Post and images by Tereza Letalova of Czick on the Road. Instagram @czickontheroad
Slovenia is a vibrant country gaining a lot of popularity very fast. It’s also a country full of sports enthusiasts, country, where the sport is supported by all means. Even the Slovene president is a passionate hiker and runner, always participating in running competition and you can often meet him on the beautiful hills of Slovene Alps. If you are one of the people whose ideal vacation is the one with a view of grey peaks and green forests, Slovenia is the ideal destination for you.
When to go hiking in Slovenia
The high season for hiking in Slovenia is definitely summer. There is no snow even on the highest peaks and nature is full of beautiful green grass to lie on to rest. This is also the season you will meet most of the other hikers. Hiking in spring and autumn is also possible. In autumn you will be dazzled by the amazing colors of falling leaves and spring brings blooming flowers and the smell of perfume in the air. But don’t forget to check the weather and prepare for the possibility of snow. Slovenia also offers numerous winter hikes, when the country is covered by snow and turns into a wonderful white fairy tale land. Hiking to lower peaks outside of the high season is much recommended.
Where to go hiking in Slovenia
Slovenia has several mountain ranges, and all of them are beautiful and worth the visit. The most popular one among Slovenes as well as a foreign tourist is definitely the Triglav National Park. With picturesque alpine lakes, river gorges and mountain peaks, it offers various sports activities, hikes of all difficulty levels and amazing views from the top. Less popular though not less beautiful is Kamnik-Savinja Alps in the very heart of this country. With much fewer tourists, you can find beautiful hiking paths with nobody else than you on them and truly enjoy the pure peace of nature. This is also the destination I’d like to tell you more about.
Enjoy local delicacies in mountain cottages
With numerous hills ranging from 300 m to 2500 m, Kamnik-Savinja Alps offer amazing hiking opportunities with breathtaking views. Slovenia is well known by its amazing infrastructure for lovers of mountains, so getting lost is the last thing you should be worried about, just pick a location and follow the red signs till you come to the peak. Many peaks also offer refreshment in beautiful wooden cottages and so after or during your hike you can enjoy Slovene beer, hot tea, artisanal schnapps, typical local food and sweets. If you’re hiking in summer, my recommendation is to go for blueberry-cheese strudel cake or mushroom soup.
What are the best peaks in Kamnik-Savinja Alps
When I was still living in Slovenia, I spent almost every weekend in the mountains and still haven’t climbed all the peaks I’d love to. To make the decision easier for you, here are the peaks I recommend the most for every hiking level: for easier hikes with views of green forests head to Logarska Valley, which offers numerous hiking paths. The highest peak in Kamnik Savinja Alps is Grintovec (2558 m), it’s fairly easy though longer hike without many technical difficulties and anybody who is a bit fit can do it. If you want a climbing challenge, before reaching the Grintovec turn to Jezerska Kočna, which offers difficult and dangerous passes where helmet and climbing belt is a necessity. For two days hike, head to Skuta and Velika Baba with sleeping in mountain cottage Češka Koča.
How to prepare for hiking in Slovenia
As in every mountain, also Slovene mountains are unpredictable, therefore, there is certain equipment which you should always carry with you. Among them shouldn’t be missing waterproof jacket, good hiking shoes and several layers of clothes in case of change of the weather. If you go for a more demanding hike to rocky terrain, a helmet is a must and climbing belt for some part is recommended. Even in higher altitude, Slovene mountains are very hot, so be prepared and take plenty of water. In winter, the absolute must is beside warm clothes also crampons and in higher areas also ice axe.
To every peak in Slovenia leads several paths varying in difficulty, to be sure you picked the right path for you, consult with some local expert or ask here in comments. Every peak also has a stamp to mark your achievement and a log book, where you should write your name – this also serves as a safety precaution, if something happens to you, or if you get lost, the mountain rescue service will find you easier. All hiking paths in Slovenia are free and you can do them without a guide.
For more hiking adventures from Slovenia and all over the world, visit www.czickontheroad.com/hiking