SPOTLIGHT ON PIRAN
Updated: Mar 5, 2021
It wasn't until we'd been visiting Slovenia for 6 years that we finally had the chance to go to Piran. Not because we didn't want to, it was just that we always spent our 4 weeks a year in Slovenia renovating our house ready for us to move to, which eventually happened in 2017.
The wait was well worth it. There really isn't anything not to like about this 'Pearl' of the Adriatic, we loved it.
This trip was back in 2013 and we've returned to Piran a few times. Apart from there being more tourists about, it has remained unchanged. It still has everything I look for in my perfect excursion - charming architecture to amaze at, great food and drink and fantastic scenery.
When Mini Adventures was on the drawing board, Piran really stuck in my mind as a great place to explore using our maps and clues. Because, lets face it - kids aren't usually as impressed as us adults at looking at old buildings and it's excellent to have an activity the whole family can enjoy.
Piran is the perfect destination for a Mini Adventure
We were firstly taken aback by the crystal clear ocean. If, like me, you love swimming in the sea - you'll be in heaven. It can be (in places) a little difficult to navigate over the rocks to get in to, but the beauty of that is that you plunge straight into deep beguiling blue sea, which actually isn't that cold. From June to October the water temperature doesn't drop below 20°C and in the summertime the average temperature rises to a fantastic 25°C.
Piran is situated on the tip of a narrow peninsula, so there's literally no room for new developments. This means that the Gothic Venetian architecture and layout of the Old Town has remained protected and is considered one of the most preserved historical towns anywhere on the Adriatic coastline. As we wandered inland from the sea, the narrow cobbled streets, which really make you feel like you've stepped back in time, led us firstly on to the main square - Tartini Square. The square is named for Guiseppe Tartini (1692-1770) who was a composer and, as his statue depicts, a violinist too.
Little did I know then that this guy would go on to be a character in the Piran Mini Adventure (a concept that hadn't even been thought of on this sunny May day in 2013). It's an excellent place to sit with a pivo (beer) or coffee and people watch. In fact during our visit a Bollywood film was being filmed there! The square is lined with impressive town houses and civic buildings.
Looking up from the square you can't fail to miss the Cathedral of St. George which dominates the skyline. We made the climb up cobbled steps and was rewarded with awesome views of the harbour, square and that impressive coastline.
A much steeper 10-15 minute climb can be made to the well-preserved City Walls that date from the 7th century, you can walk along the ramparts and again take in breath-taking vistas. We didn't manage it on this trip but have done it since, fantastic!
Piran, for us was perfect for just wandering in, soaking up all the fantastic architecture and alley streets. We got lost in the myriad of those narrow streets but in the end we either found ourselves at the sea or at a square, never really lost for long. We totally loved strolling along the seafront, from the harbour, around to the Punta (point) where the lighthouse is situated, listening to and watching the sea, sometimes with an ice cream (Piran has some of the best I've tasted) in hand and stopping every so often for a drink.
Evening life consisted of a sumptuous meal out, as you would expect Piran has some excellent seafood restaurants. After food we watched an unforgettable sunset and did some further strolling, to a cocktail bar! There's a quieter pace to Piran in the evenings (well, this was the case back in 2013) but neighbouring Portorož has a great nightlife scene, if that's your thing.