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  • Writer's pictureKristin

How to Visit Triglav National Park & Kranjska Gora with Kids!

We headed across the mountain range in Slovenia to the northern side of Kranjska Gora and continued to be in awe of the natural beauty that surrounded us! The Julian Alps surrounded us and gave us lots of opportunities for exploring, hiking and being active for the 2 ½ days we were there! One of the unexpected surprises was the animals that we encountered while in the area – it created some truly special memories for us! While Slovenia seems to be overshadowed by its neighbors to the west – it was truly a spectacular place to explore & it offers so many outdoor adventures. If you're headed to Slovenia, don’t miss some of these suggestions on how to visit Triglav National Park and the area around Kranjska Gora!

Triglav National Park

This park is the largest National Park in Slovenia as it covers 838 squared kilometers and 4 percent of the land in Slovenia and is home to several beautiful spots. In our previous post, we shared some of the places we visited within the National Park near Lake Bohinj and in the southwest section of the park. However, because of the large mountain range in the middle of the park and limited roads, it is actually quicker to drive around the mountains and enter to see spots on the opposite side of the park vs. staying in one spot for the whole time. Compared to North America, there was no official entry gate into the Park; and there are towns that officially reside within the park. However, some sites – like some of the gorges & waterfalls – had an entry and parking fee associated with them.

We spent one full day driving to Vrsic Pass, hiking and then to the Soca River.

Vrsic Pass

One of the more popular routes to drive through the park is the Russian road. This road takes you to the summit of Vrsic Pass at 1,611 meters, as well as boasts of a variety of hairpin turns and amazing views. [There is an even more curvy road that you can supposedly take that they say is not for the faint of heart and has mountainside roads with no guardrail. We opted not to do that one, but this one still had lots of hairpin turns!] It is a super popular road for motorbikes and cyclists too! We couldn’t believe the number of cyclists who ascend up this steep hill (they more endurance than me) and we even saw someone with roller skis!!!

Two children looking up at the mountains at the top of Vrsic Pass, Triglav National Park, Slovenia
Taking in the view from the road at Vrsic Pass - Triglav National Park, Slovenia

Along the route there is the Russian church that was built in commemoration of the Russian Prisoners of War who built the road during World War I. There was an avalanche that killed several of them while working, so this church was built in honor of them.

Russian church memorial on road to Vrsic Pass in Triglav National Park Slovenia
Russian Church on Russia Road to Vrsic Pass - Triglav National Park

The views were incredible as we headed up to the pass, but some of our favorite areas were when we came across a small herd of cattle grazing along the hillside. We stopped to take photos and they didn’t seem to be scared of people, so Clara picked some grass to give to one of them. She was a little taken back when he approached her for it, so she dropped the grass on the ground. I think he didn’t like that, as he then nudged her a bit, but she did sneak in a quick pet.

When we arrived at the top of Vrsic Pass there are a variety of trails that branch off from this area. We found a spot to park along the road and headed off to our chosen hike. As we were walking to the trailhead, there was a group of about 5-6 sheep who were wandering down the road. Another couple was feeding them some pieces of bread, so Clara & Connor approached them and thought it was so cool to get close to the sheep. The sheep definitely liked the bread though!

Sheep visiting with two children with Julian Alps in background on the road at Vrsic Pass. Triglav National Park Slovenia.
Friendly sheep along the roadside of Vrsic Pass - Triglav National Park

Hike to Vratica Saddle

We took the Slatnica Saddle Trail and started the ascent up. It was a little steeper than what we thought it would be, but the kids did well, despite it being hard on their little legs. We just took lots of breaks and went slowly up. However, the trail ended up right at the saddle of the mountain. From there you would either take one of two trails, which eventually come back together for a loop trail if you choose. The plan was to go beyond the saddle for a bit until they got tired and then turn around and come back. However, after the steep climb up we decided it would be too much to go too much further. However, we decided to go just a tad bit further on the Mojstrovka trail, and we’re glad we did!

Young Family on Hike at Triglav National Park, Slovenia
Taking Slatnica Saddle Trail up to the Saddle at Triglav National Park

We only went about 100-150 meters on this section of the trail and we came across a small herd of sheep just laying on the hillside; one of the sheep was laying down right in the middle of the trail. They didn’t even budge as we approached them. Clara sat right down next to one and started to pet it, and eventually start hugging it. Amazingly the ewe stayed in the exact same position the whole time we were there, which was at least 30-45 minutes and several hikers later. The kids were in LOVE and didn’t want to leave. Basically, the previous pains of the hike up were long forgotten. Instead, the sentiment was, “This was the best hike EVER.”

After this memorable moment, we decided to just turn around there and head back down the trail. We just had to make sure to hold Connor’s hand, as the gravel was a bit loose on the steeper sections.

Mom & kids hiking back down trail at Triglav National Park - Slovenia with Julian Alps in background.
Hike back down Slatnica Saddle Trail - Off of Vrsic Pass in Triglav National Park

Soca River

After completing the hike, we continued down the Vrsic pass road towards Bovec to see the Soca River. This side of the mountain was equally scenic, and dare I say, even more curvy than the other side. What impressed us the most was the large tourist buses and even the smaller commuter buses that ascended up and down the narrow and curvy mountain roads. There were two spots to stop to see the Soca River – the Small Soca Gorge and Great Soca Gorge. The great part was that they were both free to explore! At both spots you could take the bridge across the river and take a trail down to the edge of the gorge where the river ran through. The crystal clear blue water was so pure and beautiful.

Kranjska Gora & Area

Kranjska Gora is a mountain side town with ski resorts lining its hillsides and is the main municipality within the region. There is 28 km long bike path that runs from Jesenice to the Italian Border (and beyond if you choose!) that you can ride your bike along. It was a former railroad track so it doesn’t have super steep inclines. With such a great bike path at our disposal, we decided to ride bikes for our second full day in the area. We rented bikes with a children’s seat and trailer, so the kids wouldn’t have to do much the work and we could explore further out. For the 2 bikes, trailer and seat it was about 35 Euros for a full day's rental.

The scenic views along the bike ride were beautiful.

Dad riding bike with trailer just outside of Kranjska Gora, Slovenia with Julian Alps in background.
Family Bike on the gorgeous bike path in Kranjska Gora.

One little fun side excursion we did that day was ride our bikes across the Italian border. Our accommodation was only 4 km away from the Slovenian-Italian border, so we set out on our bikes to say we officially biked into a new country! It was definitely more of the novelty of it, as we turned around and came back about 100 meters into Italy.

Jasna Lake

Also located just on the outskirts of Kranjska Gora was Lake Jasna. This is famous man-made lake at the base of the mountains. It was a pretty small lake, so we just walked around it before continuing on with our bike ride of the area.

Pericnik Waterfall

Pericnik Waterfall within Triglav National Park is only 20 minutes drive away from Kranjska Gora. This waterfall was unique in that you can walk behind it! There was supposed to be a fee to pay for admission (minimal – only 2 Euro), but there was nobody there to purchase tickets from when we came just after dinnertime. It was a short, but slightly steep climb to the top, but the waterfall is over 52 meters tall and is one of the tallest in Slovenia. There is a little trail that takes you underneath the waterfall, but due to condensation build-up be prepared to get sprinkled! However, the kids thought it was so funny!

We hope this might provide some help on how to visit Triglav National and Kranjska Gora. All the hype tends to go to Austria and Switzerland, but this beautiful spot and many others that we visited in Slovenia deserve just as much hype for the type of beauty it offers! It’s a more budget-friendly alternative as well!

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