Kranjska Gora is one of the lesser visited places in Slovenia but it really is one of those beautiful hidden gems. Here you’ll find crazy mountain ranges, adventurous mountain passes, crystal clear lakes and beautiful alpine meadows. And the best part? Not that many people know about it!
Kranjska Gora is a town in north-western Slovenia and it’s especially known as a winter resort for alpine skiing and ski jumping. This is however not really my cup of tea. I don’t want to end up with my arm or leg in a cast so in this post I will stick to all of the other amazing things that you can do in and around Kranjska Gora. And trust me, there’s a lot to see and do!
This cute little town is very close to the border of Slovenia and Italy and this guide will even include a couple of beautiful places right across the border.
📖 Make sure to also read my 8 Day Slovenia Road Trip Guide!
7 Best Things To Do In And Around Kranjska Gora In Slovenia
🗺 How to reach Kranjska Gora in Slovenia
Kranjska Gora is located in north-western Slovenia and despite the fact that’s in the middle of the Julian Alps it’s pretty easy to access!
🚘 BY CAR
From Slovenia you get to Kranjska Gora by the road Ljubljana-Kranj-Jesenice-Kranjska Gora, from Austria from Villach through the Korensko sedlo border crossing or through the Karavanke tunnel, and from Italy through the Rateče border crossing.
Don’t forget to purchase your vignette for the Slovenian highway at a local gas station. A vignette for 1 week costs €7.5.
For booking a rental car I highly recommend you to check out SunnyCars. Their service is impeccable and for Autumn season next year you can already rent a car for as little as €37 per day. They also include all of the “hidden costs” in their total price so you don’t have to worry about unexpected add ons.
🚂 BY TRAIN
The nearest train station is in Jesenice, where buses take you to Kranjska Gora 20 kilometres away from Jesenice, a half an hour trip. There are also railway stations in Tarvisio in Italy and in Villach in Austria. From there, you can continue the route by taxi, since none of the stops is more than 20 kilometres away.
🚌 BY BUS
From Slovenia you can get to Kranjska Gora by the road Ljubljana-Kranj-Jesenice-Kranjska Gora.
✈️ BY PLANE
Kranjska Gora is a 45-minute drive (66km) from the airport in Ljubljana, only 40 minutes from the airport in Klagenfurt (Austria), and another hour driving more from Trieste (Italy).
🏨 Where to stay in Kranjska Gora
The Ramada Resort is a large hotel where you can enjoy your meals in buffet style. There’s a large swimming pool, a spa and even a casino!
This beautiful chalet can host up to 6 people and is located right next to the beautiful lake Jasna. You get to wake up with a view over the mountains from the comfort of a stylish and modern decorated chalet.
How many days in Kranjska Gora
If you want to see everything at a decent pace and don’t want to rush too much I would stay 2 to 3 nights in Kranjska Gora. This way you’ll have plenty of time to explore the area and even go on a fun hike!
Popular Day Tours to Kranjska Gora
- From Ljubljiana to Kranjska Gora and the Alps
- From Ljubljiana – Private tour to Soça and Kranjska Gora
- Kranjska Gora, Bovec and Bohinj, an adventurous day trip from Bled
🕰 The Best time to visit Kranjska Gora
Kranjska Gora is a wonderful destination to visit year round but if you’re like me and you’re not into winter sports and you simply prefer exploring the outdoors then it’s best to avoid the winter months.
But both spring, summer and fall are excellent times to visit the area and the shoulder months of April, May, September and October are also the cheapest options. During the summer months hotel prices tend to go up and you’ll also have to book more in advance if you still want to have any availability.
Best Things To Do in and Around Kranjska Gora
1. Visit the Zelenci Nature Reserve
The Zelenci Nature Reserve is located at the edge of the Triglav National Park and close to the border of Slovenia and Italy. It’s mostly known for it’s turquoise-emerald green swamp. In the extreme western part of the swamp is an emerald green lake, from which extremely clean and cold springs boil trough a layer of lake chalk, which gives the water its characteristic blue-green color.
Due to its color, the lake with the swamp was named Zelenci. Zelenci do not freeze in winter, their constant temperature throughout the year is about 6 ° C.
There’s a small viewing tower to also admire the lake from above but honestly there isn’t much more to do here.
There’s a free parking lot located only 5 minutes from the lake.
If you calculate in 1 hour you’ll have more than enough time to explore the Zelenci Nature Reserve.
2. Walk around Lake Jasna
Lake Jasna is a crystal clear emerald lake that you can find right before the start of the Vrsic Pass and only 2km from Kranjska Gora.
At the start of the lake there’s a paid parking lot but if you drive a little further alongside the lake you’ll come across a couple of free parking spaces.
It’s a beautiful place to sit down or simply take a stroll around the lake and feed the ducks.
