With many tourist activities in Slovenia, it can be difficult to find things to do that are off the beaten path in such a small country. Yet, despite its size, Slovenia has hidden treasures that are sure to delight any visitor with their authenticity and beauty.
The culture in rural regions of the country is very old. The Slovene language, in fact, is widely recognized as the first Slavic language. To get a feeling for this old culture, which in many ways emanates from the top of their tallest peak, Mount Triglav, you should find a spot in the mountains where there are less tourists. One lesser known destination is Velika Planina, which simply means the big mountain.
What to do in Velika Planina
While the plain high up in the mountains is beautiful every time of year, the region has seasonal attractions that one should be wise to notice. In the winter months, the mountains just outside of Kamnik are a premiere spot for skiing, and in the summer traditional Slovene herdsmen arrive at the plain to sell their handmade dairy products and welcome visitors.
If you happen to be traveling to Slovenia in winter, the skiing options are not to be missed. While Velika Planina is known for its skiing, its beauty is worth the trip in the winter months. The only thing you will miss out on is visiting the herdsmen, who only come to sell their wares and interact with tourists during the summer.
Summer is a particularly special time of year that can be combined with other activities. For instance, you can hike to Velika Planina along one of the many trails in the area. There is something quite special about hiking until you come upon the traditional mountain huts and bearded herdsmen with staffs. It is a sight out of Lord of the Rings. The trails in the Slovene mountains are accessibly connected and you can turn your visit to Velika Planina into a backpacking trip, camping or staying overnight in huts deep in the mountains where you can get some traditional food and many shots of schnapps.
But if you don’t want to spend days hiking, you can also take the mountain lift to the seasonal village and enjoy a short hike while visiting the herdsmen. With Triglav National Park not far away, where you can partake in outdoor activities and history in the Soča Valley, there is no shortage of things to do. There are also the gorgeous lakes in Bled and Bohinj. But with many tourists at these sites, spending an extended period in Velika Planina can provide a unique and memorable experience.
In addition to hiking, camping, and visiting the herdsmen, you can also go mountain biking. The region is particularly good for biking, with trails both challenging and easy. Find yourself on top of one of the area’s many peaks. You will feel far civilization, but you will actually be less than a two hour drive from the capital city, Ljubljana.
How to Get to Velika Planina
While it always depends on your itinerary, if you are leaving from Ljubljana the simplest way to get to Velika Planina is to take the bus from the bus station just outside the city center to the town of Kamnik. From there you can take the mountain lift up to the herdsmen village and hiking trails. If you are planning on taking a multi-day hike, it is more of a choose-your-own-adventure situation. Get a detailed map of the trails in the area and start creating your dream backpacking trip.
Costs of Traveling to Slovenia & Velika Planina
Traveling to Slovenia is very cheap for most tourists. The cost of living is low and the prices of accommodations, food, and activities are all reasonably inexpensive. According to the experts at MoneyPug, which is commonly used to compare cheap holiday deals, Slovenia is one of the cheapest destinations in Central Europe. With so much to do and see, traditional culture to experience, and a reasonable price tag, there is no reason why you shouldn’t start planning your off-the-beaten-path holiday to Slovenia’s mountain regions.