Ljubljana - from high peaks to high art in just 20 minutes

Krvavec is the local mountain of the "Ljubljančani" – in fact, flying into Ljubljana, you can almost shake hands with it on the way down. Part of the Kamnik Alps, this spectacular mountain group stretches up from 1,600 to 2,000 metres. Just 20 minutes from the city centre, It’s a fabulous year-round outdoor playground.

Winter: A white wonderland during the day, a Christmas fairy-tale in the evening

When winter comes, Krvavec turns into Slovenia’s best ski resort. It’s not just the super-convenient location that makes it so attractive – it’s also the 30km of quality ski runs, a delightful snow park, night sledging facilities and stunning hiking trails. And, dotted throughout, wonderful little chalets inviting you to take a break for some well-deserved refreshments.

You don’t even have to bring your skis. You can hire everything you need, and a direct ski bus will take you directly from Ljubljana to the gondola lift.

Back down from the winter wonderland, Ljubljana has prepared a Christmas fairy-tale for your delight. Stroll along the Ljubljanica River through the Old Town, following your nose as the tantalising, spicy aroma of mulled wine leads you to one of the most romantic Christmas Markets in Europe.

Photo: Matej Kastelic

Back down from the winter wonderland, Ljubljana has prepared a Christmas fairy-tale for your delight. Stroll along the Ljubljanica River through the Old Town, following your nose as the tantalising, spicy aroma of mulled wine leads you to one of the most romantic Christmas Markets in Europe.

Spring: a walk through the flowering mountain meadows. An afternoon on the river

Photo: Blaž Pogačnik

When winter is over, Krvavec offers many other mountain activities. Hiking fans will find their perfect tours. It’s a paradise for mountain bikers. Children will adore the adventure park. And paragliders will jump for joy.

Then, the quick trip back to Ljubljana city. And what better way to relax after an active day than to glide serenely down the river, enjoying a boat tour on the Ljubljanica. It’s a wonderful way to get to know the city from a surprising new perspective.

Summer: a fresh morning up on the mountain. A Midsummer Night’s Dream down in Ljubljana

Photo: Nina Goršič

I love to start a hot summer’s day with a walk across the lush alpine meadows of Krvavec. The gondola takes you up to 1,600 feet in just six minutes and deposits you in another world, high above the heat of the city, with glorious fresh air and amazing views of the Ljubljana basin and the adjacent Karawanks and Julian Alps. A few hours’ hiking (with frequent photo-stops as yet another magnificent vista presents itself), a drink and a snack in one of the chalets, and then I’m ready to come back down to earth!

A warm summer evening is a perfect time to take a leisurely stroll through the Old Town, then enjoy a visit to one of the many theatres that Ljubljana has to offer - for example, an accomplished production at the ‘Drama’, the aptly-named Slovenian National Theatre.
Tired but happy, top off the evening with a meal in the garden of one of the countless small, charming restaurants along the river. Truly a Midsummer Night’s Dream.

Autumn: Nature’s glorious colours on the mountain, Art’s amazing palette in the city

After the winter, Autumn is my second-favourite time on Krvavec (I do love skiing). And Autumn is definitely the best time for hiking, with the spectacular seasonal foliage providing a magnificent backdrop on every trail.

For an even more extreme colour experience, may I suggest an afternoon in Ljubljana with the theme of ‘Slovenian Contemporary Art’? Wow! Those artists certainly know how to play with the rainbow. Try a visit to the Museum of Contemporary Art, or enjoy Metelkova, Ljubljana’s little colourful alternative art quarter. Or perhaps just take a stroll through the many art galleries waiting to welcome you in Ljubljana’s Old Town.

All year round: Hearty cottage food all day, Star-awarded cuisine in the evening

Finally, a quick word about food. After all, a day in the mountains is sure to make you hungry, and a hearty snack will give you strength for an energetic day of hiking or skiing. The cosy little chalets on Krvavec are open throughout the summer and winter, offering delights like a Krainer sausage or a ‘Jota’, a tasty vegetable stew with sausage or bacon. Simple, and simply delicious.

Back in town, the evening belongs to the gourmets. Slovenia has become an international foodie hotspot in recent years, and naturally, the capital has attracted many of the superstar venues. We have it on good authority that from 2020, the Michelin Guide will be awarding stars in Slovenia. I can immediately think of at least three restaurants in Ljubljana that will be among the first serious candidates for at least one star. Get in before the rush!

Well, there you have it. All four seasons at 1,600m, and then the possibility of a whole different kind of Four Seasons down in Ljubljana City’s Opera or at the Slovenian Philharmonic.

So much that’s exceptional, so easily accessible – that’s Ljubljana. Enjoy!

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