Strunjan – A natural habitat
The settlement stretching along the Slovenian coast between Izola and Piran was formed in the valley of the river Roja, encompassing the salt pans and the nearby hills. This part of the coast was proclaimed a nature reserve in the 1990. It occupies a land area of 160 hectares. Besides the four kilometres of coast, which is unique among the whole of the Adriatic Sea, the typical flora and fauna of this region is well worth mentioning.
The estuary of the river Roja was turned into salt pans already by the middle ages. Today, alas, only a tiny fraction of these are still active. In the direct vicinity of the salt pans, one encounters Stjuža, a kind of a lagoon purported to have once been very rich with fish.
When the steep, granite-cobbled path leading to the north, is overcome, the St. Mary Ascension Church is reached. Legend has it that on the night between the 14th and 15th August in the long ago year of 1512, the Mother Mary appeared to two vineyard watchmen. She begged them to relay a message to the authorities regarding the renovation of the church, which was in very bad shape.
In the following years, the church was enlarged. In the year 1520, it was adorned with the painting “Apparition of St. Mary” by Francesco Valerio. Eventually, the church became the most important pilgrimage centre in all of Istria.
A visitor to Strunjan
On the seaside, gazing towards Piran, stands the villa of the famous violinist Giuseppe Tartini (1692–1770), which sadly cannot be admired in its original state. It is surrounded by a park, which is a true specimen of Mediterranean vegetation. Today, the villa serves as a building intended for protocol purposes.
A visitor to Strunjan can take a stroll along various agreeable paths. In a short time, he can reach Portorož through the tunnel of the former narrow gauge railroad that connected Triest with Poreč. From Salinera, he can walk along the shoreline to Fiesa and even Piran. And if he turns around, the path along the beach could lead him to Izola. From the pilgrimage church, a comfortable path leads to the Cross, which watches from the cliff high above over all seafarers.
In Strunjan, in addition to everything listed so far, there are also three hotels with renowned restaurants, as well as several taverns, all able to offer to a demanding guest a variety of Mediterranean cuisine, tennis courts and mini-golf. Open-air pools, summer baths proudly waving the “Blue Flag” and especially the well-acknowledged thermal spa all nicely round out the features that our location has to offer.