Visit Velika Planina and spend a day out exploring high mountains, stunning views and herdsmen’s traditional wooden huts. A must-visit in Slovenia!
Velika Planina is a stunning Alpine pasture located in the Kamnik-Savinja Alps in Slovenia. Spanning almost 600 hectares, it’s considered to be one of the largest and most beautiful pastures in Europe. What makes Velika Planina particularly unique is the presence of more than 50 semicircular wooden cottages, which can’t be found anywhere else in the world. These cottages are an integral part of the area’s cultural heritage and have been used by local herdsmen for centuries.
During the summer season, local herdsmen drive their cattle up from the valleys to graze on the lush pastures of Velika Planina. They also produce dairy products like butter and cheese, which are often sold to visitors. Staying in one of the traditional wooden cottages is a unique and authentic way to experience the local culture and way of life.
Accessing Velika Planina is relatively easy thanks to the cable car that runs from Kamniska Bistrica village. The cable car ride is an exciting experience in itself, offering stunning views of the surrounding landscape. Once you reach the top, you can take a 15-minute chairlift ride or a half-hour walk on a gentle slope to reach the huts. The walk is easy and enjoyable, and there are plenty of signposts to guide you along the way.
For those who enjoy hiking, there’s also the option to take a semi-difficult, well-marked trail from Stahovica village. This hike takes you through stunning mountain scenery and is a great way to experience the natural beauty of the area.
Whether you choose to stay in one of the traditional wooden cottages, hike through the mountains, or simply take in the stunning views from the cable car, a visit to Velika Planina is an unforgettable experience that shouldn’t be missed while visiting Slovenia.
How do you get to Velika Planina?
There are several ways to get to Velika Planina, depending on your starting point and mode of transportation. Here are some common options:
- By car: You can drive to Velika Planina from Ljubljana in about 45 minutes. Take the A2 highway towards Kranj and then follow signs for Kamnik. Once you reach Kamnik, follow signs for Kamniška Bistrica and then for the cable car to Velika Planina. There is a parking lot at the base of the cable car station where you can park your car.
- By cable car: The easiest way to get to Velika Planina is by taking the cable car from the village of Kamniška Bistrica. The cable car runs from late May to late September and takes about 8 minutes to reach the top. From there, you can explore the plateau on foot.
- On foot: If you’re feeling adventurous, you can hike to Velika Planina from Kamniška Bistrica. The hike takes about 2-3 hours and is a good option if you want to experience the beauty of the area up close. There are several well-marked trails that lead to the top, including the popular Route of Seven Triglav Lakes.
- By public transport: There are also buses that run from Ljubljana and Kamnik to Kamniška Bistrica. From there, you can take the cable car or hike to Velika Planina. It’s best to check the bus schedules in advance, as they can vary depending on the season.
Where to park for Velika Planina?
There are a few options for parking when visiting Velika Planina. If you’re planning to take the cable car up to the high pastures, there is a large and free car park at the bottom of the cable car station in Kamniška Bistrica. From there, you can take the cable car up to Velika Planina and begin your adventure.
If you prefer to hike up to Velika Planina, there is a large and free car park in the village of Stahovica, which is the starting point for the popular hiking trail up to the high pastures. This trail is well-marked and takes about 2-3 hours to complete, depending on your fitness level and hiking experience.
Regardless of which parking option you choose, it’s always a good idea to arrive early in the day to secure a parking spot, especially during peak tourist season in the summer months.
Velika Planina accommodation
There are several accommodation options available on Velika Planina, ranging from traditional shepherds’ huts to modern apartments. Here are some of the most popular options:
- Shepherds’ huts: For a truly authentic experience, you can stay in one of the traditional shepherds’ huts on Velika Planina. These huts are made from wood and stone and offer basic amenities like a bed, stove, and table. There are several huts available for rent, and they can be booked through the local tourist office.
- Tourist farm: There is a tourist farm on Velika Planina that offers accommodation in traditional huts and modern apartments. The farm also serves traditional Slovenian food and has a small shop selling local products.
- Mountain hut: There is a mountain hut on Velika Planina that offers basic accommodation for hikers and mountaineers. The hut has several dormitory rooms and a shared kitchen and bathroom. Reservations are recommended, especially during the summer months.
- Private apartments: There are several private apartments available for rent on Velika Planina. These apartments offer modern amenities like a kitchen, bathroom, and living room, and are a good option if you prefer more privacy and comfort.
It’s important to note that accommodation on Velika Planina can fill up quickly, especially during the summer months. It’s best to book in advance to ensure availability. Additionally, the shepherds’ huts and mountain hut have limited amenities, so be sure to bring everything you need with you, including food and water.
Crocuses Velika Planina
Crocuses are a beautiful and unique feature of Velika Planina. The pastures are home to a variety of crocuses, including the stunning and rare autumn crocus, which blooms in late summer and early fall.
The crocuses on Velika Planina are a sight to behold, covering large swaths of the pastures with their delicate blooms. Visitors to the area can take a leisurely stroll through the pastures and enjoy the stunning natural beauty of the crocuses, which are a true symbol of the changing seasons.
The crocuses on Velika Planina are particularly special because they are an endangered species. The pastures are one of the few places in Europe where the autumn crocus can still be found in the wild, and efforts are underway to protect and preserve these beautiful flowers for future generations.
Shepherds’ huts Velika Planina
The shepherds’ huts at Velika Planina are an important part of the area’s cultural heritage. Here’s some more information about these unique and charming structures:
- History: The shepherds’ huts have been used by local shepherds for centuries as a place to stay during the summer months. They were built using local materials like wood and stone and were designed to withstand the harsh mountain climate.
- Architecture: The huts have a distinctive traditional Slovenian architecture, with a rectangular shape and a thatched roof. The walls are made from wooden planks, and the interior is simple and sparsely furnished.
- Location: The huts are located on the mountain plateau of Velika Planina, and there are over 50 huts spread out across the area. Some of the huts have been restored and are available for rent to visitors.
- Rental options: Staying in one of the shepherds’ huts is a unique and authentic accommodation experience. The huts are equipped with basic amenities like a stove, table, and bed, but there is no running water or electricity. Visitors need to bring their own food, water, and other essentials.
- Cultural significance: The shepherds’ huts are an important part of the cultural heritage of the area, and they offer visitors a chance to learn about the traditional way of life of the local shepherds. Many of the huts have been preserved and restored to their original condition, providing a glimpse into the past.
- Surrounding nature: The huts are surrounded by stunning natural beauty, with breathtaking views of the surrounding mountains and valleys. Visitors can explore the area on foot or by cable car, taking in the fresh mountain air and peaceful atmosphere.
Velika Planina hike
Hiking in Velika Planina is a popular activity for visitors to the area. Here’s an overview of the most popular hiking route:
- From Kamniška Bistrica: The most common starting point for a hike to Velika Planina is from the village of Kamniška Bistrica. You can take the cable car to the top if you want to skip the first part of the hike, or you can start from the bottom and hike all the way up.
- Follow the trail: From the top of the cable car station or the base of the mountain, follow the well-marked trail towards Velika Planina. The trail is mostly uphill, but the incline is gradual and not too steep.
- Enjoy the views: As you hike up the mountain, you’ll be rewarded with stunning views of the surrounding valleys and mountains. Take your time and enjoy the scenery along the way.
- Arrive at Velika Planina: After about 2-3 hours of hiking (depending on your starting point), you’ll reach Velika Planina. The plateau is dotted with traditional shepherds’ huts and offers stunning views of the surrounding mountains.
- Explore the area: Once you arrive at Velika Planina, take some time to explore the area on foot. You can visit the traditional huts, learn about the shepherds’ way of life, and enjoy the natural beauty of the plateau.
- Return trip: When you’re ready to head back down the mountain, you can either take the cable car or hike back down to Kamniška Bistrica. If you choose to hike down, be sure to follow the same trail you took up and allow plenty of time to make it back before dark.
Velika Planina cable car
The Velika Planina cable car is the easiest and most convenient way to reach the top of the mountain plateau. Here’s some information about the cable car:
- Location: The cable car is located in the village of Kamniška Bistrica, which is about a 30-minute drive from Ljubljana.
- Operation hours: The cable car operates from late May to late September, weather permitting. It runs every day from 9:00 AM to 6:00 PM.
