All You Need To Know To Visit Velika Planina In Slovenia

Introducing Velika Planina

Located at an elevation between 1,500 and 1,666 metres in the heart of the Kamnik-Savinja Alps, and accessible by cable car, Velika Planina is one of the largest and most beautiful Alpine pastures in Europe covering some 577 hectares of pastureland. It is also one of the most unusual and unique pastures you will find, as it is dotted with around 60 shingle-roofed, semicircular wooden huts that cannot be found anywhere else in the world. Since the Middle Ages, these huts provide shelter for both humans and livestock during late-spring and summer, when the local herdsmen migrate to this picturesque high-elevation settlement to graze cattle on Velika Planina’s lush alpine meadows.

Velika Planina Review

Loosely translated as ‘Big Mountain’ or ‘Great Highlands’, Velika Planina is a high-elevation Alpine settlement of 63 traditional herdsmen’s huts located at an elevation between 1,500 and 1,666 metres in the heart of the Kamnik-Savinja Alps in northern Slovenia. It’s easily accessible to 1,418 metres by cable car – from the village of Kamniska Bistrica, about 10 kilometres north of the town of Kamnik and less than half an hour drive from Slovenia’s capital Ljubljana. The journey to the top comes into two stages, first a fascinating cable-car ride on the fourth-longest unsupported cable car in the world and then a 15-minute chairlift (it operates irregularly) or a 30 minute walk on a gentle slope – it’s a very pleasant walk, but not really suitable for people with mobility issues. Simply follow the signposts up the hill for about two kilometres and you’ll reach a highland plain filled with 63 low-slung, shingle-roofed dwellings enclosed within neat fences. Many avid hikers also choose to walk up the mountain without taking the cable car, a thrilling hike on a well-marked trail that begins in the village of Stahovica. The car parks are large and free at both the cable car terminus and in Stahovica.

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Local herdsmen drive cattle up from the valleys to Velika Planina in the beginning of June and remain there, with their livestock, till the end of September. In addition to taking care of their own animals, the herdsmen are required to participate in group work – removing weeds, maintaining ditches, and so on. They even have a building which is called ‘The Parliament,’ where they discuss their daily work, play music and hang out. The tiny wooden Church of Our Lady of the Snows overlooks the huts.

The herdsmen also produce dairy products, including sour milk, yoghurt, butter and cheese, which they often sell to visitors. One type of cheese, known as Trnic, is a particularly interesting specialty of Velika Planina. It’s a dried hard cheese shaped into mounds that resemble women’s breasts. It was once given by herdsmen to girls they were wooing. The girls who were given the Trnic cheeses accepted them as romantic gifts, but if the herder who gave them the gift meant little to them, they simply ate the cheese. The herdsmen’s woodworking skills are well-known too, as they produced a variety of wooden objects like spoons and knives for their own needs while they were spending long months on the high-altitude pasture.

In the 20th century, the idyllic landscape of Velika Planina was almost lost forever. Most of the traditional huts were burned down to the ground during the Second World War by the Germans, who suspected that this area was a base for resistance fighters. Only Preskar’s Hut, which has been converted into a museum, survived the onslaught intact. The hut is oval, covered from roof to ground with shingles, without windows, doors, or a chimney. After the war, the huts were restored in the traditional style, ensuring that the area remains one of the most attractive highland pastures in the Alps.

By winter, the herdsmen have gone and Velika Planina becomes a popular destination for skiers, offering a variety of downhill and cross-country runs at varying levels of difficulty. The peak of the season is between mid-December and March, and the longest piste is one-and-a-half kilometres long.

Overall, Velika Planina is a very unique and charming place, highly recommended for those who enjoy the outdoors and peace and tranquility, a place to recharge your batteries. It is beautiful year round, but the best time to visit is probably between June and mid-September when the herdsmen’s settlement comes alive, maintaining traditions that are centuries old. The huts are scattered all around the plateau, with pine shingle roofs and an architecture that is unique only to this mountain land. As several snow-capped peaks rising over 2,500 meters dominate in the background, it all makes for some incredible scenery. The cows roam around freely and you can try some delicious homemade traditional food. For a particularly special and rustic experience, you can also spend a night in one of the huts.

Velika Planina review and rating

Velika Planina Pictures

View our image gallery with 27 high-resolution photos that prove you absolutely have to visit Velika Planina!

Nine photos below by Bojan Kolman
Shingle-roofed herdsmen's huts on the Velika Planina plateau in the Kamnik-Savinja Alps in Slovenia
Shingle-roofed herdsmen’s huts on the Velika Planina plateau in the Kamnik-Savinja Alps.

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The traditional wooden huts on the Velika Planina plateau in Slovenia
The architecture of the unique herdsmen’s huts has made the place a popular tourist attraction.

