Lubnik (1025m) stands prominently above the town of Škofja Loka and is a favourite, and very accessible, hiking destination.
There are a number of paths to the top. You can start directly from the old town centre and take the marked path via Loka Castle and Gabrovo, from where it takes about 2 hours to reach the Dom na Lubniku mountain hut or, for a shorter hike, drive up the windy road to the village of Breznica pod Lubnikom, from where it takes just 40 minutes to reach the top and where the views are already inspiring.
As regular readers of my blog will know, I have a penchant for taking the longest possible hiking routes to reach my destination, and much prefer to walk or cycle rather than drive – anywhere and everywhere! However, I had an ulterior motive, or rather two, for choosing the shorter route in this case, namely to visit the Okrepčevalnica Malina snack bar and to find out more about the nearby Kevderc cave.
Whichever path you choose to Lubnik, you will find that they are all very well-marked with the usual red circle with a white inner painted on trees, rocks etc., so orientation isn’t a problem. The path is almost entirely through the forest, so even on the hottest of days it is pleasantly cool.
On a clear day, from the hut there are far-reaching views of the Karavanke mountains, the Kamnik-Savinja Alps and the surrounding Škofja Loka hills.
Dom na Lubniku is open year-round; during winter on Fridays, Saturdays, Sundays and public holidays; from the end of April to the end of October daily except Mondays.
Also in the vicinity of the path to Lubnik is the fascinating Kevderc cave. Though nowhere near as well-known as Slovenia’s main tourist caves (Postojna, Škocjan, the Križna cave…), those who take time to visit the Kevderc cave will be captured by its beauty, perhaps even more so as it is so pristine, mysterious, and less-trodden.
From the entrance to the cave it is just a few metres to the first large hall which passers-by are free to access, providing you have sturdy footwear and a headlamp.
Some sections of the cave, however, can only be explored by experienced cavers.
During periods of heavy rainfall, all the water from the surface runs into the cave, creating a unique fairytale-like scene.
If you would like to explore the cave further, for safety reasons it is recommended that you contact the Škofja Loka Association for Exploring the Underworld (Društvo za raziskovanje podzemlja Škofja Loka) to arrange a guided tour. Just a few metres away is the Lubnik cave, which can mostly be explored without a torch as natural light floods into its interior. For more information contact DRP Škofja Loka: +386 51 244 244, firstname.lastname@example.org.
After your hike and/or exploration of the cave, or for those cycling past on the Škofja Loka Cycle Route, I recommend stopping at the Malina snack bar (tel: 041 809 900), which is just metres from the path to Lubnik in Breznica pod Lubnikom, where you can enjoy refreshments with a view!
Traditional Gorenjska snacks, soups and stews are always available, and, upon prior arrangement, for special occasions you can enjoy a real feast!
In fine weather the view from the terrace is a winner, but, whatever the weather, you can be sure of a friendly welcome!
As my visit coincided with a group celebration, I had a chance to see how the food is cooked outdoors over hot coals.
So, as you can see, on this occasion letting the car take the strain was worth it, but you can also see more of this area by bike as it is part of the Škofja Loka Cycle Route. More information can be found on the Visit Škofja Loka website here – http://www.visitskofjaloka.si/en/
© Adele in Slovenia