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Alpe-Adria Trail: Cividale del Friuli to Trieste 1

Alpe-Adria Trail: Cividale del Friuli to Trieste


The amazing Alpe-Adria Trail runs from Carinthia in the Austrian Alps to the Adriatic Sea at a total length of 750 km. On this walking holiday, you will take in the final section of the Alpe-Adria Trail. The tour offers enormous variety both culturally and naturally: starting with Castelmonte, through Cormons, Karst and Brda to the end of this stage in Trieste, an impressive former Habsburg city.

The route is a collection of diverse walks of a moderate to strenuous grade in mainly non-alpine terrain (grade comes to form the length of walks rather than their difficulty). The trail runs along existing paths which are connected to each other.

  • Cividale del Friuli and its devil’s bridge and the Tempietto Longobardo
  • The church of pilgrimage of Castelmonte
  • Smartno with its picturesque historic centre
  • Duino with its castle
  • Trieste, the former Habsburg city
  • Vineyards of Collio
  • First class wines from the Enoteca “La Serenissima” in Gradisca d’Isonzo

Click to view map


Day 1: Arrival in Cividale del Friuli

Fly into Trieste, Venice, Treviso or Ljubljana. There are good bus/train connections to Cividale del Friuli from all places. Cividale del Friuli is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and a real gem, rich in works of art. These can be seen at the Archaeological Museum and at the Museum of the Cathedral. The Lombard temple is one of the most extraordinary and mysterious monuments of the late Middle Ages in the West.

  • Walking for the day: none/walk around Cividale
  • Overnight in Cividale del Friuli

Day 2: Cividale – Prepotto | 18 km

The path of the Langobard takes you to Castelmonte, the oldest sanctuary in the region of Friuli-Venezia Giulia, the destination of a Marian pilgrimage in September that sets out from Cividale. Enjoy the breathtaking views over the plains of Friuli and the Slovenian Brda. The day will end with a good glass of wine in Prepotto. The possible alternative is following the official Alpe Adria Trail.

  • Walking for the day: 18 km, 7-8 hours ↑520 m ↓540 m
  • Possible alternative: 3-4 hours ↑90 m ↓110 m
  • Overnight in Prepotto

Day 3: Prepotto – Smartno | 16 km

Today’s route takes you along the Italian-Slovenian border and passes the vineyards of the Collio and numerous churches. You will walk to Smartno, a small residential area in the township of Brda. Your gaze will wander from the Carnic Alps over the wide Friuli to the Adriatic Sea.

  • Walking for the day: 16 km, 5 hours ↑620 m ↓460 m
  • Overnight in Smartno

Day 4: Smartno – Cormons | 16 km

You can enjoy a charming journey between vineyards and orchards at this stage. You leave Brda, the meeting-point of three cultures (Slavic, Romanic and Germanic) and return to the Friulian Collio. Surrounded by vineyards, you reach Cormons with its Habsburg flair. This small town is nowadays the cultural centre of the Collio. Indulge yourself in the taste of fine local wine in the Enoteca directly on the main square.

  • Walking for the day: 16 km, 4-5 hours ↑350 m ↓550 m
  • Overnight in Cormons

Day 5: Cormons – Gradisca d’Isonzo | 20 km

Today you hike through the hilly landscape of the Görzer Collio with its vineyards to Gradisca. The region is famous for its DOC wines. From the highest hilltops of the charming landscape along this stage, you will catch sight of the summits of the nearby Julian Alps and, further in the distance, the Dolomites. The “Laghetti Rossi” nature conservation park is home to an interesting variety of water birds. The name Gradisca has Slavic roots and means “settled place”. Under Venetian rule, it was a fortress protecting against the Turkish threat from the East at the end of the 15th century. Leonardo da Vinci co-operated in the different expansion works.

  • Walking for the day: 20 km, 4-5 hours ↑100 m ↓120 m
  • Overnight in Gradisca d’Isonzo

Day 6: Gradisca d’Isonzo – Duino/Sistiana | 28 km

You leave Gradisca d’Isonzo and the plain of the Isonzo territory and hike through the barren karst, which is characterised by many traces of the First World War. Numerous subterranean water courses in the basin of the river Isonzo share your way today (e.g. Doberdo del Lago), as well as the water mouth of the river Timavo. This river, with its length of 2 km, is probably the shortest river in the world. The last part of the tour from Monfalcone to Duino/Sistiana can be shortened by using the bus (ticket not included). At the end of the day, Duino welcomes you with its impressive castle

The last part of the tour from Monfalcone to Duino/Sistiana can be shortened by using the bus.

