Resort Review: Vogel, Slovenia
Slovenia isn't the first country that you think of when you consider where to go for your ski and snowboard holidays. It's probably not even in the top 10, but should it be?
The Julian Alps region of Slovenia is better known for it's lakes then for the mountains. Lake Bohinji and it's more famous little brother Lake Bled are the main attractions to the region and with good reason, they are stunning! The Triglav National Park is a region I would recommend visiting to see the lakes alone but the good news is you can snowboard here also.
Access to Vogel is by cable car which takes you from 560m to the base of the resort at 1530m. The cable car offers stunning views of Lake Bohinji and surrounding mountains so I would recommend taking the ride even if you have no intention to ski. From here you can take a variety of chair and surface lifts which will help you make your way around the mountain. The ski area is small by european standards but there is enough to keep you occupied for a long weekend. The lifts reach 1800m which shows a small vertical drop but the choice in terrain is nice with something to suit all abilities. The low altitude may worry you regarding being snow sure but there is good coverage from snow cannons and on our visit it was dumping natural snow for days. The Julian Alps usually receives snow as weather drifts inland from the Adriatic, although statistics from snow history websites seem variable so I am not sure how much I would rely on them.
One complaint could be made of advanced skiers and boarders not having enough black terrain to challenge. I would argue that there is some fantastic off-piste to challenge any ability as well as the renowned ∑agarjev Graben run, which leads down to the lakeside on a 5 mile decent. If you really want to go in search of some challenging terrain it is possible to complete backcountry tours throughout the Julian Alps. If freestyle is of interest to you then there is a terrain park with rails and jumps so there is something for everyone. It's not the best park I've been to but also not the worst so you will find features to keep you challenged.
Locally there are a range of accommodations however we decided to stay 45 mins drive away in Bled. I wanted to make Bled part of the itinerary and there was more life in Bled than Bohinji with a good selection of restaurants and apres activities. This did mean commuting to the resort but actually car hire was cheap and the drive spectacular so would recommend. Side note if you are going to drive then make sure you have snow tires or chains, you may need them depending on conditions.
Overall I would highly recommend a trip to Vogel and to visit Slovenia itself. The scenery is stunning, its incredibly affordable and would be a good option for families or beginners to intermediates. But if like me you are a seasoned snow enthusiast that enjoys visiting new places I would highly recommend as the surrounding area is incredible. If I am to go back I will combine with a drive across the boarder into Austria to take in some Austrian resorts as well.