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Vogel Ski Center, Slovenia

Being one of the pristine locations of the former Yugoslavia, Slovenia is an emerging ski resort with its central location, good infrastructure, reasonable prices and friendly people. With its two million population, it may not be the biggest ski center of Europe, but it surely is one of the rising stars.

I visited Slovenia in January 2010 and had really good time. There are more than a dozen ski centers to choose from; Kranjska Gora is the most known one, which also hosts international competitions. Slovenia is a mountainous country with high Alps, beautiful lakes and lots of forests and good food. The lifts and ski infrastructure is of high quality and the ski centers are not discovered yet. Not a bad combination at all. Considering that one can drive all across the country in two hours, any ski center is withing reach. Renting a car is a good option, the prices are fair and the highways are user-friendly. Minibus-taxis can also be a good option, especially if you are a large group carrying skis. Almost everyone speaks English as well.

I did stay in Bled, a friendly town half an hour away from the Ljubljana International Airport. It is located on the shores of a small lake, with a tiny island in the middle of it. Just one reminder: do not enjoy Bled alone, it is much too romantic for that. You can walk around the lake in one and a half hours (I definitely recommend it) and also go to the town’s small ski center Smucisce Straza Bled. This small ski center is especially for beginners; locals teach skiing their children here (the lifts are slightly small) and prices are fair (9 EUR for half day pass).

A very attractive ski destination is the Vogel Ski Center. Note that there is only one accomodation option there as far as I know (Hotel Ski). A cable car takes you up to the ski center which has an altitude of 1500 m and an amazing view to lake Bohinj (don’t forget your camera). Daily pass costs 26 EUR per day, including the cable car, and there are nice dining options. Vogel has a long ski season starting in December lasting until end of April. It is high and has lots of snow, but can be quite cold. The ski trails are suited for beginners, intermediate and advanced skiers. Beginner trail length is about 4 km, intermediate-advanced trail lengths is about 14 km. For those who love cross country style (one day I might also do), 8 km long trails should be satisfying. Of course, you can rent skis up there. Ski + boots cost 15 EUR per day.

Vogel is for sure an appropriate destination for large groups. But don’t expect a night life at Vogel – the last cable car leaves at 18:00 (if I remember right). I would definitely recommend it for March and April. It has 4 ski tows and 4 two-seat lifts. I also remember a 4-seat lift. The lifts can transport 7240 skiers per hour, which is a lot. As a rule of thumb, the center has 2-3 thousands of people per day capacity. If you strictly plan a ski vacation, you can stay in closer hotels like Jezero or Bohinj or at the Hotel Ski near the cable car station at the top. Else, Bled can be a nice and central location to have nice food, good house wine and recreation (try the hotel spas – they are affordable even though you don’t stay there). Skiing experience is great indeed, lifts do not make you wait (a little bit crowded at weekends) more than a couple of minutes and skiers are friendly

(they don’t push you at the cue).

Try Slovenia, you will not regret it.

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