The Slovenian Riviera and its beaches are many times underrated or unnoticed since it runs only 46.6 kilometers (26 miles) along the Adriatic Sea and is flanked by Italy and Croatia. The good point is that the Slovenian coast can be reached from the capital Ljubljana in less than an hour. My country – Slovenia is mostly known as a green destination, an alpine paradise and a mountain getaway with a popular destination of Lake Bled with its fairy-tale castle but less known for its coast.
As you will see in the following description, Slovenia isn’t really a beach destination with long sandy beaches yet it’s picturesque, charming and culturally rich with ancient Mediterranean towns and tiny streets. Slovenian Istria region is a land of attractions from the Roman, Medieval and Venetian era. There you cannot find palm trees yet lush greenery, protecting you from the sun.
Slovenian beaches & coast map
Portorož is the biggest, most touristic and high-end summer resort on the Slovenian coast. It is also the most expensive from all of the places on the coast. This is the place for you if you want to enjoy the fancy things, like wellness services (also therapeutic treatments based on the mud and brine from Sečovlje Salina salt pans), modern seaside hotels and resorts, a marina, trendy clubs, a wide selection of restaurants (Mediterranean dishes with strong Italian influence), shops and casinos along the waterfront. There’s also a small international airport offering charter flights.
It is the only place on the Slovenian coast that offers parts of sandy beaches, but also concrete and grass. The most common and visited beach is the public beach (with wooden piers), which can get very crowded in summer and on weekends.
Apart from the public beach, there are also private beaches associated with luxury hotels, including Meduza beach of Life Class Hotels, Beach of St. Bernardin managed by the Bernardin resort. For these reasons, Portorož is the most popular beach in Slovenia.
Just next to the border with Italy is situated Ankaran, boasts a charming area of greenery with pine trees, small hills, vineyards, and olive trees. Today there is well known Cape Debeli Rtič, where children and the youth have a summer retreat.
Ankaran features one of the biggest auto camp in Slovenia, swimming pools, sports fields, a seashell cemetery and about kilometer long beach (to locals known as San Nicolò) which ends with a wooden pier.
The beaches in Ankaran are less crowded, so you will have more privacy and tranquil atmosphere.
Izola is a small seaside fishing town with a 5-kilometer long coast and eight different beaches. It is a good choice for those looking to escape from massive tourism and so more appropriate for families and the elderly.
It features a coastal walk, bathing areas with facilities, natural and wild beaches, an archaeological site, an extensive marina, restaurants, and cafes along the waterfront. This is also an amazing place with the best view of the sunsets. Moreover, it is a wheelchair accessible beach and even a dog-friendly beach.
The most popular beach in Izola is Simonov zaliv bay or San Simon with sandy areas, featuring a beach volley court, the last waterslide on the Slovenian coast and a multi-purpose sports court. It is mainly visited by youth and families with children.
Delfinček beach is popular among guests of the Delfin Hotel, seniors and families. On this partially concrete beach, you can rent sunshade and sun-lounger.
Another well-visited beach is also Svetilnik or the Lighthouse beach, popular among windsurfers and kitesurfers. The beach features a restaurant, a bar and a playground with a sunshade and sun-lounger possibility of renting.
At the very end of a narrow peninsula is located Piran, a medieval and most preserved Mediterranean town, with its architecture, strongly influenced by Venice. This charming town features narrow alleys, its heart is Tartini Square with Venetian house and Tartini House, the fortification around town, St. George’s Cathedral from the 17th-century, a harbor full of boats.
Piran’s beaches are rocky areas and paved in concrete. Fiesa beach is a small, peaceful bay, well visited by locals and surrounded by nature, just next to the town of Piran. The water is shallow, thus appropriate for children. The beach is also popular among diving and snorkeling lovers.
Between Izola and Piran is settled a nature park, named Strunjan nature park, charming for its typical flora and fauna. Strunjan is less developed and less touristy but at the same time perfect for those who wish for a calm and peaceful holiday with unspoiled nature. The beach is of rocks and sand, tranquil waters, and easy access.
The flysch coastline of Strunjan affords a gorgeous view of the entire Slovenian coast and if it is beautiful weather also Gulf of Trieste and all the way to magnificent mountains, The Alps. Such a magical place!
Under the steep cliff of Strunjan, you can find lovely beaches, the one you can’t miss is Mesečev zaliv (Moon Bay beach). It is also called Zaliv sv. Križa (bay of St. Cross) due to the large white cross standing on top of the cliff overlooking the beach. This pebble beach can only be accessed on foot – from Strunjan parking, walk through the hill and down the cliff.
There is also another beach, called Salinera beach (owned by Salinera Resort), surrounded with lush Mediterranean vegetation and pine trees. It is said that here are located 12 energy points which have a positive impact on general well-being.
Koper, the biggest city on the Slovenian coast, situated on the border with Italy. It features a medieval old town center, old churches, palaces and square with historic Venetian style, but also urban style, modern promenades, the marina, and beaches.
The beaches in Slovenia are small and pebble, many times crowded during peak season, therefore I suggest you choose the beaches described above this post.