11 April 2016

One day trip: Natural Park Strunjan

On weekends we try to spend the time outdoors as much as possible. If you ask me I would be perfectly happy inside doing one of many other things that interests me and no, cleaning is not one of them. But my three boys would go nuts (and on my nerves) if we would do that.

Normally we go hiking or cycling in wormer days. So, spending the day at the coast was a bit different for us. We tend to avoid the coast mainly because it's usually crowded. Especially on sunny weekends. Everybody goes to the coast.

There are many prejudice against Slovenian coast:

Firstly, there is only 42 km of it. But since anyone from any corner in Slovenia can enjoy a day at the beach, because it is so close, is a good thing.

Secondly, there is everybody there. If you want to escape the noise and busy hustle and bustle of the day, Slovenian coast is not the best place to go. At this point, I actually agree.

Thirdly, it's considered as not as beautiful shores as you could find somewhere else. But there are some wonderful places you can visit and enjoy the day at the see.

So, the seaside was our choice of the day. And as we are more hiking like family and not the leisure kind one, we decided to visit Natural park of Strunjan.

Strunjan is a small town between Izola and Piran. Its most characteristic part is a 80 meters high cliffs, which, together with their overgrown edge and the 200-meter belt of coastal sea, represent the nature reserve. It is also the longest stretch of still preserved natural coastline in the entire Gulf of Trieste, which covers the 130-kilometer coastline between Grade┼ż in Italy and Savudrija on the Croatian side. Steep cliffs and coastline gravel at their foot are left entirely to the natural process, where sea, rain and wind constantly develop and change the friable rock layers to the new format.

There are 3 ways to visit the cliffs, by yourselves or guided tours. For us it's always to discover the places on our own as we can take as much time as we want and we can adapt to the pace to the family (normally or almost always to me :)).

- The beach path, which stretches below the cliff and offers the discovery of the sea life with crustaceans, jellyfish, sea cucumbers, sea snails etc.

- The educational path which leads from one side of the cliff to the other and offers the diversity of plants and animals of its own.

- The sea path, where you can dive under the sea and admire the beautiful undersea life of fauna and flora.

We took the first to paths. We hiked along the beach and discovered the amazing nature in its core and afterwards climbed to the top of the cliff to enjoy some amazing views they offer. On a clear day it is even possible to see all the way to the Alpes and the highest mountain in Slovenia, Triglav. On not so clear day, as we had, you can still see as far as Trieste and Gulf of Trieste in Italy.

Another characteristic of Strunjan is its Salina, which has the northernmost and smallest pans in the Mediterranean, where salt is still produced and has been for more than 700 years. Shallow Strunjan Bay was transformed in Salina with the construction of dikes, canals and shallow pools. The salt in produced in traditional method and with traditional wooden tools.

Take the whole day to enjoy the divers activities Strunjan and its surroundings offer. Slow down the pace and breathe in the sea air and look at the blue skies above you.

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