Hike along the path less traveled in the heart of Slovenia’s Julian Alps
Slovenia is hands down Europe’s best-kept secret. Small yet majestic, dreamy and unspoiled, everything from its vibrant capital of Ljubljana, to its serene countryside, picturesque medieval villages, and breathtaking mountain views seems locked in a bygone era. This destination has it all. This challenging trip takes in the wonders of western Slovenia's alpine scenery, from the awe-inspiring Julian Alps to the Soca River bedecked in glowing turquoise, to the fairytale castle on Lake Bled. Along the way, we'll sleep in well-appointed, charming hotels with spa amenities, and sample Slovenia's luscious red wines! There is no better time than the present to explore one of the last of Europe’s undiscovered jewels.
8 Days of strenuous hiking (max elev. 6,795')
- Experience Slovenia before the crowds discover it—from the stunning Julian Alps to Ljubljana (a classic, old world European capital)
- Dedicated native guides inspire spontaneous interactions with locals such as sampling homemade schnapps in alpine huts
- Surprisingly green landscapes full of natural beauty and well maintained hiking trails makes this a trekker’s dream
Duration: 10 days Start Location: Ljubljana End Location: LjubljanaDownload Detailed Itinerary
Day 1 : Arrival in Ljubljana
Arrive at the capital of Slovenia, Ljubljana. The Slovenian capital has become one of the hippest cities in Europe, reminiscent of Prague without the bustling crowds. The city is so small you can explore most of the town’s sights on foot and yet so cosmopolitan you can hear a variety of languages walking along the lovely Ljubljanica River. With lively bars, cafes and art galleries, the green city of Ljubljana is a great hideout from big and crowded European capitals. Meet your guide in the afternoon for a trip overview and welcome dinner. (35-minute transfer from airport to Ljubljana.)
Day 2 : Ljubljana – Velika Planina – Logarska Valley
We’ll head north to the Great Highlands, where preserved sheepherders’ wooden huts tell of highland life long ago. The special conical shape of the buildings’ roofs is unique to this area and some of buildings date back over a century. We’ll hike on gentle terrain through green meadows, while the limestone peaks of the Kamnisko-Savinjske Alps are within hands’ reach. We'll stop to enjoy a picnic overlooking the valley accompanied by the sound of cowbells, and may even have a chance to try a bit of local fresh cheese and sour-milk. After our hike, we'll drive to the Nature Park Logarska Valley, a secret pearl situated right on the Austrian border. (1-hour drive from Ljubljana to Velika Planina starting point ~ 1-hour 20-minute transfer from Velika Planina to Logarska Valley. 4 Hours, 1,368' elevation ascent/descent, 7 miles)
Day 3 : Logarska Valley
The secluded valley of Logarska is a place of contrasts. White pointy limestone peaks protect the soft green glacier valley, which hides our charming Alpine hotel. The Logarska Valley, with its clear mountain air and fertile soil, has also become a popular escape for Slovenians who have changed their lifestyle and become involved in organic farming. Here, we'll hike up to Okreselj to get under the amphitheater of mountains. Following a fairy-tale trail along a clear stream, we’ll arrive at Rinka waterfall. This remote corner has a tradition of being virtually untouched, if it weren’t for the noble families of the Austrian empire that qualified the place as one of their favorite abodes. (5 hours, 2200’ elevation ascent/ descent, 6 miles)
Day 4 : Logarska Valley
Today we'll climb the Olševa mountain ridge high above the Logarska Valley. Situated on the border with Austria, this Eastern part of the Kamnisko-Savinjske Alps offers untouched nature and is famous for the Potocka Zijalka cave. Archaeologically and paleontologically speaking, this 355-foot long cave is one of the most important in Slovenia. It was hear in 1928 that bones of the cave bear and tools of the Stone Age hunters were found. We finish today’s hike in one of the highest standing farmhouses in Slovenia, where we try mouth-watering homemade delicacies. (7 hours, 2250’ elevation ascent/ 1850’ elevation descent, 6 miles)
Day 5 : Logarska Valley – Austria – Jezersko Pass – Lake Bohinj
Today we say farewell to the Logarska Valley and continue to the jewel of the Slovenian Alps, Lake Bohinj. En route we’ll take a ride on a spectacular mountain road offering great views over the Kamniske Alps. For a few moments we’ll enter Austria before coming back to Slovenia on the pass of Jezersko. (Slovenia has been part of European Union since 2005, so our return to Slovenia will go unnoticed). Jezersko is home to some of Slovenia’s best backcountry skiers, who have traversed most of the World’s highest peaks, including the first-ever complete descent on skies of Everest. In the summer time, green fields full of blossoming flowers, wooden Alpine houses and the heart-shaped lake Jezersko become a popular hiking spot. We’ll enjoy a three-hour hike here before continuing to Lake Bohinj. (1-hour drive from the Logarska Valley to Jezersko ~ 1½-hour drive from Jezersko to Bohinj. 3 hours, 400’ elevation ascent/descent, 4.5 miles)
