Portorož – from salt trade to boutique tourism - Hoteli Bernardin
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Portoroz – from salt trade to boutique tourism

Portoroz is a renowned tourist resort on the Slovenian coast. It is a favourite destination for vacations, entertainment and congress tourism. This charming tourist town, halfway between Piran and Lucija, lies in a bay, surrounded by beautiful flysch hills in the background, serving as a protective barrier against the cold winds. Administratively, Portorož belongs to the municipality of Piran and has around 17,000 inhabitants.

The town of Portoroz was known for its spas as early as the 13th century.

Portoroz was named after the church of St. Mary of the Rosary, Madonna of the roses, and the name of the town is first mentioned in the 12th century in connection with the Benedictine monastery that stood on the hill, in the vicinity of the current Metropol hotel. Historical sources have it that Saint Lawrence’s bay (today’s Portoroz) attracted galleys and ships that searched for shelter and protection against storms. Friars used to cure illnesses with seawater and brine. By 1830, the first spa hotel had been built. Successful healing and treatment methods began to lure more and more guests. Portorož started to attract not only guests looking for health-related services, but also visitors looking for relaxation. Even before the First World War, Portorož acquired international fame by becoming a well-appreciated tourist resort.

Modern Portorož is dotted with hotels, restaurants and bars, beaches, seaside walking tracks, old villas and gardens.

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You can enjoy n ight life and entertainment in the many bars at the beach, or you can give your taste buds a treat in one of the renowned restaurants offering authentic culinary delicacies and inspiring recipes to create utmost culinary experiences. The cuisine in the coastal towns, such as Portoroz, leans toward recipes with genuine local spices and ingredients as well as seafood. Dishes including fish, shells, crabs and other seafood delicacies. Local people are famous for adding a genuine local touch to seafood dishes, food thus acquiring a characteristic taste and bringing forward a genuine Istrian aroma.

Between the sun and the sea

Bernardin is a touristic destination amongst oleanders, palm trees, rosemary and laurel bushes where you can find a holiday resort and meeting point on 25 acres of land, comprising hotels of different categories and price ranges but with one thing in common: services of the highest standards enriched with Slovenian hospitality. All this is Bernardin.


Boasting a submediterranean climate, Portorož is considered one of the warmest locations in Slovenia. It has a low rainfall rate and characteristically mild winters with high, but still moderate summer temperatures. The number of sunny days is high. The average annual sunshine duration is 2346 hours. Rainfall rate is low, between 1000 and 1100 mm yearly. Portorož, aka the port of roses, is visited by all generations, 365 days per year. It never falls asleep. If you opt for a visit, check the weather forecast and switch to live stream – webcam 


Bernardin Resort, Grand Hotel Bernardin

Portorož Beach boasts a number of piers, a walking track, a water sports centre, playground and many other facilities. The beach consists of a sand-covered area and a grass area, chaise lounges are available on both. Along the beach there are restaurants with a rich offer of culinary specialities and pubs where you can enjoy and relax in comfortable armchairs.

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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 Portorož, when you get to know the good humoured and friendly locals, or while you experience culinary delicacies, you can also spend your time practicing sports. There is a vast range of choices:

Diving    Horseback riding Fishing   Waterskiing

Portorož 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. Spend time on the beach or enjoy in your favourite activity to make your day memorable. You may attend a festival or a concert in the evening. Portorož is just the perfect choice for all generations, eager to have fun, relax or take a rest.


Things to experience

1. Avditorij Portoroz

Avditorij Portoroz is the largest event location in Portoroz, a theatre complex where events and festivals for all generations, both the elder and the younger, take place. In summer, the outside venue hosts many theatre, music and film events. The 5th Golden Age Gym Festival meeting and spectacles took place here in 2016.

2. Sečovlje Salina Nature Park

The Secovlje saltpans are considered among the largest still operating maritime saltmaking facilities. The surface area of the Secovlje Salina Nature Park is around 65 ha. The saltpan area consists of numerous basins, cristalization and evaporation pools. Although salt ceased to be the backbone of the economy, it still retains a central importance and continues to be appreciated both from a dietetics and beauty&care point of view, due to its mineral ingredients and health benefits. Sečovlje Salina Nature Park is a protected area, a nature reserve, for the area is a representative monument to our past, cultural identity and saltmaking legacy. The oldest part, called Fontanigge, is now a nature park, the aim of which is to preserve the balance in this fragile and special ecosystem, home to a rich variety of plants and animals, particularly birds that choose this favourable area for nesting. The saltpans are open to new tourist-oriented and learning activities, where visitors are welcome to come and learn about the traditional techniques of salt production and harvesting. The programmes’ objective is to raise environmental awareness and respect for natural heritage.

3. Fiesa

Fiesa is a small bay situated between Piran and Strunjan. In fact, it is a plain nestled in-between two flysch cliffs. The most interesting features are the couple of freshwater lakes, the smaller one being of natural origin and the larger one is artificial. They are located next to the seaside walking track that leads toward Piran. The lakes were declared natural monuments in 1990. Their origin is linked to the soil changes subsequent to clay mining, commissioned by a brick plant manufacturing facility. The smaller lake is filled with freshwater and measures 6,5 metres in depth. The larger one is deeper and was connected to the sea in 1963, thus inducing freshwater-saltwater mixing. This biotop creates a habitat where freshwater and saltwater flora and fauna coexist. The banks are covered in broad strips of reeds and other varieties of plants that give safe shelter to marsh birds, fish and rare endangered species of dragonflies. Panel signs are located close to the lakes. Over the last decades, the bay has developed into a holiday resort with a mobile homes camp, hotels, vacation homes and villas.

4. Parenzana railway

The Parenzana is a 123,1 km long narrow-gauge railway that used to connect 33 Istrian towns between Trieste and Poreč (Parenzo), namely consisting of 13 km of length in Italy, 32 km in Slovenia and 78 km in Croatia.

The railway was shut down in 1935. On the occasion of the centenary of the railway opening in 2002, initiatives for the revival of the old railway began and among the many project proposals arose the one involving the creation of a cycling and walking track. It was only after some years, in 2006 to be precise, that the project’s kickstart took place and things began to develop further.  By 2008, 80 km of railway tracks were renovated and new Croation-Slovenian tourism-related initiatives were integrated.

5. St. Bernard’s church

The greenery-covered small promontory between medieval Piran and contemporary Portoroz, boasting favourable climate conditions, is located on a 25-hectare area of Bernardin hotel resort. The central feature is the bell tower of an old, 15-century small church dedicated to St. Bernard, a quiet witness to the rich cultural heritage.

6. Seca – Cactus botanical garden

An unusual sight awaits you at Seca near Portoroz, where different cactus species are on display. To access the garden, follow the walking track from Lucija camping site or take the main roadfrom Portoroz.

Hotels and Campsite in Portorož