Calling all hikers and nature lovers.. this page is especially for You and describes a rather unique and simple special offer for Lipizzaner Lodge Guests!
We have something here that money cannot buy.. Quite simply, we go for walk every day and if you would like to accompany us for just one of your days or a whole week of walks, then please just let us know you would like to do a "Lodge Walk" and that's it!
Lipizzaner Lodge is 360 degrees surrounded by Green Nature.. so we could do a completely different hike every day for a month if we wanted.. so we do!!
Perfect Base location for it ALL..
When you first roll up to the Lodge and see the big mountain, thick forests and green fields all around, you could be forgiven for thinking we are in the middle of nowhere.. and of course, in one way we are.. but actually, we deliberately chose the very best logistical position in ALL Green Slovenia.. so our Guests can easily reach pretty much every attraction there is inside their Day's adventure..
And if you don't believe us then just look at a map and see how the road networks fan out perfectly around the Lodge.. see all the motorways, which are just too far to hear, but close enough to jump onto and exploit with your car in ANY direction to see ALL the best bits you might have read about before choosing Slovenia for your green holiday!
We noticed immediately when we started visiting Slovenia ourselves that what this tiny country was missing in the tourism package was a "hotel in the countryside", where guests can also relax and enjoy the beautiful Green nature.. so we built one!
So you can reach anywhere with the car.. but Did You know how much Hiking there is here DIRECT from Lipizzaner Lodge?!
When we first moved in here we were surprised to learn our little village of Landol had a secret forest path direct to the most unique castle in the world at Predjama.. but after 3 failed attempts to find this secret path a kind neighbour had to pretty much take us by the hand and lead us up the little private road where the path begins and turns into the most wonderful stone track that 40 minutes later pops out 70m below the biggest cliff castle in the world!
And if there is one walk that almost 100% of Lodge guests do, then it is this very special secret hike to the castle, but as it is so tricky to find the start, we always take a few moments to show our guests directly where the path starts and give final instructions..
Even experienced hikers couldn't find the start of this path and then there are also the "Google mappers" of course, who will confidently totally miss the best final bit of the path under the castle and end up by the car park, but they would never know what they have missed if they just keep their eyes on their phones!
Another reason we take out guests the 5 mins to the secret path is that there is a whole load of incredible history to uncover just in this tiny little village!
We quickly show and explain to guests how the main village road was once the main Roman road from central Europe to Rome and in later years was used by carters to transport massive Slovenian oaks directly through Landol to Venice to build the foundations for the most famous island in the world.. now that is worth knowing! (We won't spoil any of the other hisitorical treats until you get here)!
So maybe now you are getting the feeling how difficult it can be to REALLY explore here and uncover the secret bits of Green nature and the history of a region located directly in the centre of Europe.. so any army worth it's salt over history had to come through here from West to East..
The other Big problem for Hikers is that what few signs there are here are either completely useless or not in English.. AND most of the secret paths we follow ourselves around here have NO signs..
You will see when you get here that there are almost NO useful signs to follow generally in Slovenia and especially in our relatively undiscovered mini region, called the Green Karst!
We wish there were, then you could wander around this stunning mini green region on your own to your heart's content.. but there aren't!
The best you might find are a few confusing little red circles on trees, so you will know you are on a path, but not where it leads! But there is hardly anything else in the language of tourism.. English.
So we just wanted you to know that Lipizzaner Lodge has so many other hikes direct from out doorstep in every single direction and we are pretty sure even we have still found only about 60% of them!
Step out onto our cafe terrace and you can hike off through different forests, along several rivers, up a mountain or through fields and meadows stuffed with flowers you just don't get anymore in your fertiliser filled countries.. We have stone tracks and pretty bridges crossing the rivers and streams, one built by Napoleon's army, another two made from wonky metal plates by hunters..
You can hike all the way to the Postojna cave if you like or to a secret cave and we also know at least a dozen different secret ways to Predjama castle..
BUT it is just so frustrating, cos we can't give you a map and we can't write down instructions that say go left at the maple tree, take the middle path, at the rock go right into the field.. it is just impossible.. so this is why we are happy for guests to stroll around with us in nature!
