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Hiking Trail

The Otlica Natural Window

This hike, starting from the Pale Sports Park past the source of the Hubelj River above Ajdovščina, and to the natural beauty of the Otlica Natural Window (Otliško okno), will take you on a tour of some of the best views of the Vipava Valley, the Karst Plateau, and the Adriatic Sea. The well-marked trail, which winds its way along some very navigable terrain, is a great choice for a family trip.

Starting point: Pale Sports Park in Ajdovščina, where guests will find a large parking lot in front of the Hiša mladih Youth Centre and Hostel.

The trail begins right before the Hiša mladih Youth Centre and Hostel in Pale. At the edge of the cycling trail there is a well-marked educational hiking trail, which leads hikers up to the source of the Hubelj River. Following heavy rains this spring is truly impressive, as water rushes out from sources higher than usual. Across the bridge there waits another marked trail, which first bends towards the restaurant but soon returns to its gradual ascent. When you get to the first clearing, where the trail slightly drops, the view opens up to the Otlica Window and the summit of Čaven. The trail continues on into the forest, where you’ll find your first chance for a rest on one of the benches waiting there. You had better enjoy the pause, as the trail gets steep after that. Hikers will find a sign at one of the trail’s many switchbacks explaining the origin of the Otlica Window. From there a steep, but well-maintained trail leads to a rocky slope, where you will have your reward in the form of stunning views of your surroundings – namely of Ajdovščina and the upper Vipava Valley. Upon leaving the forest the trail flattens out a bit and it’s not far to the Otlica Window, which is visible on the right side of the path. The Little Otlica Window is also visible a mere 10 meters from the edge of the path. Things get steeper again and the trail leads past a small cave right before the peak, where locals erect a nativity scene each December. A chapel sits at the summit, right next to which hikers can find the guest book and stamp. Just another 5 minutes ahead you will find the Otlica Window. A bit before the Otlica Window the trail forks left towards the Stone Snail, the work of architect Damjan Popelar. Soon your path returns to the main trail, and shortly thereafter leads to signs with information above the Otlica Window. There is an unmaintained hill that you can take down to the Window, in order to get a stunning view of the village of Lokavec.

After seeing the Otlica Window follow the well-marked trail Pot po Robu towards Sinji vrh. The well-maintained trail, a part of the Slovenian Mountain Hiking Trail, leads along the grassy ridge of the Trnovo Forest Plateau to the summit of Navrša (857 m), from where in nice weather the Karst Plateau gives way to breathtaking views of the Gulfs of Trieste and Piran. The trail then leads into the forest and once again approaches the ridge at intersection of the power lines from Ajdovščina to the Trnovo Plateau. From here there’s just a half an hour to Sinji vrh, where a lovely agritourism farm is waiting for visitors. Under the power lines there is a well-marked path that descends down to Ajdovščina, and a steep slope leads to the Stara baba Plateau above Ajdovščina. Below the plateau the trail connects to the old Roman road, which is now maintained as a forest trail. Follow this trail to the source of the Hubelj, and then down to the very point you started from, namely at the Pale Sports Park.

Info

Difficulty: Medium
Length: 8 km
Duration: 3 h
Ascent: 800 m
Descent: 800 m
Lowest point asl.: 124 m
Highest point asl.: 857 m