Connecting the borders on foot

The Slovenian coastline is 44km long, one of the shortest European coasts. Only shorter are the coastlines of Bosnia and Herzegovina and Monaco, at 21km and 8km respectively. Slovenia’s coastline has three bays: the bays of Koper, of Strunjan and of Piran, and some picturesque small towns that can all be seen in a day’s walk, or even better, a run!

Let’s start at the Slovene – Croatian border in Sečovlje. Running along the old path of the Porečanka, originally Parenzo hence the italian name Parenzana, rail station, a defunct narrow gauge railway that operated between 1902 and 1935, between Trieste and Poreč, bringing economic progress to towns along its route. It was used mainly to transport agricultural products, fish and salt, to the Trieste market. Although the tracks have been removed, a significant part of the rail infrastructure remains – tunnels, embankments, bridges. Some stones with the inscription, ‘T.P.C.’ still stand along the former route.
In Sečovlje, the run passes the saltworks which are still active today and in late August the process of salt extraction can be seen. In other months, it is an exceptional land of peace, an area where rare plants and nests of rare birds can be found.

Leaving the salt land behind, we run to Cape Seča, with its wild beach and a nice path above it that will lead to the nearby Camp Lucija. From there, we enjoy a beautiful view of Portorož and its surroundings, while on the hill above there is Forma Viva, where the collection of stony sculptures from Istrian stone, situated in a nice olive park, can be seen.

The footpath leads to Lucija and its marina. We run with boats on our left and soon come to the entrance to the Portorož sandy beaches. As we run along them, passing all the hotels, the salt magazines and enter Bernardin, with its small harbour and many hotels, we slowly see the adorable view of the Piran peninsula.

Soon we enter this town of fishermen, with its Venetian Gothic architecture, inspiring us with the wish to return. We stick to the coast and run along the sea side around Pirans punta, where we take the stairs to Pirans main church. From here we take another gorgeous sea path to Fiesa, passing a saltwater lake only a few metres from the sea and then we a take a steep street up to Pacug from where we go down to the salt pans of Strunjan.

Here, we step on the Porečanka path again and run to Izola. Another picturesque harbour town, at its time an island, shows it’s seaside beauty. Passing the marina to a special sports area – the sea lane between Izola and Koper that three years ago was closed to motor traffic – where we can enjoy the views of Koper and its harbour, then enjoy the view of Cape Debeli rtič, passing Ankaran where there is only a few kilometres to our finish line – the Slovene – Italian border.

On 12 January 2020, Urbani tekači, theUrban runners, are organising a non-competitive run from border to border. Around 100 participants will divide in to groups of different speeds, from 5 min/km to 7 min/km, combined with some walking in between. Every five kilometres there will be a stop with some homemade food and beverages, and there will also be organised a bus for those who do not wish to continue. The 44km will take from 5 hours to 7.5 hours and everyone will be greeted at the end with a hot meal. We invite everyone to join us!

More information: Urbani tekači, Jasmina Kozina Praprotnik, jasmina.kozina@gmail.com, 041 936 056