Slovenia is connected with the Mediterranean by only 46.6 km of coast in Trieste Bay. This stretch of the coast is scattered with old towns, such as Koper, Izola and Piran, which for centuries were the only local urban centres.
In the second half of the 20th century, the entire coast was urbanised. Today, some 70,000 people live on this narrow coastal strip. The main activities of the area are various kinds of industry and, recently, transport and tourism. Less than 20% of the original natural coastline survives. These areas of pristine nature are mostly located in remote cliffs of flysch sedimentation. More than half of the preserved coastline is protected as part of two small natural parks - Rt Madona above Piran and Debeli Rtic - and two larger areas - the Natural Reserve of Strunjan , which is part of the Strunjan Landscape Park, and the complex of the Secovlje saltpans in the Dragonja delta, which covers approximately 650 hectares.