Slovenian beach – why go there at all when there’s Italy, Croatia, Spain and many other luxurious and cheap places? Why for me, Slovenia is a beautiful country with outstanding nature. The way to the beach (if going by bus or car) is an aesthetic experience on its own. Its people are civilized and friendly, its prices are cheap, hotels and guest-houses are cozy. (Although most don’t have mosquito nets on windows, which is annoying). No matter where you choose to stop for a night or for a coffee break, you will lay hands on a good restaurant.
Slovenian beach – what to expect?
Beaches in Slovenia can leave different memories
and impressions on your soles if you are not wearing beach shoes depending on what you fall. But one thing can be promised – there will be no or little sand, so if you are a sand-castle builder – Slovenia beach is definitely not for you. But if you are a pebble-castle builder, then it is certainly a good place. Here is a list of amazing things to do with pebbles. If you are trampoline jumper and a diver, if you like water slides and good ice-cream – it’s another reason to go to Slovenian beach.
One thing that has surprised me (for good) were the people I came across during the vacation. Most of my beach neighbors were reasonably good-looking, polite and mannered. No rude shouting, no crazy beach games around, no insane surfing and so on – all quiet. I see it as a plus but some of you might see it as a minus – to each his own.
Generally speaking Slovenia cannot boast being the first choice beach resort for families during summer vacation. However, it has this clean, wave-less sea water, sports attractions and nice people around.
Izola, Strunjan or Portoroz – brief comparison
Here is a purely subjective comparison of three beaches, kids-wise: Izola, Strujan and Portoroz. Points of comparison are: shallow water accessibility (for small children), cleanliness, availability of jumping/playing facilities (for older children who can swim well and are bored from just splashing around).
|Pebble/Sand||Small Pebbles - beach shoes required||Big Pebbles/Stones - beach shoes are still required but stones are nicer for touch||Sand|
|Facilities for children||two spiral water slides, trampoline (outside of sea), small sand court for ball games.||Excellent water trampoline (low prices), and small playground for very young children.||Water trampoline, which looks decent from far away. My kids haven't tried it, so cannot recommend. Besides the trampoline haven't noticed any visible entertainment facilities.|
|Cafes nearby||Two nice cafes with snacks, salads etc., reasonable prices. The ice-cream sold on the beach was not approved by my experienced ice-cream users.||Two cafes, haven't tried food in any of them, the ice-cream, however, is memorably good.||The place is swarmed with cafes and restaurants nearby, haven't tried any though, so cannot recommend. There is a supermarket nearby where you can buy snacks/water/almost anything else.|
|Shadow/Sun umbrellas||Almost no shadow. Sun umbrellas and long chairs exist for FREE use.||Lots of shadow and trees. No sun umbrellas, but none are required anyway.||Little shadow, lots of sun. Sun umbrellas exist but it's unknown whether they are for a fee or free.|
|Easy access to shallow water (for children)||Nice, shallow water easily accessible from the beach. Becoming deeper and deeper the more you advance.||Plenty of shallow water. Ideally for small kids. Access to water is through stairs, which is a bit annoying.||Lots of shallow water but no sun umbrellas in the area of shallow water. So either brings yours, or sit quite far from the shallow water (not suitable for parents who want to watch their kids and being in the shadow at the same time).|
|Cleanliness of water||Quite dirty water, seaweeds, mixture of sand, shells and pebbles. Cannot see the floor.||Very clean water. Can see the large stones at the bottom.||Quite tolerable clean water, not perfect but cleaner than in Izola beach.|
As shown in the table above, different beaches have different properties and advantages. If you travel with very small kids or babies, you obviously don’t need a sea trampoline. However, if your family is a mixture of swimmers, ice-cream lovers, breast-feeding individuals and breast-milking individuals, pizza and wi-fi carvers – then you will need a versatile choice of options. My choice falls on Strunjan and here is why:
First, it has a lot of shadow – for those who are not planning to bake themselves watching for kids.
Second, it has two tolerable cafes – which is not tremendously much but quite enough for an average family.
Third, it has excellent sea trampoline, which can attract a teenager for about 2 hours and leave you, mom, totally for yourself or yourself and babies. Empirically proven, trampolines are good for mental health since teenage kids don’t get bored and don’t make their parents go bananas.
Fourth, it has easy access to very shallow water with no waves. There are no sand, true, but the stones are slippery, big and not scratchy (still, would recommend beach shoes). The shallow water is ideal for young kids or kids who don’t know how to swim, or moms who don’t know how to swim with babies on their arms.
To me, there four components form the ideal beach for a diverse family with different interests, ages, tastes and expectations.