"We loved the style of our trekking guide, Willie. He provided the perfect level of oversight, making us feel both free and watched over. He was unfailingly cheerful and helpful."- Gayle Goedde
"The guides were great, the scenery was spectacular, co travelers were great. Food was wonderful."- John Kafka
Hiking the Julian Alps, starting point of the famed Via Alpina trans-Alp footpath.
Triglav National Park, the heart of the Julian Alps, and Slovenia’s celebrated alpine treasure.
Ravishing scenery, from the snowcapped peaks of the Julians to the sparkling blue of the Adriatic Sea.
An enduring traditional life replete with master artisans and delectable cuisine.
Enchanting, or perhaps intoxicating, might be the best words to characterize the Julian Alps of Slovenia. Tom Longstaff, a renowned climber and president of the Alpine Club in London once wrote, “(The Julian Alps) have become for me, after forty years’ devotion to mountain scenery, the most desirable of all mountains…Triglav reigns over a dreamworld, sundered from time, full of unbelievable hidden nooks, of unsuspected passages, of sudden visions of cliffs which cannot be real. Surely there is no other mountain land like this.”
Indeed, Slovenia is a mountain land all to its own. Bordering Italy, Austria, Croatia and the Adriatic Sea, this rugged country beckons with dominating mountains, sun-drenched seaboards, alluring villages and a captivating culture. Triglav, Slovenia’s tallest peak, reigns supreme, and delights hikers with an elevation change of more than 9,000 feet from mountain to sea.
Slovenia is also a place where time slows down if you want it to. The countryside maintains a raw earthy feel, and it’s a place where families still work the land and grandmothers weave baskets out of corn. We’ll step into this enchanting world during a week of Slovenia’s finest hiking.
Click here to read a guest account of our Slovenia hiking tour published by National Geographic Adventure.
Travel to Kranjska Gora from Ljubljana. Kransjka Gora is the Julian Alps’ most charming village exuding a serenity that makes the visitor feel immediately at home. Overnight in a family run, centrally located hotel considered the most comfortable in town.
This part of the Julian Alps is considered by many to be Europe’s Yosemite. Today we’ll hike out of Kranjska Gora to Pec, a high point on a ridge where the borders of Italy, Austria and Slovenia meet. Hike on farm roads through ancient villages which give way to gorgeous single track and a beautiful vantage point high above timberline. Descend to the magical village of Ratice. Return to Kranjska Gora and Kranjska Gora hotel by van or on foot.
Our driver will give us a boost to the famous Tamar Valley. The itinerary begins gently with an ascent to the Tamar hut. From here climb steeply to Sleme, a beautiful summit high above this fabulous valley. Descend to Vrsic (an outpost built for the Austrians by Russian WWI prisoners). Finish at the pass road at Vrsic where our driver will pick us up (with our luggage) and transfer us to Trenta and a quaint and comfortable guest house. Tonight we’ll rest in the heart of the Triglav National Park.
Leave Trenta and ascend the “geology path” and an old WWI military road up the Trebiska Valley to Cez Dol. Leave the timberline and switchback to the top of the ridge not far from the Triglav summit. On the apex of the ridge is your hut, the Zasavska Koca. This magically situated hut is at the head of, and looks down on, the valley of the Seven Lakes, Slovenia’s most famous. Perched above the first of the seven lakes, the hut has clean bedding and great food.
Begin a truly unique day by descending the Valley of the Seven Lakes to the Seven Lakes Hut. From here enjoy an undulating traverse through rocky terrain and “gnomelike” forest to the Dom na Komni your second and final hut of the trek. Upon arrival at this excellent hut, you’ll catch your first glimpse of Lake Bohinj, one of Slovenia’s most stunning natural features. The hut is well appointed with private rooms and fluffy duvets on the beds.
Depart the superbly situated Komni Dom and traverse to the Konjsko pass. From the pass you enjoy some of the most spectacular mountain views of the Julian Alps, including the magnificent peaks Vogel and Krn. Views of Lake Bohinj are unforgettable. A short but steep descent through karst topography and sink holes takes you a conveniently situated cable car for a ride down to Ukanc on the shores of Lake Bohinj. Enjoy the first of two nights in a great hotel.
A final hike begins with a boat ride across Lake Bohinj to the tiny village of Stara Fuzina. Ascend through farmroads and meadows to the Kosijev Dom for lunch with great views of the previous few days hiking as well as the lake below.
Depart. We recommend additional nights in Ljubljana, Slovenia’s colorful capital city, and in Piran, a dreamy Adriatic coastal village.