Explore the path less traveled in the mountains and vineyards of Eastern Europe’s best-kept secret
Shhh…We don’t want to broadcast this too loudly, but did you know that Slovenia is 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.
Our tour takes in the wonders of western Slovenia, through the awe-inspiring mountain enclave of the Julian Alps, rich in endemic flora and a number of emerald-green lakes; the fairytale setting of Lake Bled, complete with a castle; the Soca Valley, with its exquisite alpine scenery and bright turquoise-green river; the evocative Karst country, a limestone plateau that’s home to the famous Skocjan Caves, old stone churches, and luscious ruby-red wines; and the Adriatic Coast, where you’ll visit the Venetian harbor town of Piran. Well-appointed, charming hotels sweeten long days of hiking with spa amenities, and in the case of our last hotel—a beach! There is no better time than the present to explore one of the last of Europe’s undiscovered jewels.
8 days moderate to strenuous hiking (max elev. 6,795')
- Discover the path less traveled in the heart of Slovenia’s Julian Alps and Triglav National Park MTS-style: with well-appointed, charming hotels with spa amenities and in the case of our last hotel—a beach!
- Hike along awe-inspiring mountain passes, emerald lakes, and rolling vineyards
- Visit the picturesque lake village of Bled, Karst wine country, and the Skocjan Caves—a UNESCO World Heritage Site
- Meet local, artisan producers and taste their fare—from small, family-run wineries to shepherds who make their own cheese
Duration: 10 days Start Location: Ljubljana End Location: LjubljanaDownload Detailed Itinerary
Day 1 : Arrive in Ljubljana
Meet in Ljubljana, Slovenia. Walking tour of the old part of the city, with its quaint narrow streets and medieval bridges.
Day 2 : Ljubljana – Velika Planina – Bohinj
Hike in the Kamnisko-Savinjske Alps, where we may meet shepherds and see their unique conical-roofed huts. Drive to Bohinj, set near a lake in Triglav National Park.
Day 3 : Bohinj – Debela Pec Hike – Bled
Climb Debela Pec (6,611'), with its wonderful views of Mount Triglav (9,396'), Slovenia's highest mountain. Return to Bohinj via Bled, the most picturesque lake in Slovenia.
Day 4 : Seven Triglav Lakes
Today you'll hike in the heart of the Julian Alps, passing shepherds' cottages on the way to a hut poised above the Seven Triglav Lakes.
Day 5 : Free Day in Bohinj
Free day in Bohinj to try canyoneering (definitely one of the highlights in this part of Slovenia), canoe around the lake, take a walk, or tackle the mountain bike trails.
Day 6 : Bohinj – Vrsic Pass – Sleme – Kobarid
Drive to the Soca River Valley for a hike to Sleme and a picnic beside a small glacial lake. Continue to Kobarid.
Day 7 : Krnska Jezera
Hike to Krnska Lakes (4,544') in the upper Soca Valley, with its views of white limestone peaks. This is the westernmost part of Triglav National Park where the battles of WWI took place, vividly described in Ernest Hemingway's A Farewell to Arms.
Day 8 : Planina Kuhinja
Hike below Krn Mountain, site of a major frontline during WWI, passing remote villages and meadows, to Planina Kuhinja.
Day 9 : Karst Wine Country – Piran
Walk to a hidden waterfall, then take a picturesque drive across Goriska Brda, a hilly area bordering Italy that produces the country's best fruit and wine. Visit local wine makers and sample delicious red wines, then drive to Piran, on the Adriatic Coast, and explore its tangle of streets in the old town.
Day 10 : Skocjan Caves – Depart Ljubljana
Head to the underground world of the Skocjan Caves, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, and walk through their labyrinth of underground passages. Transfer to the airport in Ljubljana and depart.
DATES: Best time to go: June - September Departures: Jul 16 - 25, 2013 Aug 13 - 22, 2013
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.