On foot through the hilly vineyards
The spectacular villages and wine cellars of the Upper Vipava Valley
The first glimpse of the Vipava Valley on the road from central Slovenia is stunning, as the rolling hills overgrown with grape vines immediate cast their spell on you. There are a million trails here waiting for you to hike them. They lead from village to village, among the vineyards and acacia forests. These trails are the perfect choice for those who like to learn a bit about the local flora and fauna along the way, as well as those whose mouths are watering for a taste of the local gastronomic delights. The rugged landscape that is green almost all year round will blow you away with its beauty, and you will find nothing but warm, generous people in the valley’s towns and villages. They will be happy to invite you to try some of their homemade specialties, especially their wine and traditional foods.
You can begin your exploration of the sloping vineyards in the upper Vipava Valley in the village of Slap, right near Vipava, which has a rich, long-lasting wine-making tradition, including the establishment of Slovenia’s first wine-making school. When you leave Slap and head up the hill, your path will lead past the picturesque Rouna estate, surrounded on all sides by vineyards. The occasional fruit or olive tree decorates the landscape. This stunningly gorgeous are begging to have their picture taken, so you might have a small bout of déjà vu, as if their beauty is intimately known to you.
The village of Planina opens up at the top of the hills, known for its numerous wine-growing estates and premium vintages. The Vipava Valley’s famous cherries will be waiting for you in May and June, and other delicious fruits become ripe all summer into late autumn. Leaving Planina the trail will lead toward the village of Erzelj, which is widely known for its numerous springs of crystal clear drinking water. If you have enough time, take one of the marked educational trails to the many well-maintained springs. This village is also well known for its world-class wines made from the indigenous grape variety Pinela, so you should definitely stop at one of the farms nearby.
From Erzelj the trail descends past the church of St. Mary of the Snows above Goče, where you can take in a view of the entire valley, covered in beautiful vineyards, and then takes you past the village of Goče itself, which is a monument of Slovenian cultural heritage. Walk along the narrow streets and you are sure to be enchanted by this lovely village. You’ll also be just as excited about the foods that they serve up at the renowned Cejkotova domačija. Just ask one of the locals and you will learn that Goče is the village with the most wine cellars in the whole valley. Leave Goče and come back to the original trail, leading to the village of Slap, where you can sleep at the agritourism farm Na Hribu. The next morning when you wake up, you will have a satisfying rustic breakfast, but you will surely still be hungry to keep exploring even more.
We recommend making arrangements to visit the wine cellars and agritourism farms in advance.