Pagan Girl Up Close
The route to the pass
From the Reset Apartments, turn left along the cycling route to Kranjska Gora. Walk through the center to the right, towards the Best Western Hotel, where you turn right onto the Vršiška road, which will take you in a few minutes to the first obligatory stop – Lake Jasna – where you turn onto the macadam path and walk around the lake on your right. You continue to the bridge over the Pišnica River, where the first challenging climb begins, lasting until the first of the 24 serpentines. You continue along the road and the many shortcuts that intersect the serpentines, shortening the distance to the top of the pass considerably. We recommend using Google navigation.
Miha’s Lodge (Mihov Dom)
The first obligatory stop is Miha’s Lodge (1085 m). The mountain outpost, built after World War I as a Yugoslav military outpost, was converted in 1948 into a mountaineering outpost named after the Slovenian mountaineer Miha Arih, who died during World War II. The lodge is managed by PD Kranjska Gora, while the caretakers have changed over the years. In 2020, it even won the award for the best mountain lodge of 2020 in a campaign organized by Siola and the Slovenian Mountaineering Association with the votes of mountain visitors.
The lodge is known for its excellent culinary offer. They offer mountain dishes made from ingredients supplied by local suppliers. For example, Miha’s plate consists of buckwheat dumplings, pork roast, and sauerkraut, and you can also try Miha’s stew. The menu changes, but there are a few regular dishes, such as jota, štruklji, strudel, etc. The home itself has been open continuously since 1948, both in summer and winter and on weekends in the low seasons. There are 23 beds in the lodge.
The Russian Chapel (1130 m) is situated slightly higher up, about 50 m from the road, in memory of the Russian prisoners who were victims of an avalanche during the First World War. During the construction of the Vršiška road, 170 to 300 Russian and 10 to 80 Austro-Hungarian soldiers are believed to have died. Kranjska Gora was an important strategic point on the Isonzo Front at this time. The Orthodox wooden chapel of St Vladimir was built in 1916 and next to it is the grave of one of the buried soldiers with the Russian inscription “To the Sons of Russia”. The chapel is wooden and has a stone foundation. The two domes imitate the typical Russian Baroque style. You can find out more about the chapel here.
Koča na Gozdu
Koca na Gozdu (translates to Lodge in the Woods) (1226 m) is a mountain lodge-like Miha’s Lodge (Mihov Dom), but much larger and offers accommodation for several climbers. It is very suitable for school or kindergarten camps in nature, as well as for families and individual guests. The history of the lodge is varied, as originally a lodge named “Rimlova koča” stood there, which was built in 1916 to meet the needs of the builders of the road to Vršič mountain pass during the First World War. After the war, it was converted into a mountain lodge in 1922 but had to be closed in 1979 due to its dilapidated condition. In 1986, a new, larger, and more modern outpost was built in its place, which, like Miha’s Lodge, is managed by PD Kranjska Gora.
Since 2013, the lodge has been awarded the title of Family Friendly Lodge by the Slovenian Mountaineering Association. It has 54 beds and a large dining area for activities such as various workshops, lectures, etc.
- 1st floor – rooms with bathroom: four rooms for 3 – 6 persons
2nd floor – rooms with shared bathroom: four rooms for 4 – 8 persons
3rd floor – dormitories: one room for 12 people
Koča na Gozdu is known for its varied culinary offer, serving authentic homemade Slovenian dishes such as štruklji, gorenjski krapi, spoon dishes, and blueberry strudel. We particularly recommend excellently prepared game dishes such as venison roast and venison goulash.
Just above Koča na Gozdu (Lodge in the Woods), there is a viewpoint with mountain maps and a magnificent view of the most famous natural window in the Julian Alps – the Prisankovo okno (literally translates to Prisank’s Window), which is, along with the Pagan Girl, one of the other major natural landmarks in this part of the Julian Alps. The window is one of the largest natural mountain openings in Slovenia and is 80 meters high and 40 meters wide – you could fit a small skyscraper inside. It was formed as a result of a natural intrusion that grew into the current opening as it was being prepared. If you choose the right moment to visit and are a bit lucky, you might even be able to capture the moment when the sun shines through the opening of Mount Prisank.
