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Via Alpina: Purple Route 15

Via Alpina in Slovenia: The Purple Route

Overview

Our Via Alpina: Purple Route walking holiday in Slovenia includes some of the most beautiful parts of the Slovenian Alps. Far from the beaten track, the Slovenian section of the Via Alpina trail system connects three Slovenian mountain massifs: Julian Alps, Karavanken and Kamnik Savinja Alps.

The Via Alpina: Purple Route walking tour is a collection of circular and inn-to-inn walks of a moderate grade. The trail will lead you through high limestone plateaus and forests to the picturesque Bled and Bohinj lakes. You will be walking along the mountain ridges, meadows and valley floors of Triglav National Park, slowly descending from east to west.

Highlights

  • Stay in a tranquil mountain village
  • Walk through ancient feudal tunnels
  • Discover hidden mountain valleys
  • Visit Lake Bled and Lake Bohinj
  • Wander over mountain pastures

Click to view map

Itinerary

Day 1. Arrival in Jezersko

With its idyllic location in a valley between the towering Kamnik-Savinja Alps and Karawanke Mountains, on the border with Austria, the small romantic village of Jezersko will be the starting point of your hike, where you will spend the next two nights.

  • Accommodation: 2-star guesthouse (Hiša Kocka or similar)

Day 2. Jezersko – Češka Koča – Jezersko | 14 km

You start your tour with a warm-up hike to Česka koča mountain hut. This short walk leads up to just above the tree line to one of the oldest alpine huts in Slovenia (100 years old), where you will enjoy an outstanding view to the two parallel valleys. Your return route takes you past Shepherds Lake and back to Jezersko.

  • Walking for the day: 14 km, approx. 6 hrs, ↑640 m ↓640 m
  • Accommodation: 2-star guesthouse (Hiša Kocka or similar)

Day 3. Jezersko – Goli Vrh – Preddvor | 14 km

Today you hike up the northern side of the Kamnik Alps – Goli Vrh. After crossing a meadow and a forest you reach an amazing viewpoint above Jezersko valley. With one foot in Slovenia and the other in Austria, you’ll enjoy the splendid view of Grintovec range arena. After returning back to your hotel you will be transferred to the little town of Preddvor.

  • Walking for the day: 14 km, approx. 6 hrs, ↑700 m ↓700 m
  • Accommodation: 3-star guesthouse (Pension Zaplata or similar)

Day 4. Preddvor – Jacobs Church – Hudi Borst – Preddvor | 16 km

The hike today is slightly more demanding yet wonderful and full of splendid vistas. It begins with an ascent up to St. Jacobs church, which served as refugee fortress and shelter during the Ottoman raids in the past. The walk continues through deep fir/spruce forest across steep hills covered with alpine flowers to Hudicev borst, where you can have a picnic. After a full day walk, you can refresh in Crnjava lake just before returning back to your hotel. In case you find the trail too strenuous, there is another easier option for the day.

  • Walking for the day (longer version): approx. 6-7 hrs, ↑850 m ↓850 m
  • Walking for the day (shorter version): approx. 3-4 hrs, ↑450 m ↓450 m
  • Accommodation: 3-star guesthouse (Pension Zaplata or similar)

Day 5. Preddvor – Ljubelj – Begunje | 13 km

You will be taken by car to the starting point at Ljubelj, on the Austrian border from where the trail takes you through a short underground tunnel originally dug by merchants to reduce the travelling time between Carniola and Carinthia. As you get out on the other side, the trail follows the old shepherds’ route before entering the peaceful Draga Valley, which takes you on your final section into the historic village of Begunje. Two kilometres down the road you can find the ruins of Kamen Castle.

  • Walking for the day: 13 km, approx 4 hrs, ↑700 m ↓250 m
  • Accommodation: 3-star hotel (Lambergh Chateau & Hotel or similar)

Day 6. Radovna Valley – Vintgar Gorge – Lake Bled | 11 km

Today a transfer will drive you to the lush green Radovna Valley, located amid soaring mountain peaks, where the Radovna River has carved the 150 m-deep Vintgar Gorge (1,6 km). You can then walk the trail that leads along a wooden walkway through the gorge and onwards to the world-famous Bled Lake, via the lovely Katarina Church viewpoint. Your hotel overlooks the lake.

  • Walking for the day: 11 km, approx. 5 hrs, ↑200 m ↓350 m
  • Accommodation: 4-star hotel (Hotel Triglav or similar)

Day 7: Pokljuka – Uskovnica Sadle – Lake Bohinj | 12 km

Today a car transfer takes you up to the Pokljuka Plateau. You will begin your hike across mountain pastures and old farmhouses where you will discover a viewing point providing outstanding views into the Bohinj Valley. As you descend, you can stop at the little historic village of Studor where you can visit the museum and see how people lived 150 years ago. Your final destination is Lake Bohinj, the jewel in the Triglav National Park’s heart, and the small settlement of Ribčev Laz (Fisherman’s Pass).

  • Walking for the day: 12 km, approx 5 hrs, ↑200 m ↓850 m
  • Accommodation: 3-star hotel (Hotel Kristal or similar)

Day 8. Departure

End of tour or extension of your stay in Bohinj.

What to Expect

Accommodation

Accommodation is in a mix of guesthouses and 3- & 4-star hotels, all offering private en-suite rooms. 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

Hiša Kocka, Pension Zaplata, Lambergh Chateau & Hotel, Hotel Triglav, Hotel Kristal

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 to you exact accommodation details upon booking confirmation.

Meals

Breakfast is included. In towns, each hotel has its own restaurant where you can taste international or Slovenian meals, or you can also try Slovenian cuisine in other local restaurants. When no restaurant location is available on the route, lunches and snacks should either be bought from local shops, or packed lunch can be pre-ordered from your hotel the night before.

Difficulty & terrain

Average walking time per day is 5-6 hours. The walks are not technically difficult; however, you should have some hiking experience, be in a good physical shape and have the appropriate gear to fully enjoy the trail (read more about difficulty grades).

You will walk on hiking trails with sometimes rocky terrain. We strongly advise you to follow only marked trails and never 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

This trip is available between the middle of May and early October. Best months for hiking are August and September. The flexibility of self-guided holidays means that there are no fixed dates and you can start your holiday on any date in the season – so please indicate desired starting date when booking.

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

Recommended arrival and departure airport: Ljubljana

By train or bus

Transfers from  Ljubljana to Jezersko and from Lake Bohinj to Ljubljana are possible by public transport. Travel time is about 40 minutes to Jezersko and 1.5 hours from Bohinjska Bistrica.

For up-to-date bus schedules, please check https://www.ap-ljubljana.si/en/.
For up-to-date train schedules, please check  https://www.slo-zeleznice.si/en/.

Inclusions

Included

  • 7 overnights in local hotels/guesthouses (as listed in the itinerary), in a double/twin rooms with WC and shower, on a bed & breakfast basis
  • Car transfer on days 3, 5 and 7
  • Luggage transport between hotels (one piece per person, max 20 kgs / 45 lb). Every additional piece 10 EUR, payable on the spot
  • Information pack including detailed route description (in the form of a picture book) with corresponding maps (one per booking)
  • 24/7 phone assistance by our local office/representative

Excluded

  • Airfare and connecting land transfers
  • Lunches, dinners, drinks and snacks
  • 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 available for solo travellers; a supplement will be charged as accommodation and luggage transfer costs are not shared (we never mix and match – solo travellers will be accommodated in single rooms)
  • Private airport transfers
  • Extra nights before, during and after the holiday

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