Karst phenomena, stone and architecture

Lipica - Štanjel / 32,8 km

The second stage takes you from Lipica through the Karst Living Museum, nature densely sprinkled with karstic phenomena. Here you will encounter drystone walls and shepherd's stone cottages built without mortar, characteristic of the karst. Stopping in Sežana it's always worth your while to visit the unique botanical garden there. Along the karst commons and past vineyards, through the village Pliskovica with its distinct homesteads, the way leads to Štanjel whose captivating vista attracts from afar. The walled village with its castle and famous Ferrari Garden is a true pearl of karst architecture. In Štanjel, accommodations are available.

Karst Living Museum

The Karst Living Museum is a rich treasury of karstic phenomena. In few places on Earth will you find such a range of typical karst formations: sinkholes, uvalas, swallow holes, limestone pavement, vertical shafts and, of course, subterranean caverns. The living museum with its over 700 hectares of natural and cultural heritage of distinct Karst is a dazzling natural region of great ecological importance. Most of it falls within the Natura 2000 protected nature area. In 2017, the Karst Living Museum was selected as Slovenia's best themed trail

The space of the museum-in-nature stretches between Sežana, Lipica and the Slovene-Italian border, on the connecting axis along the old Austro-Hungarian road Sežana-Bazovica.

Sežana Botanical Garden - Garden at Villa Mirasasso

The carefully tended Sežana botanical garden is easy on the eyes indeed. Cedar trees nearly two centuries old, orderly box tree beds and gravel paths, blossoming walkways and a palmarium in homage to the Schonbrunner Gardens in Vienna make for charming sights in all directions. The beginnings of this garden-architectural heritage reach back to 1848 when a Trieste family began to tend plants by their villa in Sežana, in the style of the Italian urban gardens, planting flowers from all parts of the world.

Today the garden exhibits nearly 170 plant species and some 700 plants, along with a trove of cultural heritage, most notably its greenhouse dating back to 1890.

Old Slamčeva Farm – Hostel Pliskovica

In a restored karst farmstead protected as a cultural monument, you'll find the Pliskovica Youth Hostel. The Old Slamčeva Farm lies at the southern edge of the village Pliskovica. It encompasses the homestead and barn that once housed a stable, hay and produce storage, cart and tools. Situated in a large fenced yard, the borjač, the farm is accessible through two crafted stone portals or kalona.

Upon restoration, part of the house and barn were covered with typical skrle stone tiles. The building had been deserted for some time until it was refurbished as a youth hostel in 2001. An open fireplace was preserved in the hostel as part of a small dining hall.


Štanjel, one of the oldest settlements in the Karst, instantly impresses with its fabulous visage. The castle complex, defensive towers, church of St Daniel with its remarkable lemon shaped belfry, tightly-knit houses and the Ferrari Garden are the most recognizable architectural heritage of this ancient settlement that has been changing shape for millennia. In many ways, the walled medieval village is a soulful cultural monument.

Today, Štanjel is the cultural centre of the Karst, hosting a variety of cultural and scientific events. The restored castle hosts museum exhibitions like the impressive Maks Fabiani exhibition. There's also the gallery of Lojze Spacapal as the central house of fine arts in Štanjel, next to several smaller galleries.