Slovenia is full of natural treasures and there are hundreds of activities waiting for you to try them out. If you are more of adrenaline type you can climb some pretty awesome mountains, go rafting in one of the most beautiful rivers or try out the steepest zipline in the world. I am talking about Planica zipline which is located in my home country Slovenia. I have tried it out in summer on a beautiful sunny day with not too much people around (that is actually a miracle!) and it was a great experience.
First, some impressive facts that will convince you this is not just another zipline. Planica is an alpine valley well known among ski jump lovers – it hosts the largest ski flying hill in the world. It is also a Slovenian pride and when the ski fly competition takes place each year in March, it is almost like a national holiday. Planica zipline will fly you over the same hill where ski jumping “eagles” bravely fight for their spot on the podium. The length of the ride is 566 meters, and the difference altitude is 202 meters.
Planica is located in the northern part of Slovenia, in Gorenjska region, about 1 hour’ drive from the capital Ljubljana. GPS coordinates will take you exactly to the spot so I won’t bother you with the details here. Maybe just a few hints what you can see on the road if you take a day trip: Kranj old town (a short stroll) Lake Bled (must see!), Kranjska gora town with Jasna Lake, Zelenci Nature Reserve… I could go on and on, but if you only have one day, this will do just fine.
Parking fee: 2,5 € per day
Tickets and opening hours
Planica zipline is operating every day in July and August, for other months you have to check their web page because it is only open a few days per month. Or better yet send an email because I am not sure if they update the English page regularly. Online reservations are required, but you can also buy tickets on the spot – just be prepared to wait for your turn.
Price: single ride: 25 € per descent per person, tandem ride (adult and child): 40 € per descent
Preparation and equipment
You are required to come to zipline booth 10 minutes before the time scheduled on your ticket. The zipline instructor will guide you through safety information and give you a safety belt and a helmet. Oh, and you will have to sign a form which basically says you are willing to die. (evil laugh ;)) You have to leave all your stuff in the booth, cell phones are not allowed on the zipline. You can take pictures on the way up but on the top you have to put the phone in a special backpack which you will get from the instructor.
First, you will walk a couple of minutes to the lift which will take you to the top. Then you will shit your pants and change your mind about everything. Luckily a kind and really professional instructor will help you to overcome your fear and eventually you will have to do it. I was sweating and shaking like a leaf long before it was my turn to sit in the zipline. But I like adrenaline to some extend and I had no doubt I would do it. It just took me a couple of minutes more than I thought.
Now read this carefully: it is only scary on the top. The second you glide down the zipline you will see it is not SO hard, and with every meter you descend it will get easier and you will actually be able to enjoy it. Take some time to look around while you are gliding, the landscape is fantastic. You just have to be careful in the last couple of meters when you have to spread your legs and prepare to stop. But even the landing itself is not as harsh as you might imagine. When you get down you will be sorry it ended and that you didn’t relax as I told you.
My experience was really awesome and I totally recommend taking Planica zipline to everyone, even small children – they can fly in a company of an adult. I only wish the ride was a bit longer… and steeper 😛