Kamniška koča na Kamniškem sedlu, Hiking Kamnik-Savinja Alps, Slovenia | Moon & Honey Travel

Kamnik-Savinja Alps, Slovenia

Last Updated: August 2018

Hiking Kamnik-Savinja Alps, Slovenia

The Kamnik-Savinja Alps (aka Kamniško-Savinjske Alpe, Steiner Alpen) are a stunning mountain chain in Slovenia. Located only 1.5 hrs north of Ljubljana, this alpine paradise is accessible by car, or by public transit. In July, we hiked hut-to-hut for four days in the Kamnik-Savinja Alps, starting in Kamniška Bistrica and ending in Zgornje Jezersko. Much of our route followed the Slovenian Mountain Trail (marked with the number “1”), a 599 km long trail that takes 28 days to complete. We were blown away by the incredible beauty of these limestone mountains. We were also astonished by how few people were actually on these trails. Compared to the Julian Alps, the Kamnik mountains are far less trafficked. 

Our 4-Day hiking tour was a challenging trek. If you have alpine hiking experience and proper equipment (via ferrata kit), this is definitely a hike for you. If you love the mountains, but aren’t thrilled about assisted climbing routes, consider hiking stage 1 and, or stage 4 of this guide as either overnights, or day hikes. Also check out our Triglav National Park trek in the Julian Alps.

This hiking guide outlines each stage of our trek through the Kamnik-Savinja Alps. We’ve also included tips on how to save money, what to pack, and where to stay.

 

Kamnik-Savinja 4-Day Hiking Tour 

  • Day 1: Kamniška Bistrica – Kamniška koča na Kamniškem sedlu (3.5-4 hours)
  • Day 2: Kamniška koča na Kamniškem sedluCojzova koča na Kokrskem sedlu (6.5-8 hours)
  • Day 3: Cojzova koča na Kokrskem sedlu – Češka koča na Spodnjih Ravneh (7-9 hours)
  • Day 4: Češka koča na Spodnjih Ravneh – Zgornje Jezersko (2 hours)

 

Kamnik-Savinja Hiking Guide Includes:

  • Where are the Kamnik-Savinja Alps?
  • Hut-to-Hut Planning Tips: discounts, reservations, budget
  • Stages 1 – 4 Explained: stage overview, where to stay, alternative routes
  • Slovenian Alps Packing List: passport, sleeping bag liner, etc…
Hiking Kamnik-Savinja Alps, Slovenia | Moon & Honey Travel

Where are the Kamink-Savinja Alps?

The Kamnik-Savinja Alps (Kamnisko-Savinjske in Slovenian) are located in Northern Slovenia, close to the Austrian border. They make up the south-easternmost part of the Alps and the southernmost part of the limestone alps. These mountains are also known as the Steiner Alpen, or Steiner-Sanntaler Alps.

Stages
  • Stage 1
  • Stage 2
  • Stage 3
  • Stage 4
Hiking Kamnik-Savinja Alps, Slovenia, 4 Day Hiking Tour | Moon & Honey Travel

Hiking Hut-to-Hut in Slovenia - Planning Tips

Make Reservations for Mountain Huts

  • It’s important to make reservations for overnight stays at least 1-2 weeks in advance. Note: if you’re staying in a mountain hut during the weekend, you should book earlier.
  • The most reliable way to make reservations is by calling the hut directly. Email response rate is 50%.
  • You can choose between sleeping in a shared-dormitory, or a private room.

Here are the contact numbers of the mountain huts mentioned in this guide:

Become a member of an Alpine Club

  • You’ll get a significant discount on your overnight stay, if you present your alpine club membership card. There are tons of alpine clubs throughout Europe, so just confirm with the hut owner whether your alpine club is accepted.
  • If you don’t have a Alpine Club membership, you can apply for the Alpine Association of Slovenia. Processing may take a few weeks.
  • We’re members of the Österreichischen Alpenverein (Austrian Alpine Club), and so we receive discounts on all mountain huts that have contracts with the Austrian Alpine Club. We received a discount in every hut in Slovenia.

