Natural sights

Velika planina

Vast meadows with cows like from some chocolate advertisement, fantastic wooden cottages, views on the champions of Kamnik-Savinja Alps, magical walks in all seasons and delicious apple pie on a sunny terrace of one of the alpine huts - all of this and more awaits you on Velika planina. Slovenia’s biggest and most popular alpine meadow actually consists of several alpine meadows that are spread out over a high Karst plateau north-east above Kamnik. The idyllic herdsmen settlement next to the Snow Mary chapel at Velika planina draws a lot of visitors. Everyone is captivated by it, so do not expect a lonesome walk in the company of cows on a sunny summer Sunday. Hint: winter time on Velika planina is beautiful!

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Basic information
LocationKamnik, Central Slovenija
Type: alpine meadow
Entrance fee: no
Altitude: 1600 m
Trip duration: 2.5 h
Difficulty:
Download GPX data
Starting point:
The easiest way to ascend to Velika planina is from the valley of Kamniška Bistrica (follow the signposts for Gornji Grad or Kamniška Bistrica from Kamnik). You rise up to the alpine meadow with a cable car - check the timetable and price list here. Of course, it is also possible to reach Velika planina on foot: the longest option starts in the valley (in Stahovica village), but the much shorter version goes from Rakove Ravni at the east side of the alpine meadow.

Description:
You can shorten the walk from the upper cable car station to the herdsmen's settlement for another half an hour by taking the ski-lift to the summit of Velika planina (Gradišče, 1667 m). Otherwise simply follow the wooden signposts to Velika planina. They will first lead you to the Zeleni Rob inn and then on a wide path onwards to the herdmen's settlement.

The oval-shaped wooden cottages really look like from a fairytale and are the trademark of the whole alpine meadow. The excellent pasture land on Velika planina has been discovered already in the middle ages and first cottages have been built for the herdsmen to spend the summer here. German invaders have torched most of the original simply-built houses (including the Snow Mary chapel) during the 2nd World War. They were restored in a slightly 'modernized' manner after the war, but they still preserved the wonderful architecture of the originals.

The renowned architect Jože Plečnik has left his stamp at Velika planina even before the war when he made the design for the Snow Mary chapel. Then, after the war his pupil, Vlasto Kopač, led the renovation works and the construction of the tourist village near Zeleni Rob. During the pasture season you can visit the Preskar Museum in the herdsman settlement. It represents a small modest hut without a chimney or windows, just like they used to be before the war.

The alpine meadow is liveliest in the pasture season when all the cows and shepherds are here to offer cheese or sour milk. Of course, all this attracts a great deal of tourists and on summer weekends a real procession of hikers and tourists winds from the upper cable car station towards the chapel. Admittedly, I have never seen such a crowd of people in Slovenian mountains and hills. It is much nicer to visit Velika planina during the week or out of the main season. Less visitors come to Mala Planina (about 20 minutes from the herdsman settlement). You can freshen up in three cottages there. And if you wish to go completely away from other hikers, make a circle past Gojška planina and return to Velika planina past Stovniške Bajte (the whole circle takes 4 hours, see gps information as well). All paths are nicely marked.

The alpine meadow is especially magical in winter. A small ski slope operates here, you can sleigh, walk across the snowy slopes or visit the torch lit midnight mass in the Snow Mary chapel on Christmas evening.

Basic info:
Duration: ca. 2.5 h (from upper cable-car station to the chapel and back)
Length: ca. 6 km
Altitude difference: ca. 350 m
Type of path: easy marked path




Comments



Velika planina
Vast meadows with cows like from some chocolate advertisement, fantastic wooden cottages, views on the champions of Kamnik-Savinja Alps, magical walks in all seasons and delicious apple pie on a sunny terrace of one of the alpine huts - all of this and more awaits you on Velika planina. Slovenia’s biggest and most popular alpine meadow actually consists of several alpine meadows that are spread out over a high Karst plateau north-east above Kamnik. The idyllic herdsmen settlement next to the Snow Mary chapel at Velika planina draws a lot of visitors. Everyone is captivated by it, so do not expect a lonesome walk in the company of cows on a sunny summer Sunday. Hint: winter time on Velika planina is beautiful!