La valle di Jezersko in Slovenia it is a small valley at the foot of high mountains, a few kilometers away from Ljubljana and is a paradise for those who love nature, trekking and long walks in the woods. Here is what we did during a long weekend in this valley which, among the thousands of activities that can be practiced, also helped me to defeat my great fear: bees!
The valley of Jezersko in Slovenia
Why is Jezersko (for now) little known?
If anyone asked me where it is Jezersko before this weekend here, I would have admitted never having heard of it.
In fact, Jezersko has all the credentials to become a respectable tourist destination, able to compete with other much more famous, and much more expensive, mountain resorts such as neighboring Austria (the border between Jezersko and Austria is just 4 km!) Or our much vaunted Trentino Alto-Adige.
The lake Planšar di Jezersko
In fact, Jezersko lacks nothing: breathtaking scenery, hiking trails of all difficulties, from those feasible with children to those for experts up to via ferrata, meadows on which to lie down and sunbathe, lakes in which to swim and fishing and woods for the inveterate mushroom hunters; and if this is still not enough in Jezersko you can organize yourself in many other activities, such as mountain biking, horse trekking, a visit to beekeeping, a scientific walk to discover the flowers and herbs of the valley, or you can also simply rest by dedicating yourself to good food (and good spirits).
The montagne of Jezersko
The first impact with Jezersko is one that you never forget: Marko greets us and immediately accompanies us to lunch on the small and fairy-tale heart-shaped lake that the inhabitants of the valley built in memory of a previous glacial lake, much larger than this one, which after an earthquake has dried up until it disappears completely: this is why the valley is called Jezersko which in Slovenian means: place on the lake.
Hiking in the Alps
Our guide Rok during the ascent to the Češka koča hut
One of the strong points of Jezersko is certainly the possibility of making beautiful treks. In Jezersko there are more than 60 km of paths that wind through the valley and go up the mountain, offering routes of varying difficulty: from a walk that is feasible with children, to slightly more demanding routes up to real via ferratas, only for mountaineers. experts.
With our guide Rok we went to the refuge Czech hut, a walk with beautiful views of the mountains, some slightly more exposed passages, a couple of sections equipped with steel rope but despite this (and my dizziness) traveled with tranquility because Rok, as well as terribly smiling, is also a true professional who helped us and always made us feel safe. For those who come to Jezersko and intend to do some more challenging hiking, it is advisable to contact the local guides, all extremely prepared, in order to safely tackle even the most difficult routes (Rok and his colleagues are also members of the mountain rescue team).
You can contact Rok through the his company's website.
Visit to beekeeping in Jezersko
But do you know that a small bee can fly for miles in search of food and then return to its home with the same precision as a small GPS? I didn't know it and this is just one of the things I learned while listening with fascination while a small local beekeeper told us about this immense world that is bees. Incredible how this small insect, which we often hunt annoyed, is so important to maintain the balance of the ecosystem in which we live. And it is equally important to know and try to conserve and protect bees for the future of our planet.
Clearly at the end of the visit there was no lack of the opportunity to taste their precious honey!
The herbalist and the magic of flowers
I must admit that I never, ever would have thought that the profession of herbalist existed. And knowing Matej I realized that in our hectic life there are still those who believe in their dreams and have the strength and the ability to make them come true. From an early age Matej was a great lover of nature: hence the choice, once he grew up, to become a biologist. Graduating from the University of Ljubljana with a thesis for which he cataloged more than 1000 different species of flowers and plants in the Jezersko Valley, Matej immediately faced the difficulty of finding a job he loved and so he decided to create it himself . And so by combining his love with the knowledge of plants, Matej has begun to grow and sell many varieties of herbs for infusions and to accompany both school and adult groups to his valley to discover the magic of his fantastic world.
Matej tells Margherita about the properties of flowers
With Matej we took a beautiful walk in search of flowers and plants, discovering the properties of each of them, of which many are curative but also some are poisonous and we have also learned to recognize some of them.
Where to sleep and where to eat in Jezersko
The restaurant on the Planšar lake
As soon as we arrived in Jezersko, Marko took us to eat in a small restaurant on the Lake Planšar which seems straight out of one of Anderson's fairy tales. The lake view, the embroidered curtains, the geranium pots on the windows give the room a comfortable and relaxed atmosphere. The excellent typical cuisine does the rest. The restaurant is also a great place to stop for a beer Lasko fresh, perhaps just returned from a strenuous trek in the mountains.
Tip for vegetariansTypical Slovenian cuisine is mostly meat-based but there are also interesting vegetarian dishes. Try for example the sweet cheese dumplings.
Sweet cheese dumplings
For those like me who love to stay in hostels and in easy-to-reach places but with all the comforts and a little special, I recommend going to the Camp & Hostel Jezersko Old post office which offers not only comfortable double rooms, but also a dormitory, tents and intimate wooden huts (sleeping in a wooden hut under the trees has always been one of my dreams). The hostel has all the features you could wish for: a comfortable and intimate environment, wifi, a kitchen and a restaurant bar where Tanja the very kind and smiling owner cooks for guests many specialties of the area. Do not miss the homemade liqueurs, including one obtained from the infusion of more than 100 different types of herbs.
For those who prefer a real hotel, thehotel Planinka it offers comfortable and spacious en-suite bedrooms, most of them with a terrace from which you can enjoy a fabulous view of the mountains. The breakfast is simple but plentiful and the hotel restaurant prepares the best pizza in the valley. The wifi is free and the staff is characterized by extreme kindness.
St. Oswald's Church in Jezersko
I came away from Jezersko with nostalgia in my heart because this small valley and its community welcomed us and made us feel at home: we had to escape for work commitments, unfortunately, giving up the last night here that we should have spent in the hostel of Tanja . When I said goodbye I promised her that sooner or later I will come back to see her and I have the feeling that I will do it sooner than I myself believe.