Planica: That’s How We Fly in Slovenia!
Ski jumping started developing early in Planica, starting with the construction of a first-flying 20-metre hill in 1930. In 1936 the first jump over 100m was achieved. Since then many world records have been set and broken in Slovenia’s Planica.
Below the Ponce (Mountains)
Running from the Slovenian border village of Rateče and extending into the Tamar Valley, Planica valley is also referred to as the ‘valley below the Ponce’ (Pod Poncami).
The mountain chain consists of Zadnja Ponca (Rear Ponca, 2265 m) Srednja Ponca (Middle Ponca, 2228 m) to Visoka Ponca (High Ponca, 2274 m), which is the last high mountain in this wall on the Slovenian – Italian border.
Below Ponca there are the sources of Sava river. It first comes out on the slopes above Tamar meadows, gets lost in sand and re-appears again near Rateče village in a beautiful marsh, called Zelenci. This part of Sava valley is protected as a small natural park.
Ski jumping is one of the most popular sports disciplines among Slovenes. Even when Slovenia was still part of the former Yugoslavia, the national team consisted only of Slovene ski jumpers.
The final competitions of the season in ski flying have been traditionally held in Planica every year at the end of March. Planica 2022’s four-day festival again hosted spectators in person after the last two editions were held without live audience due to the coronavirus pandemic.
We were there, too!
We decided to see the Planica spectacle for the first time this year, and the Planica organizers were kind enough to provide our Let’s Go Slovenia blog with the accreditation for the event. ?
As there were thousands of ski jumping fans expected in Planica for the sports & party event, free bus transport from Kranjska Gora and surrounding area to Planica was available to all the visitors.
We chose to walk to Planica from Rateče village. We also used Planica 2022 free shuttle for the media and press, as well as the free buses for all visitors going between Kranjska Gora and Planica.
After being there (before we watched Planica on TV), we can say that the venue and the energy there is definitely something everyone should see and experience in person at least once in a lifetime!
Slovenia’s biggest sports event has the power to unite not only the ski jumping fans, but also all who believe in the greatness of the human spirit. While we admire these extremely brave young men (and nowadays women, too) flying so very, very far, our thoughts are inspired to wonder how much further is still possible to achieve.
The giant hill
It was in Planica, too (in 1994) when the boundary of two hundred metres was first surpassed by the Finn Toni Nieminen, with 203 m.
The greatest success of Slovenian ski jumping was achieved by Primož Peterka when he became the first Slovene to win the crystal globe. Robert Kranjec set the Slovenian record with a 222.5 m long flight on skis. In 2015, Peter Prevc won and broke the record with an incredible 245.8 m long jump.
In 2019, Ryo Kobayashi of Japan became the overall winner of the World Cup, jumping 252 m in the first series and set a record for the Planica airfield, which is still valid today.
Planica 2022 was incredible!
Our overall BEST MOMENT of Planica 2022 was Slovenia winning the World Cup TEAM Event! Together, Slovenia’s Žiga Jelar, Peter Prevc, Anže Lanišek and Timi Zajc were unbeatable in front of some ecstatic 20,000 spectators (us included)!
In our video, feel the atmosphere of Planica 2022 after the jump of Slovenia’s Anže Lanišek! ⤵️⤵️
Marius Lindvik of Norway won at final day, while Kobayashi was an overall winner in the world cup. With 6th place Slovenia’s Žiga Jelar won the small crystal globe for the best ski flyer of the season.
Slovenia finished second in the Nations Cup, behind the Austrians.
Where did we stay during Planica?
As much as we love Kranjska Gora – Slovenia’s most famous mountain resort on the border with Austria & Italy (check out our previous BLOG POST about our FANTASTIC three-day Kranjska Gora stay), this time we chose to stay in the midst of the Martuljek Forest (Gozd Martuljek), below the Špik mountain (2.472 m).
This calm spot of pure nature turned out to be such a brilliant choice, away from the resort (and Planica) crowds.
Mount Špik is the ‘signature’ pointed mountain of Gozd Martuljek and its surroundings.
Our stay at Hotel Špik could be rated as a complete 10, from specious and beautifully (renovated) rooms still smelling of wood, breath-taking views of the Alpine surroundings, to excellent food in hotel’s restaurant (we had breakfast and dinner and both was amazing).
Adding an indoor pool and a jacuzzi – our experience of Hotel Špik can simply be described as superb!
Doubles/half board came at 107 Euros per room/per night, you can reserve from Booking.com
No, we didn’t forget to show you the pool! 🙂