Biking in Slovenia » Vipava Valley » Abram (Nanos) from Vrhpolje
Two roads lead from Sanabor (a hamlet on the western slopes of Nanos plateau) to Abram (one of the few still-active homesteads): a pleasantly cool gravel road along the Bela stream and a sunny asphalt road going straight from Sanabor to Abram.
At a Glance
- A mix of somewhat steep asphalt and gravel roads
- 1015 m
- Average time
- 3.5 h
- Elevation gain
- 830 m
- 22.9 km
In summer, I take the gravel road on the way up and the asphalt road on the way down. This time I decided to enjoy whatever sun had to offer on a chill autumn morning:
- I parked at Vipavska Bela climbing crag to avoid the boring part of the trip. You could park at the large parking lot in Vipava (adding almost 5 km and ~190 m elevation gain).
- Follow the road from Vipava to Col (via Vrhpolje) until you get to a left hairpin with a side road to Sanabor/Abram going right.
- Just before Sanabor, decide how hot you want to be: turn right (Sanabor/Abram – my choice) to follow the sunny asphalt road or left (Bela) to follow the stream into the forests.
- Follow the asphalt road till you reach Abram.
The Nanos Glaciers
To set things straight: Nanos is way too low to have glaciers. What they call glaciers are ice caves where the locals mined ice in the spring/summer and transported it to Trieste from where it was exported all the way to Africa.
Fair warning: While the gravel roads are well-maintained, you’ll be entering pretty wild hard-to-orient terrain with plenty of forks, no mobile coverage, and useless signs. Download digital maps (OpenCycleMap works just fine) to your smartphone.
- From Abram, follow the signs for Pot ob Ledenikih (Glacier Way) onto a decent gravel road.
- At the next T-junction, turn left (there’s an ancient barely-readable right-pointing wooden arrow saying “Podnanos”).
- At the next major junction, a sign saying “Blažon” pointed straight on; I turned right (down).
- (Optional) Stop at the Veliki Vipavski Ledenik (Big Vipava Glacier) sign and explore the cave.
- Eventually, you’ll reach a large parking lot occasionally used by logging trucks. Follow the signs for Vipava, and in a few kilometers, you’ll get back to the Sanabor–Abram road.
Map of the Route
The map shows the path we took as recorded by the GPS receiver. Never trust a GPS track; rely on your senses and maps.