Piran, Slovenia cruises
Your guide to Piran.
Piran is a picturesque town on the Adriatic Coast, nestled at the tip of a narrow peninsula. Famous for its well-preserved Venetian Gothic old town, a long history of salt panning and a consistently warm climate, Piran is widely considered one of the most beautiful of Slovenia’s Istrian towns. A pretty marina, winding streets and captivating historic architecture are among the many joys exploring by foot has to offer. While visitors arriving by ship can also travel inland to absorb the stunning Istrian stunning countryside or the picturesque resort of Portorož.
Piran’s central sights are relatively walkable and a visit to Mediadom Pyrhani Cultural Centre gives a great insight to the buildings you’ll see around town. One of the best examples of Gothic Venetian architecture is Venetian House in Tartini Square, but the 17th Century Church of St. George also features frescoes created by Venetian masters. Parts of the old walls surrounding Piran date back to the 7th century, while the Sergej Mašera Maritime Museum on the waterfront offers a fascinating exploration of Slovenia’s seafaring history. For the best views of the town, climb the 146 steps of Piran’s Bell Tower, the outlook - 47 metres above ground - is spectacular.
Eating and drinking.
The opportunities to sample seafood freshly harvested from the Adriatic Sea are endless in Piran. You’ll find restaurants lining the waterfront and scattered around the many historic squares and winding streets throughout town. The Italian connection is evident in the smattering of pizzerias and gelato shops. The Primorska wine region is also just along the coast and a glass with lunch (or a bottle to take home) is well worth a try. Bordered by local stalls, restaurants and cafes, and with a lovely view over the harbour, Tartini Square is a popular place to eat alfresco and watch the world bustle by.
For such a spectacularly pretty destination, Piran doesn’t offer as many souvenir shops as you might imagine. Of the small boutiques that do exist, local ceramic crafts, handmade jewellery, Slovenian wine and lace are among the most typical regional wares. At Tartini Square, market stalls sell high-quality salt from the local evaporation ponds. Slovenia has been a prominent salt producer for centuries and the salt processed here is renowned throughout world. A further small farmers market is also occasionally held behind the municipal building, just off the square. The tourist information centre will be able to advise if it is running and direct you to the town’s shops.
A short bus journey from Piran takes you to the coastal resort of Portorož, where it’s possible to get a therapeutic spa treatment from the mud of the nearby Sečovlje Salina salt pans, visit the hilltop monastery of The Church of Bernardin or relax on the beach. The waters around Piran are crystal clear while Portorož’s central beach is a vast expanse of sand, separated by wooden piers. The nearby small town of Fiesa is also easily accessed from Piran via a pedestrianised promenade and features a popular manmade beach with good facilities, watersports and snorkelling.