Day 6 : Bohinj – Seven Triglav Lakes
In the early morning we'll begin trekking high above Bohinj. An uphill walk through pine forest brings us to the hearts of the Julian Alps. Passing by shepherds’ cottages and green meadows, we’ll reach the valley of Seven Triglav Lakes, also known as the Kingdom of the Goldenhorn. (35-minute drive each way. 6 hours, 2250’ elevation ascent/ descent, 7.5 miles)
Day 7 : Bohinj – Brda Moutain – Bled – Bohinj
Bohinj is a net of picturesque villages situated near the lake and a perfect base for our treks in the Triglav National Park. Today we'll climb Brdo Mountain, which offers great views of Mount Triglav (9,396'), Slovenia’s highest mountain. The top of the mountain with its carpets of green grass is a perfect place for a lovely picnic lunch. We'll return to Bohinj via Bled, the most picturesque lake in Slovenia. (1-hour transfer from Bohinj to Brdo starting point ~ 1-hour return transfer via Bled to Bohinj. 8-9 hours, 1989’ elevation ascent/ descent, 12.5 miles)
Day 8 : Bohinj – Sleme – Kobarid
Today we’ll take a ride around the Julian Alps en route to the valley of the Soca River, crossing Vrsic Pass (5330'). The pass used to be the border line between Italy and the Austro-Hungarian Imperium. From here we’ll enjoy breathtaking views and with a bit of luck we’ll see dozens of delicate alpine flowers. We'll hike to Sleme where we'll have a picnic lunch next to a charming small glacier lake. Italy and Austria are only a short distance away. From the pass, a scenic drive along the winding road brings us to Kobarid, the center of the Soca Valley. (1 hour 30 minutes transfer from Bohinj to Vrsic pass ~ 1 hour 15 minutes transfer from Vrsic to Kobarid. 4 hours, 1150’ elevation ascent/ descent, 4 miles)
Day 9 : Kobarid – Pretovc – Kobarid
The Majestic Krn Mountain with its distinctive shape is one of the highest peaks in the Southwestern Julian Alpss, and once played an extremely important role in WWI. Just below its peak one will find remote villages and meadows still used by local shepherds. We’ll hike up to Planina Pretovc to steal stunning views of the Soca River Valley winding beneath the cliffs of ancient history. (40-minute drive from Kobarid to starting point. 4 hours, 900’ elevation ascent/ descent, 4.5 miles)
Day 10 : Kobarid – Kozjak Waterfall – Ljubljana – Departure
Before setting off to Ljubljana, we'll take a short walk to the hidden waterfall of called Kozjek. We'll eventually arrive in to Ljubljana at about noon. Flights home should depart no earlier than 4:00 p.m. (1 hour, 400’ ascent/ descent, 2 miles)
DATES: Best time to go: June - September Departures: Jun 23, 2015 - Jul 2, 2015 Jul 28, 2015 - Aug 6, 2015 Aug 25, 2015 - Sep 3, 2015
Properties shown are representative of the accommodations we use on this trip, may not be inclusive of all accommodations we use, and are subject to change.
Expert leadership is the key to an exciting, unforgettable experience. Our trips feature gifted leaders for whom leading trips is a true vocation. Besides showing you wonders you’d never find on your own, they make sure everything runs smoothly and safely without a hitch. They are knowledgeable about all aspects of your trip, and take great pleasure in sharing their insights with you. More than just guides, they positively elevate your experience by being teachers, companions, and the best of friends. You’ll be in good hands with them every step of the way.
Luka doesn't sit still for long. When he is not guiding our trips, he is exploring the outer reaches of Northern Africa, Burma, Tibet, Montenegro, Sahara, Thailand, Croatia, and Nepal; guiding, discovering new destinations or bargaining for a precious Iranian silk carpet. He takes very seriously his Arabic lessons, due to the mystical deserts of the Arabic world which have enchanted him. When he is in Slovenia, he is devoted to free-climbing, mountain-biking, photography and expert dining. In his years of traveling he has became very knowledgeable about fine wine. Luka is the right person to show you where the best Cabarnet Sauvignon in Slovenia can be found.
Ursula has a degree in management and organization. She is an avid photographer and has traveled extensively between Asia and Latin America, and spent six months in Colombia working as a photo journalist. Ursula has been guiding since 2001 and is very knowledgeable about the Slovenian outdoors. She is fluent in English and Spanish, and in her free time enjoys cooking and dancing the Salsa.
Roman is a graduate in Chinese studies. After finishing his degree he spent a year in China, wandered around Southeast Asia for the next five years, and now Roman is settled between his two homelands. In the beautiful countryside of Slovenia as an outdoor guide, and in Cambodia, where he is running a petit beach resort when temperatures in Europe drop to freezing. An adventurer at heart, Roman continues to discover hidden corners of Croatia and Slovenia, combining nature experiences with his passion for gourmet Slovenian cuisine. As a guide he is well known for his personal touch and good humor.