In the shadows of Switzerland, France, Austria, and Italy, Slovenia may not get that much of an attention as a skiing destination. No wonder, Slovenian large ski resorts are generally smaller than those in the aforementioned countries, and often offer less luxury ski resorts. But for the chairlifts, this is not always the case!
Despite the prices being lower than in the neighbor countries, I would not like to stress on that as an important point. Slovenia with its non-massive ski tourism offers something completely different: a cosy atmosphere on the ski centers, a big variety of ski centers (from low ones to the ones high in the mountains), and a spice of remoteness on top of all that: you may still find a forgotten 1-seat lift somewhere, that you can take to the top of a hill high in the mountains, such as on Vogel, and ski your way down on an uncrowded slope (how could it be crowded, if there is a slow 1-seater taking the people to the top, you may ask – and you are right!).
So if you are looking to go off the beaten path, you may explore Slovenia with skis. What I can definitely recommend you, is that you come with a car. Equipped with quality winter tires, you can hop from one ski center to another with ease, and carve some fresh tracks in the snow around the country.
Some general tips would be that you want to ski over the week, and outside of the holidays of Slovenian kids. At that time, the resorts are very empty, and if you can combine that with a good weather, you are guaranteed to have a blast. On the lower-positioned resorts (such as Mariborsko Pohorje or Kranjska Gora), it is a good idea to have very good edges on your skis, unless you are coming here straight after it was snowing. The temperature rising and lowering can result in icing conditions.
A very brief description of the ski resorts in Slovenia that we recommend you to visit (geographically from east to west):
Slovenia’s largest ski center that also hosts a women’s world cup ski race Zlata Lisica. You can stay in Maribor, Slovenia’s 2nd largest city, and ski from there. One slope is ending in the edge of Maribor, making it accessible with the public bus as well. While it gets crowded on the weekends, it can be pretty empty on the weekdays.
From the top of the gondola, you have 2 options: the obvious one, to ski down to the city; or the less obvious one, to venture towards the area of Areh on the lesser known, usually empty slopes with natural snow, called Videc and Partizanka. We definitely recommend you to do this, unless you are on the snowboard. The transfers from one slope to another will require a bit of skating on the skis, and with the snowboard, you need to put it off and walk – and this can be annoying. There is also a bus from Areh back to Mariborsko Pohorje, which means you can take the bus on the way back.
Very popular resort to stay on, Rogla sits on top of Pohorje mountains and offers Cross-country skiing courses as well as many ski tracks for skiers of different abilities. Despite the crowds during the day, they also offer some night skiing in the 2nd half of the week, which is usually very uncrowded. Rogla is very nice to get a taste of the real winter, as it is often colder and windier there. Time to use your downy jacket!
A small ski center is synonymous with partying in Slovenia. Lots of young population goes there on weekends, and there is loud music and partying in the evening. Kope offers diverse ski runs, from a long blue to a long red, with black and other runs as well. If you go there on a sunny day, you can enjoy the beautiful views from the ski center.
A smaller, but cozy resort which can be perfect for a bit of safe powder riding if you go there after the fresh snowfall. Really good atmosphere – it makes you feel like you came to the “family” which runs the ski center, even though they are of course not a family. But the spirit is right! In terms of ski slopes, there is a bit for every level of knowledge.
Next stop on the route from Golte, towards the west, is Krvavec – one of the larger Slovenia’s ski centers, that gets particularly busy on the weekends as it is the closest larger ski center to the capital of Slovenia, Ljubljana. You can notice that from Pohorje, moving towards the west, the mountains are getting higher, and the ski resorts are higher up in the hills. Krvavec is even higher than Golte, and on a nice sunny day, pretty much the whole ski center offers really amazing, scenic views of the valleys and the mountains around it.
From Krvavec, you are ready to venture to the beautiful Bohinj – a lake between the mountains – and take a gondola lift to the ski center of Vogel. Narrow ski slopes are nested between the peaks, and there you may still find some 1-seater chairlift, that takes you to some remote peak. On cold days, it can be “really cold”, and then on the sunny ones, you may again enjoy the majestic alpine views. You are at one of the highest-positioned ski centers in Slovenia, in the end, and you will know it as soon as you will be standing in the cable car which takes you from the Lake Bohinj to Vogel. There is even a very long ski track, called Žagarjev Graben, that takes you from top of Vogel all the way down – but it is often not open, as plenty of snow is required all the way to the valley to open it up.
From Vogel, we suggest you visit the large ski center of Kranjska Gora – situated in the valley, Kranjska Gora is your classic family resort with tracks for all abilities – even the run that hosts men’s world cup race, Vitranc. Kranjska Gora is a resort town with vivid tourist life in the winter and summer and offers nice views of the surrounding peaks.
If you are in Kranjska Gora, best next stop is Sella Nevea – in Italy – that is connected with the Slovene resort Kanin. Effectively, you buy the ticket once, and ski across the border. The access is possible from both the Slovene and Italian side, but if you go from Kranjska Gora, then hitting the access from Italy is more feasible in the winter. Kanin offers nice winter landscape, is usually loaded with snow in the winter (we’re talking about meters of snow dumped on the mountains), and offers plenty of off-piste potentials if you know what you are doing (but only if you really do! the avalanches take some lives there every now and then so we really highly recommend you to get a guide!).
Once you visited Kanin, you have one major ski center to visit – the one with the modern lifts, built for family joy – Cerkno. Cerkno is located a bit closer to the seaside, and you can combine your visit with Javornik as well if you still don’t want to finish the trip. 🙂 Cerkno is known as one of the more modern-equipped resorts in Slovenia.
Need help with touring around ski resorts in Slovenia? Need a place to stay? Maybe some guidance? Drop us a line and we will be happy to help you!
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Matic is tech startup guy who loves to spend 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 🙂