Hiking in Slovenia

Hiking in the Slovenian Alps

The Slovenian Alps offer a variety of opportunities for enthusiastic hikers. Whether you prefer a leisurely hike or a challenging trek, the Slovenian Alps will most definitely suit your needs.

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Alenka Reza

30. September 2018

Slovenia is an Alpine country. The Alps lie in the north and northwestern parts of Slovenia. The area comprises the intersection of three large mountain massifs: The Julian Alps, the Karawanks mountains, the Savinja-Kamnik Alps and the pre-Alpine hills. There are more than six thousand miles of all marked trails on almost 8000 ml2 surface area of all of the country.

Two people sitting on a bench in an Alpine environment in the summer. Taking a well-deserved break. www.slovenia.info, photo: Jošt Gantar. 

The best-known among Slovenian mountain hikers is the Slovenian mountain trail, the oldest connecting trail in the world, established in 1953. It runs from Maribor to Ankaran and traverses the entire Slovenian part of the Alps, as well as a wide part of the subalpine world. It connects 49 mountain huts, 23 peaks, and 5 towns.  

The Julian Alps

A house on a cliff in the Julian Alps, Slovenia. A hut on a cliff in the Julian Alps. Flickr/Tony Guyton. 

The highest mountains in Slovenia can be found in the Julian Alps mountain range. The tallest peak is Triglav, which lies in the center of the Triglav national park, the biggest protected area in the country. The main characteristics of the Julian Alps are high, sharp peaks and steep walls, deep glacier valleys and lakes, high waterfalls and plateaus with mountain pastures, extensive forests and springs of two major Slovene rivers: Sava Bohinjka and Soča. In their vicinity there are numerous hiking trails and you can combine sightseeing with hiking or visiting natural and cultural heritage with admiring mountain villages above the valleys.

Two hikers on a summer's day. Črna prst, Bohinj area, Triglav National Park. www.slovenia.info, photo: Jošt Gantar. 

Put on your hiking shoes and and start a new experience you could only dream of. Unforgettable sceneries, unspoiled nature, typical mountain huts, where you will be offered delicious local food and hospitality. If you decide to go hiking, especially the highest mountains, you should know how important is to be in very good physical and mental shape and to have appropriate equipment. Relying on the expertise knowledge of experienced tour guides, would be the best choice for those who don’t know the mountains very well. They will tell you every detail about the trip, from the weather to all the other rules.

And don’t be surprised, once on top enter the mountain cabin, to hear typical slovenian music, tempting you to do a littlepolka dance. Higher than 3300 feet all over the world hikers are alike: healthy, happy and sociable so don’t miss a numerous hiking festivals around Slovenia. If you are really passionate about hiking maybe plan your trip for September and October when Hiking festival in Soča Valley is organised. Hikers from all over the world get together and contribute to the popularity of this beautiful activity.

The Karawanks 

Stol  peak, the Karawanks in Slovenia.In the Karawanks. Flickr/@Donnecke. 

The Karawanks are one of the longest mountain ranges in Europe, a valuable park located between Gorenjska and Koroška regions on its south side and Austrian Carinthia on its north side. The main characteristics of Karawanks are steep slopes, peaks with wonderful views, mountains, valleys, gorges, waterfalls, diverse flora and fauna, breathtaking countryside and rich cultural heritage.

With currently more than 500 marked hiking trails, 39 long distance hiking trails and 24 pilgrim trails all around Karawanks, there are plenty of options for outdoor enthusiasts. The highest peak of Karawanks, Stol is a rounded 'two-headed' mountain, which embellishes the background of many postcards from Lake Bled and is easily accessible to all those who are physically reasonably fit. But still, the most popular hike is Begunjscica with the best mountain hut of 2017, Roblek hut. You will be impressed by the hospitality and delicious Alpine culinary treats, not to mention breathtaking views and astonishing surroundings.

Golica is another beautiful peak on Karawanks, 6020 ft high and famed for its white flowers, daffodils. From the end of May and in June the meadows appear white like snow, due to an abundance of daffodils. Why don’t you plan the start of the next hiking season to Golica?

The Karawanks are an ideal choice for quick escapes into nature or longer holidays of hikes lasting several days crossing the mountain range. The possibilities are nearly endless, from heavenly leisure and relaxing strolls to Alpine challenges for experienced hikers. The only volcano in Slovenia, Smrekovec is no exception. It was active about 30 million years ago but there are still some traces in the soil of rocks that are the product of lava or ash. Slovenes adore mountains and when they meet tourists on the way, they are more than willing to help either with good advice or recommendations where to stop for a nice scenery, where to go for the next hike or just by telling a story of the old days up there.

Kamnik-Savinja Alps and Pohorje

Logar Valley, SloveniaLogar Valley is an excellent starting point for many alpine hikes in Slovenia. Flickr/Jernej Furman. 

Kamnik-Savinja Alps got the name after the old medieval town Kamnik on the western side and the river Savinja on the eastern. The area is around 348 square miles and the mountains resemble the Julian Alps: steep, rugged, with high and almost vertical north walls and with much less steep southern slopes. Although their altitude is not extremely high, it is high enough to offer splendid views. You can enjoy almost all outdoor activities in this part of the Slovenian mountains.

A hiker jumping in the air on a green field with mountains in the background. Hiking is so fun that you just want to jump in the air. Photo: Jošt Gantar.

The vicinity of Ljubljana, Kamnik, Slovenj Gradec and other cities around Kamnik-Savinja Alps is convenient to hop into nature after having spent the morning at school or work. Slovenes don’t make a big deal leaving the obligations aside when it comes to the nature and outdoor activities. Krvavec and Velika planina are two famous centers in the Kamnik-Savinja Alps where you can experience summer or winter sports and enjoy the nature. Both destinations offer the possibility of ascending by a cable car and while hiking, you will probably meet cows on the way and on weekends a lot of tourists.

Three sheep and two hikers on a green field with mountains on each side. Hikers and sheep in the Kamnik-Savina Alps. www.slovenia.info, photo: Daniel Taipale. 

Logar Valley is located on the north of the Kamnik-Savinja Alps. Due to its excellent location, it is a great starting point for many hikes to the peaks of the Alps. Today’s picturesque appearance of the Logar Valley was created by a glacier during the last ice age. It is 4 miles long and has an average width of 820 ft. The area at the very beginning reverberates with the magnificent roaring of the Rinka falls. Very nice experience also for kids who would enjoy a lot of different tours on Pohorje too. The Pohorje Massif is an easterly extension of the Kamnik-Savinja Alps, located on the north of the second largest city in Slovenia, Maribor. With the wonderful nature of forests and picturesque vineyards it is one of the most attractive tourist destinations in Slovenia. While hiking Pohorje you wouldn’t want to miss the Lovrenc lakes with crystal clear water that can surely quench your thirst.

The best time of the year to visit the Slovenian Alps is late spring till early autumn. In this period most of alpine huts are opened. Around 12,6% of Slovenia’s territory is covered by protected natural areas, 36% is protected under Natura 2000 and almost 15.000 aspect of the country’s nature have been awarded the status “valuable natural feature”.

No wonder Slovenia is the first country in the world to be declared a green destination based on the Green Destinations Criteria. So many beautiful places, so many green forests, pastures, meadows, rivers and it is so clean and so natural.