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Peaks of the Julian Alps (guided) 3

Summits of the Julian Alps (Guided)

Overview

Discover the Slovenian Alps on an 8-day group hiking adventure along some of Europe’s most scenic hiking trails. This tour is for all who wish to experience the best of what the Julian Alps have to offer. The first part of the itinerary is a 3-day hut-to-hut tour, taking you through the lush Triglav National Park, after which you will explore the magnificent Soca valley, visit the charming lakes Bled and Bohinj, and taste great food and wine in Slovenia’s best wine region. Additionally, adventure lovers can experience outdoor adventures in Slovenia’s adventure capital, Bovec. It’s also possible to extend the tour for a day to discover the caves of the magical Slovenian Karst and soak your tired feet at the lovely Adriatic coast.

Your journey will also be enriched by our native English-speaking Slovenian guides, who will help you experience Slovenia’s natural treasures and historical places in the best possible way. Our groups are small (around 10 people), so you can expect to travel in a friendly atmosphere and get private attention.

Highlights

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Itinerary

Day 1: Welcome to Ljubljana

In the afternoon, our cheerful trip guide will meet you at your hotel in Ljubljana. From there you’ll go for a welcome drink on the banks of the Ljubljanica river. While sipping excellent wine or beer, you’ll first get to know your fellow hikers, and then the guide will present the details of the trip, as well as answer any questions you might have. Afterwards, you’ll be able to explore the city on your own and enjoy its vibrant old centre with green parks and outdoor cafes on the curvy banks of the Ljubljanica river.

Day 2: Triglav National Park | 9 km

In the morning you’ll head off on a three-day hut-to-hut hike, exploring the Triglav National Park, off the beaten track.

First, you’ll cross lovely alpine pastures in the hills near Lake Bohinj, where you can taste and buy fresh cheese and sour milk at the small farms you’ll pass. Further on, you’ll start ascending mountain passes on the rugged slopes of the surrounding mountains, from where the trail will pass to the side of the mountains before it finally turns downhill and after a short descent, you’ll find yourself crossing wildflower-strewn mountain meadows dotted with lazing cows. Very few people trek in this part of the Triglav National Park. As the mountain hut appears on the hillside, you’ll notice the highest peak in Slovenia, Mt Triglav (2864m). If you climb the neighbouring summit (extra 1 hour), you will be able to enjoy the evening light over the jagged peaks of the Julian Alps.

Note: You will spend the overnights on day 2 and 3 in mountain huts, where luggage transport is not possible, and you will have to carry the belongings you will need until you get to your hotel on day 4.

  • Accommodation: Vodnik Mountain Hut, dorm room (4, 6 or 10 beds), shared facilities
  • Walking for the day: 9 km, ↑900 m ↓250 m, approx. 6 hrs
  • Included meals: breakfast, picnic lunch, dinner

Day 3: The Heart of the Julian Alps | 12 km

Today, the most challenging day of the trip takes you through the heart of the Julian Alps. First, you’ll warm-up by walking along a hillside path through a dwarf pine forest. From here a gravel path will take you over rocky terrain through stunning alpine scenery to a high mountain pass. It’s just the place to relax for a while and enjoy the best view of Mount Triglav on this tour. Here you’ll have the chance to climb a fantastic peak (extra 1 hour and 250 metres altitude gain), at the top of which you’ll be rewarded with breathtaking views over the highest summits of the Slovenian, Italian and Austrian Alps.

As the gravel path turns downhill, you’ll join the Via Alpina Trail and Slovenian Mountain Trail leading through the valley of the Seven Triglav Lakes. This is a more relaxed walk along an easy and popular valley of geological and biological importance, where you’ll spot some karst mountain formations, fossils and endemic flowers.

As the day turns to late afternoon, you’ll reach the mountain hut at the Triglav lakes and enjoy some relaxation time.
Lunch is available at a mountain hut along the way, or you can get a picnic lunch from the hut at breakfast.

  • Accommodation: 7 Lakes Mountain Hut, dorm room (4, 6 or 10 beds), shared facilities
  • Walking for the day: 12 km, ↑700 m ↓750 m, approx. 7 hrs
  • Included meals: breakfast, dinner

Day 4: Land of the Alpine Pastures | 8 km

In the morning you’ll head across the scree to a little mountain saddle between two peaks, a doorway to the land of alpine pastures. The fitter ones among you will have the option to hike to a lonely summit. Your effort will be more than rewarded with a grand landscape panorama over the Seven Triglav lakes valley and the Julian Alps. After returning from the peak, you’ll leave the highest and most extensive mountain range in Slovenia behind for a while. From here on you’ll trek along a limestone pavement surrounded by sinkholes and pine bushes, leading to lush green forests and alpine pastures. It’s just the best place to try some fresh, home-made food.

