (0)5 www. i i i [email protected], l pizza-cuk.si. Open 10:00 - 23:00, Fri 10:00 - 24:00, Sat 11:00 11:00 - 24:00, Sun 12:00 - 23:00. PTLV DOLENČEVI TOURIST FARM Slovenes are a rustic down to earth bunch with many families still growing their own veggies and producing ll brandy. i lThe i homemade delicacies from salami to plum ll i l i l i Dolenčevi tourist farm, an ecological family-run estate l i i i i to 10kmll from Postojna,ll is the perfect place for ivisitors i i ii i . connection i l and i taste ll experience ithis to thei i land i istrong . i l i ll i i i and i prepared i the fruitsiiof their labour the homegrown i i i i i i i l l food proi at Dolenčevi is excellent, with the house-cured ill i i l with i l i ll . sciutto especially i and gnocchi i l i locall game coming i ll . i l i l il highly recommended. The farm is located in a tranquil i li l i l i l . great opportunities for hiking iand forested area with i l . i i i (bike rental li i available), and the must-see Postojna riding i i li i . QiSajevče i and Škocjan caves are just a short drivei i away. . i i l +386 (0)5 756 20i 22, [email protected] i i 8, Hruševje, tel. l i i i i www.dolencevi.si. i net, From €20/person,lili €24 with i i l €34 with half-board. breakfast, l 2014/2015 33

facebook/slovenia.inyourpocket

Postojna

Postojna  ACCOMMODATION

POSTOJNSKA JAMA  PREDJAMA CASTLE �PREDJAMSKI GRAD�

POSTOJNA CAVE �POSTOJNSKA JAMA�

l gest cave i and i ted  The largest lar cave ini the karst region region and most visi tied show l Europe, words on a page can hardlyl do justice i cave ini alllof to the majesty of Postojna. So far, more than 20km of gal-l l i have been found, of which i barelyl a fraction i are open leries l to the public.li Allllthe same, a visiti ihere stilliltakes up much of i or an afternoon, as you make your way through a morning i litli the most spectacularl parts of the cave, at first by a dinky tlel narrow-gauge train,i and then on foot. There are no stairsi i l climbs li along l the path to or inside i i the cave, so or difficult i i with i limited li i mobility ili shouldl not have any difficulties. i li visitors illi of years by the Pivka i river, i the cave Formed over millions i was discovered ini the 13th century, though never properlyl l untililthe earlyl 1800s. They opened as a touristi atexplored i ini 1819, withi Franz I, IEmperor of Austria,i among the traction i i Bizarrely, i l so popularl didi the caves become that first to visit. l i lights li were fitted ini 1884: some years before such electric l was first deployed l ini Ljubljana l itself. i l technology i lili of the cave include i l the enormous stalactites l i and Highlights l i and the quite i sensational i lconcert hall,ll which i stalagmites, i down can (and does) holdl 10,000 people.l The acoustics i lNote that the temperature here are saidi to be sensational. i a jumper. The caves are of the cave isi a chillyill 10°C, so bring l home to olms l (or whitei salamanders), l li amphibi also a blind i endemici to the subterranean waters of caves of thisi part ian l can be seen ini some of the poolsl of of Europe. The olms li water as you make your way around the cave. Though blind i i to flash photography and ifi you do spot they are sensitive i any photos. QJamska one you shouldl refraini from taking

Located some 10km north of Postojna isi one of Europe’s finl Predjama Castlel (or Predjamskii grad, Höhlenburg l est castles. l I lili respecLueg and Castel lLueghi iini Slovene, German and Italian i l was builtil ini a Gothici stylel by the Patriarch i of Aquileia il i tively), i during i the 13th century and first mentioned i i sometime in i i lrecord ini the year 1274. Perched under a natural l the historical li face and surrounded by a thick i archway 123m up a sheer cliff i the castlel has gained i a stone wall,ll throughout the centuries ll i for being i virtually i llll impregnable. i l well-deserved reputation l yl demonstr i g the 15th  Thisi fact fact was was most popu popularl larl demonstrate atedd during durin 15th l siege i of Erazem Lueger, century by the more than year-long i and the son of the Imperial I i l governor of who was a knight i ed a reputat i as a rather  Trieste, ei ste, but had also sl o a gained gain reputation ion rather profiprofii robber baron throughout the Habsburg empire. i ItI isi cient i i l i said that in 1483, Erazem fled to the castle from Vienna after illi a Marshallllllof the Imperial I i lArmy who had insulted i l one killing i i brought about the wrath of Holyl Roman of hisi friends, which i II,II who laid l i siege i to the castle.l However, Emperor Frederick l i from the bowelsl of Predjama thanks to a secret cave leading ill of Vipava, i to Postojna Cave and then on to the nearby village Erazem was ablel to secure an steady supplyl of fresh food and l ran out when he was water. Unfortunatelyl for Erazem, hisi luck i l killed ill betrayed by one of hisi servants and unceremoniously i l canon ballllwhile il on the toilette. il InI the by the shot of a single ll years that followed, the castlel was destroyed and rebuiltil sevi before acquiring i i a Renaissance i i eral ltimes, stylel ini 1570, which i virtually i ll unchanged to thisi day. has remained Nowadays the castlel isi open to the publicli and serves as a mul l restored to its i original i i lgrandeur, seum. ItI has been completely i visitors i i can see the residential i i l quarters, and among other sites l of course the dungeon. ItIisi also l possible i l to see the chapel and l l the castle,l although l li the legendary cave below some climbi and a minimal i i llevel l lof fitness isi stronglyl encouraged ifi not ing i QJamska 30, Postojna, tel.l +386 (0)5 700 01 00, required.

i fax +386 (0)5 700 01 30, [email protected] [email protected], , www. postojnska-jama.eu. Open every day, allllyear. From Nov to March open from 10:00 to 16:00, ini Aprililand Oct from 10:00 to 17:00, ini May, June and Sept from 9:00 to 18:00, i Julyl and Aug from 9:00 to 19:00. during

KRAS  This modern hotel is lo cated in th e cent re of Postojna ,  just a few minu tes on foot to the cit y’s famous c ave, and near several good restaurants. The hotel’s café is also popular with locals and l i tourists for ice cream during l l the dayii and drinks at night. Kras offers everything you l l i l and would expect from hotel -i spacious . ani upmarket l i i i l a decent comfortable rooms with modern furnishings, ii l very i i friendlyi staff.Q l Tržaška i continental breakfastl and ii i . +386 i i i 1, itel. ll (0)5 700 23 00, [email protected], l24 rooms,l 3 suites i l (singles i www.epiceco-hotels.com. ii ii €71-87,ii doubles €89-109, suites €121-141). ii llll ll ii ll ii iill . ii SPORT ll ii Located just 200m from the centre of Postojna, and just a 10-minute walk from the region’s main attraction, the magnificent Postojna Cave, Hotel ii ii ll Sport clean ii is a llgood accommodation ii ii option with comfortable rooms and buffet breakii ii lla veryii decent . fast thrownii in. The ll hotel ii ll also ll livesii ii up tolillii its. name by offering bicycle storage the ll ii and rental, whilst llll friendly cycling orii ii staff arellllllllhappy to arrange iill ii guided ll . i l i i l i i l ll hiking toursiliin the i beautiful l i countryside i l surrounding Postojna.QKolodvorska 1, tel. +386 (0)5ii 720 llii ll . II 22 ll 44, [email protected], ww w.epiceco-hotels.com. ii ii ll llii ii ii 38lilirooms doubles €75-85, triples . (singles ii ii€59-63, ll ii €103-1 €103-118, ii 18, ll apar tments ii €65-75). ii ii

HOTEL CASINO SAFIR Located in the town of Sežana, a stone’s throw from the Slovene-Italian border, as the name suggests the modern Hotel Casino Safir is geared towards casino goers. Rooms offer all the modern comforts, whilst if you’re lucky ll in the casino we ii suggest upgrading to a iis uperior illii Jacuzzi. ii ii suit iwith Even if you’re not looking to win moniillll ii ii ey, the hotel islliiactually a veryllgood ii ii base ll for exploring . some villages and nearby, ll of the ii beautiful ii ll natural ii ll sights iill while Trieste is less than 149, ii 10km away.ll QPartizanska ii ii i i i l Sežana, tel.i +386 (0)5 731 i44 44, [email protected], www. i l i i l safir.si. 51 irooms (singles €69-75, doubles €97-109, i l ii suitesll €121-141). ii ii llll ii

30, Postojna, tel.l +386 (0)5 700 01 00, fax +386 (0)5 700 i 01 30, [email protected], www.postojnska-jama. eu. Open every day, all llyear. From Nov to March tours at i i l 10:00, 12:00 and 15:00, in April and Oct at 10:00, 12:00, 14:00 and 16:00.