- Cost: The cost of a round-trip ticket on the cable car is around 14 Euros for adults and 8 Euros for children. Children under the age of 6 can ride for free.
- Duration: The cable car ride takes about 8 minutes each way and offers stunning views of the surrounding mountains and valleys.
- Capacity: The cable car can hold up to 80 people at a time, so there is usually plenty of space for everyone.
- Accessibility: The cable car is wheelchair accessible and can accommodate bicycles and strollers.
The Trnic cheese Velika Planina
Trnič is a traditional cheese that’s closely associated with Velika Planina. This semi-hard cheese is made from cow’s milk and has a distinctive cylindrical shape that’s produced using a special mold. The cheese is left to mature for several months, during which time it develops a distinctive flavor and aroma.
Trnič cheese has a long history in the area, dating back several centuries. It was traditionally made by local herdsmen who spent the summer months on the pastures of Velika Planina, producing dairy products like cheese and butter to sell to visitors.
Today, Trnič cheese is still produced in small quantities by a handful of local producers. The cheese is considered to be a gourmet delicacy and is highly prized by cheese lovers for its unique flavor and texture.
Visitors to Velika Planina can sample Trnič cheese at many of the local restaurants and cafes, or even purchase a wheel of the cheese to take home as a souvenir. The cheese is an important part of the area’s cultural heritage and is a must-try for anyone visiting Velika Planina.
The Preskar Museum is a small, privately-owned museum located on Velika Planina. It’s dedicated to preserving and showcasing the traditional way of life and culture of the local herdsmen who have lived on the pastures for centuries.
The museum is named after the Preskar family, who have been herdsmen on Velika Planina for generations. The family still operates a dairy farm on the pastures and produces a range of traditional dairy products like cheese and butter.
The museum itself is housed in a traditional wooden cottage that dates back to the 18th century. Inside, visitors can see a range of artifacts and exhibits related to the area’s cultural heritage, including traditional clothing, tools, and household items. There are also displays showcasing the production of dairy products like cheese and butter, as well as the traditional process of making Trnič cheese.
In addition to the exhibits, visitors can also participate in a range of hands-on activities, like milking cows or making cheese. The museum is a great way to learn more about the unique cultural heritage of Velika Planina and to experience traditional rural life firsthand.
The Chapel of our Lady of the Snows
The Chapel of Our Lady of the Snows is a small, picturesque chapel located on Velika Planina. It’s a popular destination for visitors to the area and is considered to be one of the most important cultural and historical landmarks on the pastures.
The chapel was built in 1938 by local herdsmen to commemorate the arrival of a miraculous snowfall in August of 1511. According to legend, the snowfall prevented an Ottoman invasion of the area and was seen as a divine intervention by the local people. The chapel is dedicated to Our Lady of the Snows, who is the patron saint of snow and ice.
The chapel itself is a beautiful example of traditional Slovenian architecture, with a wooden shingle roof and a simple, rustic interior. Visitors can admire the beautiful paintings and frescoes that adorn the walls and ceiling, as well as the ornate altar and statues.
Velika Planina history
Velika Planina has a rich history that dates back centuries. The area has long been a popular destination for shepherds, who bring their cattle to the high pastures during the summer months to graze on the lush alpine vegetation. The first written records of the area date back to the 16th century, when the pastures were used by shepherds from the nearby village of Stahovica.
Over time, the herdsmen built wooden huts on the pastures to provide shelter for themselves and their cattle during the summer months. These huts are a unique feature of Velika Planina and have become a symbol of the area’s rich cultural heritage.
In the early 20th century, a cable car was built to transport visitors and supplies to the pastures. This allowed the area to become a popular tourist destination, and visitors have been coming to Velika Planina ever since to enjoy the stunning natural beauty, traditional culture, and unique heritage of the area.
Today, Velika Planina is still home to a vibrant community of herdsmen, who continue to bring their cattle to the pastures each summer. The area is also a popular destination for hikers, skiers, and other outdoor enthusiasts, who come to enjoy the beautiful scenery and wide range of outdoor activities available in the surrounding Kamnik-Savinja Alps. Despite its popularity, Velika Planina has managed to preserve its unique cultural heritage and remains a beloved destination for visitors to Slovenia.
What is Velika Planina in English?
