Škofja Loka is an underrated destination for awe-inspiring walks, hikes and cycling trips. If you catch a hot day, head for a popular swimming spot on the river, just a short walk from the Old Town. From December to March, there's also pretty good skiing nearby.
Exploring the Škofja Loka Hills & Its Surrounds
The Škofja Loka Hills, a region of steep slopes, deep valleys and ravines, is an excellent area for walks or hikes, and there are several huts with accommodation in the area. If you're serious about exploring, buy a copy of the map and guide for cyclists, hikers and drivers entitled Škofjeloško, Idrijsko in Cerkljansko Hribovje (Škofja Loka, Idrija and Cerkno Hills; €12 from the TIC).
One of the more rewarding trips is to Lubnik, a 1025m peak northwest of the Old Town, which can be reached on foot in two hours via Vincarje (a difficult route), or via the castle ruins near Gabrovo. A shorter option (40 minutes) is from the village of Breznica. A mountain hut near the summit, Dom na Lubniku, has four rooms (12 beds) plus a restaurant and a terrace with great views.
A hike to 1562m Blegoš, further west, would be more demanding, but it takes only about three hours from Javorje, a village accessible by bus from Škofja Loka. With your own wheels, drive to the village of Črni Kal and you can reach it within an hour. There is an excellent mountain hut in the area: Koča na Blegošu, at 1391m, with 61 beds (in rooms and dorms), restaurants and good family facilities.
Stari Vrh ski centre is a popular ski resort located 12km west of Škofja Loka and features pistes suited to all ability levels. The area is filled with hiking trails in summer.
In the summer heat, join the locals at the town's pretty riverside swimming area. It's in Puštal, about a 10-minute walk southeast of the Old Town (signposted from Fužinska ulica). There's a summertime cafe-bar here, as well as the wooden 'Devil's Footbridge'.
Škofja Loka suffers from a shortage of sleeping options, and it's best to book as soon as you know your travel dates. On the plus side, the lack of big hotels keeps the tour buses to a minimum. In a pinch, the TIC is happy to help find a room and maintains a list of private rooms online.
The number of restaurants in Škofja Loka is small, but the level of quality is high. Danilo, 6km east of Škofja Loka, is ranked among Slovenia's best restaurants, though you'll need to reserve ahead to get a table here.
Drinking & Nightlife
Škofja Loka is fairly sedate after sundown. There are plenty of places along the main square to get a coffee or a beer, but the options evaporate quickly after 9pm to 10pm.