Piran & Portoroz Guide

Piran and Portorož, two towns on Slovenia’s short Adriatic coast, could hardly be more different. Picturesque Piran, known as Pirano to Italians, charms visitors with its narrow old streets of medieval houses, while Portorož – the name means ‘port of roses’ – is a modern, upmarket coastal resort known for its exclusive hotels, health spas  and lively nightlife. They are, however, just a short distance apart, giving visitors the best of both worlds.

Piran has a distinctly Italian feel and not just because it was once part of the Venetian empire. All of this region was once part of Italy and even today a significant Italian minority means that Italian is an official language so you’re as likely to be greeted with a ‘Ciao’ as you are a ‘Dober dan’. Many Italians like to hop over the border for lunch and if Italians come for the food, it must be good. The harbour-side area has a dozen or so excellent restaurants, all of which have great views; fish dishes dominate the menus but Balkan grill specialties are also popular and the ice cream is out of this world.

It was salt, not fish, that created the fortunes of medieval Piran. The Venetians had established dominance in the northern part of the Adriatic by negotiating trade agreements with other cities, which would allow those cities to remain independent while giving the Venetians access to the manufactured goods and raw materials they needed. The supply of salt, however, was something that the Venetians wanted to control for themselves and after a short war in 1282 they took control of the salt flats of Piran.  The Sečovlje salt-works are still active but they operate within the Sečovlje Salina Nature Park which was established to protect not only the industrial heritage of the salt flats but also the flora and fauna that have made a home in the abandoned parts of the salt pans. Piranske Soline is a highly regarded brand which is starting to make an impression with international chefs and restaurateurs; the products are now sold in Harrods of London and used in Jamie Oliver’s chain of Italian restaurants. The mud, which is a by-product of the salt extraction process, is used in therapeutic treatments in some of the spas of Portorož.

Other points of interest include the old city walls, St. George’s Cathedral, the Franciscan church and monastery and the Sergej Mašera Museum which covers all things maritime.  While all of these attractions have long opening hours during the summer months, many have shorter opening hours during the winter, or may admit visitors only by appointment.

Life in Piran revolves around Tartinijev trg (Tartini Square), named after Giuseppe Tartini, the Italian composer who was born in a house on the eastern side of the square in 1692. Since 2001 an annual classical music festival, named after Tartini, has been held in venues across the town. There’s a monument to Tartini on the square, and an exhibition on the composer and his work can be visited on the first floor of the house he was born in. Now traffic free, Tartinijev trg is the hub of Piran’s cafe culture and there can hardly be a more scenic spot to settle down for a coffee and some people watching.

Music features heavily in the local cultural calendar, one of the highlights being the MIFF Folklore Festival which has taken place each July since 2003. The event brings in dancers, musicians and story tellers from other southern European countries for performances in Piran’s Tartinijev trg and venues in Izola and Koper. The town also has an annual antiques fair and several fine arts events.

In summer Piran’s quaint streets are filled with tourists. Some come on half day trips from cruise ships docked at nearby Koper while others come down from Ljubljana or the mountain resorts around Bled. Accommodation in Piran itself is quite limited though there are several good hotels, but many tourists opt to stay in Portorož where there is more choice. Although there are many more hotels rooms in Portorož, the resort is a popular destination for conferences and the town plays host to a number of high profile international events so advance booking is advisable.

With its palm-lined promenade and sandy beach, Portorož can hold its own against any seaside resort in southern Europe; if you’re looking for somewhere to bask in the sun Portorož is a perfectly good place, though money talks and the steady influx of wealthy tourists who come to sun themselves at Portorož have caused prices to rise. Portorož may not have the historical charm of Piran but what it does have is mud and thermal waters and it was thanks to these that the town rose to prominence as a health tourism destination in the nineteenth century.

World Wars I and II saw a decline in the fortunes of the town, which lasted until the late 1960s; in 1968 a regeneration project was launched which resulted in the building of vast modern hotels. More recently some of the town’s elegant nineteenth century villas have been renovated to become boutique hotels.  In its heyday the Kempinski Palace accommodated the wealthy Hapsburgs who came to have the Portorož spa treatment. Now extravagantly refurbished, the hotel is once again the talk of the town. With at least six spa centres, Portorož is still a popular destination for holiday makers seeking some pampering. Cream of the crop is the Paradise Spa within the Grand Hotel Bernardin which is open to day visitors as well as hotel residents.

Portorož is a great destination for people seeking an active holiday. There are numerous opportunities for water-sports, cycling and horse riding, and Portorož Airport can organise tandem parachute jumps or panoramic flights which are perfect for adrenaline seekers. Nemo Divers, based in Portorož, is among several companies offering PADI training and diving trips.

One of the highlights of the Portorož calendar is the Internautica International Boat Show; it features a huge display of the latest boats on the market and attracts more than 250 specialist exhibitors. With a varied programme of entertainment, its audience is not only the well-heeled yachting set: in fact, almost 15,000 people attended the event in 2013. The annual Slovenian Film Festival, a four day event, sees director, critics, actor and movie buffs descend on Portorož for a series of film showings and seminars, and a whole lot of networking.

Since 1961 an international symposium on sculpture has taken place every two years in Portorož (or, more precisely, Seča, a village just outside the town); Forma Viva invites sculptors from all over the world to create pieces especially for the show. The new works remain in situ when the symposium closes and there are now over 120 pieces at Seča and nearby in parks in Piran, Koper and Izola. While Forma Viva Portorož consists of sculptures made of stone, other Forma Viva parks in Maribor, Kostanjevica na Krki and Ravne na Koroškem feature sculptures made from concrete, wood and metal respectively.

The Slovenian Open Tennis tournament takes place in Portorož each year and attracts some well-known names. In 2013 the tournament was won by Slovenian Grega Žemlja, hot on the heels of his impressive showing at Wimbledon where he became the first Slovene player to reach the third round.

Portorož International Airport does not currently have any scheduled flights but Slovenia’s coast is easily accessible from Ljubljana thanks to a recently completed highway which has dramatically reduced journey times. Trieste Airport is just sixty kilometres from Portorož and Croatia’s Pula Airport also has connections to a number of European cities.

Popular attractions such as the Lipica Stud Farm, home to the world famous Lipizzaner horses used at the Spanish Riding School in Vienna, and the stunning show-caves at Postojna are within easy reach and can be visited independently or on organised tours. Venice is a short hop across the Adriatic and many local operators sell day trips. For a quieter, more authentic experience, the Istrian hinterland is studded with pretty villages: Padna is one of the most picturesque. Surrounded by olive groves this little village became prosperous thanks to the skills of its farmers who supplied the coastal towns with oil, meat and vegetables; in fact, the famers of Padna sold so much excellent chard that it financed the building of the handsome church tower of St. Blaž.

Property in this region ranges from purpose built apartments through charming stone cottages and farmhouses to luxury villas.  Coastal daytime temperatures between May and September average between 20-25°C (but often exceed this) and winters tend to be much milder than inland. Good connections with Ljubljana, Croatia and northern Italy and onwards to Austria make Slovenia’s coastal region a realistic option for re-location. As a result the real estate scene here can be fast moving. Nearby Koper, a busy port city, is the commercial centre for the region and is the hub of the University of Primorska which has more than five thousand students.


You can read more about the potential for investing in Piran Property and also view the Best Properties  in the region on our website. If you have any questions or queries on buying or selling a Piran real estate please contact us at any time and we will be delighted to help.

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News headlines

  • Adria to launch Ljubljana to Kiev route

    The Slovenian national carrier Adria Airways is to launch regular flights to the Ukrainian capital from Ljubljana Brnik airport, The route will launch in October and there will be three flights a week on Thursday, Friday and Sunday, with the return flights being on Monday, Friday and Saturday.

    As well as providing a useful link with Ukraine, the route is also expected to be an important springboard to other European destinations from Kiev. 

  • Luton Town to Come to Slovenia for Training Camp

    The English football league club Luton Town, known as the Hatters, are coming to Slovenia in July for a week-long training camp. They players and coaching staff will be based just outside Maribor, at the same place where Scottish side Celtic was based for preseason training.

