Izola Slovenia and nearby Koper Slovenia are an ideal day trip from Piran. This is a great day out if you are looking to experience more of the Slovenia coast and its idyllic, laid back charms. The drive between Koper and Piran is short and easy, and Izola Slovenia is right on the coast between them.
Between these two Slovenia seaside towns, we walked past ancient, sea weathered buildings, saw beautiful beaches, shopped at a lively market, meandered past an picture perfect port and we drank some unique local orange wine.
This was truly one of our favorite days of the trip. Izola Slovenia and nearby Koper is one of the best places to visit in Slovenia for off the beaten path, authentic local flavor!
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What to See in Koper Slovenia
A great place to start your exploration of Koper is at the heart of the old town in Tito Square. The Koper tourist information office is here was well as Koper Cathedral and its bell tower.
You can go up to the top of the bell tower for a good overview of the city and coast. Note – when you get close to the top, pay attention to the time and be prepared to cover your ears. The bells ring at the top of the hour and every 15 minutes or so between. It scared the kids the first time it happened and could damage your hearing if you are close.
Cost: Approximately 3 euros/person, kids free but unsure to what age.
The folks at the Koper tourist information office were super helpful. They gave us a nice, short walking tour of the city which was very helpful in planning our time here.
We meandered through the ancient buildings enjoying the atmosphere and turned when we reached the sea. We were heading for Hlavatyjev Park and the local produce and fish market located next door.
The park had a nice playground where the kids could let off a little steam after walking around looking at boring adult stuff. I am sorry, in hindsight I realized that we didn’t snap a picture of it, but it was clean, new and worthwhile.
There was a bathroom here (there was a small fee as is normal in a lot or Europe). There were also a number of family friendly restaurants here both for takeout food or for a sit down meal. When you are done with lunch, you could wander down the promenade to get some pretty ocean views.
We always enjoy perusing at local markets. We bought some really great olive oil fresh from the farm that we have really been enjoying and wandered through to see the many varieties of fresh fish in the fish market.
After this, we walked back to the car to continue onward to Izola.
We had parked in metered spaces around Park Trg Brolo near the cathedral. It was a very short walk and the parking was not expensive. There is a Mercatur market there with a good hot food counter and other lunch supplies if you need a quick, cheap lunch.
What to See in Izola Slovenia
Izola Slovenia was everything we thought that I cute city on the Slovenia coast should be. The harbor was skirted by a collection of old buildings with paint faded by the salty air. We enjoyed exploring the narrow streets, each one yielding a prettier picture than the next. The nearby seaside area had a lovely walking path and a really great playground next to a bar.
After the kids had thrown some more rocks into the ocean and had worn themselves out at the playground, we wandered towards the harbor and the old town in search of some of Izola’s famous orange wine. This unique style of orange wine if created by leaving the wine in contact with the skins for longer than is normal, creating its unique orange hue.
We found a lovely little bar called the Manzioli Wine Bar to try the orange wine. It was right next to a big, open, car free square where the kids could play a little while we enjoyed our wine. It was a nice way to wrap up our afternoon.
The rest of the town was dotted with really great looking local restaurants in which I am sure you will be spoiled for choices of authentic Slovenian cuisine.
There was a little stretch of beach in Izola near the playground where the locals were sun bathing and enjoying dipping their toes in the water. The Izola beach is nicer than the beaches in Piran and less busy and more local than the more touristy beaches of Portoroz.
On a little side note – Izola parking was really easy. There were many parking lots within walking distance of the old town and harbor. You can find more information about parking in Izola here. I think we parked near the shipyard at Parking Ladjedelnici and found it to be cheap and convenient to the beginning of the coastal walk trail and playground.
Pretty little Izola Slovenia might have been my favorite city of or whole trip. Afterwards, I had wished that we had scheduled more time here. The city had so much beauty in such a small package and I was shocked that there weren’t more people here.