AJDOVŠČINA is the economic and cultural center of the Vipava Valley and is situated in the western part of Slovenia, near the border of Italy.
The area of Ajdovščina municipality has 245 square kilometres, the highest point is the peak of Mali Golak (1495m), the lowest is the channel of Vipava river above Batuje (60m). The area has a quite dynamic relief, although it is flat at first sight. The valley is surrounded by the hills from three sides: the Trnovo plateau, the Nanos plateau, Hrušica and the Vipava hills. It is open toward the west, from where it feels strong impact of the Mediterranean climate. For that fact the vegetation period is two months longer than in central Slovenia. On high plateaus there is a mix of Alpine, continental and Mediterranean climate, which it shows in variety of vegetal and animal species, among them we find also endemic.
The typical curiosity of Vipava Valley is Burja. This is a cold and gusty wind, dropping from plateaus toward the valley. The average speed of burja is 80 kilometres per hour, in winters the gusts can reach up to 180 kilometres per hour. Burja on its own way creates social and cultural climate in the valley.
Ajdovščina municipality is quite densely populated; the number of inhabitants that live in 26 local communities and 45 villages is around 18.000. The center of municipality is the town of Ajdovščina with around 5.900 inhabitants. The town boasts an incredible rich and dynamic history that reaches back in the third century. On the area of the present town, a settlement named Ad Fluvium Frigidum (by the cold river) has been constructed in the third century.
- Because of its location the town is extremely open from all sides:
- - towards Italy with direct highway connection to the border crossing (15min by car)
- - towards Postojna and ahead towards Ljubljana with highway connection
- - towards Karst with road link through Vipava to Štanjel
- - towards Idrija-Cerkno region with road link through Col and Črni vrh.
The most important among agricultural activities is viticulture. The wine region Vipava Valley has 2.334 hectares of vineyards. The Vipava wine Road which runs through the valley, beautifully integrates the tourist offer of Ajdovščina.
Otliško okno (the Otlica window) is the Karst phenomenon known as one of the Slovenian natural attraction. The village Otlica is named after the natural
window (bridge) or »hollow wall« through which it opens a view toward Vipava Valley. The window was formed when the water started to corrode rocks in the sinkhole and spread the fissures in the rocks. Under the natural window there is another, smaller window. From the village to the Window is a 15 minute walk along a pleasant and narrow terrain.
Nearby the Otliško okno a young architect Damijan Popelar made a Stone Spiral in 2004 which represents a unique cultural monument of Gora.
A natural science education trail to the Hubelj spring
Starting at the Sports park Pale in Ajdovščina, the trail leads us on the 3100m long walk through the mysterious world of nature in direct vicinity of the town. It is interesting to observe the diversity of life in the lower area along Hubelj and higher, on dry Karst meadow on Škol.
The river Hubelj
About 3 kilometres from Ajdovščina the river Hubelj rises, where the water outbursts on the surface through the fissures of the Karst underground. The spring is especially picturesque at high water when drops in mighty waterfalls from upper spring. Out of the »upper hole« erupts in enormous quantity up to 65 cubic metres per second. The view of the foaming water, when dews are spraying 249 meters above the sea level to the bridge, 40 meters lower, is magnificent. The waters outburst from the underground through the three caves: The great Hubelj kitchen, the Spider's net and the East Hubelj cave. In dry period more than 400 passages have been measured that end with rock falls and basin siphons.
From the Sports park Pale to the Hubelj spring and back to the starting point leads a well kept Natural science education trail to the Hubelj spring.