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Slovenia

Slovenia

Slovenia is a small, yet extremely diverse country. With everything being within easy reach, you will find almost everything you could ever wish for.

Slovenia is a small, yet extremely diverse country. With everything being within easy reach, you will find almost everything you could ever wish for.

High mountains, unspoilt countryside, canyons and wild rivers, karst caves, thermal springs and historical treasures. Slovenia offers countless possibilities for yachtsmen too—the 47 km long coastline is home to some lovely little towns built in the Venetian style, modern marinas and picturesque harbours. Slovenia is a very environmentally-friendly country. The beaches and marinas are often awarded the Blue Flag and eco label. In terms of water cleanliness (both at sea and inland), Slovenia ranks among the TOP countries! All of this is complemented by an extremely tasty cuisine.

You can also liven up a boating holiday with other activities such as sea kayaking, fishing (you can purchase a trip from a specialised agency) and diving (the sea between Piran and the Strunjan Nature Park is bursting with life and rare fish species). You might also enjoy rafting or white-water kayaking, horse riding, a trip to karst caves (Škocjan Caves, Postojnska Jama), a walk or bike ride (there are a lot of marked hiking and cycle paths here, some leading along the coastline), or a hike to Triglav National Park.

Check the boats on offer

Who is renting a yacht suitable for?

For families with children or yachtsmen with less experience

Suitable for yachtsmen who intend to hire and sail with an experienced skipper. A large number of modern marinas are complemented by a high-quality service making the ideal conditions for a successful family holiday.

For senior citizens

Cruises are crafted for those who enjoy undemanding sailing holidays, where it is more about sightseeing and holidaying than yachting.

For sports yachtsmen

Countless regattas are held in the Trieste area of Slovenia where sports yachtsmen are well catered for.

For those who enjoy combining yachting and sight-seeing

Yachting in Slovenia is often combined with sightseeing trips to historic towns with superb gastronomy. Slovenia is one of the starting points for sailing trips to Venice, and the riches of Venice certainly need no introduction.

Yachting in Slovenia

The Slovenians are very hard-working and meticulous, but even so, it is worth knowing the right people. The most modern marinas are in the towns of Portorož, Izola, and Koper. There is also a nice harbour in the town of Piran—the Slovenian Venice. All of the above-mentioned towns also operate as ports of entry. Izola operates as a port of entry from spring to autumn. This location is suitable for beginners and families with children, as well as more experienced yachtsmen. In summer, a gentle and stable wind usually blows here, and harbours are equipped with moorings and assistants are normally on hand to help with landing. The sea is lovely and warm in summer thanks to its shallow depth. In terms of water cleanliness, Slovenia ranks among the top countries.

Map of Slovenia

The 10 most beautiful areas in this region

  1. Piran
  2. Strunjan Nature Park
  3. Bled Town and Lake
  4. Savica Waterfalls
  5. Triglav National Park
  6. Postojnska Jama Park
  7. Ljubljana—the Capital of Slovenia
  8. Škocjan Caves
  9. Bohinj Lake
  10. Predjama Castle

The coastline is about 40 km long and offers a wide range of diverse experiences. You will find lovely, small towns built in the Venetian style, with beautiful, crystal-clear seas with well-kept beaches (frequently awarded the Blue Flag), you will also discover unspoilt countryside, and the high mountains which flank Slovenia on all sides. Although Slovenia is a small country, everything is within easy reach. Whether you decide to visit a nature park, the salt plains, whitewater, caves, an eco-farm, or the mountains, the trip there won’t take more than an hour. Yachtsmen will appreciate the modern marinas and very high quality technical services.

Weather and climatic conditions

Thanks to the high mountains surrounding Slovenia on all sides, its weather is greatly influenced by seasonal and local factors. Over the summer, a mild wind from the NW blows along the coastline with a force of up to 4 on the Beaufort scale (BFT). Daytime thermals work well here—that is, a regular and strong northwesterly wind (a daytime breeze or the Mistral), starts blowing at around 10:00 in the morning and continues through the day before abating at sunset. A katabatic wind (a cold, nocturnal wind that descends from the mountains into the valley) is typical for harbours in the northeastern part of the Adriatic Sea. During stable weather, this happens every day between 21:00 in the evening and 02:00 in the morning, and from 05:00 in the morning to 07:00 in the morning.

