Istria is a magical Adriatic region divided between Slovenia and Croatia. We visited the northern, Slovenian, part of the Istrian peninsula, and its jewels.
The largest littoral centre of the Slovenian part of Istria is Koper, but there are some wonderful locations you shouldn’t miss while visiting the Slovenian coast. If you would like to go back to the past, Piran is a place where you will find history, culture, entertainment. We took a sunset walk on the fortress walls, enjoyed a beautiful view and had fresh seafood in a local restaurant by the sea.
Did you know that nowadays the tourist jewel of the Slovenian coast was a spa center already in the distant 13th century when Benedictine monks offered the muds and saltwater baths to the fatigued travellers? Portorož has come a long way since then, offering today many spas, baths, wellness, saunas, fitness, and beauty facilities providing thus a perfect opportunity to relax your body and mind. Not to mention lots of nice beaches, casinòs, hotels, and nightlife.
On the next day, we visited the national park of salt pans Soline and learned about traditional salt production at the Museum of Salt-Making. Nowadays, there are only a few that keep this tradition alive for more than 700 years. This 700 years old Slovenian tradition exists only in Strunjan and Sečovlje where you can still see a traditional manual gathering of salt in salt fields, widely used in the rich Slovenian cuisine.
Talking about the cuisine, there’s incredibly tasty, super healthy, very expensive, and ridiculously hard to find truffles hiding in the soil of Slovenian Istria. The synonym of the luxury and fine dining were praised by the Romans for their alluring aroma and so-called aphrodisiac properties. Luckily, Slovenia is also home to these gastronomy diamonds. So, we couldn’t help ourselves but to go truffle hunting.
Truffles are impossible to cultivate, as they grow wherever they feel to and that’s why specially trained dogs are employed by professional truffle hunters who know exactly where to look. We joined one of these experts and their canine companion on a Truffle Hunting expedition in the wonderful forests of Istria. Thanks for asking: we found a white truffle! Not the size for the Guinness’ prize, but enough big for a great traditional bowl of pasta with truffles for dinner.