Kamnik is a charming medieval town in north-central Slovenia, only a few kilometers from the capital Ljubljana. The town, whose history and heritage can be discovered by strolling through its streets and alleys, is popular with hikers who come to enjoy its incredible location in the heart of natural beauty. Surrounded by the Alps, green valleys and forests, Kamnik is the gateway to a natural environment that invites you to exercise, breathe clean air and take care of your body and mind. With its ancient heritage, thermal baths, gastronomy and intoxicating mountain landscapes, Kamnik and its surroundings are true to what has become Slovenia's strength: offering travelers an authentic and unspoiled destination, where they can enjoy the essentials and return home fully refreshed.
Discovering Kamnik and its heritage
A stroll through Kamnik allows you to enjoy its medieval atmosphere and to contemplate the baroque facades of the houses in the city center. They can be found along Sutna, the main street, so beautiful with its pastel colors and small craft stores. Kamnik boasts the ruins of no less than two castles that bear witness to its past grandeur. The remains of the first building, Mari Grad, date back to the 11th century and are located on a rocky hill with a beautiful view of the old town. One of Kamnik's most emblematic monuments, the Chapel of St. Eligius, with its beautiful Baroque frescoes, is still standing here. The ruins of the other castle, Stari Grad, are one of the oldest monuments in Eastern Carniola. Hikers enjoy reaching this old castle to enjoy a breathtaking view of the Julian Alps, the Kamnik-Savinja Alps, the Tuhinj valley and the Polhov Gradec hills on a clear day. Finally, there is another castle in the center of Kamnik, Zaprice. Its present appearance was shaped in the Baroque period, and today it houses the inter-municipal museum with beautiful collections of artifacts from various periods, a unique collection of Thonet furniture and at the back of the building, a park of typical Tuhinj Valley granaries.
The surroundings of Kamnik: an ode to nature
Slovenia is one of those countries that attach great importance to the preservation of nature and the practice of responsible and sustainable tourism. Travelers are invited to engage in a multitude of outdoor activities and to take advantage of the surroundings to open their eyes wide and marvel at the biodiversity. The area surrounding the medieval town of Kamnik is a great place to connect with nature. A first step leads to theArboretum, which is the most visited botanical park in Slovenia. It is the most visited botanical park in Slovenia. On an area of 85 hectares, there are 5,000 areas with trees and plants from all over the world, a part with formal gardens, peaceful and flowery paths for walking and a large playground for children.
Kamnik and its territory are great for cycling and hiking enthusiasts. The first exciting hike takes place at Velika Planina, which can be reached by cable car all year round. There is a village on the plateau with about 200 cottages, of which about 60 form the shepherds' village, one of the largest in Europe. They can be recognized by their roofs covered with spruce shingles that come down to the ground. In the summer, once the shepherds have settled down with their flocks, they gladly invite hikers to come and taste some of the mountain's dairy specialties. Around the village, a multitude of paths allow you to enjoy the green nature with incredible views on the mountain pastures. You can also discover the life of the shepherds in the 19th century at the Preskar museum, and admire the beautiful wooden chapel of Notre-Dame-des-Neiges. By the way, it is worth noting that Velika Planina is covered with snow during the cold season and then becomes the land of winter sports enthusiasts.
At another time, hikers should discover the bucolic Kamniška Bistrica Valley, another place where nature reveals all its power. This valley of glacial origin, where the Kamniška Bistrica River rises, is rich in forests, as Slovenia knows how to do, but also in other incredible sites such as the Veliki and Mali Predaselj gorges and the Orglice waterfall. You can hike along the river and marvel at its translucent waters or reach the mountain pass huts such as Kamniško sedlo and Kokrško sedlo. The most courageous can continue with an ascent to even higher and more demanding peaks, such as Grintovec and Skuta, at more than 2,500 meters above sea level.
Kamnik, a wellness destination
Sebastian Kneipp, the man behind natural therapies, is known for his 5-pillar philosophy of water, plants, exercise, nutrition and balance in a holistic approach to healthy living. Kneipp himself praised the optimal conditions offered by the Kamnik area for self-care and rejuvenation. Thus, this Slovenian territory has become a must for travelers in search of well-being. The Tunjice Natural Health Resort offers glamping in one of the pinewood cabins. An ideal place near Kamnik to get in touch with nature and receive treatments. Located between Kamnik and Vransko, Terme Snovik is the highest Slovenian spa with apartments and double rooms, indoor and outdoor pools with calcium and magnesium-rich water, saunas and other massage cabins. The Slovenia Eco Resort is another popular place for visitors. Ecological and offering direct access to the Velika Planina landscape, the setting is simply beautiful and the proximity of animals is sure to appeal to children.
Kamnik's gastronomy, to awaken all the senses
If Kamnik is a green destination that allows you to enjoy nature activities, it also wants to satisfy the palates of gourmets with a healthy gastronomy based on good local products. In the heart of the medieval town, restaurants offer emblematic dishes of the area such as Tahinj trout and Kamnik sausage. Chamois soup and game goulash are reminiscent of the hunting tradition in the Kamniška Bistrica Valley. A trip to the shepherds' village in Velika Planina is also an opportunity to taste the unmistakable Trnič, the lovers' cheese made from curdled milk and featuring special ornaments.
Not to mention the beverages of Kamnik, with Rusovc liqueur made from pine needles, fir buds, sugar and honey and the good beers brewed locally.