The lonely remains of one of the oldest castles of the Gorenjska region, the 12th century Stari Grad, overlook an enchanting small town at the foothills of the Kamnik-Savinja Alps, Kamnik. With a strategic position at the top of a 585-meter hill called Krniška Gora, towering 200 meters above the town centre, the castle held its historic importance in facilitating control over travelling routes connecting the Northeastern region. While there’s not much of the castle left today, the ruins remain one of the best scenery spots for spectacular views of the grand Kamnik-Savinja Alps and Kamnik.
Short but sweet: Stari Grad and its amazing views of the Alps
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!
On the trail
A week ago, intrigued again by the steep hill pointing out from the Kamnik town centre, I packed a small bottle of water and for the fifth time in the last two years followed the directions for Stari Grad. If the trail started by a busy road, it turned fun and pretty the second I entered a lush green forest.
Marked for 35 minutes, the trail winds through the forest, passing a few learning points with information boards, winds mills, and the Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs figurines, interesting to both kids and grown-ups. After a short while, the trail exits the forest and enters a beautiful flower-specked meadow with open views of the Alps. At that point, it joins the road which continues all the way to the peak of Stari Grad.
The best thing about Stari Grad? It’s one of those beautiful easy hikes pretty much for everyone, which doesn’t require much planning. If you’re in town, make sure you go for it. Without thinking it over. Kids included.
What about food and drinks? An inn at the very top and an open terrace offer stellar views of the highest summits of the Kamnik-Savinja Alps, and, obviously, a bite and a drink after the hike.
How to arrive at Kamnik? If you take a bus, go to the main bus station and take the route Ljubljana – Kamnik (More information on buses).
If you’re looking for a spot to capture the castle itself, continue to a 660-meters high Visoka Špica. That will add another 20 minutes, 135-meter ascent and less than a kilometer to your hike, but it’ll be worth it.