Less than an hour from Ljubljana is a true mountain paradise beneath the north wall and magnificent screes of Begunjščica. And as the song says, we are drawn to this place again and again.
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There are three possible routes that you can take to Zelenica Mountain Hostel: a marked hiking trail, an unmarked border patrol path, and a transport and rescue path.
Park on the left of the plateau in front of the entrance to the Ljubelj Tunnel in the gravel parking area below the former hotel.
Along the ski run towards the top
After about 15 minutes of walking along a moderately ascending cart track through beech forest you will come to an abandoned ski run. From here there is a view to the left of the extensive scree fields below Begunjščica and to the right of the Ljubeljščica ridge.
Not quite halfway up, on an overgrown meadow before the hut on Vrtača, the middle station of the former chairlift, you can see beautiful lady's slipper orchids in full bloom at the end of May or the beginning of June. But don't forget, this beautiful flowering plant, which has the largest flower of all the European orchids, is a protected species, and its habitat is part of the European network Natura 2000.
After 40 minutes from the start of the hike you’ll come to the hut on Vrtača. From here you will follow a marked trail that leads through a zone of dwarf mountain pine and ascends steeply over a short section. The last part of the trail leading to the mountain hostel runs along a gradually ascending supply trail or a lower-lying hiking trail.
Zelenica Mountain Hostel
The hostel is located on the Zelenica saddle between the north wall of Begunjščica to the south and the border ridge called Na Možeh to the north. From here you can continue your way to Roblek Mountain Hostel on Begunjščica, to Begunjščica, Vrtača and Stol, and there are also other interesting routes in the area, for example to the hut at the source of the Završnica, to Palec or to Zelenjak.
The hostel is home to the Zelenica Mountaineering Instruction Centre, where various courses relating to mountaineering are held. The centre offers administration and logistical support for the training programmes of mountaineering organizations – mountain climbing courses, training for mountain guides, trail maintenance workers, mountain rescue services, etc. – and is happy to welcome groups of young hikers.
In winter Zelenica is a popular destination for backcountry skiers from Slovenia and the neighbouring Austrian province of Carinthia, due primarily to its easy access.
- Karawanks-central part 1:50 000, PZS
- Stol and Begunjščica 1:25 000, PZS