The Vitranc Cup is the pride of Kranjska Gora

Kranjska Gora. Photo: J.Skok /STB

February 2009

Kranjska Gora is a modern winter centre with a rich offer of wellness and high-quality accommodation and, of course, with a wide palette of options for recreation. Cross-country skiing tracks are well prepared, attracting more people every year. In the summer, Kranjska Gora is an excellent starting point for mountaineering, biking, or adrenaline sports for the truly brave.

Kranjska Gora winter sports centre is a place closely connected to the way Slovenes perceive skiing and its tradition. Kranjska Gora is more than just the location of World Cup ski competitions. It is the one cradle of Slovene alpine skiing that gave birth to our sporting heroes, true legends of winter sports. It is also the place where many Slovenians stood on skis for the first time.

The beautiful surroundings and great locations have their charm, and it is therefore no surprise that the love of skiing and almost religious interest in the World Cup matches were born here.

How did it all begin?

Plnica. Photo: Srdjan Živulović/BOBO

Kranjska Gora has an excellent location and is easily accessible, as it lies on the border between Slovenia, Italy and Austria. It was developed in the second half of the 14th century, when local people started cutting down the surrounding forests and turning them into farm land – mostly pasture for sheep and cattle.

The strategic importance of the location was evident during the First World War, when Russian captives built a military road over the 1611-meter high mountain pass Vršič connecting the Sava Valley with the valley of the Soča River, on the other side of the Julian Alps. Kranjska Gora started gaining a reputation as a tourist centre with the railway that made it accessible to visitors. Later, the name of Kranjska Gora became world-famous through ski jumps and ski flights at Planica. This encouraged the rapid tourist development of the area around Kranjska Gora, particularly when the first ski-lifts were opened on the slopes of Vitranc.

The people of Kranjska Gora are known for making sure that not only the sport part of the competition is enjoyable. They enliven the event by offering extensive tourist programmes in which several thousand people take part. This is no surprise, since the best Slovene performers light up the stage. So far, the explosion of fun has never disappointed


The mysterious village of Podkoren is even older than Kranjska Gora. It treasures beautiful stories from the times when there was no tourism in the Upper Sava Valley. A paved medieval road ran through the village that, as early as in the 15th century, served as a connecting point between the provinces of Kranjska and Koroška. The post carriages of the Austro-Hungarian Empire brought news from faraway lands via the Korensko sedlo pass. Until 1990, when the Karavanke tunnel was opened, Korensko sedlo road was the main traffic connection with Central and Northern Europe.

Kranjska Gora and Podkoren are connected by common history and the tourism success story due to the achievements of the heroes of the white slopes at the traditional World Ski Cup contest taking place there.

Text by Polona Prešeren, Sinfo, February 2009