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November 2023

Today's wanderlust is tomorrow's adventure

Have you ever been gripped by wanderlust and a need to explore the world while cooped up at home during a long winter evening? Indeed, the mere act of planning an upcoming trip abroad is exciting in and of itself and, according to many, part and parcel of the whole escaping-the-daily-rut experience. Join us in exploring our Paradise Valley and get ready to discover new places, crystal-clear springs, natural wonders, and friendly people. Discover what makes the Vipava Valley and Goriška Region so different. All year round.

A varied landscape of rugged beauty

"A hidden gem," wrote Lonely Planet in 2018 as it ranked the Vipava Valley among the Top 10 places to visit in Europe. Ever since, the gem has been shining brighter than ever. This distinctive backdrop, with a valley that is cut through by the Vipava River and opens up towards the cross-border Goriška Plain to the west, nestled amidst fertile rolling hills on one side and the steep slopes of high plateaus on the other, makes for a captivating sight. However, the real journey of discovering its rugged beauty starts in the vineyards and quaint villages, among the remnants of Roman settlements and mighty castles, amidst the captivating karst curiosities, and around the springs spouting arguably the best drinking water in Slovenia. Each of them has its own special story to reveal. This is the place where, during the Roman Empire, Christianity triumphed over paganism in the famous battle Ad Fluvium Frigidum, the place where the last king of France was laid to rest, and where brilliant artists such as Leonardo da Vinci himself drew inspiration from. However, the area is not just an ideal configuration of different geological and climatic worlds. Its unique character also comes from the different cultures that have been playing off of each other over millennia. The locals – ever grateful for the natural features and proud of an immensely rich cultural tradition, make it a point to uphold their precious heritage.

Active for all, all year round

Outdoor enthusiasts will absolutely love it here. The unique topography, combined with the friendly sub-Mediterranean climate, makes for the perfect conditions for a wide variety of outdoor sports and leisure activities in the Paradise Valley. And when we say all year round, it’s literally all year round. Outside of water sports and certain action-packed activities, cycling, hiking, ultra running, paragliding, climbing, horseback riding, skateboarding and other pursuits await all year round. On those few days when the fierce burja wind – a kind of mascot of the area – rears its head, chasing away the clouds, the activities get moved to less windy places in the vicinity. In summer, the thermometer in the valley can hit above 30 degrees Celsius, so outdoor activities are best undertaken under the canopy of the beautiful forests of the Trnovo and Banjšica Plateaus and the scenic ridges and peaks of the Gora and the Nanos plateaus, which are only a 20-minute car ride away. What if the weather doesn’t play along? Don't worry, you can spend the days when the sun decides to phone it in by exploring the local sights or visiting the local farms and tasting some of the yummy local food. The Vipava Valley is a wine country. Also keep in mind that, as far as wine countries go, it boasts the widest range of outdoor activities of any in Slovenia. For every taste, all year round.

Wine and culinary highlights

Wine aficionados swear that there’s something special about the tasting sessions in the Vipava Valley. There are several reasons for this. For one, it’s the immense reverence and respect for local viticulture shown by the local winemakers that helped preserve so many old local wine varieties, with the indigenous Zelèn and Pinela standing out in particular. A great achievement, compared to other wine regions in Slovenia. Secondly, each local winegrower has its own signature wine in the cellar, its distinctive character the result of the specific terroir, their own approach to growing and nurturing grapes, and, finally, the unique cellar design. Some of the local stone cellars are hundreds of years old. Add to this the passion of the winemakers, passed down from generation to generation, and you have a unique recipe for unforgettable wine tastings in the cellars of Vipava Valley. Local restaurants, inns, and agritourism farms follow suit in this regard. Steeped in tradition, the culinary gamut runs from simple farm grub and pub meals to fine dining and Michelin-starred restaurants, creating comforting and yet exciting flavours from locally sourced ingredients. Vipava prosciutto, local fruit and the distinct Goriška radicchio are just some of the highlights of the local produce offering, taking the traditional, seasonally-inspired menus to the next level. The Paradise Valley is a real treat.

Make plans now, book as soon as possible

The top tip the locals would give visitors after they first get to know about this place is "Take your time!" It’s simply impossible to discover the secrets of Paradise Valley in one day. Browse through the diverse accommodation options and pick your top adventures provided by local guides. Consider renting a bike or other sports equipment. You’d be well advised to book well in advance, as rural accommodations and popular adventures tend to fill up quickly from spring to autumn. Welcome to the Paradise Valley.