Winter in SLOVEnia

Published: 21.2.2011

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Winter in SLOVEnia

Four seasons, four charms of Slovenia. Feel them! Those who usually come in summer and are familiar with the country’s green landscapes may hardly recognise them in winter time and vice versa. In Slovenia, everything that is charming starts with a song – also in winter. In the Toboggan Polka, one may even hear a distinctive ”shshts” – the sound of a turn on a fresh snow! This hit song composed by the Avsenik brothers who are known worldwide as the kings of polka and the founding fathers of the popular folk music is one of those evergreens, which one can also hear on ski lifts and at après-ski parties on Slovenian ski slopes. Slovenia is probably one of the few countries where one can escape to a ski slope even in the middle of a working day and then return to the town on the same day.

Winter in SLOVEnia

Four seasons, four charms of Slovenia. Feel them! Those who usually come in summer and are familiar with the country’s green landscapes may hardly recognise them in winter time and vice versa. In Slovenia, everything that is charming starts with a song – also in winter. In the Toboggan Polka, one may even hear a distinctive ”shshts” – the sound of a turn on a fresh snow! This hit song composed by the Avsenik brothers who are known worldwide as the kings of polka and the founding fathers of the popular folk music is one of those evergreens, which one can also hear on ski lifts and at apre;s-ski parties on Slovenian ski slopes.

The Avsenik brothers, Slavko and Vilko, come from Gorenjska, a region featuring the highest and, therefore, usually snow-covered peaks. Slovenia is probably one of the few countries where one can escape to a ski slope even in the middle of a working day and then return to the town on the same day. Moreover, in making turns on snowy slopes, Slovenes have achieved a cult status, however not only owing to Tina Maze, the ambassadress of the Slovenian tourism and the record-holder in the overall standings in the women’s Alpine Ski World Cup. Having been the first to use wooden skies in order to be able to move across the winter landscape, be it for the purpose of hunting, daily errands or simply for pleasure, the skiers from the Bloke Plateau are known as pioneers in the Central Europe.

Shshts on fresh Slovenian snow

There is hardly anything more pleasant to be experienced in Slovenia in winter time than a ride down a snowy slope and a sunbath in front of a mountain hut amid the snow-covered peaks. Even more adrenaline and the feeling of freedom are released during ski touring on powder snow or while climbing frozen waterfalls. The winter romantic atmosphere from the tales is revived on treks in snowshoes on deep snow or while night sledding down the illuminated slopes in the middle of the Julian Alps and the Kamniško-Savinjske Alps. This year’s novelty is a single season ski pass, Active Slovenia (ESSV AS), which interconnects all major Slovenian ski resorts. For more information on the offer, please visit www.activeslo.com and the web portals of the ski centres.

A Country of the Alps and Winter Sports

A green, active and healthy Slovenia is a diversified Alpine country, which as to the number of superb achievements in winter sports is among the leading countries in the world. The Slovenians collected the record-breaking eight medals during the last Winter Olympic Games! We carry alpine skiing, Nordic disciplines and snowboarding in our hearts as hosts of the World Cup events. In winter, Slovenia abounds in natural snow. The modern ski centres boast a total of more than 300 km of ski runs and 280 km of winter cross-country trails. To sum up, almost every bigger place has a ski centre in its vicinity.

Alpine Skiing and Nordic Disciplines

For adventure, seekers who wish to have an even closer contact with nature there are excellent possibilities for ski touring in Slovenia. Fighting through the untouched powder snow and victorious mountain peak views are an unforgettable experience. In Slovenia, you can hire certified guides who will take care of your safety and show you spots around Kranjska Gora, Lake Bohinj, Vršič or Pokljuka where ski touring is especially popular. The Triglav National Park is an excellent starting point for cross-country skiing. The Pokljuka Plateau above Bled features more than 30 km of well-prepared cross-country ski trails. The plateau surrounded by forests has frequently hosted the Biathlon World Cup and is a popular training centre for athletes. Zreško Polje, the Rogla Cross-Country Centre, offers seven various polygons for each type of cross-country skiers. Both Pokljuka and Rogla offer accommodation supplemented by an excellent catering service. Slovenia is a country of long ski jumps. Planica where the Slovenian eagles learn how to fly best is well known for its Nordic Centre and the organisation of the World Cup Ski Jumping Finals. In the current competition season, this event will take place between 19 and 22 March. In winter, there are eight ski jumping hills at disposal: from the smallest for children to the second largest ski jumping hill in the world that lags behind the record-holder Vikersundbakken, Norway, by only ten metres.

Night Sledding and Torch Hikes

There are several Slovenian sports agencies which offer the possibility of organised sledding; the participants are driven to the hilltop and then take an amusing ride to the bottom of the hill. The feeling of speed, cold fresh air and peace in the snow-covered nature is a unique and invigorating experience. Night sledding amid the Alps additionally increases the heart rate, since the only source of light are the snow, the torches and the stars. The attractions of the Slovenian winter landscape can be discovered by taking a trip on dog sleds or on horse. Exciting winter adventures can also be experienced by ice climbing, winter fishing and skating. One of the most beautiful natural ice rinks can be found in the idyllic Jezersko region in the northern part of the country. The ice frequently covers several Alpine lakes, the most popular being Lake Bohinj and Lake Bled. Several Slovenian towns feature small open-air synthetic ice rinks near sport and shopping centres that add a special touch of magic to the festive holiday atmosphere.

In the Alpine and Sub-Alpine parts of Slovenia, many local people have grown up hand in hand with hiking and mountaineering. Today there are more than ten thousand kilometres of well-maintained mountain paths. The Alpine Association of Slovenia provides for their accessibility also when the country is covered in snow. From the mountains whose summits tower more than two thousand metres above sea level, there are breath-taking views on white peaks and valleys. Night hikes with torches through winter landscapes are especially romantic. A contribution to an authentic experience is made by hospitable mountain hut keepers. They are happy to offer the hikers a homemade Alpine tea, hot jota (bean and pickled turnip soup) or sour milk – delicacies which warm up a sporting heart. The Slovenian winter is characterised by lots of laughter and fun. In winter, almost every Slovenian family builds in front of their house a snowman with a small carrot instead of a nose. During the traditional event called Castles of King Matthew, which has been taking place under Mount Peca in Koroška since 1993, the teams from Slovenia and abroad are competing in building sculptures and castles made of ice and snow. On the other side that is in Kranjska Gora, there is the Ice Park where you can learn ice carving yourselves.

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