Length 23.9 km
Time needed
Time needed 09:00
Največja strmina vzpona[%]
Greatest slope of the ascent: 42 %
Greatest slope of the descent: 49 %
Average slope of the ascent: 13 %
Length of ascents above 5%: 9.10 km
The lowest point of the route: 334 m
The highest point of the route: 898 m
Difference in altitude: 1731 m
Poraba kalorij
Consumption of energy for men: 8817 kJ (2106 kcal)
Consumption of energy for women: 7235 kJ (1728 kcal)
Difficulty: Very demanding
Quality of the surface
Quality of the surface: Mixture
Primerna obutev: Hiking boots
Short description

The route to Grmada could also be called the route of wonderful views as there are beautiful views from all sides opening up from the summits of the Polhov Gradec Hills.
From the Sora Plain, you quickly ascend Hom, from where the path leads you into the heart of the Polhov Gradec Hills along ridges and over summits. Here, the pre-Alpine hills come closest to the central, urban section of Slovenia.
The flora along the route is very diverse with mixed forest prevailing. On the rocky slopes of Grmada, Daphne blagayana, a protected species, blooms in May.
The route mainly runs along forest paths, across meadows and pastures between hill farms, but there are also some asphalt and macadam roads.
It's interesting and passable in all seasons. However, in winter, winter conditions need to be observed, and winter days are probably too short for the entire route. During the cooler months, temperature inversion often causes the lowlands to be wrapped by cold, fog and clouds, while the Polhov Gradec Hills bathe in warm sunshine. The route is generally will marked with blazes and signs. Due to its diversity and length, it is demanding so you should be physically fit before taking it on.
In addition to its natural beauty, you can also enjoy some culinary delicacies offered at inns and tourist farms along the route.


Sora – Hom – Osolnik – Govejek – Veliki Babnik – Gonte – Grmada – Topol – Brezovica – Sv. Jakob – Tehovec – Studenčice – Sora

Quick ascent to Hom and Osolnik
The route begins in the village of Sora located at the foot of the Polhov Gradec Hills between Medvode and Škofja Loka. There are a few smaller car parks in the village. The route first takes you along an asphalt road up the hill and past the Church of St. Stephen . After several hundreds of metres and the first left bend, turn right up the hill onto a marked forest path leading to Osolnik.
Persistently ascend along a winding marked path through generally beech forest and after about 20 minutes, you'll reach a ridge, where you'll notice the change in the forest. From the shady beech forest , , you come to a brighter thermophilus forest, where oaks, hornbeams and chestnuts prevail. The path becomes steeper again. Mind the path which branches off the more beaten path to the right, a bit steeper up the hill. This path will lead you to Hom (718 m), which is the first summit of today's trip. At the top of Hom, several trees have been cut down opening the view of the Sora Plain. From the top, continue along the ridge towards west. Make a gentle ascent along the marked path and follow the signs to Osolnik. You'll soon reach a macadam road. Continue along this road for a kilometre towards west. Below Osolnik, there's an intersection where you do turn neither left not right but go past the cross straight on up the hill onto a forest path. This will lead you past a partisan grave, and become steeper and steeper until, below the summit, you exit the forest, and there's the Church of St. Mohor and Fortunat and the summit of Osolnik (857 m). Take a short break to catch your breath and look around. The view is unforgettable , , . You can clearly see Škofja Loka on the north, and, all around, numerous pointed, forest overgrown summits of the Polhov Gradec Hills are boasting in all their beauty with plains and hill farms between them.

