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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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

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Wandering through the land of the Alpine ibex

On the hidden slopes of the Julian Alps lies a remarkable kingdom of the legendary Goldhorn, an Alpine ibex with golden horns that had supposedly chased away everyone intruding upon his territory. Today, the rare Alpine ibex continues the Goldhorn’s famed charisma. With only about 300 left in the Slovenian Alps, their awe-inspiring image with horns as long as over a meter earned them the title of the king of the Alpine world. While there’s a big chance meeting a chamois in the Slovenian Alps, finding an ibex generally means knowing its territory well, seeing a large group of ibexes, on the other hand, only means sheer luck.

Alpine ibexes with Triglav in the back, Julian Alps, Slovenia
The guardians of Mt. Triglav

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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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Jezersko, Exploring Slovenia,October 2017

Exploring Slovenia 2017 through Instagram

From the sunrise on Šmarna gora, Jezersko in fall colors, to climbing the Triglav North face, here are the photos you liked the most on @exploringslovenia Instagram.

On the road from the Krvavec Ski Resort to Kriška Planina, Slovenia
When your family rides fluffy slopes of Krvavec and you’re stuck with the dog. To be quite honest, I readily volunteered for the job as I just love hiking around the second largest ski resort in Slovenia. ❤️❄️❤️ December 2017.

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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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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

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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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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.

A female hiker enjoying Velika Planina, Slovenia #centralslovenia

Instagram photo tips from the Velika Planina InstaMeet

It’s not very often you get the opportunity to hang out with a large group of photographers as good as this pack of Instagrammers. Last weekend, I got a chance to talk with @IgSlovenia, @VisitLjubljana, and @DomagojSever, and learn from the best landscape Instagrammers of the region. Lessons learned? Quite a few actually, but let’s get down to five for now.

InstaMeet, hosted by @IgSlovenia and @VisitLjubljana, on Velika Planina
Say “štrukljiiii”! Our InstaMeet group right in the middle of the shepherds’ settlement on Velika Planina. Picture credit: Zavod za turizem, šport in kulturo Kamnik.

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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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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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The Radovna Valley in spring with wild flowers

Family cycling in the Radovna Valley

Juggling between our top family cycling picks this weekend, particularly the warmer coastline and mountainous Kranjska Gora, we opted for a lesser known route in the Radovna Valley instead. Our goal was to spend a relaxed yet active day out in a beautiful valley away from the crowds, and Radovna turned out perfect.

The Radovna Valley in spring with wild flowers

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