If you were only allowed to visit one region of Slovenia, there is no doubt that Gorenjska would be a good choice. Magnificent views of Lake Bled and Lake Bohinj, towering peaks of the Julian and the Kamnik-Savinja Alps, a wide range of outdoor activities in the resort town of Kranjska Gora, strolls through the beautifully preserved centres of old towns such as Kranj and Škofja Loka. But there's more...
At the heart of the Triglav National Park, lies Triglav, the highest mountain in Slovenia (2,864 m). It is an area of high, rocky mountains, deep river gorges and sunny Alpine pastures offering protection to many endemic animal and plant species, where the traditions of the former way of life of rugged mountain dwellers and Alpine dairy farmers are still alive.
On the northern side of the park is the Upper Sava Valley. In summer, the popular tourist resort of Kranjska Gora offers a wealth of outdoor recreational activities and sports (hiking, climbing, cycling, horse riding, skydiving, fishing), while in winter it has excellent facilities for various forms of skiing and other winter pleasures. Visitors to Kranjska Gora can also enjoy a casino and a range of wellness programmes, while children will have fun in the land of the fictional hero Kekec. In nearby Planica, in the shelter of two-thousand-metre peaks, the world's best ski jumpers come to compete every year.
The area of the Julian Alps encloses two spectacular lakes. The resort town of Bled, with its legendary island in the middle of the lake, its cliff top castle and its pleasant climate, has been attracting cosmopolitan visitors for centuries. Bathing establishments, hotels with swimming pools, footpaths, tennis courts, golf courses, a casino and the sports airfield in Lesce provide plenty of reasons for a visit. Bohinj, with its crystal clear Alpine lake, is popular with visitors for its beautiful natural setting and the ski centres of Vogel, Kobla and Soriška Planina. Nearby Pokljuka is a paradise for hikers, mushroom pickers and haven for cross-country skiers. In winter it becomes a venue for important international biathlon competitions.
The centre of Gorenjska is Kranj, with its surprising industrial, commercial and cultural traditions. The architect Jože Plečnik had a profound impact on the appearance of Kranj's old town centre.
Škofja Loka has the most beautifully preserved medieval town centre in Slovenia. The rooms of Loka Castle contain various museum collections, while the former castle garden has become an open-air museum.
Železniki, a former ironworking centre, conserves the lace making tradition, while Dražgoše is famed for its gingerbread. The Škofja Loka Hills are full of pleasant paths and trails for hikers and cyclists.
To the north, near the border with Austria, is Jezersko, an attractive area with its own autochthonous breed of sheep, Planšarsko Jezero (a man-made lake), Čedca Waterfall (the highest in Slovenia), ancient farmhouses and granaries, and unspoilt mountain scenery. The Kamnik-Savinja Alps also contain one of the most popular ski resorts in Slovenia: Krvavec.
Lovers of cultural heritage can also enjoy a tour of Radovljica's ancient town centre, a walk along the cultural heritage trail in Žirovnica and a visit to the house in Vrba where Slovenia's greatest poet, France Prešeren, was born.
TOP 10 EXPERIENCES OF GORENJSKA REGION
- Ride with »pletna« boat to the island on Bled Lake: admire the strong local row men as they take you to a visit of the island. Ring the church bell and make a wish – it's bound to come true!
- Visit Bled Castle: perched atop a steep cliff rising 130 metres above Lake Bled stands the symbol of Bled and Slovenia. The view will take your breath away...
- Visit Planica during Ski Jumping World Cup: in March every year ski jumping fans from the whole world visit Planica to experience the unique atmosphere of this spectacular sport.
- Learn to ski in Kranjska Gora: spend a week in a cosy little hotel while your personal trainer shows you the basics and the tricks of skiing.
- Swim in Bohinj Lake: crystal clean water, surrounded by woodland and mountains. Choose your own private spot of the beach and enjoy the sun.
- Take a cable-car to Vogel: experience the view of The Julian Alps, the lake below, the surrounding pines, the mountain paths (ski slopes in winter)...
- Visit Bovec & Trenta Valley: this green oasis was the setting for the Hollywood movie »Prince Caspian: The Return to Narnia«. Stop at Dobra Vila (Good Fairy) Hotel for a gourmet meal.
- Kamen Castle: the ruins of the castle will take you centuries back into the middle ages - free of charge and at your own risk.
- Apicultural Museum: take a flight to the world of the Carniolan honey bee, become acquainted with the history of beekeeping, and marvel at the variety of beehive panels.
- Taste the Bled cream cake: you have not been to Slovenia until you have tasted one!