Erzelj – a kind little village, with around 70 people, is located southwest of Vipava in the shelter of Vipava hills and is composed of five hamlets: Lenivec, Tabor, Vovki, Miški in Mesesneli.
There are several ways leading to Erzelj: from Ajdovščina, from the road connecting Vipava and Štanjel, from Branica valley via Gaberje. Through the village leads the Vipava Wine Road, villagers are known by good wines.
The hamlet of Erzelj are scattered along the Vipava hills. After World War II 300 people used to live here, whereas the population is only about a quarter of that today. For a couple of hundred people considerable amounts of water were needed in the past. The skilful villagers used to catch rainwater in stone wells called “štirna” and you can still find some original “štirnas” next to some of the old farm houses. There used to be 3 water wells for the animals in the villages, but they have unfortunately disappeared. Water used to be carried on the shoulders in wooden barrels called “brentača” or transported in bigger wooden vessels called “berigla”.
In the past, the women gathered by the brooks to wash their linen. The wells and water – sources were also very handy for preparing sprays needed in the vineyards.
The water from the natural wells is still appreciated for its invigorating and almost healing effects.
There is a footpath leading you through the hamlets and past various wells, through vineyards and past churches, past shrines and memorials; it takes 2 to 3 hours to walk along it and is not especially demanding. If you are lucky, you might find yourself guided by one of the 30 varieties of dragonfly that live around Erzelj.