20 things to do in & around Kranjska Gora, Slovenia

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Kranjska Gora, a place to which we return every year on our visit to Slovenia, to get away from the city heat and to enjoy the mountains and fresh air. It is situated near Italy and Austria, in the NW part of Slovenia. Surrounded by Julian Alps on one side and Karavanke on the other makes it a perfect place for hiking, skiing and much more. There are many things you can do here, either in winter or in summer. I´m sure there are more which we have not yet discovered, but here are our 20 best!

kranjska gora map

There are many things to do also if you just stay in Kranjska Gora town. You should visit the Liznjek Farm (Liznjekova domacija), which is an etnographic museum in a renovated 18th-century farmhouse. There are occasional concerts at the smaller market by the church – you can also buy handicrafts on the market stands. In case of bad weather one can relax at the hotels or do indoor sports at the bigger sports hall. On the foot of the ski slopes there is in the winter a so-called snow beach and in the summer there are beach volley fields, children playgrounds and more. Many restaurants, bars and shops selling sports equipment, which you can also rent. There are good possibilities to walk around Kranjska Gora and even if you don´t have your own car you can make those little trips. There is also a new tourist bus which takes you from Kranjska Gora to Mojstrana, Podkoren and Ratece, stopping at over 10 tourist attractions on the way.

kranjska gora town

 

The name stands for two small artificial lakes by the road to Vrsic pass, which are located at the point where Mala and Velika Pisnica river come together. Landscape around the upper lake was just recently redone so now there are wooden piers, a jumping tower, a smaller cafe with chairs and tables, the banks are cleaned and suitable for picnics or sunbathing. You can swim in the lake (although the water is quite cold), or go around with a SUP or a canoe.

jasna lake

 

The beautiful green lake is home to many endangered animal and plant species, but also a spring of Sava Dolinka river. There is a shorter wooden path leading along one side of the lake and ending at a wooden tower from where you can enjoy the views on the mountains and the natural reserve area.

zelenci nature reserve

 

The famous ski jumps are just being renovated at the moment and already looking much better than some years ago. The first jump took place before 1930 and in 1994 Toni Nieminen was the first one who jumped over the 200 metres, right here in Planica. Every year in March thousands of people come to see the best ski jumpers in the world compete, the whole weekend is like a big celebration and it is said every Slovene should visit it at least once in their lifetime. It is also interesting to visit it in the summer when you can watch the young jumpers practise.

planica tamar sumer 2015

 

If you park the car at Planica ski jumps and continue to walk up the Tamar valley for about an hour (it´s an easy walk) you will end up at the mountain house, Dom v Tamarju where you can have a bite to eat. You can continue the walk to Vrsic, Grlo and Slemenova spica, but you should at least hike up to the Nadiza waterfall – you will see it from the big meadow infront of the mountain house. It will take you about 15 minutes to the waterfall, but the way is steeper and you should watch your step at times. It is a very popular place so don´t expect to be alone in the nature, nevertheless, the views are stunning. There are two ways going up, you can take one up and the other one down.

tamar valley

 

There are around 18 ski slopes in Kranjska Gora and around, stretching over the slopes of Vitranc to Podkoren and Planica, at altitudes from 800m to 1200 m. In Podkoren there is a FIS competition held every year and this track is a bit steeper, but the rest are suitable for beginners also. If you are a great skier don´t expect to find the best ski slopes you can imagine, but it is still nice to do it for a day or two. In Kranjska Gora there is the so-called snow-beach area in the foot of the slopes with many restaurants, bars, children playgrounds and ski schools areas.

skiing kranjska gora

 

On mountain Pec (1508m) there is the point where three countries meet. The triple border between Slovenia, Italy and Austria is also called Tromeja on Slovenian, Dreiländereck on German and Monte Forno on Italian. You can reach the top with a lift from the Austrian side´s Arnoldstein ski place (you need to walk for a little while after you step of the lift) or you hike up from Ratece on Slovenian side. The hike can take 2 to 2.5 hours, depending on which route you take. At one point the path divides into one steeper one and one that is longer but less steep. The views from the top are amazing, you can see Planica valley on Slovenian side and all the way to Villach and around on Austrian side.

tromeja

 

This is a 6 kilometre long valley in Triglav NP which starts above Jasna lake and goes along Velika Pisnica river in the direction of Razor mountain. West of this valley there is the road going up Vrsic pass. The hike in the valley is pretty easy and it takes a good hour to come to the mountain house called Koca v Krnici (1113m) at the end. All the way there are magnificent views on the mountains surrounding the valley, Kriz (2410m), Skrlatica (2470m), Spik (2472m) and Prisojnik (2547m). You can reach those mountains from Koca v Krnici.

krnica valley

 

On the way to Vrata valley, this is one of the most known Slovenian waterfalls. There are actually two waterfalls, the upper (16 metres high) and lower (52 metres high). The larger, lower one is more known, therefore the word Pericnik is usually used for this one. It´s a short way from the parking and you can even walk behind the waterfall on a narrow path – you might get wet, but it is a really nice place to visit.

slap pericnik

 

