Slovenia is a small European country. Its location at the intersection of different geomorphological forms like the Alps, Pannonian Basin, Adriatic Sea, Karst, and Dinarides places it on a diverse piece of land.
Although Slovenia cannot pride itself on encompassing the most substantial share of the Alpine area, Slovenians are inclined to believe it is the most magical. And they are not far from the truth.
Ski resorts in Slovenia occupy slopes in two of the three mountain ranges in Slovenia, the most famous Julian Alps and the Kamnik-Savinja Alps. In addition, we can also find some of them in the pre-alpine hills.
The highest Alpine peaks in Slovenia do not exceed the mark of 3000 meters of elevation, placing most ski resorts at an altitude between 1000 and 2000 meters. Consequently, the ski season in Slovenia is more dependent on the snow conditions and tends to be shorter. You can read more about it here.
Nonetheless, Slovenia boasts a rich history of skiing, even though its ski resorts do not reach the grandiosity of the ones in Austria, France, Italy, or Switzerland nowadays.
No one can speak of a lack of skiing tradition in Slovenia. The first records of Slovenian skiers date back to 1689 with Bloke skiers. Bloke is a small village in southern Slovenia, and its residents invented wooden skis for their practical use. They allowed them to walk atop the deep snow drifts which covered their vast fields during the winter and made it possible for them to run their everyday errands.
It was the first time in history that skis were used in Central Europe, giving Bloke the flattering title of the cradle of skiing in Central Europe.
Sports use of skis came to Slovenia with the Scandinavian skis toward the end of the 19th century. After that, the evolution started to grow exponentially, with the first cableway in Slovenia becoming functional around 1950 and the first ski lift following within the next four years.
By 1961 Slovenia got its first official FIS skiing competition, which wrote itself in the history books as the Vitranc Cup, hosted by Kranjska Gora. Ten years later, the famous Planica Nordic Center organized its first World Championship in ski jumping.
Even today, Planica remains the second-largest ski jump in the world and hosts one of the most prestigious matches in the sport of ski jumping annually.
Slovenia has also given birth to many exceptional athletes who left their mark on skiing throughout the sport's history. Bojan Križaj, Primož Peterka, Jure Košir, and Tina Maze are among the most distinguished.
We must name another Slovenian skiing achievement many forget, although it pushed the limits of what was humanly possible at the time. Davo Karničar was the first man to ski from the top of Mount Everest to the base camp on the Nepalese side of the mountain — on skis of a Slovenian brand no more.
Slovenia has always been a skiing country, and this tradition is still deeply rooted in the nation's identity.
Skiing in Slovenia is unlike skiing in other big European countries. Before picking Slovenia as a ski holiday destination, it is integral to understand the factors which set our ski resorts apart from foreign ones.
We prepared a list with essential information about the country and skiing here.
Slovenia’s uttermost advantage compared to foreign ski resorts is that people can ski here for a lower price. The price difference between Slovenian and Austrian ski resorts is between 30% and 50%.
We must also take accommodation, food, and additional activities into account as well. With that in mind, it is not an amount to disregard easily.
Foreign skiers here on holidays are not limited to their ski resort and its immediate proximity. Due to Slovenia’s modest size, it is feasible to visit different ski resorts on consecutive days, even if one lies in the Julian Alps, the second in the Kamnik-Savinja Alps, and the third in the Pohorje region.
The same applies to planning a trip or wishing to visit a specific location in Slovenia. Anybody can do either without encountering any obstacles. Such endeavors might be impractical in larger countries due to longer distances, but they present no issue in Slovenia.
There is also no need to stay in the huts next to the ski resorts, as staying in places like Ljubljana and Bled does not put the visitors too far away from the slopes, but only a short ride away.
Slovenian ski resorts are nowhere near the size of the gigantic ski centers interspersed over the Central Alps. The combined length of all ski runs in Slovenia is believed to be somewhere around 275 kilometers.
Meanwhile, each of the three main ski resorts in the Austrian Tyrol region offers their visitors between 270 and 305 kilometers of ski runs.
That is not necessarily a disadvantage, as skiing in Slovenia can be your way of having a more authentic and calm experience in the Alps.
Additionally, all Slovenian ski resorts are beginner-friendly and appropriate for families with children, as the chance of someone getting lost in one of them is very small.
When you think of the big European ski centers, your mind usually paints a picture of a vast mountain area covered with ski lifts and hordes of tourists racing down the slopes and waiting in lines.
It is not like that in Slovenia.
While around two-thirds of all visitors to Austrian ski resorts are tourists, only one in five in Slovenia comes from outside the country. The majority of skiers here are citizens who usually ski on the weekends.
During the week, the tourists can openly delight in the snow-covered slopes, free from crowds and lines in front of the ski lifts.
On our Slovenia ski holidays, we also offer everyone a chance to try other winter activities. In light of this, we prepared a concise overview of the most popular ones.
As a nation well-versed in winter sports, cross-country skiing is one of where Slovenians also excel, even on a worldly scale. Consequently, it is one of the preferred forms of recreation during the snowy months. There are almost as many cross-country skiing centers as ski resorts in Slovenia. The most prominent and visited in large numbers include Planica with the Tamar Valley, Bohinj, Pokljuka Plateau, Jezersko, Rogla, Kranjska Gora, and Rateče.
These locations provide tens of kilometers of cross-country skiing trails every winter when the snow conditions permit. They range from flat beginner-friendly tracks to more technically and physically demanding runs with climbs and descents.
Snowshoeing is an ancient technique of moving in deep snow. Snowshoes allow people to “float” on top of snow drifts and use a lesser portion of their energy than if they tried to walk solely in boots. This method is convenient for exploring the forests and meadows of the Slovenian Alps, where the snow accumulations are deeper.
Snowshoeing is not technically demanding and is appropriate for anyone who knows the terrain or is guided by someone who does. On the other hand, not getting proper guidance or venturing into the unknown alone can be a dangerous affair. The Alps in the winter are not the same as in the summer.
We usually link sledding with children, but it can be a fun activity for the whole family. Most ski resorts in Slovenia have sledding courses next to the ski runs. Sometimes, it feels good to break the monotony of skiing every day and hit the snowy slopes on a sled.
Not far from Kranjska Gora, people can meet a group of energetic huskies who can take them for a spin around the Upper Sava Valley on sleds. Although dog sledding is not a traditional activity in Slovenia, it is still a unique way of moving through the snowy countryside. Not that many people can say they have tried it in their lifetime.
There are not many more suitable and exciting ways of exploring the snow-covered landscape than a pack of sure-footed huskies being your “guides” for a day.
Slovenia is a jewel waiting to be explored by many still. Most people like to visit the country during summer to discover its hidden corners, hike the stunning Alps, or swim in its emerald rivers and lakes. But winter brings out a different kind of magic in its landscape.
And the majority of Slovenians can barely wait for the snow to cover the Alps, which kicks off the ski season. We thoroughly adore seeing our slopes dressed in white.
There is nothing else to add apart from our assurance that Slovenia is an excellent destination for ski holidays that never leaves anybody disappointed. Quite the opposite.
We would be delighted to welcome skiers to our small country on the sunny side of the Alps.
Check out our expertly crafted Slovenia Ski Packages and book your unforgettable ski holidays in Slovenia.