Salt-making is a centuries-old business along the Slovenian coast. The best place to get a briny taste is at the old salt pans of the Sečovlje Salina Nature Park, on the Croatian border. The 721-hectare area, criss-crossed with dikes, channels, pools and canals, was once a hive of activity and was one of the biggest money-spinners on the coast in the Middle Ages.
The impact of Lipica, some 9km southwest of Divača and 2km from the Italian border, has been far greater than its tiny size would suggest. This tiny village lives for and on its snow-white Lipizzaner horses, which were first bred here for the Spanish Riding School in Vienna in the late 16th century.
The Romanesque church in this tiny Karst village is the Istrian equivalent of St John the Baptist’s Church in Bohinj. OK, so it’s not on a lake. But it is small, surrounded by medieval walls with corner towers and covered inside with extraordinary 15th-century frescoes. This is the reason to make the trip here – as difficult as it can be.