Soon you’ll join a dirt path, where you have to get your camera ready because you’ll reach a picture-perfect setting of cabins on a green meadow by a glass-like lake reflecting a rock wall. It’s the last natural feature before reaching the Bohinj valley. Because ‘an empty sack doesn’t stand tall’ we’ll take you for a delicious traditional lunch, then we’ll round up the three-day hike with an unforgettable swim in the crystal clear waters of Lake Bohinj, Slovenia’s largest permanent lake. Afterwards, you’ll still have some time to explore Bohinj Lake and have dinner on your own.

  • Accommodation: Hotel Jezero Bohinj or similar
  • Walking for the day: 8 km, ↑200 m ↓800 m, approx. 4 hrs
  • Included meals: breakfast, lunch

Day 5: Lake Bled and the Vrsic Mountain Pass | 10 km

For the following days, we will continue by van to the starting points for the day hikes. First, you’ll visit the most popular must-see place in Slovenia, Lake Bled. It’s just as beautiful in real life as it looks in photos. So to give you a chance to take the perfect photo, we’ll hike to a popular viewpoint and photo spot of the lake, island church and clifftop castle with the Karavanke Alps in the backdrop. Later on, we’ll head more north-west, so this is the only time to visit the church on Bled island. However, if relaxing on the lakeside sounds more appealing, you are also welcome to kick off your shoes and do just that.

Our next quest is a scenic drive on a winding road among the limestone walls leading to Vrsic mountain pass. The road was built by Russian prisoners during World War I and makes for a perfect starting point for our day hike. The forest path leads to a solitary mountain shoulder, with a lonely peak in the middle of a mountain arena with captivating high walls.

If you thought Slovenia couldn’t get any prettier, wait until you descend to the other side of the pass, the Soca valley. This is the most biodiverse place in the country with emerald waters, dense forests and the widest variety of outdoor adventures in Slovenia. The perky little town of Bovec is its centre and the country’s outdoor adventure capital. Our place for the next two nights. Today’s lunch is in a cosy mountain hut.

  • Accommodation: Hotel Mangart Bovec or similar
  • Walking for the day: 10 km, ↑650 m ↓650 m, approx. 5 hrs
  • Included meals: breakfast, lunch

Day 6: Adventures in the Soca Valley | 8 km

Today brings many different options. Given the elevation difference, you can choose a relatively short hike to Mt Mangart, the third highest peak in Slovenia and the highest in the Soca Valley. If you’re looking for more of a thrill, opt for adventures like kayaking, rafting, zip-lining, and even canyoning.

Hikers will start the day early, winding up the curvy Mangart road to Mangart saddle, stopping on Slovenia’s highest mountain road. Just after a short warm-up walk, a steep rocky trail will quickly take you from the mountain base to a world of rocks and stones. You’ll find the rope aids on the path handy for climbing the tall steps. At the top, a 360-degree mountain panorama, encompassing the western Julian Alps stretching from Slovenia to Italy and Austria, will not fail to capture your attention. If you think climbing Mangart is too much, the guides will recommend an easier hike with jaw-dropping views at the top of Mangart saddle.

After the descent, the group will get together over a delicious local lunch. In the afternoon you’ll still have enough time for some outdoor adventures, have a massage or explore the town on your own. As there is a good variety of restaurants, inns and bars, you’ll easily find options to pamper your taste buds.

  • Accommodation: Hotel Mangart Bovec or similar
  • Walking for the day: 8 km, ↑650 m ↓650 m, approx. 5 hrs
  • Included meals: breakfast, lunch

Day 7: Goriska Brda Wine Hills | 8 km

This morning you’ll head further south from the untamed alpine terrain, and by late afternoon end up on the border of the mild Mediterranean basin. First, you’ll walk along part of the circular trail around the Julian Alps, known as the Juliana Trail. It’s one of the most spectacular sections of the Soca trail, following one of the most beautiful alpine rivers in the world, the Soca River. The hike will end in Kobarid, a town of rich historical heritage with numerous relics from World War I and a couple of excellent restaurants, a perfect spot for a great lunch.

