IZOLA.. why we love it so much!
Maybe you have heard a few whispers about pretty little Izola now that the beauty of Green Slovenia is being noticed all around the world?
Maybe a friend who visited Green Slovenia has told you some stuff.. maybe you have read it on this website or maybe you just suspected it from your own research..
But it really is remarkable that for every "easy to read about" Postojna Cave there is a much better Skocjan Cave and a host of other fantastic showcaves to explore.. for every lake Bled there is the much better lake Bohinj and a host of other fantastic lakes and disappearing lakes to find.. for every Ljubblyjana, there is a host of other smaller pretty little empty old towns to explore like Skofja Loka, Vipava, Stanjel, Ptuj or Kamnik to name just a few!
And this little blog is gonna make clear that for every Piran, there is an Izola.. absolutely our fave place by the Slovenian seaside!
Even after living here for 10 years now, we still cannot believe how lucky we are to live just 35 mins direct by motorway to Izola on the Slovenian Mediterranean coast.. (by the way, ALL the photos on this blog were taken from our last excursion there on a sunny MARCH day.. Yes Izola looks this good in March)!!
We love Izola so much we could easily live there.. but the really great thing is we don't need to as the Lodge is so close to everything fab here in Green Slovenia, so Izola is absolutely our GO TO seaside place just to pop down to for coffee, a stroll along the prom or in one of the green parks, to swim or to have a calamari & chips treat!
With world class Piran just another 15 mins down the road from Izola, how on earth can we say this.. even Lonely Planet picked Piran for the cover of it's 2022 book to help it sell more copies.. Did we mention already that Piran is simply picture perfect?!
But even outside the slightly busier school holidays when it is even easier to whizz down to Piran for the day.. we would still choose Izola every time!
so Why is Izola so much better than Piran?
Simple.. for us and our Lodge guests it is just so much easier to get to Izola, park up, walk around, eat, swim and relax there.
There are loads of quiet car parks scattered around the pretty peninsula that used to be an island in Roman times and Izola means "island" in Slovenian.
You will immediately notice the relaxed French / Italian Mediterranean atmosphere here, with the quality of the Cote D'Azur, but without the decadence.. Izola also has the style of Trieste, but without the madness & scooters whizzing around!
There is a really fantastic choice of different restaurants & cafes hidden inside the old town and around the island to choose from.. and don't get us started talking about the fab gelato!
You can swim so easily in multiple Adriatic pebble beach locations on the island or further out along the huge main prom that stretches miles towards the steep cliffs and then Piran.
The Venetian towers give Izola the same appearance of Piran as does the magical old town, with market place, sleepy, quiet streets, bursting with mediterranean colour.. We just LOVE it!
But here's the thing.. If you were staying here in Green Slovenia for the first time, without hesitation we would recommend you first visit Piran!
Yep, you will need to put up with parking in that cramped Piran car park with tiny Italian style parking spaces, (or park in Portoroz like many of our guests do and walk along the coast direct to Piran for a fab coastal walk).. Yep, you will probably come here to Green Slovenia in the school hols too, so there will be lots of people, bustle, hustle, tutti frutti..
But, of course you will go to Piran first, cos you simply MUST see and photograph the incredible beauty, class and uniqueness of the place..
Piran is quite simply picture perfect.. so of course you need to go visit, just like you probabubbly MUST experience the magnificence and bustle of lake Bled or the Postojna cave on your first trip to Green Slovenia! All of them world class.. how lucky is Slovenia to have all these amazing Green treasures!
We deliberately located the Lodge between the mountains and coast in the most beautiful and varied country in Europe so our guests can pick & choose which mini region or regions to visit each day. Small hops or long hops..
We realised very quickly, it is not necessary to stay on the coast to see the Slovenian coast.. Lodge guests might pop down once in their week to experience the magnificence of Piran for the first time, but then for the second time there is a lot more there to discover too.. Strunjan, Moon Bay, Portoroz, Ankaran or the old town of Koper.. 47km more Mediterranean coast than Switzerland folks!!
(And we haven't even mentioned here the huge Coastal Hinterland that can swallow you up and provide Green adventures for another whole day too)!
A daytrip to Piran is just one of the many, many daytrips you can easily do from the Lodge.. But then the next time you go to the coast, in our humble opinion, we are pretty sure you should be going to Izola!
You need to first experience Piran to properly "get" how good Izola is!
Do NOT rush Izola!!
It is not our fault you have very probubbly scheduled way too little time to visit Green Slovenia.. We have been singing it from the rooftops for years and it will be your single biggest mistake to make before you even arrive in Slovenia to give far too little time here!!
Some 5 minute guidebooks or internet "experts" who maybe spent 3 days in the whole of Slovenia might try to push you into "squeezing in" Izola at the end of your day in Piran.. DO NOT DO THIS!
DO NOT TRY TO SQUEEZE IN Izola, you are not doing this magic island justice and if you race here, you will almost certainly miss out on the unique magic of the place.. It is about strolling around, exploring the old town and secret streets, relaxing and enjoying the best bits of the Slovenian Riviera without the bustle.. so by rushing here just to tick a box, you are not just disrespecting Izola, but your own holiday too!
Spend at least the whole afternoon in Izola and have a relaxing evening with a swim in the warm sea and a nice meal to properly get the feel of this place..
And once our guests have properly experienced and discovered Izola, many choose to return and pop down the 35 mins to the coast later in their week for a sunset swim & an evening meal by the sea after spending the day exploring caves, castles, mountains, forest or pretty much anywhere else in Green Slovenia!
They will know exactly where they want to park, eat and relax for the evening, just like we do, every time we get that special excitable feeling about going down again to visit our little bit of Izola Green paradise by the sea!