VIPAVA VALLEY – A Land of Sun, Wine and Sports

Vipava Valley lies between the high Dinaric Plateaus of Trnovo Forest and Nanos in the north and the low Karst Plateau in the south. It borders the Pivka Basin on its west side and touches upon the Kambreško Hills and Banjšice in the northwest.

Stretching from east to west, the Valley takes its origins in the headwaters of the Močilnik stream under Razdrto and extends all the way to the Italian border along the Gorica plain for a total length of about 40 km.

Renowned for a number of unique characteristics, its landscape is defined by a predominance of flysch, a pleasant sub-Mediterranean climate that enables the cultivation of some very specific traditional heritage and early-season crops, and the growth of new activities fast arising from its attractive position as a transitional transport hub.

Boasting a long and rich history, Vipava Valley is home to many medieval settlements typically built around an outlying church and cemetery. Long chains of narrow streets pieced together by densely constructed homes make up villages that often run in parallel with natural slopes. Houses have plastered facades and flat roofs covered in tiles that are in some places famously weighed down by stones called golobice (pigeons) to protect against the formidable gusts of the bura, a chilly north-easterly wind that can exceed 200 km/h in the valley's most exposed regions.

Vipava Valley is dotted with many wide and narrow streams carved into the impenetrable sedimentary stone flysch base. Most water reaches the surface in the Karst springs at the foot of the Trnovo Forest and Nanos Plateaus and at the point of contact between limestone and flysch on the northern edge of the Valley floor, where we find the sources of its greatest rivers – the replenishing Vipava, Hubelj and Lijak that have so decisively shaped the landscape we know today.

Vipava Valley has traditionally been an agricultural landscape. In addition to its rich cultivation of fruits, the valley's most important industry – agricultural and otherwise – is viticulture. For many, Vipava Valley is synonymous with 'a good drop of wine' and remains famous for producing fine wines such as the Ribolla, Merlot, Berbera, Rosé and others. Vineyards are characteristic for all of Vipava Valley, but their share is greatest in the Vipava highlands, home to producers of high quality white wines.

Raising livestock is of lesser importance in Vipava Valley. The head of cattle consistently remains at about 7500, while pigs are raised primarily for domestic consumption. Conversely, the poultry industry is becoming increasing important. The first historically important industry in the region was brick-making, a trade that has today nearly died out. In its place, there have gradually evolved newer industries that are particularly active in processing raw materials from the surrounding hinterland, so that the wood, metal, textile, shoe and especially food industry are now well established.

A world renowned company located in Vipava Valley, and more specifically, in the city of Ajdovščina, is Pipistrel – a light aircraft manufacturer reputed for its innovative and fuel-efficient lightweight planes, as also recognized by two NASA Centennial Challenge awards.

Other successful companies include Fruktal, long known for its rich variety of temptingly thick fruit juice, Tekstilna, Mlinotest and C-Astral.



Nova Gorica is the largest and most important, but also the youngest settlement of the region. The post-WWII national border divided the Gorica plane, stretching from Solkan in the north to Mirno in the south, into two parts so that historic Gorica with all its western settlements became a part of Italy (Gorizia). On the Slovenian side, there remained only the Gorica settlements of Šempeter and Solkan and a railway station along the Bohinjska Bistrica-Trst (Trieste) route. Nova Gorica was deliberately built on the wet plains that extend along the Koren stream. A flysch gorica (small mountain) rises on the city's southern end and serves as the base for Gorica Castle, from which the city takes its name.

Nova Gorica is special among Slovenia's cities. It was designed by a team of architects headed by Edo Ravnikar. The city was intended to be a ʺgarden cityʺ that was to have clearly demarcated administrative, financial, residential, industrial and other sections as well as separate lanes for traffic and pedestrians. It was also designed to have a low density of buildings contrasted by many lawns, parks and trees. In actual fact, this plan was put into effect only at the initial construction phases along two central streets. Yet, overall, Nova Gorica leaves the impression of an open, vegetation-rich city that is typical of northern coastal towns.

Nova Gorica is the administrative, economic, academic and cultural centre of Vipava Valley, the Goriške Highlands, lower Posočje and the north-western part of the karst.

At the open border, the city provides access to three local border crossings, while the international border crossings are located in nearby Vrtoblje and Rožna Dolina.



Ajdovščina lies at the heart of Vipava Valley. In ancient times, this settlement was called Castro and was passed by the Roman Road, which actually split into two directions at this very point.

As evidenced by numerous historic remains and the name of the ancient Gradišče settlement, the region of Ajdovščina was settled long before Roman times.


Today, its most important industries are food, textile, metal, furniture, wood and construction.





The centre upper part of Vipava Valley is home to the scenic old town of Vipava. Due to its location near the numerous sources of the Vipava River, this town is also affectionately known as the “Slovenian Venice”.


The village of Vipavski Križ (Vipava Cross) stands out among the region's old urban settlements. This town arose in the middle of the valley on a hill that stands approximately 100 m high, which at the time enabled defence and encouraged the development of a medieval village.


According to historic records, Vipavski Križ was one of Vipava Valley's first markets and already a city by the turn of the 16th century. But aside from its strategic location, the town had no other advantages to benefit development so that it began to lag behind and was soon overtaken by Ajdovščina. It nevertheless retains an historic charm that reveals its long-held secrets to only the astutest of visitors.