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10 Top Things to do in Izola

Izola is a small town on the Slovenian coast. Until the 19th century, Izola was an island and hence its name. The locals are very connected to the sea, and fishing is still one of their main activities. Let’s see what are the top things to do in Izola, the lovely seaside town of Slovenia.

Izola is an old fishing town with a beautiful old town. It offers several different beaches so you can choose your favorite. During the day you can enjoy excellent ice cream in Izola, and in the evenings treat yourself to wine or a cocktail in one of the many bars.

How to get to Izola?

The city of Izola is located on the coast of Slovenia. Although the coastline is rather small, there are multiple towns that you can choose to enjoy a beach holiday in Slovenia. When you are visiting Izola, you might be tempted to choose Trieste airport as it is the closest to the town. However, as Trieste is in Italy, we would say you will have an easier time flying to Ljubljana.

Ljubljana airport is the main international airport in Slovenia. You can book a flight to Ljubljana then take a 1-hour bus ride to Izola. As the bus ride is not that long, it is the best option when you are flying to Izola. If you want a car, Ljubljana airport is also the perfect opportunity to rent one.

The Things to do in Izola

Izola with its beaches offers a lot of water fun, and at the same time, the old town invites you to explore it. Treat yourself to authentic and delicious seafood, and a glass of local wine in the evenings.

Church of St. Mavra

At the church of St. Mavra in the old town stands a bell tower, which is smaller but similar to the bell tower in Venice. It is the most visible church in Izola, as it stands on the highest point of the former medieval island and gives the town a recognizable silhouette.

The baroque interior of the church boasts ten altars, it is also adorned with Callid’s organ from 1796 and beautiful paintings, the oldest dating back to the 15th century.

Next to the church, there is a bell tower. If you wish to grab a spectacular view, climb to the bell tower, as you can look out over the beautiful Izola. There are 99 steps to the top of the bell tower, and access to the Izola lookout point will be provided in the church. In summer, guided tours of the church and frescoes are also organized in foreign languages.

Izola from the Sea
Photo by Flickr user Maik-T. Šebenik

Izola Maritime Museum

Izolana is the House of the Sea, which testifies to the maritime heritage of Izola. Through documentary photographs in Izolana you can get acquainted with the shipping history of the town.

Visiting the museum means that you will get more information on Izola’s sea and seaside character. Meet the successful Izola athletes, the famous cartographer Pietro Copp and the former Parenzano railway. If you want to learn about the history of the city, you must not skip over this things to do in Izola.

Beach and Sea

Despite the fact that the Slovenian coast is only 46 kilometers long, you can find various beaches in Izola, from which you can choose your favorite. For example, San Simon’s Bay offers fun and active leisure. It is located near the Belvedere Hotel, and there are children’s slides, volleyball courts, and bars on the beach.

Only a short walk from the old town of Izola leads you to the Svetilnik beach. On the Svetilnik beach, you can also find a place for a towel in the shade of pine trees, and in the evening you can admire the magnificent sunset with a cocktail in hand.

Delfin Beach is located near the Delfin Hotel, about halfway between Lighthouse Beach and San Simon. The concrete beach has an ice cream buffet, volleyball courts, and motorhome parking.

Church of St. Maria Alietska

The Church of St. Mary of God Alietska in Manzioli Square is the oldest church in Izola. It is dedicated to the Assumption of Mary.

Its construction dates back to the second half of the 11th century, which can be easily observed in the romanesque style. Inside we find three altars, a wooden choir, and the organ of master Nakič, one of the most important Venetian organists.

Izola Saint Mary Church
Pavle58, CC BY-SA 4.0 https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/4.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Simon’s Bay Archaeological Park

Simon’s Bay Archaeological Park Haliaetum is an ancient Roman port with a coastal settlement. After the founding of the Roman colony of Aquileia in 181 BC. n. š. much of Istria came under Roman rule. The process of Romanization is manifested mainly in the intensive settlement of the coastal zone and also the hinterland.

Archaeological finds were found on an area of ​​four hectares, where the remains of a seaside residential Roman villa (villae maritime) with an outbuilding and the largest port from the same time were discovered. They together represent one of the largest estates in this part of Istria.

Take a Boat trip to the sea

Zola is closely connected to the sea, which you can also experience on a boat trip. You can opt for a few-hour trip, or book a full-day private trip with stops and picnics with authentic seafood. You can find many days or half-day trip providers in the port of the Izola.

This item on our things to do in Izola list is perfect for those who want to explore more. A boat tour can take you to places that are hard to reach with car and give you a new perspective of the landscape from the water.

Izola Boat
Photo by Flickr user photo by Sergio Verzier

Zanon House

The Baroque Zanon Palace stands on Krpanova Street, which received its final appearance in 1772. It was erected by the Izola merchant Barba Nana Zanon. It was built by the same builders as the famous Besenghi degli Ughi palace.

Besenghi Palace Degli Ughi

The Besenghi Degli Ughi Palace is one of the best-preserved late Baroque architectural monuments in Slovenia. It’s considered to be one of the most beautiful buildings in Istria.

The three-story palace was built in a relatively short time, from 1775 to 1781. The prominent and wealthy Istrian Besenghi family entrusted the construction of their palace to the Milan architect Filip Doggett.

Today, the Besenghi Degli Ughi Palace is home to the Izola Music School and is also used for wedding ceremonies.

Besenghi delgi Ughi Palace
AnaJur, CC BY-SA 3.0 https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Viližan Archaeological Site

The archeological area of ​​Viližan in the area of ​​the coastal road between Izola and Koper speaks of the presence of a seaport or fish farm from the Roman period.

The archeological site lies 2 to 3 m below today’s surface. On the seabed, the foundations of the Roman port have been preserved. Extending below the former coastal road, to the opposite side, where the edge of the ancient coast and the ancient pavement and the foundation walls of the buildings were discovered.

Two piers have been preserved, which are visible at very low tide. The first pier (on the Izola side) runs from the coast inland, where at the end of the pier there is a second pier facing Koper.

Wind off with seafood and cocktails

Izola is a seaside town. This usually means that the seafood is pretty good and it is especially true for Izola. Affected both by Croatian and Italian cultures you will find amazing fish and seafood-based meals.

We highly recommend that on the nights you take a seat in one of the lovely restaurants of Izola. Order some good food and a cocktail to go with it. The best way to enjoy life in this small, but cute seaside town.

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