Wild daffodils in the Slovenian Alps, the Karawanks, Dovška Rožca

Chasing spring flowers in the Slovenian Alps: Dovška Baba

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.

A dog enjoying in a field of wild daffodils on Dovška Rožca, the Slovenian Alps
The Dovška Rožca Plateau and its daffodils (16th May)
Blooming fields of dandelion, Slovenia, the Karawanks
Long yellow meadows of dandelions blooming somewhere at the beginning of the Dovška Baba trail.

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Crocuses on Velika Planina for sunrise

When Velika Planina dresses in purple: welcome to endless fields of crocuses

On the southern rim of the Kamnik-Savinja Alps, some thirty kilometers north of Slovenia’s boutique capital Ljubljana, lies a large Alpine plateau called Velika Planina. The place is known not only for its unique shepherds’ settlement, arguably the oldest in Europe that remains active to date, but also for organic milk goodies produced every summer. Locals and tourists alike visit it for its long hiking and biking trails, skiing and sledding in winter, good food and friendly people. Every spring, though, something extraordinary happens: as the snow finally melts sometime in April, little crowns of crocuses flood the whole plateau turning a good part of the landscape purple.

Purple crocuses on Velika Planina, Central Slovenia
Tranquil open plains of Velika Planina colored purple slowly disappearing into a playground of snow-capped peaks. Picture courtesy: Barbara Kandus (thanks!)

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Triglav for sunset, Julian Alps, Slovenia

Make Triglav a winter climb

The king of the Julian Alps, the highest mountain of Slovenia and an iconic climb for most of the nation, Triglav rules its kingdom of jagged peaks, stunning lakes and deep valleys. Strategically positioned in the heart of Triglav National Park, actually the only national park of Slovenia, its somewhat pointed summit lures the crowds in summer, but the question today is who’s up for the challenge in the snow? Because the reward is simply finger-licking sweet!

Triglav for sunset, Julian Alps, Slovenia

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Snežnik in winter, ice, frozen trees

Ski touring in the frozen kingdom of Snežnik and its ice sculptures

I always wanted to see the ice kingdom which the winter Mount Snežnik is famous for and possibly ski among the frozen silhouettes. You see, since the mountain is close to the sea (only 28 km), it receives more precipitation, which in combination with strong winds can build incredible ice structures on anything that sticks up the ground. Thus the lodge at the top puts on an otherworldly ice cover, while dwarf pines, which sporadically cover the highest parts of the plateau, turn completely white and resemble an exhibition of art work rather than trees. Really spectacular!

Snežnik in winter, ice, frozen trees

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a female hiker and a dog

Better luck next time!

What a weird weekend. It started with big plans but ended up with nothing tangible worth bragging about. In contrast to what you must be thinking right now, no, it was still a great weekend, just very different from expected. We walked up an icy trail and we’d have been ok with that if it hadn’t been for the rain which gradually intensified into a heavy downpour. The next day, I fought with incredible amounts of soft wet snow with each step sinking into knee-or- butt deep snow. In the rain again. While I’m usually not a quitter, I quit both hikes. The only things I didn’t quit last weekend were a sunrise hike up to Šmarna gora with my doggy pal Lisa and sauna pampering with my girlfriends.

a female hiker and a dog

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Jezersko, Exploring Slovenia,October 2017

Exploring Slovenia 2017 through Instagram

From the sunrise on Šmarna gora, Jezersko in fall colors, to climbing the Triglav North face, here are the photos you liked the most on @exploringslovenia Instagram.

On the road from the Krvavec Ski Resort to Kriška Planina, Slovenia
When your family rides fluffy slopes of Krvavec and you’re stuck with the dog. To be quite honest, I readily volunteered for the job as I just love hiking around the second largest ski resort in Slovenia. ❤️❄️❤️ December 2017.

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A puppy enjoying the outdoors in winter

Five family and dog-friendly hikes

Having two kids and a puppy is super cute…for someone other than the parents. I’m one of those suckers who recently adopted a puppy. If my husband bought a house a week later, I’m dealing with it my way. I go to the mountains. Or to put it better, we go to the mountains. So, here are five hikes, friendly to kids and dogs, we’ve recently done and have kept my sanity plus entertained my whole family. I’m sure they’ll fit your family as well!