34 Slovenian Istria In Your Pocket

EPICENTRE Despite the name, Epicentre isn’t quite in the centre of town, although as Postojna isn’t a metropolis the location is still walking distance to everything, and what’s more with a restaurant on the premises and a bowling alley right next door it could be considered the epicentre of entertainment in town. Most importantly the hotel provides comfortable and affordable accommodation, and is especially popular with families, as half of the rooms a fully equipped apartments. There are also conference facilities.QKazarje 10, tel. +386 (0)5 700 22 00, [email protected], www.epicecohotels.com. 16 rooms, 18 apartments (singles €5963, doubles €75-85, triple €103-118, €103-118, apartments €65 75). PiTJLKW

slovenian-istria.inyourpocket.com

facebook/slovenia.inyourpocket

i i l l ii ii ll ii ll ii ll & WELLNESS ii iill . MIRJAM PENZION, CAMP ii ii Slovenia’s ii ii most unique ii ii natii Set justii underneath one of ll iill the ll white limestone cliffs at the southern ural sights, ii . is mini resort with edge of the Nanos plateau, Mirjam ll standard ii ll budget accommodation in both guest rooms ii ii hostel-style dormitories,iias well as a small andll a shared ii ll campground with hookups for motorhomes, shower facilities and plenty of space for pitching a tent. The family-run place also includes billiards, a football pitch ii ii while a and a swimming pool among other amenities, IIllii ii ii medical treatmentiicentre rounds out ii wellness full and llii place foriicyclists, campers ii the offer. All in all,ii it’s a great ii their journeys on ll and other budgetll travellers to break ii the coast.Q ll Razdrto 19, iitel. +386 llii . ii to or from the way i(0)41 ii ii ii lilili ii i 684 988/+386 (0)5 75 77 200, [email protected] mirjam.si, iiwww.mirjam.si. Singles €35, doubles €44, ii llll €11/two persons (tent ll dormsll €12, campground or ii  iT6 FLEKD ii iillii . CwW camper). ll ii iill llii ii ll ii ilill ll ii illl . ii

ii

ii

ll

ll lili

Penzion, camp & wellness Mirjam Razdrto 19

ll

ii

Gsm: +386 (0)41 684 988 Telefon: +386 (0)5 75 77 200 www.mirjam.si

2014/2015 35

Postojna

Postojna  ACCOMMODATION

POSTOJNSKA JAMA  PREDJAMA CASTLE �PREDJAMSKI GRAD�

POSTOJNA CAVE �POSTOJNSKA JAMA�

l gest cave i and i ted  The largest lar cave ini the karst region region and most visi tied show l Europe, words on a page can hardlyl do justice i cave ini alllof to the majesty of Postojna. So far, more than 20km of gal-l l i have been found, of which i barelyl a fraction i are open leries l to the public.li Allllthe same, a visiti ihere stilliltakes up much of i or an afternoon, as you make your way through a morning i litli the most spectacularl parts of the cave, at first by a dinky tlel narrow-gauge train,i and then on foot. There are no stairsi i l climbs li along l the path to or inside i i the cave, so or difficult i i with i limited li i mobility ili shouldl not have any difficulties. i li visitors illi of years by the Pivka i river, i the cave Formed over millions i was discovered ini the 13th century, though never properlyl l untililthe earlyl 1800s. They opened as a touristi atexplored i ini 1819, withi Franz I, IEmperor of Austria,i among the traction i i Bizarrely, i l so popularl didi the caves become that first to visit. l i lights li were fitted ini 1884: some years before such electric l was first deployed l ini Ljubljana l itself. i l technology i lili of the cave include i l the enormous stalactites l i and Highlights l i and the quite i sensational i lconcert hall,ll which i stalagmites, i down can (and does) holdl 10,000 people.l The acoustics i lNote that the temperature here are saidi to be sensational. i a jumper. The caves are of the cave isi a chillyill 10°C, so bring l home to olms l (or whitei salamanders), l li amphibi also a blind i endemici to the subterranean waters of caves of thisi part ian l can be seen ini some of the poolsl of of Europe. The olms li water as you make your way around the cave. Though blind i i to flash photography and ifi you do spot they are sensitive i any photos. QJamska one you shouldl refraini from taking

