The various issues surrounding the difficulties currently being experienced by the Slovenian winter-sports sector have recently been well-documented. Narratively the common thread running through the financial hardship being felt in the likes of Bovec, Pohorje and Pokljuka is assumed to be related to a lack of snow but this is a scenario from which that Slovenia frequently suffers – it is therefore a meteorological issue that the aforementioned resorts and others have been able to ride out in the past. Combined though with seemingly glaring examples of mismanagement, assets being sweated without adequate and ongoing inward investment, coupled with the perilous state many of Slovenia’s banking institutions find themselves in, it is little wonder that the whole pack of cards has come crashing down in what would appear to be in indecent haste. Where credit-lines were previous available to struggling hotels and ski resorts, the well has suddenly become dry, leaving many tourist related enterprises on life support and in the case of Pohorje, heavily reliant upon the local municipality to keep the winter-sports infrastructure resembling a viable, going-concern, at least until the end of the current winter season.
It is therefore refreshing to hear of Mojstrana, a largely unknown ski area in Slovenia that isn’t in the news for the wrong reasons but merely, to highlight it actually exists and can offer low price, family friendly skiing for those seeking a low-key experience on relatively gentle terrain. Situated in the northwestern corner of Slovenia and close to its more prominent and bustling neighbour Kranjska Gora, Mojstrana was recently reviewed in a short article by its regional newspaper, Gorenjski Glas, It is with some credit to local entrepreneur Janez Zajsek that the ski infrastructure is capable of handing an albeit modest 700 skiers per hour, benefiting from an amalgam of natural and artificially produced snow. This idyllic area also offers night skiing, snowshoe walks through the forest and cross-country skiing, conditions permitting.
Mojstrana isn’t covered by Lakes & Mountains and ski package operators and would at first glances appear to be an ideal area for a day-trip, being advantageously placed to escape the busy pistes above Kranjska Gora and Podkoren, as well as being geographically close to a large market of cross-border winter-sports enthusiasts from Italy and Austria. It is though entirely possible to stay in Mojstrana and for those travelling from Britain, The River Cottage run by British guidebook authors Roy Clark and Justi Carey offers an ideal combination of British and Slovene hospitality, from proprietors who probably know the area just as well as the ‘locals’. Having penned Trekking in Slovenia and Walking in Slovenia: The Karavanke, Clark and Carey have recently put the finishing touches to an updated version of The Julian Alps of Slovenia, a must-have for those just discovering Slovenia’s mountainscape and veterans alike. All three volumes are published by Cicerone, a name long-held with the highest esteem among those with a love for the mountains. This winter the River Cottage is offering a cross-country ski package comprising of the hire of all apposite equipment; as an optional extra a local professional cross-country ski instructor can be arranged to tutor this quite different to all other winter-sports discipline. Snowshoeing expeditions can also be arranged but whether you require an organised or more informal holiday, Roy and Justi will be able to assist to ensure all their guests get the most out of this enchanting area of Slovenia.
Useful links to skiing in Mojstrana, the River Cottage and Cicerone’s Slovenia guidebooks can be found below: