On the 1666m high plateau, kids can explore the traditional herdsmen’s cottages, learn how to make dairy products and run around freely on what is considered to be the most beautiful alpine pasture in Slovenia. While parents can just soak up the views of Velika Planina.
Why pick Velika Planina?
Warm days call for an escape from the city and into the mountains. Velika Planina can be a perfect choice for a day trip for the whole family. It’s a lovely pasture dotted with interesting traditional herdsmen’s cottages. If you visit from June to September you’ll also witness grazing cattle and the kids will go crazy about the cows.
Word of caution when it gets really hot I would advise going either very early in the morning or in the afternoon.
This holds true for any kind of hiking in the Summer, which we are well aware of. We still made the mistake of leaving home at around 8.30 and once we got to the top it was scorching hot, since the shade is almost non-existent.
Once you reach Velika Planina visit the lovely wooden Chapel of Mary of the Snows, where the midnight mass is held each year on Christmas Eve and on Sundays during August. On our visit it was open as well, due to a couple renewing their vows there. From the chapel you have a lovely view of the settlement against the backdrop of Kamnisko Savinjske Alps.
If you have the time, you can learn about the herdsmen and their work at the petite museum located in the Preskar’s Hut. The hut is also the only example of a typical hut this region was renowned for before the second World War. It is oval shaped, wooden and covered by shingle roof without any windows or chimneys. Don’t leave without tasting the traditional “trnic” pear-shaped hard cheese, only produced in the region.
How to get there?
Velika Planina is located near the town of Kamnik and is around 46km away from Ljubljana. It can easily be reached on foot or by cable car, but it’s best if you have a car to get you to the starting location.
If you have to relay on public transportation than your only option is a bus and you have to look for the route Ljubljana – Kamniska Bistrica or get to Kamnik and then look for Kamnik – Kamniska Bistrica. This will get you to the bottom station of the cable car to Velika planina.
By cable car? If you want to go by cable car, which kids will absolutely love, drive to Kamniska Bistrica. From the top station of the cable car, you still have about an hour (with younger kids add around 30 minutes more) of walking but it’s not all steep and hard. It can be done.
By foot? Drive through Kamnik, villages Godic and Stahovica and then towards Rakove ravni/Volovljek. Once you get to Rakove ravni, find a place to park the car. Just do like the locals and leave it by the side of the road or try the big parking space that will be on your right. Follow the signs and in around 30 minutes of walking up hill through the woods you will get to the Gojiska pasture. You can relax now, because the path is no longer steep. Enjoy the views of the nearby imposing mountains and let the kids run around. Follow the signs that will lead you first to Mala Planina and then on to Velika Planina.
By car? Did you know you could drive up here? Yes, since there are a lot of huts you can rent and people come to stay overnight. But unless you plan on doing that, my advise is to walk. Yes, kids can hike, too. Just make it fun for them.
Where to eat?
Aside from being able to try the traditional cheese or sample other dairy goodies at Velika Planina, there are three mountain lodges not far from one another on Mala Planina: Jarski, Crnuski and Domzalski lodge. They all offer really good local food. Domzalski’s plus is that it has a really cute playground for the kids to enjoy.
Prices at all of these are pretty much the same. We had our meal at Jarski doma and ordered two veal goulashes with bread dumplings and a beef stew with buckwheat porridge. Along with drinks for the four of us we paid less than 30 euros.
Coolkidz final say
We give it 8 out of 10, since there was up hill boring walking, but it was fun too because we got to lead and look for markings telling us where to go. Once on the top our favorite activity was rolling down the hills and running around like crazy. Playground was great, it’s just that we weren’t given ample time to truly enjoy it. Ice-creams where a nice touch and enough of an incentive to make us go back down again.