Five family and dog-friendly hikes in Slovenia

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A little boy hikes up a scenic mountain

Mountaineering ideas around Kobarid in beautiful western Slovenia

Perched between the jagged peaks of the Julian Alps and the Soča Valley, a small settlement of about a thousand carries not only a long history but also incredible landscapes. While Kobarid’s intriguing part of the history, the 1917 Battle of Caporetto, made it actually world renowned with Ernest Hemingway’s A Farewell to Arms, experiencing it in person completely surpasses one’s expectations. It offers a whole pack of outdoor activities, anything from kayaking in the white waters, relaxing on long dusty bike trails, sport climbing, paragliding, to exploring endless trails over small hills and rocky faces of high mountains.

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Julian Alps in fall, autumn, Slovenia, Kranjska Gora, Trupejevo Poldne

Colors of the fall around Kranjska Gora: Trupejevo Poldne and Sleme

Larches along the trail sparkle golden in the setting sun, the curvy land turns quiet, and views capture a playground of jagged peaks and endless golden forests underneath. That’s Kranjska Gora right now. If you’re into the great outdoors and would like to enjoy spectacular colors nature has painted so generously this year, then you should definitely take these two hiking trails around Kranjska Gora.

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As spectacular as it gets: ballooning over Bled, Slovenia; flying over Lake Bled

As spectacular as it gets: ballooning over Lake Bled

Most visitors to Bled, Slovenia’s fairytale location, experience the lake and its enchanting little island from a beautiful walk around it, a boat, or the castle. The more adventurous bunch admire the view of the lake underneath the Alps from a small hill Ojstrica. But how many have you seen it from a hot-air balloon? It’s easily one of the most spectacular and exhilarating things you can do in Bled, so if you haven’t tried it yet, you definitely should!

As spectacular as it gets: ballooning over Lake Bled, Slovenia

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Julian Alps, trail to Vodnik Hut

Romantic hike in the heart of Triglav National Park: Vodnik Hut

With the first snowfall this season as early as 13th September I found myself stranded between excitement and annoyance. Not that I don’t like snow, but technically speaking, it was still summer, and that’s when my winter gear is pretty satisfied buried somewhere in the basement. Yet, mountains were calling {like super loud} and I decided to go regardless, only not as high as originally planned. I chose a mountain hut in the midst of Triglav National Park that packs everything. The Vodnik Hut is as romantic as it gets, with a sunny trail curving slowly towards a mountain wonderland, plus with its position at 1,817 m, I knew getting there wouldn’t be a problem even without crampons.

Vodnik Hut in Triglav National Park, Slovenia
Located in the very heart of the Triglav National Park, Vodnik Hut is one of the favorite mountain huts for those trekking further on to Triglav or just exploring long paths and curvy meadows of Slovenia’s most beautiful national park.

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Alpine Slovenia, Slovenian Alps, Slovenia, Alps, time-lapse video

Beautiful Alpine Slovenia in a time-lapse video

I’m proud to announce a short video of spectacular Slovenian Alps. Let me back up. In a nutshell, I’ve been collecting time-lapse videos for the last year and a half while exploring the beautiful Julian Alps and its epic Triglav National Park, Kamnik-Savinja Alps, Karawanks, and Dinaric Alps. Now, I’ve packed my heart and soul into this three-minute video, which combines highlights of my journey on the trail in my home Alps. It’s not been an easy jaunt {oh man, the long waiting at temperatures below freezing and sometimes nasty wind… I get frostbites at the very thought}, but indeed a fulfilling one.

So, here it is, our incredible Alpine Slovenia that manages to stun us on every step of the way. I truly hope you like it!

Don’t be shy to leave a comment, like the video and share it. Thanks! 😊 Also, if you’re interested in stories from the trail, I’m sure I’ve either written about them here on my Blog, published extensive photo albums on Facebook, or selected the most beautiful photos for Instagram.

Stay tuned for more outdoor adventures! Follow me on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Youtube and subscribe to the feed.

A female hiker enjoying Velika Planina, Slovenia #centralslovenia

Instagram photo tips from the Velika Planina InstaMeet

It’s not very often you get the opportunity to hang out with a large group of photographers as good as this pack of Instagrammers. Last weekend, I got a chance to talk with @IgSlovenia, @VisitLjubljana, and @DomagojSever, and learn from the best landscape Instagrammers of the region. Lessons learned? Quite a few actually, but let’s get down to five for now.

InstaMeet, hosted by @IgSlovenia and @VisitLjubljana, on Velika Planina
Say “štrukljiiii”! Our InstaMeet group right in the middle of the shepherds’ settlement on Velika Planina. Picture credit: Zavod za turizem, šport in kulturo Kamnik.

