In Koper, sport is a tradition. The favorable climate, the varied countryside but most importantly the excellent sports infrastructure enable the development of sports activities throughout the whole year. Whether you are recreational or professional sportspeople, you will definitely find something for yourselves.
In addition to a number of indoor spaces, there is a whole range of outdoor sports facilities you can use. The sports park Bonifika offers everything modern sportspeople need: from football and tennis courts, to running and jogging trails, and even outdoor fitness equipment. Children will have just as much fun in the central part of the park.
A variety of sports activities can be practised also in the hinterland. Hiking, cycling and other thematic trails will lead you through enchanting villages, on mountains and in valleys, into the Mediterranean forests and to popular viewpoints, where Slovenian Istria presents itself in all its beauty.
Treat yourselves with an active holiday and forget about your daily routines. For an unforgettable experience follow our suggestions below or rearrange the proposed activities according to your wishes.
DAY 1: UNSPOILED NATURE IN THE DRAGONIA VALLEY
With its 29 kilometres the Dragonja is the longest river in Slovenian Istria. The river valley is well known for its diversity of plant and animal life; very popular is with hikers, cyclists and nature enthusiasts. The paths across this wonderful and unspoiled part of Slovenian Istria will reveal an interesting river landscape characterised by pools, waterfalls, rock shelters, gravels. In the past, a number of mills worked along the river, in the present days the tradition is preserved in the Mazurin and Kodarin mills.
Choose your starting point and set off on a half-day walking tour. You can also opt for a cycling tour; in that case follow the cycling trail K6 described in the guide Enjoy the Hinterland.
The guide Enjoy the Hinterland is available in all tourist information centers in Slovenian Istria and at www.koper.si.
After an active morning, take time for lunch. Villages in Slovenian Istria such as Krkavče and Puče offer delicious Istrian menus
Tourist farm Robivera, Krkavče, +386 41 739 024
Tourist farm Tonin, Puče, +386 31 559 094
Gostilna Baladur, Grintovec, +386 41 721 223
More suggestions can be found in the guide Okusi Istre, available in all tourist information centres in Slovenian Istria and at www.koper.si.
The afternoon will be perfect to explore the Istrian hinterland. We suggest a visit to Krkavče, one of the oldest Istrian villages. Do not miss the Krkavče stone, the oldest sight in the village, the Vrešje House and St. Michael church built on “living” rock. You can also learn how olive oil is produced in Slovenian Istria in the nearby olive mill.
The Vrešje House, Krkavče, +386 31 603 840 (Ondina Reja)
Olive mill Ternav, Krkavče, +386 5 656 70 07
Book your dinner and overnight stay in Krkavče or at the very top of the Šavrini Hills, in Šmarje.
Tourist farm Robivera, Krkavče, +386 41 739 024
Garni Mimosa, Šmarje, +386 41 614 776
DAY 2: WANDERING AROUND THE KARST EDGE
After the morning relax, head towards the green setting of the Karst edge. The landscape functions as a natural border between
the steep Karst plateau and the flysch Slovenian Istria. The area is extremely rich in terms of natural diversity; a number of unique plant and animal species have found their homes here, among them also one of Europe’s biggest owls, the eagle-owl.
Begin your trip in Hrastovlje. The village situated under the Karst edge is an excellent starting point for hiking trips. Along the path of the heritage of Hrastovlje and surroundings (P2) you will be able to discover a part of this diverse and interesting area. The hiking trip is appropriate also for families with children.
The path will take from Hrastovlje to Podpeč, where proudly stands the defence tower from the 11th century and past Prkič’s House, one of the remains of the ancient architecture under the Karst edge. Follow the blazes that will take you to Brežec, Zazid and to Zanigrad. Today this is an empty village where every year on December 26, on St Stephen Day, the traditional “blessing” of horses takes place.
From Zanigrad, the hiking path will lead you back to Hrastovlje.
You can stop in Hrastovlje for lunch or you can choose among the inns in the area.
Gostilna Švab, Hrastovlje, +386 41 688 156
Domačija Ražman, Gračišče, +386 5 657 20 03
Gostilna Jakomin, Kubed, +386 41 685 430
Restavracija Socerb, Socerb, +386 41 571 544
We recommend a peaceful visit of the Hrastovlje village in the afternoon. The village hides a number of attractions, among which is the Romanesque church of the Holy Trinity. Its interior is decorated by frescos, the most famous is the depiction of the Dance of Death. In Hrastovlje, you can visit also a gallery dedicated to the renowned Istrian sculptor Jože Pohlen, the park of indigenous plants and animals and other local sights.
For an unforgettable experience we recommend you visit the village following the program Hrastovlje – Experience in Istria. Book your visit now: call +386 41 398 368 or send an e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.
You can also experience the castle atmosphere at the Strmec Castle in Socerb or the Črni Kal Castle in Črni Kal. Today, these are two of the most popular viewpoints, where you can admire the beauties of Slovenian Istria.
Make sure you take enough time to rest and book one of the accommodating facilities near the sea: the sea air will make you feel better.
Hotel Acquapark Žusterna, Koper, +386 5 610 03 00
Hostel Museum, Koper +386 41 504 466
Hostel Histria, Koper, +386 70 133 552
DAY 3: BE ACTIVE!
Today is the day. Start your morning with an energizing breakfast that will give you strength and energy for the day. When you are ready, head to the city centre of Koper. If you are on the list of competitors, you will be able to arrange the last details and pick your race number. Warm up and get ready for the race.
Fans and other visitors will be able to enjoy a variety of local specialties and handicraft products offered by local producers at the stands. Among them, you will find also specialized vendors of sports equipment. The accompanying program will be very interesting and diverse. Do not miss it!
For lunch choose a delicious sea menu or a traditional Istrian dish in one of the inns or restaurants in the city:
Restaurant Skipper, Koper, +386 5 626 18 10
Restaurant Capra, Koper, +386 41 602 030
Istrska klet Slavček, Koper, +386 5 627 67 29
Gostilna pri Tinetu, Koper, +386 5 996 83 83
Treat yourselves with a piece of cake and a cup of coffee in one of the pastry shops in Koper and enjoy the afternoon in the city centre.
The wonderful natural environment of Slovenian Istria welcomes its visitors all year round. Spending time outdoors on fresh air has beneficial effects on our heath and well-being. Join the numerous runners, cyclists and swimmers and discover the beautiful area in their company.
We recommend you plan your trip on the following dates:
23–25 September 2016, with the visit of the event Istrian cycling marathon (25 September 2016, Slovenian Istria)
April 2017, with the visit of the event 4th Istrian marathon (April, Slovenian Istria)
For more information about the events, accommodation and gastronomic offer, wine and olive oil producers and other visiting suggestions check the website of the Municipality of Koper, www.koper.si.