Listed among the most popular hiking destinations, Velika Planina, a scenic high mountain pasture, is located a short drive from Ljubljana. Not only does it afford incredible views of the surrounding peaks, this place also bears great cultural significance. It’s home to Europe’s few surviving authentic shepherds’ villages, where the traditional Alpine way of life has been preserved. Part of the Kamnik-Savinja Alps, Velika Planina’s landscape is characterized by karst phenomena (dolines, hollows) and is criss-crossed with an extensive network of hiking and biking trails. There are several ways of reaching Velika Planina, the most convenient being by cable car. However, numerous mountain trails of varying difficulty come highly recommended. During winter, when the entire region is covered in snow, the plateau transforms into a dreamlike winter wonderland. In June, the local herdsmen bring their cattle to graze at Velika Planina. They live in their cute alpine huts throughout the summer and occasionally sell their dairy products, including the famous Trnič cheese. There’s also a museum at Preskar’s Hut, which offers a superb insight into life in the mountains. Besides the huts, the Chapel of St. Mary of the Snows is very much worth a visit.
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