Persimmons, chestnuts and other delights
Autumn uncovers new paths and lets us indulge in extravagant dishes.
Golden autumn is finally upon us. Nature is just beginning to slow down. The blistering heat is gone and the real cold is not yet in. The Vipava Valley welcomes autumn slower than other places around the country, and the green persists well into late autumn. Persimmons, those last autumn fruits, are subtly changing colour and soon their vibrant orange hue will brighten the scenery of the valley. Out in the woods, chestnut cupules are beginning to crack open. Now is the perfect time to venture out on long hikes along picturesque trails and embark on extravagant culinary endeavours. Persimmon and chestnut add character to the local dishes; let yourself be enthralled by the uniqueness and generosity of the Vipava Valley.
Autumn culinary highlights
The Vipava Valley is the right place for anyone seeking unspoilt authenticity. The dishes on offer in the inns and restaurants are noted for being made from locally sourced ingredients. The most prominent part of the local cuisine is the tradition of changing the menu according to the season. Typical autumnal dishes are therefore available only for a brief period. So hurry up if you don't want to miss them. The persimmon and chestnut season only lasts so long. In the village of Vitovlje, which is set at the heart of the Vipava Valley, the traditional Chestnut Festival will take place on the third October weekend, spoiling visitors with finest chestnut varieties and other regional delicacies made from this extravagant autumn ingredient. The Vipava Valley is already gearing up for its autumnal culinary highlight: St Martin’s Day celebrations that usually draw crowds of visitors to the valley in early November. Martin's Day season will be kicked off on the last October weekend in Nova Gorica with the event Four Flavours of St Martin's in the City.
Scaling Mt Nanos
Autumn might quite possibly be the best hiking season around here. Nanos, this magnificent karst massif looming over the Vipava Valley, is a popular hiking destination. The edge of the massif and its peaks are accessible from several directions and over numerous trails, even challenging ones such as the Gradiška tura via ferata. The most popular of the mix is the hiking trail to Nanos from Razdrto, which affords lofty views in all directions. Next to the antenna, which has become a symbol of the highest peak of Nanos, stands the unique Museum Collection of Analogue Transmission Techniques. There are also easier hiking trails set up across the Nanos Plateau so there is at least one trail that can be hiked year round. The south mountainside of Nanos boasts impressive walls that create the typical face of the Upper Vipava Valley, attracting climbers year round, but especially in winter as the sunny walls remain free of snow.
Walking or biking to enjoy a delectable lunch
There are multiple paths up to Nanos, including bike trails. Of course Nanos can also be biked up taking the main road from Podnanos or Vipava through Sanabor. However, mountain bikers are in for a special treat. Hikes and bike rides up Nanos are even more enjoyable if topped off with delicious home-made meals delighting guests on the Abram Agritourism Farm, the Vojkova Koča Lodge (next to the summit Mt Pleša) and the Vojkovo Hunting Lodge.
The autumn hiking season presents a few organised hikes which are a great way to get to know the Vipava Valley, its fascinating trails, cultural and natural heritage, as well as the customs and lifestyle of the local people. Organised hikes are especially popular with the locals and these events are always merry. Read more about our organised hikes under events.
Event highlights in October
- Banjšice: Hiking along the Sedevčič Trail, 8 October 2017. Set up along the meadows through the scenic autumnal backdrop. Entertainment programme at the finish.
- Opatje selo: Hike Opatje selo–Cerje–Opatje selo, 8 October 2017. This traditional hike starts in Opatje selo and leads to Cerje to the monument to the defenders of the Slovenian territory, and then loops back. Start at 10am in Opatje selo.
- Renče: Hiking the Gregorčič Path, 14 October 2017. The hiking path pays tribute to the poet Simon Gregorčič and beckons one to visit places in which lived one of the greatest Slovenian wordsmiths. The path starts in Renče and finishes in Gradišče nad Prvačino. It will be wrapped up with a cultural event.
- Vitovlje: Chestnut Festival, 21 to 22 October 2017. This traditional event features a cultural and light entertainment programme. In line with the festival name, visitors can have roasted chestnuts or buy it raw.
- Nova Gorica: Four Flavours of St Martin’s in the City, 28 October 2017. Nova Gorica ushers in the season of St Martin's celebrations. The exquisite wine extravaganza is created by winemakers from four winegrowing regions, and a top notch culinary offering.