5 amazing hiking trails in Central Slovenia
After you have seen the sights of Ljubljana, enjoyed its photogenic views and laid back atmosphere, you should venture into its green surrounding areas. The Central Slovenia region will surprise you with its of natural beauty, excellent cuisine and, above all, excellent hiking trails.
Hiking and mountaineering are two of most popular recreational activities in Slovenia. The trails to numerous hills and mountains are usually waymarked with painted red and white circles and take you to nice mountain huts, usually positioned near or at the top of the hills.
Šmarna Gora hill * is just 664 metres above sea level, but offers great views in all directions, from Ljubljana to the Slovenian Alps. It can be easiest accesible from the northern Ljubljana suburb of Tacen by public bus no. 8 (direction Gameljne, stop Tacen). Gostilna Ledinek located on top serves traditional Slovenian dishes and is famous for its Šmarnogorski ričet (pearl barley stew with smoked pork).
Iški Vintgar is a very scenic place. This deep gorge, through which the Iška river makes its way, looks like a canyon in some places. From there you can climb to the top of Krim (1107 metres above sea level), offering magnificent views of Ljubljana Marshes. On the way up there you can visit the reconstructed partisan hospital Krvavice from WW II.
Pekel Gorge with its seven waterfalls is a hidden gem of nature located quite off the beaten path, near the small town of Borovnica, southwest of Ljubljana. At the entrance to Pekel, whose name translates as ‘Hell’ there is a restaurant offering a great choice of fish dishes. It too is off the beaten path. It doesn’t even have a website or listing anywhere so it’s known mostly among locals. The path through Pekel Gorge might be dangerous in some parts so a bit of caution is in order.
Velika planina plateau in Kamnik Savinja Alps with its idyllic landscape and one of Europe’s few surviving high mountain herdsmen’s villages is accessible by aerial cable car. Besides that various trails lead to it from different directions. The most popular among them are Kranjski rak (2 hours), Kraljev hrib (2,5 hours) and Stahovica via Sv. Primož (3,5 hours). It’s up to you to choose: a trek to the top or just easy hiking the plateau after getting there with the cable car.
You can reach Grintovec (2,558 metres above the sea level), the highest mountain of the Kamnik-Savinja Alps, from the picturesque Kamniška Bistrica Valley. It will take you a relatively easy five hour climb to take there. On the way you can stop for some rest and refreshment in Zois Lodge at the scenic Kokra Saddle (1,793 meters above the sea level).