This hike will blow your mind: Golica and endless fields of Narcissi, Exploring Slovenia

This hike will blow your mind: Golica and endless fields of daffodils

IN Family hiking , Hiking

Golica is often called the “mountain of daffodils”, and for a good reason; in mid-May, the long slopes are carpeted with wild narcissi in full bloom, making the scenery look pretty otherworldly. If the first at the foothills of Golica start budding somewhere in late April or early May, the whole slopes of the Western Karawanks bloom a few weeks later. For many, a trip to the slopes covered with daffodils is a once-a-year experience, yet the stunning vistas attract not only the locals but tourists as well.

Check our available hikes to Golica

If I had meandered in early April over the vast slopes of Golica, searching in vain for wild daffodils only to find epic views instead, my Sunday trip turned out a real treat. Once out of the forest, just underneath the mountain hut, my dad and me separated from the rest of our hiking gang and followed a trail towards Mala Planina, a 1,646-meter-more-eastern peak along this mountain ridge. What we saw took our breath away.

Wild daffodils everywhere…
…like a white carpet…
…extending over endless fields…
Narcissi on Golica and view of Triglav and Julian Alps
…with amazing views.

Yet, Golica is so much more than just pretty flowers, and one would make a huge mistake to end their jaunt there. Actually, it’s a grand mountain that fuels adventure dreams beyond narcissi. For one, you can extend your hike with a scenic 40-minute walk along the ridge to the peak of Golica, 1,835 meters high. Since the mountain borders Austria to the north, you’ll get to soak up stunning views of Slovenia on one side of the ridgeline and Austria on the other. The most daring of hikers even throw in a few extra hours to the trip and combine Golica with mountains further along the Karawanks mountain range like Dovška Baba and Stol. Last but not least, I’ve heard it’s great for mountain biking and paragliding as well.

A paraglider flying over the mountains; Golica, Slovenia
A paraglider soaks in epic views of the Karawanks mountain range in the north of Slovenia.
Sheep munching on soft grass in the mountains; Golica, Slovenia
Sheep munching on soft grass just beneath the peak. According to the proud herdsman, the herd counts as many as 520 sheep.

How to arrive at Golica?
Planina pod Golico, an enchanting village where the trail starts, sits above Jesenice, a town in the northwestern part of Slovenia. To find the road to Planina pod Golico, you’ll need to drive through Jesenice and look for its direction board, located close to the town health center, pointing towards the mountains.

The stats?
If the classic trail to the mountain hut below the Golica peak is marked for 1.5 hours and the peak adds extra 40 minutes, you’ll need approximately 3.5-4 hours for a return tour. For those aiming to catch a glimpse of the famous daffodils and follow my so-called daffodils route (Planina pod Golico – mountain hut – daffodils on Mala Planina – peak – mountain hut – Planina pod Golico), make sure to add another 1-1.5 hours to the trip. The daffodils route is about 10 kilometers long and ascends about 900 meters.

Golica narcissi map
Here is a copy of a trekking map of Golica together with my suggested narcissi route.

Hiking Golica with kids
While I’m sure your kids will be hopping and singing all the way to the peak, my little grouches called it a day once at the mountain hut. So, while my dad and me continued alone along the daffodils route, the kids were relieved to wait by the hut with other three grandparents and a bunch of tired little warriors. To be honest, not many kids passed that point the other day. Still, not having babysitters at hand doesn’t equal to not seeing daffodils. While there are plenty growing everywhere on vast grassy slopes along the way, according to the map, there seem to be even more flowers closer to the hut just a little further along the trail to Jekljevo Sedlo.

Right before you reach the slopes of daffodils, you pass a large field of dandelions

Anyway, mark your calendar for this weekend and prepare for an amazing day in the mountains as Golica and its endless fields of wild growing daffodils might literally blow your mind. I swear, it’s that amazing!

Read about hiking among purple fields of crocuses on Velika Planina

Until next time, y’all, and stay tuned for more outdoor adventures! Follow us on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram, and subscribe to the newsletter. Looking for a guided tour in the mountains? Exploring Slovenia offers hiking and climbing tours!

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A mountaineer on the way to Golica, Slovenia

In search of wild daffodils on Golica, a picturesque mountain in the Karawanks

IN Hiking

Known for endless fields of wild white daffodils, Mt. Golica is particularly popular in late April and early May. In fact, I fully subscribe to the April visits, and, guilty as charged, have never hiked it in another month before. This time, though, I was too early for the daffodils, but was compensated with equally incredible views of not only Slovenia and Triglav, but as far as Austria’s Grossglockner.

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Admiring Jalovec from Tamar

A family outdoor weekend in Kranjska Gora

IN Family

There is no such thing as a perfect family weekend, yet picking the right setting can play a crucial role in either surviving the weekend or truly enjoying yourselves. After two pathetic weeks of exchanging places in our rehabilitation bed drinking hot tea and inhaling anything that supposedly sped up our recovery, we were all anxious to get outside and just start enjoying life again. We booked an apartment for the weekend in Kranjska Gora, a small sunny town in the midst of outdoor paradise, as there would be activities for everyone. As it turned out, the place was awesome, while its countless sports options fitted the whole family.

The Zelenci Springs near Kranjska Gora
Back in December, I managed to capture the emerald side of Zelenci Springs.

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The stunningly beautiful scenery from the top.

When you seek a relaxing workout only to find perfection: Šmarna Gora for sunrise

IN sunrise hiking , training

I have a confession to make. I don’t do CrossFit, Zumba, fitness, cardio boxing, boot camp, anything of the kind actually. My usual workout begins right there under a lonely hill to the north of Ljubljana. With its 366 m of elevation, Šmarna Gora is everything I need to stay in shape. The best time to go? Definitely morning.
Šmarna Gora for sunrise

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Storžič, December 2016

Here is to new adventures and a happy new year

IN mountains

The first day of a new year is the day for making new vows, new plans, and new promises. Mine have always been simple. To stay healthy and happy.

Veliki vrh, December 2016
Veliki vrh, December 2016

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Family hiking: Triglav Lakes and Mala Tičarica

IN Family hiking

Our kids have finally reached the age when we can all pack the minimum of things, head towards the mountains and have a hell of a good time. Yay! Since it’s still warm (but not hot) and backpacks much lighter than in the colder months ahead, September is probably the best time to take a weekend trip to the mountains. And so we did.
A reflection of the mountains in a lake; the Double Lake

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Outdoor adventure below Mt. Mojstrovka

Just another day in the mountains: Sleme

IN Family hiking

A picturesque mountain that’s easily accessible with minimal effort? My sister, visiting from Canada, likes the outdoors but not the sweating part too much. I, on the other hand, needed a little extra, an adventure of a sort to spice up the planned family hike, which I could perhaps even share with my older kiddo. Slemenova špica in the Julian Alps seemed like the best choice and as it turned out – it was.
Hanzova trail below Mt. Mojstrovka and its breathtaking scenery

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Passing love for mountains onto children

IN Family hiking , Hiking with kids

It’s the connection we have with nature and mountains, wandering steps into the unknown, budding flowers at the foothills, drifting clouds over towering peaks, huge expanses to rest your gaze upon. It’s a way of life, and something all outdoor loving parents would wish to pass onto their children. However, there is a minor setback. Children, at least the little ones, have no real desire for walking a few miles uphill on a seemingly monotonous trail, raising the question for many mountain lovers out there, how and if at all, push their efforts to make hiking a family thing.

Father - daughter bonding in the mountains. Photo by: Exploring Slovenia.
Father – daughter bonding in the mountains. Photo by: Exploring Slovenia.

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