    Slovenia, and especially Maribor, has been keen to promote itself as a great location for such training events with excellent facilities and accommodation and additional attractions such as sports physio services and wellness centres, in particular, those available at the country’s numerous spa centres

  • Slovenian Music Superstar to Play in the USA

    Vlado Kreslin, one of the best known and most popular Slovenian musicians will play a convert in Cleveland, Ohio on 3rd December. Kreslin, who is often referred to as the ‘Slovenian Bob Dylan’ first came to prominence in the Yugoslavian days, as a member of the 1970s rock band Martin Krpan but his solo incarnation veers more towards the genres of folk-rock. 

    While Kreslin is in the States on a short concert tour, the Cleveland date is particularly special because around 40 percent of Slovene Americans live in the state, the greatest concentration od them in the US, and of them the majority live in the Greater Cleveland area.

  • Ljubljana to Amsterdam flights from April 2017

    Dutch budget carrier Transavia is to launch three weekly flights connected Ljubljana with Amsterdam from April 2017. Tickets are already on sale and start at €29 one way. The flights will take place on Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Sundays.

    As well as being an attractive destination in its own right, Amsterdam is a useful hub for flights to destinations all over the world, and especially for those looking for easy access to regional UK airports. 


  • Lendava to bid for European Capital of Culture title

    Lendava in the far east of Slovenia is making an ambitious bid to win the title European Capital of Culture for 2025. 

    Slovenia’s Minister for Culture has endorsed the bid, saying that it represents an important chance to decentralise culture and spread it to small towns, not just to concentrate it in the bigger cities.

    Campaigning proper will begin in earnest in 2019 but a conference has just taken place in the town to get the ball rolling. Organisers say that Lendava will make the bid along with partner towns, citing Croatia’s Čakovec, Austria’s Bad Radkersburg and Hungary’s Szentgotthard as possibilities. 


  • Celtic Football Club Coming to Slovenia

    Despite the Euros being in full swing, it’s that time of year when football supporters start thinking about the new season. How many new signings will their side make and how will those players fit into the existing team? Will they have a good run in the cup, or will they be fighting for survival once again?

    Following an age-old tradition of pre-season tours, this year Glasgow Celtic, one of Scotland’s biggest clubs has chosen Slovenia for its short trip abroad. The brief tour will kick off in Celje on 30 June before heading over the border to play Austria’s Sturm Graz on 3 July. The Bhoys, as they are known, will return to Slovenia to play Olimpija at Ljubljana’s Stožice Stadium on 6 July and the final match will take place at the Ljudski vrt in Maribor on 9 July.

    Celtic have met NK Maribor already: in 2014 they faced each other in a play-off for entry to the Uefa Champions League, and after the two legs Maribor came out the victors, winning on aggregate 1-2.

    This time, Celtic will be led by their new manager Brendan Rodgers who previously managed Liverpool FC.

  • Slovenia Estates Comes To Kobarid

    We’ve opened a new Slovenia Estates office in Kobarid, in the Soča Valley. This beautiful area has long been popular with Slovenian families as well as holiday makers and second home owners, and we are delighted to be able to based in Kobarid so we can better meet the needs of sellers and buyers in the far west of Slovenia.

  • Plečnik chair sells for 40,000 Euro

     A chair designed by Slovenia’s most celebrated architect Jože Plečnik has been sold at auction for over €40,000 and returned to its original home at the same time.

    Plečnik is usually associated with Ljubljana, having overseen the redesign of the large parts of the city in the first half of the twentieth century and his distinctive style is easy to spot. However, he was also responsible for a major reworking of Prague Castle in the Czech capital between 1921 and 1934 and this chair was part of that project, having been designed to sit in the study of the President at the time, Tomas Garrigue Masaryk.

    Plečnik actually had three of these chairs made but only one managed to stay in Prague Castle throughout the Communist period. In fact, for a long time curators there thought that chair was one of a kind until a second chair was returned to Prague Castle in a bad condition in 2006, and they were delighted when this third chair turned up at auction. 

