In Slovenia each season has a different colour. Winter is obviously white, which is the most natural colour for an Alpine country. This year the earliest green buds almost came ahead of the snow. But a couple of days after World Snow Day, Slovenia was finally covered in a thick blanket of snow. This pleased numerous snow lovers, ski-lift operators and organisers of sporting events such as the Alpine Skiing World Cup in Kranjska Gora and the FIS World Cup finals in Planica featuring the world’s best ski jumpers.
What is a snowy sleeping pill for nature is a wake-up call for all winter sports enthusiasts. Slovenia is the cradle of skiing in Central Europe. The beginnings of Slovenian skiing date back to the 17th century when a deep-snow skiing technique was developed on the Bloke plateau.
At the same time, Slovenia is probably one of the few countries where you can easily hit the ski slopes on a working day and later return to a meeting in the city. Almost every town has a ski resort nearby. What can be better in wintertime than carving or snowboarding on the slopes, occasionally pausing to sunbathe outside a mountain hut amidst snow-capped peaks? What can fill a person with greater freedom than deep-snow touring, snowshoeing or night-time tobogganing on a floodlit run in the Julian and Kamnik-Savinja Alps? Get to know snow-covered Slovenia!
Ljubljana is only 15 min away from Krvavec ski resort, where in January the violin superstar Vanessa Mae, under the guidance of a Slovenian ski instructor, fulfilled her dream and met the qualifying criteria for the Olympic Games in Sochi. Not far away, in the border triangle between Slovenia, Austria and Italy, lies Kranjska Gora, which won the title of the best Slovenian ski resort at the World Ski Awards late last year. From 8 to 9 March it will host the 53rd Vitranc Cup, men’s World Cup slalom and giant slalom competitions. The people of Kranjska Gora are also proud of one of the highest ski jumping hills in the world. Every year the ski jumping season comes to an end with the largest traditional sporting event – the ski jumping and ski flying World Cup in Planica. This year it will be held from 20 to 23 March.
Winter adventures are also available in the nearby Alpine areas of Bled and Bohinj. The romantic Vogel ski resort is located high above Lake Bohinj, while the Pokljuka plateau above Bled invites visitors with more than 30km of well-kept cross-country tracks. Near Idrija in the western part of Slovenia, there is Cerkno, a popular family ski resort. It may be true that the traditional Cerkno carnival masks, “laufarji”, the Cerkno runners, drive the winter away, but one of the most interesting carnival celebrations in Slovenia certainly attracts skiers rather than chases them away.
In eastern Slovenia you can find the resorts of Mariborsko Pohorje and Zreško Pohorje with Rogla. The first is famed as one of the best Slovenian ski resorts and the organiser of the women`s Golden Fox Alpine Skiing World Cup. Last weekend saw the anniversary 50th edition of the Golden Fox, but the celebration was marred by a rather “foxy” winter. First, the two races had to be relocated from Maribor to Kranjska Gora due to a lack of snow, and then the winter bared its teeth in Kranjska Gora so that one of the races was cancelled and the Golden Fox winners were announced only in the slalom event.
Turbulent start, good finish. Slovenia now counts on an active winter season. Not only on snow-covered slopes, but also in the spas, which can be reached in your ski boots. In the country between the Alps and the sea, everything is within reach and most ski resorts are well known for offering high-end spa experiences.