The Slovenia Times

Don't Stay Inside



Named after the town of Zrece, officially the youngest Slovene urban area (formally recognised in 1988), Zresko Pohorje is a synonym for outdoor life, be it in summer or winter. ¯The capital® of Zresko Pohorje is Rogla, a well-known resort for athletes from all over Europe, who often use it as a training camp before the start of a season. Many highly respected teams and individuals have trained there, including tennis stars Goran Ivanisevic and Monica Seles as well as football, basketball and handball clubs and national teams. The reasons are: it has excellent facilities at an altitude of 1500 metres, a health resort at Rogla and a thermal spa in Zrece, 15 kms away. Most of the development has been invested in by Unior Zrece, a very successful producer of hand and machine tools. In the 70's, they started channeling a large proportion of their profit into tourism, which is now an important part of their business. Zresko Pohorje is usually associated with skiing, hiking, cycling and enjoying the spas with swimming pools, massages, saunas, indoor and outdoor tennis courts, squash and other activities. There is a new attraction: an alpine coaster, something between a roller-coaster and sledding, which is becoming increasingly popular, not just at Rogla, but also in Bled and Kranjska Gora. Hiking trips, starting at Rogla can take you any direction. Here are three of them, for three different levels of activity. They all start at Hotel Planja. Trail no. 1: Planja - observation tower - Planja (2 kms, 30 min) It takes you to the east, past the sports ground into the forest. The view from the tower is just splendid: on a clear day you can see almost half of Slovenia. Trail no. 2: Planja - Lovrenska jezera (Lovrenc Lakes) - Planja (12 kms, 3 hours) Past the observation tower, you turn left and continue north towards the mountain hut Pesek and along the road to Lovrenc na Pohorju to Ostruscica (1498 m). From there, continue via the Komisija saddle and across meadows and forests to Lovrenska jezera. The 19 lakes are a unique natural phenomenon. You can continue along the marked trail towards another phenomenon with unique flora in a wonderful environment - Jezerca. Trail no. 3: Planja - Zg. Brv - Klopni vrh - Pragozd Sumik - Crno jezero - Osankarica - Planja (32 kms, 8 hours) Past Zgornja Brv and along a marked trail to Klopni vrh, this round trip takes you towards the Sumik, the only "official" jungle in Slovenia. The trip includes the Lobnica gorge and two waterfalls, Veliki and Mali Sumik. Once out of the jungle along the same way, you should continue along a marked trail towards Crno jezero (the Black Lake) and Osankarica, a famous site from WWII. In the event snow comes early, there is the option to explore Zresko Pohorje by snowmobile. It is not difficult to find one at Rogla. You can opt for anything between one lap (400 metres) to an all-day, guided snowmobile safari, over 120 kms. Prices range from EUR 3 to EUR 190 (EUR 65 for the second person). Because of the gently sloping terrain on its top, Rogla is popular with cross-country skiers. Three different tracks (3, 5 and 10 kms), maintained daily, are suitable for skiers of different abilities. They all start close to the sports ground and then lead you through the forest and open areas, all the way to Lovrenska jezera. There is no fear of getting lost as the tracks are well-posted. Zrece can serve as a base for hiking, too. A popular and easy trail takes you to Brinjeva gora (4 kms, 1 hour), while hikers in better shape might opt for Gric (8 kms, 1.5 hour), along the Dravinja river. The first trail includes visits to two churches and the second one to two old mills. A short walk towards the tourist farm Urska includes a short cave about 30 metres in length. Another possible trip is to the church of St. Martin and further on to Cresnovo (6 kms, 1.5 hour). For details, it is best to get hold of a map and ask the locals. Tourist farms are an important feature of Slovenian tourism, but they are concentrated in several areas only. Fortunately, Zresko Pohorje is one of them and one should make use of this. The farms have several advantages: board and lodging is cheap (under EUR 30 for half-board), this is the best way to live the local life and eat great homemade food. For more details on the activities in Zresko Pohorje, check out


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