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December 2017

Nativity scenes, cosiness and holiday magic

Experience a slightly different Christmas holiday

The winter solstice occurs in December and marks the longest night of the year. Days are bound to get longer after that, with a promise of spring filling the air. But until then, we should thoroughly soak up the mystique and beauty of long, cosy evenings and the joy brought upon us by the festive season. December is all about tradition. Nativity scenes pop up in every family home and churches all around as per Christian tradition. The Vipava Valley in particular beckons with traditional Nativity scene exhibitions, living Nativity tableaux and charming Christmas events. Wine cellars are stocked with new vintages waiting to be sampled by wine newbies and connoisseurs alike, and opportunities for authentic festivities abound.

Nativity scenes in the Vipava Valley

Right before Christmas, as the year draws to a close, Vipava Valley gets decked out in pure holiday magic. Traditional Nativity exhibitions amaze visitors with masterfully crafted figures conveying the joyful message of Christmas. The international Nativity exhibition at the pilgrimage site of Sveta Gora boasts the longest Nativity tradition. A particular highlight around Christmas time in this region: Nativity scenes are set up out in the streets, in front of private homes, in windows or shop displays across Vipavski Križ and Vipava. The streets turn into a unique diorama which sets the scene for various cultural events. In Vipavski Križ and Vogrsko the locals even put up living Nativity scenes. Nearly every church in the Vipava Valley displays its own delightful interpretation. Hikers will be amazed to happen upon miniature crèches even along some hiking trails. Christmas is truly a remarkable time to visit the Vipava Valley. Read more about the tradition of Nativity scenes in the Vipava Valley here.

Open wine cellars

Far into December and the holiday season, the winemakers of Vipava Valley entice visitors with their newest vintages. Along the Vipava Wine Route, which is one of the most popular in the country, visitors can catch the last of the wine and food events of the year taking place under the name Wine cellars from St Martin’s Day to Christmas (Vinski hrami Vipavske doline od martina do božiča). Read up on the event programme in December and take your pick where to spend a wine-themed day or two in the pristine setting of the Vipava Valley. For many people the Vipava Valley is one of the most beautiful wine countries offering world-class wines. Every wine tasting event comes complete with the finest regional delicacies made from locally sourced ingredients. Treat yourself to a local culinary extravaganza.

Winter hikes

The Vipava Valley remains green year round. And we mean that quite literally: in the lowlands, where there is hardly ever snow, fields of wheat paint the landscape green and the edges of the hills around Vipava boast an evergreen trim of coniferous trees. The valley and hills around Vipava as well as the higher grounds to the west of the valley, such as Trstelj, Škabrijel and Sabotin, remain snow-free throughout the winter season. If we do get snow, we embrace it as a brief, seasonal decoration element only. Alas, even the high-altitude Trnovo Forest Plateau and Nanos Plateau are normally without snow, and thus hiking trails are passable even in deep winter. Sure, seasoned hikers shouldn't mind a little snow, but the fact is that clear paths are much safer and more pleasant to walk on. This is also one of the biggest appeals of the hiking trails in the Vipava Valley.

Culinary tip of the month

Holiday gallivanting, Nativity scenes or winter hikes are not complete if you miss out on a truly exceptional culinary experience to wrap them up with. Our first tip is the Faladur Wine Bar and Wine Shop housed in the restored Roman tower in Ajdovščina, which provides a great quick stop on your way. Faladur will be pleased to introduce to you the distinctive features of the Vipava wine region and pamper you with a wine tasting complete with delectable home-made treats. The shop also sells wines and local products from the valley.

Our second tip is the traditional open door event called osmice. This time you are invited to the osmica at the farm of the Černigoj family, which is locally referred to as Pri Lovrinčkovih in Lokavec 76 b, and will be open between 8 to 17 December. A week earlier, from 1 to 10 December, local delicacies are ripe for the tasting at the Avin Osmica near Gradišče pri Vipavi.

Event highlights in December

  • Nova Gorica: New Year's Events, December 2017. Nova Gorica offers visitors a varied roster of December events and a big party to wrap up the old year at the traditional New Year's outdoor celebration in the town centre.
  • Ajdovščina: 100km Running Challenge along the Frigid River (Tekaški izziv 100 ob Mrzli reki), 9 December 2017. Starting at the car dealership Avtohiša Lavrenčič, the 50km, 75km or 100km individual, team or relay running challenge is set up across the plain of Ajdovsko polje.
  • Vipava: 20th Horse Blessing Ceremony on St Stephen's Day, 26 December 2017. The Sveti Štefan Equestrian Society from the Vipava Valley will hold the 20th horse blessing ceremony accompanied by a lovely cultural programme.

Find out more about December events here.