Whether you want to go for a short walk, or just go off and hike all day, Green Slovenia has the trail for you!
Our village of Landol is surrounded by a network of country tracks and old stone roads which were originally built for the local people to get to their land holdings, vegetable gardens or forests, but are now perfectly accessible for everyone and right on our doorstep!
These routes are also peppered with little strips planted full of vegetables, herbs and medicinal flowers, wood stacks, bee hives and pretty much anything else that can be grown or used from Green nature! They are a real joy to see and to walk next to.
You will almost certainly see lots of birds, even some hunting buzzards & hawks hovering over the open fields and forests looking for a meal. There are so many beautiful wild flowers here all around and if you are lucky, you might see a deer disappearing into the trees!
You can walk from the Lodge for as long or short as you please along kilometres of beautiful tracks into the forest, or the mountains, or the countryside, or through picturesque villages, or along the local river trail.
In fact, there are so many amazing walks direct from Lipizzaner Lodge that we had to do a whole other page called LODGE WALKS where you can find out more..
So now on this page we will put our hiking boots on and tell you a bit more about the HUGE variety of walks available from your luxury Green base at Lipizzaner Lodge..
Whether you tramp (NZ word for hike) straight off from our cafe terrace OR drive a little way to park up and do another fantastic hike OR combine one of the walks we will recommend below into your day’s adventure exploring Green Slovenia, it doesn't matter.. the main thing is you are out there enjoying the lovely Green nature..
Firstly, our most popular Guest Hikes at some really Local Secret Places.. here are just a few of the hikes we recommend again and again to our guests from all over the world.. all are completely free, but will give you a million dollars worth of memories!
Secret Path to Predjama Castle..
In our humble opinion the very best secret walk in Green Slovenia is the amazing forest track you can take directly from the Lodge to Predjama Castle, a fairytale fortress built into the side of a cliff and one of Slovenia's most popular tourist attractions!
It's just a 40 min walk along a sensational stone track through the forest from Landol. If you instead drove the 10 mins there, squeezing into the car park at the same eye level as the castle, you really wouldn’t have a clue how beautiful the biggest cliff castle in the world looks when you hike from Lipizzaner Lodge and pop out of the trees, next to the river 70m below..
Almost all of our guests who can walk, make the time to do this wonderful hike and their reward is to see this magical castle suddenly appear through the giant trees, hanging out of the stunning 123m high cliff.. no parking required!
Hike up, into or along Nanos mountain (1,313m)..
Green Slovenia's last mountain before the Mediterranean Sea is a huge Green rock called Nanos and can even be seen from Piran on the coast. It dominates the skyline behind Lipizzaner Lodge and is a long dinosaur tail of a mountain, covered in rocks, stone tracks and forest.. it is absolutely perfect for hiking.
There are so many ways to explore Nanos on foot.. You could even spend a fabulous day hiking directly there & back with lunch or a sandwich on the top and coming home a different way down..
There are also several little picturesque villages straddling the foothills, where you could park up and do a shorter hike up instead..
Local Dinaric Alps Mountains..
Slovenia actually has 4 different Alps and Nanos is the dramatic start of the Dinaric Alps which spread all the way down the Balkon coastal hinterlands.
The Dinaric hiking trail starts from Nanos and our position is such that numerous other treks like the St James pilgrim path, (marked by yellow arrows or a shell) which goes through central Europe out towards Spain and Italy, must also squeeze past Nanos!
The Lodge is surrounded by chains of these smaller Dinaric peaks, so you could spend a whole week hiking up a different one every day if you wanted!
We will shortly do a blog on this very subject, but in the meantime here is a link to one of those fantastic mountains, the Hike Up Weather Mountain, where you get fantastic views of Mediterranean, Continental AND Alpine Slovenia in one hike!
The Vipava Valley..Green Slovenia’s Biggest Secret Place..
We are also so lucky to be just over the other side of Nanos from Green Slovenia's biggest hidden secret, the uberamazing Green Vipava Wine Valley! Hiking is a totally under estimated activity over there and under developed for visitors in our humble opinion and you will be surprised how it is like a different Mediterranean world there, just 20 mins from the Lodge!
E Biking routes have opened up this incredibly beautiful 40km long wine valley, but we would also love to give you a map and draw some red crosses on it for you go off and do your own hike somewhere in this green Mediterranean oasis littered with vineyards and little churches dotting the multiple wiggly hills.
And we know some great natural places to have a dip to cool off on the other side of Nanos mountain and some lovely local people for you to drop in on and try local delicacies during your hike, to make your first visit to the Vipava Valley a truly amazing day!
Rakov Skocjan.. the Prehistoric Valley with the enormous Rock Arches..