With us, you can merrily hack through bushes and bramble, scramble up & down ridiculously beautiful hills, tip toe alongside muddy streams or just as merrily walk on perfect stone paths that look so amazing you could imagine they were made just for hiking or biking! In the Queen's English, we call these places the Dingles and Dells and you can find them all here!
And wow, the wildlife here.. just wow!
We regularly see deer, hunting birds, foxes, wild goats, insects and big bugs.. one of us is pretty sure he once saw a lynx! Sometimes we might see 3 sets of different deer families, some day's none.. once, deep in the forest, we saw the most amazing stag.. he was huge.. we froze and he just stared at us from about 30m away, high up on a ridge.. then he was gone.. this is something we will never ever forget.
One time we saw crows attacking a much bigger buzzard, it was like a WW1 dogfight.. another time we carefully followed a white heron from a distance flapping and circling deep into the forest alongside a little stream.
Maybe you will do a hike with us one day and then return on your own to a spot from that walk the next day with some sandwiches, a flask of tea and just sit there and relax in nature to maybe paint or draw or wait patiently in silence, with the sun on your back to see if just maybe one of those forest animals might appear for you!
The Flora and the Fauna..
We see all the different flowers and mushrooms growing around here over the seasons and not many of you will have such a variety of meadow or forest flowers at home. On the secret path to the castle for example, there are at least 10 varieties of wild orchid!
Slovenia is the third most forested country in Europe and trees are a form of currency for the local people. We are still learning all the names of the trees, but there are so many varieties here and some little woods that have just been left in the main forests hide really massive trunked old trees.
The point here is even we don't know what you we will see on each Lodge Walk.. every new dayand every route can be different.. so we have come to the realisation that 99.99% of visitors to Green Slovenia will actually NEVER find any of these really secret paths without help and this is exactly why we decided to make it clear here, Guests are VERY WELCOME to come hike with us on a LODGE WALK!
We couldn't be more happy if guests take themselves off on a walk alone and love chatting about your adventures in the evening with a glass of wine.. but we have often heard the stories back and winced a little when we realise what our lovely guests have totally missed!..
But you see it is really impossible to give directions for most of these really secret walks.. we would love to.. but how do you say at the third maple tree turn left, then after the white rock go right.. then take the middle path of four into the field.. it just doesnt work, you would get horribly lost!
We also get the desciples who religiously follow superficial guidebooks written by some joker who came here for 5 minutes and produced the "definitive walking guide to the Green karst" or the "Google Mappers" who want to wander off, head down, following their "notsosmart" phones!
It is a waste of time to tell these people what they have missed, but we really love to host everyone who enjoys nature here and the main thing is that you have a great walk, preferably not taking a wrong path or getting horribly lost or wasting time doubling back or getting frustrated following a screen that says there is a path and then you end up scrabbling through brush or up and down ridiculously steep forest cliffs or dips!
But the absolute bottom line is that you enjoy your credibly short time in the most beautiful country in Europe and that you have as many walks as you can fit in.. But we know what you have missed!
A word of caution.. Especially in the forests there are numerous promising paths and tracks that suddenly appear and then fade away just as quickly so you might end up in a farmers field or just abruptly stop at a dead end where foresters have piled their logs to be collected.. so quite seriously.. the most important bit of advice we give to lone hikers here is to ALWAYS remember your way back in case your new path turns to nothing!
We would genuinely recommend a Lodge Walk each day as part of the perfect Itinerary in Green Slovenia..
If we were new visitors and had a week or fortnight to spend in Green Slovenia at the Lodge, then we now know that for people who want to do some hiking here, then the perfect combination would be to go for a Lodge Walk sometime each day and spend the bulk of the rest of your time exploring and visiting the wonders of Green Slovenia, eating the fantastic local food, maybe eating some meals here at the lodge and relaxing with a good book or a glass of wine on our terraces! Wow, what a holiday!
