Kranjska Gora is an alpine resort town located in the Upper Sava Valley in northwestern Slovenia, very close to the Austrian and Italian borders.
Each summer, Kranjska Gora attracts walkers, cyclists, hikers, and climbers who are eager to explore the highest mountains of the Slovenian Alps.
During our first trip to Kranjska Gora, we stayed a few nights in town before hiking across Triglav National Park. On our second trip, we visited Kranjska Gora on this road trip. And, on our third trip, we visited in October for the fall colors.
If you’re visiting Kranjska Gora without a car, we suggest visiting during high summer, when seasonal buses are operating. In high season, there’s a bus line that links Kranjska Gora with Bovec (Soča Valley) via the Vršič mountain pass.
Ultimately, a car will give you more flexibility. You can explore nearby valleys like Planica, Vrata, Kot, Krma, and Radovna, which aren’t accessible by public transit. We recommend using the Discovercars.com car rental reservation platform to search for and book car rentals in Slovenia.
Also, the northern ascent routes to Mount Triglav begin at the valley heads of Vrata and Kot. So, a car is essential if you want to climb Triglav from the north.
What to See and Do in Kranjska Gora, Slovenia
- Slovenian Region: Upper Carniola
- Elevation: 806 meters
- Popular Attractions: Lake Jasna, Vršič Pass, and the Zelenci Nature Reserve
- Nearby Villages: Mojstrana, Dovje, Belca, Gozd Martuljek, Srednji Vrh, Podkoren, and Rateče
- Easy Walks: Planica Pot Po Dolini Trail (Planica Valley) and the Triglavska Bistrica Trail (Vrata Valley)
- Easy Day Hikes: Vršič pass to Slemenova Špica and Martuljek Waterfalls
- Via Ferrata Climbs: Mt. Mala Mojstrovka and Prisojnik / Prisank.
- 4-Day Trek: Vršič pass to Lake Bohinj
- Where to Stay in Kranjska Gora: Hotel Vandot (midrange), Pri Marusi (midrange), Hotel Pino Alpino (midrange), Hiša Kosobrin (midrange-luxury), and Boutique Hotel Skipass (luxury)
- Where to Stay at Lake Jasna: Jasna Chalet Resort (aparthotel) and Boutique Hotel Milka (luxury)
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Kranjska Gora Map
Best Things to Do in Kranjska Gora in Summer and Fall
1. Hike to the Martuljek Waterfalls
The Martuljek Waterfalls are two waterfalls beneath Špik in the Julian Alps.
The hike to Martuljek Waterfalls (Slap Martuljek in Slovenian) is a fabulous half-day excursion.
From the neighboring village of Gozd Martuljek, the path leads to a charcoal burning site and continues to the Martuljek Gorge.
Walk through the enchanting gorge and ascend the steps to the Lower Martuljek Waterfall (Spodnji Martuljkov slap) viewpoint.
The way ascends to the managed Brunarica pri Ingotu hut, located on a scenic mountain pasture. Drop by for homemade stew, a drink, or simply the mountain views.
You can end the hike here, or continue hiking for another hour to the Upper Martuljek Waterfall (Zgornji Martuljkov slap).
To reach the waterfall pool, hikers have to tackle a protected section, secured with rungs and cables.
Learn More: Martuljek Waterfalls Trail Guide
2. Visit Lake Jasna
Lake Jasna is the name given to two interconnected artificial lakes close to Kranjska Gora.
From the Kranjska Gora town center, it’s a 25-minute walk to the lake. You can either walk along the road or more preferably along the Pišnica river.
There are a few cafés located along Lake Jasna, but save your appetite for Milka Restaurant (reservation needed).
The best time to visit Lake Jasna is in the early evening, shortly before sunset. As the sun sinks, the peaks of the Northern Julian Alps (Mount Razor and Mount Prisank) light up in soft hues of pink and violet. It’s a bewitching sight.
Learn More: How to Visit Lake Jasna
3. Bike to the Zelenci Nature Reserve
Zelenci is an emerald-colored pool located in a marsh. The whole marsh area is a nature reserve.
There are a trail and a wooden boardwalk that leads to a viewing platform, where you can see the astonishingly clear and green waters of Zelenci.
While it may look like just a lake, it’s actually a spring and the source of the Sava Dolinka River.
The porous chalk bottom of the pool allows a continuous up-welling of groundwater. You’ll see bubble streams emerging from the bottom.
We walked to Zelenci from Kranjska Gora, but biking would have been the better option. You can rent bikes in the town center.
If you’re driving from Kranjska Gora, the parking lot is on the left side of the road shortly after Podkoren (6-minute drive). From the parking lot to the spring, it’s a 10-minute walk.
4. Eat Dinner at Milka
Milka is a fine dining restaurant and newly opened boutique hotel located directly at Lake Jasna. Here, guests can savor creative and exciting Slovenian cuisine in a romantic setting overlooking the Julian Alps.
