Velika Planina (“Great Pasture”) is one of the few still functioning high-mountain herdsmen’s settlements in Europe and the largest mountain pasture in Slovenia. Here visitors can still experience the traditional culture of Alpine herdsmen.
The pasture extends across a high plateau that is famous for its remarkable natural beauty. In spring the broad pasture is covered with Alpine crocuses; in summer colourful wildflowers bloom; in winter it glistens white in the snow. The ends of the plateau almost seem to touch the peaks and ridges of the Kamnik–Savinja Alps, wonderful views of which can be enjoyed from Velika Planina.
Velika Planina and the neighbouring Mala Planina (“Little Pasture”) offer an attractive and undemanding hiking experience with the added bonus of numerous sights of natural and cultural/historical interest. The latter include Preskar’s Hut, today a museum of life on the Alpine pasture, a chapel dedicated to Our Lady of the Snows (the destination of a popular annual pilgrimage on 15 August each year), the herdsmen’s settlement and herdsmen’s huts that tell of the tradition of Alpine dairy farming. The area is of considerable botanical interest and notable natural features include the Veternica and Dovja Griča caves. We recommend taking the time to visit one of the huts serving traditional local food. If you’re lucky you might see them making trnič cheeses – a traditional product of Velika Planina also known as “sweetheart cheeses”.
The best way to spend an enjoyable day wandering across Velika Planina (highest point Gradišče, 1,666 m) is to take the cable car from the lower station in the valley of the Kamniška Bistrica river. A brief ride brings you to the foot of the mountain pasture (1,407 m). Here you can decide whether to continue the final steep ascent (up to 1,612 m) by chairlift or on foot. Close to the upper station of the chairlift you will find the Zeleni Rob restaurant, where in summer you will probably be greeted by a herdsman in traditional dress.
Return to the valley
By chairlift or on foot to the upper cable car station, then cable car down to the valley
Access to the starting point
By car (car parking available by the lower cable car station and across the road from it)