Lipica Stud Farm and Lipizzaner Horses Tour
- Lipica Estate: Enjoy a visit to a nearly 200-year-old manor built on a foundation that dates back to the Renaissance, and take in its quaint terraced gardens and courtyard.
- Lipizzaner stable: Get an up-close look at the legendary white Lipizzaner horse breed at this 100-year-old stable that houses mares and geldings used for carriage rides and riding lessons.
- Lipizzaner Museum: An experiential retelling of the story of these beautiful horses featuring three of their skeletons, ancestral fossils, paintings, and historic riding and breeding equipment.
- Carriage ride: If you wish, you (and up to three other guests) can take a retro carriage ride, where you can enjoy a relaxing tour of the entire estate and its winding tree-lined paths.
About This Piran Tour
Close to the Italian border, the Lipica Stud Farm cuts a pastoral scene with its rolling green hills, orange terracotta rooftops, and – above all – its legendary white Lipizzaner horses. Today it features a museum, hotel, and even a nine-hole golf course – a place where visitors stage wedding pictures and enjoy carriage rides. And yet this peaceful stud farm – the oldest in the world – hides a tumultuous and violent history.
The very founding of the farm by Archduke Charles II of Austria in 1572, who had taken a fancy to Spanish horses and wanted to breed his own, resulted in the forced eviction of the farmers native to the region. The horses were evacuated and stashed throughout Europe eight times to evade the onslaught of Napoleon, the Nazis, the Soviets, thieves, greedy rivals, and an 1802 earthquake. And still today, this idyllic landscape hides a mass grave – resting place to an unknown number of human victims of World War II.
As soon as you set foot in Lipica you'll understand why so many lives have been risked and lost for these horses. Over four centuries of secrets and lore have cultivated these beautiful creatures, enriching the original Spanish stock with Italian, German, Danish, and even purebred Arabian horses, while perfecting the breed and techniques used to train them in the high art of dressage.
Since 1792 the white riding hall of the farm has hosted a classical equestrian school famous throughout the world – a riding ground for kings and emperors, and thoroughbreds that have been given as gifts to queens. Like mechanical clocks, eyeglasses and the printing press, these equines are products of the Middle Ages that everyone can give thanks for.
No Mickey Mouse operation
Late in World War II, General George Patton halted the advance of the U.S. Army through Europe for a horse show. It was a last-ditch effort by an Austrian colonel to save Lipizzaner horses from an advancing Soviet army hungry enough to boil them into stew. And it worked: No sooner had Patton seen the horses in action did he authorize an unlikely alliance of Nazis and American soldiers to spirit the horses to safety – a daring operation that inspired Miracle of the White Stallions, a 1963 Disney film.
Arriving by cruise ship? Please exit the port terminal building to meet your guide. Please look for the displayed logo sign. Staying at a hotel? Be sure to advise us at check-out so we can meet you in the lobby.
The horse shows only operate on Tuesdays, Fridays, and Sundays at 3 PM. On Wednesdays, Thursdays, and Saturdays, you can see a training session. There are no shows or training activities on Mondays at the Stud Farm; a guided walking tour and free time will be provided instead. Admire the white horses from afar as you cannot touch them.
Plan to walk for about a mile, climb some steps, stand for periods of time and get on/off the coach. Travelers with limited mobility need a person to accompany them to provide assistance as needed. Venues are accessible. Folding wheelchairs only, please.
Cultural, Scenic, Wilderness/Wildlife, Family Friendly, Walking Tour
Entrance Fee to Stables (19.00 euro value)
English, German, Italian
Tour Participation Requirements
This experience is rated mild. To participate fully, you may be required to walk over primarily even surfaces at a leisurely pace. You may encounter a limited number of steps, cobblestones, or uneven surfaces, and you may have to stand for extended periods of time.
Suitable for all ages.
Full refunds issued for cancellations made 7 full days prior to the date and time of requested services. Cancellations made within the 7-day and 72-hour window will receive a 50% refund of purchase total. Purchases are non-refundable inside of 72 hours.
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