Near the Adriatic coast there is a famous land step where Istra peninsula is attached to the rest of the continent. In the NW-SE direction a long series of vertical limestone walls is rising, due to their sunny orientation very popular among climbers. These crags, cliffs and towers are not very high, but just enough to offer amusing climbs. The whole area is also very suitable for hiking and biking.
From the continental part, be it in Italy or in Slovenia, no river or creek is flowing down into the Adriatic. All sources come out below the land step, and then flow across Istria. But there is one exception - the creek of Glinščica is having its sources below Slavnik mountain, 1028m, and is then flowing all the way down, until in the Bay of Trieste/Trst it inflows into Adriatic sea. The valley of Val Rosandra / Glinščica is thus the only valley cutting the above mentioned barrier and hosting also a nice creek. In its middle part, Val Rosandra / Glinščica is a true canyon, which gives it an additional attractiveness. Otherwise the valley is deeply cut into a typical karst plateau.
In the area of Val Rosandra / Glinščica the Slovenian minority is living, so on this page names are written in both languages. Also the valley itself stretches over the border between Italy and Slovenia.
A Short Geographical Overview
Below, the valley of Val Rosandra / Glinščica starts in the village of Bagnoli della Rosandra / Boljunec. Then it first goes in the E-NE direction, but on the point where a sharp, rocky side ridge descends into the valley from Cima Comici, the valley turns into the SE direction. Just before the hamlet of Botazzo/Botač, the lower part finishes with a high and picturesque waterfall. In Botazzo/Botač, the valley branches. One side valley (Grižnik creek) ascends in the S direction towards Beka village (Slovenia), the main Glinščica creek valley ascends in the SE direction, continuing far towards villages Klanec and Kozina (Slovenia) and a short side valley (Krvavi potok creek) also ascends in the NW direction around Monte Stena towards the village of Draga / Saint'Elia. The highest point above the canyon part of the valley is Monte Stena, 442m.
Items Of Interest
A precious water source
As the only water source in the vicinity of Trieste/Trst, the creek was exploited already by the Ancient Romans. Near the valley mouth the remains of an Ancient Roman aqueduct are well seen. Old water beds, a few arches, just enough to boost imagination. I don't know to what degree the source is exploited today, but in the valley no water capturing can be seen.
A natural reserve
The whole area of Val Rosandra / Glinščica is today a protected natural area - a part of the natural parc, extending also on the neighbouring hills. Here is the link to basic information.
A great hiking area
Being just on the backyard of Trieste/Trst, a town of 200.000 people, Val Rosandra / Glinščica is an ideal place for people to get in nature. There is a good path through the valley - to Botazzo/Botač, along all the edges of the valley, also in the upper part, where a few sources inflow the main creek, and many paths, marked and unmarked, are also ascending from the valley out on the neighbouring plateaus. There are too many paths to name them all. It's perhaps interesting to mention that some of the tours can also be done with horses.
A great climbing area
Here is the link to the list of most climbed routes in Italian (thank you, Fabrizio!).
Our member Gabriele indicates the following two pages (in Italian) with routes descriptions:
Spigolo Verde (Cima Comici), 4 pitches, 3c: http://www.arrampicata.info/relazioni-vie-roccia/spigolo-verde-val-rosandra.asp
La Grande, 5 pitches, 5c: http://www.arrampicata.info/relazioni-vie-roccia/la-grande-val-rosandra.asp
Three ferratas. In the upper part of the valley, where you can find short steep walls, members of CAI Trieste made three quite demanding ferratas. They are used mostly for training purposes and to gain experience on such routes. Looking up these are:
A nice creek, gorges and a waterfall
The upper part of the creek, till the settlement of Botazzo/Botač, is unknown to me. There still seem to be some rocky structures and perhaps the creek also there offers some picturesque scenery. But the part below Botazzo/Botač is definitely very nice and picturesque area. Soon below the settlement, there is a landmark of Val Rosandra / Glinščica. Some 40 meters high waterfall does not have allways much water, but is usually worth visiting. In times of heavy rainfall the waterfall is one of the most beautiful natural phaenomena in the vicinity of Trieste/Trst.
Just below the waterfall, the creek enters wonderful gorges. The abysses above the water are not very high itself, even if the rocky slopes there do form a real canyon, but the river bed is so nicely cut in the limestone bed. Calm ponds and winding creek flows are intermitting, if you come around in spring (let's say in April) or in autumn, also the surrounding nature is very picturesque.
Instead of hiking up the valley by the broad main path it is highly recommended to take the scramble by the river bed. As early as possible start scrambling, if the water is high also wading in some parts, until you reach the waterfall. There you exit on the left (orographically) side of the creek, where the main path goes. Otherwise tiny paths are going mostly on the other, right part of the creek.
The edges of the surrounding plateaus are reaching altitudes some more than 400 meters. From them, you have very nice views, especially on the town of Trieste/Trst and its surroundings. We took two times an opportunity to be there in the time of the famous "Barcolana" race, where some 4000 sails vessels are racing on the sea, just outside Trieste/Trst. You can admire an endless number of white spots on the sea mirror, as if by some wonder snow would cover the bay.
While the path through the valley is reserved for hikers, bikers are using the course of the ex railway. It ascended from Trieste/Trst, over the slopes of Val Rosandra / Glinščica reached the point above Botazzo/Botač, and continued on the Slovenian territory, coming out at Kozina. That is a nice challenge for mountain bikers, who can then return by ordinary roads. Also over the neighbouring plateaus many mountain bike routes lead.
The remains of Ancient Roman aqueduct were already mentioned. The second nice landmark is the cute church of Santa Maria. As in previous centuries through the valley a frequented path went inland, above the path people built even before the 13th ventury a modest church. A bit remote, but nicely on the plateau edge above Trieste/Trst, stands the castle of Socerb. Today it is a restaurant, offering you a most beautiful panorama over the Bay of Trieste/Trst. And finally, also the hamlet of Botazzo/Botač with its popilar inn is typical for this karst region.
Trieste/Trst can be reached by plane, train or by a highway from Venezia or Udine. From the Slovenian side you reach the coastal area by the highway from Ljubljana and then use one of many local roads to the town. The trailhead of most of usual tours in Val Rosandra / Glinščica will be the village Bagnoli della Rosandra / Boljunec, lying just in the valley mouth. But the valley can also be reached from the villages on neighbouring plateaus. See more in the Hikes Proposals section below.