Follow the Via Alpina through Triglav National Park
|Location||Triglav National Park, Slovenia|
|Accommodations||Hotels, Mountain Hut|
Jul 21, 2023 - Jul 29, 2023
|Single Supp Cost||
Sharing borders with Italy to the west, Austria to the north, Hungary to the east and Croatia and the Adriatic Sea to the south, Slovenia boasts incredible natural diversity for such a diminutive country. Our 8-day Hiking the Julian Alps is brimming with some of Slovenia’s most stunning landscapes.
Beginning in the Prague-like capital of Ljubljana, we will visit the lakeside town of Bled, with its picturesque island church and hillside castle, walk the Vintgar Gorge and visit the medieval town of Radovljica, finally traveling northwest to the Lake Bohnj in the heart of the Julian Alps.
Our 4-day hut-to-hut circuit through the Julian Alps will pass through one of Europe’s oldest and largest parks, Triglav National Park. Encompassing the tallest peaks in Slovenia, including Triglav at 2,864m, this is not only a landscape of towering limestone spires but of rich medieval forests and lush open valleys. Dotted with old-world mountain huts set in green meadows and along emerald green lakes, this area offers a hiking experience reminiscent of a bygone era. Dipping into the Upper Soca Valley, known for its unspoiled beauty and rich history, we’ll get a taste of this area depicted in Hemingway’s A Farewell to Arms before our tour comes full circle, returning to Ljubljana.
As in past years, we continue our collaboration with our friends at TrekTrek Adventures, one of the foremost active travel companies in Slovenia, working to introduce travelers to not only to hiking in the Julian Alps, but to the many unspoiled natural treasures, the country possesses.
Day 1: Pick-up at Ljubljana Airport and group transfer to Ljubljana: Rendezvous at the Ljubljana Airport for an afternoon group transfer to our hotel in the center of Slovenia’s capital, Ljubljana. After checking into our hotel, we will have time to wander the quaint, narrow streets of the old city along the left bank of the Ljubljanica River. Baroque townhouses, stately churches, and medieval bridges give the Old Town the feel of a smaller, less-crowded version of Prague. We can also climb to the Ljubljana Castle on Castle Hill, overlooking the city. From the clock tower of the castle, there are far-reaching views of the city below and beyond to the Kamniske Alps to the north. Welcome dinner and orientation.
Day 2: Vintgar Gorge – Radovljica – Lake Bled – Bohinj: After breakfast, we will head northwest to the province of Gorenjska, which encompasses Triglav National Park and the Julian Alps. En route to the start of our hike, we will first stop at Lake Bled. With its fairytale island church and mountainside castle against a backdrop of distant mountain peaks, it’s one of the most picturesque lakes in Slovenia.
An easy walk from Bled will bring us to the Vintgar Gorge. A wooden walkway built in the late 1800s traces the Radovna River, spectacularly passing pools and rapids on its way to the 40-foot waterfall of Šum. Following lunch in the old medieval town of Radovljica, we’ll have time for a walk around Bled lake before heading to our hotel situated on Lake Bohinj. We’ll have to time relax and enjoy the pool or possibly have a swim in the lake before dinner.
Day 3: Triglav National Park: Bohinj to Seven Triglav Lakes Hut: Today we begin our hut-to-hut circuit through the beautiful, scenic heart of Triglav National Park; also known as a Kingdom of the Goldenhorn, after the well-known folktale. (You will have to wait until you are on the trail to learn more about the tale!). Our route today leads us through rich picturesque forests and open green pastures. Along the way, we’ll get a glimpse into the unique way of life of the Slovenian shepherd.
A morning transfer will bring us to the start of our hike above the lake. First hiking up through the alpine pastures of Vogar, we’ll continue to Planina pri Jezeru (4,767’), a small glacial lake surrounded by a smattering of shepherds huts and the mountain hut of Koča na Planini pri Jezeru. We end our hike at the terminus of the Valley of Seven Triglav Lakes (5,528’) and our mountain hut for the night. There is no better place to spend a night than on the shores of a mountain lake.
Day 4: Valley of Seven Lakes to Vodnik Hut: In the early morning, we’ll head deeper in the Valley of Seven Lakes. Here we’ll find some of Slovenia’s finest mountain scenery. It is a spectacular landscape of dark green lakes, limestone peaks and pastures littered with giant boulders.
Surrounded by peaks that reach over 6,000’, we’ll reach the highest point of the day, the pass of Cez Hribarice (7,734’) before descending to the green fields of Velo Polje. A final short climb will bring us to our mountain hut for the night, Vodnikov dom (5,961’). Set just below Slovenia’s highest mountain Mt. Triglav (9,396’), on the western flank of Mt. Tosc (7,463’) and overlooking Velo Polje, this is the hut from which many climbers begin their climbs on Triglav. Francka, our host, prepares fresh bread every morning!
Day 5: Vodnik Hut to Vogar Hut: After a nice breakfast and donning our hiking shoes again, we’ll meander along paths with wide-open views of the green pastures and the surrounding Julian Alps. From our high point at Jezerski pass (6,381’), we’ll slowly descend to the pastures of Krstenica(5,480’). Here the high alpine scenery becomes softer. As we hike through blossoming meadows we may catch a glimpse of Lake Bohinj in the distance. Overnight at Vogar Hut (3,458’).
