A view over the city of Ajdovščina in the Vipava Valley

Wajdusna Vipava Valley

Ajdovščina is a small town surrounded by mountains in the Vipava Valley in Slovenia. The town is about an hour’s drive away from Ljubljana, the capital of the country, or an hour and a half drive from Venice Treviso airport.

Why Go?

We’d be prepared to wager that you’ve never heard of Ajdovščina before. If you’ve heard of any travel destinations in Slovenia it’s probably Ljubljana or Bled. If you have heard of Ajdovščina before, maybe it’s from our ‘3 Days In Slovenia’ guide published as part of our August Unplugged Issue.

The fact that basically nobody has heard of Ajdovščina is just one of the many reasons it makes for a great adventure travel stop. The town is surrounded by mountains on nearly every side, and none of them are crowded.

They tower over the quiet streets, and their green forests are lined with hiking trails and mountain bike lines which have bred some of the best riders in the world. Ajdovščina is home to the Črn Trn (Blackthorn) mountain bike club which boasts current 4X champion Mitja Ergraver. Mitja is just one of the awesome Črn Trn crew who will show you around the local trails if you hire a guide (which we’d recommend), and as well as those green forests you’ll find yourself subject to some spectacular views from the top.

Paragliding over Vipava Valley

Paragliding over Vipava Valley

The positioning of the mountains means that Ajdovščina has the perfect climate for year-round mountain biking as well.

The only place you might find crowds is up in the sky. Ajdovščina is also incredibly popular with paragliders, and when you’re up in the air it’s easy to see why. You can see all the way over to Venice on a clear day. With great gastronomy in the town as well, we’d call it an essential stop on any trip to Slovenia. Check out Wajdusna tour operator for more adventures in Ajdovščina. They’re friendly, local and know the town inside out.

Where to Stay?

The Ajdovščina Youth Hostel is a great place to stay. The hostel has been converted from an old war shelter and turned into a sparkling accommodation spot. It’s well-priced, modern, comfortable and really well located for mountain biking especially (and for easy access to craft beer spot Pelicon. More on that below).

Where to Eat?

Faladur offer a great lunch and are the perfect place to introduce yourself to the Slovenian palette for lunch.

For dinner though, we’d definitely recommend checking out Sinji Vrh. Set up in the mountains looking back down over Ajdovščina, you’ll be able to watch the sun set over the endless green while you eat your dinner outside. Even if you decide to dine inside though, the food is truly outstanding, creative, and again - like most places in Slovenia - makes fantastic use of the local produce.

Where to Drink?

Pelican's 'Out of China' was named after a shortcut to explaining how to say the word 'Ajdovščina'

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Pelicon brewery is the place to be for a drink in Ajdovščina. Pelicon not only serve up the best craft beer in the area, they serve up some of the best stuff in Europe, and have the awards to prove it. They started brewing after tiring of the limited options available in Slovenia, and have never looked back.

If you’re looking for wine meanwhile, head back over to Faladur. They provide a fantastic wine tasting menu, and can tell you a whole lot about every wine they have to offer.

Local Tip

“There are mountain bike trails for everything. If you want trails that are closer to home, you can pedal, otherwise go with shuttle. If you want views you can head right to the top, but if the weather is bad, stay lower down. You have a mix of everything here, which is great, and it’s all natural terrain." - Mitja Ergraver, local mountain bike guide and 4X World Champion.