In the summer, a Sirocco (southeasterly wind) or a Bora may also occur. However, they do not normally last for more than 2-3 days. The Sirocco, unlike the Bora, will almost never exceed 7 BFT. The Sirocco is mostly cyclonic in nature and easy to predict (signs of an approaching Sirocco include a calm sea, light and variable wind, darkness on the horizon towards the south, increased temperature and humidity, and a gradual drop in pressure). The Tramontane (N) and Libeccio (SW, W) winds are extremely dangerous and unpredictable. They often occur when temperatures are high in summer and temperatures above the mountains at around 1 km above sea level are around zero. They bring with them very bad weather, zero visibility, and a wind of about 45 KN. In summer there are also thunderstorms, but they are usually over very quickly.

Average temperatures during summer are 22°C–25°C, though temperatures sometimes rise as high as 31°C. Despite that, Slovenia is in the northern part of the Adriatic, the sea is lovely and warm in the summer. The bay is not very deep, so the water in the sea is able to warm up.

In spring and especially in autumn, the wind is very unstable and often accompanied by strong thunderstorms. The dangerous Bora mainly blows here in winter. It is associated with stormy weather and can blow for up to 14 days. It blows from the NE (the direction is influenced greatly by the shape of the coastline) and can reach speeds of up to 100 KN. The Bora blows strongest in the Gulf of Trieste. Just as the Bora is frequent in the summer, the Sirocco (a strong south to southeasterly wind) is frequent in winter, blowing from North Africa. From October to May, this wind blows frequently, longer and with a greater force, up to 9 BFT. Because the Sirocco blows a long distance over the sea, it can create large 3–4 m waves. Dangerous locations are thus created off the Northern Italian coastline. 

Temperature air and water in Slovenia

Current weather

Cities

Slovenia as a seaside destination stands in Croatia’s shadow. However, ancient cities with stunning atmosphere are just waiting for you on the Slovenian coastline. For the sea air and sunshine, head out for the coastal towns, such as Piran, Koper, Izola or Portorož.

Lake Bled in summer Lake Bled in summer

Piran

Piran is a picturesque Medieval town built in the Venetian style. The town is not too big. A walk through the historical centre will take you about two hours. It is an enchanting tangle of winding streets and numerous cafés. Peace and tranquility radiate from the walls of the ancient houses. You cannot get lost, because all of the little streets lead to the sea. Sooner or later, the maze will take you to the waterfront where there is a nice promenade. There are also several lively squares and pubs where you can have a delicious lunch and a pleasantly bitter Laško beer (tastes like Pilsner). The dominant feature of the town is the Church of St George with a bell tower reminiscent of St Mark’s Square in Venice. A beautiful view can be enjoyed after climbing up the wooden staircase of the bell tower. The price of admission is a nominal EUR 1.

Not far from the harbour is the main square, Tartini Square (Tartinijev trg), named after Giuseppe Tartini, its most famous local native. He is renowned the world over as the composer and violin virtuoso who composed the 'Devil's Trill'. Inland, massive walls encircle the town, built in the 7th century to protect the city from enemies. The climb to the top of the walls is well worth it! You will be rewarded with a gorgeous view of the city and the entire Gulf of Trieste. If visibility is good, you will also see the facades of the Dolomites or the peak of Triglav in the Julian Alps. Olive groves and grapevines are spread out across the adjacent hills. Do not look for beaches in Piran, you can only sunbathe on big rocks. Not far from the harbour is an aquarium and naval museum. The museum has an interesting exhibition of sailing with models of various ships and navigational devices, nautical uniforms, paintings by sea-painters, various ship facilities, photographs taken on board ships, fishing tackle, and so on. Even your camera is sure to fall in love with this most Italianate of Slovenian cities.

Triglav National Park in the Julian Alps Triglav National Park in the Julian Alps

Piran Harbour

Piran is a year-round customs port. There is relatively little room here and in high season, it is already full by the early afternoon. The inner harbour is reserved for fishing boats. Several mooring berths are here, but not all have a water and electricity connection. There are no showers in the harbour, only toilets. Docking at the fenced-off pier is only permitted for the purposes of customs formalities. The harbour is well sheltered. The only unpleasant factor is the wind from the SW, which causes rough waves. In the town are supermarkets, a butcher shop, and markets with fruit and vegetables.

A bird's-eye view of the town of Piran A bird's-eye view of the town of Piran

Koper

Koper is a large, busy town with an industrial zone. There is a big commercial harbour here, where cargo and cruise ships dock. The old town is very nice and well-preserved, with beautiful Venetian squares and interesting historical monuments.

Koper Marina

This small marina is located south of the commercial harbour. It offers 75 berths for yachts up to 18 m with a draft of up to 3.5 m. There are connections for water and electricity, showers and toilets, WiFi, and a reception. A fuel station is nearby. All the essential technical services are on hand (repairs to and maintenance of yachts, outboard motor repairs, sail making, repairs to electronic and hydraulic equipment and so on). VHF channel: 17.

 

Izola

Izola is a fishing town with a modern marina and fishing which continues to play an important role in the present day. There is a shipyard there, and a fish processing factory. The fishing tradition is also reflected in the superb local cuisine. The restaurants offer exquisitely prepared fish and seafood. Every year in August, a large fishing festival takes place. If you take part, you will be able to try a lot of different types of fish specialities, soups, and other delicious seafood dishes.

In town, you can buy homemade wine and very high quality olive oil directly from the makers (be on the lookout for Markočič Danilo and Moljk Dušan) or at the olive farms (Olive oil Ronkaldo—producers of an award-winning olive oil with a quality seal). The greatest number of monuments are found around the old harbour on the Big Square (Veliki trg). The town hall dates back to the 16th century and behind it in the lanes are the Manzioli Palace and Renaissance Lovisato Palace. A little further on is the Church of St Maura with a collection of rare paintings by Italian masters. If you have children, take them to the railway museum with the largest collection of railway memorabilia in Europe—there is a railway with miniature locomotives and wagons, railway stations and stops. In the northwestern part of the peninsula there is a wonderful park with a pine forest leading to the town beach, which is open to the public. Those who love parties and music can relax in one of the local clubs or discotheques.

Restaurant tips
  • Hisa Torkla—inland, superb food, service, and a pleasant atmosphere
  • Gostilnica Pizzeria Gust—Slovenian cuisine as well as pizza, pasta, seafood, superb food and service
  • Moby Dick Restaurant & Bar—Mediterranean cuisine, higher prices but superb food and a lovely atmosphere
  • Bujolseafood, a lovely and unique atmosphere in a smaller and more intimate restaurant, with good service and reasonable prices
  • Bar Bariera—Mediterranean cuisine, drinks throughout the day and evening, good food, service and prices
  • Gostilna Doro—a steak restaurant, seafood and grilled dishes, superb food and good service
  • Marina Restaurant—Mediterranean cuisine, superb food, high quality service, a view of the marina, a larger restaurant

Izola Marina

A well sheltered marina with a long tradition of fishing. The marina is located on the western edge of town. It offers 650 mooring berths on the water for large and small boats (boat length 8–30 m, depth of up to 4.5 m). Connections to water and electricity are at every berth and there are also several showers and toilets here. WiFi is available, a supermarket, laundry, car park, and a well-stocked shop with yachting equipment. The marina offers high quality technical services—boat repairs and maintenance, outboard motor repairs, sail making, repairs to awnings, installation of and repairs to electronic and hydraulic equipment. There is a fuel station here (Monday–Sunday, 08:00–20:00). About 300 m from the harbour is a doctor, pharmacy and post office. The fee for a 12 m boat is EUR 63 and EUR 82 for a 15 m boat. A more detailed marina price list is here. The marina is eco-friendly and has been awarded the Blue Flag. Not far from the marina is a shop, fittingly called Levante, offering fresh fish—a wide selection of fresh fish from the local fishermen, mussels, olives, local wine, and salt from the local salt plants. VHF channel: 17 (assistance while landing is available).

The town of Izola with its marina The town of Izola with its marina

Portorož

The town of Portorož, known in Italian as Portorose (Port of Roses), is the most important Slovenian seaside and spa resort. There are many hotels here, wellness and spa resorts, discotheques, restaurants, bars, cafés and several casinos. South of the town are the famous salt ponds—Sečoveljske Soline. Some of these salt ponds operate to this very day. Yachtsmen can journey there on foot or by bicycle and try out an ancient method of retrieving salt from seawater.