Day 6: Vogar Hut to Kranjska Gora: Today’s hike takes us to the Mostnica River Gorge, a natural wonder considered to be one the most captivating sections of the river in the country. Soft forest trails lead us down to the river and close enough to easily spot trout swimming in the crystal-clear currents. We’ll follow this 2-kilometer narrow gorge as it slices its way through the lower Voje Valley forming emerald green pools and amazing limestone rock formations. Coming full circle, we’ll arrive back at Lake Bohinj finishing our circuit through this part of the Julian Alps. From here we have an 80-minute van transfer to Kranjska Gora, where a well-deserved, long shower, followed by a nice local dinner, is waiting for us.
Day 7: Vrsic Pass – Sleme – Soca valley: A 30-minute drive will bring us up to Vrsic Pass (5,316’), one of the most scenic mountain roads in Slovenia. The pass once marked the border between Italy and the Austro-Hungarian Empire. From the pass, we’ll take a hike up to open green pastures of Sleme. On a clear day, there are breathtaking views and with a bit of luck, we may spy the delicate white edelweiss flowers along our route. We’ll have a picnic lunch next to a charming tiny glacier lake before returning to the pass and continuing our scenic drive along the winding road brings us to Soca Valley. This valley, carved into the white limestone of the Julian Alps, boasts an array of wonderful colors, with its waterfalls, pools, ravines, and canyons. It also has its own distinct flora and fauna, including the marble trout.
The upper Soca Valley is the westernmost part of Triglav National Park. Like parts of the Dolomites, this area saw quite a bit of fighting during WWI and was used as a setting in Hemingway’s A Farewell to Arms. We’ll have time for an hour-long hike along the Soca Trail before heading back to our accommodations in Kranjska Gora.
Day 8: Kranjska Gora to Ljubljana: Returning to Ljubljana we’ll drive back by way of the Vrata Valley. Literally translated as “doors,” Vrata is the entrance that leads to the highest mountain of Slovenia. From a distance, we’ll get our last views of Mt. Triglav's north face, where some of Slovenia’s world-class alpinists first honed their skills. We’ll stop for a short walk up to and under the towering Pericnik Falls, returning to Ljubljana for a free afternoon of exploring old streets and bridges. Farewell dinner in the old town.
Day 9: Depart Ljubljana: The trip will end with a group transfer in the morning to Ljubljana Airport.
If you wish to have your own room, there is a single supplement charge. Please let us know if you would like a single at the time of registration. If you are traveling alone and would like to share a room, we will match you with a roommate. If there is no one with whom you can share, a “forced” single rate of $275 will apply.
Airfare, 2 lunches, optional/individual transfers or excursions, items not on set dinner menu, beverages, tips to guides, insurance, items of a personal nature.
This hike is not vehicle supported for the 4-day hut-to-hut portion of the trip. For these days, you will need to carry a moderate-sized pack with the clothing and accessories you will need for the duration of this portion of the hike. (See our sample packing list.) With advances in synthetic clothing and other travel gear, it’s possible to keep your pack weight to 20 lbs. or less, including lunch and water.
During the trip, we will be staying at mountain huts and hotels.
Hotels: Our accommodations in Ljubljana, Lake Bohinj, and Kranjska Gora are comfortable 3- and 4-star hotels and B&Bs with private baths.
Huts: Three nights will be spent in mountain huts. These huts vary greatly, depending on their location, but are generally very simple and rustic, yet comfortable. They have small bunk rooms or dormitories, each bunk with blankets and a pillow. The huts have warm and cozy dining areas where dinners and breakfasts are served. All huts have outdoor areas where you can admire the view and relax over a cup of coffee or cool beverage after your hike. The facilities are shared. The huts in Slovenia do have facilities for washing but do not have showers. Each hut has its own charm, unique character, and spectacular view!
Breakfasts are served at the hotels or hut. Dinners are served at the huts as well. Some of our dinners may be taken at local restaurants and lunches are picnic style along the trail or at mountain huts along our route.
It is most convenient to fly into Ljubljana’s Jože Pučnik Airport, which is located 23 kilometers north of the city. Ljubljana can also be reached by train from anywhere within Europe, just be sure to allow extra travel time. Ljubljana is four hours from Venice by train and six hours from Innsbruck or Vienna.
The group will meet at the Ljubljana Airport in the afternoon for a transfer to our hotel in Ljubljana.
The trip will end after breakfast on the last day, with a transfer from Lake Bohinj back to the Ljubljana Airport.
Our Hiking in the Julian Alps trip is a unique experience for those strong hikers who are looking for solid hiking through Slovenia's Julian Alps and are intrigued by the idea of staying in old-world mountain huts. This hike is a mix of both remote mountain hiking and overnight stops at the resort village of Lake Bohinj and Kranjska Gora, as well as the capital city of Ljubljana.
For a more detailed itinerary that includes daily elevation gains, losses, and distances, or to register, please contact us. We're also happy to supply a list of past participants willing to share their insights into this guided Hiking the Julian Alps experience.
A deposit of $500 along with your completed registration forms will reserve a space on your requested trip. We accept MasterCard, Visa, and American Express card as well as personal checks. To make a deposit, you may either follow one of the “Reserve a Trip” links below, give us a call at 1-888-845-5781, or include your payment information in the area provided when completing your registration forms.
The balance is due 75 days prior to departure for most of our trips. When applying less than 75 days prior to departure, full payment is due. For final payments, we accept MasterCard, Visa, and American Express, as well as personal checks.
As confirmation of receipt of your deposit, we will send you a comprehensive packet of information pertaining to your trip, an invoice for final payment and additional information including release agreement form, medical information form, travel information, and packing list. Upon receipt of final payment and no later than 30 days prior to your trip start, you will receive trip rendezvous information and a list of accommodations. Returning trip participants will receive a 5% discount on most trips.
Receipt of all forms will finalize your registration.