Buy a Hiking Map

  • When planning a trek through the Slovenian Alps, a hiking map is essential.
  • Via Ferrata trails are typically denoted by dotted lines. Routes that are difficult are denoted in broken lines.
  • We recommend the Grintovci 1:25 000 for all hikes in the Kamnik Savinja Alps.

Bring enough Cash and Budget for 45 EUR per person per day

Note: budget an additional 15 EUR per day if you don’t have an alpine club membership card.

  • Tourist Tax: 1.15 EUR per person per night
  • Dormitory Mattress: ~22-28 EUR, with Alpine Club Discount: 9-14 EUR per person
  • Private room (2-bedroom): ~28 EUR, with Alpine Club Discount: 18.90 EUR per person
  • Breakfast: 5 EUR
  • Dinner Meal: 6-7 EUR
  • Soup: 5 EUR
  • Beer & Wine: 3-4 EUR
  • 1 Liter Water Bottle: 2.50 EUR
  • Appliance Charging (phone, camera batteries): Free

Learn these Slovenian Words

  • dober dan – hello
  • hvala – thank you
  • dom, koča – mountain hut
  • gora – mountain
  • vhr – summit
  • greben – ridge
  • jezero – lake
  • planina – open pasture, alp
  • sedlo – saddle
  • dolina – valley
  • slap – waterfall

Follow the Knafelc Waymark

All trails are marked with the Knafelc Waymark, which is a red circle with a white center. Trail markings are generally well-maintained and easy to follow.

Kamnik Saddle, Kamniška koča na Kamniškem sedlu , Hiking Kamnik-Savinja Alps, Slovenia | Moon & Honey Travel

Day 1 - Kamnik-Savinja Alps Trek

The hike to the mountain saddle Kamniškem sedlu begins at the mountain hut Dom v Kamniški Bistrici in Kamniška Bistrica. To reach Kamniška Bistrica by public transit, you can take a direct bus from the town Kamnik. There are frequent buses from Ljubljana to Kamnik. We decided to stay the night in the mountain hut Dom v Kamniški Bistrici, which is directly located at the trailhead. Stage 1 can easily be done as a day hike. Though continuously uphill, it’s a manageable hike that isn’t technically difficult. For those looking for a taste of the Kamnik-Savinja alps, this is for you.

Stage 1: Dom v Kamniški Bistrici (600 m) – Kamniška koča na Kamniškem sedlu (1864 m)

  • This hike takes 3.5 – 4 hours.
  • The trail begins at Dom v Kamniški Bistrici. Follow the paved road from the hut to a small parking lot. At the parking area, there will be red signs indicating the direction to Kamniškem sedlu (our trail) and Kokrskem sedlu. 
  • The trail begins steeply and ascends through forest via a narrow path. Simply follow the trail markers, which are white dots surrounded by a red circles.
  • After 2 hours of hiking through forest, you’ll reach a resting area with a A-frame shelter called Pastirji.
  • Soon after the shelter, you’ll clear the bush and walk into a glorious meadow covered in wildflowers. From here, you’ll see the beautiful limestone mountains Brana and Planjava.
  • After the meadow, the trail continues to ascend to the mountain saddle.
  • The destination of Day 1 is a mountain hut situated on a green meadow at the saddle between Mount Brana and Mount Planjava.

Extending the Hike: Side Trek to Mount Brana (2253 m)

  • After lunch and some rest, we decided to hike to the summit of Mount Brana. It takes about 1.5 hours round-trip.
  • It’s a rocky climb that requires the use of both hands in many places and some scrambling. There are some assisted ropes to aid with your ascent and descent. Though you don’t need a full via ferrata (Klettersteig) kit for this, you should wear a helmet.