It doesn't cost a bean to explore this uberamazing rock valley with 2 massive stone arches at either end, 3km apart! It would not be an exaggeration to say that 100% of our guests rock up at the Lodge never having heard of this place! But we draw them a map and try to send as many people there as possible..
You will not get a better rock walk anywhere in Europe and there are secret places here to find and explore. Do not confuse this place with the phenomenal Skocjan caves.. Rakov Skocjan is yet another wonder of nature, covered with rocks and hidden in the Green forest.
When you consider how many of the best known tourist spots are so close to the Lodge, it is often Rakov Skocjan that guests mention as their favourite surprise walk in their Slovenian adventures.. a name you may forget, but memories of going back several million years and climbing around a secret rock valley never to be forgotten!
The Rock Window.. (Okno)..
Another very popular day trip adventure that families can also do is to drive into the forests and approach Nanos from the other side to hike along a 1,000m high cliff with stunning views over the Vipava valley to find a 7m high natural rock window looking down into the valley!
It is another easy hike to find, marked with those red circles, through stony Karst cow fields and you might take a small diversion along the way to find the huge stone snail!
As you might have guessed by now, we have some other secret little rock surprises for guests to find on this particular route, but it is fair to say it is a completely unexpected treat and a wonderful way to get a sense of what the Green Karst is all about!
And it is also another fantastic route into the Vipava Valley to try the delightful food and wine options there.. probably the best options in all Green Slovenia and that is saying something!
There are also several ways to hike up from the Vipava valley all the way to this special Rock window..
The Green Heart Walk, a 22km hike..
Here is another secret hike for you to try out. It takes on average 5-6 hours and follows the shape of a heart, so the locals decided to call it the "Green Heart", you will see why they used "green" when you walk it!
The route circles a valley in bear country that is part flooded in the Winter by mysterious water that appears from sinkholes under the ground. You go through forest, visit several pretty villages, a water mill, the incredibly beautiful Sneznik (snow mountain) castle and other churches and sites to see. The terrain changes a lot during the walk but is relatively flat with only a few hills.
We can get you a very friendly guide to accompany you on the trip and there is also a great map with pictures on if you prefer to go it alone. This is a "must do" new walk for any keen hiker or nature lover and we hope pretty soon people will be saying, "have you done the Green Heart in Slovenia?"
Every October there is a special group hike along this route with entertainment and local food & drink at stalls along the way.. it is a really great day out.. We are regularly the only foreigners here, so if you want to do a really secret walk then this is the one for you!
Guess what.. we decided to write a Lipizzaner Lodge Green Slovenia Hiking Book and here it is! We realised that there are so many amazing hikes available at many of our own "secret places to visit places", so rather than actually writing a paper hiking book, here is our "book" below with links to all those amazing Places to Hike..
There are so many walks of different length and terrain for you to enjoy and maybe think about mixing into your day out.. You could hike for an hour or all day, but we do need to warn the average visitor that the signs here are not good at all, which is a shame and if Slovenia wants to encourage foreign visitors then more clear signs MUST be put up in English.. the language of tourism.
We have found some terrific hikes all over Green Slovenia and beyond on day trips to research for new secret places here.. so we will mention a few below with links to the articles we wrote on these places, which should help you decide whether that particular secret place is the one for you and will provide the hike for your day's adventure and of course, where to find that secret place!
So grab your reusable bottle of water, bag of nuts and hiking stick and please join us on this magical mystery tour of our secret places HIKING recommendations!
So let’s kick off with the flattest walk you can do here and this is a wonderful way to explore the Slovenian coastline by hiking from Portoroz to Piran! It’s easy to navigate.. just keep the warm, salty Adriatic sea to your left or right, depending which way you are going! This walk probably also has the most ice cream options available all along it that we can think of!
There is another superb flat promenade stretch from Koper, actually Zusterna, all the way to our favourite seaside town of Izola along the old road that has now been closed, so you have the prom all to yourself and could even roller skate here if you wanted!
There is a fab little hike and secret back door into Piran as well if you can get a parking space..
It all goes up from here in Slovenia though and there are lots of other coastal walks up and down or along the largest coastal cliffs in the Mediterranean. A future target of ours is to find the path that leads up from Strunjan to “the Cross” and the superb viewpoint on the hill.
Both the Italian and Croatian Adriatic coasts are easily reachable from the Lodge for a day out and if you venture over the border but above Trieste to Duino castle, there is a sensational walk from the castello there along the clifftop to Sistiana.. this walk is so old the rock is even smooth and shiny in places!
If you want to try a walk along the Istrian Croatian coast then there is no better place than magical Opatija, where the 12km long “Lungomare” was built along the rocky seaside to please the Austrian Emperor! Opatija is right in the middle of this stunning walk and a very nice place to eat out or try the local market.