This One Michelin Star restaurant offers a set menu for lunch (Saturday only) and dinner (Wednesday – Saturday).
For the most magical experience, book a table 1 hour before sunset.
If you’re planning your anniversary, or honeymoon, consider staying at Milka Boutique Hotel. Check rates and current availability on booking.com.
Note | We ate a very memorable dinner at Milka, before they renovated and evolved their concept. Our photo predates the renovation.
5. Drive, or Take a Bus to Vršič pass
Vršič pass is the highest paved mountain pass in Slovenia and connects Kranjska Gora with Bovec. You can either drive here or take a bus.
In high season, buses leave every 1-2 hours. Check the bus schedule here. In Summer, we recommend hiking around the pass and eating lunch at the mountain hut Poštarski dom na Vršiču.
After lunch, you could continue your journey to Trenta, or Soča, or return to Kranjska Gora.
For a relatively easy hike, we suggest hiking to Slemenova Špica, which is a grassy hill and lookout point set amidst the dramatic Julian Alps. The hike should take no more than 3 hours round-trip.
From Vršič pass, follow signs towards Sleme. After 30 minutes, you’ll reach the saddle Vratica (1799 m), where the trail splits. To hike to Sleme, head right (45 minutes).
After another 30 minutes, you’ll reach a trail junction. You’ll see a path to the right signed Grlo that heads to the Tamar mountain hut. Stay to the left.
Keep your eyes peeled for another trail intersection. You’ll want to head right. If you continue on the main trail, you’ll end up at the Slatnica saddle.
This trail brings you to a high grassy pasture just below the summit of Slemenova Špica. Set amidst the limestone peaks of the Julian Alps, this panoramic hill is a lovely place for a picnic.
Return by the same route.
6. Visit Peričnik Waterfall in Vrata Valley
Peričnik Waterfall (Slap Peričnik in Slovenian) is a waterfall in Vrata Valley, a glacial side valley of the Upper Sava Valley.
Though the waterfall is visible from the Vrata Valley road, we recommend hiking the circuit trail to both the lower and upper falls. The whole hike is only 1.1 km and takes no more than one hour to complete.
From Kranjska Gora, drive to Mojstrana and follow the Vrata Valley road to Koča pri Peričniku (26 minutes). In high season, there are shuttle buses which link Mojstrana to Koča pri Peričniku. Find out more on kranjska-gora.si.
From the Koča pri Peričniku hut, it takes 15 minutes to hike up a steep forest trail to the Lower Peričnik Waterfall.
The trail leads behind the plunging waterfall through a natural gallery to the other side.
The circuit path continues to a signed junction. Here, you can detour to the Upper Peričnik Waterfall, following a well-maintained and secured path.
After hiking up to the upper waterfall, return to the signed junction and complete the circuit back down to the Koča pri Peričniku hut.
Learn More: How to Get to Peričnik Waterfall
7. Take a Day Trip to the Fusine Lakes in Italy
Laghi di Fusine, or Fusine Lakes, are two glacial lakes in northeastern Italy, very close to Kranjska Gora.
If you have a rental car or are keen on cycling, we highly recommend making a trip to these two beautiful lakes. It only takes 20-min by car (14 km) to reach Laghi di Fusine.
When you arrive, you can park your car directly at the Upper Fusine Lake and walk the loop path that circuits both lakes.
After, you can hike up an hour to Rifugio Luigi Zacchi (1380 m) in the Julian Alps.
Learn More: How to Visit Laghi di Fusine
Where to Stay
Midrange | Hotel Vandot is a hospitable B&B in the center of Kranjska Gora with clean and cozy rooms and parking (extra charge).
Midrange | Pri Marusi is a centrally-located guesthouse in Kranjska Gora with exceedingly kind and attentive owners. Rooms are modern and immaculate. Breakfast is included.
Midrange | Garni Hotel Miklič is a traditional, family-run accommodation with spotless rooms and raving reviews. Guests love the welcoming hosts, central location, and superb breakfast.
Top Choice – Midrange | Hotel Pino Alpino is an impressive 3-star hotel with an on-site à la carte restaurant and bar, located in Kranjska Gora’s pedestrian zone. Breakfast is included. Free private parking is located behind the hotel.
Midrange-Luxury | Hiša Kosobrin offers modern apartments with fully-equipped kitchens. The property is located on the bank of the Sava Dolinka river, just outside of the town center. Guests have access to a sauna and private parking.
Top Choice – Luxury | Boutique Hotel Skipass is a 4-star, family-run boutique hotel with a wine bar serving Slovenian wines and cold cuts. Stay here for the comfortable rooms, fresh à la carte breakfast, and kind and attentive staff. Parking is available on-site (10 EUR/day).
More accommodation options | B&B Brezov Gaj (budget), Vitranc Apartments (budget), Gostilna Pri Martinu (budget), Apartma Peček Kranjska Gora (midrange), Hotel Vandot (midrange), Apartments and Rooms Bernik (midrange).
Lakefront Aparthotel | Jasna Chalet Resort occupies the most enviable location along the north shore of Lake Jasna, facing Prisank and Razor. Most units have 2-3 bedrooms, which is ideal for families. We really enjoyed the alpine setting, the fully-equipped kitchen, and the convenient private parking.
Luxury | Milka Boutique Hotel is a new, responsibly-created alpine hotel with six rooms overlooking Lake Jasna and the Northern Julian Alps. The architectural design is an ode to the hotel’s pristine surroundings. This flawless boutique hotel offers a fine dining restaurant (open for lunch and dinner), stunning mountain vistas, and a plentiful, mouthwatering breakfast. Additional facilities: secure bike and ski room, bar, and private sauna (extra charge).
Gozd Martuljek is a small village in the Upper Sava Valley, only 5 km east of Kranjska Gora. The village is wedged between the Martuljska mountains of the Julian Alps and the Karawanks.
Midrange | Rute Hotel and Apartments offers clean and tidy rooms and apartments in a stunning location. Breakfast is included in the room rate.
Midrange | Hotel Špik is adjoined to the Špik Alpine Wellness Centre. Guests have free access to the wellness center’s three indoor pools, but the sauna area is an extra charge, though discounted. This hotel offers great views, extensive spa facilities, but the rooms are in need of refurbishment.
Top Choice – Luxury | Triangel Boutique Hotel is a 4-star hotel with comfortable, air-conditioned rooms and apartments. The property faces the Martuljek mountain group and is located directly at the Martuljek Waterfalls trailhead. Guests have access to a wellness area (extra charge), a fitness center, and free private parking. We highly recommend eating in the hotel’s à la carte restaurant, which serves regionally-inspired cuisine made with locally-sourced Slovenian ingredients.
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Slovenia Trip Planning Essentials
Use our Slovenia Travel Guide to plan an unforgettable trip.
When to Visit Slovenia
Summer and Fall Seasons. The best time to travel to Slovenia is between May and late October.
The best time to hike in the Slovenian Alps is between June and October. For hut-to-hut hiking, we recommend planning your trek between early July and mid-September.
Winter Season. For skiing and winter activities, the best time to visit Slovenia is between mid/late December and March.
It’s possible to visit Slovenia without a car if you want to concentrate your time in Ljubljana, Lake Bled, and Lake Bohinj.
When we visited without a car, we planned two linear hut to hut hikes.
Unless you’re trekking, we recommend renting a car, because many places are simply not accessible with transit. For example, there are no buses to Logar Valley, Vrata Valley, and the Košuta mountain pastures.
Check out our itineraries for road trip inspiration:
Use the intuitive Discovercars.com car rental reservation platform to search for and book car rentals. This easy-to-use booking platform compares car rental deals from 500+ trusted providers, so that you can choose the best option for your trip.
Tip: If you can only drive automatic transmission cars, as opposed to manual transmission cars (stick shift), book your car rental as early as possible.
Where to Stay
Top Things to Do
- Summit Mount Triglav.
- Eat Štruklji Borovničevi at Kofce Mountain Hut.
- Trek across Triglav National Park along this epic 4-day Triglav National Park Trek.
- Visit an alpine dairy like Koča na planini Dolga njiva.
- Stay in a farm stay like Tourist Farm Šenkova domačija in Zgornje Jezersko.
- Swim in the crystal clear waters of Lake Bohinj.
- Watch the sunrise at Mala Osojnica, overlooking Lake Bled.
- Hike to the Kamnik Saddle.
- Glamp in a treehouse like Ribno Alpine Glamping.
- Photograph the mountain pastures of Pokljuka Plateau.
Slovenia Packing List
- Day Pack: Osprey Tempest 30 Women’s Backpack / Osprey Talon 33 Men’s Backpack
- Grade B/C high-cut hiking boots: Meindl Schuhe Island Lady (Kati’s Boots), Women’s Hanwag Tatra II GTX (Sabrina’s Boots), Men’s Hanwag Tatra II GTX (men’s equivalent)
- CAT 4 Sunglasses: Julbo Shield Mountain Sunglasses
- Hiking Poles: Black Diamond Trail Trekking Poles
- Reusable Water Bottle: Ion Leakproof 32 oz Water Bottle
Outdoor Photography Gear
- Camera Body: Sony Alpha a6400
- Mid-range Zoom Lens: Tamron 17-70mm 2.8 Di III-A VC RXD
- Wide angle Zoom Lens: Sony – E 10-18mm F4 OSS Wide-angle Zoom Lens
- Backpack Camera Clip: Peak Design Camera Clip
Slovenia Hiking Guides
Slovenia is heaven on earth for hikers. We recommend allocating sufficient time to discover both the Julian Alps and the Kamnik Savinja Alps.
In Best Hikes in Slovenia, we’ve summarized the most thrilling day hikes and multi-day hikes across the Slovenian Alps, ranked by difficulty.