Visiting Slovenia is like stepping into a fairytale with medieval castles, cozy town squares and charming bell towers. Next to the heroic Predjama castle, Slovenia has even more mystery to offer! Piran and Bled are the two places where the country’s magic is captured. Piran is Slovenia’s cutest coast town and Bled consists of a stunning glacial lake and a medieval castle.
Piran, Slovenia’s main cost town is incredibly picturesque, situated on a narrow peninsula jutting out into the Adriatic. Slovenia’s Adriatic coast is much smaller (ca. 50km) and quieter than Croatia’s. Yet, is essentially has the same things to offer, with even more historic charm and less tourists. Imagine emerald waters, plunging cliffs and Venetian outcrops built on narrow headlands: that’s the Slovenian coast. The people in Piran call the town ‘the antidote to Venice’! Venetians influences are undeniable, which is not surprising if you know that the Venetians ruled the town for several centuries: from 1283 until the decline of the Venetian Republic in 1797.
I remember Piran as one of the most photogenic cities in the Mediterranean; it’s like stepping right into a picture postcard! Locals greet you with a friendly nod, sitting by the water, fishing, chatting or listening to the sounds of the sea. Take a walk through the narrow streets within the old city wall. On the main square, you will meet with Giuseppe Tartini, a composer and virtuoso violinist and the most famous man in Piran.
Bled, on the other hand, is located on the foothills of the Julian Alps along the glacial Lake Bled. Bled’s landscape sums up the face of Slovenian tourism in a snap: a small church-topped island, tranquil turquoise waters and mountainous backdrop. If you walk down towards the lake, you will notice sturdy boats resembling gondolas, topped with blue canopies. These unique boats called “pletna” can trace their origins back to 1590, whose oarsmen are highly respected because they come from a pedigree of native Bled families with rowing in their blood. Unlike the renowned Venetian gondola, the pletna can take up to 20 people at a time. Topped with a colorful awning, the boats glide across the transparent blue waters from all directions of the Lake. Don’t hesitate and take a pletna towards the tiny island in the middle of the lake, home to a church and many legends. A fairytale medieval castle will await you, with Romanesque tower, drawbridge and moat sits perched up high, overlooking the lake.