Velika Planina is a Slovenian term that translates to “Big Pasture Plateau” in English.
How do I spend a day in Velika Planina?
Spending a day in Velika Planina can be a truly unforgettable experience. Here is a suggested itinerary for a day trip to the area:
- Take the cable car: Start your day by taking the cable car from the Kamniska Bistrica village up to Velika Planina. The ride itself is a memorable experience, with stunning views of the surrounding mountains and valleys.
- Visit the Preskar Museum: Once you arrive at Velika Planina, head to the Preskar Museum to learn more about the unique culture and traditions of the area. The museum showcases the history and heritage of the local herdsmen and their way of life, and is a great place to start your exploration of the pastures.
- Explore the herdsmen’s huts: Take a leisurely stroll through the pastures and visit the traditional herdsmen’s huts. These beautiful wooden cottages are a unique feature of Velika Planina and provide a glimpse into the traditional way of life in the area.
- Enjoy a picnic lunch: Pack a picnic lunch and find a scenic spot to enjoy the stunning views of the surrounding mountains and valleys. There are plenty of spots to choose from, and the peaceful atmosphere of the pastures makes for a truly relaxing experience.
- Visit the Chapel of Our Lady of the Snows: Take a short hike to the beautiful Chapel of Our Lady of the Snows, which is a popular destination for visitors to the area. The chapel is a beautiful example of traditional Slovenian architecture and provides a peaceful and reflective setting for visitors.
- Admire the crocuses: Take a stroll through the pastures and admire the beautiful crocuses that bloom in late summer and early fall. These stunning flowers are a unique feature of Velika Planina and are a true symbol of the changing seasons.
- Enjoy a traditional meal: Finish your day with a traditional Slovenian meal at one of the local restaurants. The area is known for its hearty and delicious cuisine, and there are plenty of options to choose from.
Overall, spending a day in Velika Planina is a wonderful way to experience the natural beauty, unique culture, and rich heritage of this stunning Alpine pasture.
What attracts visitors to Velika Planina?
Velika Planina is a truly special destination that captures the hearts of all who visit. This breathtakingly beautiful Alpine pastureland is a true gem in the heart of the Kamnik-Savinja Alps, and it’s no wonder that it’s such a popular destination for visitors.
What truly sets Velika Planina apart is its unique cultural heritage. The area is home to a traditional shepherding culture that has been passed down from generation to generation for centuries. Visitors to Velika Planina have the opportunity to witness this rich cultural heritage firsthand, as they observe local herdsmen tending to their cattle and producing dairy products like cheese and butter.
In addition to its rich cultural heritage, Velika Planina also boasts stunning alpine scenery that is simply breathtaking. From the panoramic views of the surrounding mountains to the lush green pastures and colorful wildflowers that dot the landscape, there’s no shortage of natural beauty to be found here.
What famous film was filmed in Velika Planina?
Velika Planina has been featured in several films and TV shows over the years, but perhaps the most famous film that was partially shot in Velika Planina is the 1981 movie “Red Sonja”. The film, which starred Arnold Schwarzenegger and Brigitte Nielsen, was partially filmed on location in Slovenia, including in Velika Planina. In the movie, Velika Planina was used as a backdrop for some of the film’s stunning alpine scenery. Since then, the area has become a popular destination for film and TV productions looking for beautiful and unique filming locations.
Is Velika Planina worth visiting?
Velika Planina is a mountain plateau in Slovenia, known for its stunning natural beauty, traditional architecture, and unique way of life. Whether or not it is worth visiting depends on your personal interests and preferences.
If you enjoy hiking, outdoor activities, and exploring pristine natural landscapes, then Velika Planina is definitely worth a visit. The area offers numerous hiking trails, stunning views of the surrounding mountains and valleys, and a chance to see traditional shepherds’ huts and learn about their way of life.
If you are interested in cultural heritage and traditional architecture, you will also find plenty to explore in Velika Planina. The plateau is home to more than 50 traditional huts, some of which are over 300 years old, and offer a unique insight into the history and culture of the area.
Overall, Velika Planina is a great destination for anyone who enjoys nature, hiking, and cultural experiences. However, it’s important to note that the area can be quite remote and may not be suitable for everyone. It’s also best to visit during the summer months when the weather is mild and the hiking trails are open.