Hiking holiday in Western Slovenia
Postojna-Hruševje-Slap Pri Vipavi-Štanjel-Štorje-Triëst
This hiking holiday offers the best combination in Western Slovenia: an excellent cuisine with delicious local wines combined with a beautiful nature, impressive views and especially a lot of culture. The tour starts in Postojna, known for its beautiful caves, a network of 21 km of caves and galleries. These caves are especially famous and very special because of the many stalactites and stalagmites and the spaciousness of the caves. You pass small villages like the rustic hamlet of Slap Pri Vipavi, a small village with the typical old stone houses. It is positioned on the Vipava wine route, one of the most popular in Slovenia. Delicious is the local ham (prŝut). Stanjel, a picturesque small village is the next stop of your walk. The castle of Stanjel was built in the Middle Ages when it made part of the County of Gorizia. Now it has a renaissance aspect. Don’t forget the taste the honey of the local beehives.
Lipica, the cradle of the Lipizzaner horses, is another highlight of this tour. Here you could make a visit to the stud farm, which dates back to the 16th century. The solar route ends in Trieste (Italy), a lively city with many museums, city palaces and no less than three castles. All the places you pass during this tour offer you luscious landscapes, excellent food and wines in vintage villages and the finishing touch is the Italian cuisine of Trieste, where you can enjoy fish dishes, freshly baked pizzas from the wood oven and biechi pasta tasty with every kind of sauce.
The daily program of the 7-day tour
The limestone caves can be visited in two ways: on the day of your arrival or on the second day of the trip either by joining the regular daily tour, or on day two by a specially arranged visit that follows the non-commercial part of the caves. However last this underground walk has to be pre-booked together with the tour.
Overnight with breakfast in Postojna
This morning you could visit the caves of Postojna, the geological wonder of the Carso plateau, which consists of about a hundred caves and corridors, which together cover about 21 km. In 185 years, there have been more than 30 million visitors. You could visit the caves with a guide who will lead you through this fairy-tale setting in 1 ½ hrs, formed by a labyrinth of many colourful stalactites and stalagmites. If you are lucky you might see the mysterious cave olm (grotto salamander). This special visit must be booked in advance. After your visit to the caves, a nice walk takes you to the village of Predjama, which has been dominated for 700 years by the castle, which was built on a 123m high rock plateau. In the castle the story is told of a very daring knight, who held an army at bay by utilising the secret of the Predjama Caves, and who met his untimely demise in less than poetic circumstances; he was literally caught with his pants down. From here, it’s a gentle stroll towards the strikingly beautiful Nanos Mountain as sun goes down behind it, ending your day with delightful home-cooking and sumptuous local wine. The route continues through meadow fields towards the mountain Nanos, at whose foot you are expected in an agriturismo with an excellent cuisine.
Overnight with breakfast in Hruševje
Distance: 21 km / 13 mi
Walking time: 5 hrs
Ascent & Descent: + 490m – 480m
Today the route passes through a typical karst landscape with conifer forests, caves and enclosed fields with stonewalls. After breakfast you will be taken by car to Podnanos, which literally means ‘below the Nanos’, the last mountain of the alpine chain. The village is located in the Vipava Valley, known for the vine-covered hills, where excellent wines are coming from, and the three old stone bridges. Podnanos is a typical example of a Primorska village, built around a village church. The defense tower is dominating the village. It dates back to the time of Venetian rule. From Podnanos you walk past castles to the village of Slap, with its gates, wells and typical tiling. In Slap we find the first Slovenian agricultural school for wine – and fruit growers. You can visit the studio of a local artist here and you should not forget to taste the delicious local ham (prŝut) and wine.
Overnight with breakfast in Slap Pri Vipavi
Distance: 17 km / 10,5 mi
Walking time: 4 hrs
Ascent & Descent: + 590m – 1050m
Today we walk through a landscape with beautiful views of the surrounding vineyards of the valley. Part of the route follows a marked trail along quiet country roads passing at the edge of the Vipava valley to Štanjel, where your overnight address is. Štanjel, is one of the most picturesque and oldest towns in the Karst area, best known for its old centre with Romanesque and gothic houses and alleys ending in small squares. On the hill, the castle, once the loyal guardian of the village. It was built to protect the surrounding area during the Turkish invasion. You can visit the castle, which also has an excellent restaurant. The soil type of this area is known as ‘Terra Rosa’ (red soil), where the famous red Teran e Refošk wines come from. The Slovenian wines are still not often exported, so this holiday is an excellent opportunity to taste them.
Overnight with breakfast in Štanjel
Distance: 12 km / 7,5 mi
Walking time: 3 hrs
Ascent & Descent: + 430m – 200m
You follow to the south the marked trail to Copriva, a small village lost between vineyards. This area has an excellent climate for preparing and drying Karstham (Pršut). Near Copriva is a quarry, where the marble comes from which many palaces and churches in Venice are built. The day ends in Tomaj. It is built against the slope of the Tabor. The monastery of Tomaj has a library with a valuable collection of books in 37 different languages and it has some 16th century manuscripts. You spend the night in an agriturismo. The route continues first through an open hilly landscape and then through the woods you reach Šepulje, where the factory ‘Pršutarna Kras Sežana’ stands where, among other things, delicious local hams are made. You can visit the factory where a guide will tell you all about making the Carso ‘Pršut‘. You spend the night in Štorje, where is a small shaft in the middle of the village, the beginning of the Mežnarjeva Jama cave.
Overnight with breakfast in Štorje
Distance: 20 km / 12,5 mi
Walking time: 5 hrs
Ascent & Descent: + 260m – 250m
For your final day you’ll be treated like a member of the royal family and brought by horse and carriage to the start of the walking path in Lipica. First is the famous stud farm of Lipica, where you can visit beautiful thoroughbred horses whose glistening white coats and gentle, graceful dancing have earned them a worldwide reputation. Your walk ends at a “million dollar” viewpoint, just above the Habsburg port of Trieste. From Villa Opicina you can descend to Trieste by ancient tram or city bus.
Overnight with breakfast in Triëst
Distance: 13 km / 8 mi
Walking time: 3 hrs
Ascent & Descent: + 260m – 290m
Departure after breakfast
Not too heavy walks in hilly landscape with not too many and to steep ascent/descent, for walkers with experience.
Daily distances between 12 and 21 km / 7,5 and 13 mi (4–6 hrs walking time per day)
Total km: About 83 km / 51 mi
Daily (except on Thursday) from 14 April till 9 October
2 or more people.
START / FINISH:
Postojna / Triëst