Poljanska Valley is one of the best kept secrets in Slovenia for sure. Tucked between mountains it is known for unspoiled nature, spectacular views, which you can have all to yourself, amazing local food and is indeed a perfect place for outdoor enthusiasts.
10 best things to do in Poljanska Valley
Enjoy in all the spectacular views
You will be able to enjoy such amazing views in Poljanska Valley, that with no-doubt, spending hours gazing from the top, is for sure one of the best things to do when there. You can easily find a remote place to be alone and relax in peace and quiet.
Taste the products from the local producers
One of the most amazing things in Poljanska Valley is the fact that the whole area is self-sufficient. There are so many local producers growing their own vegetables and fruit, producing cheese and other dairy products, making salamis, baking bread and cookies that you can really know what will end on your table. Amazing!
Meet the people
In my opinion nothing is more important than people, which can make an average destination one of the best you have ever visited or make an amazing place full of bad memories. Luckily Poljanska Valley is still known for extremely warm and friendly people, who will always welcome you with open hands.
Visit Stari Vrh
It does not really matter when you will visit Poljanska Valley as it is beautiful all year round. If you enjoy hiking or skiing with great views, you really have to visit Stari Vrh and its cottage at 1032 meters of altitude. The cottage is right next to the chair lift, which is also known to have the longest night ski track in Slovenia.
Have fun at Family adventurous park
Adrenalin enthusiasts will love the fact that an Adrenalin park lies just underneath the Stari Vrh cottage. You will find five different polygons in the park, including one appropriate for kids up to 2 years old. Our Ren loved it and did not stop talking about the place for several days.
The family adventurous park at Stari Vrh is open every day during the summer season, but works only during weekends in spring and autumn months. The park is closed during winter and in bad weather no matter the season.
Explore the underground defence complex at Goli vrh
Along western Slovenian border and during the time of the Kingdom of Yugoslavia a Rupnike Line was built. It should protect the borders from Italian invasions, but luckily it never served its roll. A big part of the Rupnike Line run through Poljanska Valley and one of the best preserved underground defence complexes can be visited at Goli vrh. The guided tour is organized every first Saturday at 10 o’clock (only in Slovenian language), but a visit can also be arranged up-front and as a private tour.
Make sure to dress warm as the regular temperature in the complex is around 6°C, don’t even forget about the proper shoes. Bringing a head-light is not a bad idea either. Read more about this amazing Rupnik Line here.
Hike up and around the scenic paths
If you have abundance of something in Poljanska Valley we sure are talking about all the amazing hiking paths. Some are easy and great for younger kids, but some are more demanding. You can walk all around the municipality, collect stamps (get a special card for this in Gostilna Jager restaurant) and at the end be proud of yourself to walk 89 kilometers around amazing landscape. Or you can hike up to some mountain tops like Blegoš, Bukov vrh, Stari vrh, Pasja ravan, Sivka and Žirovski vrh.
Exploring Poljanska Valley with Ren, our 3-year-old son, we decided to walk on the Bear path, which is a circle of 3,5 kilometers and perfect for the little hikers. They will find two bears along it and several boards with nice outdoor games – the instructions are in English too.
Get on the bicycle
Hiking is great, but some like cycling better, so don’t give up to fast if you are among those too. One of the best things to do in Poljanska Valley is to rent a bike (we went for the E-bike), cycle up to one of the many hills and simply enjoy the views. You can book a guided tour through GreenHills, like we did, and arrange everything with Jernej, who knows Poljanska Valley as the back of his hand.
Have a coffee at Visoko Mansion
The Visoko Mansion from 13th century might not be so important to a foreigner than is to us, Slovenians, as this was once home to our important novelist Ivan Tavčar. But nevertheless, the location is perfect for a cup of coffee, cake or a special cocktail with local ingredients in its café.
Freshen yourself at the natural beach
If you will be visiting Poljanska Valley during the hot summer months, you definitely have to stop at one of the many natural areas / beaches along the Poljanska Sora River. This is actually a very popular thing to do among locals, but a warning – the water is pretty cold, so we managed to put just our feet in.
Some quick tips to visit Poljanska Valley
Where to sleep in Poljanska valley?
Forget about hotels in Poljanska Valley as the area will charm you with their homesteads, farms and cottages. We have slept once in a cottage at Stari Vrh, where we were amazed over the views and food too. The rooms are clean and basic, but that is how it is in cottages. We loved the eating area and its terrace. They even have a small outdoor playground for kids. The location is perfect as a starting point for hiking or for skiing as it is right next to the top station of the chairlift.
We stayed at the Tešnak Homestead in Hotavlje for our second night and loved the work they did in the 200-year-old homestead. Everything looks like traveling back in time. The apartment where we stayed was gorgeous, spacious, clean and with everything you need. The area, where local breakfast is served is nice to hang out too. You can also find kids swing outside and a place to relax or even make a camping fire.
Where to eat in Poljanska Valley?
I have to admit, that I do wonder if you can even eat bad in Poljanska Valley. Everywhere we stopped the food was good and in most cases locally grown/produced. But you definitely should not miss a meal at the cottage at Stari Vrh – amazing! And if you are keen in local food, make sure to try their štruklji – I am a big fan of them and everywhere I go, I try some and these definitely are among TOP 3, I have ever tasted.
We ate good at the Jager restaurant in Dolenja Dobrava and tavern Petra in Gorenja Vas too. Taverna Petra is special also because of the big outdoor playing area for kids – but I am warning you – you will have a really hard time to convince the kids it is time to go.
If you make an up-front reservation, you can also stop for cold cuts at Farm Pr’Bukovc or learn how to bake bread, maybe buy their home baked cookies to take home with. We have stopped there in between the Rupnik Line underground defense complex tour and before we continued to hike the Bear path, as the farm is just steps away from the starting/ending point.
A nice way to taste different products is during the e-bike guided tour with GreenHills – we have stopped at the farm Žunar (known for the meat and salami) and at the farm Matic, where they are making juice and dry fruit. In most cases also a stop at the dairy farm Bogataj or Pustotnik is included, but we did not get any free date.
Even though three characteristics can already describe most of the Poljanska Valley – unspoiled nature, spectacular views and friendly people, there are so many other reasons and things to do, that you really cannot see, try and do in just one short stay. And that is exactly why we are lucky enough to have the Poljanska Valley close by, to visit it more often.
Check out the amazing things to do in Poljanska Valley in our inspiring video here.
We were thrilled when Zavod Poljanska dolina invited us to explore and get to know their region and I sure hope that with our help, people, who cherish nature and outdoor activities, will find it too.