Ski Resorts

Mt Kanin skiing resort. Photo B. Kladnik/STB

Arguably, in the past few years, ski resorts have slowly but steadily become one of the most recognisable features of Slovenian tourism. A generous amount of snowfall is Mother Nature’s reward for the managers of Slovenia’s ski resorts for their efforts and investments in the development of airlifts. Most ski resorts offer après ski, which meets the demands of modern clients who find it important, besides well-maintained ski runs and reliable service, to be able to fully enjoy themselves in the chalets on the slopes immediately after skiing.

If we were to ask a random Slovenian passing by in the street to name a national sport, the answer would be, without hesitation, skiing. Skiing and everything related to it boast a venerable tradition in this country, and for many years – or winters, to be precise – Slovenian skiers have delighted their fans with excellent results.

Krvavec skiing resort. Photo: J. Skok/STB

The long skiing tradition is attested by the writings of Sigmund von Herberstein, in 1549, where he mentions the Bloke Plateau and the local skiers. The Bloke Plateau is the cradle of an original popular skiing tradition, one of the oldest in Europe.  A good century later, in 1689, in his book The Glory of the Duchy of Carniola Valvasor described quite precisely the local skis, which were used primarily as a means of transport.

In Slovenia, there are dozens of well-tended ski resorts, with lift systems, the best known being Kranjska gora and Mariborsko Pohorje, which both also host Alpine Skiing World Cup races. In the coming season, the annual women’s races for the Golden Fox Trophy at Pohorje will take place in late January, while Kranjska Gora will welcome men competing for the Vitranc Trophy towards the end of February. Both competitions traditionally consist of a slalom and a giant slalom event.

The highest ski slopes in Slovenia can be found on Mt Kanin, in the west of Slovenia, overlooking the small town of Bovec in the Soča River valley. The pistes of this high mountain resort reach altitudes exceeding 2000m above sea level, so the skiing season can last until May. On a clear day, the fine views from the slopes take in the Alps and the Adriatic.

The Kranjska Gora winter resort is almost legendary. The slopes lie very near the triple border between Slovenia, Austria and Italy and are surrounded by the high peaks of the Julian Alps. For many Slovenes, Kranjska Gora is the place where they first come in contact with skis and learn their first curves.

A firm favourite for the people of Ljubljana is the Mt Krvavec winter resort, which is only a thirty minute drive away from the capital. The trails lie on pastureland, so there is no need for large amounts of snow in order to enjoy good skiing. In optimal winter conditions, the skiing season can last up to 150 days.

In the vicinity of Slovenia’s second largest city, Maribor, lie the skiing slopes of Mariborsko Pohorje, which is also a venue for Alpine Skiing World Cup events. Another popular skiing destination in the Štajerska region is Rogla, a natural climate health resort and a well-equipped recreational sports centre. An added bonus is the proximity of the Terme Zreče Thermal Spa, which offers the best of health resort services. The key advantage of the Mt Vogel resort overlooking Lake Bohinj is the fact that its slopes are covered exclusively with natural snow. The modern lift systems at the Cerkno skiing resort make it one of the best-equipped winter sports centres in Slovenia.

Slovenian mountains offer many off-piste skiing opportunities. A wide selection of additional winter sports activities is the prerequisite for perfect winter pleasures. A winter holiday in Slovenia can be made even more fun with snowmobile excursions, and some places offer dog sled rides or horse-drawn sleigh excursions. Sledding downhill from the snow-clad Vršič and Mangart mountain passes – closed to traffic during the winter – is a rewarding experience.

You can find more information on Slovenia Ski info  and Association Ropeways of Slovenia  (Slovenian only).