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Piran, Slovenia

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45°31.5′N, 13°33.96′E
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[ Photo gallery]
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[ Local chartlet]
The old town of Piran
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The town of Piran lies at the tip of a small peninsula on the coast of Slovenia just over four miles WSW of the harbour of Izola and three miles N of the border with Croatia. Piran is one of the architectural jewels of Slovenia, with beautifully conserved mediaeval buildings, streets and squares and lofty town walls barring the land entrance to the town. Most of the buildings date from the period of Venetian or Austro-Hungarian rule. The town’s original fortifications dated from the Byzantine era, although the walls and four high towers across the neck of the peninsular that survive today date from the 16th century, when the greater use of cannon rendered the older walls vulnerable. Several of the old town entrances, dating back as far as the 13th century, still survive in the narrow streets. One of the town’s most famous sons is the violinist and composer Giuseppe Tartini, whose statue still graces the main square named after him today. The small harbour has space to berth around 20-30 yachts up to 20 metres along its western breakwater in depths of 5.0 - 6.0 metres. It is best visited in settled conditions.


British Admiralty 1471, 1426

Italian charts 924

Imray Nautical Chart M24

Radio Nets

Also see World Cruiser's Nets

Local Weather

Diurnal winds along the coast are mostly moderate during the summer months, predominantly from NW and rarely exceeding force 4/5. At night, katabatic winds off the mountains are a feature of some of the harbours along the NE Adriatic coast. During early spring and (especially) autumn conditions can be more unsettled, occasionally accompanied by violent thunderstorms - luckily of short duration - with winds of 30-35 knots or more and vicious, steep seas. In the winter the sudden, violent N wind off the mountains, the bora, is much to be feared.

Equally prevalent in winter - although not uncommon in summer - is the scirocco, a S/SE wind that blows up from North Africa, usually in advance of a depression moving E across the Mediterranean. Unlike the bora, the scirocco only occasionally exceeds gale force, but is still a phenomenon to be wary of, especially if on a lee coast.

Sources of weather forecasting:

  • Radio Slovenia broadcasts a forecast at 0635 and 0955 local time on 928 kHz and on FM.
  • There is a continuous (computerised voice) weather forecast from Italy on VHF 68 - first in Italian and then followed with an English translation.
  • The same forecast is given in Italian and English on Italian VHF coastal stations (e.g. Trieste) following a notification on channel 16.
  • Navtex weather forecasts covering the Adriatic are broadcast from stations at Trieste, Split (Croatia) and Kerkyra (Corfu).
  • The Croatian meteorological office has a useful web-based forecast service for winds and wave heights on [1]

Approach and Navigation

A tall belfry in the town, which is itself in a very conspicuous position on a headland at the NW end of the bay of Portoroz, is a good landmark. The headland should be given a clearance of at least half a mile on the approach from N to avoid rocky shallows. The harbour lies on the SE side of the peninsula and is entered from SSW. The entrance is narrow and a good lookout is needed in case of vessels leaving the harbour. Shelter is good in most conditions, but strong NW winds send in a dangerous surge. In these conditions, Marina Portoroz two miles SE is a safer bet.

Piran harbour in a thunderstorm
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Check-in facilities (for Customs and Immigration)

Yachts entering from Croatia check in at Piran before continuing N and vice versa. Visiting yachts normally berth stern or bows-to along the western breakwater, where there are laid moorings for around 20-30 yachts of up to 20 metres in depths of 5.0 - 6.0 metres. The berths on the E side of the harbour are for local yachts only.

Offshore Islands and Groups


Marinas & Yacht Clubs

Marina Portoroz is two miles SE of Piran.


There are no really sheltered anchorages in the area, although anchoring in the bight immediately N of Marina Portoroz is possible in settled weather.

Yacht Repairs and Services

Marine Stores

Submit addresses and contact details of marine related businesses that are of interest to cruisers.


See entry for Marina Portoroz for nearest details.

Fuel, Water, & Electricity

No Fuel dock in the harbour. A few water outlets but no electricity.

Tourism and Things to do Ashore


Piran is a delight to explore, with new sights around almost every corner. The main square of Tartinijev Trg was the inner basin of the harbour until 1894, when it was filled in to create the square. A statue of the town’s most famous son, the violinist and composer Giuseppe Tartini, stands in the centre. The red-painted house with the balcony at the N end of the square is one of the oldest in Piran and legend relates that is was built by a wealthy Venetian merchant to accommodate his mistress (hence the intriguing inscription on its walls: Lassa pur dir, or ‘Let them talk’). The church of St George on the hill at the top of the town has fantastic views over the town and the belltower can be climbed for an even better view. Perhaps the most famous view, however, is from the towers of the 16th century walls at the eastern end of the town, which afford a panoramic view of the roofs of the town and, on a clear day, the Grado peninsula on the Italian coast 12 miles NW.

Grocery & Supply Stores

  • Good provisions shops in the town


  • Numerous bars and restaurants in the old town.





Motorbike & Car Rentals

Rental outlets in the town.

Garbage Disposal

Bins near the harbour.


  • Frequent buses to Izola, Koper and Trieste, Italy
  • Small airport with some local and charter flights at Portoroz, 10 kilometres S
  • International airport of Ljubljana 135 kilometres
  • Airport of Trieste in Italy 55 kilometers

Routes/Passages To/From

Popular passages/routes, timing, etc.

Cruiser's Friends

Contact details of "Cruiser's Friends" that can be contacted for local information or assistance.

Forum Discussions

List links to discussion threads on partnering forums. (see link for requirements)

External Links

Links to relevant websites.

  • Official Slovenian tourism website: [2]
  • Portoroz municipal website: [3]

References & Publications

Publications, Guides, etc.

Last Visited & Details Checked (and updated here)

Date of member's visit to this Port/Stop & this page's details validated:

Personal Notes

Personal experiences?

  • Piran is a beautiful place to visit but should be avoided in strong NW or SW winds or if thunderstorms are forecast. We lost both our for’ard fairleads and had two stanchions damaged by our Italian motor boat neighbour during the thunderstorm shown above, which sent a dangerous surge into the harbour.--Athene of Lymington 14:14, 6 February 2011 (UTC)


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