Hiking and biking around Velika Planina and Bled

After our day in Ljubljana we met back up with Bostjan to go on our first day hike to Velika Planina.

Velika Planina, Slovenia’s largest alpine meadow, is where the farmers move their animals, particularly cows, in the summer. Not surprisingly then, one thing you see a lot of along the way are cows.

The hike was the first of many for us this week. From where we parked the car we made our way along the path with Bostjan until we reached the highest point at 1,666 meters.

On the way back down we stopped at the little village just below the highpoint (peak seems like an exaggeration) where the farmers live during the summer while their cattle are up in the meadows.

In the village, we stopped for a quick famers lunch. Katy had a cheese plate while I had some mush with crackling, a bowl of sour milk and a beer. The mush and crackling was surprisingly good. The sour milk wasn’t really my thing, but I finished it up to avoid being rude, especially considering Bostjan said that the farmers likely had these options for three meals a day while tending their herds.

After lunch we made our way back down to the van and then headed towards Bled, our final destination for the day. One hike down and Ella had covered 9.09 km with 355m of climbing.

The tree house

Bled is best known for being home to a beautiful lake with a castle overlooking it and a church on an island. It’s also where we would find the part of our trip Ella was most excited about, spending a night in a tree house.

The tree houses are part of a hotel called Garden Village which would be our home for three days.

The treehouse didn’t disappoint. Not only was it a large treehouse where we could all sleep, complete with running water, it also had a second floor with a hammock.

The only thing more exciting for Ella than the treehouse was the pool. Why? Because it was more of glamour swimming pond, complete with hundreds of tadpoles and tiny frogs.

The hotel gardens were also full of fresh fruit that Ella and Katy enjoyed picking for an on the go snack.

A tourism biathlon

For our second day in Bled, Domen at Slotrips had mapped out a biking and hiking route around the lake and beyond.

In all, the tour covered 25km with around 500m of climbing. It started with a 6km bike ride to Vintgar Gorge.

From there we walked along the amazing gorge, with the many tourists. At the end of the Gorge, where most people turned back we continued on to loop around the long way to where had we left the bikes and some well deserved cold treats.

Back on the bikes we made our way around the lake and over to our next hike, a short but very steep climb up Ojstica to stop at two views of the lake – both spectacular.

By this point, Ella (and Katy and I) were getting tired so there were no complaints when the last bike section of our journey was only a few minutes long.

Rather than head straight back to the hotel we decided that more cold treats by the lake were in order. This time more ice cream for Ella and a wine and beer for Katy and me.

Glamping time

While we had been out exploring, the hotel staff had kindly moved our bags out of the tree house and into our glamping tent, complete with a wooden hot tub.

Buses, gondolas and chairlifts

For our last day in Bled, we left the bikes behind and hopped on a bus to Lake Bohinj located in Triglav National Park.

Domen had mapped out some longer walks and bike rides for us around Lake Bohinj but we opted for a more relaxed day. Instead of getting off the bus in Lake Bohinj we went the extra stop to the base of the cable car up to the Vogel ski resort. The views of the lake below were spectacular and walking onto the chairlift without skis, was a highlight for Ella.

Back at the base, we got the tourist boat back across the lake to the town where we had a quick snack and got on the bus back to Bled.

Back at the hotel, we grabbed the bikes one last time for a quick ride down to Lake Bled for a casual tour and swim in the lake.

As had been the case the night before, the lure of the hotel and the availability of the great food at the restaurant was too much to justify the 20 min walk to try a different restaurant.

Besides, Ella wanted to hangout with the tadpoles while we ate.

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