The best advice from locals and hidden gems
You have probably visited
Portorož and Piran or you’ve come back often, which we’re especially happy
about. But did you know that in the vicinity there are many hidden gems that
you probably won’t find in any guide and are certainly worth visiting?
Lesser known places that will totally enchant you!
Istrians like to say that the
sweetest figs grow off the beaten path. And the same applies for places which
are not at the top of your average must-see lists but will totally enchant and
surprise you with their diversity.
Salt-pans: in the embrace of the sun, salt and memories
If you think that salt is
just a spice, then think again. Here salt is … life! If the walls of the old
stone cottages in the midst of the salt-pans could talk, they would tell you
plenty of stories about the times when they were full of life. Although the
days of harvesting salt in the area of Fontanigge are long gone, a visit to the
southern part of the Sečovlje Salina Nature Park will take you back to
the time when salt was worth more than gold, earning it the name "white
gold". In Fontanigge you can admire wide salt fields that are being slowly
overgrown by diverse vegetation, and you’ll witness unique scenes created by
numerous animals that have found their home in the salt-pans over the years.
Strunjan Cross and Moon Bay: where the earth and the sky meet
Strunjan cross, the sentinel over Moon Bay, offers one of the
most spectacular views. The footpath to the cross leads through picturesque
olive groves, and offers panoramic views of the Adriatic Sea, the whole Gulf of
Trieste and the faraway Alps. Words don't do it justice, so we suggest that you
embark on an adventure and discover the splendid views for yourself.
Under the steep cliff you’ll
find Moon Bay, which got the name after its unique crescent shape. Retreat to
peace and quiet, listen to the waves gently lapping the shore, and watch the
slow sunset. Surrender to nature and leave your everyday worries behind.
Walk to Šentjane and be rewarded with a breathtaking view
If you like to leisurely
explore the hinterland and want to get your heart pumping, than the walk to Šentjane is the balm to your soul. At the top you’ll find a view worth your
every step – let your eyes rest on the wide Adriatic Sea and the views that
extend all the way to distant Croatian coast. Admire the diverse landscape all
around you, the picturesque Strunjan valley and the Seča peninsula embraced by
the Sečovlje Salina Nature Park.
The valley of the Dragonja River threads like a dragon's tail
The valley of the Dragonja
River is reminiscent of a picture postcard. This area offers breathtaking
natural gems. It is said that the Dragonja River got its name because of its
winding form and it originates from the Italian word “drago" (dragon). A
long time ago, there were 40 mills on the river and today you can visit the
restored mills Kodarinov mlin (near Koštabona) and Mazurinov mlin (near Trsek). You can wrap up your walk by visiting the beautiful Škrline waterfall, which you can reach on foot or by bike.
Seča Cactus Garden
Have you ever wished to capture
a piece of American wilderness and bring it home? Then the Seča Cactus Garden will take you on a real journey to faraway deserts without you
needing to leave Slovenian Istria. Visit the charming collection of cactuses,
from really small prickly ones to big, tubular wonders, and you can even buy
them, so you can have a piece of
wilderness in your own home.
Nearby there are some furry
friends. Say hello to donkeys, horses and goats that live in Seča. Not far away
is the well-known Fonda fish farm, and behind the cactus garden there is
a hidden path that brings you to the Forma Viva park in less than 10
Fiesa Lakes – salty or not?
What do you get when you
combine freshwater oases and the salty sea? The answer is the lakes in Fiesa.
The smaller lake contains fresh water and since 1963 the bigger lake has been connected
to the sea and you’ll be surprised by the mix of fresh and salty water. Both
lakes are a haven for many plants and animals.
A wide belt of reeds and
other riparian plants provides a safe shelter for fish, marsh birds and
especially to some rare dragonfly species. Although it may seem an unusual
combination, it is a place where the freshwater and seawater worlds intertwine.
Due to their great ecological value the Fiesa lakes have been included on the list of the most important natural heritage in Slovenia.
Approach the lakes silently
and cautiously as on the floating wood there are often some of the ancient
inhabitants enjoying the sun – turtles.
Do you know Stjuža, the only Slovenian sea lagoon?
If you'd like to experience
something different, we recommend a walk by Stjuža, the only sea lagoon in Slovenia. It is a special conservation area that provides a home for many rare
and endangered animal species. Visit this hidden gem and observe the vibrant
life in front of you.
What will you add to your list?
We hope that our revelation
of less-known spots inspires you to take time off and come for a visit. You
know what they say … Sometimes we find the best things off the beaten path, where we can connect with nature, history and ourselves.