Discover the Disappearing Lakes..
Green Slovenia is full of mysterious huge lakes that are full with water and host multitudes of birds in the winter.. then completely disappear in the summer, leaving a green paradise with caves and sink holes to explore!
In the winter you could hike around them, in the summer you can still do this, but you can also hike across them too!
The biggest disappearing lake in Europe at nearby Cerknica is so huge you would need several days to hike around it, but there are trails and tracks everywhere for shorter more manageable hiking treats..
And there are LOTS of other disappearing lakes to explore too! There is even a fab micro museum to explain all about the 17 Disappearing Lakes at Pivka and you could do a guided tour or hike yourself around the Grosuplje Disappearing Lake.
Let’s face it, you probably hadn’t even heard of this massive Cerknica lake, so there is zero chance you know about the Planina Disappearing Lake with Rapunzel’s tower and Baby Dragon cave, but it is so huge you can see it all the way from the motorway!
Other Lakes & Gorges..
You might have heard of that other lake that we also have here!.. So often voted as the best example of a picture perfect Alpine lake in the world.. what was it called again.. ah yes, Lake Bled, 60 mins from the Lodge and stunning!
Make sure your camera phone has a full battery when you walk around here as there are so many photos to take and if you want a bit more activity and amazing views, then do hike up to the castle (Grad) on the cliff and then down the steps to make your walk a bit more challenging.
But we wanted to tell you that it is possible to hike to the stunning Vintgar gorge from Bled by doing a loop.. it does involve some local roads, so be careful, but it is a great way to see more of the hinterland Bled area and to avoid that tiny gorge car park!
If you had the spectacularly beautiful Vintgar Gorge in your country it would probably be the best gorge, but in our humble opinion it is only number 4 in Green Slovenia!
Yep, we reckon the best gorge around is Mostnica, (Little Bridge Gorge), which you can do in a 2 hour hike from the beautiful Lake Bohinj, just 25 mins down the road from Bled!
You can do a much longer hike at Mostnica though and we really recommend this.. walk up the stunning gorge on the right hand side, (when you come back go on the other side of the gorge), then after the bridge go all the way up into the Alps for a total 5-6 hour roundtrip to the Mostnica Slap, (Waterfall).. a fantastic and relatively gentle hike, partly on a forest path then on a stone track with the mountains looming above you and a pub near the waterfall for lunch!
The walk around Tolmin Gorge is fantastic enough, but we also found a steep, but safe hike up from there past Devil’s Bridge, Dante’s Cave and high up into the forest on some stone steps for fab views and we call this the hike to Slovenia’s best secret mountain café!
We know a fantastic secret hike to the 3rd best gorge in Slovenia on the other side of the Soca river across the main road and starting from the village of Soca. It takes you away from the busy road and along a quiet farm track directly to this magical Soca Gorge.
If you can make time you could continue down river from the Soca Gorge to find the Lepena river and hike up alongside it on a really great track with tree roots sticking out everywhere to find the multiple Lepena waterfalls.. another wonder of Green nature!
You could follow the Alpe Adria trail into the Gorica wine hills to find Cramp Gorge.. the hills here go up and down like a rollercoaster and there are even deserted villages on the skyline.. almost impossible to believe in an area so beautiful, but this particular Slovenian wine region really is a stunning and uberquiet place for a hike.
Right up the top of this little country you can also find the beautiful man made lake Jezersko which has a really good local restaurant and is a perfect starting point for a day’s hiking into the Kamnik Alps.
Waterfalls.. (if you thought there were a lot of Gorges, check these Waterfalls out)!
In truth it is a toss of the coin between the walk to Predjama castle and the hike to Kozjak Waterfall for our choice as the very best hike in Green Slovenia.
Both are mysterious, splashing with nature and water and have the most amazing rewards at the end of them.. In the case of Kozjak, you can hike from the pretty Alpine village of Kobarid or the secret car park along the Soca river and see a wonky swing bridge over that beautiful river.. then you take a trip up a tributary river with massive ferns and huge horizontal rock cliff faces, crossing little Hobbit bridges to climb up onto a wooden boardwalk and catch your first glimpse of the most beautiful waterfall in Slovenia.. Kojak.. who loves ya baby! (Younger hikers please ask older hikers who Kojak was)!
There is a shorter and fantastic hike up into the forest to find the little wooden bridge that leads to the huge Pericnik waterfall.. you can almost reach out and touch this one!
Not so far from here, near Kranska Gora there is a really great hike to find the two waterfalls of Martuljek Forest.. this is a longer hike and a real adventure where you have to scramble a little up a rocky forest, cross a river and follow the signs for Slap 1 and Slap 2!