Along the ridges, hillsides and over summits to Grmada
You could enjoy this for a long time but the views from the other hills will be just as beautiful, so let's move on. The path leads you downhill to the Rožnik Tourist Farm , where you can try some homemade food (a bit further on, there's a log cabin called Osovnik, where you can do the same). The path meanders further down the hill to the saddle. Along a forest slope path, follow the signposts to a hut in Govejek (727 m), which you'll reach in about half an hour. After some rest and a snack at the Mihelčič or Craft Hut in Govejek, continue along the path towards southwest, and follow the signposts to Tošč and Grmada. Below the Gontar Mountains , the path ascends onto a ridge, along which you reach Veliki Babnik (905 m), which is the highest point of this route. As the forest is thinner and colourful , , the walk is very pleasant, and, in warmer months, you'll be able to see numerous flowers along the path. From Veliki Babnik, descend to pastures and the Kozjek Hill Farm and, where the forest path turns left, turn onto a sandy cart track and follow it along the hillside and ridge for a few kilometres. During the light stroll along the forest path, don't forget to follow the signposts to Gonte and Grmada at numerous intersections , . Along the way, you'll perhaps see one of the charcoal piles , which are still used by the locals to prepare charcoal the old-fashioned way. The procedure of charcoal preparation with several stages lasts about two months and, during this time, charcoal burners manage to get about 500 kilograms of charcoal from about 5 cubic metres of beech firewood. Before Mali Tošč, the path to the summit of nearby Tošč (1021 m) turns right, and, if you have enough strength left, you can ascend also this hill (it'll take you about half an hour to get there and return).
Continue along a winding sandy forest road , which slightly descends towards the Gonte Farm. At this open door farm, they'll be happy to offer you some homemade dishes.
After a short but somewhat steeper ascent , you'll climb to the summit of Grmada (899 m) from Gonte in a more mountaineering manner. From the summit, there's a magnificent view of the immediate and distant surroundings , , .

From Grmada towards Topol and further on to the valley
From Grmada, continue towards east and ascend along a marked winding path across the meadow and through the forest for about one hundred altitude metres. Then the path gently meanders along the ridge until, after about two kilometres, it joins the macadam road coming from Belo. After several hundreds of metres, you'll reach an asphalt road and find yourself in Topol with plenty of inns , , , and, of course, more lovely views of the valley. Continue through the village towards Katarina. Ahead is a short steep ascent along an asphalt road. Below the top of the slope, turn left, go past the inns (or don't past them) and along a sandy road on the west side of Rog (800 m) towards Brezovica, where a beautiful view of the summits of the Polhov Gradec Hills awaits. In Brezovica, you can check out the old but wonderfully restored Porenta Well . Then go past the homesteads , and ascend the last summit of this trip, Sv. Jakob (806 m), adorned by a neat church. Descend Sv. Jakob along a marked path between pastures and the forest until, at the foot of the hill, you reach an asphalt road leading to Tehovec. Keep left at the intersection, and go along the asphalt road towards the Church of St. Florian and past the memorial plaque, dedicated to hunting colleagues. The road leads downhill throughout. Walking on a hard surface might not be as pleasant as walking on a soft forest path, and perhaps it seems to be dragging on and on, but, yet again, you may be comforted by a beautiful view of the Ljubljana Basin , and encouraged by the fact that you've nearly reached the end of this route. A bit further on, go past an old granary at the last homestead in Tehovec and continue along the road towards Studenčice. Upon reaching the first houses, turn left onto a narrow asphalt road, which soon becomes a cart track. Go past the houses and pastures, follow the signposts to Sora along the marked path, and then, through the forest and along the paths, slowly descend to the Ločnica Valley. When you exit the forest at the bottom of the valley, you also reach the first houses in Sora. The bridge takes you onto a road, where you turn right, go past the Jezeršek House of Cuisine and voilà – you're on the very spot where you started the trip a 'few' hours ago.

Church of St. Stephen in Sora
Many predecessors sat at the place of this church , which was built in 1884. In the 18th century, the first Slovenian poet, Valentin Vodnik, worked in this church for a few years. At the beginning of the 20th century, the poet Franc Saleški Finžgar, whose memorial room is situated in Sora, also worked here.

Osolnik – Church of St. Mohor and Fortunat
The Church of St. Mohor and Fortunat on Osolnik is a Gothic building from 1551, which was renovated and enlarged a century later. The church includes an altar from 1701.

Polhov Gradec Dolomites Landscape Park
Nature has endowed these places with forests with approximately the same share of coniferous and deciduous trees. There are plenty of beautiful meadows on the ridges, gradual slopes near the villages and in the valleys, which have preserved their biotic diversity due to less intensive farming.
Their characteristics are pointed dolomite summits which gave the hills their popular name – the Polhov Gradec Dolomites. In addition to dolomite, the ground composition also includes limestone, various impermeable rocks and a small share of volcanic rocks. As a larger joint surface, limestone occurs between Toško Čelo and Topol in the Ravnik Plateau, where Karstic phenomena can also be noticed. Among the summits standing out with steep rocky slopes, Grmada (898 m) and St. Lawrence Mountain are the most known.

