Lunch with a view. Enjoy a delicious meal at one of Radovljica's mountain huts.
Lovely sunny days are ideal for heading to the mountains that encircle Radovljica and its surroundings. This summer, why not stop off at one of the many mountain huts where you can enjoy a delicious meal with a view. We set off to take a peek inside to find out what's cooking in the surrounding mountain huts. Read on to find out more!
There's plenty of good food to be found at the classic Slovenian mountain huts high above Radovljica and its surroundings: from žganci, stews and štruklji to aromatic bread and a variety of other dishes and drinks featuring local ingredients.
So, let's work our way from Mt. Begunjščica towards the Preval mountain pasture, via Mt. Dobrča and the Goška ravan mountain pasture all the way to the Vodiška planina mountain pasture.
First, let's take a quick leap back a few years, when in 2017 the Roblekov dom mountain hut (1,657 metres above sea level) was awarded the title 'Best Mountain Hut'.
According to the current caretaker of the hut, Simon Koščak, they cook 'standard' food: “Main courses include jota (cabbage and potato stew, with or without Carniolan sausage), ričet (barley stew), obara (various types of stew) and farmers' feast. We bake own own bread and also make curd cheese štruklji and strudel. The latter is usually apple, but we add raspberries or blackberries when they are in season. We also offer sour milk and buckwheat with pork crackling.”
If you head to the Roblekov dom mountain hut at the weekend, you might be lucky enough to enjoy your mountain lunch accompanied by well-known tracks played on the accordion, such as Na Roblek bom odšel. “Every fortnight or so we also have music here at the hut,” explains the caretaker.
And here's an interesting fact: According to the online lexicon Obrazi slovenskih pokrajin (The Face of Slovenia's Regions), Hugo Roblek (1871–1920) was a pharmacist and mountaineer who was closely connected to Radovljica. ‘Jakob Aljaz and Hugo Roblek laid the foundations of Slovenian mountaineering in Gorenjska,’ mentions the lexicon, adding that in 1895, Hugo Roblek and Janko Vilfan founded the Radovljica branch of the Slovenian Alpine Association: ‘In his will, Hugo Roblek left his house to the Radovljica branch of the Slovenian Alpine Association. In 1933, the money obtained from the sale of the house was used to build the Roblekov dom mountain hut on Mt. Begunščica.’
Snack at the Roblekov dom mountain hut
We found out that, mainly at weekends, homecooked food is available on the Preval mountain pasture (1,311 metres above sea level). That's when the aromas of stews and žganci waft from the kitchen, as well as homemade curd cheese štruklji. The latter are served with breadcrumbs and jam or, for a special treat, when still hot, topped with a bar of chocolate that slowly melts to form a sauce.
Sour milk is also available on the Preval mountain pasture, hence we can also add that the milk for the curd cheese, which is used to fill the štruklji, comes from the several dozen cows that are grazing on the pasture this summer, and is also used to make sour milk, which, according to traditional mountaineering habits, goes excellently with žganci.
Homemade food and beautiful views are the ingredients for a perfect day
The Koča na Dobrči mountain hut (1,478 metres above sea level) traditionally ranks among the finalists competing for the title of 'Best Mountain Hut, and in 2012 it won the flattering title.
The kitchen of the Koča na Dobrči mountain hut is run by Aleš Belak, who, in response to our question of which of the dishes is a real hut among hikers, answers with a smile: “Actually everything, as everything that we cook sells out very fast.”
So, what's on the menu this summer? Stews, such as segedin, tripe, goulash, jota, ričet and more, as well as stuffed peppers, roasted ribs with sauteed potatoes, and, of course žganci and curd cheese struklji; the latter can also be served with blueberry sauce. Not everything is on the menu is available every day and from time to time they run out of certain dishes later in the day, as this year there are large numbers of visitors to the Koča na Dobrči mountain hut, since word has spread rapidly among hikers about the amazing food cooked by Aleš Belak.
If it's been a while since you've been to Mt. Dobrča, then you might be interested to know that recently a lot of work has been done on the hut. In addition to a new kitchen, it now has a new roof as well as rooms that can accommodate up to 20 guests.
From October 2022, running of the mountain hut on Goška ravan (933 metres above sea level) was taken over by Mateja Avsenek. All the food at the hut is homemade, including buckwheat žganci, stews, roasted ribs with sauteed potatoes, and even burgers, dry ribs served with potato salad and for dessert, of course, apple strudel. “We don't have anything fried on our menu,” explains Mateja, adding that sour milk is also available at the hut.
Mateja let's us know about another speciality: “The Goldenhorn's secret tea that we brew in the hut is made for us by Mateja Reš from the Vrt okusov (Garden of Flavours) homestead in Zgornje Gorje.”
Incidentally, Mateja Reš is among the local producers that sells their goods at the Radol'ca Market, which takes place on the first Saturday of every month. Mateja's stall features homemade teas, freshly baked bread and more.
The Dom na Goški ravni mountain hut is closed on Mondays and Tuesdays, and open throughout the rest of the week and weekend, when the team, led by Mateja Avsenek, awaits your visit!
Welcome to the Goškla ravan mountain hut
The štruklji at the Partizanski dom mountain hut aren't only savoury but also sweet, as Heidi Kardoš makes vegetable, mushroom and even gluten-free štruklji.
In addition to the aforementioned, venison goulash, bograč, ričet (including a vegan version) jota and other stews are available at the hut, as well as roasted pork ribs, roast pork and more.
There are several trails that lead to the mountain hut on the Vodiška planina mountain pasture. The most frequented are the ones that lead up to the 933 metre-high pasture from the Lipnica Valley, while the trails from the Železniki area, including from Dražgoše and Rudno, are also popular. The views from the trail that start at the border between the Municipality of Radovljica and the Municipality of Kranj offer magnificent views of the picturesque, and much photographed, Church of St. Primus and Felician in Jamnik.
For a snack by bike, on foot or on horseback
That brings us to the end of our short – and tasty – hike around Radovljica's mountain pastures. You can find out more interesting information about our mountains here.
And, since we've mentioned žganci numerous times, here is a recipe for how to make it. The most common type of žganci in Slovenian mountain huts is made with buckwheat, but we've found a recipe in Špela shramba for corn žganci, which is equally delicious!
The most popular hiking trail in the Radol'ca area is undoubtedly the one that leads to the famous Roblekov dom mountain hut. In addition to 'Roblek', you can also hike to Dobrča, the Vodiška planina mountain pasture, Talež, Jamnik and on a network of other trails.
zapisal Sašo Gašperin, junij 2018
Brata Avsenik sta v svoji znameniti polki ime "Roblek" usidrala globoko v zavest Slovenk in Slovencev. Ko se pred Jožovcem v Begunjah ustavi avtobus štajerskih ali primorskih izletnikov, se oči prispelih iskaje tega čudežnega kraja začno kar same od sebe ozirati po okoliških gorah.