As in most places in Adriatic coast, "beach" is a forced word to identify some artificial accesses to the sea. Piran is no exception, and the bathing area, with a clear and calm water, is only accessible diving from the piers or descending the stairs.
Though the weather was inviting, we didn't try the water. Well... Fernanda did, with her left foot.
Parking regulations are very tight as there is so little space available in the town and such a limited space to park. Then :
Warning 1 : Never park outside an area authorized for parking. Not only you would be fined but your car might be clamped.
Warning 2: If you are not a local and park in a parking lot reserved for locals, if you are lucky, you will pay a high toll. If you are unlucky, see warning number 1.
Conclusion: Piran is a wonderful town to visit but avoid as much as possible to drive to Piran with your car.
Cars are generally not allowed in the old town. From this reason it is highly recommended to leave your car in the parking lots just outside the town and walk along the port towards Tartini Square or take one of the convenient free shuttle buses leaving the parking lots roughly every twenty minutes.
The biggest lot is along the waterfront "Parking Place Fornace" and costs about €8 per day.
If you need to drop off your bags, you can drive to Tartini Square and, if lucky, park at one of the metered spots, it's not a lot of fun since the streets are very narrow and parking costs €24 per day. Parking is free for less than 15 minutes only.
Do not park your car in spots reserved for residents or you will find the wheel of your car clamped and expect to pay a high fine to have it removed.
If you visit on a national holiday, as I did, you may well find that Piran is shut; at least, the car park just outside the town is!There's nowhere else to park, and the car park men will send you back up the hill.
Fear not! Drive on to Portoruz and find somewhere to park there (though that might not be particularly easy). Then you can get a bus to Piran; they run pretty frequently (every half-hour or so on holidays), along the 'main drag', and stop by Piran harbour.
Even if you end up parking way out by Portoruz marina, at the far extent of the town, the bus will be available. Worth knowing, because it seems that half of Ljubljana comes to Portoruz/Piran on sunny national holidays!
As we were driving into the city we watched as all the cars parked along the edge of the water were getting slammed by waves, my husband remarked that you could tell who was a local and who was not by the position of their cars, the ones close to the edge with the engines facing the water were probably going to get a nasty surprise in the morning when their cars don't start!
Tartini Trg (Tartini Square) is very pretty, but can be treacherous. Make sure you have footwear with a bit of grip if you are trying to cross Tartini Trg - otherwise you may well end up base over apex, and trust me, it hurts!
While walking around the boardwalk, be careful of the Adriatic. Even on the nicest day there are some pretty big waves crashing up against the rocks near the boardwalk. On the otherhand, if you're looking to cool off...
Actually, there is another warning. An event so dangerous that I could not even photograph it lest my camera be destroyed. All along the rocks at the edge of the water, Slovenes, Germans, Austrians, and Italians lie under the sun. Too many Speedos and too many missing bikini tops for men and women who really should leave them on. Be prepared to avert your eyes in horror. But it's fun to see Europeans at play, with whole families sloshing through the cobblestone streets on their way back to their flat or hotel.
The name Piran comes from the lighthouse that stands upon the tip of the peninsula (Pyr is Greek for ''fire''). This isn't really a warning, but as I learned from the episode of the Simpsons where Homer went on a spirit quest after having eaten Guatemalan insanity beans to search for his soulmate only to discover that Marge was his soulmate all along... turning off a lighthouse is a bad idea, lest a ship carrying loads of hot pants crash upon your shore.
So here's the famous lighthouse.
Car travellers: take care! There's a limited number of cars which are allowed to enter the town and - of course - it is filled by residents and hotel guests. You will be asked to park outside the town, but the number of available places is not unlimited, so: be ready to leave the car far away and walk your way until the official Park entrance, where a shuttle-bus will take you right in the town centre. It's just a 5 minutes ride and you may easily walk.
You cannot park easily in Piran proper. You can drive in and find short term parking while you secure a room but then you have to go to a lot just outside the city and take a free shuttle bus into town. The first lot is very expensive so make sure to go to the one just a little bit further.
Koper is the main Slovenian port and the entrance to the inland of the Central Europe. It is locatied a few km's north from Izola and it is last Slovenian town before Italian border. It is not on 'A must to visit' list though. Old town does have interesting architecture and cultural monuments but not a very beautiful coast - especially not beaches.