Jezersko, a charming alpine valley, is (still) unknown, unspoilt and scenic region which can be reached in 50 minutes from Ljubljana. It lies at the foothills of the Kamnik – Savinja Alps and the Karavanke range. Believe it or not, Jezersko is Slovenia’s first mountaineering village part of Bergsteiger Dorfer Association of Mountain Villages.
What to see and do in Jezersko?
Once you arrive here, the time slows down. Jezersko, which has only 700 inhabitants, is surrounded by high mountains, green meadows, forests and offers numerous hiking paths. It is not difficult to fall in love immediately with its intact nature, picture perfect scenery, little churches, scattered homesteads, heart-shaped lake, hospitable locals and traditional food. What I found so appealing about Jezersko, is peace, simplicity, fresh air and clear night sky with countless stars. Tranquility reigns over the entire valley.
Planšar lake is eye-catching lake surrounded by Kamnik-Savinja Alps and Pod Skuto glacier which is the southeastern most glacier in the Alps. Jezersko in Slovenian language means »lakeland«. The story tells us that once upon a time a huge glacier lake was covering two valleys: the Ravenska Valley and the Makekova Valley. In 14th century an earthquake happened and lake slowly drained from the valleys. About 50 years ago locals from Jezersko created blue-green Planšar lake which has the shape of the heart. Sit down by the shore of Planšar Lake, a remainder of the former glacial lake, or walk around the lake shore. Planšar lake is a great starting point to explore Jezersko on foot or by bike. Due to the current green winter, the lake didn’t freeze so we tried ice skating on the artificial ice ring by the lake.
Jezersko hiking trails
In Jezersko there are 60 kilometers of walking and hiking trails which are very well maintained. There is something for everyone. So if you are walking enthusiast, then Jezersko is a perfect place for you. Eventhough the weather was sunny and the sky was clear blue, it was very cold outside (-9 degrees). We decided to do a short walk on circular path around Planšar lake. The trail is very well signed. The bonus of the trail is that it has a sunlight and it is perfect even during the cold winter day. During the walk we could admire beautiful mountain landscape with majestic vistas open towards the northern faces of the Kamnik–Savinja Alps, we were taking photos of Jezersko-Solčava sheep breed pasturing in the mountainous pasture-grounds, strolled around Šenk’s and Jenk’s farm and tasted Jezerska slatina mineral water which has the highest magnesium content in Slovenia and is especially recommended to people with cardiovascular diseases.
If you continue walking along the road to the center of Jezersko, you should stop by Matej’s magical world of herbs and flowers. Matej is a local herbalist who cultivates and forages herbs. He dried them and prepares different herbal products, including tea, syrup and herb-flavored salt.
From Matej’s place there is a path that leads you to the beautiful viewpoint at St Oswald by Karnicar farm. Ring a bell at the Karnicar farm close by which sells home made salami, cheese, fresh milk and yogurt.
Tasting local cuisine
And another way to learn more about Jezersko is to taste some of its traditional cuisine. Jezersko hosts many good eating option and you will not find over-priced eateries. At Gostišče ob Planšarskem jezeru restaurant, which is known for its traditional cuisine (veal stew with hard-boiled buckwheat mash, roast lamb with roast potatoes, roast sausage with sauerkraut and buckwheat mash, etc.), you can fill up your energy before walking or biking around Jezersko. For those who really want to indulge their taste buds, do not hesitate to visit Senk homestead where you can taste masunjek, a typical shepherd’s dish made from sweet and sour cream and mixed with buckwheat flour. Ask for posmodula or rustic pizza. Mouthwatering food when you only want some more!
Jezersko unique sleeping accommodations
Eventhough Jezersko is a small town, it offers 5-star luxury hotel, great holidays lodges, bed and breakfast options and camping sites. If you are a family with a small kiddo, then staying at family run Senk homestead is the best choice.
It was in the late afternoon when we arrived to dream like place called Senk homestead in Jezersko which is set on the edge of the valley. But the sun was still shining so Lucija and I decided to explore the farm a bit which actually lasted until dark 😉 Lucija could not resist visiting the cows, cocks and chickens which were happily running around spacious yard. She even spotted the sheep in the distance so we needed to say hello to them as well. What is more, if a farmstay has a swing or slides, this is the extra bonus because then parents can take a coffee easily and observe their kids having great fun. Or you simply join your kid and swing 😉
Senk homestead, a unique jewel of Alpine architecture, consists of 8 wooden roof covered buildings. It is considered to be one of the oldest homesteads in Jezersko with engraved year 1517 above the door frame of the old house. And of course, one of the nicest homestead in Slovenia for perfect family outdoor holidays. In 2010 Polona and Drejc started slowly but surely renovating rural settlement, a sleeping beauty that witnesses a long tradition of Jezersko buildings from the past. The biggest part of renovation was done when they renovated Preuzitkarica house in 2013 which hosts 2 double room and 2 luxury apartments and sauna, and 500-years mighty old house in 2019. The latter consists of 7 units (Kovačnica, Pekarnica, Jagrska, Šuštarska, Furmanska, Ovčarska, Golcarska) all connected with activities or professions performed by Senk’s ancestors. Both houses are 100 % copy of the old houses which means they were renovated and restored according to original style. The family is very creative because the used old planks and reused them again in the interior of the rooms and apartments.
Once you enter the comfortable room (we stayed in jagerska/hunter’s room), the aroma of wood intertwined with the rich history of the homestead. Nicely decorated room with rustic furniture, panoramic windows for watching the stars in the evening and waking up in the morning with a sunrise, and nicely shaped bathroom has a perfect rural charm. What is more, the family is doing their best to preserve the heritage of medieval building and nature and to develop sustainable way of tourism. For those who prefer to be closer to nature, they is a possibility to set up a tent or park their camper on the campsite or sleep in the hay barn.
Senk farmstay which has a soul, rich history, warm ambiance, super nice, friendly and helpful owners Polona (she was grown up at Senk’s homestead) and Drejc (he is coming from famous Slovenian mountaineering Karnicar family) with their 3 kids (Luka, Kristjan, Maša), offers ‘to-die-for’ views on the north walls of Kamnik-Savinja Alps and finger-licking home-cooked food.
Meals (for the guests and daily trippers) are served in dining room close to the reception. One day we treated our taste buds with pumpkin soup, mashed potatoes, minced meat balls and spinach sauce, and apple strudl, another day we tasted masunjek, buckwheat žganci with pork cracklings and obara stew, and millet pie. Food was very fresh and tasty.
When you have kids, you go to bed early (but at least we took an advantage of enjoying at Finnish sauna) and you wake up early (yes, we were ready for the breakfast before it was prepared!).
Nutritionful self-service breakfast consists of locally produced salami, cheese and other dairy products (cottage cheese, yogurt, butter), 3 pates, honey, 3 yummy jams, freshly baked breads and pastries, cereals, eggs, pickles, fruits. Delicious breakfast provides a great start for a day at Šenkova domačija.
“Where can we go sledding in Jezersko?” we asked Polona and she pointed us to the border with Austria. In case of a real winter with lots of snow, just a short walk away from Senk homestead, there is an official sled runway. At the former boarder control we parked our car and walked for about 10 minutes before we reached a small snow patch where we enjoyed sledding.
Jezersko is all-year-round destination and a perfect fairy-tale mountain paradise with pleasant climate which attract travelers, adventure seekers, hikers and mountaineers. Welcome to experience Jezersko!
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