Traveling around Slovenia and looking for off-the beaten paths or maybe just a bit different day trip from Ljubljana?
A visit to Karst and Vipava valley is never a bad idea and it would be a shame not to stay there for more than a day, but if you are limited with time, a good off-the beaten option is visiting the museum set in a 25 metre-tall observation tower, known as Cerje Memorial. Joining it with wandering around medieval town Vipavski Križ, you got yourself a perfect combination.
Cerje Memorial and Vipavski Križ
The museum is spread over seven-storeys, which show a brief history from the various periods in Slovenia, from prehistory to WW1 and WW2, including the observation deck, with amazing views over Mediterranean Sea, Dolomites, Julian Alps, Vipava Valley. The 360° views on top symbolize the future and spread the peace message to the world.
Additional offer at the Cerje Memorial
Cerje Memorial is surrounded by different paths and roads from the WW1, which are now named as Walk of Peace. Walking around them, you can still find war remains.
If you enjoy unique experiences, I would really recommend you to book a special guided tour “In the boots of the first war soldiers”, which will not just take you to the Cerje memorial, but also around the Walk of Peace, first World War defence ditches and the underground cave, which offered shelter for the Austrian-Hungarian soldiers. You can read more about the experience and best things to do in Karst in a special blog post here.
You will even find a small cafe at the Cerje Memorial, where you can grab a cup of coffee or enjoy a glass of local wine with amazing views towards the Vipava Valley.
How to reach Cerje Memorial?
Having your own transport is a must for visiting Karst and Vipava Valley, as the most beautiful sights and places are not easy accessible with a public transport.
You can reach Cerje Memorial with a drive on a local road to a village Lokvica. You can either park the car in the village (45.869483,13.615397) or following the Cerje signs all the way up to the large official parking place. We were there with our curious 3 year old boy and needed around 30 minutes on foot from the village Lokvica and 1,5 kilometers long walk.
Having your own transport, don’t miss out stopping at the amazing medieval town Vipavski Križ too (45.881344,13.861019). Its narrow, renovated and extremely picturesque streets are really charming to explore. You can also enjoy the views from the defense walls, added to the town in 15th century.
Vipavski Križ is known as one of the most beautiful medieval towns in Slovenia and as soon as you visit it, you will know why.
Where to eat?
Karst and Vipava valley are known for good food and many Slovenians like to visit these two regions just for lunch or dinner. If you have a good timing, best local experiences is eating at one of many Osmica’s. This actually means »eight days«, when the local farmers offer their homemade products (from salami, prosciutto, cheese, sausages, wine, juice, veggies, and famous jota dish out of sauerkraut or turnip – in my opinion never a bad choice). If you are looking for a true local experience, visiting Osmica is definitely a must and extremely yummy thing to do. Some farmers don’t just open its doors for Osmica, but even have a small restaurant, serving their home-made food outside of the eight days. Some have accommodation as well. We really enjoyed the Malovščevo tourist farm (45.925556,13.755886), but there are many more in this area.
Karst and Vipava Valley is always among our favorite trip destinations when we are in Slovenia. If you are looking for authentic Slovenian hospitality, good food and charming villages you will not be dissappointed. A stop at Cerje Memorial and Vipavski križ town, are just two lesser known suggestions of the many others you can find in the area.