Coast and Karst

Socerb castle, Hrastovlje church & frescoes, Sečovlje salt

fields (soline), Piran and Koper

The Slovenian coast is small and steeped in a history of battles with neighbouring Italy and Croatia..

Socerb Castle

The 13th century Socerb Castle is perched on the edge of a 300 meter high Karst rock and offers a wonderful view of Koper and the Bay of Trieste Gulfs. Due to its location, Socerb Castle was an important stronghold in Illyrian times, modified into a fortress in the Roman period. The castle has changed owners several times. In 1780 it was badly damaged by fire. It now operates as a venue and restaurant for weddings..

Hrastovlje Church of the Holy


This small 13th century church is surrounded by a stone encampment wall into which the locals fled for protection during the Turkish attacks in the 16th century. (These defensive architectures are found throughout Slovenia and are called ‘tabor’) The interior of the church is full of amazing frescoes painted in 1490 by Johannes de Castua, some of which include letters in the Glagolitic script. They were hidden under plaster for a long time and discovered in 1949 then carefully restored. There are numerous frescos with saints and prophets and scenes of farm work symbolising the 12 months. There is also a depiction of the Passion series on the north wall with the journey and adoration of the Magi. Full-figured images of the Apostles are painted in niches in the apse, where the Throne of Grace is centrally positioned. On the south wall the most famous scene of medieval frescos in Slovenia is painted: - a continued Dance of Death. The rare scene shows people dancing with skeletons before the grave. There is a line of people of different classes in their typical clothing: from a baby and beggar to the king and the pope; all of them are led by skeletons though life to the grave.

Sečovlje Salt Pans, Salina

Nature Park

On the short 47km Slovenian Coast there are now only a few coastal wetlands. At one time there were more, as the delta marshes and bays were shaped into the salt pans, on the verges of Koper, Izola, Strunjan, Lucija and Sečovlje.   Today the working Sečovlje salt pans are the largest coastal marsh wetlands (650 hectares), and at the same time the most important Slovenian area from an ornithological point of view. 288 species of birds have been seen of which 90 are nesting there. In 1993, Salina became the first Slovene wetland, inscribed on the list of internationally important marshes under the auspices of the Ramsar Convention. In 2001, the Government of the Republic of Slovenia proclaimed the area of Sečovlje Salina a nature park and the Museum of Salt-making a cultural monument of national importance.
Slovenia Pristine Nature


A pretty, medieval Venetian town on a peninsula jutting into the Adriatic, it is centred around the lovely Tartini Square and overlooked by an imposing and beautiful hilltop cathedral. Tartini Square is named after the famous 18th century composer and violinist who was born in Piran. The town is a maze of charming medieval streets, alleys and squares. Recorded as a fortified town under Byzantine rule as early as the 7th century, Piran has an abundance of beautiful historic buildings, both from the period of Venetian and Austrian rule, and a fantastic position on a peninsula surrounded on 3 sides by the Adriatic. The original walls - built to protect the town from attacks by the Ottomans are still partially in existence and it is possible to climb the walls and tower to see the wonderful views over the town. Overlooking the town is the beautiful St Georges Cathedral which offers wonderful views of the Gulf of Trieste stretching from the Italian to the Croatian coasts.  


We ended our tour with a walk through historical Koper, the most important city and port on the Slovenian coast. It is 5km from the border with Italy and is officially a bi-lingual city with both Slovene and Italian as official languages. Koper's 15th-century Praetorian Palace is located on the city square. It was built from two older 13th-century houses that were connected by a loggia, rebuilt many times, and then finished as a Venetian Gothic palace. The city's Cathedral of the Assumption was built in the second half of the 12th century and has one of the oldest bells in Slovenia (from 1333), cast by Master Jakob in Venice. The upper terrace is periodically open and offers a great view of the Bay of Trieste. In the middle of it hangs the Sacra Conversatione painting from 1516, one of the best Renaissance paintings in Slovenia, made by Vittore Carpaccio.