After months of crazy weather with almost no snow and dry ski slopes across Europe, the snow has finally arrived. While there are hundreds of ski resorts across the continent, many famous and popular ones located in the Swiss, French, Italian and Austrian Alps, there is a tiny little country at the easternmost extremity of the Alps which is equally, and in some ways, more stunning: Slovenia
About the size of Wales, with a population of around 2 million, Slovenia is a small, cosy and charming country with incredible diversity. Wedged perfectly between the Alps and the Adriatic Sea, there’s a constant battle between climates. In the heart of Winter the northern alpine lakes can freeze over (although this only happens every so often), and in the early Spring this area turns into a wonderland of blooming colourful flora, backed by glistening snow-capped mountains. It’s on these mountains where many of Slovenia’s popular ski resorts lie.
The beauty of such a small country and its location means that you can ski in the morning, and sip a beer by the sea in the afternoon. Here are a list of popular resorts to check out:
- Vogel Ski Centre – By far my favourite, but maybe not so for advanced skiers looking for more demanding runs. Vogel lies atop Vogel mountain, situated at the far end of Lake Bohinj, an immense glacial lake wedged into a dead end valley and surrounded by the Julian Alps. While this resort may lack more demanding runs, it makes up for it with glorious scenery. As you glide down the runs you are surrounded by a fairytale view of snow covered mountain peaks, including Mount Triglav, the highest peak in Slovenia. Access is via a cable car which whisks you 1500 metres up to the mountain. While not for the faint-hearted, it’s a breathtaking ride and view down to Lake Bohinj and the mountains.
Distance from the capital Ljubljana – 1 hour by car
Distance from the coast – 2 hours
- Krvavec – This is the closest resort from Ljubljana, and extremely popular with the locals. The runs here are more demanding, but it lacks the beautiful views that Vogel has.
Distance from Ljubljana – 30 minutes by car
Distance to the coast – 90 minutes by car
- Kobla – Just before you get to Lake Bohinj, you pass through a little village called Bohinjska Bistrica. On the hills behind lies Kobla Ski Resort. While this is situated on the hillside and not on a mountain peak, it still commands some lovely views down into the Bohinj Valley.
- Kranjska Gora – By far the most famous and popular resort in the country. With 18 slopes of varying grades at altitudes from 800m to 1215m, there is something for everyone. You’ll also find many other slopes, along with cross country ski routes in the surrounding area. And if you are there from 23rd – 26th March, don’t miss the World Ski Jumping Cup 2017 at Planica.
- Stari Vrh – On the slopes of the lovely Skofja Loka hills, just 35kms from Ljubljana, Stari Vrh not only has slopes from 580m to 1210m, but also offers night skiing.
By Ian Middleton