Trieste Beaches – 5 Day Outdoor Road Trip in Italy Slovenia and Croatia

You love off-the-beaten path destinations.

trieste beaches

For mountains, beaches and culture there is no better place as a hub than Trieste, Italy to enjoy time away from the crowds and connect to what really counts.

Sitting at the end of the ancient maritime silk road, the small beach city of Trieste is known for its coffee and scholars and is only 2 hours from crowded Venice.

With 9,000 ft mountain peaks, sparkling alpine lakes and endless trails, the Julian Alps only 2 hours from Trieste, provides a lesser known European mountain destination for your family.

And 2 hours south of Trieste, lands you on the Istrian peninsula in Croatia. Swim like a mermaid in the ultra clear and buoyant waters of the Adriatic sea, cliff jump, and watch dolphins from the ancient city of Pula.

Trieste, Italy sits at the intersection of centuries of Latin, Slavic and Germanic cultures.

This guide will help you create an itinerary step by step to enjoy the most of culture, nature and adventure in 3 countries in 5 days.

Read until the end where we explore how you can even go wine tasting in a UNESCO world heritage site.

How This Trieste Beaches Italian Guide is Organized

  1. Best Trieste Beaches

  2. Trieste Beach Map

  3. Best Way to Get to Trieste, Italy

  4. Ultimate Outdoors Road Trip From Trieste: Slovenia Croatia and Italy

  5. The top 4 Things to Do in Trieste, Italy

  6. Where to Stay in Trieste, Italy

  7. Recommended Websites & Books to Explore Trieste, Italy

Best Trieste, Italy Beaches

Trieste Beaches on the Adriatic Sea. Lido = Beach

List of Trieste Beaches in Italy

Beach Barcola

Most popular beach in Trieste, spacious and clean. Backed up by a beautiful pine forest.

Spiaggia Muggia

Free Beach, Rocky on the outside of town near an archeological site.

Dog Beach

Free Beach and free dog entry. Parking and a small cafe. Cot rentals.

Sirena Beach

Private beach and it has a pool, restaurants, toilets. Concrete only so will need chairs.

Bagno Sticco

Best for kids, has a shallow protected area. Fee to enter, clean toilets, clear waters.

Trieste Beaches Map

Adriatic Sea

Trieste Beaches Map

How to use this map: Use your computer mouse or fingers to zoom in and out. Click on the icons to get more information. Click the arrow on the top left corner for the written index. Click the star next to the title of the map to add this map to your google maps account. To view the saved map on your smartphone or PC, open google maps, click the menu button, and go to “your places”/ “maps.”

Best Way to Get to Trieste Beaches

This region is easily accessed by car, train or bus. It is about 2 hours from Venice International Airport. Use the Trenitalia Train app to determine public transportation.

Renting a car from the airport can be helpful to explore very nearby Croatia and Slovenia.

Ultimate Outdoors Road Trip From Trieste

trieste beaches

Explore Italy, Slovenia and Croatia on a Magical 5 Day Trip

Example Itinerary

Part 1: Trieste, Italy to Bohinj, Slovenia

From the Sea to the Mountains

trieste beaches

Arrival Day: Get to Trieste and enjoy the famous beaches. Stay there the night before or get going on the road mid-afternoon.

Thursday - Day 1: Rent a car from Trieste airport and drive to Lake Bohinj. It’s about a 2 hour drive. Venice airport is also a great alternative, it’s a 3.5 hour drive.

Enjoy walking around Lake Bohinj at the outskirts of Triglav National Park.

Where to Stay in Bohinj, Slovenia

Best Accommodation for Families Exploring Nature

Stay at the gorgeous Art Hotel Kristal, a 5-10 minute walk from the stunning and exclusive Lake Bohinj.

Best Budget

Stay at Apartment Zvab in the heart of the village and walk to bakeries and restaurants with easy access to bike trails. Great apartment with all the services you need.

Best Eco-Friendly Luxury

The first eco-friendly and sustainable travel property in Slovenia boasts an indoor pool, luxurious essentials and charging stations for your electric car. A stay at the Four Star Bohinj Eco Hotel leaves no detail out.

Friday - Day 2: Explore hiking in Triglav national park only 12 km away. Recover in the hotels sauna and views of pristine alpine forest.

Part 2: Bohinj, Slovenia to Pula Croatia

From the Mountains to the Sea

trieste beaches

Saturday - Day 3: Drive to Pula, Croatia on the charming Istrian peninsula. It’s a gorgeous 4 hour drive. Stop at the iconic (if crowded) Lake Bled on the way. Explore it’s romantic waterside with a chapel in the middle of the island, famous for weddings for people from around the world.

Where to Stay in Pula Croatia

Best Accommodation for Families Exploring Sea Adventures

Best for Families

Stay at the spacious Apartments Nadija 1366 in the heart of Pula with free parking.

