Hiking with dogs on Velika Planina, Visit Ljubljana, Slovenia

Unplugging on Velika Planina

Fairytale on Velika Planina is everything I love about mountain resorts: it’s remote and isolated, yet still nicely connected to the valley by a cable car or a road that ends only 45 minutes away. It has personality and all the little benefits of any other nice resort in the valley, plus you stay in pristine nature with spectacular views of sunlit mountaintops of the Alps. That’s why I was beyond psyched when the kind folks at Fairytale on Velika Planina invited me up for a few days of snowy trails and jaw-dropping sunrises and sunsets.

And did I mention dogs are allowed? Lisa and her furry buddy Hari were welcome too!

Sunset on Velika Planina, Visit Ljubljana, Slovenia
A true spectacle of nature… Most of the photos are by: Lorenzo Acciai

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Logar Valley, Slovenia

Exploring a most beautiful Alpine valley of Slovenia – hiking, climbing and flyfishing in Logar Valley

When making my way across the highest peaks of the Kamnik-Savinja Alps at the beginning of August, I looked 1,500 meters down from the top of Mt. Planjava, and played with the idea of returning to the same Alps, only instead of going up from the south I would set my base in the north, in Logar Valley. Interwoven with breathtaking green trails that usually end somewhere way up in the high mountains, beautiful tranquil trails along the Savinja River and countless little wild streams in the broader Solčava Valley, the 7-kilometer long Logar Valley is by far one of the most picture-perfect glacial valleys in Europe. As it turned out, it was indeed perfect for yet another hiking, via-ferrata and flyfishing adventure.

Fly fishing brown trout, Logar Valley, Slovenia
Who would’ve guessed a complete rookie like me would ever catch a fish as big as that, right? Well, my instructor might have added that crucial jerk to the fishing rod, but hey, who was I to argue the relevancy of that jerk once I was holding a huge trout in my hands! 😉

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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

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Hiking in the Kamnik-Savinja Alps

Beautiful hikes in the Kamnik-Savinja Alps

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).

Hiking in the Kamnik-Savinja Alps
The views from Goli Vrh are just amazing!

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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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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 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!

Five family and dog-friendly hikes in Slovenia

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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.

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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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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Storžič from the trail to Bašeljski vrh; photo by Exploring Slovenia

Training mountain trail near Ljubljana? Visit Bašeljski Vrh

Both a demanding and picturesque mountain trail not too far from Ljubljana which you could actually squeeze into an average hectic workday? I’m talking about a 10-km trail with 1,144 m elevation gain (and drop) that’s technically easily accessible all year round and starts just 33 km from Slovenia’s capital. It’s called Bašeljski Vrh.

Storžič from the trail to Bašeljski vrh; photo by Exploring Slovenia

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Cycling to Kamniška Bistrica and exploring the hidden pearls on the way; 39.6 km (24.6 mi), 4 h, 535 m (1,755 ft) ascent. Ljubljana – Gorge Predaselj – the source of the Kamniška Bistrica river – torrent Krvavec.

Cycling to and exploring the glacial valley of the Kamniška Bistrica

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.

Cycling to Kamniška Bistrica and exploring the hidden pearls on the way; 39.6 km (24.6 mi), 4 h, 535 m (1,755 ft) ascent. Ljubljana – Gorge Predaselj – the source of the Kamniška Bistrica river – torrent Krvavec.
Cycling to Kamniška Bistrica and exploring the hidden pearls on the way; 39.6 km (24.6 mi), 4 h, 535 m (1,755 ft) ascent. Ljubljana – Gorge Predaselj – the source of the Kamniška Bistrica river – torrent Krvavec.

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A fun hiking adventure with a 6-years old

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.

Kokrško sedlo, 5,883 Ft (1,793 m), is a beautiful mountain pass with spectacular panoramic views of a range of 8k Ft summits.
Kokrško sedlo, 5,883 Ft (1,793 m) , is a beautiful mountain pass with spectacular panoramic views of a range of 8k Ft summits.

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Storzic: my first real hike after six years

Storzic, Dec. 2, 5026 Ft / 1532 m elevation gain, 6 hours car – top- car. At 2132 m / 6994 Ft high it is one of the highest mountains in the Slovenian Kamnik-Savinja Alps.

I used to hike mountains all the time, on weekends, after work, during holidays, or whenever there was an opportunity. Now, times are a bit different. With two little rascals on my back, we prefer small hills rather than great peaks, and even those usually turn into long and tiring daily trips. This time, I took a day off work, dropped the kids in day care and school, and started off to one of my favorite mountains, Storzic. It felt amazing.

Driving to a small village called Mace, where the hiking trail to Storzic starts.
Driving to a small village called Mace, where the hiking trail to Storzic starts.

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