A day trip or an easy hike to Tamar glacial valley in the Triglav National Park near Kranjska Gora is one of my favorite ones in this part of Slovenia. But I am far from being the only one and Tamar is often quite crowded on sunny weekends and holidays, so it makes sense to start the hike early in the morning, or go there during the week. The trip is possible in all seasons and is also suitable for families with small children, mountain bikers, four-legged family members, and in winter also for sledding and cross-country skiing enthusiasts. The main trail ends at a mountain cottage called Dom v Tamarju, a pleasant larger hut where you can refresh yourself with home-made delicacies, or have a picnic on the meadow in front of it. Depending on your time and fitness ou can also continue hiking to some of the surrounding peaks, as well as to the source of the river Nadiža and Črne vode waterfall. In addition, at the starting point of the hike you can see the famous ski jumps in Planica and a really great Nordic center. In this article, therefore, more about visiting the ski jumps and the Tamar Valley in summer and winter seasons.
Starting point: Parking lot at Planica ski jumps near Kranjska Gora
End: Dom v Tamarju cottage (1.108m)
Hiking time: about 1 hour in each direction
Difficulty: easy hiking trail, suitable for families with children
Summer gear: comfortable sneakers or hiking shoes
Winter gear: warm hiking shoes and sticks, crampons in case of freezing and sledges for the kids
PLANICA NORDIC CENTER
Recently renovated ski jumps and the new NORDIC CENTER PLANICA offers plenty of fun and activities for everybody, from CROSS-COUNTRY SKI TRAIL (including an indoor snow tunnel), to ZIPLINE, CURLING, DISC GOLF PARK, FLYING TUNNEL for indoor skydiving and a (guided) tour of the MUSEUM, where one can learn about the interesting history of ski jumps in Planica. In addition, there is also a CAFE AND VIEWING PLATFORM.
PLANICA IN THE SUMMER
The ski jumps in Planica do not rest even in the summer months, and with a little luck you catch one of the JUMPING TRAINING of younger Slovenian jumpers and also foreign national teams. In our experience, it is very interesting for children to watch the jumpers, as well as for foreigners who have never seen anything like it, even not on television. Everyone who is eager for adrenaline can indulge in an exciting ZIPLINE DOWNHILL FROM THE JUMP, or take part in the traditional RED BULL RUN ON THE MOUNTAIN GIANT which takes place once per year.
PLANICA IN THE WINTER
Of course, Planica glows in full glory in the winter months, when the ski jumps are covered by snow. THE VERY FIRST JUMP IN PLANICA took place before 1930, and in 1994 the Finnish Toni Nieminen was the first to fly over 200 m, right here in Planica. Every year in MARCH, the FIS WORLD SKI JUMP CHAMPIONSHIP takes place here, and thousands of visitors gather under Ponce mountains to see the world’s best jumpers. In addition, the whole event is a kind of NATIONAL FESTIVAL in Slovenia and we love to attend it.
HIKING TAMAR VALLEY ROUTE DESCRIPTION
FROM THE PARKING LOT AT THE SKI JUMPS, you take the rest of the asphalt road past the museum part of the Nordic Center on your left side all the way to the beginning of the GRAVEL HIKING TRAIL. If you are here in the SUMMER YOU HAVE 2 ROUTES OPTIONS, namely the LEFT ONE (I personally find the views on the surrounding hills from this route more beautiful), and the one that branches off to the RIGHT (this one takes you more through the forest). As a result, this path on the right is more shady and may be suitable when it is very hot. IN WINTER, WE MUST WALK ON THE LEFT PATH, as there is a CROSS-COUNTRY SKI TRAIL on the RIGHT ROUTE. In winter, sledding downhill is very popular on the way back to the car park. The hike to DOM V TAMARJU (the cottage at the end), where you can try some traditional mountain home-made delicacies, takes less than an hour, but you can extend it to the NADIŽA RIVER SPRING (approximately 20 minutes of steep path) or ČRNE VODE WATERFALL (also about 20min aditional hiking). For those with more fitness and time, from Tamar valley you can also hike to Slemenova Špica, Mala Mojstrovka, Vršič, Jalovec, Ponca or Mangart, for example.
TAMAR VALLEY IN SUMMER TIME
An early morning hike to the Tamar Valley provides peace and quiet, as well as pleasant refreshing air in the warmer summer months – it can be quite cold in the mornings so so don’t forget some warmer clothes. The gravel and pebble path from Planica partly leads us through the forest, we cross dry pebble riverbeds a few times and we are surrounded by the peaks of the JULIAN ALPS practically all the time. In the summer, I usually walk up on the left path, which seems more scenic to me, and return on the right. The trail is also suitable for MOUNTAIN BIKES and more durable OFF-ROAD KIDS STROLLERS, otherwise I find baby carriers and hiking backpacks more suitable for this hike.
ON THE LARGER MEADOW right in front of the Dom v Tamarju cottage, there is a lot of space for playing games, so let your children bring a ball or, for example, a frisbee. For a short rest, a folding blanket is practical as well. Just remember that we are in a national park, so be sure to clean up all the trash, do not pick flowers and act responsibly.
DOM V TAMARJU is open all year round, and in addition to the GASTRONOMIC OFFER, the cottage also has ACCOMMODATION CAPACITIES –12 rooms and shared beds for a total of about 50 GUESTS. In addition to the INDOOR DINING ROOM, there are also tables outside on the TERRACE, both under the roof and in the open area, where larger parasols provide shade in summer. We usually treat ourselves with a delicious “SPOON DISH”, the offer is quite diverse and there is something for those with a sweet tooth as well. There is also a small CHAPEL on the meadow in front of the hut, and a WATER WELL for visitors, where you can fill up your bottles.
NADIŽE RIVER SPRING AND ČRNE VODE WATERFALL
From the meadow in front of Dom v Tamarju cottage, a slightly steeper ascent to the source of the NADIŽA RIVER, which is also considered to be the first source of the SAVA DOLINKA RIVER, is possible. After 15-20 minutes of steep hiking, the last part of the route is also with the help of wedges and steel cables, you arrive at the top from where there is a beautiful view of the Tamar valley below. The path is not suitable for smaller children, and caution for everybody is advisable.
Also, after a 20-minute walk from the cottage, we reach the ČRNE VODE WATERFALL, which originates below Slemenova Špica mountain, and actually consists of 4 waterfalls. Access to the waterfalls is possible by easy crossing a dry river bed, and the highest waterfall is as high as 70m. In summer, visiting these waterfalls is also suitable for families.
TAMAR VALLEY IN WINTER TIME
A WINTER HIKE TO TAMAR is our traditional day trip on the first day of the new calendar year (well, depending on the New Year’s party, sometimes we go on the second day). And we are usually not the only ones with this idea, but despite the crowds, it’s always gorgeous and fun. Since we are in Kranjska Gora often anyway, regardless of the time of year, we often go to Tamar in winter, sometimes also with cross-country skis or SNOW SLEIGHS.
It is the most beautiful, of course, on a sunny day just after the freshly fallen snow, otherwise the path to Tamar can be sometimes extremely icy – that’s when I recommend using HIKING STICKS, and the CRAMPONS really come in handy. Otherwise, Dom v Tamarju cottage offers a good number of indoor tables, but the place gets really quickly full so bring patience if you want to sit down while visiting on weekends.
A SLEIGH RIDE BACK DOWN from the Dom v Tamarju cottage in the direction towards Planica is very popular when the snow cover is thick enough. There is no specially arranged toboggan run here and when there are a lot of hikers, a little more caution is needed. Still this is great fun for children (who can also be dragged up the hill on a sled, of course), as well as for parents.
A TRIP TO KRANJSKA GORA AND AROUND
It is very likely that you will visit Tamar and the ski jumps in Planica, for example, during a weekend visit to Kranjska Gora or during a several-day ski holiday in this part of Gorenjska. Even if you only come for one day, there will still be enough time for a quick sightseeing near Kranjska Gora.
You can combine this hike to the Tamar valley with a PANORAMIC DRIVE OVER THE VRŠIČ PASS, a visit to LAKE JASNA, a hike to the KRNICA VALLEY, a walk through the center of KRANJSKA GORA, a visit to the ZELENCI NATURE RESERVE or PERIČNIK WATERFALL and visit Slovenian MOUNTAINEERING MUSEUM and other interesting things and natural beauties. Even if you spend a whole week in Kranjska Gora and its surroundings, I guarantee you will not be bored as there is lots to see and do. There is a longer comprehensive blog post about activities and things to see in the vicinity of Kranjska Gora – both in summer and winter. Read it by clicking the button below.