Portorož Marina

Portorož is a relatively large marina offering more than 650 mooring berths. Connections to water and electricity are available at every berth. The marina offers a WiFi network, laundry, showers and WC, a shop with yachting equipment, technical services, a fuel station, a sail repair shop, supermarket, swimming pool and car rental point. Customs formalities can only be handled in Piran.

Not far from the marina is a large sports centre (offering tennis, mini golf and basketball) and a go-cart track. Children can also enjoy horse riding here. North of the marina is the 1 km long sandy beach with its specially imported white sand, access to which is subject to an entrance fee.

View of Portorož View of Portorož

Strunjan Nature Reserve

This part of the coastline was declared a nature reserve in 1990. It comprises the 4 km of coastline between Piran and Izola. Moon Bay has wonderfully clear waters and a sandy beach with a Blue Flag award. 80 m high flysch cliffs (Strunjanski Klif) rise up over the sandy beach, the highest cliffs of their kind on the whole Adriatic coastline. A sacred cross stands at the highest point to protect sailors.

The park is home to the Pilgrimage Church of the Assumption of Our Lady, three luxury hotels with open-air swimming pools, and superb restaurants that will satisfy even the most discerning palette. Anchoring is prohibited throughout the entire nature park (more details can be found in 'harbours, bays, and anchorages' in the Atlas of the sailor's guide, 888). Great biological diversity is typical for this nature park, as are crystal clear waters, many rare species of fish and corals, thermal springs and untouched nature. It is definitely worth a visit!

Gastronomy

In terms of food, there are countless restaurants along the coastline. Although most of them could not be described in absolutely superlative terms, they offer variety and the food is both tasty and affordable. The true symbol of Slovenia is the unique Parma ham (prosciutto), which comes from the Karst area. Its tenderness and delicious flavour will be appreciated by every connoisseur of good food. Behind this success of this delicacy is a long tradition of well-fed pigs and their meat being dried in the cold Bora. It tastes best with freshly baked homemade bread and sheep’s cheese. To achieve the perfect harmony of flavours, only a glass of Teran or Ranina is missing.

Also worth trying are the traditional Istrian dishes such as trout in buckwheat flour, žlikrofi (stuffed ravioli with various sauces and meat), Carniolan sausages, ribe v šavorju (small marinated fish), potica (a typical Slovenian cake), and Bledský krémeš or the superb dessert štruklji (every good cook in the Soča valley can prepare this wonderful dessert).

The basic ingredients used are organically farmed and reared  fish, olive oil, garlic, herbs, fruit, vegetables, and various types of cheese. All of the highest quality. You can buy first-class olive oil directly from the producers at their farms or homes. Homemade wine is also of a very high quality and you can buy it directly from the producers (tip: Vina Božič). If you like meat, we recommend the Doro restaurant (Izola), where they have a "mixed meat platter" for EUR 20 providing enough food for two people. The fish is excellent at the Sidro restaurant and the prices are very reasonable.

Fishing

If you want to go sea fishing, you have two options—fishing from the shore or from a boat. You don’t need a permit to fish from the shore. If you want to fish from a boat, you must buy a daily, weekly, or monthly permit (you can buy permits here online). A daily permit costs EUR 7. Excellent fishing is also offered in freshwater areas, particularly in the area around Koper (the river Rizan and Lake Vanganel). In Koper there is a family that arranges fishing trips.

How to rent a boat in Slovenia

Are you thinking about a holiday on a yacht in Slovenia? The solution is simple! Look for a boat in our online search engine or contact us by e-mail or telephone.

If you are unsure how to go about choosing a boat, please don’t hesitate to call or write to us! We will gladly give you advice on how to choose a boat, where to sail, the route, and which guides and maps to use. You need a yachtmaster’s certificate to rent a boat in Slovenia. If you don’t have one, you can hire a professional skipper. We can arrange a skipper for you or you can hire one, on location (but remember, you have to arrange this in advance).

Detailed information

Take a look at the map of the coastline with icons to find detailed information about harbours, marinas, bays, and other attractions in Slovenia. For detailed information, click on the appropriate icon. You can zoom in and out of the map as you need (clicking on the square at the top right of the map frame will display the map in full screen). 

Charter companies

This article is being prepared.

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