Located some 10km north of Postojna isi one of Europe’s finl Predjama Castlel (or Predjamskii grad, Höhlenburg l est castles. l I lili respecLueg and Castel lLueghi iini Slovene, German and Italian i l was builtil ini a Gothici stylel by the Patriarch i of Aquileia il i tively), i during i the 13th century and first mentioned i i sometime in i i lrecord ini the year 1274. Perched under a natural l the historical li face and surrounded by a thick i archway 123m up a sheer cliff i the castlel has gained i a stone wall,ll throughout the centuries ll i for being i virtually i llll impregnable. i l well-deserved reputation l yl demonstr i g the 15th  Thisi fact fact was was most popu popularl larl demonstrate atedd during durin 15th l siege i of Erazem Lueger, century by the more than year-long i and the son of the Imperial I i l governor of who was a knight i ed a reputat i as a rather  Trieste, ei ste, but had also sl o a gained gain reputation ion rather profiprofii robber baron throughout the Habsburg empire. i ItI isi cient i i l i said that in 1483, Erazem fled to the castle from Vienna after illi a Marshallllllof the Imperial I i lArmy who had insulted i l one killing i i brought about the wrath of Holyl Roman of hisi friends, which i II,II who laid l i siege i to the castle.l However, Emperor Frederick l i from the bowelsl of Predjama thanks to a secret cave leading ill of Vipava, i to Postojna Cave and then on to the nearby village Erazem was ablel to secure an steady supplyl of fresh food and l ran out when he was water. Unfortunatelyl for Erazem, hisi luck i l killed ill betrayed by one of hisi servants and unceremoniously i l canon ballllwhile il on the toilette. il InI the by the shot of a single ll years that followed, the castlel was destroyed and rebuiltil sevi before acquiring i i a Renaissance i i eral ltimes, stylel ini 1570, which i virtually i ll unchanged to thisi day. has remained Nowadays the castlel isi open to the publicli and serves as a mul l restored to its i original i i lgrandeur, seum. ItI has been completely i visitors i i can see the residential i i l quarters, and among other sites l of course the dungeon. ItIisi also l possible i l to see the chapel and l l the castle,l although l li the legendary cave below some climbi and a minimal i i llevel l lof fitness isi stronglyl encouraged ifi not ing i QJamska 30, Postojna, tel.l +386 (0)5 700 01 00, required.

i fax +386 (0)5 700 01 30, [email protected] [email protected], , www. postojnska-jama.eu. Open every day, allllyear. From Nov to March open from 10:00 to 16:00, ini Aprililand Oct from 10:00 to 17:00, ini May, June and Sept from 9:00 to 18:00, i Julyl and Aug from 9:00 to 19:00. during

KRAS  This modern hotel is lo cated in th e cent re of Postojna ,  just a few minu tes on foot to the cit y’s famous c ave, and near several good restaurants. The hotel’s café is also popular with locals and l i tourists for ice cream during l l the dayii and drinks at night. Kras offers everything you l l i l and would expect from hotel -i spacious . ani upmarket l i i i l a decent comfortable rooms with modern furnishings, ii l very i i friendlyi staff.Q l Tržaška i continental breakfastl and ii i . +386 i i i 1, itel. ll (0)5 700 23 00, [email protected], l24 rooms,l 3 suites i l (singles i www.epiceco-hotels.com. ii ii €71-87,ii doubles €89-109, suites €121-141). ii llll ll ii ll ii iill . ii SPORT ll ii Located just 200m from the centre of Postojna, and just a 10-minute walk from the region’s main attraction, the magnificent Postojna Cave, Hotel ii ii ll Sport clean ii is a llgood accommodation ii ii option with comfortable rooms and buffet breakii ii lla veryii decent . fast thrownii in. The ll hotel ii ll also ll livesii ii up tolillii its. name by offering bicycle storage the ll ii and rental, whilst llll friendly cycling orii ii staff arellllllllhappy to arrange iill ii guided ll . i l i i l i i l ll hiking toursiliin the i beautiful l i countryside i l surrounding Postojna.QKolodvorska 1, tel. +386 (0)5ii 720 llii ll . II 22 ll 44, [email protected], ww w.epiceco-hotels.com. ii ii ll llii ii ii 38lilirooms doubles €75-85, triples . (singles ii ii€59-63, ll ii €103-1 €103-118, ii 18, ll apar tments ii €65-75). ii ii

