Climbing the via ferrata above Lake Bohinj, Ožarjeni Kamen

A surreal via ferrata above Lake Bohinj

As much as I boast about Slovenia’s autumns being amazing for mountaineering, there’s still a tiny corner of my soul that’s always a little disappointed when October starts to roll around. The cold sets in, the fog sits low in the valleys until late morning or even early afternoon, the daylight dwindles, it’s too early to ski and can be too late to get up into high mountains after unexpected early snowfall. Yet the colors autumn brings make my heart sing (remember last year’s Kranjska Gora and Kobarid?). Last week, that autumn heart singing got me wandering around Lake Bohinj, searching for the entrance to its best kept secret to the heavenly views and hell of a climb – a via ferrata called Ožarjeni Kamen (Eng. Sunlit Stone).

Lake Bohinj as seen from the via ferrata called Ožarjeni Kamen
Climbing ‘Ožarjeni Kamen’ opens completely new views of Lake Bohinj

Continue reading “A surreal via ferrata above Lake Bohinj”

Hiking in the Kamnik-Savinja Alps, Ojstrica

Traversing the Kamnik-Savinja Alps across the highest peaks

Looking at the Kamnik-Savinja Alps, a beautiful mountain range closest to Ljubljana, lit in vibrant early morning colors with veils of fog lingering below rugged peaks, I got an ingenious idea I just couldn’t shake off. In a weekend excursion, I would traverse a good part of the Kamnik-Savinja Alps across the peaks I hadn’t climbed yet! With five out of eleven favored peaks already checked, I was looking forward to climbing another set of five peaks in one go; Ojstrica, Planjava, Turska Gora, Koroška Rinka and Skuta – all mountains above 2 K meters, steep, and on my planned route from east to west.

The Kamnik-Savinja Alps for sunrise
The Kamnik-Savinja Alps for sunrise as seen from Šmarna Gora

Continue reading “Traversing the Kamnik-Savinja Alps across the highest peaks”

Rainy Julian Alps with the Americans

One day in February I got the most exhilarating call. It was Alenka from the Ljubljana Guides asking me if I could join her on an organized group hike in the Julian Alps in July. The plan was to start the hike from Savica above Lake Bohinj, go to the Krn Lake Hut on the first day, then off to the Triglav Lakes on the second and third day, and finally head back down to Lake Bohinj across the Blato Plateau on the fourth day. It sounded like a blast and so I was in!

Hiking in Julian Alps, Slovenia
Hiking towards the Krn Lakes. Photo by: Journey Through Italy

Continue reading “Rainy Julian Alps with the Americans”

Three women hikers jumping in the mountains, Slovenia, Triglav National Park

This is how women climb mountains: Komna – Bogatin – Double Lake – Komarča

The past weekend was not about setting speed records. On the contrary, it was about three friends having great fun, sharing intimate stories, laughing to tears about things others might find stupid, and making new memories to laugh about in the years to come. We immersed ourselves in our first hiking adventure together, heading towards places that offer a real feast for the eyes – forests, lakes, wild flowers and fauna.

Triglav Lakes view, the Double Lake, Slovenia, hiking

Continue reading “This is how women climb mountains: Komna – Bogatin – Double Lake – Komarča”

The Double Lake, Triglav Lakes, Julian Alps, Slovenia

A spectacular yet stormy adventure through the Triglav Lakes

To be fair, May was not the best month for hiking in terms of good weather. I had so many plans yet realized so few (come check my Facebook for more adventures). Thankfully, sunny and warm June is here, which started off with the bonus that May had left behind – plenty of water and lush vegetation. So, if there’s ever the right time to do the Triglav Lakes trail, then it is definitely now. Hear my story.

Triglav Lakes, the Big Lake, Julian Alps, Triglav, Slovenia
Arguably the most beautiful Alpine valley in Slovenia, the Triglav Lakes Valley extends about eight kilometers from the 1,294 m elevation above the steep wall of Komarča above Lake Bohinj to the 1,933 m elevation not too far from Triglav itself. If you’ve ever wanted to make a trek around there, typical Triglav treks combine an ascent to Triglav with a walk through the Triglav Lakes Valley. Not a total shocker, right?

Continue reading “A spectacular yet stormy adventure through the Triglav Lakes”

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!)

Continue reading “When Velika Planina dresses in purple: welcome to endless fields of crocuses”

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

Continue reading “Make Triglav a winter climb”

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

Continue reading “Ski touring in the frozen kingdom of Snežnik and its ice sculptures”

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

Continue reading “Better luck next time!”

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.

Continue reading “Mountaineering ideas around Kobarid in beautiful western Slovenia”

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

Continue reading “As spectacular as it gets: ballooning over Lake Bled”

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!

Continue reading “Up to Triglav over its North Face and down to the Krma Valley”

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

Continue reading “Photographers’ favorite mountain route in the Kamnik-Savinja Alps: Kamniško Sedlo”

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.

Continue reading “This hike will blow your mind: Golica and endless fields of daffodils”

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.

Continue reading “Active seaside holidays on the Croatian islands of Lošinj and Cres”

A mountaineer on the way to Golica, Slovenia

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.

Continue reading “In search of wild daffodils on Golica, a picturesque mountain in the Karawanks”

Bogatin mountain hut

Winter fairytale weekend in the Alps: Kališče, Komna, Vogel

As I sit in front of my laptop thinking about my weekend adventures, it just seems like an experience from another world and dimension. City is home and sun-lit mountains my usual weekend escapades. There are moments, though, when I wish it was the other way around, and seeing perfectly snow-covered mountains above Lake Bohinj up close just makes my heart ache for more {with a sunny weekend ahead I just might return!}.

Continue reading “Winter fairytale weekend in the Alps: Kališče, Komna, Vogel”

Ice climbing in the Hell Gorge

It doesn’t get cooler than this: ice climbing in the Hell thirty minutes from Ljubljana

Ice climbing has never been my thing. Ever since the climbing accident ten years ago, I’ve steered myself away from the vertical and kept my step safer on the trail instead. A few weeks ago, though, the news arrived about frozen waterfalls in the Hell Gorge near Ljubljana; being such a rare sight I decided to duck out of my comfort zone and join my friends the next morning for an ice-climbing session in the Hell.

Ice climbing in the Hell Gorge

Continue reading “It doesn’t get cooler than this: ice climbing in the Hell thirty minutes from Ljubljana”

Admiring Jalovec from Tamar

A family outdoor weekend in Kranjska Gora

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.

Continue reading “A family outdoor weekend in Kranjska Gora”