Stay in Kamniška koča na Kamniškem sedlu

  • This Slovenian mountain hut offers dormitory and private rooms.
  • Showers are provided at no extra cost.
  • Charging is available at no extra cost.
  • The best part about this hut is its location. The outdoor seating area is perfect for soaking up the sun and enjoying the sublime alpine environment.
  • The food was okay. We won’t oversell it.
Turska Gora trail, Hiking Kamnik-Savinja Alps, Slovenia | Moon & Honey Travel

Day 2 - Kamnik-Savinja Alps Trek

The hike today is challenging and technically difficult. A huge segment of the trail is a supported climbing route, aka Via Ferrata, or Klettersteig. While you don’t have to have a ton of via ferrata experience to successfully hike this trail, you should have alpine hiking experience and the right equipment (helmet, via ferrata set).

Stage 2: Kamniška koča na Kamniškem sedlu (1864 m) – Turska Gora (2251 m) – Cojzova koča na Kokrskem sedlu (1793 m)

  • The trail takes officially 6.5 hours. It took us 8 hours (with breaks).
  • From the hut, follow the trail towards Mount Brana. There will be an intersection marked by red signs, indicating left and up to Mount Brana and straight towards Turska Gora (mountain).
  • The trail to Turska Gora initially plummets abruptly. Your descent is aided by fixed ropes, footholds and other climbing aids. You’ll need both of your hands for much of this trail.
  • The first few hours of the trail requires concentration as you manage the via ferrata segment to the summit of Turska Gora (2251 m). If it’s raining, don’t attempt this trail – it’s not safe.
  • From the summit of Turska Gora, the trail descends gently.
  • To reach the mountain hut Cojzova koča, you can decide between the trail via Sleme (presumably the easier way) or via Skuta (2533 m). We opted for the former.
  • The trail traverses a high plateau characterized by slabs of limestone, scree and boulders.
  • At Mali Podi, the beautifully designed shelter Bivak pod Skuto na Malih podih (2045 m) is reachable via an unmarked footpath to the left (according to Maps.me). We didn’t do a detour, because of the thick fog and our desire to get to our destination before any rainfall.
  • There’s another via ferrata segment about half way between Turska Gora and the modern shelter, Bivak Pavla Kemperla pod Grintovcem (2104 m).
  • From the black box-shaped shelter Bivak Pavla Kemperla, it’s another hour to the final destination Cojzova koča.

Stay in Cojzova koča na Kokrskem sedlu (1793 m)

  • Cojzova koča sits on the Kokrskem sedlu mountain saddle. It’s a splendid sight when you finally get a glimpse of the mountain hut straddling the saddle.
  • The hut has private rooms as well as shared dormitory rooms. The walls are paper-thin, so make sure to bring ear plugs.
  • For bathroom facilities, there is running water sourced by rain. However, there’s no shower.
  • The food was definitely an upgrade from the night before. We ate the Goveji Loned, a stew with vegetables and ground beef, as well as their goulash. We also tried the traditional Slovenian dish Jota, which is a bean and sauerkraut soup.
Spremova pot , Hiking Kamnik-Savinja Alps, Slovenia, 4 Day Hiking Tour | Moon & Honey Travel

Day 3 - Kamnik-Savinja Alps Trek

Day 3 is as challenging as Day 2. It requires a fair amount of scrambling and use of both hands. Though the route is partially secured, there are challenging parts that require concentration and a strong head for heights. After summiting the highest peak in the Kamnik Alps, you’ll climb a mountain ridge and descend through scree to the charming mountain hut Češka koča. Only hike this route in good weather. 

