You can also climb Šmarna Gora via the ridge of the slightly higher Grmada (676 m), meaning that you can “tick off” two summits in a short space of time.
Anyone visiting Ljubljana who wants to feel like a local should climb Šmarna Gora (whose name in English means St Mary’s Mount). On fine days, particularly at weekends, this very popular hiking destination on the edge of Slovenia’s capital city can get quite crowded. In part (or above all) because of the fantastic view and the excellent gostilna (restaurant) at the summit. It is well worth spending time here, especially on a clear day, to relax in the shelter of the little pilgrimage church and enjoy the view of Ljubljana with the river Sava, the surrounding hills and the Alps beyond. And also to indulge in a snack or lunch at Gostilna Ledinek, with a menu consisting of traditional Slovene dishes. Below the church is a children’s playground and an open-air fitness area. Before going back down the hill you can ring a bell for good luck – St Anthony’s Bell just below the summit is also known as the “wishing bell”.
This route is slightly longer, steeper and more exposed than the Spodnja Kuhinja route; part of the route crosses a relatively steep slope, so extra caution is needed here; in some places, the path rises quite steeply over rocks.
The route begins in Tacen, where there is a car park (charges apply) and which can also be reached by bus. From the car park follow the hiking signs to the foot of the hill and up into the forest, initially following the route via Spodnja Kuhinja (“Pot čez Spodnjo Kuhinjo”). The well-maintained path is initially quite steep, although it widens and levels out after the initial ascent. At this point follow the signpost to the left onto Mazi’s Path (“Mazijeva steza”).
Follow the rising and falling, narrowing and widening path to the slope of the Grmada ridge. Parts of the path are pleasantly soft, while other parts are rocky. Mazi’s Path ends at the point where it reaches the summit ridge. The ascent towards Grmada is along the ridge itself (rocks!), from which on a clear day the Kamnik-Savinja Alps can be seen over to the left. From here the inconspicuous summit of Grmada can be reached in just over 10 minutes. Information board at the summit helps identify the hills on the other side of the valley.
Continue along the ridge until it descends into the forest and onto a saddle, where the path now joins the Spodnja Kuhinja route. From here follow the comfortable macadam path to the fork. For the final ascent to the summit, you can either continue on the wide macadam path or enter the forest and take a narrower, rockier and steeper path leading past the chapel dedicated to the Holy Sabbath. We recommend going up via this path and descending via the gentler route.
Follow the Spodnja Kuhinja route
- By car (car park)
- LPP city bus (lines 8, 1B and 1D)