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SloveniaHolidays.com > Slovenian coast and Karst
Slovenian coast and Karst
Južna (South) Primorska
Author: Ubald Trnkoczy
Welcome to the Primorska region of Slovenia, where lush green hills rise from the Adriatic sea. Relax at the seaside, visit the famous salt fields, or explore the manyKarststone built villages, hidden in the green countryside, which is known as Slovenia's Winter Garden, due to the warm mediterranean climate.
Portorož is the main seaside resort on Slovenia's coast with plenty of hotels and things to do. For example, the Palace hotel's thermal baths have offered spa facilities for over 700 years and you can take a stunning panoramic flight above the coast from the Portorož Aerodrom, seeing 3 countries, (Slovenia, Italy & Croatia).
Piran, Izola and Koper are three very different historical coastal towns, each offering a unique insight into the Venetian past. Visit cathedrals, churches, palaces and stroll down narrow, intimate streets opening out onto Venetian squares. Admire the stunning stone masonry and little parks lined with green cypresses.
Nowadays the university town of Koper is a busy port and the administrative and cultural centre of Primorska. Do not miss the Pretorska palace, the Gallery Loža Koper and the cathedral.
Izola, (Island), was so named as it was completely cut off from the mainlaind in ancient times and at low tide you can see the sunken Roman harbour. This pretty little town still has a rich fishing tradition.
Piran with the impressive Venetian cathedral of St George is protected due to its outstanding architecture. This stunning town also hosts the Marine Museum and a Marine biological station. In the bays near Sečovlje there are ancient, 800 year old saltworks, also protected by the Regional Park Sečovlje, and you see how the salt workers used to live in a renovated house at the Museum of Culture.
The natural lagoon area in the Strunjan Bay, the abandoned saltworks and the Strunjan Cliffs form the Regional Park of Strunjan. But Primorska is not just the coast, it also has a rich hinterland. Hit the Istrian wine road to to see the sights: Hrastovlje has a church on top of a hill, hidden behind ancient defensive walls and also has unbelievably beautiful biblical frescoes and the unique, unmissable story of the »Dance of Death.« Črni Kal on the karst edge has a leaning bell tower, Osp has a pretty overhanging rock and castle in a cave. There is so much more. The Brkini forest marks the Croatian border of Mediterranean Slovenia. This fragile, iron rich Karst soil, also hides a whole world of underground treasures, including the magnificent Škocjan Caves, protected by UNESCO.
Don't miss Vilenica for literature and the Dimnice cave. The hamlet of Lipica is a green oasis in the middle of the Karst and home to the highbred Lipizzaner white horses of the ancient Vienna court. The Lipica Stables offer various recreational activities. Close by is the town of Sežana, which is the birthplace of the poet Srečka Kosovel. The town's Botanical Park has plants from all over the world. Above Sežana the Komenski Karst bursts open into the land of Teran. The Refosk vine gives us a deep dark red Teran wine, which is delicious with the local Karst prosciutto, cured in the fierce karst wind.
In Autumn the Karst Sumac flower brightens up the white rocks. Ancient Karst villages are scattered throughout this rocky region, where stone is more than just building material. Try to visit Tomaj, Dutovlje, Kobjeglava or the jewel of this area, Štanjel – a stony medieval town with a castle that used to be a summer holiday getaway for the inhabitants of Trieste. Castle Rihemberk is the biggest and oldest castle in the Primorska Region. From the top of the Gothic tower you can enjoy a great view of the Karst and the Vipava Valley.
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