Kranjska Gora is an alpine resort town in northwestern Slovenia. Most people come to Kranjska Gora for the ski season. However, if you’re planning a summer holiday, this delightful destination has a lot to offer. Framed by the limestone mountains of the Julian Alps and surrounded by soft meadows, Kranjska Gora is very easy on the eyes.
During our first trip to Kranjska Gora, we stayed two nights at Youth Hostel Nika (excellent breakfast), before hiking across Triglav National Park. We didn’t have a car for that trip, so everything we did was accessible by foot or public transit. On our second trip, we visited Kranjska Gora on this road trip.
In this guide, we’ve summarized the very best things to do in Kranjska Gora in one day.
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Top Things to Do in Kranjska Gora in Summer
Here are a few things you can do during your 1-day trip to Kranjska Gora.
- Hike to the Martuljek Waterfalls
- Visit Lake Jasna
- Bike to Zelenci
- Dinner at Milka
- Hike from Vršič pass to Slemenova Špica
- Take a side-trip to the Fusine Lakes in Italy (car needed)
Hike to the Martuljek Waterfalls
Hiking to Martuljek waterfalls (Slap Martuljek in Slovenian) is a wonderful half-day excursion in summer, suitable for the whole family. If you have a copy of the Cicerone Walking Guide: Julian Alps of Slovenia, this hike is listed as Walk 4. To reach the waterfall trailhead, you can take a 10-minute bus ride from Kranjska Gora to the small town Gozd Martuljek. Check bus schedule here. Alternatively, you can walk an hour to Gozd Martuljek. The walk follows path #5 along the Sava Dolinka River.
As you approach Gozd Martuljek, look for a dirt road leading to the right. You’ll walk across open meadows for about 5 minutes before walking under an old stone railway bridge. From the meadow, you’ll have splendid views of the Julian Alps. Next, you’ll pass a charcoal burning site with information boards about the history of the industry. Right after the site, the trail splits. Take the left trail. The trail passes by a man-made waterfall and then enters an enchanting gorge with steep walls.
You’ll hike through the gorge and then ascend to a nice viewing area of the lower Martuljek falls (spodnji slap). Continue on the path until you reach a junction with a wide gravel road. Turn left and head in the direction of Brunarica pri Ingotu (there are signs). Brunarica pri Ingotu is a mountain hut that’s situated on a meadow and surrounded by dairy cows. It’s one of those places out of a storybook. Stop here for a homemade stew, a drink, or simply the mountain view.
Next, you can either continue the journey for another hour to the upper Martuljek waterfall (zgornji), or return back to Gozd Martuljek. We didn’t hike up to the upper falls, however, we read that the hike requires a bit of scrambling.
Read Next: Julian Alps Hiking Trails
Lake Jasna is an alpine lake that boasts one of the best views of the Julian Alps. From the Kranjska Gora town center, it’s a 25-minute walk. You can either walk along the road or more preferably along the Pišnica river. A footpath loops around the lake. There are a few cafés at the lake, but save your appetite for Milka Restaurant. The best time to enjoy the view is in the early evening. As the sun sets, the peaks of the Eastern Julian Alps are illuminated in soft hues of pink and violet. It’s a bewitching site.
Bike to Zelenci
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.
Dinner at Milka
Milka is a restaurant and hotel located directly at Lake Jasna. If you’re looking for a romantic setting, where you can enjoy the sunset over the Julian Alps, come here. The restaurant offers a reasonably-priced set menu, though you can also order à la carte. Their cuisine is delicious, but the location is superb.
Address: Vršiška 45, Kranjska Gora
Phone: +386 70 169 566
Book your stay at Milka Pension (3 nights minimum stay).
Vršič pass is the highest road 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, you’ll go right (45 minutes). After another ~ 30 minutes, you’ll reach a 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. When you arrive in the high grassy meadow of Slemenova Špica, you’ll have epic views of the Southern Limestone Alps.
We started our hike across the Julian Alps and Triglav National park right here.
Read Next: Hiking Across Triglav National Park
Laghi di Fusine, Italy
Kranjska Gora Day Trip
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 in Kranjska Gora
Budget | Youth Hostel Nika is a budget-friendly accommodation in Kranjska Gora. We had a great stay here and were pleasantly surprised by the bountiful breakfast buffet.
Mid-Range | Apartments and Rooms Kaja offers several comfortable and spacious apartments in Kranjska Gora that have been lovingly refurbished.
Luxury | Boutique Skipass Hotel is a superb family-run hotel located in the heart of Kranjska Gora. The hotel features an on-site gourmet restaurant (2 nights minimum stay).
More Information for Your Trip to Slovenia:
- Slovenia Road Trip Itinerary
- Slovenian Alps Hiking Guide
- Best Things to Do in Logar Valley
- Magical Things to Do in Kobarid
- Hidden Wonders of Pokljuka Plateau
- Slovenia Hidden Gems
More Info about Hiking in Slovenia: