Skofja Loka is a small town in the central part of Slovenia that has preserved a special medieval spirit. This place is difficult to attribute to the tourist “must-sees” advertised in all guidebooks – those travelers who know exactly what they want to see get here. Perhaps it’s the lack of advertising, or maybe most people prefer to go to the more sightseeing corners of Europe, in vain bypassing the attention of a small country in the heart of the mainland.
The history of Škofja Loka began in the 10th century. The heyday of the city came in the Middle Ages, when mills were built on the rivers Polyanska Sora and Seleshka Sora, which contributed to the development of trade and population growth. It was at that time that Škofjeloški Grad was erected – a powerful castle and a fortress wall around it. With the beginning of industrial progress in the 19th century, the town began to gradually decline. Today, he lives mainly thanks to tourism.
How to get to Skofja Loka
According to wholevehicles, Škofja Loka is located about 20 km from Ljubljana. You can fly to the capital of Slovenia from Russia by direct flight from Moscow in about 3 hours – the route is served by Aeroflot and Adria Airways.
From Brnik Airport to Ljubljana can be reached by bus number 28, departing directly from the arrivals terminal between 5:00-20:00. He leaves about once an hour. The carrier is Alpertour (off. site in English). The second option is a transfer by shuttle bus from GoOpti (off. site in English) or ZUP Prevozi (off. site in English).
The cost of a regular taxi is 30-40 EUR.
From the capital of Slovenia to Skofja Loka from the railway station there are Alpertour buses (to the very center) and trains of the Slovenian Railways (off. site in English).
The main attractions are concentrated in the historical center, where there is no access to personal and public transport – people move around this zone on foot (it will take no more than 2-3 hours to see all the interesting places). Beyond it lie modern districts with residential areas, shops and public institutions, along which lines of bus routes have been laid.
There are several large paid parking lots in Škofja Loka, and personal cars are also left at supermarkets or along the streets, where there are special markings indicating free parking. In many places you can park your car for no more than 30-40 minutes.
Some hotels offer bike rental, but there is no centralized network providing such a service in the city (unlike Ljubljana). On two-wheeled vehicles, you can move on public roads, observing the rules.
Skofja Loka Hotels
Škofja Loka has very affordable prices even for high-level housing. For example, in a 4 * hotel located in the center, it is quite possible to rent a double room for 60-90 EUR. “Treshka” will cost 40-60 EUR. Most places offer free breakfast to guests. Škofja Loka hotels are small cozy houses with several rooms, stylized as the Middle Ages or similar to rural cottages.
More budget options should be looked for away from the city in the vicinity: prices start from 25-30 EUR, but you will have to get there by transport.
The best solution is to settle in Ljubljana or Kranj, and come to Skofja Loka for an excursion. In the capital of Slovenia, it is easier to find accommodation in an inexpensive hostel in the center for 20-22 EUR or stay in modernly equipped apartments, paying 40-80 EUR for pleasure.
Cuisine and restaurants
There are dozens of places in the city where you can eat deliciously. In addition to classic restaurants, there are coffee shops and pastry shops that offer “gibanitsa” and “strukli” – traditional Balkan pastries. Pizzerias and wine bars (taverns) are also held in high esteem. Dinner or lunch for two, “seasoned” with a glass of something stronger, in an institution with average prices will cost 35-40 EUR for two.
Slovenian cuisine is an interesting combination of German, Italian and Slavic recipes (probably due to the country’s favorable location). She took a variety of soups from her eastern neighbors, dishes with seafood and herbs from her southern neighbors, and sausages, schnitzel, strudel and sauerkraut are recognizable German-Austrian classics.
You should definitely try the Balkan fast food: “chepavi”, “splash” and a variety of hearty burgers with a dozen ingredients. For a serving of such food, they ask no more than 5 EUR, and you can eat it for the whole day. The final touch to the meal will be a fragrant cup of Bosnian coffee.
Sights in Skofja Loka
The historical center of the city, within which all places worthy of attention are located, is located on a compact territory. A day trip is enough to see everything.
The most notable attraction is the Škofjeloš Castle (Grajska pot, 13), surrounded by fortified walls, built in the 13th century. Today, under its roof there is a museum where historical, archaeological, artistic and ethnographic collections covering different time periods are exhibited.
The 14th century Capuchin Bridge (Blazeva ulica) is the main gate to the old part of Škofja Loka. It was erected on the orders of Bishop Leopold, who, ironically, fell off him into the river along with his horse due to the lack of fences. In the middle of the building there is a statue of St. John of Nepomuk with the city coat of arms. It is worth paying attention to the church of St. Anne of the 18th century, standing right behind the bridge, and the Jesuit church of St. Jacob of the 17th century, located on Cankarjev trg, 14. Both buildings are built in a typical “Balkan” style.
Stone houses, squares and cobbled streets of Škofja Loka are 100-200 years old. Of course, here you will not find the same “postcard” look as in the villages of Germany, France or Switzerland, but the residents are also trying: window sills are decorated with flower pots, street cafes lure guests with pleasant aromas, church spiers rise against the background of red tiled roofs and greenery around tranquility and serenity reign.