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Discover pristine Istrian countryside

Get to know the hinterlands of Portorož and Piran

Do you know that feeling when you discover a box full of old photos and memories? This is how you can experience a trip through typical Istrian villages in the hinterland of Portorož and Piran – each one is like a chest full of secrets. The only difference is that here the stories live on and get a new paragraph with every visitor.

Follow us to the areas just beyond favourite vacation destinations and discover what many visitors miss out on – stories of hidden villages that may not promise salt and the sea but offer a whole different experience and give you new insights.

Don’t expect boring guides and the usual tourist information. We have prepared fresh advice on how to spend unforgettable moments in these hidden Istrian gems.

Padna: Paradise for those who love peace and breathtaking views

Padna, a picturesque village in the hinterland of Slovenian Istria, is perfect for you if you like peace, nature and authentic experiences. 

It is set on a hill in the middle of unspoiled nature where olive groves intertwine with grapevines and wild rosemary. Narrow winding lanes lead the way through the village, past stone houses with typical stone balconies. What a sight! You will get the feeling that time runs slower here. 

In Padna you can forget the everyday life and surrender to the charms of authentic country life. Go for a walk to the church of St Blaise, which will impress you with its architecture and where you can admire breathtaking frescoes and architectural details. Legend has it that the villagers built the church belfry with the proceeds from selling chard. They still sell it in nearby villages and in Istria, and it even has its own festival – the Festival of Olive Oil and Chard

If you walk to the vantage point in Padna, you'll be rewarded with a spectacular view of the sea and vineyards. Believe us when we say that this place is really Instagrammable.

If you are hungry after exploring the village, we recommend Gold Istra Restaurants where they prepare the best truffle dishes.

The village of St Peter: where art and nature intertwine

The village of Sv. Peter (St Peter) with its Tona’s House ethnological museum is a real historical gem. 

Go back time and discover life as it used to be. During your visit you’ll feel like you’ve stepped into a time machine and found yourself in a time when life was simpler but full of rich experiences. You’ll get to know how they used to prepare traditional Istrian dishes, how olive oil was made and what typical life on a small farm was like.

But that’s not all: Sv. Peter is the secod village in a row that will charm you with its beautiful views of the surrounding landscape, so don't forget to bring a camera - take this opportunity and capture some unforgettable memories.

Fill your lungs in the Sečovlje salt-pans

Sečovlje will impress you with its nature reserve where you’ll find peace and tranquillity and easily escape the everyday hustle and bustle. 

Take a walk through the salt-pans and see how the sun rays create magical colours on the surface of the sea. Salt-workers who worked hard for centuries in these basins created a unique habitat, which now serves as a home for numerous plants and animals, including rare bird species. 

If you’d like a real adventure, visit the Sečovlje salt-pans by bike and explore the hidden spots of this magical place in a even more special way.

Strunjan: a gem that will steal your heart

Strunjan is a real paradise for all nature lovers. It will charm you with its picturesque coastline and unspoiled nature. 

Visit the 80-metre-high Strunjan cliff that offers exquisite views of the tranquil blue sea, Moon Bay and the faraway Alps. You should also visit the Strunjan Salt-Pans Nature Park with Stjuža, the only sea lagoon in Slovenia. 

Experience history at the House of Kapeluča

Nova vas is a quiet village above the Dragonja River hidding a special gem – the House of Kapeluča, turned into village museum named after Ančka Kapeloča, the last housewife that lived there. Find an ethnological collection of items used on a farm and experience something really different.

In case you get hungry while exploring Nova vas village, we recommend the restaurant Na burji, where you’ll literally get blown away, as it's name predicts.

If you're looking for unique experiences, then you should visit wine and olive oil producers such as Mahnič Farm in Dragonja, the Pucer family with their Padnjec olive oil, the Forte family in St Peter, the Grižon family in Padna. They will welcome you with open arms.

We've surely encouraged you to take a trip to the countryside during your next vacation in Portorož and Piran. Who knows, maybe you’ll find your favourite village, one that you'll be eager to return every year.