Welcome to an exciting journey along the mesmerizing Slovenian coast, where the azure Adriatic Sea meets charming coastal towns.
In this post, I will guide you through a bike adventure from Koper to Piran, revealing the hidden gems and scenic wonders that await you along the way. So hop on your bike, breathe in the salty air, and let's embark on an unforgettable coastal exploration.
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From Koper to Piran-Start Point:
Mandrac at Koper. Our journey commences in the Mandrac, where you can securely park your beloved car and prepare for an exhilarating adventure. With our sights set on Piran, we anticipate a captivating journey that will take us approximately two hours to complete. So tighten your helmet and let's hit the road!
Our chosen route follows the old "Izolska" path, which once served as a vital road connection between Koper and Izola. Today, it has transformed into a dedicated cycling and walking route, offering a picturesque passage along the coast. As we pedal along this path, we can't help but appreciate the stunning views and refreshing sea breeze that accompanies us.
The Journey Begins:
Leaving Mandrac at Koper behind, we pedal towards our first landmark: the Rex wreck. The remains of this magnificent Italian ocean liner, resting at a depth of 13 meters in the Bay of Koper, serve as a reminder of maritime history. With the Rex behind us, the enchanting town of Izola comes into view, showcasing its unique blend of coastal charm and historical architecture.
Following the well-marked signs for Portorož, we continue along the bike path, immersing ourselves in the coastal ambiance. At the roundabout, make a left turn and, shortly after, another right turn. As we traverse a few hundred meters, a choice presents itself: continue straight along the road or opt for a slightly more adventurous mountain bike track. The latter offers a thrilling experience for adrenaline enthusiasts, while the former ensures a smoother journey. Choose the path that suits your preference and enjoy the ride!
Continuing on our cycling adventure, we soon find ourselves in the embrace of the old Parenzana. This historic railway line, now transformed into a scenic trail, leads us through a shaded path enveloped by verdant trees. As we pedal along, the melodious sounds of nature serenade us, creating a serene atmosphere.
A highlight of our journey awaits as we approach the first tunnel along the Parenzana route. Once traversed by a steam locomotive, this tunnel adds a touch of mystery to our adventure. Emerging from the tunnel, a gentle descent unveils itself, guiding us through a picturesque landscape adorned with flourishing gardens and vibrant greenery.
Choosing the Path:
At the end of the slope, an intersection appears. Here, we have a decision to make. For a quieter and more serene experience, we can turn left, following the road that winds its way to the Strunjan campsite. However, if you're up for a slightly more bustling route, continue straight ahead for about a kilometre before turning right onto an inviting asphalt path.
As we follow the red signs pointing us towards Portorož, our cycling route takes us past this vibrant coastal town. Pedalling through its lively streets, we encounter the Bernardin tourist complex, home to the magnificent Church of St. Bernard of Siena. This former monastery church, now integrated into the Bernardin hotel complex, showcases remarkable architectural beauty and historical significance.
Final Leg: Arrival in Piran:
With Portorož in our rearview, we eagerly pedal towards our ultimate destination—Piran. Passing through the locks, we navigate the main road, which leads us amidst a delightful array of fishing boats, bustling shops, and inviting restaurants. Each step brings us closer to the heart of Piran, where the charming Tartini Square patiently awaits our arrival.
While our coastal adventure technically concludes in Piran, the allure of the coast continues. For those seeking more exhilaration and breathtaking sights, I invite you to join me in the second part of this route. Prepare yourself for a thrilling journey along the old Piran walls, through the captivating nature of Jezera Fiesa, the slopes of Pacug, and the enchanting Strunjan Nature Reserve. This extended adventure promises to be filled with adrenaline, wonder, and countless memorable moments.
As we reach the end of our coastal bike adventure, I hope you've savoured every moment of this incredible journey. From the historic streets of Koper to the charming corners of Piran, this route unveils the captivating beauty of the Slovenian coast. So, fellow adventurers, grab your bikes, embrace the coastal breeze, and let the magic of this cycling adventure sweep you off your feet.
Remember, the return trip offers a chance to revisit the remarkable sights and relive the thrill of coastal exploration. Until we embark on our next cycling escapade, may your travels be filled with joy, discovery, and endless adventures.
Safe cycling and bon voyage!