Moderate/Strenuous Hiking in Slovenian Alps with Ljubljana & Mediterranean/Adriatic Slovenia

Duration

8 days
23-30 July, 11.-18 and 23-30 August 2020

Max guests

16, max 8 guests/(per)guide
Tour guide:
guided, max 8 guests/(per)guide
Accommodation:
Hotel 3*, mountain hut
Difficulty:
Moderate/Strenuous
from
€1340.00
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Highlights:

  • Ljubljana, one of the greenest capital cities, Europe`s hidden gem, 
  • hiking paradise: 3-day hut-to-hut hiking in the Julian Alps, Triglav National Park
  • refresh in crystal clear rivers & lakes,
  • explore Soča valley & mountain Mangart
  • traditional food and wine in the rolling hills of the "Slovenian Tuscany" Goriška Brda,
  • optional extra: Škocjan caves, UNESCO site, romantic Piran on the Slovenian coast and swim in Adriatic.

Overview:

After sightseeing warm-up in Ljubljana, Europe`s hidden gem, we will explore the Slovenian Alps and Mediterranean/Adriatic Slovenia. On an 8-day group, guided hiking adventure we will enjoy some of Europe’s best hiking trails and alpine landscapes in the Alps. This tour is for all who would like to experience diverse hikes in rugged high mountain terrain and their foothills, adorned with the amazing natural sights of Alps and Mediterranean/Adriatic Slovenia

Hikes are a combination of a technically easy 3-day hut-to-hut hike and day hikes in high mountain terrain and the foothills of the Slovenian Alps. Some sections of the tour will include the best trails in Slovenia, like the Via Alpina Trail, Slovenian Mountain Trail, Alpe Adria Trail, Soca Trail and the Juliana Trail. Among many nature attractions, we could point out: Triglav National Parkthe valley of the Seven Triglav LakesSoča valley, charming lakes Bled and Bohinj, rolling hills of the "Slovenian Tuscany" Goriška BrdaŠkocjan caves and the Adriatic Sea. Besides nature attractions we will be able to enjoy the cultural diversity and national heritage of Slovenia. This fact will be reflected in the great food and beverages of Slovenia. Wine lovers are usually enjoying in Goriška Brda - one of Slovenia’s best wine region. For extra outdoor adventures there will be a great opportunity in Slovenia’s adventure capital, Bovec.

We do recommend You to extend the tour for a day to explore some of the best caves in the world - Škocjan caves, on the magical Slovenian Karst. Like this, the big final of the tour and day trip will be Piran on the lovely Adriatic coast - a great option for a swim. 

Together with local, Slovenian hiking guides, you’ll meet people with similar interests and enthusiasm. Due to small groups we can have on the tour personal approach and infotainment presentation. Along with Fair-trade, cooperative and nature-friendly principles you’ll have the chance to experience one of our slogans: Come as a guest and leave as a friend.

Itinerary

Day 1: Welcome meeting, time for Ljubljana.

In the afternoon, the tour guide will meet You at Your hotel in Ljubljana.
First, as hosts, we will invite You for a welcome drink.  There will be a chance for the guide to present the details of the tour and answer questions you might have. Besides that, you’ll get to know your new colleagues, other hikers that will be part of the team on the tour. Before the meeting and afterward, you’ll be able to explore Ljubljana on your own. The tour guide will be happy to give You some extra tips of what to do and to see in Ljubljana (To get some information`s about Ljubljana in advance we recommend you to read Vandrovc - Globetrotter blogs about Ljubljana)

Accommodation: 3* hotel in Ljubljana.
Meals included: /
 

Day 2: Hiking in Julian Alps, Triglav National Park.

In the morning, after breakfast, we will drive with a van to a starting position of a three-day hut-to-hut hike, one of the best summer hikes in the Julian Alps. The trail will take us off the beaten track, along forest paths, alpine meadows and rocky mountain trails close to Slovenia’s highest mountain – Mt. Triglav
First, we will cross alpine pastures in the hills near Lake Bohinj - be ready for Heidi and The Sound of Music scenery. There we might have the chance to see the true farm to table, fair-trade experience because sometimes we can taste and buy fresh cheese and sour milk from the local herdsman.

Further on, we will start ascending to and descending from the mountain passes on the slopes of the surrounding mountains. Even if you have hiked the best of the Alps and other world-famous hiking destinations, you will find these views and trails breathtaking.
Step by step we will reach areas that You can not visit by car and usually we notice that hardly any people trek in this part of the Triglav National Park. As the mountain hut appears on the hillside, you will have a chance to admire the highest mountain in Slovenia, Mt Triglav (2864m, 9396ft). Triglav is for sure one of the most important national symbols of Slovenia.