Stage 3: Cojzova koča na Kokrskem sedlu (1793 m) – Grintovec (2558 m) – Dolška škrbina (2270) – Češka koča na Spodnjih Ravneh (1542 m)

  • The hike today officially takes 7 hours. It took us 9 hours with breaks.
  • The hike begins surprisingly gently as you make your way to Mount Grintovec. It takes 2 hours to reach the summit.
  • Unlike the ascent, the descent is significantly trickier. Soon after you start the descent, you’ll be faced with a short via ferrata / klettersteig segment that was challenging (especially if you’re not a tall European man). The trail is exposed and requires sure-footedness. For more info, read: Summitpost’s Grintovec.
  • After the via ferrata, the trail will split. You can go left and towards Dolška škrbina (the “easier” route), or right and towards Mlinarsko sedlo (the more difficult route). We opted for the left trail. Dolška škrbina (notch) is basically the saddle between Grintovec and Kočna, or better described as the lowest point of the ridge.
  • The path down Grintovec is mostly characterized by loose rocks and scree. Though we were hyper-focused on our footing, we were able to admire the devastatingly beautiful peaks around us.
  • After hiking Spremova pot (trail) and traversing a steep snow field (hiking poles were essential), we followed the trail markings in the direction of Kočna. The trail leads you vertically up a ridge, which you’ll follow for some time.
  • Next, the trail turns into another assisted climbing route (via ferrata), called the Kremžar route, Kremzarjeva pot. This secured path was unforgettable. The mountains envelop you and you’ll have magical views of the Ravenska Kočna valley. For more info, read Summitpost’s Kremžar route.
  • The trail continues and ultimately intersects with the trail from Mlinarsko sedlo at 1800 m.
  • You’ll continue along difficult terrain towards your ultimate destination Češka koča, the Czech Hut. This last stretch traverses scree slopes, so please be extra careful.

Stay in Češka koča na Spodnjih Ravneh

  • This was our favorite hut in the Kamnik Savinja Alps.
  • Dating back to 1900, this mountain hut has barely changed in a century. There’s ample outdoor seating as well as a cozy interior dining room.
  • The food is delicious.
  • The hut offers shared sleeping quarters. You can either sleep in a shared room, or the dormitory room in the attic (cheaper).
  • There’s running water, but no showers.
Češka koča na Spodnjih Ravneh, Hiking Kamnik-Savinja Alps, Slovenia, 4 Day Hiking Tour | Moon & Honey Travel

Day 4 - Kamnik-Savinja Alps Trek

Day 4 rewards you with an easy finish. We slept in as long as possible and enjoyed a slow breakfast. There’s absolute no hurry today, as the hike to the village Zgornje Jezersko takes only 2 hours.

Stage 4: Češka koča na Spodnjih Ravneh (1542 m) – Zgornje Jezersko

  • Follow the Slovenian Mountain Trail #1 in the direction of Jezersko.
  • After 20/25 minutes, the trail will split. You can take the left trail through forest, or the right trail through the Ravenska kočna valley to Jezersko. We opted for the left trail, because it had rained all night and we were informed that it would be less slippery. However, we believe the trail to Ravenska kočna is far more scenic.
  • The forest trail (#1) was a welcome relief to our tired feet. However, if we’d do it again, we’d opt for the valley trail.
  • The trail intersects the road and it’s a short walk into the village. From the road, you’ll have jaw-dropping views of the Kamnik Alps.

Stay in Zgornje Jezersko

  • We stayed the night at Glamping & Hostel Stara Pošta, which was delightful. They have fun “glamping” huts to sleep in. Showers are communal but very clean. Breakfast is only 5 EUR.
  • From Stara Pošta, it’s a 10 minute walk to the beautiful lake Planšarsko jezero. At the lake, you’ll find the restaurant, Gostišče ob Planšarskem Jezeru. We had a delightful dinner here.
Planšarsko jezero, Zgornje Jezersko, Slovenia

Slovenian Alps Packing List

Pack your Passport, Sleeping Bag Liner, Polarized Sunglasses and…

Passport. It’s required by law that lodging providers (hotels, guesthouses, mountain huts, etc…) in Slovenia officially register your personal details. You’ll need to present your passport in every hut.

Sleeping Bag Liner. Each hut provides sheets, blankets and pillows, but you need to bring a sleeping bag liner.

