You love cycling in pristine, wild nature? Good. You don’t mind leaving the bike parked and do some exploring on your own feet? Perfect. Slovenia Green’s Solčava Panoramic Route will leave you speechless.
This biking and hiking route will guide you along the pearls of the natural and cultural heritage of the Solčava Region, and trust us, this little piece of heaven has lots of both. Breathtaking views of the valleys, surrounded with rocky peaks, filled with many highland farms, which are still producing everything nature offers and man creates with love. Along the trail, on which you might need to give way to shepherds sometimes, there are (at least) twenty unforgettable stops. And since you’ll never be far from the main road that connects the Logar Valley, Matkov kot, Robanov kot, and Podolševa, you can adjust your daily trips by your wishes or capabilities. Welcome to Slovenia Green Solčava Panoramic Route!
Slovenia Green routes are recommended itineraries for your green travel in Slovenia.
Why are they special?
Slovenia Green routes connect exclusively destinations that have been awarded the Slovenia Green certificate by committing to a green future and developing their tourism in a sustainable manner.
To explore the first, 35 kilometers long stage, you should take your bicycle, as the route will guide you along the paved and gravel road above the valley (up to 1.200 m high), meaning you’ll enjoy fantastic views of the valley and mountain peaks on the other side. You’ll start in Solčava (650 m), a town that’s located in the valley of Savinja river, and just a couple of pedal rotations later you’ll find yourself in the wild, unspoiled nature. On the way you can stop in some of the highland farms from which some also offer overnight accommodation and very special culinary delicacies. So, when you feel a lack of energy, just say ‘dober dan’ (which is a nice way to say ‘hi’ in Slovenia) and ask what’s on the daily menu.
Make sure you don’t miss one of the most stunning panoramic lookout points in Slovenia; take a short walk above the Klemenšek farm and make a click that will make your social media followers envy.
If you find the first half of the route demanding, don’t worry – from the half-point on the gravity will help you to return to Solčava with the wind in your hair.
While having an early breakfast you should decide: do I want to stay on the bike for the whole day or would it be nice also to stretch my legs a bit? If you decide on the second option, pack two more things: light walking shoes and a lock for your bike. The cycling route will be taking you west towards the Mt. Raduha, but don’t get scared – you don’t need to climb all the way up.
After gaining about 650 m of altitude you can park your bike next to the Bukovc excursion farm, the highest located farm in Slovenia (1.327m) and take an easy 45-minutes hike to a Grohot mountain lodge, a pleasant mountain shelter on the mountain pasture below the northern walls of Raduha. You can pedal all the way up to Grohot, too, but expect to sweat your shirt on the last part. You’ll be awarded in both cases: guests are invited to sit on the terrace and enjoy the view and local delicacies, while children can play with the wooden sheep.
There are quite a few more hiking options from Grohot, including a 2-hours climb to Mt. Raduha, so if you have a desire to hike a lot, plan an early morning departure and expect late arrival back to Solčava.
It’s time to leave your bike a bit of a rest and do a bit of hiking. Solčava is a small Alpine village nestled in the narrow and deep upper region of the Savinja Valley and that’s why it’s a great starting point for daily hiking trips.
Have you ever wondered how and where people lived 35.000 years ago? You have a great chance to see it yourself by walking to Potok Cave or ‘Potočka zijavka’. This high-elevation archeological and paleontological site was systematically excavated in 1928-1935 by a Slovenian archeologist Srečko Brodar. Bones of more than 40 animal species were found, as well as arrowheads and the world’s oldest bone sewing needle. A hike to Potočka Zijavka (1.630 m) is 9,9 kilometers long If you start from the bottom of the valley (restaurant and museum Firšt). You can shorten it if you start from the intersection with the Solčava Panoramic Road.
A bit younger than the sewing needle from the cave – but still alive – is an ancient yew tree, which is from 700 to 900 years old, while some even claim it’s older than 1.000 years. This Solčava yew tree is female, and it still bears red berries. The hike from Solčava takes just about 20 minutes.