This glacial valley is stretching from Mojstrana town all the way to the foot of Triglav´s mighty northern wall. Through the valley runs a stream Triglavska Bistrica, which eventually runs into Sava Dolinka. There is a mountain house in Vrata valley, but if you continue to walk durther you will reach also the famous memorial – a piton that stands as a memorial to all who lost their lives in the mountains. The valley is a perfect starting point for conquering Slovenia´s highest mountain, Triglav, or some other mountains like Kriski podi (2050m), Stenar (2501m), Skrlatica (2740m) or Bivak II (2118m).

dolina vrat

 

The museum itself is pretty much new and the collection and exhibitions inside are really rich and interesting also for children. There is a permanent exhibition upstairs, temporarily exhibitions are held in the basement and on the ground floor there is a beautiful little shop with souvenirs, Slovenian products and books about hiking, climbing, mountaineering and Slovenia in general. It is a great way to spend a few hours in case of bad weather but it is well worth a stop even if the sun is shining outside!

planinski muzej

 

The road across the pass (1611 metres) was built for military purposes in the WWI and is now called Ruska cesta (Russian road) to honour the Russian prisoners who built it. In the winter, the pass might be closed due to heavy snow, but in the summer it is a popular way to reach Trenta from Kranjska Gora or vice versa. There are also many cyclists going over it, but this is advisable only for those who have much endurance. Make a stop at the top in one of the mountain houses, if you want to hike to some other mountains from here you can do so – Mala Mojstrovka (2332m) and Velika Mojstrovka (2366m), Planja (2453m), Prisojnik (2547m), Razor (2601m), Sitna glava (2087m), Slemenova spica (1911m), Sovna glava (1750m), Suhi vrh (2109m) or visit some of the mountain houses in the near – Erjavceva koca (1515m), Ticarjev dom (1620m), Koca na Gozdu (1226m) or Postarska koca (1725m).

vrsic pass

 

On the road to Vrsic pass there stands a wooden Russian Orthodox chapel, built by Russian prisoners who were forced to do road works during the WWI. The chapel is dedicated to Saint Vladimir and is a war memorial.

russian chapel

 

The way leads us on the same track where the old railway tracks were, from Mojtsrana in Slovenia across the border to Italy to Tarvisio from where you can continue to cycle even further on the Italian cycle ways. It is a beautiful way, because it runs directly besides the main road only on few points, but otherwise it takes us through vegetation, away from the road. You can also reach the nice lakes at Lago di Fusine, just after you cross the border. It´s a nice way to spend a few hours, although it does get crowded at weekends, so you have to be early. The way was recently named after a famous Slovenian cyclist, Jure Robic, who won the Race across America 5 times. He died unfortunatelly at the age of 45 in the year 2010.

bicycle way

 

There are plenty of smaller round trails in Kranjska Gora, Ratece and Gozd Martuljek for those who are not keen on taking the longer ones. For all the others, you can start in the centre of Kranjska Gora and continue to Planica ski jumps where you start to ascend Tamar valley. Cross-country skiing in Tamar valley is not for everyone, as you do about 260m altitude difference.

crosscountry

 

Kranjska Gora is known to be a natural climatic health resort, because of its mountain air, sun and altitude. There has been much renovation in the last years, so many of the hotels have great wellness possibilities. Even if you are not staying in one of the hotels you can still go there for a swim or use the saunas. It´s nice in the winter or on a rainy summer day.

hoteliKG

 

The best way is to leave the car on a smaller parking at Gozd Martuljek, when you cross the bridge over Sava Dolinka river. You continue on the main road to Kranjska Gora to the point where you see the marked bicycle path, you follow it until you reach a gravel road which eventually takes you to Ingotova koca (Ingo´s house). From here you can also reach the waterfalls Martuljkovi slapovi and Planina Jesenje. It will take you about an hour to get to the mountain house and the walk is not to heavy, so it is suitable for everyone. There might be less people here as in Tamar and Krnica, so it´s a nice alternative.

ingotova koca

 

This is great if there is much new snow, so it would have been very hard to walk in it with normal shoes. You can rent snowshoes in one of the shops back in KG centre, or like in our case, have your own. There are not specific trails to do this, you just need to find your own, where ever the snow is high. It is a great feeling to be the first one to walk in the deep snow, leaving only your footprints behind.

snowshoe

 

You can do various sports just in Kranjska Gora town – play golf, volleyball, swim, use the summer sledge trail, mountain bike on the ski slope trails, cycle or rollerblade, walk and hike in the summer and ski, cross-country ski, and much more in the winter. The best is you visit a tourist centre and let them explain about all the actual possibilities, since it seems like new offers are coming up every season.

kgsport

 

Basically you can take the sledge on every walking path if there is enough snow. One good option is to go to Tamar or Krnica valleys, if you wish for something more adventurous head to Gozd Martuljek trail – its is 2500m long and you do a 280m altitude difference. This is only possible in an organised tour, they will take you to the starting point with their cars. There is also night sledding possible, the trail is marked with torches.

sledding

 

So, here you have it – now you just have to come here and see it for yourselves!

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