Sunday, July 4, 2010

Portorož and Strunjan, Slovenia

It is the saltpans and their natural elements—salt, brine, and fango mud—that spurred the development of tourism in Portorož, a coastal village in Slovenia. When healing properties of these natural elements were discovered as early as the 19th century, Portorož got its first hotels and thermal centers. Today, Portorož is a modern tourist resort with numerous hotels, its own marina, airport, casino, congress and wellness centers, and excellent culinary offerings of the region.

From Portorož, a number of footpaths can be taken to neighboring villages. The Seaside Promenade (3 km) transports you from the modern resort town of Portorož to the Medieval seaport of Piran. Between the Bays (2 km) connects Piran with Fiesa. Along this path, you will travel through unblemished nature and brush. Cool down with a refreshing swim in the Adriatic or relax on the rocky beach area between Piran and Fiesa.

The Strunjan Tunnel path (8km) transports you from the bustle of Portorož to salt pans of Strunjan via the tunnel of the former narrow-gauge Trst-Poreč railway line. The tunnel, built between 1900 - 1902, is 544 meters long and is the longest of the railway line. It is no longer used as a railway; today it is a popular bike and footpath known as the Route of Health and Friendship.

In Strunjan, admire the salt pans which produce the salt flower. Salt flower is the best of the best salt with a distinct flavor and fragrance. Its crystals capture the sea with all its minerals and vitamins, the sun and the rejuvenating microclimate. It grows in the salt basin, on the surface of brine out of salt crystals, building a thin, fragile crust. It can form only in ideal conditions and absolute absence of wind. Sample this unique salt in chocolate sprinkled with salt flower or one of the specially created desserts from Cafe Central in Portorož.

After hiking the steep paths, rejuvenate your body to a Thai massage with hot herbs at the Wai Thai Center. By pressing the acupressure points spreading over the entire body, energy channels are opened up improving, thus, the energy flow throughout the body. The application of warm herbs to the body helps improve blood circulation and alleviates various problems (i.e. rheumatic disorders, muscle and joint pains, as well as physical exhaustion), whereas the massage with oils restores skin tone and preserves youthful appearance of the skin.

To view all my pictures of  Portorož, visit