The most eager hikers will be able to hike a mountain peak on the way or from the mountain hut where we will stay over the night (extra 1 hour) 
We will provide a picnic lunch.

Hiking: 9 km (5,6 miles) / elevation +900 m, -250 m (+3000ft, -820ft)/ approx. 6 hours .
Accommodation: Mountain hut with shared rooms 1/4, 1/6, and 1/10, shared bathroom.
Meals included: Breakfast, picnic lunch, dinner.
 

Day 3: Hiking in the heart of the Julian Alps, Triglav National Park.

Today, one of the most challenging days on the tour will take us through the heart of the Julian Alps, Triglav National Park. 
Because we will start our hike close to tree line we will be able to enjoy aromatherapy of a dwarf pine forest. Above tree line even more gravel path will take us over rocky terrain through stunning alpine scenery to one of the highest mountain passes on the tour. There is a great place to relax among endemic Triglav roses for a while and to enjoy one of the best views of Mount Triglav on the tour. After relaxation the most eager hikers will have the chance to climb a mountain peak (extra 1 hour and 250 meters, 820ft altitude gain and loss). In case of good weather and visibility we will have at the top views over the highest summits of the Slovenian, Italian and Austrian Alps. 

After the pass we will start our descent on the Via Alpina and Slovenian Mountain Trail towards the valley of the Seven Triglav Lakes. Once we will reach the valley hiking will be more relaxed because we will hike along the valley on an easier and very popular trail. The valley is truly a mountain paradise with amazing karst mountain formations, fossils and endemic flowers. Because of it´s geological and Flora & Fauna importance the valley and the lakes are protected as natural monuments within the Triglav National Park. There is also a high possibility to see some of the alpine wildlife. For example marmots and Alpine ibex. Well if we don’t see the marmots we will hear their whistles. 

Late in the afternoon we will reach the mountain hut beside one of the Triglav lakes-great place to relax and to take some memorable photo. 
For a lunch we usually get a picnic, take away, lunch from the hut at breakfast and then we have plenty of extraordinary spots along the way and with their help this could be one of the best lunch breaks of your life:). Another option where to get some food is mountain hut along the trail.

Hiking: 12 km (7,5 miles) / elevation +700 m, -750 m (+2300ft, -2460ft) / approx. 7 hours. 
Accommodation: Mountain hut in shared rooms 1/4, 1/6, and 1/10 and shared washroom.
Meals included: Breakfast, dinner.
 

 

Day 4: 3rd day hut to hut hiking in the Julian Alps, Triglav National Park.

After breakfast will be time to say till the next time to the mountain paradise - the valley of the Seven Triglav Lakes. Before we will finish the loop we will explore a bit more into the details the land of alpine pastures. First there will be the option to hike to a lovely mountain peak. Why lovely? From the top we will be able to enjoy the panorama over the Seven Triglav Lakes valley and the Julian Alps.

Ongoing from the mountain peak we will hike through the alpine pastures, dwarf pines and forest area. Among many other details we will admire very picturesque Herdsmen´s cabins and their perfect alpine setting. If it sounds like that You are reading fairytale - there we are having from time to time feeling that we are part of the one.

Every fairytale has an end - this time happy one because after the three-day hike will be time for Bohinj Valley. There we will have for lunch traditional local food and after the lunch big final. Imagine - after long hikes we will be able to jump into crystal clear waters of Lake Bohinj, Slovenian largest permanent lake.
Afterward, You will have some free time to explore the area and to have dinner on your own.

Hiking: 8 km (5 miles)/ elevation +200 m, -800 m (+650ft, -2620ft) / approx. 4 hours. 
Accommodation: 3* hotel in Bohinj or Bled.
Meals included: Breakfast, lunch.
 

Day 5: Hiking at Lake Bled and in the area of Vršič mountain pass.

For the next part of the tour, we will continue by van to starting points for day hikes.
First, we will visit the most known place in Slovenia, Lake Bled. With a genuine experience of Bled, it is soon clear why Bled is one of the most visited places in Slovenia. It is simply picturesque. To see and to feel all the mentioned facts and to avoid the majority of the other visitors we will hike to one of the best viewpoints and photo spots of the lake. There all the beauty of the Bled will be revealed. The main actors of the show are island church and clifftop castle with the Karavanke Alps mountain chain in the background.  Meanwhile, if relaxing on the lakeside sounds a better option for You, You will be welcome to do just that.

After Bled we will continue to explore the northern part of the Slovenian mountain region. First, we will drive up the upper Sava Valelly and close to Kranjska Gora and lake Jasna we will start with a scenic drive on a winding road among the limestone mountain peaks towards Vršič mountain pass. The name of the road is the Russian road. Why? Join us and part of the debate will be also historical facts about World War One and why there is a Russian chapel. The area is a perfect starting point for our day hike. The forest path will lead us to a solitary mountain peak in the middle of a mountain arena.