  • Walking for the day: 28 km, 8-9 hours ↑670 m ↓650 m or / if you take the bus (ticket not included): 6 hours ↑420 m ↓420 m
  • Overnight in Duino/Sistiana

Day 7: Duino/Sistiana – Trieste | 24 km

The first part of the route takes you on the famous trail of Rilke. You continue along a karst terrace to Prosecco and the capital city of Friuli-Venezia Giulia, Trieste. Have a relaxed end of the day on the main square (Piazza della Libertà) with its beautiful buildings.

  • Walking for the day: 24 km, 7-8 hours ↑460 m ↓500 m
  • Overnight in Trieste

Day 8: Departure

Return home or individual stay extension.

What to Expect


Accommodation is in 3-star hotels and hand-picked family-run guesthouses. All accommodations offer double/twin rooms with en-suite facilities. We have carefully hand-picked all places and regularly monitor their quality. We have tried to choose accommodations that offer friendly service, clean and comfortable rooms and local flavour.

*Hotels are subject to availability. In case a particular hotel is fully booked for your desired dates, we will replace it with a hotel of equal value and quality level. We will provide you with exact accommodation details upon booking confirmation.


Breakfast is included. Packed lunches for the next day can be pre-ordered in the hotels. For dinner, you have a range of alternatives in the town/village where you are spending the overnight.

Difficulty & terrain

The route is a collection of diverse walks of a moderate to strenuous grade in mainly non-alpine terrain (grade comes to form the length of walks rather than their difficulty). No climbing experience is required. The average walking distance is 20-25 km (6-7 hours) per day, the longest walk of 8-9 hours can be shortened by taking the local bus (read more about difficulty grades). You will walk on hiking trails and gravel roads. We strongly advise you to follow only marked trails and never try to shorten the path through the unknown and unmarked terrain. We will provide you with detailed road notes and maps and you can call our 24/7 local assistance phone number anytime. More detailed info on route navigation will be included in your holiday information pack.

When to go

As the coastal area around Trieste is very popular among holiday goers, we have managed to secure rooms for our customers only for specific dates, so this tour can start on Saturdays only until 5 November 2022 and between 1 April and 11 July 2023 and between 19 August and 4 November 2023.

Departures on other days are possible for min. 5 people on request.

Getting there

FCO up-to-date travel advice on Italy and Slovenia.

Click to view travel options

By plane

Our recommended airports for this tour are Trieste, Venice, Treviso, and Ljubljana. From all places, there are good bus/train connections to Cividale del Friuli.

By train or bus
  • By car: From the north via the motorway A10 to Villach and further on the A23 to Udine (exit Udine Nord); on the province road 54 to Cividale del Friuli; from the west via the A4 – via Milano and Venezia – and further on the A23 to Udine (exit Udine Sud); over San Giovanni al Natisone to Cividale del Friuli. Free unguarded car parking available at the start hotel.
  • By train: Timetables available on: DBÖBBTrenitalia. You can also use the Omio planner above.



  • Detailed documents (route notes and maps – 1 x per room) & Navigation app
  • Accommodation for 7 nights in hand-picked 3-star hotels and guesthouses in private ensuite rooms
  • 7 Breakfasts
  • Daily luggage transport to next hotel on all walking days
  • 24/7 phone assistance by our local office/representative


  • Airfare and connecting land transfers
  • Lunches, dinners, drinks and snacks
  • Bus and train tickets
  • Travel insurance (required – get a quote online)
  • Personal expenses
  • Local tourist taxes and entry fees (payable on-site)
  • Any items not explicitly listed as included

Options, extras & supplements

  • A supplement applies to members of a group who require a single room
  • This holiday is NOT available for solo travellers.
  • Extra nights in Cividale and Trieste
  • The tour can be organised on other days of the week on request with a min. of 5 people.