Rajhenburg Castle as seen from the Sremič Hill, Krško Region, Slovenia

Exploring rolling hills of Krško and its medieval castles

Rolling hills, endless vineyards, pristine nature, generous and welcoming people, and good food. Now that I’ve really experienced the Krško region, spending there a weekend, I couldn’t agree more. That place makes a surprisingly invigorating holiday spot.

In just two relaxing days, I walked through a virgin forest of tall oaks and fallen mossy trees. I walked along long vineyards, stretched across the hilly landscape of the Lower Sava region. I explored Medieval castles to learn about Trappist monks. I drank chocolate wine, and ate locally produced food that simply melts in the mouth. I was treated to local wine Cviček and home-made salami by friendly locals. I spent the night in a remote B&B in the midst of vineyards. And I drank a cup of tea in a hostel run by the ex-gold-medal Olympic athlete Primož Kozmus. Kind of awesome, right?

Hiking in Krško, Sremič, Slovenia
Long vineyards end where the town of Krško begins

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At the top of Mt. Križ, Julian Alps, Slovenia

Climbing 2 K+ mountains in the Julian Alps after the first snowfall

With the early snowfall coloring the peaks of our highest mountains white, my thoughts go back to a special two-day climb in late August to three beautiful mountains in the Julian Alps I was honored to climb with my Dutch-Austrian friend Georg. Originally, we had been planning to climb Triglav over its 1-km high vertical North Face taking the Prag Route on the first day and explore the Triglav Lakes Valley on the second day, but as fate would have it, Slovenia experienced a sudden extreme drop in temperature just a few days before our trip and the mountains above 1,800 m dressed in an unexpected 30-cm snow cover. That called for a quick last-minute change of plan, and instead of climbing the Triglav North Face, we rather opted for the southern slopes of the spectacular mountains on the opposite side of Vrata Valley, also home to the beautiful Alpine ibex.

Hiking in the Julian Alps, view of the Triglav North Face, Slovenia

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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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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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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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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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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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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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Debela peč awaited right in front of us.

Mountains in December are just awesome: Debela peč

I happen to have the best friends in the whole world. Remember Barbara from Triglav? She has been a good friend since high school and as it happens with friends, we’ve evolved in quite the same direction. If we started off sharing a glass of wine on Friday nights in our teen years, we now share a much greater passion for mountains (honestly, it was a bottle rather than a single glass). To that extent, she offered to share her last week’s trip to the Triglav National Park conquering a beautiful mountain called Debela peč. Here it is folks, Barbara’s very first blog post and shall I say, hopefully, there will be many more of those in the future.

On the way to Debela peč.
All photos by Barbara Kandus.

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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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Šmarna Gora for sunrise

Sunrise hunting on Šmarna gora

It’s nice to have a favorite mountain. Cozy, even. Having outgrown a mere physical activity, its visits resemble more to active social events since you meet the same people every day, while also the trail seems like an old friend with its same familiar challenges on every single step. The half-an-hour standard timing makes Mt. Šmarna gora a favorite daily excerise not only for me, but also for others living in Ljubljana or somewhere nearby. If I usually prefer late afternoon hikes, I decided today to trade those for an early sunrise ascent. It was worth it.

Early sunrise on Šmarna gora

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