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.
I’d driven past it many times, always towards jagged mountain peaks of the Kamnik-Savinja Alps, and so it wasn’t until two years ago when I finally decided to visit Stari Grad with my family. As it turned out, it’s one of the coolest and most scenic short hikes in Slovenia. It’s a family-friendly 35-minute trail that teaches about wildlife and nature, and ends with amazing views over the Alps and Kamnik. A must-go if you’re in town!
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.
Up among the bush, just a few kilometers south of Ljubljana, binoculars in one hand and a camera in the other, I’m mesmerized by a beautiful sight; a herd of roe deer munching their way through rusty-colored plains. I’d planned spending a few hours exploring the Ljubljana Marshes, wetlands greatly diverse in wildlife, and ended doing a 17-km circle and returning there over the next few days. To say the least, the Ljubljana Marshes themselves were a treat and are easily my favorite place for a relaxing adventure near the capital.