Best Budget

Stay right in the heart of Pula and walk to the town squares full of street artists and shops and restaurants. The Hostel Pipištrelo is clean and affordable.

Best Eco-Friendly Luxury

Sustainability is on our hearts and minds and this travel Sustainable Travel Hotel you can walk to the Roman Amphitheater and enjoy elegant furnishings in a private apartment.

Sunday - Day 4: Cliff jump, cave explore, swim, snorkel and eat wild oysters prepared by Capt. Chris, the Poseiden of Pula on his magical boat tour.

Explore Pula’s classical old-town with amazing seafood, street art and street performers.

Monday - Day 5: Recover from all your hiking and Adriatic swimming adventures with a delicious breakfast and then head back to Trieste to enjoy its famous beaches. Return home.



Stress Free Rental Cars from Trieste, Italy


Top 4 Best Things to do in Trieste Italy

Beyond the beaches, Trieste has a lot to offer families and solo travelers alike.

Slovenia Lake Bled and Ljubljana

Explore beautiful Ljubljana and Lake Bled in Slovenia just across the border from Italy, on this tour with an English speaking guide and hassle free transportation from Trieste.

Slovenian Cave Castles

Be amazing by visiting Postojna Cave and Predjama Castle, the only preserved cave castle in the world on this small group tour in English with hotel pickup from Trieste.

trieste beaches tour

Wine Tastings in a UNESCO World Heritage Site

Love wine? Tour the UNESCO world heritage Cividale del Friulli and highlights of the Collio Friulli wine growing region on this amazing history and wine tasting tour.

Sailing Trip

Enjoy the water and jump into it directly from your private sailing boat tour.

Best Time to Visit Trieste Beaches

May - November

For the best conditions on the Trieste beaches, May through November is great, however as beaches in Europe can be crowded, avoid August if possible. September enjoys warm air and water and less crowds.

Where to Stay in Trieste, Italy

Check out the links here from Booking - I always use them for my city and multi-day hikes because they are trustworthy and helpful to keep organized.

Best for Dog Lovers

💖 Villa Botacin delights travelers with dogs and they will LOVE the private gardens and hotel dating back to 1854. Choose a hotel room or private apartment and enjoy the outdoor pool.

Best Luxury

💖💖💖 Savoia Excelsior Palace Trieste - Starhotels Collezione is one of the most luxurious hotels in Trieste, boasting 4 stars, walking distance to the beach, a restaurant and bar.

On a Budget?

💲Going budget and have an SUV or car? It’s completely legal to sleep in your car (but only one night in each place) in a parking lot. Make it comfortable with a comfy car air mattress.

Don’t be like me and get eye pre-cancer, protect your eyes from the damage inflicted by the sun with cat 3-4 sunglasses.

Recommended Books for Exploring Slovenia and Croatia & Trieste Italy

Learn more about Hiking in the Julian Alps of Slovenia with this New York Times article.

🚴🏻‍♀️ If bikes are your thing and you want to explore the Istria and Pula Croatia by bike - Check out this food and bike guided bike tour.

💥EU Classic Rick Steves Guidebook - Learn all the backdoor secrets of Slovenia and Croatia. USA : Rick Steves Slovenia and Croatia

Official Slovenian Hiking Website Learn everything about what you can experience in the gorgeous Julian Alps.

Reliable Rental Cars : Rent a Car and Explore Slovenia and Croatia from Trieste, Italy

Want a private airport transfer from Venice to Trieste? Take this English speaking transfer and the driver will share local insights.

Castle Hotel to Castle Hotel in Germany Hiking

🏔Looking for an amazing Castle Hotel to Castle Hotel Hike of a Lifetime? Stimulate the senses with food, wine and hiking! Romantic Rhine River Gorge Castle Hike in Germany

Here is a full guide of the German castles on the Rhine and the history.

Thanks for reading! I hope you enjoy Slovenia and Croatia and its endless beaches and mountains.

Please share your stories of your awesome outdoor adventures over on our facebook group Untold Outdoor Europe Travel.

with 💖, Crave the Planet

▶️ P.S. If you like Crave the Planet you can help me do more by becoming one of my monthly supporters. When I get to $500/month in support, I’ll launch a $500 scholarship in the name of the patron who has donated the most by the time the goal is reached.

Author profile: Morgan Fielder is a passionate hiker and writer, physical therapist, and European Cornhole Commissioner. She is living near Ramstein Air Force Base in Germany and featured giving science-based hiking tips and advice.

When not out exploring the mountains or sea, she’s writing articles and gear reviews to empower Outdoor Journeys that include family and good food. She is actively involved in the community and advocating for connection and sustainability with her community projects at Cornhole Europa and Sustainable Investors Group.