I’m at that point in summer where I’m itching for mountains every single moment of the day. Sure, there’s the ever so convenient Šmarna Gora, which I’m happy to live within its walking distance, but sometimes I need more. That said, the past month passed venturing out to the Slovenian Alps as many as six times: Tosc, Triglav Lakes (blog), Bogatin and Triglav Lakes (blog), Mala Ojstrica and Lučki Dedec, Stol, and Goli Vrh. While each hike was special, I’m giving you two of my most memorable adventures in the Kamnik-Savinja Alps of the past month which should be on the bucket list for adventurers like yourself as well (with families and dogs included).
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!
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.
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 with a garden 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!
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.
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.
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.
I saw a brave little boy climb the steep route to Mt. Nanos alone this weekend. As a parent, I was shocked. Truly, guys, who lets their six-year-old climb a mountain alone? Over rocks, pitons and steel cables?
It’s the connection we have with nature and mountains, wandering steps into the unknown, budding flowers at the foothills, drifting clouds over towering peaks, huge expanses to rest your gaze upon. It’s a way of life.
Being an active family with a special thing for the mountains, it was no longer than the third day on Sardinia that we set off towards the mountainous region Gennargentu and the highest peak of the island, Punta La Marmora. After a 3-hour drive on curvy roads with unnerved kids on the verge of throwing up, we arrived at the trailhead all wearing the “it better be worth it!” attitude. As it turned out, hiking Punta La Marmora has a lot to offer and easily qualifies as the best trip we made in Sardinia. Yes, it was well worth it to say the least.
Our kids have finally reached the age when we can all pack the minimum of things, head towards the mountains and have a hell of a good time. Yay! Since it’s still warm (but not hot) and backpacks much lighter than in the colder months ahead, September is probably the best time to take a weekend trip to the mountains. And so we did.
A picturesque mountain that’s easily accessible with minimal effort? My sister, visiting from Canada, likes the outdoors but not the sweating part too much. I, on the other hand, needed a little extra, an adventure of a sort to spice up the planned family hike, which I could perhaps even share with my older kiddo. Slemenova špica in the Julian Alps seemed like the best choice and as it turned out – it was.
June is the month when the summer hiking season usually starts, since the mountains would have dropped the white blanket by then. This year, however, the never-ending rain and almost daily afternoon thunderstorms have been constantly messing with our hiking plans, and instead made big mountains even less manageable than during the colder months. I have managed, however, to switch my focus to cycling lately and it’s been just as fun.
One of the most memorable trips was a 40 km or 25 miles long tour to Kamniška Bistrica, a glaciated valley at the foothills of the Kamnik – Savinja Alps, which was actually a nice combination of cycling, hiking and – the most adventurous of all – exploring new grounds off the beaten trail. In fact, the tour was so nice, I have done it twice in the last three weeks, both times with my family, who eagerly joined in for the last part – climbing big rocks up a dry mountain torrent Krvavec.
It’s the connection we have with nature and mountains, wandering steps into the unknown, budding flowers at the foothills, drifting clouds over towering peaks, huge expanses to rest your gaze upon. It’s a way of life, and something all outdoor loving parents would wish to pass onto their children. However, there is a minor setback. Children, at least the little ones, have no real desire for walking a few miles uphill on a seemingly monotonous trail, raising the question for many mountain lovers out there, how and if at all, push their efforts to make hiking a family thing.
It was neither an easy nor a short trail with 2,930 ft (893 m) of elevation gain and some sections covered in ice and slippery compact snow. As an experienced hiker and a parent, I knew it was a long shot of actually reaching the top with a small child, but we gave it a try nonetheless. It is all about the journey, anyway.