Picturesque Piran (Pirano in Italian), sitting pretty at the tip of a narrow peninsula, is everyone’s favourite town on the Slovenian coast. Its Old Town – one of the best-preserved historical towns anywhere on the Adriatic – is a gem of Venetian Gothic architecture, but it can be a mob scene at the height of summer.
Rising gently above a wide valley, Ptuj (p-too-ee) forms a symphony of red-tile roofs best viewed from across the Drava River. One of the oldest towns in Slovenia, Ptuj equals Ljubljana in terms of historical importance, but the compact medieval core, with its castle, museums, monasteries and churches, can easily be seen in a day.
The impact of Lipica, some 9km southwest of Divača and 2km from the Italian border, has been far greater than its size would suggest. This tiny village lives for and on its white Lipizzaner horses, which were first bred here for the Spanish Riding School in Vienna in the late 16th century.