Velika planina - escape the city and hike in the nature

You like hiking, nature and nice views? You want to do a daytrip from Ljubljana? Look no further, here we have a perfect idea for you: Velika Planina!

Beautiful Velika planina
Traditional shepherd's hut

What is Velika Planina all about?

The name Velika Planina means Big Plateau, and yes, it is a plateau above Kamnik (20km north of Ljubljana) and just at the foot of Kamnik-Savinja Alps mountain ridge. It is rather easy to reach and it offers great views over Kamnik and all the way to Ljubljana on one side and over Alps on the other side. The plateau itself is really nice: green meadows, some trees, cows gazing the grasses and traditional wooden huts that shepherds used. Besides hiking around the plateau and enjoying the breathtaking views one can try traditional Slovenian-alpine cosine like štruklji, jota, žganci, kislo mleko ... in numerous mountain huts.
 
Štruklji
There is also a nice small chapel in traditional style and a cave Vetrniaca, which has a special climate: snow can remain in the cave for the whole year! But the thing about Velika planina is the plateau itself. Nature, colours, mountain views ... that's what gives us energy for the whole week!

Vetrnica cave with snow inside (june 2016)

How to get to Velika planina?

1) Using cable car
Drive from Ljubljana to the Cable car station outside Kamnik (coordinates: 46.306541, 14.608446). If you don't have a car there is also a bus from Ljubljana to Kamniška Bistrica, which is close to the cable car. Then, take the cable car and soon you are on the top of Velika Planina. Now you can make an easy hike around the plateau: head towards East past Hotel Šimnovec towards the highest point of Plateau: Gradišče (1667m). You will reach it in 45 minutes. From there you can continue further East to the Chapel, Vetrnica Cave and Dom na Veliki planini hut, where you should treat yourself with some traditional food. The whole hike should be no less then 1,5h long (one way) and almost no ascend/descend.
Chapel in traditional style
2) Hiking up there
If you have more time and energy, you should definitely hike up to Velika Planina. In that case we suggest you driving up the pass of Kranjski Rak and then take an 1 - 1,5-hour hike to Mala planina (small plateau). This part of the hike is a bit steeper, but nothing to worry about. The path is in good condition and easy to follow. So, once on Mala planina you can continue to Velika planina where you will reach Dom na Veliki planini hut. From there you can continue to the Veternica cave, the chapel and so on. Taken together, hike to Mala planina takes 1,5h and then hike around the plateau another 1h. Very enjoyable hike with amazing views and good food ;)
Idyllic Velika planina
 All in all, if you have a spare day in Slovenia, make the effort and go to Velika planina. You will not regret it ;)

Rok Hocevar

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