Summer outdoor recreation in Slovenia

As somebody else said, Slovenia is not just Ljubljana, Bled and Postojna cave. Slovenia is, as of our experience, a true outdoor playground.

Map of Slovenia
Map of Slovenia

In one day, you can visit a complete flat land, drive under the mountains which reach 2.864 meters, and swim in the sea at the end of the day. The coast is short, it has only 40 klikometers, but it’s diverse and has a lot to offer, as well. Slovenia is full of hot water (thermal) springs and pools, bikeparks, hiking trails, and spiced up with wine regions which produce some of the best wines you will ever try – both red and white. It’s a marvel of geographic diversity in a small corner between the Alps, the Adriatic, and the Panonian flat land, with a naturally beautiful Karst area somewhere inbetween. No wonder that in all that, Slovenes picked up some of the super-picturesque areas like Bled and Postojna cave to promote around the globe, which leave literally everyone amused when they visit this beautiful country.

So if you are and outdoor recreation enthusiast and plan to visit Slovenia, what can you do in the summer?

Well, first of all, we suggest you to bring your hiking and mountain biking equipment with you, if possible. Second, rent a car. Now you’re good to explore. 🙂

Mountain biking

Nearby the capital Ljubljana, and even closer to the airport, there is one of the larger ski center in Slovenia, which runs an amazing bikepark in the summer: Krvavec. The bike park used to be quite small, but in the past years, the tracks from the mountain all the way to the valley were developed, turning Krvavec mountain into one of the most amazing mountain bike playgrounds in the country. If you are in Ljubljana or if you arrive by plane, and like mountain biking, then don’t miss that one.

Mountain biking in Slovenia
Mountain biking in Slovenia

In the Koroška (Carinthia) region which is close to the Austrian border, you will find trail park Jamnica. Only once you are there, you will understand why I say that it’s like in a fairytale there. Nicely shaped hills, with the farms and woods scattered on them, create the most beautiful scenery you can imagine for mountain biking – and in this scenery, there is a large number of trails of different difficulties, that were built and legalized by the locals, particularly around the Bike hotel Koroš. You have to pedal up to get the downhill, and a long-travel enduro bike is perfect to bomb down those trails.

If you are visiting Bled, you may want to take your trip a bit further to the beautiful Kranjska Gora, where you will find one of the first slovene bike parks. The mountain-side area of Slovenia (Gorenjska) is generally naturally super beautiful and you can find a handful of nice trails, some for hiking and some for mountain biking there, with the Bike Park Kranjska Gora being in the center of them. In the hiking section, there are some advices for hikes which are location-wise close to the parks and areas mentioned in this section.

Kranjska Gora lake
Lake Jasna, Kranjska Gora

Going further towards north-east, towards the Štajerska (Styria) region, you will arrive to the Slovenia’s 2nd largest city, Maribor. Maribor is proud to have the Slovenia’s largest ski center with one of it’s slopes entering directly into the city. You can take the city bus and go skiing in the winter, or biking or hiking in the summer. Ain’t that amazing? 🙂 Maribor also has a nice bike park with a variety of trails spanning in the area close to the cable car which is connecting the city with one of the peaks of the Pohorje, which is closest to the city.

Just a few tens of kilometers away, there is another bike park on another ski center, called Rogla, in proximity of which are super-nice hiking trails that reach little lakes and natural habitats, deep in the woods of the Pohorje hills.

Hiking

If you want to feel the alps while in the Gorenjska region, we can recommend you 2 trails that are easy to access with the car and quite fast to hike: Slemenova Špica and Debela Peč. Both of them offer really amazing views and can be reached in 1.5 or 2.5 hours, respectively. To easily access Slemenova Špica, you should use a car and drive up to one of the famous Slovene mountain passes, called Vršič. Park on top, and walk from top of the pass into the mountains. You will finish your hike at Slemenova Špica which is just a bit below 2.000 meters above the sea level. If you want to go above the 2.000 meters above sea level, then Debela Peč can offer you a relatively easy trail up there from the Pokljuka area.

Hiking: Slemonova špica, Slovenia
Hiking: Slemonova špica, Slovenia
Hike towards Debela Peč, Slovenia
Hike towards Debela Peč, Slovenia

Close to Rogla and Maribor area of Pohorje, you may find really nice trails. From Rogla, you can reach a beautiful natural habitat Lovrenška Jezera, and on Pohorje near Maribor, you can take a walk from the area called Bellevue to the area called Areh. All those paths are marked with the mountain path markings and can be very relaxing and refreshing.

Rogla hiking trail Lovrenška jezera
Rogla hiking trail Lovrenška jezera

Both of the trails mentioned are classified as “easy trails” in the Alps, but that doesn’t mean that it’s smart to do them without the proper alpine hiking shoes – contrary! Even the easier trails in the Alps are usually harder than some of the trails which may be considered “hard” in some other areas (for example on the islands). Trekking Slemenova Špica in Slovenia (an easy trail) and Pico da Vara in Azores (classified as a hard trail there), I may say that Slemenova Špica was technically a considerably harder trail.

Seaside visit

On the seaside, we suggest you to visit Piran. Piran was the city built on the peninsula, guarded by the sea on 3 sides, and by the long preserved city wall on one side. It was a rich city which traded and functioned with Venice in the past, and is today considered as one of the historic jewels of Slovenia with it’s tight streets, squares, and old buildings. If you stay in Piran, then you can take a long walk towards the North to Fiesa, grab a beer there, and proceed on the beach further up north towards Strunjan. There you may find the camping site, and close to it, you may find the Paranzana road. Paranzana is a road connecting Italy and Croatia through Slovenia, which is built on the old tracks of the old railroad (build by Franz Ferdinand in the time of Habsburg monarchy). It is perfect for a bike-ride or a run. It features some nice tunnels on the way, and is today used only for the touristic purposes.
In Piran, there is also a diving center, so you can go have a look under the surface of the sea and visit wrecks of an old boat. If you prefer windsurfing, you should walk (or take a longboard or bike for a ride) towards Bernardin and Portorož: just at the doorsteps of Portorož, between the hotel area of Bernardin and the big buildings that we used for salt storage, you can rent a windsurf.

Tartini Square, Piran, Slovenia
Tartini Square, Piran, Slovenia (Image by © Radius Images/Corbis)

What I can suggest you is to make a circle, full of activities: straight off the plane, hop to Krvavec, from there through Carinthia head towards Maribor, and from Maribor through Rogla back towards Ljubljana. From Ljubljana, visit the seaside, and from the seaside, return to the mountainside region of Gorenjska where you can visit Bled, do a few bike trails and hikes. And at that point, you will be again close to the Ljubljana airport, full of beaufiul memories and experiences. 🙂

 

Author: Matic

Matic is tech startup guy who loves to spent time outside. In his free time he is an true outdoor freak – he tends to surf, run and ride a mountain bike, and in the winter time just loves powder skiing and snowboarding. Matic also loves to travel, often has to because of work, and even more often because he wants to 🙂

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30 thoughts on “Summer outdoor recreation in Slovenia”

  • I did not know that Slovenia was full of hot springs, how interesting! What a fabulous place to hike and wander around, I would definitely be heading towards the seaside and would be finding out more of the wreck diving! Love your suggestions, thank you for sharing, pinned for future reference. #feetdotravel

  • Spend just one night in Ljubjana while hitchhiking and was already struck by the beauty of the city ! Looks that the rest of the country is the same 🙂 + 1 for the hotsprings 🙂

    Cheers from India, Sylvain

    • Awesome! The spring in Slovenia can be so beautiful. And you’re welcome; if you need any additional info let me know, I will be glad to help.

  • We had our first taste of Slovenia last summer on a cruise when we stopped at Koper and we really liked it. Would love to explore this country more. Have pinned for future reference! #feetdotravel

  • Slovenia is surely an outdoors paradise. I am amazed at the range of landscapes that dot the region. From plains to mountains to the sea, really breathtaking. Would love to head out to the great outdoors that is Slovenia.

    • Indeed, Slovenia is amazing – the nature is really stunning and there are endless outdoors possibilities. You should definitely go and try it out for yourself, promise you’re not going to be disappointed 😉 🙂

  • I haven’t been to Slovenia yet, but I hear so much about it and I would love to go! Easy hiking trails in the Alps sound perfect to me, and the views are amazing!

  • I’ve travelled through Slovenia a couple of years back but it was a whistlestop visit to the country – Ljubljana and Bled. Nevertheless, it was stunning and I definitely want to go back and explore it more. Some great suggestions and both the hikes and Piran sound awesome! Definitely saving this for later!

    • Yes, Ljubljana and Bled are stunning, but I think Slovenia has much more to offer especially if you like nature and mountains, and a bit of adrenalin 😉

  • WOW, Slovenia looks gorgeous. I know very little about the country, so thanks for sharing a taster. I will pin this for future reference 🙂

    • Heh, yes Slovenia is pretty small country so no big news about it, but its’ super beautiful. Well, the Daily Mail has actually listed Slovenia among top 10 most environmentally-friendly tourist destinations in the world, so definitely worth visiting. 🙂

  • Those mountain hikes in the alps are calling my name! We have only been to the Skocjan caves in Slovenia and toured a vineyard, so we have a lot to accomplish. I completely agree with you about having proper alpine hiking shoes; we seriously made that mistake on our icy hike last week. I still have bruises on my butt. Thanks for the lovely post, we will save these ideas for later 🙂

    • Uhh, sorry to hear about your bruises, Slovenian mountains can be quite steep and dangerous so the right equipment is more then needed. Škocjan caves are really beautiful, but as already stated we focused more on a little less known places in Slovenia, well except Piran maybe.

  • Although I don’t know much about Slovenia, I would love to visit one day as I heard it’s a nice country to visit. The hike through the mountains seems perfect for me. Pinning this for future reference.

  • I will be visiting Slovenia this fall, so this post has some vital information for me as I thought it was only Ljubljana. The views from the hikes look stunning as does the town of Piran. I’m going to have to rethink my itinerary! Great full Slovenia post.

    • Awesome, if you need any info regarding what to visit or do in Slovenia let me know, I will be glad to help. You should definitely visit something else then just Ljubljana…after all you do not need a lot of time to visit most parts of Slovenia – it’s a pretty small country. You can get from one part of the country to another in about 3-4 hours (by car!).

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