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Pilgrim Walkrecommended route

St. Jacob's Trail Radolca (Podbrezje - Radovljica - Bled)

Pilgrim Walk · Upper Carniola
LogoTurizem Radovljica
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  • The medieval town of Radovljica
    / The medieval town of Radovljica
    Photo: Miran Kambič, CC BY-ND, Turizem Radovljica
m 450 400 350 20 15 10 5 km
One of the most beautiful sections of the St. Jacob's trail through Slovenia connects the national shrine in Brezje with the medieval town of Radovljica and the famous Lake Bled.
moderate
Distance 24.3 km
7:00 h
450 m
430 m
505 m
387 m

The "Gorenjska branch" of Slovenian St. Jacob's trail leads from the capital Ljubljana to the ancient mountain pilgrim site of Sv. Višarje (Monte Lussari). The third - "Radolca" - section of this long distance walk is trully abundant with both natural beauty and historical sights.

Starting by the fortified hilltop church of The Sad Mother of God in Podbrezje, the trail brings you to the idyllic Slovenian village Ljubno famous for it's church of "Stricken Mary". From Ljubno, the national shrine of Slovenians in Brezje is only an hours walk away.

After receiving the blessings from The Mary help of Christians, the pilgrim continues it's walk to Radovljica -one of the most beautifully preserved medieval towns in Slovenia. After exploring the town and it's history, St. Jacob's trail continues alongside river Sava to the rustic villages of Bodešče, Ribno and Selo. The final section of the walk is truly dramatic, for it leads the pilgrim on the shores of the world famous Lake Bled.

Author’s recommendation

In it's form, The chapel of St. Edith Stein in Radovljica somehow stands out amidst numerous chapels that pilgrim meets on St. Jacob's trail.

Profile picture of Sašo Gašperin
Author
Sašo Gašperin
Update: October 19, 2021
Difficulty
moderate
Stamina
Experience
Landscape
Highest point
505 m
Lowest point
387 m
Best time of year
Jan
Feb
Mar
Apr
May
Jun
Jul
Aug
Sep
Oct
Nov
Dec

Safety information

Though the walk connects many of the small countryside villages, not all provide a grocery shop or a restaurant. A small snack and a bottle of water will therefore come handy.

Tips and hints

  • The picturesque fortified Tabor Church (Our Lady of Sorrows)  on a rock above the motorway from Ljubljana to the Karavanke tunnel  was built some time soon after 1471 as a fortification for the locals to escape from Ottoman raids. One of the paintings in the church was painted by the most prominent Slovenian female painter Ivana Kobilca, who lived in the village for a while.
  • Long distance hikers (staying in Podbrezje for the night) can treat themselves with the fish dinner in Tabor restaurant -  one of the best continental sea food restaurants in Slovenia.
  • The church of Mery Help of Christians in Ljubno is an older pilgrimage site than nearby (and today much better known) basilica in Brezje. Following an incident in 1692 (when a stonemason struck the statue of Virgin Mary with his hammer) the church became popularly known as the Church of "Stricken" Mary. When in Ljubno, the visit is warmly recommended. The keys for the church can be obtained in the parsonage bellow the church. 
  • An extension of the walk via Radovljica Forest Nature trail will only take you about 20 minutes longer, but will make a wonderful addition to the days hike.
  • The medieval Radovljica is known for its numerous museums, amidst them the brand new Pharmacy and Alchemy Museum.
  • Hiking from Lancovo to Bodešče village, it's well worth to make a 3 minute detour to the picturesque  confluence of the Sava Dolinka and Sava Bohinjka rivers.

Start

The church of the Sad Mother of God in the village Podbrezje (468 m)
Coordinates:
DD
46.306163, 14.277626
DMS
46°18'22.2"N 14°16'39.5"E
UTM
33T 444374 5128318
w3w 
///tinsel.homemade.banters

Destination

The church of St. Martin in Bled

Note


all notes on protected areas

Public transport

Podbrezje has hourly bus connections with Radovljica and Kranj provided by Alpetour/Arriva.

Podbrezje bus station lies approx. 1 km from Tabor hilltop church (start of the walk). You can either walk on the main village street (passing the church of St. Jacob), or follow the scenic road across the fields and orchards on the lower terrace.

Left of Matijovc tourist farm, you will notice a narrow trail ascending diagonally across the meadows towards the church on a small promontory.

 

Getting there

Arriving from Ljubljana:

Take the A2 motorway from Ljubljana to Jesenice. At Podtabor divison (where the hilltop Tabor church can be wonderfully seen) , turn right for Klagenfurt/Tržič on E652/101. After less than one kilometer, take the first exit left (signpost: Podbrezje, Podnart, Kropa, Zvirče). Drive through the underpass beneath the regional road, to reach the roundabout, where you take the second exit (signpost: Kropa, Podnart, Podbrezje). Drive under the motorway A2, than turn left in the first junction (signpost: Podbrezje). The narrow road takes you into the village and leads towards south/southeast. Turn right by Matijovec tourist farm, and drive up-hill to the upper natural terrace. Turn left in the junction and continue towards the parish church of St. Jacob (parking).

Arriving from Bled, Radovljica or Jesenice:

Take the A2 motorway from Jesenice to Ljubljana. At Podtabor divison, turn right for Klagenfurt/Tržič on E652/101. After less than one kilometer, take the first exit left (signpost: Podbrezje, Podnart, Kropa, Zvirče). Drive through the underpass beneath the regional road, to reach the roundabout, where you take the second exit (signpost: Kropa, Podnart, Podbrezje). Drive under the motorway A2, than turn left in the first junction (signpost: Podbrezje). The narrow road takes you into the village and leads towards south/southeast. Turn right by Matijovec tourist farm, and drive up-hill to the upper natural terrace. Turn left in the junction and continue towards the parish church of St. Jacob (parking). 

Parking

Public parking area can be found opposite St. Jacob's church in the centre of Podbrezje, about 500 meters from the start of the walk.

After parking the car, head north towards the road junction with a large christian shrine. Turn right and descend down to the lower natural terrace towards Matijovc tourist farm. Left of the farm, you will notice a narrow trail ascending diagonally across the meadows towards the church on a small promontory.

Coordinates

DD
46.306163, 14.277626
DMS
46°18'22.2"N 14°16'39.5"E
UTM
33T 444374 5128318
w3w 
///tinsel.homemade.banters
Arrival by train, car, foot or bike

Equipment

The surface of the trail is very diverse: from asphalt, gravel to narrow forest trails - therefore pick the shoe ware that corresponds to all terrains.

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Difficulty
moderate
Distance
24.3 km
Duration
7:00 h
Ascent
450 m
Descent
430 m
Highest point
505 m
Lowest point
387 m
Scenic Family-friendly Cultural/historical interest Botanical highlights

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