Velika Planina, the "Great Plateau", is a real curiosity even in Slovenia. Like the Pokljuka Plateau, this region is famous for its fabulous alpine pastures and its unique wooden huts, which are common in Slovenian architecture. The village of 140 huts is a perfect excursion and gastronomic destination all year round.

Every spring, life moves back to the pasture. A bell from the pasture signals the arrival of the local shepherds. Life begins, the four-legged ones graze (cows, lambs, and goats), and local farmers start producing the usual dairy products and delicacies.

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The traditional alpine shepherd culture still lives in Velika Planina.

Quick Details

Velika Planina Details
Country Slovenia
Location Kamnik-Savinja Alps
Address Velika Planina, 1242 Slovenia
Highest point 1 666 m
Plateau's height 1 611 m
Distance from Ljubljana 50 km
Season All-year-around
Main season June - Aug
Cable car Jan - Dec | 09:00 - 17:00 | 17 - 10 euros
Recommended time 1 day
Attractions nearby Kamniska Bistrica valley

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Photos and videos

Map

Velika Planina map

Where is Velika Planina?

Address, map, distance, parking, getting there

Velika Planina is located in the Kamnik-Savinja Alps in northern Slovenia. The plateau is located next to the Kamniska Bistrica Valley, although it is not part of it, the easiest way to get to the plateau from there is by ski lift.

  • Distance from Ljubljana: 1.5 hours / 55 km
  • Distance from Bled: 1.5 hours / 78 km

For those looking for a bigger challenge, we can recommend a hiking tour. You will now need the right clothes and hiking boots, as the plateau is on 1 666 m.

Velika Planina map - Ljubljana distance

Cable car

If you go up by the cable car, you can park at the bottom of the lift. If you choose this solution, you don't have to be particularly prepared for the tour. On the top, the terrain is relatively flat and the trails are well marked. Many people set off in a pair of jeans and sneakers.

Use the cable car if you come with children or seniors.

You can take the cable car to the edge of the plateau to the Šimnovec stop. From there, you either walk on or switch to the two-seater lifts.

  • Season: Jan - Dec
  • Opening hours: 09:00 to 17:00 daily
  • Starting point: Kamniska Bistrica
  • Prices round trip: adult: 17-10 euros

What is Velika Planina?

Velika Planina is actually more than the 140 huts. There are also numerous pastures and hiking trails on the plateau. The plateau is located at an altitude of 1,611 meters.

The centre of the countryside is without a doubt the farmhouses mentioned earlier. The huts have been officially an independent settlement since 1985. It became an independent settlement when it was administratively separated from neighboring Žaga.

These houses are empty in winter. Local farmers move to the plateau in the spring (some only in the summer) and live here until mid-autumn. There are very few permanent residents in the settlement -  in 2013 there were only three.

The wooden farmhouses and their barns have a special architecture. These are one-bedroom apartments with a shingle-shaped oval roof that extends almost to ground level, so the space created by the extended roof is also suitable for keeping animals.

Among the few shepherd villages you find in Europe, Velika Planina has the most huts.

Shepherd's lunch

In addition to making dairy products, local farmers are trying to invite visitors to taste them. Daily menu, cheeses, cottage cheese, etc. you can taste it for a few euros. You should also try the local pastoral lunch, which includes sour milk, corn, or buckwheat puree.

A popular junction is the upper station of the lift. Here you can have lunch, drink, use the toilet. Although the food prepared here is also very delicious, it is better to have lunch with one of the hosts.

Accommodation

Some huts also provide accommodation, so in addition to lunch, you can stay in some of them. You can find accommodation on Velika Planina in season - either on booking.com or on AirBnB.

When is the season?

The high season runs from June to August when you are sure to find everything open. If you come in the fall or spring, you will most likely find the huts closed. In return, there will be no crowd.

The magical world of Velika Planina

Hike to Velika Planina

Hiking trails and routes

#1 A short hike from the cable car

If you decide to hike from the central stop (Simnovec), expect a slightly steep hike for half an hour. You will pass the House of Zelen and follow the Mala Planina sign, which is the great plain with the iconic shepherd houses.

#2 Long hike from the valley

On the plateau, you can also see special karst phenomena walking along diversified routes. One of the most popular hiking trails starts in the village of Stahovica. The road goes up to the highest point of the plateau, Gradišče. It takes approx. 4 hours uphill, and 3 hours downhill.

The hiking trail is signposted and maintained. The road is not technical, its difficulty lies more in its length.

Velika Planina hike Details
Duration 4 hrs up | 3 hrs down
Altitude difference 1 255 m
Highest point Gradišče (1 666 m)
Difficulty Intermediate
Start - and endpoint Stahovica village
Parking Calcit, Stahovica 15, 1242 Stahovica, Slovenia (next to the factory)

#3 Route

Factory -> Farm -> Branch (Pircev vrh / Pasja pec) -> Kisovec -> Domzalski-hut -> Mala Planina -> Gradisce

From the parking lot next to the factory, you will see the red road signs that you need to follow on foot. From here you need to drive approx. 2 km, until you reach a farm, in the yard of which the road continues. The road then turns into a cart road and leads to marked fission next to a water source.

Here you will hike uphill to the rest, which will be a comfortable bench. Reaching the bench, you reach a fork. You can go left to “Pasja peč” and to the right to “Pirčev vrh”. It does not matter which one you choose, because there is no significant difference between the lengths of the two roads and they will come together again later. If someone has a fear of height, choose “Pirčev vrh”.

The road continues at the Kisovec alpine meadow, above that - Mala Planina, a smaller part of Velika Planina. At Kisovec you have to turn left when you get out of the woods. The large Domžalski hut on the Mala Planina will be on the right and continue on a wider carriageway leading directly to the shepherd’s houses and the chapel of Velika Planina.

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If you still have strength, let’s continue on our way to Gradisce. This is found directly above the shepherd's houses.

#4 The way back

From Gradisce, return to the hut at Mala Planina Domžalski on the same road. From here, go straight to the Jarški hut. When you reach the house, turn slightly right and descend to the holiday homes of Mala Planina.

Return to the forest and follow the “Planina Kisovec” hiking sign, which points to the left. Take the road to the right until you reach the next meadow. The road turns sharply left towards the hut "Dom na Kisovcu". From here, take a narrow footpath towards Stahovica back to the car park.

Velika Planina, Slovenia