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January 2023

Outdoor pursuits in the Paradise Valley

Proud partner of the Ultra Trail Vipava Valley

Hikers, mountain runners, and cyclists are a year-round occurrence on these trails, just as paragliders and hang-gliders up in the air and on the take-off sites, and nimble rock climbers in the walls. Owing to its amazing natural features, the valley is a real magnet both for casual athletes and those with a penchant for somewhat more extreme thrills. Not only is this area a sight to behold in terms of its landscape, but it’s also a food and wine heaven, with many great cultural landmarks setting it apart from the rest of the country. This is a Paradise Valley for the outdoorsy type. As such, it shouldn’t come as a surprise that it also hosts many sports events. We’re especially proud of the Ultra Trail Vipava Valley, which is one of the biggest running events in Slovenia and beyond.

Announcing UTVV Slovenia 2023

Between 5 and 7 May 2023, the valley will play host to the 8th international running race Ultra Trail Vipava Valley, a combination of a mountain run and a city run. Last year, it was attended by 1400 runners from 35 countries. The challenges are of various difficulty levels. The longest route, which climbs all the way to the highest peaks looming over the valley, runs along the edges of the plateaus and descends to the mellow winegrowing hills, features the toughest challenges: the 170 km race and the 100 km race. Equally picturesque though much shorter, are the 60, 30, 15, and 10 km races, and the kid’s runs. All challenges will start in downtown Ajdovščina, next to the remains of the Roman fortress of Castra, dating back to the first centuries AD. In a tribute to the area’s rich Roman heritage, the challenges are named after Roman-age characters. Visitors and locals can cheer on the runners along the entire length of the race, from the start of the challenges to the finish of the toughest sections for that final boost of adrenaline. Many locals are involved in the organization of the event, making sure that the competitors are well looked after and comfortable, and keeping the footprint of this large-scale event in this natural setting in check. A proud partner of UTVV Slovenia, the Vipava Valley is an accommodating host for all race participants. A tip from us: make sure to book your accommodation well in advance of the event.

An abundance of outdoor activities

The ultramarathon running routes, totaling over 200 km in length, and quite literally embracing the Vipava Valley, skirting the edge of the Karst and crossing into Italy in the Goriška region, make the Ultra Trail Vipava Valley an ambassador of the region’s amazing abundance of outdoor activities. Well-marked and walkable year-round, the hiking routes occasionally cross paths with cycling trails. Of course, you can also opt to hike, run, cycle or ride a horse on any other trail in the Vipava Valley and Goriška region. The most popular trails can be found via the Vipava Valley Outdoor app which provides useful tips on important stops along the trails. The varied landscape and clean rivers open up even more leisure opportunities. The Vipava Valley is a popular year-round destination for free-flying and paragliding, and the steep slopes of the plateaus offer many climbing opportunities. In the summer, you can enjoy water sports, cool off by the rivers, or escape the heat by retreating under the canopies of the centennial forests in the nearby high plateaus.

Flavours, stories ... Uniquely different.

It’s said that the Vipava Valley is a wine destination with the biggest range of outdoor activities in this area. It’s also said that when hiking, cycling or kayaking in the Goriška Region, you don’t even notice when you’ve crossed the state border. Both statements are true and both are worth experiencing. Wine countries around the world are typically also foodie hotspots. It’s no different here. But there’s also a twist. Of all the wine countries in Slovenia, the Vipava Valley boasts the largest number of old-school native grape varieties which are a special treat for wine fans. There’s also an unusually high number of high-class fine dining establishments, reinventing beloved locally sourced fare in the most delicious ways. Forming a unique European conurbation, Nova Gorica and its neighbour Gorizia in Italy have managed to completely blur the state border that stood between them for decades. In 2025, the cities will share the title of European Capital of Culture in a display of this bond. Of course, the state border is not only blurred in the city. Today, the entire urban area of Goriška, along the border with Italy, stands out as a textbook case of openness and cooperation, and hiking and cycling trails run across the border as if it had never existed.

Are you looking to get away from it all, into a world of heavenly flavours and captivating stories? Then you are most welcome! The Paradise Valley is real.