Erjavčeva koča (Erjavec Lodge)
Erjavčeva koča (1525 m) is situated on a small hill just below the top of the pass, in the safe shelter of larch trees and the walls of Mount Prisank and Mojstrovka Mountains. The original lodge was built in 1901 by the German-Austrian Mountaineering Association as a Vosshütte and was used by the builders of the road to Vršič during the First World War. It was renamed to its present name after the First World War after the Slovenian naturalist and writer Fran Erjavec. The lodge in its present form was built and opened in 1993 and is managed by PD Jesenice. The lodge is open all year round, but if the winter snow cover on the pass is more than 10 m thick, the maintenance of the lodge can be quite demanding and the risk of avalanches often cuts people off from the world.
In addition to the rich culinary offer, the lodge is also certified as a family-friendly and cyclist-friendly lodge.
Tičarjev dom (Tičar Lodge)
At the very top of the pass is Tičarjev dom (1620 m), which is the starting point of the trail leading to the most beautiful viewpoint of the Pagan Girl. The mountain outpost has a rich and interesting history of more than a century. The first lodge on this site was built in 1912 by the Slovenian Mountaineering Association on the initiative and with the help of Dr. Josip Tičar, after whom the lodge is named. It was occupied by Austrian soldiers during the First World War and by Italian financiers during both wars. After the Second World War, the hut was renovated and reopened in 1946, and later, in 1966, a new modern building was built on the old foundations, which still stands today.
Tičarjev dom on Vršič mountain pass has 34 beds in rooms and 26 beds in dormitories. There are 93 seats in the dining room (two rooms) and 110 seats outside the lodge. The hostel has toilets, washrooms, and showers with hot and cold water in the basement and on the upper floor. The catering rooms are heated by a farmhouse stove.
The road to the Pagan Girl
As mentioned, the path to the viewpoint starts behind Erjavčeva koča. The path is wide and well maintained, but also not too steep, so it is suitable for almost everyone and offers wonderful views not only of the Pagan Girl but also of the surrounding mountains. Follow the signs and markers for the Postman’s Lodge, which is located at the end of the trail. Somewhere in the middle, you will pass the ruins of former buildings built during the First World War and reach a small hill that offers a wonderful view directly onto the face of the fairy-tale creature. The face is naturally carved into the mighty walls of Mount Prisank and the sight of it overwhelms you with its size. The legend of the Pagan Girl tells of Goldhorn, who, according to her prophecy, is shot by the son of a hunter…
Poštarski dom (Postman’s Lodge)
The Postman’s Lodge (1688 m) is the final destination of the trip to Pagan Girl. It is located a few minutes further from the viewpoint. The lodge has 1 restaurant with 53 seats and a bar and is open only in summer… It has 10 rooms with 30 beds and 20 in dormitories. It is a starting point for hiking trails to Mojstrovka, Prisojnik, Razor, Jalovec, and other peaks of the Julian Alps.
The lodge was built in 1922 by Yugoslav border guards and used as a border guard post. In 1952, the mountaineers from Jesenice converted the lodge into a mountain lodge. The following year, the Postman’s Lodge was built on its site by the postmen-mountaineers.
Vršič as a starting point for excursions and hikes in the mountains
Before you set off, make sure you check the weather conditions and choose the best route for your equipment and skills!
- Easy trails:
- To the Pagan girl and Poštarski dom (Postman’s lodge)
- The trail to Slemenova Špica
- Route to the top of Vršič
- Route to the shelter below Špiček
- Route over Šitna Glava to Mala Mojstrovka
- Route to Šitna Glava
- Route to Sovna Glava
- Route to Prednje Robičje
- Medium difficulty trails:
- South trail to Mala Mojstrovka
- Route to Zadnja Mojstrovka
- Route to Travnik
- Route to Kol
- Difficult mountain trails:
- Slovenian route to Prisank
- Route to Planja
- Ridge route to Travnik
- Over the Jalovška škrbina or past the shelter below Špiček to Veliki Ozebnik
- Route to Zadnjo Mojstrovka via Šitna Glava
- Route to Suhi Vrh
- Caution! Extremely difficult hikes:
- Trail over Kajzljeva škrbina or along Kopiščarjeva, Jubilejna and Grebenska pot to Prisank
- Hanzova or Južna pot to Mala Mojstrovka
- To Jalovec past the shelter below Špiček or via the Jalovška škrbina
- To Razor
View of the surrounding mountains: