Above the tranquil turquoise ripples of Lake Bohinj in Slovenia`s Triglav National Forest, Vogel Ski Center offers something for winter visitors of all abilities and riding styles. Well-groomed cruiser pistes, easy access off-piste & backcountry hiking routes, small but well designed terrain park, great mountain restaurants and less crowds than in other high-profile spots of the European Alps await resort rippers looking to step off the beaten track into Slovenia`s less traveled winter wonderland.
Vogel Ski Center, Slovenia: Adriatic Action & Atmospheric Views
Rising dramatically from 550m to 1800m (1800ft-6000ft), Vogel stands closest of all Slovenian ski resorts to the Adriatic Sea. Due to its proximity to water, Vogel profits from micro-climatic weather systems and ultimately receives excellent snowfall totals relative to low elevation. The views of the Bohinj Valley below and outward toward Triglav Peak, as well as the undulating lunar landscape atop the glacial plateau, provide for a visually inspiring winter alpine experience.
For snow-depraved adrenaline junkies, it’s like stepping into a huge alpine candy store minus the threat of cavities. Backcountry riders are presented with 1300 vertical meter / 4000 vertical foot drops from chairlift access points or easily reachable ridgelines extending outward from the resort boundary downward toward the pristine lake below.
Vogel Ski Center, Slovenia: Nostalgia & New-school
Keeping in line with the “rustic” feel of the ski area, Vogel maintains and utilizes one of Europe`s last remaining single-person chairlifts. For some, this old bull-wheel transplanted from Montenegro after the 1980 Sarajevo Olympics is nothing more than an archaic nuisance preventing speedy access to the goods. But for die-hards, this piece of skiing history is equally as magnificent as the terrain it accesses.
But don`t be fooled by the old-school single-seater Sija chair. Vogel Ski Center offers tons of modern-day winter enjoyment for adventurers and families alike, including ski touring, snow tubing, air boarding, paragliding, ski-in/ski-out accommodations and great sun terrace restaurants for slurping wild boar goulash & soaking in Slovenian sunshine.
Vogel Ski Center, Slovenia: Save your hangovers for Austria
As for the party scene, there are tons of friendly locals willing to offer up a “nas zdravje” (Slovenian for “cheers!”), but the villages within the Bohinj Valley maintain refreshingly quiet demeanors. The lakeside town of Bled, approximately 30 minutes northeast, continues to grow in popularity as the hub of the resort region, while a welcomed slower pace defines the communities dotting Vogel’s periphery. In many respects, these ancient Roman herding settlements have managed to escape the tramplings of modernity and emit a refreshing, timeless vibe unlike many places in an otherwise crowded European ski frontier.
Skiing or snowboarding at Vogel might not be a bucket list type of ski area compared to larger, more famous European ski arenas, but this Julian Alps gem is exactly the kind of place every snow slider should visit for a taste of slower-paced (and on the right day, powder filled) winter pleasure.
Vogel Ski Center, Slovenia: Access
Getting to Vogel Ski Center is pretty straight-forward with a car as all roads to Vogel go through Bled. Likewise, motorway driving constitutes most of the journey from all directions making winter driving a bit less stressful. For reference, Slovenia`s capital, Ljublijana, is 1.5 hours to the East, winter olympic capital, Innsbruck, Austria, is around 5 hours to the Northwest, Munich, Germany is 5 hours North-Northwest, Milan, Italy is 6 hours due West and Zurich, Switzerland is a bit more than 7 hours from Vogel Ski Center.
Vogel Ski Center, Slovenia: AlpineO Extras
AlpineO Vogel Accommodation tip: Staying slopeside at the Merjasic Mountain Inn adjacent to the main cable car rising from the valley (or one of the other huts/lodges on the ski area plateau) will make fresh tracks an easy venture in the morning. But if you plan on being mobile during your visit to Triglav National Forest (maybe to hit-up other relatively close ski areas like Kranjska Gora or Kanin) or just to save a few Euros, think about booking a room in Srednja vas at the family-run, Jager Pensiona few kilometers up the valley from the cable car base station. The owners are friendly, rooms are offered in a few different sizes to accommodate varying groups, views from the balconies toward Vogel are excellent and you`ll only be a very short drive from ski area (and in the opposite direction the beautiful medieval church, St. Martin, where this happened)
AlpineO Vogel Food tip: You won`t find too many similarities in the language or architecture in Bled, Slovenia, compared to near-by neighboring country, Italy. But the excellent pizza will make you think you`re across the border. We recommend eating a delicious, giant pizza for less than giant prices at Pizzeria Rustika or Gostilna Pri Planincu. Both have nice, laid back vibes and you`ll leave happy (and fatter) after gorging yourself at either place.
Snow sliding in Slovenia sound like your cup of tea? How about a cappuccino and pow faceshots on the Italian side of the iconic Matterhorn at Cervinia…