Polarized Sunglasses. It’s critical to buy polarized glasses that wrap around your head. The limestone reflects light like snow.

Via Ferrata Kit. Helmet, harness and energy absorbing lanyard. Buy full kit here.

2 x 1-Liter Reusable Water Bottle. We both carried 2 water bottles each. You can refill your reusable water bottles at the mountain huts, but there’s no source of water between the huts.

Hiking Pants. When buying hiking pants, we think flexibility and ability to shed water are two important criteria. We both bought two pairs of these Macpac Women’s Hike Tight Pants and we love them. They’re breathable and extremely comfortable in all types of weather. Bonus: you don’t need to wear a belt.

Hiking Boots. If you want to invest in a serious hiking boot that will serve you well in rocky, high alpine terrain, look into buying a pair of Hanwag Tatra Light Lady GTX. These shoes have an extraordinary profile and aren’t rigid like traditional alpine boots.

Merino Wool Hiking Socks. Icebreaker makes the best hiking socks out there. Socks have lifetime warranty.

Sleeping Pants + Shirt

Hiking Poles. Opt for poles with lever locks (flick lock mechanism), as opposed to twisting locks. They’re more durable.

Hiking Backpack + Raincover. Ideal trekking backpack: Osprey Packs Women’s Kyte 46 Backpack.

Sun Hat + Beanie

Rain Jacket. There’s always a chance of rain in the Alps. It’s essential to always carry a proper rain jacket. Kati’s North Face Venture Rain Jacket is excellent quality and truly waterproof.

Down Vest or Hiking Vest. Everyone has different preferences, but when it comes to keeping your core warm on the trail, but not overheating, vests are your best friend. Sabrina never hikes without her Eddie Bauer StormDown Vest.

Fleece (one for hiking, one for sleeping). It’s always good to have a fleece with you for added warmth. Fleece sweaters are lightweight and dry quickly. Buy a Marmot Norhiem Women’s Sweater Knit Fleece Jacket on Amazon.

Long-sleeve and Short-sleeve quick-dry hiking shirts

Waterproof House Slippers (something you can also shower in). After a day of hiking, it’s so enjoyable to finally take of your boots and slip on a pair of Crocs.

Cash. Credit cards are not accepted in all the mountain huts.

Basic Cosmetics. Soap, Shampoo, Toothbrush, Toothpaste, Sun-lotion, Deodorant, Chapstick, Nail Clippers.

Travel Towel. Opt for a thin, microfiber towel that dries quickly.

Ear Plugs. We always carry several pairs of ear plugs with us when we’re overnighting in mountain huts.

Hiking Kamnik-Savinja Alps, Slovenia, 4 Day Hiking Tour | Moon & Honey Travel

Kamnik-Savinja Alps Resources

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External Resources
  • hribi.net – resource for all mountain huts, peaks, connections in Slovenia. The site needs a redesign, but it’s a reliable source of information for all things hiking and mountaineering in the Slovenian Alps.
  • Info on Trail Closures  – map indicating what trails are closed is maintained by the Alpine Association of Slovenia.
  • Long Distance Trails in Slovenia: Via Alpina, Alpe Adria Trail, Slovenian Mountain Trail, Walk of Peace, E7, E6, etc…

There are some affiliate links in this itinerary. If you make a booking or a purchase using the links, we’ll get a small commission at no extra cost to you. It’s how we cover the costs of running the blog!

@moonhoneytravelers
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  • Our favorite view from the Valbona Pass hike in Northern Albania. Late September proved to be a wonderful time to hike in Albania, though we were surprised about how hot it was. #mountainsphoto
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Wine tastings at Çobo Winery are accompanied by bread, homemade olives, and several cheeses. In so many places, wine tastings are rushed. Not here. Seated under an olive tree, you’re invited to slowly sip Shesh i Bardhë, E bardha e Beratit (puls grape), Shesh i zi, Kashmer (blend), and a special Reserve (2012) that will intoxicate your soul. #winedestinations
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