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At the top of Grintovec, overlooking Dolgi Hrbet, Skuta and Brana

Hiking Grintovec, the king of the Kamnik-Savinja Alps

It was early August, so to speak the peak of the mountaineering season for most of the country, and the sun was about to spread its first rays over the sleepy slopes. Besides a few other cars, my husband and I were among the few hikers to go up the highest peak of the Kamnik-Savinja Alps that day, Mount Grintovec.

Hiking towards Grintovec, Slovenia
Heading towards the gray peak in the background, Mount Grintovec, 2,558 m.

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Uvala Liski, Lošinj, Croatia

Boating and exploring unspoiled beaches in the Adriatic

My thoughts still flash back to my recent carefree life jumping from one adventure to another, from dusty trails, small medieval villages, to the big blue sea, dolphins and divine beaches full of wildlife. Remember my spring break holidays on Lošinj and Cres? My family and I returned back to Lošinj in July, a perfect 31-km long green Croatian island in the Mediterranean, to unplug and spend relaxing yet active summer holidays far away from the crowds. This time by boat.

As always, our base was in a small settlement of Nerezine just underneath Televrin, the island’s highest peak, on the eastern side of the island. While I don’t mind the beaches there and our kids tend to insist on staying there with their little pals, we adults prefer wild and natural beaches instead. Therefore, after packing some food, water and beach stuff in the morning, we usually left for daily trips around Lošinj and its neighboring islands of Cres, Ilovik, Susak, Olib, and Silba. Here, I give you our five best boating trips this year.

Views from Lošinj's highest peak Televrin, 588 m
Speaking about Televrin, 588m, early morning views are beyond epic.

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Triglav for sunrise

Up to Triglav over its North Face and down to the Krma Valley

There’s certain allure of climbing Slovenia’s highest mountain, particularly over its grand Triglav North Face, a 3-km wide and 1-km high vertical face with paint blazes marking only a few of about a hundred, mostly alpine routes to Triglav. Our small group of four ventured out there the last weekend in June only to return with incredible stories to tell and even more amazing pictures to show. If I had to caption our trip in three words, it would be sun, thunderstorms and fun.

But before I tell the story, let Chris take us up Triglav over the Prag Route. Thanks Chris and Miha for helping create this amazing video!

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A beautiful photo of Kamniško Sedlo, an Alpine meadow in the Slovenian Alps

Photographers’ favorite mountain route in the Kamnik-Savinja Alps: Kamniško Sedlo

Somewhere far away from the city bustle, nested among towering mountain peaks, an enchanting green meadow stretches speckled with colorful flowers, and right in the middle of a green patch there is a friendly mountain hut. On its sunny terrace in totally relaxed vibes, a bunch of eager mountaineers share their bold climbing stories over barley porridge called ričet and cold beer while soaking in epic views of the Kamnik-Savinja Alps. That’s Kamniško Sedlo.

A woman hiker jumping with joy on an Alpine meadow

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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

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.

This hike will blow your mind: Golica and endless fields of daffodils, Slovenia, narcissi, narcise
All photos by Exploring Slovenia.

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Hiking to Mt. Viševnik with my dad

The most beautiful mountain for everyone: Viševnik

While I’m sure you’re better at maintaining quality-time contact with your parents on a regular basis, I must admit that hasn’t been my greatest priority the last couple of years {or a decade if I’m totally honest}. Nevertheless, yesterday I called my dad, to whom I also owe my first hiking memories, and invited him to some father-daughter bonding in the mountains. Sharing the same genes, he immediately dropped all other plans and readily agreed. The route I selected to fit my not-the-youngest-of-fathers? Viševnik. It’s one of the most easily accessible high peaks above Bled with stunning scenery and breathtaking views of the Julian Alps and Triglav.

Hiking Viševnik, Slovenia, above Bled

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Mountain biking Osorščica, Lošinj

Active seaside holidays on the Croatian islands of Lošinj and Cres

It’s been a most incredible week but now all that is left are a couple of photos and a big numbing heartache. Arghh. I simply love Lošinj and Cres. I love the lonely beaches, the clearest and bluest waters, dusty paths permeated with the smells of Mediterranean herbs, and the most delicious food. The best part? It’s an outdoor paradise that combines both wild and secluded, as well as comfortable and friendly. As almost a local, I give you my top four trips on these Croatian islands you absolutely shouldn’t miss out if you’re more into wild adventures.

Hiking Televrin, Lošinj, Croatia
At the top of St. Nicholas. All pictures by Exploring Slovenia.

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