A hike in Ljubljana? Try Rožnik Hill

by Inga Batur

Most true hikers would frown upon this suggestion for a hike. True, Rožnik hill is only 391-metre-high hill. But it's a pleasant change from the hustle and bustle of the crowded centre of Ljubljana. It also offers plenty of trails to choose from, enough shade to keep you cool even on the hottest of days and you can have refreshments on the top. Kids? They have a playground. So, what are you waiting for?

Starting point?

We've been visiting Rožnik hill for years and we are still discovering new trails. There's literally hundreds of them. Some start from Ljubljana's Tivoli park. Others from the zoo, which by the way, you should definitely visit. Perhaps combine the two and spend a day in our favourite part of Ljubljana.

Other trails lead from Mostec, a wooded area stretching next to the Večna pot road, which also happens to be the road the zoo is located on. Mostec is a very popular recreation spot and it’s where we begin our hike. Then we choose one of the narrow trails that cuts through the hill and later on joins the wider and well-trodden one. It might sound vague, but it can’t be better explained. You just have to get there and you’ll spot them. Besides once here, you’ll soon discover all paths lead to Rožnik.

Mostec

Maybe the most interesting is the about 3-kilometre-long Jesenko Trail (Jesenkova pot), named after the botanist and geneticist Fran Jesenko, which takes you past 30 different local tree species marked with information plates.

At the top

If you are wondering how long will you need to reach the top? We’ve needed from half an hour to once almost two. Why such a difference? It all depends on the trail you pick and the company. When our kids were small, this was a day trip and we needed snack to get us through. Now, we can get up and down in an afternoon after school.

The top of Rožnik is called Šišenski hill (429 m), but the Cankarjev top receives far more visitors and is always our destination. Why? When we started hiking, anywhere, I decided I am not going unless there’s a hut offering refreshments at the top.

Cankarjev vrh

On Cankarjev vrh, named after a famous Slovenian writer Ivan Cankar, who lived there between 1910 and 1917, there is a lovely inn with an even better garden. It offers treats, lots of traditional Slovenian dishes and sweets you definitely shouldn't miss. You can also visit Cankar’s memorial room located in one of the adjoining buildings.

But back to food. Our kids climb up for one reason and I’d be lying if I didn’t admit I do the same to get flancat, a type of fried pastry, similar to donuts but with no filling, just sugar on top. Yummy.

Once up there and after you’ve replenished the calories, you can walk a few more meters to the church of the Visitation. On the meadow beneath it, is a place used for different celebrations and events.

Cerkev

Best time to visit?

Any time is great. We've visit at least once a week. At night in the Winter, when it was all covered with snow, as well as on hot summer days when we wanted to escape the heat that enveloped the whole city. It worked, it's always a few degrees cooler here.

In the Autumn we also use the opportunity to pick chestnuts, which is a special treat.

However, if you have a few days at your disposal, I'd suggest visiting during weekdays, because at least the inn gets very hectic on Saturdays and Sundays. Sometimes it seems half of Ljubljana is up there.

Escape the heat

Mostec is a great place to escape the summer heat 

Inga Batur

Inga Batur thinks all the trips with the kids should be fun(ny).

More about Inga Batur

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