In the midst of forested hills set against a backdrop of snow-capped peaks lies a small lake with an idyllic island in the middle, and a medieval castle dramatically perched on a cliff above the shore. The lake color changes with seasons and it goes from deep blue-green in winter to sapphire blue in summer. Considered as one of the most beautiful Alpine resorts in Europe, Lake Bled has been a tourist destination for centuries, while it also regularly tops the lists of the most beautiful places in the world.
Weekend on blooming Velika Planina
As we drive close to the Kamnik-Savinja Alps, heavy raindrops slowly dwindle and thick black clouds tear apart offering a peek of the mountains. Velika Planina, a high Alpine plateau on the Alps’ southern rim just 30 kilometers from Ljubljana, had just started to show some greenish hues in its vast brown fields after a long winter, yet in less than two months cows from the neighboring villages will be already grazing in those highland pastures. In April, however, as the snow melts away, Velika Planina is well-known for something else. Carpets of purple crocuses break out every year, turning Velika Planina into a blooming place straight out of a fairy tale!
Wandering about the mountains above Lake Bohinj
I’ve walked in the fairytale mountains above Bohinj and between my first and second attempt to climb the 1,761-m peak Mt. Pršivec I realized something; to hike in that area you have to understand the background. Its remoteness nestled among towering mountains has shaped the locals over the centuries, giving them the skills to not only master the surrounding peaks but even conquer Mt. Triglav as the first. Tackling any trail in their playground might thus bring unexpected hiccups like a section of expert terrain on a trail marked as easy. Yet, dreamy views and the adventure will leave you craving for more.
Visoki Mavrinc, a gorgeous and safe peak above Kranjska Gora
Way up high – above the lively Alpine town of Kranjska Gora, a glacial valley with a mountain stream, the evergreen fir forests and an escarpment that ends with some of the highest mountains in Slovenia – is a comfortable 1,562-meter peak. The trail to get there narrows from a broad valley to a forest which ends quite unexpectedly on an open flat top. We gasped at the sight. Perhaps even more than the tall peaks, this rather low peak opens to sublime views and lets you soak up the intense history of the place and magic of the Alps without risking too much on the way.
Exploring Slovenia in 2021 in pictures
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 Slovenia mountain adventures in pictures…
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 hiking options in the Soča Valley 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 the best hikes in the Soča Valley.
Where to hike around the Soča Valley in amazing Western Slovenia
Glimpse of WWI on a stunning traverse from Bohinj to the Soča
Best of Soča Valley in winter: from skiing, panoramic hiking to frozen waterfalls
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 here or are planning just a short visit, here is a list of the best twelve beginner-to-advanced hikes and climbs in Slovenia 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.
Here are twelve beautiful mountain hikes and climbs in Slovenian Alps. Enjoy!
Exquisite Krško: A land of hidden waterfalls, vineyards, gourmet food and wine
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.
Hiking in Slovenia: the Gear You Will Need
Being the owner of a hiking agency, an UIAA guide and a big mountain enthusiast, I get this question a lot: what hiking gear do I need for the Slovenian mountains. However, the answer is not so straightforward and you’ll have to understand Slovenia’s local conditions first. Anyway, I’ll try to lead you through all the factors that influence the decision on what to pack for the mountains and present you with a list of gear to pack when going hiking in Slovenia.
Traveling and vacationing abroad in the coronavirus times
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!