Gora Plateau above Vipava Valley – Between Two Worlds
The majestic Trnovo Plateau rises high above the Vipava Valley. The locals refer to the populated part of the Plateau, comprising the villages of Predmeja, Otlica, Gozd and Kovk, as the Gora Plateau, meaning mountain. Up on the Gora Plateau the time runs its course. Over the past 400 years the inhabitants of the Gora Plateau have developed a rich tradition and folklore. Warmly welcome to stroll around the Gora Plateau!
: Ajdovščina Tourist Guides AssociationAddress
: Gradišče 46, 5270 AjdovščinaPhone
: +386 31 760 239 (Tanja Rijavec) , +386 41 276 095 (Tadeja Ličen)e-mail
To reach the Gora Plateau take the local road leading from Ajdovščina through the village of Lokavec. The road winds up the slope through tunnels that were hand carved into a sheer rock by the Russian prisoners of war. The picturesque drive offers magnificent views over the Vipava Valley.
Your first stop is at the Forestry Administration building in the village of Predmeja, where three monuments are to be found, namely the Monument to Joseph Ressel, the designer of the ship's propeller, the Memorial to Russian Prisoners of War and the Monument to Water erected to honour the significance of water. The latter has a highly symbolic meaning for the inhabitants of the Gora Plateau, since four countries have in the recent history attempted to connect the Gora Plateau to the water distribution system.Your second stop is at the Mother Gora Monument. The monument was erected in 2001 to celebrate the 400-year jubilee of the first settlement on the Gora Plateau. That very spot offers also splendid views over the Vipava Valley and is the starting point of the Path Up and Down the Hill of Dol.
Visit the Tiha Dolina Sports Park:
In 2005 the Gora Association opened the Tiha Dolina Sports Park in the hamlet of Tiha Dolina. The Park boasts numerous sports areas and playgrounds and an extensive collection of books written by authors who are in any way connected to the Gora Plateau.
The Forest Mistery Exhibition:
The forest exhibition stimulates the visitors to realize what forest actually is. By means of humorous caricatures the visitors have the opportunity to get to know the different types of forests as well as the importance of wooded area. The greater part of the exhibition is dedicated to the “main characters” of the forest, namely the trees, the fungi and the animals. The exhibition presents some forest inhabitants and their lives as well as the relationship between the organisms living in the forest. The interactive presentations stimulate the visitors to explore the wonders of the forest and to test their knowledge and encourage them to critically think and to learn through experience. The visitors have also the opportunity to listen to the enchanting sounds of the forest.
Pay your visit also to the ethnological collection titled The Lives of Our Ancestors which will help you understand the Gora Plateau and its 400-year-old history. The collection displays the famous vintage skis called smuke as well as various tools used to make these skis. The Čibej Ski Team operating under the aegis of the Gora Association maintains the tradition of the Gora variant of the Telemark skiing and promotes it practically all over the world.
The next stop is the hamlet of Kitajska (meaning China) which is located on the very brink of the Gora Plateau in the Otlica area. The hamlet of Kitajska is the subject of numerous folk stories and legends, which seem even more mysterious heard on the very spot, in the hamlet of Kitajska. Kitajska is also famous for its numerous dry stone walls. The view of the high, long and meandering walls is simply fascinating and some might say these walls are as enchanting as the China Wall itself.
The road leads on to the village of Otlica. From there take a 15-minute walk to the Otliško Okno or the Otlica Window, a unique natural Karst phenomenon. The Otlica Window is actually an enormous natural opening in a massive stone wall and offers breathtaking and absolutely stunning views over the Vipava Valley. The locals refer to the Window simply as the Hole.Nearby the Otlica Window another fascinating monument waits to be admired – the Stone Spiral. The Spiral is a dry stone wall in the shape of a spiral erected by an architecture student from south-eastern part of Slovenia, as part of his degree dissertation. The Stone Spiral has an immense aesthetic as well as spiritual value.
Return to the village of Otlica, visit the Church of the Guardian Angels and make a stop at the nearby coffee house AnGora. There you can use public toilets and have a cup of coffee or a snack. In addition, the café displays also an interesting exhibition of home and foreign authors.
Have a late lunch on the Sinji Vrh Tourist Farm. The Farm is located approximately 1000 metres above sea level and is widely famous for its art colonies that take place in the summers. If the weather is fine you can see in the distance the Istrian peninsula, Venice and much more. The farm displays also a permanent exhibition of antique farm tools and various artworks that artists attending art colonies had made over the years and donated to the Farm.
The Sinji Vrh Tourist Farm boasts also the Šrgal House, a representation of an ancient farmhouse typical for this area. The Šrgal House has a thatched roof, a smoke kitchen and other features typical for such farmhouses. The Sinji Vrh Hill is honeycombed with tunnels that were built for the purposes of the water distribution system, but have never actually been put to use. The visitors have the opportunity to descend into the tunnels and view the Gora’s underworld.
The tour continues on towards the village of Col. Along the road you can see another fascinating natural monument – the Škraplje Karren. The Škraplje is a karren formation, a typical feature of the Karst microrelief.
Tour duration: 5 hours (programme can be shortened or modified according to visitors’ wishes)
For guided tours please contact the Ajdovščina Tourist Guides Association. For further questions or information do not hesitate to contact the Ajdovščina Tourist Information Centre by phone on +386 (0)5 3659 140 or by e-mail at .