Set in one of Slovenia’s most beautiful locations, on a large alpine plateau called Velika Planina, these comfortable cabins run by Alpine Resorts are only a short hike away from the nearest parking lot or chair lift, and the area offers various hiking options. 

As the sun was announcing a new day, coming out shyly from behind the mountains, the old shepherds’ settlement of 64 enchanting oval wooden huts lit up in the most vibrant colors. First, the sun stroked the topmost huts, each inside a cute wooden fence where the cows used to rest after grazing. Then slowly the whole settlement lit up and the first purple spring flowers playfully brightened the freshly green meadows. A glimpse of heaven, I thought.

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Velika Planina and crocuses

My son and I arrived the day before together with our dog, and had already settled in our mountain home on Velika Planina. We had parked in the highest parking lot called Mačkin Kot and brought along a rational amount of 3-day-worth of things on our backs. 

Beaming with happiness regardless of the weight on his shoulders, my son pedalled his bike up with determination. His idea was to try out his new bike on an 9-km bike trail loop on Velika Planina and enjoy some jaunty downhill rides, while my idea was to hike and explore for three days. Evenings were reserved for mostly hanging out on the sofa reading or playing cards by the fire. My kind of holiday.

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Our little piece of heaven on Velika Planina, one of few Alpine Resort‘s mountain cabins

Sunset at Velika Planina

After unpacking and settling down in the cabin, comfortably equipped with multiple bedrooms, a kitchen, dining room with a fireplace, bathroom and sauna, we set off towards the Domžalski Dom hut. We ordered the hearty Slovenian mountain dessert called štruklji and sat down on a small perch behind the hut looking at the old shepherds’ settlement with a backdrop of snow-capped peaks of the Kamnik-Savinja Alps.

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The annual display of crocuses, which Velika Planina is famous for, had started early this year due to unusually high temperatures in March and was already dying off, showing off only patches of beautiful purple flowers here and there. If you manage to plan your visit well, you can be rewarded with breathtaking views of literally carpets of crocuses as the whole planina turns purple. 

However, Velika Planina is an astounding place with a long and interesting history and displays breathtaking nature regardless of the season. Locals, after all, have been using these highland pastures and their nutritious grass for thousands of years. Archeological evidence on Velika Planina shows signs of humans, most probably herdsmen, as early as the prehistoric times! 

As we basked in the warm early evening sun up on the hill, which cast glorious light on the wavy pastures and the playground of pointy peaks in the back, the shepherds’ settlement on the other hand slowly sank into shade. 

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Sunrise at Velika Planina

The next morning the alarm set off sending an electric shock through my body and the eager enthusiasm started sipping away fast with every buzz. “Arghhhh, no!” After ten minutes of relentless buzzing it finally dawned on me that I was going to miss the sunrise if I continued to obey my laziness. In all fairness, getting up early on vacation is a nightmare, yet as soon as I started running towards the shepherds’ settlement with the sky showing off the first lines of pink, I felt wonderfully overwhelmed and blessed to be able to wake up in a stunning place like Velika Planina

I nested myself in a comfy spot between the old huts and took a moment to appreciate the dreamy setting. The world around me was slowly awakening as the dawn cast its first rays, stroking everything with warm orange light. The chapel of snowy Mary, which even nowadays holds masses every Sunday, illuminated first, perched on a small hill, and the rest followed, all bathing in the changing sunrise colors.

The shepherdssettlement of Velika Planina consists of 64 enchanting oval wooden huts, which have kept a unique Alpine architecture following a complete reconstruction after the whole settlement burnt to the ground in WWII

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Biking on Velika Planina

After five minutes of rest and a big breakfast, my son and I set off to try out Velika Planina as a biking destination. Well, at least my son did, I, on the other hand, was busy maneuvering our nosy dog between the crowds who came up to see the last of the crocuses (tip for the wise: seriously, avoid visiting Velika Planina on the flowering weekends!). We took a wide gravel trail that started from our cabin, passed Velika Planina’s shepherds’ settlement, continued to Mala Planina and then turned left at Planina Dovje Raven to cross the meadows back up to the shepherds’ settlement and finally reached our cabin. The 2-hour loop was a decent 9km, and 250m of ascent and descent.

Hike to Mt. Konj

Those of you who love the taste of high mountains will agree with me on this one. Okay, Mt. Konj is only 1,803m but after two full days of green pastures, it felt nice to feel the rock again, which this peak absolutely did have. It also revealed a really close view of the high peaks of the Kamnik-Savinja Alps, which crown every postcard from Velika Planina. Together with the neighboring Mt. Rženik it’s also the highest point you can hike from Velika Planina.

After breakfast and checking out we stepped outside into a windy and cloudy day to start the 4.5-hour and 10-km loop hike with 770m of ascent and 930m of descent. We passed fairytale crocus-speckled meadows, snugly hidden away from the mainstream Velika Planina, forests with tall and healthy fur trees, three pastures cute as a button, and finally reached the top of Konj. We could’ve easily hiked another 30 minutes to the neighboring Rženik as well, but nestling down on the 360-degree panoramic peak felt so much more appropriate. 

Looking at the dreamy highest peaks of the Kamnik-Savinja Alps, I thought back to our mini holiday on Velika Planina and agreed that everything about our stay there was perfect. You bet we’ll be back!

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