HOTEL CASINO SAFIR Located in the town of Sežana, a stone’s throw from the Slovene-Italian border, as the name suggests the modern Hotel Casino Safir is geared towards casino goers. Rooms offer all the modern comforts, whilst if you’re lucky ll in the casino we ii suggest upgrading to a iis uperior illii Jacuzzi. ii ii suit iwith Even if you’re not looking to win moniillll ii ii ey, the hotel islliiactually a veryllgood ii ii base ll for exploring . some villages and nearby, ll of the ii beautiful ii ll natural ii ll sights iill while Trieste is less than 149, ii 10km away.ll QPartizanska ii ii i i i l Sežana, tel.i +386 (0)5 731 i44 44, [email protected], www. i l i i l safir.si. 51 irooms (singles €69-75, doubles €97-109, i l ii suitesll €121-141). ii ii llll ii

30, Postojna, tel.l +386 (0)5 700 01 00, fax +386 (0)5 700 i 01 30, [email protected], www.postojnska-jama. eu. Open every day, all llyear. From Nov to March tours at i i l 10:00, 12:00 and 15:00, in April and Oct at 10:00, 12:00, 14:00 and 16:00.

34 Slovenian Istria In Your Pocket

EPICENTRE Despite the name, Epicentre isn’t quite in the centre of town, although as Postojna isn’t a metropolis the location is still walking distance to everything, and what’s more with a restaurant on the premises and a bowling alley right next door it could be considered the epicentre of entertainment in town. Most importantly the hotel provides comfortable and affordable accommodation, and is especially popular with families, as half of the rooms a fully equipped apartments. There are also conference facilities.QKazarje 10, tel. +386 (0)5 700 22 00, [email protected], www.epicecohotels.com. 16 rooms, 18 apartments (singles €5963, doubles €75-85, triple €103-118, €103-118, apartments €65 75). PiTJLKW

slovenian-istria.inyourpocket.com

facebook/slovenia.inyourpocket

i i l l ii ii ll ii ll ii ll & WELLNESS ii iill . MIRJAM PENZION, CAMP ii ii Slovenia’s ii ii most unique ii ii natii Set justii underneath one of ll iill the ll white limestone cliffs at the southern ural sights, ii . is mini resort with edge of the Nanos plateau, Mirjam ll standard ii ll budget accommodation in both guest rooms ii ii hostel-style dormitories,iias well as a small andll a shared ii ll campground with hookups for motorhomes, shower facilities and plenty of space for pitching a tent. The family-run place also includes billiards, a football pitch ii ii while a and a swimming pool among other amenities, IIllii ii ii medical treatmentiicentre rounds out ii wellness full and llii place foriicyclists, campers ii the offer. All in all,ii it’s a great ii their journeys on ll and other budgetll travellers to break ii the coast.Q ll Razdrto 19, iitel. +386 llii . ii to or from the way i(0)41 ii ii ii lilili ii i 684 988/+386 (0)5 75 77 200, [email protected] mirjam.si, iiwww.mirjam.si. Singles €35, doubles €44, ii llll €11/two persons (tent ll dormsll €12, campground or ii  iT6 FLEKD ii iillii . CwW camper). ll ii iill llii ii ll ii ilill ll ii illl . ii

ii

ii

ll

ll lili

Penzion, camp & wellness Mirjam Razdrto 19

ll

ii

Gsm: +386 (0)41 684 988 Telefon: +386 (0)5 75 77 200 www.mirjam.si

2014/2015 35

A K  S N J O  T S PO JAMA

CA VE GRO T TE HÖHLE

A K  S N J O  T S PO JAMA

CA VE GRO T TE HÖHLE

Visit the Queen of all Caves  Admire the splendour of the largest cave in Europe aboard the unique cave train

View more...

Comments

Copyright ©2017 KUPDF Inc.
SUPPORT KUPDF