  • Ljubljana to Warsaw Six Flights Weekly

    From 1 March flights will commence between Ljubljana Jože Pučnik Airport to Warsaw. There will be six flights weekly and they will be operated by Polish carrier LOT. Flight time is less than two hours and Warsaw gives Slovenian passengers a useful connection for onward travel to a variety of destinations including northern Europe and Scandinavia and even the United States.

  • New Bled Office

    We have opened a new office in the centre of Bled. This will serve as our base in the Bled/Bohinj/Kranjska Gora areas. The office is situated in the main shopping centre on the first floor next to Gallus Pizzeria. Lots of lovely properties from the area are displayed in the window!

  • We have opened an office in The Old Town

    We are pleased to annouce we have opened a new office in the heart of Ljubljana’s Old Town on Gornji Trg 1. We have shop front space so lots of lovely properties in the window. Please come and visit us whenever you can!

  • Slovenia real estate increases in popularity

    This year we have seen a marked increase in foreigners interested to buy Slovenian rela estate. Buyers from both the West of Europe, Russia and the US are taking advantage of low real estate price due to the Crisis in Europe before any rises are seen. Most popular areas are Ljubljana, Bled & Portoroz and with more and more sellers becoming very flexible on asking prices its fast becoming an attractive overseas destination for foreigners looking for both their own property as well as a secure long term investment

  • Slovenia Property Blog page

    We have now set up a new Blog page with news articles on Slovenian real estae, topical issues, news and featured & bargain properties. We will be updating the page each week with stories, so please check the page out for up to date information on Real estate in Slovenia. Click HERE to go to the page


  • Ljubljana Apartments moving faster

    This year we have noticed a marked increase in the both the number of enquiries about Ljubljana real estate as well as overall transactions, we ourselves have sold more this year than last and while generally it is still the foreign buyer who is buying enquiries from locals have also increased slowly. The feeling locally is prices in the city may have reached their low point and with faint signs of a recovery in Europe generally that feeling may well be borne out.

  • Slovenia real estate bargains

    There is more and more excellent value real estate in Slovenia now, with local owners unable to finance renovations or improvements themselves, there is a good supply of property in need of renovation at some very attractive prices. With Slovenia Estates project managing renovations, a project need not be a headache but a very worthwhile investment. Contact us for the best bargain real estate in Slovenia on the market.

  • We have moved

    We have moved to lovely new offices in Prule, the Old part of Ljubljana. With increased space, interiors designed by JVBdesignworks, and a fantastic shop front location we are looking forward to welcoming new & old faces to Žabjak 2, Ljubljana 1000.

  • Slovenia Self Catering

    Slovenia self catering accommodation is extremely popular and gaining more popularity as competition increases amongst available self catering houses and apartments and quality rises. We have some delightful self catering properties in Slovenia for vacation rental. They can be found here . We also know of many more available so contact us if you wish to rent a house or apartment in Slovenia for an unforgettable holiday.

  • Ljubljana Apartment Sales

    Further to the recent News we posted on “Ljubljana Sells Best” we wanted to provide more information on Ljubljana real estate. The sales are nearly always apartments and always in the centre of town. The demand from foreign buyers for houses in Ljubljana is low as they want to be located very centrally and this means apartments. Ljubljana villas in for example the Rozna Dolina area are also priced at a level that is too high for most Slovenia real estate investors.

  • Ljubljana Sells best

    This year we have sold more real esate in Ljubljana than any other year. It seems investors from various parts of the globe see Ljubljana as perfect place to buy. Small, neat and improving year on year, with a fabulous centre and old town and with prices at a very competitive level. The most popular areas being the historic old town and the centre, and despite no cars being allowed in the old town, buyers seem to accept this with the positives that come with that. See our Ljubljana real estate section for more details.

  • Portoroz real estate on the up

    We are experiencing a marked increase in enquiries and sales of real estate in Portoroz. The buyers are mainly from Russia and Ukraine, wanting Villas with sea views. Prices of Portoroz real estate remain high but have come down considerably over the past few years. Real estate in Portoroz is in short demand and quality property goes fairly quickly if priced correctly.