The name ‘jasna’ comes from the Slovenian word for ‘clear’ and it’s not hard to see why. the Julian Alps in the back dominate the scenery and on a clear and sunny day you’ll see them perfectly reflected in the lake.
The path that goes around the lake is manageable for everyone and is even good for strollers. There are plenty of places alongside Lake Jasna to sit down and relax.
You won’t need longer tan 1 hour and if you don’t plan on walking around the lake you’ll need only 30 minutes.
3. Drive theVrsic Pass
TheVrsic Pass is one of the most spectacular mountain roads in entire Slovenia! With its 1,611m is the highest road pass in the Eastern Julian Alps and it was built by Russian war prisoners.
The high-mountain road from Kranjska Gora through Vršič to Log in Trenta has 50 serpentines, 24 on the side of Kranjska Gora and 26 on the Trenta side.
Driving theVrsic Pass is something that should only be done by experienced drivers and make sure to go slow in the bends cause they are very narrow.
If there’s any place that you should go for a hike in Slovenia it’s on top of the Vrsic Pass. Due to the fact that you already start at 1600 meters you don’t have to do a lot of climbing anymore bu the views that you’ll get in return are truly amazing.
When I look back on it driving the Vrsic Pass was on of the most fun things that I did during my road trip through Slovenia.
One of the most popular hikes that starts from the Vrsic Pass is the hike to Slemenova Spica. It’s a more strenuous hike but the 360° view that you get over the Julian Alps makes it really worth your while! In total you’ll need to calculate around 2,5 hours for the hike.
I would start driving up theVrsic Pass in the early morning cause otherwise traffic here can get very congested and there’s nothing worse then getting stuck in one of those hairpin turns. This way you’ll have enough time to explore and if you go hiking as well I would calculate at least half a day for your visit!
Along your way up from Kranjska Gora you can also stop at the Russian Chapel which was built to commemorate the lives of the Russian soldiers who died building this road.
4. Visit the Soça Valley
The beautiful Soça Valley is located on the other side of the Vrsic Pass and is especially known for its turquoise Soça River. It’s even considered to be one of the most beautiful rivers in entire Europe!
If you begin exploring the valley at the picturesque source of the River Soča, the first town of some size is Bovec. Its surrounding area is known for breaking natural records. There is the Boka Waterfall, the waterfall that has the most abundant flow of water in Slovenia. It is 144 m high.
The Trenta Valley is the home of the Triglav National Park information Centre, named after Mt. Triglav, the highest peak in Slovenia. Mountain trails also take you to Lake Krn, the largest high-elevation mountain lake in Slovenia.
My favorite parts to explore around the Soça river where the waterfall Slap Kozjak and the picturesque town of Kanal.
5. Hop over to Italy to visit Lago di Fusine Superior
This beautiful lake is located right across the border in Italy and definitely worth a visit!
There are actually two lakes that you can visit here: the Fusini lakes! But I found Lago di Fusine Superior to be the most spectacular.
The Fusini lakes are located in the Julian Alps and the Slovenian resort town of Kranjska Gora is only 20 minutes driving away.
I recommend spending at least 1 to 2 hours here and definitely walk around the upper lake! For the best views, follow the circuit trail around Lago di Fusine Superiore. If you have more time, consider hiking to Rifugio Luigi Zacchi.
There’s a big free parking lot right in front of Lago di Fusine Superior.
6. Enjoy the sun at Lago Predil
Another beautiful hidden gem right across the border in Italy is Lake Predil. It’s located in an ancient glacial valley and about 10 km south of the town of Tarvisio.
You can go for a short walk around the lake but you can’t go swimming here.
In my opinion you only need to about 30 minutes to visit Lake Predil.
7. Drive up to Mangart Saddle
One of the most thrilling drives in Slovenia is the drive up to Mangart Saddle. The Mangart Saddle, also known as the Mangart Pass is the highest lying road in Slovenia. It’s a winding and nerve wrecking ride through the mountains of Slovenia.
The road leading up to the Mangart Saddle is extremely narrow and you should only drive it if you’re an experienced driver. In most spots it’s just wide enough for one car and it involves a lot of hairpin turns.
After a while you’ll bump into a ticket booth where you’ll have to pay €10 to continue driving upwards. In less than 12 km, this road climbs 980 meters and winds its way through five tunnels carved out of the rock.
In general the road is open from May to November but all of this depends on the weather conditions and snowfall.
The last part of the road is closed due to rockfall but here is a big parking lot right in front of it. From here you can simply proceed on foot to eventually reach the Mangart Saddle.
You’ll definitely want to calculate 1 to 2 hours here for your visit!
Charlotte Lint is the founder of Charlies Wanderings.
Charlotte has traveled all over the world and is based in Belgium where she also owns her very own dental practice.
She is an expert on writing efficient travel guides and finding unique places to stay.
Every month she helps over 134.000 people discover the most beautiful places in the world through her detailed travel guides.