A winter fairy tale and stunning scenery above Vrhnika
by Jerneja Fidler Pompe
As fog lingers among the busy streets of Ljubljana, a small town on the south-western edge of the Ljubljana Moors and its embracing rolling hills lure young families, trail runners and other adventurers for a nice day in the sun. One of the most visited hills above Vrhnika might be small in size but totally and utterly captivating.
The thing about Slovenia is that every settlement, no matter how small, has its own favoured hill where everyone goes to get their weekly (daily?) dose of exercise. And what Šmarna Gora is for Ljubljana, Planina nad Vrhniko (Eng.: Plateau above Vrhnika) is for Vrhnika. And that’s exactly how I learned about it. My colleague and friend, who happens to live in Vrhnika, invited me and my family to a few-hour hiking adventure on his favourite hill, then freshly covered by a thick blanket of fluffy snow. To put it mildly, it was extraordinary, even for a high-mountains junkie like me.
At 733 m, Planina nad Vrhniko offers many trails, anything from short and easy to moderately difficult and long. If you start in Vrhnika, your best choice is to follow signs for ‘Zavetišče na Planini nad Vrhniko’, which start by the last traffic light post on the road towards Logatec. From there, it’s only 433 m of ascent and about one hour to the top.
Incredible views from the top
The one thing you’ll not want to miss is to climb up the 22-m observation tower, built in 2008 as a replacement for its 16-m predecessor. As it peeks out of the forest, it allows for 360-degree scenic views, which can turn pretty epic on a clear day.
Jerneja Fidler Pompe
An adventurer, a dreamer, an explorer. A real mountain enthusiast. A blogger.
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?
Under the bracing shade of trees, stretching 40 kilometres around Ljubljana, it winds an enchanting mostly car-free trail of historic importance. If the Trail of Remembrance and Comradeship or simply just POT is a popular walking, jogging and cycling route for outdoor enthusiasts, it also serves as a reminder of where the city used to be enclosed during the World War II.
I love mountains. I love the energy, the solitude, the vastness, and the wildlife. And I love the challenge. Finding yourself without getting lost. Firing a passion without getting burnt. While I strongly believe everyone should venture out to collect their own experiences, there are ways to minimise the risks.