Izola - the old fishing town - Hoteli Bernardin
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Izola - the old fishing town

Izola is a lively Mediterranean town, distinctive for the amicable character and hospitality of its inhabitants. Nowadays, Izola is mostly a tourist-oriented town, nevertheless, it has remained faithful to its origins and dedicated to its primary activities of fishing as well as wine and oil production, traits making it so very distinctive from other seaside towns.

The town took its name after the Latin word for “island”, i.e. “insula”, on which it was first established. But it would never be what it is now without the identity of its people who try to preserve local traditions and a connected community of two nations, Slovenian and Italian, a communion of two languages and a shared love for their ho me town.

A rich and varied architectural heritage, mystical streets of the old town centre and majestic stone portals tell stories of a turbulent past, but Izola is exciting and a new page of history is written every day. The lively rhythm of cultural events and festivals, the suggestive fishing and hospitality habits, dances, entertainment and sports events are all an invaluable source of life and vibrant energy that keep Izola and the people alive, smiling and high-spirited.

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Izola’s history dates far back in time and is rather turbulent. Due to favourable living conditions, the first settlers came on the island as early as the Bronze and Iron Ages. In written sources, it is first mentioned in the Venitian Charter called Liber Albus in 932 under the name of Insula. The charter also mentions an inhabitant by the name of Georgius de Armentressa de Insula. The area of the contemporary town fell in Roman hands in 178 BC and they retained their power and influence over Istria for more than half a thousand years. The first town settlement on the island was established in the 6th century.

When you visit the town of Izola, you can feel the innate temperamental and romantic atmosphere present within, alluring you to come, never be able to forget it.


Due to the mediterranean climate, the coastal areas have mild winters and hot summers. The highest rainfall rate is reached in spring and autumn, while summers are usually accompanied by droughts. The more we tend to move towards east, the more evident the continental climate becomes. Owing to the favourable factors of the mediterranean climate and sea, Izola is considered a favourite destination town for all generations, 365 days per year. If you opt for a visit, check the weather forecast and switch to Izola live stream – webcam


San Simon Resort, consisting of Hotel Haliaetum, Mirta and depandanses, boasts a neatly kept beach, partly covered in concrete, gravel and sand. The beautiful sandy bay with a shallow access to the sea is suitable for small children. The promenade track leads to Belvedere, by proceeding further on to your left, you can reach the Mesečev zaliv or Moon bay, whereas by turning to the right you reach the Delfin beach and the centre.

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Things to do

There is a wide range of choices, just pick a suitable one for you. You can choose from activity options for families, couples, seniors, groups of friends or athletes. During your stay in Izola, when you get to know the good humoured and friendly locals, or while you experience culinary delicacies, you can also spend your time actively. The choices include:

  Fishing  Water skiing
Horseback riding 
Sup paddling

Izola offers you a complete range of holiday services. Visitors can choose among numerous hotels, apartments and hostels. Culinary specialities can be tasted in the best restaurants offering a wide choice of local food delicacies, all the while you can enjoy the mystical atmosphere of this fishing coastal town. Spend time on the beach or enjoy in your favourite activity to make your day memorable. 


Thing to experience

1. The town port “Mandrač”

The port, set deep into the old town centre on the western side, was the heart of the town. On the outskirts, the most important public buildings were to be found, namely Manzioli Palace and Lovisato Palace, St. Maurus church and the church of Our Lady of Alietum, the Italian elementary school.

2. San Simon archaeological site

Based on more than a century of archaeological research, especially in the last period, and due to archaeological, historical, artistic, settlement-oriented, landscape and other exceptional characteristics, they were declared a cultural monument of national importance. Archaeological findings were found on the surface of four hectares. Remnants of a seaside Roman villa (villae maritimae) with a commercial building and the largest port of the same period were discovered, both representing one of the largest properties in this part of Istria. The spaces of the Roman villa are paved with black and white mosaics of priceless value. The port with two piers, which secure a safe mooring, is considered typically Roman and it allowed the landing of vessels even with stronger winds.  At excavations in several places, researchers encountered the remains of an ancient water supply system. The Roman villa complex allows a thorough insight into the Italic civilization, which once flourished in Istria. The residential area walls that were discovered during the 20th century excavations are on display in the park, while on the northern location there is a part of the reconstructed floor mosaic from the residential zone, furthermore, the southern area discloses a corridor connecting the villa to the port. In the backyard of the villa, remains of the waterworks were also discovered, which provided water supply for the whole building complex.  

3. The Lighthouse

At the end of Izola’s peninsula lies a neatly kept municipal beach.  It is equipped with showers, a playground sandbox and playground trains. The town beach is accessible by walk, for it is only about 200 metres away from Izola’s town centre.

4. Besenghi degli Ughi Palace

The palace, built in 1781, is an example of beautifully preserved late Baroque architectural monuments in Slovenia. The stone lion in the corner of the building dates from the 13th century and was found under the ruins of the building, which previously stood on the site of the palace. There are around 3000 well-preserved books and manuscripts  from the palace’s library.

5. The Path of Health and Friendship

The route winds through old towns and villages, along the seaside and between vineyards and olive groves. It leads through short, well-lit tunnels, crossing valleys and climbing hills.

6. Izolana, the House of the Sea

Izolana, the House of the Sea, is dedicated to the history of Izola, emphasizing its maritime and seaside character through documentary photographs depicting fishing as one of its main economic activities.

7. Manzioli Palace

The palace is one of the oldest buildings in Izola. It stands on Manzioli Square. The palace was built in 1470 and is a typical bourgeois house in Venetian-Gothic style. It was named after the former mayor of Izola, Tommaso Manzioli, who actively participated in designing Izola’s port (mandracchio).

8. San Simon Beach

San Simon Beach is a popular bathing area for locals and guests to San Simon resort The bathing area in the natural bay has over 3500 square meters of water surfaces and about 6000 square meters of land surfaces. Owing to its favourable position and shape, the bathing area is ideal for families with children, particularly due to the natural sandy-covered seabed of the bay. The beach boasts sand volleyball courts, mini football, a large water slide and a sandbox with a playground. Easy access to water is provided from the pier. A large part of the bathing area is covered with pine trees and acacias, which offer a pleasant shade to the early visitors.

San Simon Bay holds the remnants of a former Roman period pier, which is nowadays fully submerged under the sea, dating from the time when the Haliaetum port was located on this spot.