I didn’t know how to pronounce Jezersko when I arrived in Slovenia. Granted, I didn’t know how to pronounce the capital city in which I landed (Ljubljana), either. Over the course of a few days chatting with locals in cafes and ice cream stores (this is summer in Slovenia after all), I began to brush up on my language skills and before I knew it, I was pronouncing my J’s as Y’s like a local.
Slovenia is the dream destination you didn’t know you had. Before boarding my flight from London Heathrow bound for Ljubljana, I got chatting with a British guy about my next destination. He had never heard of Slovenia before.
A small country in central Europe, Slovenia was the first to separate from the former Yugoslavia. Partly because of this early independence, they have enjoyed huge economic success and are one of Europe’s success stories. It is a safe country to travel solo and still somehow located off the beaten path, despite being wedged between popular tourist destinations like Austria, Italy and Croatia. I went further off the beaten path to the mountains of Jezersko for a little R&R in the North of the country, close to the Austrian border.
Stay: Vila Planinka
I visited Jezersko with one destination in mind: Vila Planinka. This resort only opened this year but has already become one of the most sought after stays in Slovenia.
The concept of Vila Planinka is to unplug and recharge with nature. Guests are encouraged to switch off their phones during their visit and take the time to enjoy time offline. If this scares you, fear not. There is wi-fi connection in the main living area.
The villa dubs itself as nature’s secret spot and it isn’t hard to see why. There are many popular destinations in Slovenia that have a name with international visitors but for the most part, Jezersko does not. It is still a secret.
Located just a fifteen minute drive from the southern border with Austria, the location is enviable to say the least. During summer there are some great short day hikes to enjoy and through winter ski season brings a new appeal.
Another highlight of my stay was the focus on local produce and showcasing typical food for the region. The chef was always around to chat about the food – its origin and why it was important to this part of Slovenia. Try the štruklji dumplings – you won’t regret it!
I soon discovered there was much more to Jezersko than just Vila Planinka (although this is reason enough to put Jezersko on your Slovenian travel plans). Mountaineering, day hikes and summer lake culture are just the start of your adventure. The highlight itself is to simply be here in the mountains, but here are a few highlights to look out for regardless:
Grintovec – With an elevation of 2,558 metres, Grintovec is a popular choice for hiking in the summer and skiing in the winter months.
Storžic – The second highest peak, Storžic has a great panoramic view of the region.
Kokra River – On your way to Jezersko from elsewhere in Slovenia you will pass the Kokra River more times than you can count. The drive is incredibly scenic with plenty of hairpin bends so keep your wits about you!
Jezersko can be reached in just under one hour from Ljubljana, Slovenia’s capital. It is a beautiful drive through the countryside so be sure to allow 2-3 hours additional time if you wish to stop.
I can highly recommend stopping at Kranj and Škofja Loka on the way (especially the latter, this town is something out of a movie!)
Vila Planinka room rates start at €225 per room, per night. This includes breakfast.