Exploring Slovenia in 2021 in pictures

IN News

The freshly fallen snow has sprinkled the landscape white overnight and I’m warm in our cozy house on a brink of a forest thinking back of the past year. Truth to be told, I have mixed emotions about 2021. Like it or not, Covid has turned our lives upside down and changed our “normality” into a crippled shadow of the past. The world at the moment can feel beyond real… I just spent three days convincing my parents we can do Christmas celebrations in person after a negative rapid test… and I’m sure many of you can relate. The odd times call for regular trips outdoor to vent the daily stress by the serenity and tranquility of the nature. To this extent, I’m thankful for all adventures – big and small – we’ve shared on the trail so far. They’ve been priceless. Thank you for that! 

It has been an immense pleasure to be guiding every single one of you to the mountains; to hit the dusty or snowy trail, sweat and curse the steep slopes together, climb spectacular peaks, relax at lakes, run from massive thunderstorms, marvel at mind-blowing sunrises and sunsets, and cheer in the huts with even more like-minded adventurers. Together we made the almost impossible in this more and more virtual world possible… we felt completely alive and happy! Thank you again guys for coming on our tours and helping create this awesome energy! You are the best!

Let’s see our adventures in pictures…

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Secret gems of the Soča Valley

As the sun sparkles over the emerald green Soča River, which winds from its source at 990 meters above Trenta all the way to the Adriatic Sea at Italy’s Trieste, the surrounding hills and mountains call for an adventure. There are endless options in the area and it would be wrong to think that one could only get a kick out of the river. While the Soča truly is spectacular and deserves the attention, the Soča Valley is just so much more; it’s interwoven with various hiking trails that bring us either high up into the Alpine world, or to hidden waterfalls, meadows with wooden houses out of a fairy tale, gorgeous lakes, and even mysterious remains of the WWI.

Let’s dive in.

Join us on a guided tour Soča Valley and the Alps

Read also: Where to hike around the Soča Valley in amazing Western Slovenia

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Twelve Mountain Adventures in Slovenia You Will Likely Fall in Love With

Close your eyes and listen for a moment. Did you hear loud voices from the road outside? Or a faint rumble of a home appliance? In an ever-louder noisy world of the valley one needs a sporadic retreat to the silent world of amazingly wild and incredibly remote mountains. To lie down in an empty Alpine meadow, bask in the warmth, and daydream to the light symphony of birdsong and distant whistles of a chamois guarding its territory. There is no need for silence but only to become in sync with nature, whose vague silhouette we can barely still recognize in the cities.

Whether you live in Slovenia or are planning just a short visit, here is a list of the best twelve beginner-to-advanced hikes and climbs I’ve done this summer. Maybe you’ll find an intriguing idea for a bad-ass family outdoor adventure or maybe you’ll head for a romantic getaway high up in the mountains. Either way, while you’re huffing and puffing your way to the top, stop for a bit to reflect and appreciate how divinely different the Alpine world actually is. Serene and tranquil.

Join us on a 6-day tour to Soča Valley and the Alps

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Exquisite Krško: A land of hidden waterfalls, vineyards, gourmet food and wine

IN Castles , Food and wine , Hiking , Hills , summer , sunrise hiking , Waterfalls

A streak of sweat drops down Tone’s forehead in the hot summer sun yet he beams with pride to show us his twenty-year project; he named it “Trail of four waterfalls” (Slo. Pot štirih slapov). A school teacher by profession but also active in a local theater, a local tourist association and nature guiding in his spare time, he takes us to their cozy hut by a stream. Friendly and open locals welcome us with oven-baked trout; a welcome relief before a six-hour hike in the recently explored gorge.

Apparently the four waterfalls were only brought to public attention a little over two decades ago and Tone has been making great efforts to create a round 12-km marked trail ever since by finding passages in a labyrinth of vertical walls, fixing pitons, steel wire and stairs along the exposed slopes, and by putting signs to make it easier for hikers to find it. It’s been tough but worth it. Today he boasts a trail that has even impressed the legendary Slovenian Alpinist and extreme skier Davo Karničar.

Bojanca Fall
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Hiking in Slovenia: the Gear You Will Need

IN Hiking gear , News

Owning a hiking agency I get this question a lot: what gear will I need to hike in the mountains? In fact, I get it so many times that I think a nice detailed blog could be useful for all you hiking enthusiasts out there. Although the answer is not so straightforward, I’ll do my best to present you  with a list of things to pack. But first off, let’s talk about some basic factors that will help you understand better the country’s specifics and the appropriate gear you’ll need for the Slovenian mountains. 