The Kamnik-Savinja Alps from the Velika Planina plateau
Some 63 huts whose roofs are covered with pine shingles dot the landscape with their distinctly unique architecture in what is now an officially protected cultural landscape.

The low lying rounded shepherd's huts with conical roofs on the Velika Planina pasture
The huts have become a symbol of Velika Planina and are among the most interesting examples of vernacular architecture in Slovenia.

The oval herdsmen’s hut covered from roof to ground with shingles on the Velika Planina plateau
The huts are oval, covered from roof to ground with shingles.

Crocus carpet of purple flowers on the Velika Planina meadows in the Kamnik-Savinja Alps
Crocuses are the earliest of spring flowers. They can be found bursting into bloom, while snow is still on the ground.

The crocuses are carpeting Velika Planina with purple in spring
Every spring, the crocuses are carpeting Velika Planina with purple.

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Jesus on the Cross on the Velika Planina plateau in the Kamnik-Savinja Alps, Slovenia
Jesus on the Cross in front of the settlement.

The wooden Church of Our Lady of the Snows on the Velika Planina plateau
The chapel of Snow Mary is located slightly above the herdsmen’s settlement.

Photo by Blaz Gvajc
The high mountain herdsmen's settlement of Velika Planina in the Kamnik Alps in Slovenia
There is indeed something fairytale-like about Velika Planina, a highland pasture in northern Slovenia.

Next 2 photos below by Masa Vodenik
Velika Planina plateau with mountain pastures and unique herdsmen's huts in the Kamnik-Savinja Alps, Slovenia
Velika Planina is considered to be the most beautiful alpine pasture in the country, where traditional dairy farmers graze their cattle between June and September.

The unique Velika Planina herdsmen’s huts in the heart of the Kamnik-Savinja Alps, Slovenia
The high pasturelands of the Velika Planina and the Kamnik Alps.

Next 2 photos below by Jure Kralj
Velika Planina high-elevation Alpine settlement with traditional shepards' huts
Some visitors liken Velika Planina to a Hobbit village.

Velika planina is the most beautiful alpine pasture with many wooden shepherd's huts in Slovenia
Most of the unique, shingle-roofed wooden huts were rebuilt after they were destroyed during the Second World War by Germans.

Next 2 photos below by Branko Cesnik
The Velika Planina high-elevation settlement of herdsmen's cottages in the Kamnik Savinja Alps, Slovenia
There is something fairytale-like about Velika Planina.

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A very unique wooden hut at the Velika Planina alpine pasture in northern Slovenia
The unique wooden huts are among the most extraordinary examples of vernacular architecture in the country.

Next 2 photos below by Erich Reisinger
The Velika Planina high-elevation Alpine settlement with traditional herdsmen's huts
The expansive, mile-high meadows of the Velika Planina, the scenic crown jewel of the Kamnik-Savinja Alps.

An older man wearing a traditional herdsman's costume on the Velika Planina plateau in Slovenia
While visiting Velika Planina, you’ll probably meet Andrej. He wears a traditional herdsman’s costume.

Photo by Denis Sodrznik
The interesting traditional herdsmen’s cottages on the Velika Planina plateau in Slovenia
Try to visit Velika Planina in the morning as there is less rain then.

Next 8 photos below by Miroslav Asanin
Velika Planina in Slovenia, one of Europe's few surviving high mountain herdsmen's settlements
Warm days call for an escape from the heat of the city and into the mountains.

Cows grazing on Velika Planina, a beautiful Alpine pasture in Slovenia
Local herdsmen drive cattle up from the valleys to Velika Planina each June and remain there, with their livestock, for the rest of the summer season.

Crocuses blooming all around the herdsmen's huts on Velika Planina in the Kamnik-Savinja Alps
Velika Planina is beautiful all year round, however one of the best times to visit it is in spring, when the crocus begins to bloom.

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Velika planina is the largest highland pasture in Slovenia
Velika planina is Slovenia’s largest highland pasture that extends over 557 hectares at the altitude between 1,400 and 1,666 metres.

The Velika Planina high-elevation Alpine settlement in winter with lots of snow
In winter it is like in fairy-tail. All those wooden little huts hidden in the snow.

The herdsmen's huts on the Velika Planina plateau in winter with plenty of snow
By winter, the shepherds have gone and walkers are replaced by skiers on these gentle slopes.

Velika Planina ski resort in winter
In winter, Velika Planina is a popular destination for skiers.

A group of hikers visiting Velika Planina in winter
Velika Planina is also worth visiting in winter.

Velika Planina location on the map


Address: Velika Planina 1, 1242 Stahovica, Slovenija
Latitude and Longitude coordinates: 46.303798, 14.625965
GPS coordinates: 46° 18′ 13.6728” N     14° 37′ 33.474” E
Traditional region: Upper Carniola (Slovene: Gorenjska)
Statistical region: Central Slovenia
Municipality: Kamnik

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