Refreshing hiking getaways out of the city centre

by Jerneja Fidler Pompe

As much as I tout Slovenia's summers being amazing, there's still a tiny corner of my soul that itches for cooler temperatures. Shady forests, rivers, gorges, waterfalls, and Alpine villages, you say? I know a place just a short drive from Ljubljana that’s got it all!

A refreshing river walk on the Koželj Trail

Koželj Trail is a marked ten-kilometre trail, winding by a small-ish and crystal-clear Kamniška Bistrica River, starting from Stahovica and extending all the way to its spring beneath the Kamnik-Savinja Alps. Recommended to fit families and those with an adventurous spirit, the hike follows the river throughout with quite a few exits to small pebbly beaches perfect for a refreshing dip into the cool water.

  • river, dog
  • river, dog

A short hike from where the trail ends by the river source, you’ll pass the Predaselj Gorge, a beautiful one-hundred-metre-long and up to thirty-metre-deep gorge, which forms turquoise rapids flowing through the narrowest part of the Kamniška Bistrica river.

  • gorge, bridge
  • gorge, bridge

Orglice Waterfall

This 40-metre waterfall and its cool knee-deep pools beneath make an excellent fifty-minute hike in a shady forest. While there’s usually little water in the summer, you get the added benefit of crossing a dry bed of an otherwise lively stream and climbing up the hill along the waterfall where you can easily reach the more secluded pools for that perfect Instagram photo.

  • gorge, rocks
  • gorge, rocks

Velika Planina

I’ve written about it over and over and over again, yet it still doesn’t seem to be losing its charm. Vast plains underneath a playground of jagged peaks, slow paths, unique oval huts for shepherds, friendly people and good food. Velika Planina, the biggest and oldest shepherds’ settlement in Europe that remains active up to date, is a hiking paradise for families, photographers, and those who seek a relaxing day out in unspoilt nature. Plus, with much cooler temperatures than in Ljubljana right now, Velika Planina certainly deserves that attention in hot summer!

Velika Planina

Arriving at the trailhead

Are your palms sweaty yet? I wouldn’t consider myself an ultra-marathoner but with an ever adventurous itch, I was eager to explore all three hikes – Koželj Trail, Orglice Waterfall, and Velika Planina – in one day. Since all three start either at the Velika Planina cable car station (Velika Planina), a hundred metres down the road towards Stahovica (Koželj Trail), or two kilometres down the road towards the Kamniška Bistrica Alpine Hut (Orglice Waterfall), you can easily do all three in a course of one day.

If you’re taking the bus (Ljubljana – Kamnik, Kamnik – Kamniška Bistrica), just get off at the Velika Planina cable car station and enjoy the hike!

Jerneja Fidler Pompe

An adventurer, a dreamer, an explorer. A real mountain enthusiast. A blogger.

More about Jerneja Fidler Pompe

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