Just a 30 minute drive from the center of Slovenia's Capital City, Ljubljana is Smarna Gora, also known as Mount Saint Mary. Sitting 669 meters above sea level and giving breathtaking views of the city, if you're lucky enough to visit when the fog has lifted*. With this being my first Autumn in Slovenia, I have to say it's one of my favourite seasons to visit the country, it's just beautiful, and you'll see why.
The walk to the top takes roughly an hour depending on which way you go, as there are a few trails. You can find the different trails and start points here. We took the easier track, and I'm so grateful we did, because it gave us a chance to walk to the top and enjoy our surroundings, and it's absolutely glorious walking through the forest with the warm colour of the trees and leaves falling all around you.
At the top you will find The Church of the Mother of God, as well as a restaurant - Gostilna Ledinek. There is also a wishing bell that you can ring as you walk towards the Church and restaurant. So make your wish and ring that bell. When we reached the top we ordered coffee's and enjoyed the unusually warm day. It felt like summer, and I could not have been happier. They have a section outside where you can sit, eat and enjoy a coffee or recover from the walk.
On the way back from Smarna Gora I would recommend taking a detour to Zbiljsko jezero (Zabiljsko lake). It' only a 15 minute drive from Smarna Gora. It's such a pretty place to stop for lunch. We ate at Dotik restaurant, since it was a lovely day we sat by the lake and had a bevy of swans swimming by. You also have the option of buy food to feed them and it looks lovely when they huddle together in a sea of white. I had a tuna salad at the restaurant and although it took a while to come out, the portion was huge and it was delicious.
* I would check the website before going to see how the weather is, as they have live feeds at the top.
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