Topol or Katarina, Brezovica or Sv. Jakob?
Topol, known as Katarina (after the Church of St. Catherine (Slovenian: Katarina)) among hikers, consists of several hamlets scattered on the hillsides below Jeterbenk, Rog and Jakob.
Jakob's story is similar to that of Katarina. The slope used to be called Brezovica, after the village below it, but hikers adopted the name of Jakob after the Church of St. James (Slovenian: Jakob).

Porenta Well
At the foot of Sv. Jakob, there is a country homestead with a beautifully renovated well with groundwater, built in a place with strong groundwater current. The water can be raised by winding a chain up a winch. Locals were using it as the only water source until 1997. It was renovated in 2002. It's protected by a wooden casing and covered with roof tiles. It's adapted to the physical capacity of an adult so that he/she can pull up a full bucket.

Sv. Jakob
Sv. Jakob is one of the most picturesque hills in Slovenia as it's in complete harmony with the surroundings. The Church of St. James dates back to the beginning of the 17th century and is designated as a cultural monument. In the earthquake of 1895, it was badly damaged, but it has preserved its present image since 1898. The ceiling is flat, while half of the dome is overlapping the presbytery. The high altar contains the statue of St. James with two saints.
Next to the church, three lindens are growing, which are characteristic of Slovenia. Several benches around them offer a break and a moment to enjoy the beautiful view all around.

Mihelčič Hut in Govejek
The hut in Govejek is usually open at weekends and holidays. They offer food and drink typical of mountain huts.

Open Door Farm Gonte
The house specialities are homemade bread, tarragon and walnut roll baked in a wood-fired oven, different desserts. For the hungrier, there are also homemade sausages, smoked meat, black pudding, pork sausages, buckwheat žganci, dumplings, stew, sour milk, etc.

Dobnikar Inn, Topol
Lunch at the Dobnikar Inn is almost a rule for many hikers going to Katarina on Saturdays or Sundays. They are never disappointed, especially if they enjoy one of the traditional Slovenian dishes. Prices are appropriate as well. There is usually enough space and the views from the terrace justify the efforts the hikers make.

Vaška krčma
At this inn, they will be happy to serve you with drinks, pastry from their own kitchen (fruit strudels, rolls, etc.) or sour milk.

Tourist Farm Pr' Jur
The inn offers lunch a la carte and their specialities, which are sausages, stews, dumplings, country feast and homemade apple juice.

Na Vihri Inn
At this inn, you can get lunch a la carte. Their wintertime specialities are sausages, while you can get sauerkraut, sour turnip, buckwheat žganci, matevž (potatoes with beans and cracklings), cheese dumplings, pasta, various meat and vegetable dishes, and homemade desserts all year round.

Jezeršek House of Cuisine
At this large hospitality facility, they mostly like to treat larger groups for various festivities, business events, celebrations, etc.

Dragon from Jeterbenk
Jeterbenk was supposedly the home of a dragon, which was romping in the surrounding villages. People were afraid of it. Once, they came up with a way to get rid of it. As if on cue, a cow dropped her dead calf at St. Margaret. The villagers cut through the calf, filled it with quicklime and planted it to the dragon. The dragon ate the calf. Because of quicklime, it became thirsty and went to drink some water. As it was drinking, quicklime began to boil and the dragon got cooked. So people got rid of the dragon forever.

Night hike to Grmada
Each year in winter, there is a night hike to Grmada from the Open Door Farm Gonte upon the first full moon in the new year.

60 ascents to Katarina
60 ascents to Katarina is a cycling action organised by the Medvode Cycling Club and the Na Vihri Inn, which also holds the book for entering names. The action ends in October and everyone who made more than 60 ascents receives a trophy.

Traditional first of May bonfire is organised at the Na Vihri Inn.

The route takes you along various paths and picturesque nature. The major part is covered by forest paths, a few sandy cart tracks and macadam road, even fewer asphalt roads in the surroundings of the villages. In some places, the route takes you across meadows, and in some sections, the path is narrow and steep, just like a proper mountain path.
The route is diverse and fairly long so you should be suitably physically fit. You can achieve this by walking just sections of this route.
The major part of the route is well passable so appropriate hiking footwear or light mountain boots should suffice, but in winter, good mountain boots will be safer and warmer.
In addition to suitable clothes and footwear, you shouldn't forget about food and drink, so that you can have a snack when you stomach feels that the distances between hill farms and inns are too long.
In cooler months when there's fog in the lowlands, you can check the weather in the hills on a web camera at in the Vaška krčma Inn in Topol. Perhaps the more pleasant weather will lure you out on a hike.