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.

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.

A woman hiker rests among narcissi in the mountains; Golica, Slovenia, narcise
Wild daffodils everywhere…
Daffodils in the mountains; Golica, Slovenia
…like a white carpet…
Endless fields of daffodils in the mountains; Golica, Slovenia, narcissi, narcise
…extending over endless fields…
Daffodils on Golica and view of Triglav and Julian Alps
…with amazing views.
Photographing beautiful narcissi on the Golica mountain, Slovenia
Although my photos are great (aren’t they!?! 😉), you’re welcome to see Aleš Krivec’s spectacular sunrise photo of Golica’s daffodils.

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 soaking up epic views of the Karawanks mountain range in the north of Slovenia.
Mountain bikers making their way to the peak of Golica, Slovenia
Mountain bikers making their way to the peak.
Carefree sheep grazing 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 daffodils map
Here is a copy of a trekking map of Golica together with my suggested daffodils 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.

Kids enjoying their time in the mountains; Golica, Slovenia

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 narcissi might literally blow your mind (explore more flower adventures in Slovenia). I swear, it’s that amazing!

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