Sunset in the mountains: Košutnikov Turn

Hidden behind a long Alpine valley and a gorge with plummeting waterfalls and a winding narrow road going through rock-carved tunnels, is the high and steep eastern part of the Košuta massif. Measuring ten kilometers in length, Košuta is the longest mountain in Slovenia that boasts twelve peaks of over 2K meters. If the western side of the massif is popular with hikers due to its accessibility and relatively easy trails, among frequently visited peaks being Mt. Kofce and Veliki Vrh, the eastern side seems more remote and mysterious. 

Photo by Rok Leben
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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.

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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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Safe winter trails that will blow your mind

IN Adventure , Alps , Hiking , Kamnik-Savinja Alps , Karavanke , mountains , snow , Winter hiking

When everything becomes still, the streets empty, the noises die down, the silence becomes overwhelming and I can finally hear it. The winter is here. First snowflakes lightly fill the air and the world turns calm and beautiful. Our hearts fill with joy and our minds with fantasies about our favorite corners of the world turning white. We go to bed in one kind of world and wake up in another quite different.

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Chasing the sun and views in the Karawanks: from Stol to Belščica

IN Adventure , Alps , Hiking , Karavanke , Karawanks , mountaineering

As the very last tourist has left Bled, and this enchanting little town seems almost too big for an occasional jogger or a couple enjoying the promenade around the lake, its nature has never looked more amazing and, best of all, more tranquil. The hazy fog colors light yellow as I drive through the sleepy town, and the forest around the lake looks pleasantly vibrant in the fresh morning sun that manages to peep through the fog. I’m tempted to make a stop to absorb this autumn scene, but the tour I had opted for in the Western Karavanke Mountains would be long and we’d need every minute of the dwindling daylight. 

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Hiking in a flower paradise: Mt. Golica and its daffodils

IN Alps , Flowers , Karavanke , Karawanks , spring

The one place that truly speaks to my soul and that I love during spring is the 1,835-m mountain Golica. Truth be told, it doesn’t really stick out in the 120-km long Karawanks, yet it has something that will blow your mind coming up close. Endless carpets of flowers, mostly daffodils and dandelions. The thick aromatic flowery smell of the wild fills the air, making the hike along the sea of delicate white flowers a feast for the eyes and nose.

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Venturing outside at the time of Coronavirus – how to keep yourself and your family entertained

You always hear me talking about our little bubble of paradise here in Slovenia. A place that seems immune to the problems of the rest of the world, a place that attracts friendly people who love the outdoors and the mountains. However, we are facing the exact same problems as the rest of the world. As a mom of two, I’m stuck with homeschooling, tons of cooking and cleaning, and, like all of you parents out there, lack of time for myself. High mountains, via ferratas, and rock climbing are off limits anyway, but, luckily, since a complete lockdown hasn’t started yet, we’re still able to enjoy relaxing time in nature. For now, at least. Therefore, we better make it sweet and worthwhile, right?

Dare I suggest it’s a great time for exploring local intriguing spots in the spirit of simplifying our lives a bit? It has worked for me and my family. We have been tracing beautiful spring flowers in nearby forests, spotting wildlife, searching for beautiful sunset spots, and even finding a massive hidden cave!

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Hiking the gorgeous Karawanks: Veliki Vrh and Kofce

IN Adventure , Alps , Hiking , Karavanke , Karawanks , mountaineering , mountains , Slovenia , Winter

As much as I tout the Julian Alps as being amazing and unique in their beauty, there’s still that corner of my heart that jumps for joy for their south-facing neighboring mountain range, the Karawanks. Stretching 120 kilometers from east to west and serving as an actual border between Slovenia and Austria, the Karawanks offer mostly sunny hiking, remarkable wild flowers in late spring and huts with traditional mountain food. To be honest, the alluring setting couldn’t be more ideal, especially on a beautiful winter day.

And we’ve seen many of those over the past few weeks!

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Climbing Mt. Stol, the iconic postcard mountain behind Bled

IN Adventure , Alps , Bled , Hiking , Karavanke , Karawanks , mountains , News , Winter

As tourists snap selfies in front of the deep green Alpine lake Bled and take a boat to the little island with a 12th century church, the dramatic backdrop of the snow-capped peaks of the Karavanke Mountains lure the other kind – the adventurers at heart. The highest in the 120-km-long mountain range, which stretches all the way from the border with Italy and Austria, to Croatia, is the outstanding Mount Stol.

The Karavanke Mountain range rise above Lake Bled with Mt. Stol on the far left

Hiking it will serve you idyllic vistas quite different from the sheer walls and rugged landscapes typical of the Triglav National Park. Here you’ll be given incredible views across the valley floor, the Sava River, and Lake Bled, while the top will literally blow your mind away as the landscape suddenly transforms into an Alpine fairy tale with seemingly never-ending white peaks all around.

The turquoise Sava Dolinka River snaking its way towards Ljubljana at the foothills of Mt. Stol
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