  • Luxury Hisa Zeenia for Slovenia holiday rental

    We are pleased to announce the availabilty of this wonderful, magical House for rent in Slovenia. Hisa Zeenia is a truly magnificent house available for a Holiday rental in Slovenia all year round. With outdoor Natural swimming pool and 7 bedrooms, landscaped gardens and all located in the stunning Soca Valley its one of the best holiday properties to rent in slovenia. Click here for more

  • Prekmurje Property

    We are seeing a marked increase in the Prekmurje region again. Both Slovenians and foreigners are enquiring about property in Prekmurke, especially old style houses with some land. Renovation projects remain popular and views a must. Prices have come down since the crisis and with the Euro falling it has become a very attractive area to look at.

  • New section here

    As you can see this is a new section we have just added, to keep our customers up to date with whats going on with Elite and real estate here in Slovenia. It will be regularly updated.

  • A Bargain!

    Does it get any cheaper than this for a renovation project, a lovely village, a quiet street, some land all for €25000! Click here

  • New Properties added

    We have been out and about over the past few weeks seeing and adding new properties to our website. Over the next few weeks many more will be added so its a good idea to register for updates if you wish to be kept informed of whats new in Slovenia real estate.

  • Another Beauty – Karst Project

    We are pleased to announce another superb development in the popular Karst region. Beautiful, modern villas in a rural setting, super views and highly energy efficient, these represent Slovenia real estate at its best. For details click here, a full presentation of visuals will also be found here. For more details just contact us.

  • Lipica Villas

    Together with a partner agency we are soon to be launching a beautiful new development in Lipica, just opposite the entrance to the famous Lipica Estate where the famous Lipizzaner horses are from. This represents Slovenia real estate at its finest…Click here for a sneak preview

  • Summer Here!

    The good weather has arrived just in time for the holidays and the three public holiday days here in Slovenia. Blue skies 26 degrees, everything green its a very beautiful time!


  • Good Weather means enquiries

    Its always interesting to see the corallation between good weather and increased enquiries for Slovenia real estate. Over the past few weeks when its been cold and rainy enquiries were low, now people see the sun is coming back and the enquiries have risen. Forget the moon! We are ruled by the sun!

  • Success in Moscow

    We are happy to report that our attendance at the Moscow Real Estate fair was a great success, we were the only representation Slovenia had and that proved effective. There was much interest in Slovenia especially in the €150-€250,000 price range. Many of the visitors to the Croatia stands were also coming our way so its good to know that many consider Slovenia as an alternative to Croatia.

  • Soca Interest

    Interest in the Soca region of Slovenia has reached the highest level in two years. People have always loved this area for Slovenia real estate for its beauty but it seems people are really seeing all the benefits of this popular area and preferring it to other areas.

  • Karst Interest, new stone villas

    We have seen a marked increase in enquiries for the Karst (Kras) region of Slovenia, we will soon be selling stone villas in a new exclusive development in Lipica, home of the famous Lipizzaner horses. We will publish more information once we start the marketing campaign

  • Moscow Fair

    We will be promoting 4 fabulous new developments at the fair as well as all our beautiful properties on our books. As well as meeting all the agencies we work with and several we will hopefully be working with in the future.

  • New Site Comments

    We have recieved many kind comments about our re designed site, Thank you to all those that sent emails with such great comments. We also received some great suggestions about what people would like to see on the site and we will be working on including many of these suggestions!

  • Katja to get Licence

    Our Office general manager Katja Keber is studying for her real estate licence, let’s hope she gets it soon!

    Katja has been with SE for 4 years and has a great understanding of how Slovenia real estate Market works so we expect her to pass first time!

  • Off to Moscow

    The SE team will be attending the International Real Estate Fair in Moscow in April, we will be promoting selected properties and projects on our books.

    The show is Russia’s largest real estate show and in the past Slovenia real estate has not been presented before, so a first for Slovenia and Elite!

Contact us

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We are at your service regarding any real estate related questions. Feel free to call us between 8am and 5pm.