Mount Saint Mary

In the middle of the Ljubljana valley, there is a hill with two peaks. To the west, there is a peak called Grmada with an altitude of 676 m, to the east, there is slightly more popular mountSaint Mary  with an altitude of 669 m.

Šmarna gora is a hill in capital of Slovenia, Ljubljana

Ljubljana from Saint Mary

The position of the Mount Saint Mary is what has made it such a popular hiking destination. It offers wonderful views from the top. The capital of Slovenia Ljubljana reveals itself in a very special way. Either on a clear day or while hidden under the morning fog, the view from the top is always wonderful.

From the “mountain” you can see the Kamniško Savinjske Alps, the Polhov Gradec hills, and the Julian Alps. Beautiful nature, the riverbed of the river Sava, geological sister Rašica and much more.

Mount Saint Mary consists of deep-sea sediments. This is fascinating, but it is known that traces of marine life can be found on most of the world’s peaks and summits, which tells us how colossal were the changes of our planet in the past.

For example Nanos is also entirely marine origin. The traces of the marine life and rocks can be found at the peaks of the Julian Alps and also the world-famous Everest.

Paths (to the top)

You can reach the top from many points and through many marked and unmarked routes. Two most popular starting points are:

1. TACEN STARTING POINT (GPS Navigation at the bottom of the post)
This is the most visited and probably the most well-known route with toll-free parking lot by the main road. On the first third of the route, you can make a decision and turn to Mazijeva steza (Mazi’s path), which takes you to the top of Grmada.

2. ŠMARTNO STARTING POINT (GPS Navigation at the bottom of the post)
The starting point, which I prefer. Like on the first route, the hiker can choose among many routes to the top. The names of each route are clearly visible on the reader boards. Paths are well marked and will take you to the top. When hiking, however, it is always fun to go with the saying: “New path, a new horizon.” But be sure you know what you’re doing.

Church of the Mother of God at the top of Mount Saint Mary

Šmarna gora is a hill in Ljubljana, Slovenia

Church of mother of God.

The first mention of the church dates back to the year 1314. Considering that this is the first mention, it can be concluded that the church stands even longer. The need for a larger church leads to the first one being demolished and between years 1711-1712, a new one was built, which was consecrated 17 years later, on May 31, 1729. The painting was done by Baroque painter Matevž Langus.

The Ledinek Inn at the top

Family-owned business. The Ledinek Inn will warmly welcome you. They are famous for their kindness and delicious Slovenian home-made food. In the winter, they make a tasty home-made tea, prepared by their own recipe. Food is tasty and changes according to the season.

Šmarna gora Ljubljana Slovenia

Ledinek Inn

Under the Mount Saint Mary the river Sava flows. Due to fast waters, Sava attracts adrenaline and kayaking enthusiasts and professionals. In Slovenia, location Tacen is known mostly for the police academy but worldwide it is known for the world kayak championship. During the championship, kayakers from all over the world visit the place.

In the summertime, the Sava River provides locals with a place to enjoy quality time in nature and relax in plenty of sunshine.

button icon GPS NAVIGATION - Starting point ŠMARTNO Click to open navigation on mobile device. button icon GPS NAVIGATION - Starting point TACEN Click to open navigation on mobile device.


© Author: Text, photo and video:
Leon G. Milošević

GPS Coordinates
46°07'29.0"N 14°28'41.4"E
Šmarna gora
Easy and marked path.
Necessary equipment
The path is well marked and physically not too demanding, but do note that in the wintertime there can be a lot of snow and ice, so using basic crampons and another hiking equipment is good for your safety.
Difficulty for this tour
Šmarna gora is a hill In the middle of the Ljubljana valley. There are actually two peaks – Gramada (676 m) and Šmarna gora (669 m).
Grmada is a hill (676 m) located to the west of Šmarna Gora. From the top, you can see a good part of the Polhov Gradec hills, and in good weather also Snežnik, Trnovski forest, and Nanos...