Between Ljubljana and the sea: the Nanos Plateau

Everyone in Slovenia knows Nanos, and they often go hiking there. This beautiful plateau lies halfway between Ljubljana and the coast.

Hiking in the mountains and seeing the sea

This hike deserves a dedicated post for at least three reasons:

  1. It offers a breathtaking view of the Slovenian hills all the way to the sea
  2. The route on the plateau, in itself, is magnificent
  3. You are likely to pass the starting point in any case

Here you will find all the details you need to organise a perfect Nanos hike.

The ascent to Nanos – 1263 m

Nanos is arocky outcrop with a magnificent grassy plain, and a small stone church, built in the middle of nowhere. From the starting point of the hike, you can already catch a glimpse of the finish, but it will take you almost two hours of rather tough and intense ascent before you make up the distance. The path up to Nanos is straight, and attacks the mountain head-on. In fact, the 700 metres of altitude difference are climbed almost in a straight line. This steep climb is a real physical challenge. I would not say that the ascent to Nanos belongs in the category of pleasant mountain walks!

Nanos, a real hike, with 700 m of altitude difference

To master the climb without suffering too much, you need to be in good physical condition and wear hiking boots, as in many places the ascent is on bare rock. With simple trainers, you risk injuring yourself. There is a short passage that might make you dizzy, but just hold on to the solid cable and you will not really run any risk. Basically, keep in mind that the hike to Nanos is short but intense. Between going up and down, count about three and a half hours in all.

The rewards for those who make it to the top!

Once you reach the summit, 1263 m, you will be rewarded by :

  • An enchanting 360-degree view of the verdant Slovenian hills. You can see as far as the sea, and spot Piran, on the coast, in the distance.
  • A hut,(koča), where cold beers are served for €2.50. There you can also dine on excellent traditional Slovenian dishes. On busy days you may have to wait a while before being served.

The descent

The descentroute is not the same as the ascent, which makes this walk even more interesting. From the top, count 1h45′ for the descent. Unlike the steep ascent, the descent is meandering, and the first half-hour of the trail is beautiful.

On the way down, walk across the grassy plateau to reach a beautiful little stone church, isolated from everything

The view from the plateau is splendid. Be careful, however, not to get too distracted and miss the sign indicating to go left, located just before the church! The path then zig-zags through the bushes.

A hike to combine with a trip to the sea or the caves

I mention this walk because, apart from being very beautiful in itself, it is also easy to access. During your holiday in Slovenia, you are likely to pass the starting point of the hike on your way. Nanos is located on the road between Ljubljana and the sea, and the starting point is near the motorway that connects the Slovenian capital with Koper, the largest city on the coast. You can therefore combine the excursion to Nanos with a visit to the Skocjan or Postojna caves, or go up to Nanos in the morning and then take a dip in Piran, Koper, Izola.

The Nanos area is a strategic base camp for visiting Slovenia. I took advantage of my various passes through Nanos and the surrounding area to take a look at the facilities in the area. Book the Moser flat without hesitation – lovely owners, beautiful, very quiet place. Or you can stay at the Lipizzaner Lodge Guest House, a wonderful place where I stayed for two nights last year – very nice and clean house, helpful owner.

A mountain hike in the morning, a dip in the Adriatic in the afternoon!

So if you put together half a day at the beach or a trip to one of the caves and this hike to Nanos, you can be sure that your holiday will be full and varied – the secret to a perfect holiday in Slovenia.

Useful information for ascending Nanos

Thestarting point is located near the village of Razdrto, just off the motorway connecting Ljubljana and the port of Koper. Exit the motorway at the signpost for Razdrto. When you get to the centre of the village, where there is a Mercator supermarket, follow the signs for Nanos, which will take you to the flyover over the motorway. There is a large car park where you can leave your car free of charge. At the beginning of the climb you will find a fountain where you can fill your water bottle with fresh water.

Important: shortly after the start of the hike, the path forks. A red board indicates Vojkova Koca (strma pot) 1h30′ and another Vojkova Koca (polozna pot) 2h30′. Vojkova Koca is your arrival point; it is the name of the hut at the summit. Strma pot means short route, while polozna pot is long route. If you do not want to take the steep climb I mentioned earlier, take the longer path, polozna pot, both up and down. This way the walk will be longer but also much less demanding.

Take the short path(Strma) on the outward journey, and the long path(polozna) on the return.

The red board announces 1h30′, but rather count 1h45′ for going up and the same time for coming down.

Once again, I would like toremind you that the hike is manageable, but it is not a light walk. It goes up well! So it is good to be in good physical shape and have mountain shoes for the rocky terrain.

You can arrive at the starting point by car or bus from Ljubljana. Count about 1h30′ and €7.

The plan of attack

  1. Set off from Razdrto (575 m above sea level).
  2. Climb to Vojkova koca na Nanosu (1,263 m above sea level).
  3. Descend via Sv. Hierononim (the little stone church)

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