Thirsty? Visit the spring of the mineral water at the foot of Mt. Olševa, just about 50m from the Solčava Panoramic Road near the Klemenšek farm. The water is believed to possess healing powers based on its high iron and carbon dioxide contents. It is drinkable; however, its taste is rather unusual.
On this day we can also recommend doing the short, but interesting “Fida’s Grove themed trail” and visiting one of the exhibitions: at the Rinka Centre there’s a permanent exhibition on life and nature in the Solčava region “Solčava – a Journey into the Heart of the Alps”. Another interesting one is an exhibition on caves and fossils “Stories Carved in Stone” introducing the geology of the Kamnik-Savinja Alps and the Karavanke mountains, while there’s also a temporary exhibition of wool products and Solčava mountain wood.
With only 5km in length, ‘Matkov kot’ is a small valley, nestled between the Logar valley and Austria. It is the smallest of all the Solčava Region valleys (the other two are the Logar Valley and Robanov kot). The main attraction in the valley is the ‘Matkov škaf’, a crater-like snow funnel carved in spring by a 40 m tall waterfall. Warning: don’t try to climb on or in the snow funnel without the crampons and ice axes (yes, even in the summer). – you can’t make a very good Instagram post from the bottom of a snow hole.
Like in any of the Solčava valleys, you can visit one of the alpine farms (Matk, Perk, Gradišnik) where you can rest and try some of the homemade delicacies.
New day, new valley! Robanov kot, located west of the road between Luče and Solčava, is a hidden jewel, hosting far fewer visitors compared to the neighboring Logar Valley. Its natural beauties, tranquility, and inaccessibility make Robanov kot a sanctuary in between the mountains. Here, there are no holiday cottages – only solid mountain farms. We offer two hiking options:
With Mt. Strelovec on one and Mt. Križevnik on the other side, you can’t make a wrong turn once in a Robanov kot valley. You just walk straight towards mighty Ojstrica mountain until you hit a small mountain hut on the beautiful mountain meadow. During the season they’ll be happy to serve you a portion of soured milk or a simple homemade meal. For a heartier snack, you should stop at the Govc-Vršnik farm on the way back.
If you’d like to see Robanov kot from the bird’s perspective, Mt. Strelovec is a hill to climb. It’ll take you approx. three hours, but the 360-degree panorama from the top is totally worth it. You’ll see Robanov kot on one side and Logar valley on the other side, while you’ll feel that the rough mountain peaks of Kamnik-Savinja Alps can be touched by your hand.
Save the best for last, they say – but after the last five days you can already agree it can’t really get any better. Is that right? See it yourself: the Logar valley is considered one of the most beautiful and most frequently portrayed alpine glacial valleys in Europe and was declared a landscape park in 1987. There are three options you can choose from for that day.
Depending on your fitness you can explore the valley on foot from the beginning till the breathtaking Rinka waterfall (that’s totally approx. 7 kilometers one way). With 90m height, the Rinka waterfall is the second highest waterfall in Slovenia. The best viewpoint is the “Orlovo gnezdo” (Eagle’s nest) snack bar just a couple of meters from the water falling over the orange-colored rocks. It’s also possible to discover this 7 kilometers long themed hike in a company of a local guide.
A steep and quite demanding walk from Rinka waterfall for another two and a half hours towards the hearth of the Kamnik-Savinja Alps will be rewarded with a view you’ll never forget. In the sunny weather, you won’t see only Logar valley and other places you’ve discovered in the past five days, but also the rest of Kamnik-Savinja peaks and a part of Slovenia that lies south from the mountains. There’s a mountain hut just beneath the saddle and a freight cable car helps they don’t run out of food and drinks. Enjoy! If you don’t feel 100% about hiking in the high mountains (Kamnik Saddle is 1.864 m high), ask for a local guide.
Visitors will be able to admire the small Alpine cirque located amidst the highest peaks in the area (Mt. Ojstrica, 2,350m). Hikers may take advantage of the tasty homemade food both at the beginning and end of the trail. Just a 10 minutes walk from the hut near the “Klemenča jama” is the famous larch tree with the greatest girth in Slovenia, while on the way back you can also see the Fairytale Forest near the Na Razpotju inn. Now you know already our suggestion on how to end the day: in one of the local farmhouses. Cheers!