Wednesday 28 February 2024

TopRail Experiences: Connecting the world through extraordinary rail journeys - Nova Gorica

Discover the charm of Nova Gorica with Slovenian Railways (SŽ)

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Situated on the border between Slovenia and Italy, Nova Gorica is a captivating town where the past seamlessly blends with the future. With its pleasant climate and friendly residents, Nova Gorica welcomes visitors from around the world throughout the year. Thanks to Slovenian Railways, exploring this charming destination and its surrounding attractions is a breeze.

Begin your journey by immersing yourself in Nova Gorica’s rich history at the fascinating museum collection housed in the city’s train station. As the oldest public building in the city, it offers a fascinating glimpse into the history of the area, particularly in terms of the Gorizia state border, which existed from 1945 to 2004. Explore the exhibits and learn about the significant events that have shaped Nova Gorica and its neighbouring regions.

Stroll to the renowned Europe Square, where the town of Nova Gorica and the Italian city of Gorizia meet. The market square is decorated with an intriguing floor mosaic that serves as a symbol of unity. If you have forgotten the time, look northwards, and you’ll discover a sun dial crafted from a steam locomotive wheel, which functions with great accuracy. This unique timepiece also adds a touch of whimsy to the surroundings.

Venture just beyond the city to the picturesque Kostanjevica Monastery perched upon a hill. Not only does it provide breathtaking panoramic views of Nova Gorica and Gorizia, but it also holds the tomb of the last king of France and his descendants from the House of Bourbon, who sought refuge in Gorizia. Explore the monastery’s library, boasting a collection of approximately 10,000 books, and take a leisurely stroll along its south wall, where you will encounter one of the most extensive and complete bourbon rose gardens in the world. In spring, these flowers burst into bloom, filling the air with their heady scent.

For an even more enriching experience, walk or take a train to Solkan, hike up Sabotin Hill and listen to intriguing stories from World War I. If luck is on your side, you might catch a glimpse of a majestic white-headed hawk, soaring through the skies. Ramble back to the town of Solkan, where you will find the famous Solkan Railway Bridge. With an 85-meter span, this masterpiece in civil engineering dates from 1905 and is the world’s longest stone arch railway bridge. 1,960 cubic meters of stone shaped into 4,533 ashlar blocks were required for its construction. Under the bridge, the emerald depths of the River Soča can be seen, meandering gently on its way to the sea.

Also, do not forget to visit and explore Sveta Gora, where you can soak up the awe-inspiring vistas of the Julian Alps.

Tired of wandering? Have a break and treat yourself to lunch, coffee, ice cream, hot chocolate, dessert, or you name it, in the pleasant surroundings of local restaurants or farm inns.
Nova Gorica is also the beginning of the Bohinj Railway, the most impressive railway line in Slovenia. The train runs from Nova Gorica to Jesenice, and on its way showcases the emerald depths of Soča River, the Bohinj and Bled Lakes, mountains, and scenic views.

Lake Bohinj is the largest natural permanent lake in Slovenia and its main tributary is the Savica Waterfall. However, do not forget other scenic cascades such as the Savica, Mostnica, and Grmečica Waterfalls. The Jezernica River then flows from this magnificent lake, and joins the Mostnica River, to form the river Sava Bohinjka.

Over the Soriška mountain, the hills of Vogar, Uskovnica, Zajamniki, Komen, and so many more invite hikers to take in a picturesque view. In addition to all these natural treasures, Bohinj offers many different recreational activities. During the summer months, you can have a go at water sports, hiking, fishing, and fly-fishing, while in winter, you can ski on the Vogel, Kobla, and Soriška mountains. Seasons aside, Bohinj is also rich in culture, museums, monuments, churches and distinctive architecture.

To visit the shimmering turquoise waters of Lake Bled, travel by train to the Bled Jezero train station, which is located above the west coast of the lake and connects to the lake by footpath. A popular activity is to walk around the whole of Lake Bled as the total distance is an enjoyable 6km. This takes roughly an hour and a half, longer if you stop frequently. An electric motorboat connection or small boats are also available for transport across the lake.

You can also reach to Bled Island every day of the year in a “pletna”, a hand-made wooden boat, which is driven by a “pletnar”, a boat rower, who rows standing up. The most recognisable symbol of the island is the historical Church of the Mother of God on the Lake, with the wishing bell also being very popular among visitors. When they ring the bell, send a wish or request to the “Lady of the Lake” who then fulfils them.

If your cravings for nature are not yet satisfied, the Blejski Vintgar Gorge is situated only 4km from Bled, with waterfalls, pools and rapids galore.

With Slovenian Railways (SŽ) as your trusted travel companion, your adventures in Nova Gorica and its surroundings promise to be an unforgettable experience. Hop aboard and let the train take you to the wonders that await in this enchanting part of Slovenia.

Please check the SŽ website for more details about trains to/from Nova Gorica and Lakes Bohinj and Bled at

For more information about recommendations to visit or other interesting destinations, and on what to see, do, experience, and explore, is available at and

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