From Kobarid, we will drive to the rolling hills of Goriska Brda, a tiny wine region separated by the Slovenian Italian border that was established after the Second World War. Here vineyards, orchards and olive grove terraces cover the landscape, where a moderate climate, long tradition and hard-working farmers make the region extremely charming in every season. In the evening we will treat ourselves to a great final dinner.

  • Accommodation: Hotel San Martin or similar
  • Walking for the day: 8 km, ↑100 m ↓160 m, approx. 2.5 hrs
  • Included meals: breakfast, lunch, dinner

Day 8: Extension to Piran or End of the Trip

After a hearty breakfast, your hiking adventure in western Slovenia ends. But please note that you might have helplessly fallen in love with Slovenia by this time. So join the following one-day extension to explore Skocjan Caves, the karst vineyards and coastal town of Piran and only leave when you feel you must.

OPTIONAL EXTENSION (upon request): After breakfast, visit of the Skocjan Caves; a UNESCO World Heritage Site with the largest cave canyon in Europe and many amazing underground karst formations, followed by visit of a local winemaker and a fabulous lunch with wine tasting at their vineyard. Finally, we will get to the most beautiful town in Slovenian Istria, Piran. It’s nicely situated on the edge of a narrow peninsula. We will explore the town’s narrow streets and squares, have a final gelato and maybe go for a swim in the Adriatic Sea. The guide will finish the tour in the evening in Piran and will then return to Ljubljana. You are free to overnight in Piran or return to Ljubljana with the guide.

  • Included meals: Breakfast (the optional extension includes lunch)

What to Expect

Accommodation

5 nights in 3-star hotels (all in private en-suite double/twin rooms), and 2 nights in mountain huts (dorm rooms, shared 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.

Click to view default hotels

City hotel Ljubljana, Vodnik Mountain Hut, 7 lakes mountain hut, Hotel Jezero Bohinj, Hotel Mangart Bovec, Hotel San Martin, Art hotel Tartini Piran 

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 the exact accommodation details upon booking confirmation.

Meals

As listed in the itinerary. Breakfast is included on each morning, and lunch package on each walking day. Two dinners are included for the hut overnights, and for the other evening meals, you will have the chance to enjoy the many local restaurants in the places where you will stay.

Difficulty & terrain

This holiday is appropriate for experienced hikers. Average walking distance is 10-12 km per day, and average daily elevation gain is 600-700 m (read more about difficulty grades). The guide will choose the most suitable routes; still for you to enjoy the holiday to the maximum, previous experience in alpine terrain is recommended.

When to go

We offer a number of guaranteed departure dates in July and August – you can see them by clicking on the See Dates & Prices link above. Private dates for individual groups can be organised upon request.

Climate is mostly of a mountain and alpine character, cold and moist influenced by high altitudes. Snow cover in valleys and peaks persists from 180 to 250 days of a year. Windy weather is typical, and during summer afternoon storms are usual. The average temperature in July is 15°C.

Getting there

FCO up-to-date travel advice

Click to view travel options

By plane

Our recommended airport for this tour is Ljubljana.

By train or bus

Transfers to/from Airports

Getting from Ljubljana airport to the city centre is easy, as there are a regular bus line and many taxi options on the spot. The return from Piran is also possible through public transport (bus or train), and a private transfer is also available upon request. You can also directly enquire about airport transfers here.

Inclusions

Included

  • 5 overnights nights on bed & breakfast basis in comfortable 3* hotels, double or twin en-suite rooms
  • 2 overnights on a half-board basis in mountain huts*, shared dorm-rooms (4-10 beds per room) with shared facilities
  • 6 hiking routes with English speaking hiking guide, who is also the driver 
  • All transfers listed in the itinerary, starting in Ljubljana and ending in Goriska Brda
  • Van with 8+1 seats is always available to the group, except for the 3-day hut-to-hut hike in the beginning
  • Welcome meeting over a drink in Ljubljana
  • Meals as listed in the itinerary

* Please Note that luggage transport is not possible on days 2 and 3, so you will have to carry the belongings you will need until you get to your hotel on day 4

Excluded

  • Airfare and connecting land transfers
  • Meals not specified in the itinerary
  • Travel insurance (required – get a quote online)
  • Meals not specified in the Inclusions
  • Personal expenses
  • Guide tips
  • Any items not explicitly listed as included

Options, extras & supplements

  • Where members of the group require a single room, a supplement is applicable at a surcharge
  • Single room supplement: where members of a group require a single room, a single room supplement is applicable at a surcharge
  • Extension to Piran and Skocjan caves after the tour
  • Private transfers to/from airport
  • Extra nights before/after the trip

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