For today’s walk, I return to Slovenia, to climb a high peak on the Nanos plateau, which marks the watershed between the continental and littoral regions of the country.
The Nanos Plateau
Nanos is a high karst limestone plateau which lies at the eastern border of Slovenia’s Inner Carniola region. It is a distinctive landmark on the main road between Ljubljana and Koper. It is one of the windiest regions of Slovenia, and you will notice that houses in the area have their roof tiles weighted down with stones to prevent them blowing off during storms. When travelling towards the coast from inland Slovenia, the weather often changes from cloudy to sunny after passing Nanos: the mountain marks a boundary between the Continental and Mediterranean climates of this area.
Large antennae at the top of the Pleša peak are clearly visible from below. These were erected by Slovenia’s national broadcaster in 1962 in order to provide radio and colour TV to the whole of Slovenia.
The highest point of the plateau is Suhi vrh, at 1313 m (4308 ft), but the most dramatic by far is the Pleša peak, which stands on the knife-edge southwest face of this mountain massif at a height of 1262 m (4140 ft).
The Battle of Nanos, which took place on 18 April 1942, was one of the first battles between Slovene Partisans and the Italian Army. Though greatly outnumbered, the Slovenes managed to pierce the Italian defences, although they suffered heavy losses.
Climbing the Pleša peak
It is possible to climb the Pleša peak directly from Razdrto at the base of the mountain. This is a steep climb, and takes around 2.5-3 hours one way. It is also possible to drive up to the Eko Koča Nanos mountain hut at 775 m (as we did) and ascend from this point. The walking along this route is pleasant, with marvellous views and only one steep section.
From the Eko Koča, follow the winding, rocky path through pleasant mixed pine and deciduous woodland. After some fairly level walking, the path opens out to rise steeply towards the western shoulder of the Pleša peak. Views to the west over the Vipava valley and towards the Adriatic are stunning and extensive on a clear day.
Take a break from the steep climbing to visit the Church of St. Hieronim, at 1019 m. Consecrated in the 14th Century AD, and rebuilt in the late 16th, this pilgrim church has a rich history and a dramatic location. There is a picnic area just outside the church.
Follow the path to rise steeply towards the Pleša peak, around half an hour from the church. Once you have reached the shoulder, the walking levels out again. The route to the peak passes the antennae on the left, and some dizzying drops to the right (those with vertigo might prefer the less exposed route via the Vojkova koča mountain hut.)
Once you have visited the peak, relax at the Vojkova koča, where there is a delightful open grass play area for children to enjoy. Then head back down by the same route, or by road. I recommend the food at the Eko Koča Nanos.
P.S. Some exciting news!
My poem ‘So Long‘ has been nominated for Publication of the Month at Spillwords Press! If you think the poem is worthy of winning, I would very much appreciate your vote: https://spillwords.com/vote/. Thanks to all my readers for your continued support and kindness!