Kamnik – discover the essence of Slovenia

May 17, 2024

What you think when somebody mention Slovenia? Alpine peaks covered in snow, green fields and forests, turquoise clean rivers and medieval towns? Well all of that is true, and despite small size of Slovenia there are dozens of destinations that you can visit. If you have just 4 or 5 days of your holiday and you want to feel the essence of Slovenia you should visit Kamnik. It is Slovenia in small. Everything that you expect from Slovenia and so much more. Beside welcoming locals who will treat you as a king, you will discover myths and legends of old town Kamnik, you will have opportunity to discover one of the most amazing part of the Alps – Velika Planina, abundands of Spa and relaxation opportunities, you will discover Beer way and craft beer production, beautiful botanical garden and the most important – smile on the people – because they are surounded with all shades of green they can think about, good local food and alpine air.

Slovenia is a land that tells a green story. Wherever you look, everything is green, and so it is in the picturesque destination of Kamnik. Untouched green nature encourages us to act responsibly and protect it so that we can pass it on intact to future generations. Under the auspices of the “Green Scheme of Slovenian Tourism,” Kamnik also implements green, sustainable policies and creates green experiences. Within the national program, the SLOVENIA GREEN label is awarded, promising a green future. Based on the assessment received from the Slovenian Tourist Destination within the Green Scheme of Slovenian Tourism, the destination KAMNIK has twice received the Slovenia Green Destination – GOLD label. The highest rating was achieved in the category of Nature and Landscape. All stakeholders operating sustainably in Kamnik have demonstrated that their actions and sustainable projects oversee the impacts of tourism and other factors on the environment, nature, and the community.

In Kamnik, you can experience a rich combination of natural beauty, cultural heritage, outdoor activities, and a pleasant atmosphere. Regardless of your interests, we believe you will find something for yourself and your loved ones in this wonderful city. The medieval town preserves its tradition and authenticity, which is also reflected in its people. Local residents are proud of their city and enjoy sharing their culture, heritage, local delicacies, and stories with visitors.

Kamnik is beautiful medieval gem of Slovenia. It is connected to Ljubljana and Airport so it is very easy to visit it. It is in central position of the country so it is ideal as a base from where you can visit all other attractions. The first written sources about Kamnik go back to 1229. The two castles of Kamnik, Mali grad and Stari grad, were mentioned even earlier. The town boasts a rich Franciscan Library, where about 10,000 volumes of books printed before the end of the 18th century are kept. Šutna is the most beautiful street in the town, featuring typical signboards and other signs of the lively craft activities in the past. Take a stroll along the street and discover numerous attractions, including the birthplace of Rudolf Maister, the parish church of Mary Immaculate with a separate Gothic spire, the Sadnikar museum and the birthplaces of many other renowned inhabitants of Kamnik.

The Samec pass marks the end of the Šutna Street. In the past, there was a natural slope, which divided Šutna from the medieval town, acting like a natural barrier.Stari grad or in German Oberstein was first mentioned in 1207, though it is very likely it had been erected already in the 12th century and is thus one of the oldest castles in the eastern Carniola region. Excellent location of the Stari grad Hill and just the right amount of the visibility enabled the control of the medieval trade route that led through the town. To make the control of transport routes even more effective, Mali grad Castle stood on the rocky hill on the other side of the river. Today, Stari grad Castle Hill is a magnificent outlook point, where you can enjoy the panorama of Polhov Gradec hills, Julian Alps, Karawanks, Kamnik-Savinja Alps and Tuhinj Valley, if the weather is nice. The spot is popular among hikers and families, as the ascent is not that difficult and takes only 30 minutes. On top of Stari grad hill, Grajska terasa will offer you refreshment.

Velika Planina, just 20 minutes from Kamnik by car is perfect alpine gateway. It is like walking into movie set. You will feel like in Lord of the Rings or Narnia movie.

In the year 2023, the new six-seater chairlift Šimnovec was installed and began operating in 2024. Now, you can ride to the top of Velika Planina with a modern, user-friendly, sustainable, and faster device – the new six-seater chairlift, which replaced the two-seater chairlift Šimnovec.All works on the chairlift are completed. Training of employees has been conducted, a rescue exercise with the Mountain Rescue Service Kamnik has been carried out. A successful expert-technical inspection was conducted by the Slovenian National Building and Civil Engineering Institute. Operational permission has also been obtained, and the Šimnovec six-seater chairlift is ready for the public. During the construction of the new six-seater chairlift, Velika Planina closely collaborated with the Slovenian Nature Conservation Institute and the Institute for the Protection of Cultural Heritage, ensuring that the new six-seater chairlift was implemented in accordance with high criteria for nature and cultural heritage conservation.

There are about 200 huts on the alp, of which 63 form the herder’s settlement, belonging to 63 grazing beneficiaries. Most of them come from the 13 villages under Velika Planina and Krvavec and own about 500 hectares of grassland and forests. They own about 380 heads of cattle. At the beginning of June, the herders bring their cattle to Velika planina, and stay here for three months. Due to the lack of herders, some farmers keep their cattle in the paddock, while the other is free to graze on the pasture. The herd of cows is led by the most experienced, which has a bell around the neck. Usually, cows are more accurate than their herder and calmly wait to be let into the stable.

Snow Mary chapel is located above the herders’ settlement. It originally stood here already before the 2nd World War but was burned down by the German soldiers at the end of the war. Herdsmen built a new one in 1988. It is dedicated to St. Mary of the Snows; August 5 presents a special holiday for the chapel and the entire herders’ settlement. In summer, during the pasture season, holy masses are held every Sunday and thousands of visitors each year attend the Midnight Mass on Christmas Eve.

Kamnik area is famous for its termal waters, alpine air and local delicious food. If you are here for rejuvanation and relaxation look no further then Terme Snovik, just 15 minutes by car from center of Kamnik. Terme Snovik is the highest altitude spa in Slovenia and it is located in the heart of Tuhinj valley, less than an hour drive from Ljubljana. The pool complex, various saunas, the welness centre, as well as outdoor recreation areas, offer the perfect place to unwind.

Due to the surrounding nature and its excellent location in the central part of Slovenia, Terme Snovik is an ideal tourist desuination for families during the holiday season and a great place to relax throughout the year.

In Terme Snovik you can discovere the world of Kneipp. Sebastian Kneipp was creator of holistic life concept which sees the human being. his life habits and his natural environment as an inseparable and well balanced unity. Kneipps briliant philosophy is grounded on the five basic elements of water, herbs, excercise, nutrition and balance. In Terme Snovik you can experience and enjoy implentation of Kneipps philosophy.

In Terme Snovik every day is Kneipp day. They are incorporating Kneipps principles into their exsisting offer, which has been friendly to people and their environment from the very beginning.

Kneipp barefoot experience is award winning best themed trail of the year 2018. In Terme Snovik you can experience unique and original Kneipp barefoot experience. Small foot muscles will strengthen on the softness of grass, bark, earth, sand, even water stones, you will walk barefoot in the passing stream and get to know Kneipp affusions. The 3,2 km long barefoot path will awaken your senses, you will learn more about Kneipps philosophy and pillars of healthy life and you will make balance of the body and mind for a healthy active life. Learn more about Terme Snovik and book your accommodation on their website.

Volčji Potok Arboretum is one of the most important architectural heritage gardens in Slovenia. In 1999, it was declared a cultural monument of national importance. The pearl of the Slovenian garden culture stretches along the streams and meadows south of the town. With nearly 5000 tree and plant species, it is wonderful in all seasons. Every year, from mid-April to early May attention is given to the tulips, which make the park especially vivid and colourful. Visitors can admire many other exhibitions, among others, also the orchids, cacti and tropical butterflies.

There is a well-attended children’s playground at the edge of the ground floor park. Children can use the playing devices to climb, slide and rock back and forth. The children’s labyrinth is ideal for running. Whilst the kids are playing, adults can sit for a while on the nearby benches. Please note, however, that the use of these playing devices is at visitors’ own risk and that nowhere in the park should children be left unattended. From May to September, children can attend various workshops for free

Kamnik is a capital of Slovenian craft beer production. If you are beer lover you have to visit this place. Beer way is unique tour for all beer lover. It is connecting the best craft beer production and selling spots and all of that with stories of history and mythology of Kamnik area. And dont forget – alot of beer of the best quality. The experience could not take place in a more appropriate venue. Your guide will meet you at Trg svobode (or Freedom Square in English) in the centre of Kamnik.

Freedom is the theme of this tour, where, among other things, an inspiring and mysterious mug of Freedom Beer awaits you. You will hear many things about the mythical beer that gave the experience its name, including the story of Nikola Tesla and Gustave Eiffel. You will learn of many stories, but also historical facts and secrets that few dare to whisper. You’ll discover stories of freedom on a stroll through the city centre and see, at the right time of year, where all four ingredients of beer originate.

At the four beer tasting stops at all the brewers in Kamnik, you will also be able to sample great modern street food. The Barut brewery is known for its sour beers. They were one of the first in Slovenia to specialise in them. They were created by student scientists who were writing their PhDs and MSc theses on yeasts and decided to make their own beer from their own wild yeasts. That’s why they find all the yeasts in nature – where they collect bark, grass, insects, etc.  Good yeast strains are then isolated in the laboratory and propagated. Some of their beers are aged in old wine barrels, and you’ll get to taste one of them on this trip. Several famous chefs, such as Jorg Zupan and Janez Bratovž, pair them with their food. At the Pri podkvi inn you will get to pair beer with pulled pork burgers. You can learn more about Beer way on their official website.