Spring too often seems to take its time arriving in the Slovenian Alps. But when it does turn up, it creates otherworldly scenery spreading wildflower colors everywhere. While in May you can find glorious spring practically everywhere at different elevation, there are a few spots particularly famous for their blooming flowers. Yes, I’ve written about Velika Planina and Golica already, but here is yet another beautiful flower hike, which against all odds isn’t crowded at all.
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This hike will blow your mind: Golica and endless fields of daffodils
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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!
In search of wild daffodils on Golica, a picturesque mountain in the Karawanks
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.
Hiking in an abandoned ski resort: Zelenica
I prefer hiking alone. It’s the only space and time when I do exactly what I want. It’s also the way I perceive mountains when there is nobody there but me; it’s perhaps more adventurous and thrilling, and I definitely feel deeper and more wholesome, connecting to the nature with all senses. That’s why I was overly excited the other day to find a few hours just for myself alone and went hiking in an abandoned ski resort Zelenica.
A highly popular ski resort in the 70s and 80s, particularly so as shopping in richer Austria back then was just a short drive away, Zelenica used to be a perfect spot for professional training and recreational skiing. While it progressively declined over the last two decades, it still operated for some years until permanently closing in 2012. But the fun thing about an abandoned ski resort? The ski runs are still there for winter backcountry skiers, while hikers enjoy in easily accessible surrounding high mountains all year round. Not too crowded though, which makes it even more appealing.
At 10.30 AM light rain and misty fog and not a soul anywhere on the horizon.
Sunset hunting in the Karawanks or an adventure of contrasts
As soon as my husband and I finished work for the week, we quickly hurried towards Gorenjska and left our car in the parking below the Matizovec farm at the foothill of the Košuta massif. In fact, Košuta is the largest massif in Slovenia with its 10 km (6.2 mi) long crest and as many as 12 mountains over 2 K. The goal for the evening was to hike to Kofce, a mountain hut at 1.488 m (4,882 ft), and record a time-lapse video of the sunset in the mountains.
Never stop having fun: adrenaline sledding in the Alps
There are days when I wake up and just need to do something crazy, something extraordinary. With that in mind, my husband and I took a few hours off work yesterday and drove to the Ljubelj Pass or Loibl Pass, one of our favorite starting points in Slovenia for hiking and other outdoor activities. This time we choose adrenaline sledding down from the oldest road pass in Europe at 1,370 m (4,490 ft) with a 320 m (1,045 ft) downhill descent and an average slope between 10-15%. We (and by “we” I actually mean “I”) dragged the sleds up all the way to the hut, enjoyed a cup of tea on a sunny terrace overlooking white mountains in the Karawanks chain, and then sled down exhilarated like two small children. 🙂
Here is a video of our sledding adventure and a few photos of the scenic hike. Enjoy!
Hiking Mt. Begunjščica, the most popular mountain in the Karawanks
There are days when I need a challenge and days when I just need to take it easy, relax, even meditate in a way. That’s how I pick mountains. I usually turn in for the night with a ready backpack, but no real plan where to go the next day, only to make one during my morning ritual. If it seems impossible to decide in the evening, it all clears up in the morning. My Wednesday pick two weeks ago was no different.
I woke up early when others were still sound asleep, an hour before my actual alarm. I set out in complete darkness and drove towards the mountains. Since the snow was still fresh from the day before, the greater risk of avalanches outweighed my wish for a true adventure. My safest bet, thus, was Mt. Begunjščica, a 2,060-m or 6,760-ft mountain in the Karawanks range, also called a mountain of a hundred ravines. I figured it would make a great winter escapade; nothing technical, just pure pleasure.