Hiking is not only a favorite pastime in Slovenia. It’s a tradition, deeply integrated in our culture. We fondly joke that we even carry it in our DNA. There’s a saying, that you’re not a true Slovene, until you conquer Mt. Triglav, which is at 2864 m (9396 ft) our highest mountain. Its name means Three-headed and is also a beloved symbol adorning our national flag.
Weekend escapes are therefore most commonly connected with the question: Where are we going hiking today? On a sunny Sunday you will see many of us – from the dedicated hikers to families – putting on our hiking boots and hitting one of the many trails in our green heart of Europe.
Here one can find trails of diverse characteristics and various themes, connecting mountain peaks, Alpine valleys and coastal areas. Many of them are long-distance hiking trails. First one on the list is the Slovenian Mountain Trail, which was the first connective mountain trail in the world. It spans over a length of about 600 km (370 mi) and connects most beautiful parts of our country. You might have also heard of the Alpe Adria Trail, which connects Mt. Grossglockner in Austria with the Adriatic sea through our mountains and valleys. Or maybe the Walk of Peace, which follows the battlefields of World War I, taking you through outdoor museums and memorials, and along our emerald beauty, river Soča. Last one to arise on the horizon, is the Juliana trail, 270 km long amazing experience, that in 16 stages takes you around the Julian Alps.
In the summertime there are many hiking events, dedicated to some of the trails. Quite a few of them are connecting various regions and showing you the vast diversity we have on such a small place – don’t forget that Slovenia is covering a really tiny part of Europe, an area of only 20,273 square km. But that tiny part sits right at the juncture of different geographic and climatic regions which makes is the most diverse in the whole of Europe. From Alps to Mediterranean, the mysterious Karst underground and agricultural sub-Pannonian Plain.
Rugged mountain scenery, delicate alpine flowers and lush forests. Flats glacial valleys, rivers and lakes. Stop to taste some of the world’s most delicious wines, overlooking the stunning scenery of vineyards and fragrant cherry blossoms at Goriska Brda (Collio) wine country, one of many beautiful wine-making regions in Slovenia. Finish your day with a sip of Italian espresso on the main coastal piazza, overlooking the Adriatic Sea and city of Trieste, Italy, in the distance.
If your schedule is tight, you could even do all of the above mentioned activities in just one day! Natural diversity is one of the most beloved characteristic of our country. Fairy-tale scenery is never too far of a drive in this outdoor lovers’ paradise.
Slovenia offers more than 5,000 km of walkways and theme trails for walking and over 10,000 km of alpine roads to choose from. With so many possibilities, we believe it’s hard to choose, but we are happy to stress out some of our favourites:
Hiking Slovenia Highlights
THE TRIGLAV LAKES VALLEY
The Valley of the Triglav Lakes is an Alpine glacial valley. It is situated at the centre of The Triglav National Park, which is one of the oldest European parks. The first protection dates back to 1924 when the Alpine Conservation Park was founded.
Often referred to as The Seven Lakes Valley (although there are actually more than seven lakes). The number of the lakes is connected with our oral literature, and not with the actual number itself. The legends are still alive in this lovely alpine scenery…have you heard about Zlatorog, an ibex with golden horns?
The Valley boasts an interesting flora and fauna, fossils and Alpine animals. Colourful flowers and turquoise lakes among the rugged mountain landscape is true fairy-tale scenery.
There are trails from all sides approaching the valley – from easy to moderate or challenging – choose your level and leave the rest to us! Triglav lakes valley is also part of our Hut to hut tour.
Nicknamed “The emerald beauty” – Soca river is considered as one of the most beautiful rivers in the world.
“You are splendid, daughter of the heights.”,wrote our beloved poet Simon Gregorčič in a poem, that was dedicated to the river. And so it is – the colours seem unreal and its temperature so pleasantly cool, inviting us to deep our feet in, on our hike along the stream.
Also part of The Triglav National Park and the famous Alpe Adria and Juiana long – distance hiking trails. The full length of Soca trail is 25 km (15 mi) and we have selected its best parts on our tours. It is part of many of our itineraries in Slovenia.
Vršič pass (name meaning Little peak) is with its 1,611 m (5,285 ft) the highest mountain pass in Slovenia. Many bypass the highest point only with a quick stopover for a photo of the spectacular view of surrounding mountains. But the pass is an excellent starting point for many hiking trails to nearby peaks. Our favourite trail leads towards Slemenova Špica (name meaning Ridge’s spike), which is one of the most photographed panoramic points in Julian Alps. A 360o angle view is magnificent and can be reached within 1’5 hrs. Part of our Hiking Highlights of Slovenia itinerary.
On the other side of the road, a short walk will take you to the viewpoint of The Pagan Girl, a rock formation that resembles a female human face. Over there you will find an old path, named ‘mulatjera’ (the name deriving from the fact, that it was used for mule transport). Cyclists also love this scenic road, so don’t miss it on our Cycling highlights of Slovenia tour.
BIG PASTURE PLATEAU (VELIKA PLANINA)
Arriving to the Big Pasture Plateau feels like a step back in time. Green meadows dotted with shepherds huts is like something out of The Brothers Grimm fairytale.
High alpine pasture in Slovenia is primarily linked to the Alps, and Velika planina plateau, with its 1070 ha, represents the largest Slovenian mountain pasture area for grazing cattle. For the last few hundred years the shepherds tradition was to move cattle in summer months to the mountains to avoid buying fodder in the valley. The typical architecture of shepherds’ cottages is still preserved and while visiting them, you can find fresh dairy products. Be sure to taste some typical herdsmen’s meal – butter milk and buckwheat mush, or ajdovi žganci, as Slovenes call it.
LOGAR VALLEY (LOGARSKA DOLINA)
Located at the foothills of Kamnik – Savinja Alps, the Logar valley is considered as one of the most beautiful Alpine glacial valleys in Europe.
If you’d like to experience the serenity and peacefulness of the Alps without all the crowds, this is our first pick and your best choice. Here you will find the perfect balance between natural sights, local farm-to-table cuisine and traditional way of living.
Lots of options, to discover the valley by bike or on foot. Also part of our new Road Trip around Slovenia tour.
Hiking Slovenia – more info about the places: