Kranjska Gora Experience
Kranjska Gora, once a herdmen’s settlement while today best known Slovenian alpine resort, is a perfect place for summer and winter experiences. It is surrounded by Julian Alps and Karavanke mountains. The downtown hosts many great restaurants and souvenirs shops and you can really feel a laid-back atmosphere. Enjoy the mountain views, breathe fresh air, mingle with the locals and indulge yourself in local cuisine.
Top 8 things to do in Kranjska Gora and its surroundings for families
Drive over Vrsic pass
Lucija is an easygoing child who likes driving on a zig-zag road. Vrsic with its 1611 meters is the highest road pass in Slovenia opened between May and October (check the road conditions beforehand!). The road that connects Kranjska Gora with Bovec is 50 kilometers long alpine road known as Russian road which was built during WW1 by Russian prisoners. We stopped at the Russian wooden orthodox chapel, a war memorial dedicated to Russian prisoners who lost their lives in the avalanche while building a road. This memorable drive with 50 hairpin turns (follow the turn signs and count them!) will not leave you indifferent. At the top of the mountain pass you can park your car and walk to the point from where you can admire Heathen Maiden (Ajdovska deklica) and Slemenova spica or visit mountain cottages nearby and taste local cuisine (Erjavceva koca, Ticarjev dom, Koca na Gozdu, Postarska koca). We will come back in the spring time to explore more when Lucija will manage to walk more.
Admire Lake Jasna
Jasna lake consists of two artificial lakes and lies by the road to Vrsic pass. Crystal clear lake water reflects images of the high mountains like in a mirror.
Wooden piers with a jumping tower, well maintained lake banks, bronze ibex, wooden Vitranc figure and high Julian Alps at the back are the perfect settings for a memorable family photo.
Once I was standing on a jumping tower the surrounding areas reminded me on turquoise waters in Cuba.
Rent a stand-up-paddle board, swim, sunbath or just relax and have a coffee with a view :). I tasted Slovenian cake consisting of 4 layers (plum, chestnut, buckwheat, cottage cheese) representing 4 regions in Slovenia. It was delicious and yummy. I want more!!!
Visit Zelenci nature reserve
Zelenci, a natural reserve situated on the northern edge of Triglav National Park, is an emerald-colored pool located in a swamp. I am sure you will get amazed by clean and green waters of Zelenci which is home to many endangered animals and plant species. There is a trail and a wooden footbridge that leads you to a viewing tower platform from where you can enjoy the views on the natural reserve area of Zelenci and the Julian Alps. Zelenci natural reserve never freezes because of constant temperature of 6 degrees. The water just invites you to dive in but it is forbidden to swim here.
Walk behind Pericnik waterfall in Vrata valley
Pericnik waterfall, which lies on the 10 kilometers long Triglavska Bistrica Path in alpine Vrata valley, is one of the best known waterfalls and the only waterfall in Slovenia you can walk underneath and admire it from behind. Water drips and leaks from every corner. Lucija was amazed by the waterfall and she didn’t want to leave although she was completely wet in only 1 minute 😉
There are two waterfalls, the upper (16 meters high) and lower (52 meters high). The last one is the larger waterfall more known and can be reached from the parking lot at Koca pri Pericniku in 10 minutes. Payment of 3 EUR is required for 2 hours. Well, if you are traveling with kids, add some extra minutes because kids want to admire ants, touch the roots and throw stones.
From Koca pri Pericniku you can walk or drive to Aljazev dom (parking costs 3,5 EUR/day) from where you can admire one of Triglav’s most beautiful viewpoints. 5 minutes’ walk can lead you to a giant rock piton with a carabiner – a memorial dedicated to all mountaineers who lost their lives in the surrounding mountains.
Lucija was admiring high mountains and she was walking a lot that day so while we were driving back to Mojstrana, she was already sleeping.
Slovenian Alpine Museum, Viharnik Garden and Olympic square
Slovenian Alpine Museum can be found in Mojstrana town. It is a unique mountaineering center in Slovenia that explains and overviews many aspects of Slovenian mountaineering and alpinism. Once you come out of the museum pay a visit to Viharnik Garden which includes the direction plates of all the peaks of the Upper Sava valley and the names of Olympians. Just a few hundred meters away you can take a photo of Olympic square which was set up in the memory of 21 Slovene Olympians.
Stand at the foot of Planica ski jumps
Planica, the cradle of ski flying and once called ‘the mother of all jumping hills’, is still one of the world’s largest ski jumping hills that hosts World cup in ski jumps in mid-March. Ski jumpers can fly over 200 meters! There are 8 ski jumping hills of different height and level.
But if you visit Planica in the summer time, you can watch young ski jumpers practice or sports teams from all around the world training indoors in underground tunnel cross-country skiing or outdoors of Planica Nordic Center.
I was not brave enough to experience Planica zipline where you can descend along the world’s largest jumping hill. The fresh air, sun, high mountain vistas of Ponce mountains and children playground was everything Lucija needed on a sunny Sunday.
Indulge your taste buds at Gostisce pri Zerjavu in Ratece
After searching for a local place to eat, the best option close to Planica was indulging our taste buds in one of 5 inns in Ratece village. We chose Gostisce pri Zerjavu (thank you Martina for recommendation!). At Zerjav inn which has been serving guests since 1912 they offer local homemade delicacies and provide 6 comfy rooms.
It is also a great starting point for 2 hours hike to Tromeja hill (Triple Boarder). We planned to indulge our taste buds in Rateska juzna, special traditional menu which is prepared in 3 inns in Ratece but as Ales described in his email that there is quite a bit of work involved in preparing Rateska juzna. Due to insufficient demand they are not offering it in the peak time. “But we will probably continue to prepare it from time to time.” he added. Well, I was a bit sad because I was really looking forward to tasting local specialities. In 2021 Slovenia will become European region of gastronomy so we should be proud of our rich and various culinary heritage.
Nevertheless, at Gostisce Zerjav we felt very welcomed. The stylish interior of the inn with wooden floor, carnation decoration, red white colors and oompah-oompah music while we chose to take a portion of beef soup with noodles, Rateski krapi (culinary specialty) and best seller of Zerjav inn, fried chicken. Wherever we go, Lucija has a sense to mingle with waiters. She exactly knows that they bring food and drinks so it is perfect to establish great friendships with them 😉
Rateski krapi are boiled and dressed pockets made of white unleavened dough and filled with cottage cheese, corn polenta, onion and egg. They can be served as a side dish or as a dessert. Friendly atmosphere, knowledgeable waiter and fresh food were the best combo at Gostisce Zerjav in Ratece village.
Unique sleeping experience at Pr’Gavedarjo Designed Rooms
I have been working in tourism for a long time so I am up-to-date with local experiences and unique accommodation options Slovenia has to offer. For a long time Pr’Gavedarjo Design Rooms in the idyllic village of Podkoren were on my bucket list. Why?
Eco-friendly Pr’Gavedarjo accommodation has over the 100-year-old history. Here Slovenian heritage goes hand in hand with modern approaches. Pr’Gavedarjo Design Rooms offers a unique sleeping experience with an ethno twist.
Each of old rustic style room tells you a story of a person which was somehow connected with a house: grandpa Franc, grandma Marija, aunt Silva, daddy Janez and the stable boy Jaka. With its restored original furniture, century-old wall paintings and exclusive fabrics this gorgeous eco conscious retreat at the foothill of Karavanke mountain chain and the Julian Alps will take your breath away.
What is more, the Design rooms Pr’Gavedarjo received a Gold Travellife Certificate and a Green Key Certificate in sustainable tourism.
Right in the middle of Podkoren village and at the village square, opposite a bar/restaurant and close to the linden tree, you will find Pr’Gavedarjo Design Rooms. When we arrived at the accommodation, the doors were closed but on the front door there was a note. We called the number and Lea answered the phone immediately. She welcomed us and provided all information how to get into the accommodation and added: “Your room is number 5. See you tomorrow at 8am for the breakfast downstairs.” So friendly and helpful. Once we entered, grey slippers made of wool were waiting for us.
We stayed in the Grandpa Franc’s Apartment.Well designed, restored and clean room with 2 very comfy beds can easily accommodate family with 2 small children and offers all the comfort we need for a pleasant and cosy stay. The room was spacious enough so we could play with a ball and run after it.
I was amazed by great designed glass spacious bathroom with a shower and toilet. Privacy is assured with a curtain ;).
The room is huge providing a counter with washbasin, flat-screen TV, energy-economical refrigerator, hardwood floor, dinning table with restored chairs, wardrobes for storage and other luxuries. A special attention was paid to details. For example, towels and bed linen are made of certified organic and fair trade cotton (I even took a photo of the brand so I can buy it for myself!) while mattress is made of natural latex. Unique textile in white-red-blue colors in shape of carnations was designed by Almira Sadar, a Slovenian designer who became famous abroad as well. Basic, nice and practical décor was very charming and appealing.
Breakfast is served between 8-10am. When you have kids, you usually wake up early so we were the first guests filling the plates with seasonal, fresh and homemade organic stuffs.
Apricot jam is made from flokarji apricots which are autohtonous apricots from Primorska region, cheese and other dairy products are coming from Gorenjska region, fresh eggs from the neighbor, peanut butter from well-known Slovenian producer, elder and mint juice from the farm from Bela Krajina, homebaked bread and fair trade coffee.
Healthy, delicious and rich in nutrition breakfast filled our stomach until late afternoon.
Pr’Gavedarjo Design Rooms in Podkoren are perfect family retreat for a weekend getaway if you want to avoid city hustle and bustle, to explore Triglav National Park with Julian Alps and to relax in the Slovenian countryside. I wish we could have stayed longer.