Where to go on a trip? Goriška Brda

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The Land of Invigorating Moments

Brda, a region of expansive hills between the Soča River and the Italian border, is one of Slovenia’s premier wine-growing areas, located just an hour’s drive from Ljubljana and an hour and a half from Venice. Often described as a miniature Tuscany, each hill seems to be crowned with a grand church surrounded by charming small villages. The slopes of the hills and valleys are covered with vineyards, orchards, and winding country roads. The landscape is renowned for its traditional cuisine, heavily influenced by the Mediterranean. If you don’t plan to stop and enjoy a leisurely multi-course meal on a terrace overlooking the vineyards, you’re missing the essence of your visit.

Discover why CNN ranked Brda among the 11 undiscovered wine regions in the world. Notably, Rebula, a wine from a famous Brda winemaker, was selected as the best wine in the world. Discover, taste, and experience Brda. An active walk through Brda’s hills is an excellent opportunity to learn more about the cultural heritage of this hilly area at the crossroads of three cultures: Slavic, Roman, and Germanic, where almost every village has its church with unique stories and frescoes.

VILA VIPOLŽE

The enchanting beauty of the Renaissance Vila Vipolže will captivate you completely. The villa is a beautifully restored cultural monument that had been abandoned, unused, and in very poor condition for many years, but today it shines with splendor. Vila Vipolže recently received the Foglia d’Oro award from the Italian UNESCO Clubs Association. The villa is a cultural center that, through cultural and business events, exhibitions, concerts, and weddings, creates connections between different worlds and people. Feel the magical atmosphere of Vila Vipolže!

Vipolže 29, Dobrovo, +386 (0)8 205 54 20, [email protected], www.vilavipolze.eu/en.

DOBROVO CASTLE

The Renaissance Dobrovo Castle was completely renovated 25 years ago and is now considered one of the most beautiful in the Gorizia region. The castle carefully preserves graphics by the world-famous artist Zoran Mušič, and part of the collection of paintings by the last owner, Count Baguer. The castle gallery also hosts other art exhibitions, and the castle itself occasionally serves as a venue for various cultural events. One last interesting fact: the castle cellar was recently renovated by the owners of the Brda Winery.

MEDIEVAL VILLAGE OF ŠMARTNO

Local poet Alojz Gradnik compared Šmartno to an eagle’s nest, resting in a place where the view extends from Friuli to the Adriatic Sea. Upon entering the fortress of Šmartno and walking through the narrow streets between old and new houses, every visitor will think of a medieval labyrinth. At the House of Culture, you can taste local olive oil, which has won awards at international competitions in Tokyo and New York! As you walk through the village’s mighty walls, you will surely sense and smell the aroma of herbs. Follow it, as it will lead you to a natural cosmetics shop. Looking for a unique souvenir? At the entrance to the village, there is a Tourist Information Center with a rich selection of local products and souvenirs that will charm you.

TIC, Šmartno 13, Kojsko, +386 (0)5 395 95 95, [email protected], www.brda.si/eng.

GONJAČE VIEW TOWER

Northeast of Šmartno lies the small village of Gonjače, where a 23-meter-high lookout tower with 144 steps offers a stunning 360° view of the region embraced by Friuli and the Soča, basking in the Mediterranean sun. On clear days, the tower provides a magnificent view in all directions, where you can see the Dolomites and Julian Alps to the north, Friuli to the west, the Gulf of Trieste to the south, and the Vipava Valley to the east.

SABOTIN – PARK OF PEACE

Sabotin is an extremely panoramic mountain known for its outdoor museum, where you can explore the caverns from World War I. This rocky ridge stands at over 600 meters above sea level and is a popular destination among hikers, boasting spectacular views and unique attractions.

TASTE BRDA

Tasting local specialties, which come directly from the field to the table (herb omelets, cherry strudel, peas and polenta stew, salami, etc.), is an experience not to be missed. The meal will be even more fantastic if paired with a glass of excellent local Rebula wine. Be sure to also try the local olive oil, honey, homemade jams, and dried fruit. All this and more can be experienced if you join the Wine Safari, a special combination of adventurous exploration of Brda’s hills and tasting local products in several exceptional wine cellars (listed among the TOP 100 in the world) or as part of a picnic with a view of the endless vineyard landscape. You can also visit the region during one of the many culinary festivals (Cherry Festival, Brda and Wine Event, Open Cellar Day, etc.) held throughout the year.

EXPERIENCE BRDA

Brda features 12 interesting hiking trails, including the Peace Trail and the Alpe Adria Trail, approximately 750 km long, starting at Austria’s Grossglockner and ending in Italy’s Trieste. Brda is also a real treat for cycling adventurers! At the Tourist Information Center in Šmartno, you can rent an electric bike, allowing you to discover the most beautiful panoramic views. If you support sustainable ecology, don’t miss the apitherapy with an educational lesson about bees, or the magic of summer and dancing butterflies on the lavender carpet in Vedrijan. Want to learn how to make your own lip balm? Visit the natural cosmetics shop in Šmartno and learn how. You can also join a cooking class to learn how to cook like a true local.