This stage starts in the fortified medieval town of Šmartno with its seven defensive towers. The major structural features of the 15th and 16th centuries have been largely preserved in the town, with ‘gase’ (narrow alleyways), ‘ganki’ (wooden balconies), ‘žbatafurji’ (‘spahnjenice’ or built-on kitchens) and painted elements beneath the overhanging roofs. The town takes its name from the substantial baroque church of St. Martin which is visible from far away. We then hike downhill along the Gonjače-Dobrovo road towards Kozana, and we come to the road to Kozana in Travnik. We reach the village very quickly and can take a well-earned break beneath the chestnut trees in the centre of the village. We then continue onwards into the valley of the River Končnar. On the other side of the valley is Biljana, one of the largest places in the Goriška Brda. The chains of hills are scattered with vineyards, cherry orchards and several large olive groves with their typical greyish-green colour. Prior to the winter of 1928/29 there were many more olive trees here, but during this severe winter most of them fell victim to the cruel frost and no more olive trees were planted afterwards. However, there have recently been new planting initiatives. We stay on the left-hand side of the valley – surrounded by vineyards – until we cross the road and ascend towards Medana (185 metres), one of the best known places in the Goriška Brda. The reason why our ancestors gave the settlement below it the name ‘Breg’ (hill) becomes apparent as we are climbing up to it.
But do not worry, this is the last ascent. Afterwards we go downhill for a longer period of time to the former border crossing point at Plešivo, and from there we continue towards Krmin. But we are not in a hurry and can enjoy our last look at the wonderful view of the region, with Brda on our left, bordered by the Sabotin, the Trnovska Plateau behind us and even further away Nanos. Ahead of us lies the karst region, somewhat further away the gulf of Trieste, and the plains of Friuli on our right. When the sky is clear you can see the Dolomites and the Carnic Alps in the distance. Before the last segment of this stage through Brda we recommend taking a break in one of the inns in Medana or Plešivo/Plessiva.
From the Italian-Slovenian border crossing in Plessiva we follow the SR409. As soon as the road bends, we follow the signs for the Plessiva Nature Park. Via a vehicle track through the vineyards we come to the entrance to the park and thus into the woods of Plessiva. We take the path which leads uphill beside a small building (visitor centre). The path crosses a wide vehicle track and then continues uphill. We follow the mule track and keep to the left when the paths fork, to climb further and reach the mountain ridge. We continue along the mule track which runs along the ridge, now ascending less steeply. After a flat section we leave the mountain ridge along a mule track which leads downwards in a southerly direction into the villages of Novali and Montona. Then we go along the narrow asphalt road which leads from the district of “La Subida” along the spine of the Monte Quarin (marked CAI 99). Near the summit there is a car park which can be reached by car from Cormons. In clear weather there is a wonderful view from here. To finish the tour we have to go back down to “La Subida” or Cormons, where the next stage begins.