Boka Falls.. the Big One has a really fantastic rock path up through the forest where you pop out onto a viewing platform to look across at Slovenia’s highest waterfall.. Not far from there along a single narrow road you could do some very quiet hiking to the Virje waterfall, best described as in the middle of nowhere!
In the Kamnik Alps there is an incredibly secret, but amazing forest path to follow by a working water mill to the Repov falls, a triple falls. It feels a bit Raiders of the Lost Ark here in the jungle forest, with ladders, steps and big boulders, but is a great stop off for a short hike and a wonderful surprise at the end of it!
Nearer to Kamnik you could easily spend all day surrounded by high mountains and hike in the thick forest from the source of the Kamnik Bistrica river to the Kamnik gorge and then up to the Organ waterfall.. we actually climbed up this multiple falls on our hands and knees.. it was nothing short of epic!
River Sources or Springs..
We also recently found a couple of different hikes to some fantastic secret places where rivers start their journeys here in Green Slovenia!
The ultra secret Kadice springs is a short hike, but magical and very secret indeed.. You could easily combine a vist here with a trip to nearby Ribnica to see the Source of the Ribnica where the Ribnica river starts.. what a day.. you certainly won't find that combo in any guidebook!
The most beautiful river in Europe, the Soca, pops out of the rocks near a pub, where you can park up and follow a trail to hike a bit and climb a bit and see the turquoise crystal clear water bursting out of a natural well at the very Source of the Soca river..
Secret WW2 Forest Hospitals..
And hidden away in the middle of the same forest where the Organ waterfall is.. nestled beside a cliff, waterfall and river is the Bela secret WW2 Partisan forest hospital.. a short, but essential detour off the trail to the waterfall and one of several amazing & unique Slovenian secret forest hospitals.
You can do a longer hike from a pub car park to the best micro museum in Slovenia, which is the preserved site of another secret hospital called Franja, near Cerkno.. or you could hike all the way from the town or just park at the museum car park and follow the shorter marked hike up to the most fantastic collection of historical wooden huts half way up a mountain, next to a river that you will ever see!
There is quite a short, but tricky hike to find the secret WW2 Partisan Printing Press near Idrija, hidden in the forest and hanging off the side of a mountain, but it is totally magical and historical and well worth it.. we recently found yet another completely unknown secret hospital at Zalesje in the middle of the forest, but you could park up and do a fantastic hike there from the nearby village where they have a small secret hospital museum.
Be honest.. did you ever imagine you might spend the most wonderful day hiking to a secret hospital in the middle of the Slovenian forest before reading this section!!
Cable Cars & Mountain Tops..
There are some sensational hikes available from the Vogel, (lake Bohinj) and Velika Planina, Big Mountain Meadow, cable cars.. only to be taken on clear sunny days, which we do get a lot of here on the sunny side of the Alps!
You could also hike directly up to the top of mt Vogel (1,922m) or approach Velika Planina (1,666m) from the other side of the flat top meadow mountain for a 1-2 hour hike up through the forest to the little Hobbit village on top.
If you wanted to stretch your legs at the top of Slovenia’s most popular mountain pass at Vrsic, (1,611m), there is a marked hiking trail from the first car park at the top to the second one and we much prefer the pretty café and surroundings at the second!
We will leave the other numerous high Alpine trails to the mountain goats and guidebooks, but just let you know that you that Slovenia’s 3 other Alpine regions are the Julian Alps, (Bled and Bohinj), the Karavanke Alps shared with Austria and the Kamnik Alps.
There are no shortage of mountain hikes, so we won’t say much more here about one of the few well known and well publicised sectors of Slovenian tourism, but do think about it.. there are a LOT of mountains here, so you don’t necessarily have to hike the biggest of them all, Triglav, (2,684m) with all the other people to get a good view or experience!
And we recently found a sensational 2-3 hour hike on top of the 1,500m high Rogla mountain up to a huge, but mini Pine Tree Forest with Magical Mountain Ponds! This hike will blow the top off your Wowometer!
How about hiking out high above Tolmin Gorge to find the secret Javorca Church and then maybe continuing from there to find the source of the Tolminka river!
Last but not least, our final tip for now is Mt Blegos, (1,562m) where you can get an excellent view of these 3 Alpine regions and a mighty fine hike into the bargain. You might prefer to E Bike up Blegos in the little known, but stunning Poljane valley and then just hike up to the dome summit and that amazing view.
So you would need several months here in the most beautiful country in Europe just to even attempt all the hikes we have mentioned here.. you won’t be surprised to know now that there are numerous other hiking possibilities.
But we hope we have helped a little so you can maybe choose a few “doable” hikes for your adventure in Green Slovenia and we wish you happy hiking!