-5 bus journeys
Bike Down to the Neighbouring Resort town of PortorozJust 3.5 km away from Piran, Portoroz is a resort and spa town, and one of the finest seaside resort towns in the Adriatic. Its spa and wellness centers are renowned for healing and rejuvenation. The beach there is very inviting and is a perfect place to soak in some Mediterranean sun. Gambling is a major industry here and everyone is free to go and try their luck in the casinos. Hard to miss is the Kempinski Palace, a very posh hotel, and one of the most luxurious in the long Adriatic coast line, between Venice and Dubrovnik. In between Piran and Portoroz, are historic salt warehouses, which has a lot of cultural and historical importance; salt being an important commodity to the town of Piran. Today in its place, there is an exhibition gallery. Rent a bike at Luma Sport. Rates start at €3 for an hour and go up to €15 for the whole day.
Visit the Secovlje Salt PansSalt production has been a very important industry for the people of Piran since the ancient times, and they say that the town grew because of salt. Some 8km from Piran, the Secovlje salt pans are extensive fields where salt is produced still using the traditional methods so as to preserve cultural heritage. Thier salt contains many minerals and microelements which are essential to the human body. The salt of Piran is an absolute must souvenir to bring home! Entry fee to the Secovlje Selina Nature Park is €5. Apart from the salt pans, there is a salt museum, an exhibition and sales centre, and a pub where traditional salt-pan dishes can be savoured. Renting a car or a bike is the most convenient way to reach.Festivals in PiranSalt Making Festival in AprilPiran Summer Festival in July-AugustTartini Festival of Chamber Music in August-SeptemberGetting to PiranFlights from New Delhi or Mumbai via Amsterdam, Vienna, Frankfurt, Paris, or Zurich, and then an onward flight to Ljubljana, the capital of Slovenia. No direct connections are available as such. Buses and taxis are available from Ljubljana to Piran, and approximately takes less than two hours, depending on your mode of transport. Trains go only up to Koper, another town near Piran. Buses are available from Koper to Piran. Private and shared shuttles are also available from Ljubljana Airport to Piran.Visa: SchengenCostsNew Delhi to Ljubljana from Rs. 45,000 (return per person)Local Transport from Ljubljana to Piran: varies €12-25Koper to Piran: €1-15Taxis from Ljubljana City/ Airport to Piran: from €100Meal: €10 approx. per person per mealBest Places to Eat: Casa Nostromo Restaurant, Ribja Kantina, Fritolin pri Cantini, Pirat
My next destination was Bled, in Slovenia. I promised towards the end of Part 1 of my post that the trip from there got only interesting, and here is why. While in Venice and researching on how to get to Bled, I realized that there is no cross-country train service between Italy and Slovenia. The only convenient way I could get to Bled from Venice was by taking a train to Gorizia, taking a bus (Bus 100) from Gorizia to Nova Gorica (in Slovenia), and then taking a train from Nova Gorica to Bled Jezero. While it doesn't sound that complicated, neither it actually was, but it took me almost the entire day to get to Bled. Leaving Venice around 9AM, I reached Bled only around 5.30PM.The travel, however, was smooth and enjoyable. Especially, my train journey from Nova Gorica to Bled Jezero. I was on a train which had 3 coaches in total and almost as much people in each coach. The train traversed some beautiful landscape, and the first sign of snow started to show.I guess, by now, you are wondering why did I choose to visit Bled. Most of you might not have heard about Bled, and honestly, neither did I, until I started looking up places to visit east of Italy. Well, for one simple reason, and it's this.
The pretty little medieval town of Piran is a dotted jewel on the otherwise short coastline of Slovenia. Once a part of the Republic of Venice, there is a very palpable Venetian feeling about this sleepy coastal town. Vivid warm and pastel shades adorning its architecture, narrow alleyways, a stunning Adriatic waterfront, and a bell tower quite indistinguishable from the one at Venice's St. Mark's Square, Piran is unquestionably the Venice of Slovenia.
I wanted to cross borders on foot, so I went to Gorizia and from there walked over to Slovenia crossing border into the city of Nova Gorica. But I mixed up the route and reached late, missed my train. Had to spend another 3 hours waiting for the next train. Saw and did a lot of amazing things in those three hours - like learning how to couple and decouple a cargo train from the engine!
When was the last time you walked peacefully without any honking or vehicles going in every possible direction? Stara Louka is one of the two important streets of Karlovy Vary where vehicles are banned. That's the best thing, right?There are restaurants, spas, and pretty buildings on one side of the road & Tepla River on the other side. Start walking from the hot spring colonnade till Grand Hotel Pupp to experience the tranquillity that Karlovy Vary has to offer.Karlovy Vary is a small town which is mainly occupied by locals. It's a quaint town that almost resembles a fairytale. The architecture, thermal springs, spa services and the local culture- most of which is now shaped to serve the large tourist influx deserves to be enjoyed at liesure. Don't deprive yourself the joy of exploring this beautiful town on foot and stumble upon some fine culinary experiences that have blended with the local culture.Eat something in one of the quaint restaurants, buy souvenirs from the nearby shops or simply admire the architecture. Stara Louka is going to leave you spellbound for sure.Check out Karlovy Vary Tourism's official website & Czech Republic Tourism's official website for more information.