Goriška Brda is a region in the Western Slovenia often referred to as the Tuscany of Slovenia, because of the many rolling hills, picturesque villages on top overlooking vineyards and orchards. It’s Heaven for wine lovers, but no one can whine here – not even the kids. Goriška Brda will keep the whole family happy. Here’s what we enjoyed the most.
Many winding roads lead to Goriška Brda
This region was once long forgotten as it was difficult to reach. While there are many roads leading to Goriška Brda it still takes time to get here. The roads are narrow, winding and traverse one hill after another.
We must have chosen the true road less traveled since we crossed what felt as half of Slovenia before getting to Goriška Brda.
If you are wondering how we managed to stay sane – we played a few games of “I spy” and then miraculously the kids fell asleep.
The fastest route to Brda is the highway from Ljubljana to Koper. Follow the sign for Nova Gorica at first, later look for Dobrovo and Goriška Brda.
I can’t imagine travel without GPS – we usually use Sygic or Google maps – so all we do is input the destination and go.
what to do
Goriška Brda is famous for the wine. The most famous wine produced in the region is white wine called Rebula. But there are other just as good like Verduc, Chardonnay, Gray Pinot and reds such as Merlot, Cabarnet Sauvignon to name a few.
Traveling by car and with two kids you can guess we weren’t able to enjoy the wine. But no one was whining about it.
The region is full of beautiful places to visit, delicious food, (with a glass of wine), it was enough to keep us all happy:
First stop the village of Šmartno
Located in the geographical center of the region, this picturesque small village, can be seen from almost any part of Goriška Brda. It has a long history dating back all the way to 1317. The fortifications surrounding the village were built to protect the people against the Turkish raids in this region.
All you have to do here is walk the narrow streets, pop in the local stores and get the feel of the place.
Let kids run around – they’ve earned it after riding in the car for so long.
See it all from the view tower in Gonjače
Climb many stairs – I don’t know the number and it’s better if you don’t either. It will be worth it once you are at the top and the whole region opens in front of you like a blossoming flower.
This is the place where you truly see Brda and how uniquely beautiful they are. The best of the Slovenian Alps, Adriatic sea and Italy blends here.
A bit of nobility at Vilpolže and Dobrovo
In Dobrovo village you won’t be able to miss the sturdy castle. It is a renaissance building built in the beginning of the 17th century. The first floor is a restaurant with delicious food, and a cellar has been turned into a a wine shop, where you can taste wines from the Brda region.
Savor Brda like you would the wine.
We passed the castle by not to be too tempted with wine. We did stop to admire the newly renovated villa Vilpolže, dating back to the 16th century. It is now a great venue for a range of different events.
Nature lovers come on
Just to look at the vineyards and orchards should be enough, but there are more natural attractions hidden in Brda.
It was on our list – we just didn’t have enough time – but it’s a reason to come again – Sabotin hill, Krčnik – natural stone bridge and Kožbanjšek valley.
The abundance of villages and churches
There are many other small villages and churches guarding the rolling hills that make this region so beautiful. Take your pick and visit the one that inspires you. For us it was the village of Medana.
Where to eat in Goriška Brda
While there are many great restaurants in the region, be careful to chose wisely. Our requirements are not too expensive, good food and if possible something to keep the kids entertained.
Such a place does exist – Belvin. We found it in the village of Plešivo, a few miles away from the castle Dobrovo. They have pizzas and all sorts of other dishes – local as well. Great wine. And a playground for kids. Just what we needed.
When to visit Goriška Brda
I’d say anytime. But my favorite would have to be the beginning of Spring when everything starts to bloom. Here are a few festivals that might make the visit even more fun:
- Rebula and Olive oil Festival – April
- Cherry Festival – in June
- St. Martin’s day – in November
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