And seriously.. DO NOT worry that you are inconveniencing us by asking to go on a walk..don't be shy, we want you to ask!! We want you to see some of the ultra secret places around here.. We want you to relax and enjoy the nature that you very probably do not have at home!
When is the best time to come for Lodge Walks?.. We always advise that the very best time to see Green Slovenia in the sunshine, when nature is at it's very best and there are few other visitors are in April, May, September and October.. but if you cannot make it then, it doesn't matter.
We get every season here.. sometimes in just one day!, but we walk every day and usually take the neighbour's dog with us on our walk.. sometimes we both go, sometimes just one of us, sometimes after breakfast, sometimes in the middle of the day or before sunset..
We know places to go if it is icy, sunny or rainy and we can now read the forest paths like a map.. but as we still find new paths.. there are so many!
So there you have it.. a genuine offer that money can't buy.. You really should enjoy the main castle hike on your own, but if you would like some company and a little adventure on other days during your stay here.. then pack your hiking boots, borrow one of our walking sticks and come do a couple or more Lodge walks with us!
And we can tell you whilst hiking not to expect to get a photo of any of the animlas we mentioned.. we have tried and failed miserably with our camera phones, so now we know that if we are lucky enough to see something moving, we immediately freeze and milk the moment for all it is worth, it is so much better watching the white tail disappearing at rapid speed into the trees rather than grabbing for your phone and missing this special memory trying to snap a tiny unrecognisable blur on vour phone!
And this "Lodge Walks" section has been about DIRECT walks from the Lodge.. there is another whole world of fantastic hikes if you jump in the car and travel 10 mins or one hour.. you can check these out in our HIKING section.. and most of the hiking tracks here are possible with bikes too, so donćt forget our BIKES section!
Most of our walks do not even have a name as they are just in Green nature, but here are a few of the other walks you could do from here with mini descriptions!
• Dragon Walk.. see the local dragon and find out how he was defeated by a local shepherd boy.
• Secret Path to Predjama Castle.. gives you a wonderful view from low down below the castle as you come out of the forest.
• St James Pilgrilm's path.. several different local sections to try.. or do all of them in a day!
• Carter's Road (Mast Road).. follow the ancient road used to transport huge logs through Landol and on to Trieste and Venice.
• River Walk.. a winding stone track takes you to the local Nanos river, where you can also swim or go further into the countryside.
• Roman Road to St Georges Church.. follow the straight road to the picturesque church under the mountain.
• Early Bird Forester Walk.. get up early to see the sun rising over the morning forest and look for animal tracks.
• Lili's Landol Walks.. choose from 4 guided walks, all from our doorstep and all sure to amaze you by what you see and learn.
• Celtic fortress.. hike up to the prehistoric hill fort overlooking Landol with a fantastic view of the whole valley.
• Nanos Walk.. take a day to hike to the mountain base, go up to 1,262m, have some lunch and be back here for a cup of tea!
• Restaurant Walk.. 4 different off road walks to our local partner restaurants to sample delicious local food.
• Postojna Caves.. several routes, but the best is along the river and then on cross country paths, all off road.
• Stairway to Heaven.. walk to the St Lawrence mountain base and hike up the steep, staircase like slope to 1,019m with amazing views.
• Neanderthal Cave.. follow the forest road, the mini Nanos river, go past an old mill, a sleeping knight and discover this very old cave.
• Hayrack Forest Walk.. go through the forest to find the large wooden hayrack with museum and cevapcici (Serbian sausage) cafe.
• Little Nut walk.. round trip through several pretty villages to Orehek (Little Nut) village with abandoned castle.
• Roman Fortress hike.. walk up through the forest to visit the remains of a huge fortress guarding the road from Ljubljana to Rome, there is a museum and great pub next door.
• Dry Top Hike.. All day walk up into the forest to the peaks of the Nanos plateau and to the highest point, Suhi Vrh (Dry Top) 1,313m, with a hidden Italian bunker.
• Secret Cave.. it's a secret so we can't tell you any more!
So to round this special personal section off, here is a very small gallery below of some of the shots we did manage to get on our Lodge walks in all seasons and in all weather an in all flora and in all fauna.. happy hiking!