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

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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?

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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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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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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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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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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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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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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.

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My other Instagram top photo spot over Lake Bohinj at Vogar.

Where to hike for that Instagram view of Lake Bohinj: Vogar

It’s been a month since I spent a weekend at Lake Bohinj and did quite a memorable morning hike above the lake. Although my list of top hiking places at Lake Bohinj includes five options – Vogar, Komna, Rudnica, Peč, and Studor — Komna proved the best option under given conditions (foggy up to 1,400m). This weekend, though, our little family returned back to check the view from Vogar, 1,054m, and as it turned out, it easily qualified as my Instagram top pick for a panoramic view of Lake Bohinj.

My top Instagram photo point over Lake Bohinj from Vogar. Slovenia
My top Instagram photo point over Lake Bohinj is definitely the panoramic view a few minutes from the Kosi Hut at Vogar. Even on a cloudy day like this, your photos will be amazing.

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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!}.

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Triglav: finally getting it right

There’d been several attempts this year to conquer it, but failed (remember Ski touring below the Triglav North Face, Climbing Triglav in spring and The third try?). Not by much; yet still standing at the top of the second of the two highest peaks doesn’t quite measure up to that sweet feeling of actually reaching the summit, does it? A fourth attempt based on a spontaneous idea from a day before surprisingly succeeded. Not only succeeded, but it excelled so greatly it can be easily placed on my top five hikes of all times!

Triglav: finally getting it right

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On our way back down from Stenar, we bumped into this carefree Alpine ibex.

The Slovenian Alps are so much more than just Triglav: Križ & Stenar

Triglav as seen from below Stenar
It’s been repeated so many times that we’ve all started to believe it. The mantra “you’re not a true Slovene until you’ve conquered Triglav” drives the nation, anyone from small kids to older hikers, to the 2,864m (9,396 ft) mountain, which quite truthfully isn’t by far an easy climb (remember Climbing Triglav: the third try?). The tourists, too, are flooding the mountain, especially during the summer. Truly folks, it’s beautiful, but, quite frankly, there are mountains in Slovenia just as beautiful, if not even more so, without a continuous line of eager climbers winding their way to the top.

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