Join us on a 6-day tour to Soča Valley and the Alps

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Traveling and vacationing abroad in the coronavirus times

IN Croatia , Hiking , outdoor , Seaside

As far as I can remember, I have always been a free soul. I excel in perfect freedom, get extremely frustrated within constraints and perform satisfactorily in situations in between. I confess, not being able to travel freely abroad, let alone in my own country during the lockdowns, didn’t sit with me well. During the lockdowns my stress level was solid high, and I even found a legit way to travel in Slovenia! Owning a travel agency helped me get around the country, but just the fact that I had to print those damn day passes to move from point A to point B felt restricting. Spending 10 days in obligatory quarantine to cross a border? Forget it, I’ve got better things in my life!

Read also:
Three spots to see blooms in early spring
Twelve mountains adventures in Slovenia you will likely fall in love with
Safe winter trails that will blow your mind

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An amazing day climbing Mala Mojstrovka in Slovenia’s Julian Alps

I’m very excited to give you a story written by Nick, our very special guest from Ireland who hiked and climbed with us last summer. Enjoy the read!

It was a wonderful sunny summer’s day in Kranjska Gora, Slovenia. I had been comfortably dined and rested at the hotel and just finished a magnificent breakfast that was truly regal in its volume and variety. That day was my first day climbing of a ten-day mountaineering trip expertly planned by Exploring Slovenia. As the early morning sun warmed me up, I eagerly awaited the arrival of Neja, who owns the company, and has arranged all the guiding and mountain accommodation for my stay in the Julian Alps. Neja arrived promptly and introduced me to Samo, an IFMGA mountain guide and an expert on these demanding high level routes. Neja and I had planned some tough climbing over the coming days and I quickly found both Neja and Samo easy going, chatty and with a good sense of fun too.

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Climbing Mt. Begunjščica in harsh winter conditions

IN Adventure , Karavanke , Karawanks , mountaineering , mountains , Winter , Winter climbing

{A disclaimer for the wise: conditions in the mountains can change very quickly, therefore plan your climb accordingly; read about the planned route, check the avalanche reports, the amount of snow in the mountains, and reports about the temperature and wind changes, consult with mountain guides and local climbers,…}

A few weeks ago, back in March, I joined a guided mountaineering course to learn about climbing steeper terrain in the snow safely. It was great with the hands-on approach, so we learned the skills while actually climbing a mountain, the 2,332-m high Mala Mojstrovka above Kranjska Gora. As it turned out, the climb was unforgettable, and, me being me, I had to return to the mountains the very next day and try the easiest winter approach to Mt. Begunjščica, the 2K mountain you usually see in the background of the Lake Bled photos. Today, comfortable in my office, I’m reliving the crazy but wonderful moments of climbing that thing in a swirl of a snow blizzard, fierce wind and temperatures way below zero, and, yet, my heart melts with the fond memories. Here’s the story.

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Three spots to see blooms in early spring

IN Family hiking , Flowers , Hiking with kids , spring

Following the weeks of mountaineering in very real winter conditions, I wanted the past week to be different. Warm, pleasant and colorful. As it happens, our little green country is fortunate to have three different types of climate, and when the first flowers only start to bud in one place, spring is already in full swing in another place. 

Barring some occasional drizzles, late winter was pretty dry not leaving nature as spectacular for wildflowers as usual. But since nature is slowly awakening as the proverbial rainy month has only just started, flower lovers can already see the first spring blooms in a few sites. Here are three blooming sites from three completely different parts of Slovenia I visited last week, each very different, yet wonderful in its uniqueness. Enjoy!

Join us on a guided tour Soča Valley and the Alps

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The beautiful Vršič Pass in winter

Beginner winter climb in the Slovenian Alps: Mala Mojstrovka

{A disclaimer for the wise: conditions in the mountains can change very quickly, therefore plan your climb accordingly; read about the planned route, check the avalanche reports, the amount of snow in the mountains, and reports about the temperature and wind changes, consult with mountain guides and local climbers,…}

As crocuses, primroses and spring snowflakes awake from the hard soil and the nature in the valleys begins to pick up more vibrant hues of blue and green, the mountains continue to stand firmly their winter ground in the face of the awakening spring. You drive to them in perfect sunshine, but end up climbing in temperatures way below freezing with occasional snow blizzards and fierce wind chills. Yet, the freezing temperatures make the snow stable and awesome for some serious winter ascents, and that’s what counts when you’re slowly battling your way up on the steep snow glazed slopes.

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