Written by Kaja Beton, October 2018, Photo: Kaja Beton and Jošt Gantar
Autumn steadily colours the leaves and changes nature into a wonderful painting on canvas. Set off on one of our suggested hiking tours where you can enjoy the autumn colours and wonderful nature.
We have chosen three circular hiking trails which locals like to take and on which you will enjoy the views of the autumn landscape. The first is where locals from Kropa and Kamna Gorica love to hike year-round, the second, in a somewhat different form, is popular among Radovljica's residents for walks and runs, whilst the third is visited by families from throughout Gorenjska as well as locals who want a bit of exercise and fresh air after work or before Sunday lunch.
Although the Vodiška planina mountain pasture, which lies on the Jelovica plateau, does not offer views of the surrounding peaks, it is nevertheless an excellent place to visit year-round. The forest which surrounds it on all sides offers contact with nature and tranquility, and in autumn wonderful colours too. If you would like to do a circular trip, enriched by discovering cultural heritage, you should choose to begin your hike in Kropa. Cars can be parked in the village centre or there is more space along the road towards Jamnik soon after the last house in the village. From there it is just a short walk to the remains of the Slovenian furnace (Slovenska peč), where you turn onto a forest path.
The first wonderful glimpse of nature is offered by the Kroparica stream, which roars through the steep riverbed.
At first the path to the mountain pasture ascends rapidly, here and there along the way you can catch your breath and admire the colourful treetops, and maybe even enjoy the sun's rays when it shines through. It takes around one hour to hike to the Vodiška planina mountain pasture. Once you reach the pasture you can enjoy pristine nature, whilst if you hike a little further up the grassy hill behind the Partisanski dom mountain hut, which is open year-round, you will be rewarded with wonderful views of the peaks of Begunščica and Storžič.
To return to the valley, from the giant linden tree in front of the mountain hut follow the widest track and walk onwards with the forest to your left, then re-enter the forest, turn right, and follow the signs to Kropa. The path will lead you to St. Lenart's Church in Kropa. From the church you can walk down to the centre of the village, where you can see the sights of interests of this old iron forging village, or instead continue on the road beside the Kroparica stream to return to the start.
Is there anywhere else where in just one walk you can cross the Sava Dolinka river, the Sava Bohinjka river and the Sava river itself? In Radol'ca you can! The path across three bridges is very popular among locals. Our version, which we have named 'Across the Three Savas', is somewhat different. It begins in the old town centre of Radovljica, while part of the route runs along the Sava River Trail.
From the old town centre of Radovljica walk down the road 'Cesta svobode' towards the Sava river and just before reaching the bridge turn right. On this part of the route you will actually be walking along part of the Sava River Trail, which is equipped with information boards and benches. Follow the trail to the Šobec campsite and enter the camp, which is open for walkers.
At the roundabout in the camp you can take either the path to the left or the one to the right – both paths lead to a wooden bridge over the Sava Dolinka river. This is the first of the three bridges that you wil cross. Cross the bridge, turn left and follow a well-trodden path across meadows. After a short ascent, followed by an immediate descent you will reach the Sava Bohinjka river. Cross the bridge, the second on your way, and turn left on the other side. First walk beside the Sava Bohinjka river on an unmade road, which further on becomes a tarmac road.
On reaching the junction you can make a sharp left turn to visit the confluence of the Sava Bohinjka and Sava Dolinka rivers, or continue straight ahead on the main road.
Look up and you will soon spot Radovljica on a promontory above the Sava river and then take the third bridge across the river. You can return to the old town centre on the same road (Cesta svobode) as for the outward trip, or turn right after the bridge and walk between houses close to the Sava river and the lush greenery on the outskirts of the town.
We love the path to St. Peter's church in all seasons, especially in autumn when the forest is a wonderful colour.
Here we suggest a circular route on the St. Peter's theme trail. The trail begins in the centre of Begunje na Gorenjskem, where there is an information board next to the car park opposite the Pri Jozovcu restaurant. You will approach the hill above Begunje along a forest trail from the southern side.
On reaching the top continue from the church ahead on the path to the Sankaška koča hut. To return to the valley take the path that leads down to the left from St. Peter's church. In the valley there is a children's playground at the Krpin recreation area, from where you can return to the centre of the valley along the track at the bottom of the former ski piste. You can round-off your trip with a walk through the park in the grounds of the Katzenstein Mansion, where in autumn the chestnut tree-lined avenue is a sight to be seen. In addition to the park, you can see the other attractions and museums of Begunje na Gorenjskem.
All the suggested hiking tours can be walked all year round. The trails are also shown on the Radol'ca hiking trails map, which is available at the Radovljica Tourist Information Centre.
Do you enjoy spending time in the forest in autumn? Share your experience of autumn forests with us and be in with a chance to win a Taste Radol'ca meal!