Touring Škofja Loka, Slovenia’s hidden gеm
This August was a special month for me because I sucked up my fear and did my first ever solo trip. For my adventure I picked Slovenia. A small safe country, priced reasonably well and rich in options to escape into the nature. I flew into Ljubljana, the capital. Having heard a lot about the city, I was intrigued to see it. I had planned to spend 2 days in Ljubljana and 2 days in the the picturesque town of Bled. Little did I know when I was planning my trip that 2 days are plenty to see literally everything there was to see in Ljubljana. I even had time to do some relaxing cycling round the less central parts of the city and even Tivoli Park.
That’s when the adventure really began!
I had half a day left to spend in Ljubljana before heading to Bled and I had this exciting “I want more” feeling that got me thinking slightly outside the box. Opened the map I picked up from the tourist center and noted a couple of places that were within an hour from Ljubljana on the bus. I was thinking I could maybe do a quick day trip to somewhere not too far. This is how I discovered Škofja Loka.
I rushed with my rental bike to the bus station and got a ticket for the next bus going to Škofja Loka. I had no idea where I was going, quite literally. The only thing I knew was that it was about 30min bus ride away and I could return the same day with the last bus at 7pm. So I went for it. And I couldn’t have been happier when I arrived in Škofja Loka and discovered how incredible this place was.
What’s so special about it?
Škofja Loka is a tiny place. It literally took me about 3 hours to walk around the entire village. Slovenia in general is not crazy busy with tourists but this place was particularly quiet which I absolutely loved about it. It was clear that not many people had discovered it yet so I had the luxury of strolling along its cute little streets only in the company of a few more people. Most of them locals I assumed as barely anyone had a camera at hand.
Surrounded by mountains from each side Škofja Loka blew my mine with its stunning views whichever way I turned my look to. I started my tour at the Town Square. All I had to do was cross a little bridge from the bus station over the Selca Sora river and I was there, a colorful square with flowers, cute shops and independent restaurants. The place had such an unbelievable homey feel, it’s almost hard to explain! I literally didn’t know what was around so when I got to the square I just kept on walking straight. On my right I saw there was a castle, Loka Castle it turned out, which was standing nicely elevated just a few meters away. But I kept walking ahead with the idea to hike to the castle on the way back (which I did). I was just walking straight without knowing where I was going, followed the adorable houses along both sides of the street with massive flowers handing from each window. I remember the many times I was thinking to myself “Gosh people must love living here”. It was just so so beautiful!
As I was walking along one of the few main streets, I could hear the sound of water running as if there was a waterfall very near. So I followed a tiny pathway which lead me to this incredible place. I’ll let the pictures talk instead of me because I really can’t quite describe it.
I just couldn’t believe my eyes!!! Never expected to find such a peaceful absolutely breathtaking view in this place I had never heard of before. I spent a lot of time here just admiring the views over the mountains and the few little houses nicely cuddled at the bottom. There were kids jumping in the river, others were stopping for a bit of sunbathing and a swim and I … I was just admiring my discovery! And wishing I had brought a swimsuit and had more time to spend here. I could easily imagine myself jumping in the river with those kids and lying on the grass afterwards until my swimsuit dries out. It’s fair to say that this place spurred my imagination 🙂
On the way back
Sadly I had to walk back because I had a bus to catch but I certainly had time to go up to the castle and take in the views from there as well. I walked around the castle and enjoyed the views from each side. Many photos later I must admit that even this little hike to the castle was worth the trip to Škofja Loka. The peace, the quiet, the green landscapes, the mountain views, they really made me appreciate how special this cute village was.
Having indulged in the views and taken a lot of photos to remember this place by, it was time to go back to Ljubljana. As I was looking out through the bus window admiring the sheer amount of mountains Slovenia turned out to have, I was thinking how this spontaneous trip to Škofja Loka was the best unplanned trip I’ve ever done.
If you’re heading to Slovenia, be adventurous and visit Škofja Loka. If you’re travelling to other parts of Slovenia just take a bus to somewhere and see where it’ll get you. Having seen Škofja Loka, I can almost guarantee it’ll be somewhere incredible.
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