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June 2022

Family Adventures in the Paradise Valley

Active holidays & the exploration of mysterious places

The desire to see ever new places keeps enticing us to travel. We curiously search for new stories, chatting with the locals to discover local specialties, and in their dishes find yet unknown flavours. When travelling with children, sparking their curiosity is the best recipe for a great mood. In the Vipava Valley and the Goriška, you'll soon realize why this place is known as the Family-Friendly Paradise Valley. Choose accommodations in a pleasant countryside setting and head out on your exploration. Just don't expect to see amusement parks here, the land's greatest attractions lie in its nature, mysterious old settlements and castles, in the hospitality of the locals and the wholesome local produce and food. Each day you can choose a different activity, enjoying a heavenly time.

Secrets behind castle walls

The Rihemberk Castle above the village Branik, one of the biggest and perhaps most beautiful Slovenian castles, promises a wealth of curious stories. If you visit during the weekend or holiday, you can enjoy a special guided tour. Dressed in historical costume, Lady Eleonora Rihemberg will entertain you with legends of ancient life in the castle. Did you know many species of bats now live in there? For families, there's also an exploration tour available. In the middle of the Vipava Valley, another fantastic castle beckons from a small hill, the Vipavski Križ at the centre of the eponymous walled medieval village. Owing to its counts, this little village in medieval times became a town with full market rights and the site of a highly important Capuchin monastery. Interesting historical facts and anecdotes will gladly be presented by the local guides. In the Vipavski Križ, older kids can head on a fun treasure hunt. It's entertaining and educational! Secrets await behind other ancient walls in the Paradise Valley as well. Seekers of historical legends simply have to visit Kostanjevica, a local heritage gem where you can see the crypt of the last French kings of the Bourbon dynasty, and the precious Škrabec Library. From Kostanjevica you can enjoy beautiful views on the conurbation of Nova Gorica and the Italian Gorizia, living together without a visible state border. Strolling though Ajdovščina, you can travel no less than two thousand years into the past, witnessing the oldest preserved Roman walls in Slovenia and nicely restored towers of the old Roman Fortress Castra. The guides will tell you about the decisive historical Roman battle fought nearby, whose tide was supposedly turned by a sudden and powerful burja wind.

Wonders of nature

The Vipava Valley lies at the western edge of the Dinaric-Karst world, and so you can see a variety of karst phenomena everywhere in nature. Best known are the two great natural windows, the Otlica Natural Window at the edge of the Gora Plateau, and the Skozno natural bridge at Veliki Rob on the Trnovo Forest Plateau. The Otlica Natural Window, reached by hiking from Ajdovščina or by way of an easier route from the village Otlica, piques the imagination with its legend saying it was drilled into the mountain by the Devil himself. Climbing from Mt Ozeljan to the natural stone bridge Skozno in nice weather, you'll be able to marvel at the many paragliders in the air, launching from the takeoff point nearby. The Trnovo Forest Plateau is literally webbed with fascinating karst phenomena and natural reserves. In the summer, perhaps most attractive are sinkholes with their frost pockets, always cold despite the outdoor heat. A proper luxury in the Paradise Valley are its water sources. During rain, the most fascinating is the karst spring of the River Hubelj above Ajdovščina, picturesquely bursting from numerous cracks in a cliff wall. Another great curiosity is the delta spring of the River Vipava in the eponymous town, for its riverbeds and scenic bridges nicknamed the Slovenian Venice. In the Vipava Valley the water is pristine, so you can enjoy it from the tap everywhere.

A luxury of activities

Nearly all the cultural and natural landmarks in the Vipava Valley and the Goriška can be explored on foot or by bike. Lovers of hiking and cycling will find many marked and orderly trails, taking you into unspoiled nature and charming villages. In general, the Vipava Valley is known as a tourist destination with a tremendous offer of outdoor sports activities. Perhaps you and your family aren't exactly rock climbing or hang-gliding enthusiasts, but you can certainly enjoy water sports or some of the many adrenaline experiences. In Solkan, where the Paradise Valley meets the valley of the River Soča, don't miss the excellent offer of the Soča Fun Park and the chance to bungee jump from the bridge over the River Soča. Everywhere, in the smallest villages, the mountain lodges and the more urban settlements, you'll be met by genuine hospitality. In these parts, food is outstanding and the local produce and home dishes will thrill each and every visitor.

Anything else you're missing? Browse the official web portal of the Vipava Valley with all the information on accommodations, restaurants, trails, sports parks, guided experiences, and equipment rental. Here you will also find our Green Guide, providing friendly green tips for travelling. Be curious, very curious. The secrets of the Paradise Valley are waiting to be discovered!