Slovenia’s short Adriatic coastline has three charming Venetian towns -- and Portoroz. If that sounds harsh, it’s not meant to be -- at least in terms of looks, this manmade resort is not the jewel of Slovenia’s coastal towns. But where Koper, Izola, and Piran to the north have history on their side, Portoroz has mud and thermal waters -- and in the late nineteenth century, the small town was reinvented as a spa resort. Though Portoroz undeniably lacks the character of Piran, Izola, or Koper it’s not a bad place.
The beach is well kept and there are plenty of facilities. With its palm-lined promenade and artificial beach, Portoroz could be any resort in southern Europe; if you want to sunbathe for a week, Portoroz is a perfectly good place to do that, though money talks and the steady influx of wealthy tourists who come to sun themselves at Portoroz have caused prices to rise. There are casinos and expensive restaurants but you can find pleasant bars and cheaper places to eat if you look around. A free shuttle bus links the resort with the other coastal towns to the north.
Those with plenty of money to spare should book in at the newly refurbished Kempinski Palace, which in its heyday accommodated the well to do Hapsburgs who came to have the Portoroz spa treatment. World Wars I and II saw a decline in the fortunes of the town, which lasted until the late 1960s; in 1968 a regeneration project was launched, though, sadly there was more emphasis on building big, new hotels than on restoring some of the beautiful nineteenth century villas. This focus on building saw the town earning the nickname Portobeton, meaning "port of cement" (Portoroz translates as "port of roses").
Since the early 1960s, an international symposium on sculpture has taken place every two years in Portoroz (or, more precisely, Seca, a village just outside the town); Forma Viva invites sculptors from all over the world and pieces are created specially for the show. The Slovenian Open Tennis tournament takes place in Portoroz each year and attracts some well-known names; tickets are affordable and easy to get.
Your options for conventional hostels in Portoroz are extremely limited; accommodation is basic but there's a choice or room sizes and good facilities. The other coastal towns all have hostel accommodation and may be a better choice for travelers who are short on funds. Hostels in all of these towns may impose a surcharge for one or two night stays, especially in summer.
Hi, I'm Fiona Thompson,
the Hostelz.com local expert for Portoroz hostels. Welcome.