Life can be like a grape. Fresh and juicy all the time. You just have to be at the right place at the right time. And this is Your time. Take time to discover Koper and its surrounding in Slovenian Istria.
Koper is also the largest town of Slovenian Istria and the only Slovenian port. The town of Koper is considered to be one of the oldest Slovenian towns, with its rich history dating back to the Middle Bronze Age. Koper was first populated during the time of the Romans and used to be an island; after the Roman Empire, several reigns and countries developed in the area, which led to its different names.
The original name of the settlement on the island where the town is located today was Aegida; during the Roman reign, the town was called Capris and later Insula Capraria (Goat Island); the Byzantines called it Justinopolis, while the patriarchs of Aquileia gave it the name Caput Histriae (Head of Istria).
The Venetians, whose influence in the area was the most visible, named the settlement Capo d’Istria (Head of Istria); in addition to the Slovenian version (Koper), this is also the version that is still in use today, with Koper being a bilingual zone. During the Venetian Republic (13th – 18th century), the town experienced a huge economic and cultural boom. The architecture of the town you can admire today bears witness to it, while the shape of the island was gradually lost during shrinkage of salt evaporation ponds (that were definitely eliminated in 1912). After the fall of the Venetian Republic, Koper was dominated by the Austrians and, in the meantime, by Napoleon (for a short time); after changes experienced during and after both World Wars, Koper became a part of Yugoslavia and has been a part of the independent republic of Slovenia since 1991.
Today, destination Koper is also the richest Slovenian tourist destination as regards the number of olive tree and grapewine plantations.
Throughout the year, Koper is an active Mediterranean destination where the historic coastal town meets the green countryside. The latter is shaped by 104 settlements, as well as many cycling, hiking and thematic routes, which stretch from the sea, through the hills of Istria and all the way to the Karst edge, and are an excellent starting point for discovering the peculiarities of the Mediterranean Slovenia. This is home to unforgettable sea views, extensive vineyards, olive groves, orchards and green fields.
Typical villages give this place a special charm, in which we find Istrian stone houses with fountains, as well as typical Karst homesteads with closed courtyards. The countryside of Koper is also home to different castles, fortresses, as well as other architectural and natural pearls.
The selection is really rich and because short distances between places enable you to visit more attractions in one day, we offer you a selection of some must-see villages below (on Visit Koper web site) – perhaps you discover your new favourite corner of the Slovenian Istria along the way.
Did you know?
The area of Karst Edge which represents the natural border between the typical Karst surface and flysch, Istria is known around the world as an outstanding climbing destination with over 800 routes.