After the hike and lunch is in a cosy mountain hut we will cross Vršič mountain pass and descend to the other side of the pass, the Soča valley. There we will find one the most biodiverse place in the country with emerald waters, dense forests and the biggest variety of outdoor adventures in Slovenia. The little town of Bovec is its center, as well as the country’s outdoor adventure capital. This will be our hometown for the next two nights. 

Hiking: 10 km (6,2miles) / elevation gain +650 m, -650 m (+2130 ft, -2130 ft) / approx. 5 hours split into 3 different hikes.
Accommodation: 3* hotel in Bovec, Soca valley.
Meals included: Breakfast, lunch.

Day 6: Hiking mountain Mangart and adventures in the Soča Valley.

The day will bring many different options. One would be a relatively short and strenuous hike to Mountain Mangart. Mangart is the third highest mountain peak in Slovenia and one of the highest in the area of Soča Valley. Another optional extra would be adventures in Soča Valley. For example rafting, kayaking, canyoning and zip-lining. Usually, our guests decide for both options - morning hike to Mountain Mangart and afternoon adventures on the famous Soča river.

We will start the day early, winding up on one of the most panoramic Slovenian roads - Mangart road to Mangart saddle. Soon after the beginning of the hike, a steep rocky trail protected with steel wire ropes will quickly take us from the mountain base. There we will experience a higher altitude, limestone, alpine terrain with vertical walls and lots of loose rocks. You will find the steel wire ropes aids handy for climbing the tall steps. At the top, we will have a chance to enjoy amazing mountain panorama. We will be able to admire mighty western Julian Alps stretching from Slovenia to Italy and part of the Central Alps in Austria. If You think that strenuous hike to Mountain Mangart is too much, we will recommend an easy hike with amazing views at the top of Mangart saddle.
After the descent will be time for a delicious local lunch.

As mentioned in the afternoon there will be still enough time for some optional outdoor adventures, or simple relaxation and explorations on your own. The variety of restaurants, inns and bars beside local happening in Bovec will be helpful to have a memorable afternoon/evening.

Hiking: 8 km (5 miles) / elevation gain +650 m, -650 m (+2130 ft, -2130 ft) / approx. 5 hours.
Accommodation: 3* hotel in Bovec.
Meals included: Breakfast, lunch.

Day 7: Hike in Soča valley and Goriška Brda wine hills, Mediterranean/Adriatic Slovenia.

Today we will experience Slovenian high diversity on a short distance in one day. We will start the day in Alpine Slovenia and finish the day in Mediterranean/Adriatic Slovenia.

First, we will hike some sections of the Juliana Trail and the Soča trail. We will see why Soča is considered to be one of the most beautiful alpine rivers in the world. Besides that, we are planning to visit Kobarid, a town of rich historical heritage. Kobarid is especially known because of the First World War - Isonzo front. Today Kobarid is a charming small town and a perfect spot for a great local lunch. 

From Kobarid, we will drive to the low rolling hills of Goriska Brda, a wine region in Mediterranean/Adriatic Slovenia. In Goriška Brda vineyards, orchards and olive grove terraces are covering the landscape. The region is extremely charming thanks to a mild climate, long tradition, hard-working farmers and small villages/towns.

In the evening we will have an unforgettable, last group dinner on the tour

Hiking: 8 km (5 miles) / elevation gain +100 m, -160 m (+330 ft, -520 ft)  / approx. 2.5 hours.
Accommodation: 3* hotel in Goriska Brda.
Meals included: Breakfast, lunch, dinner.

Day 8: Extension to Škocjan caves and Piran, Mediterranean/Adriatic Slovenia, or end of the trip.

After breakfast, our hiking adventure in Slovenia will end.
But please note that we highly recommend You to join the following one-day extension. Like this, You will be able to experience even more Slovenian high diversity on a short distance. We will have time to explore Škocjan Caves, the karst vineyards and the Slovenian coast with the coastal town of Piran.

EXTENSION:
As mentioned first, we will visit the Škocjan Caves; a UNESCO World Heritage Site with one of the largest cave canyons in the world and many amazing underground Karst phenomena.

After the caves, we will visit a local winemaker in the Karst region of Slovenia. The family will prepare a lunch with wine tasting just for us.

The big final of the day will be the most beautiful town in Slovenian Istria, Piran. The historical part of Piran is extremely picturesque. We will explore the town’s narrow streets and squares, have a final gelato and use a chance 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.

Hiking: 7 km (4.4 miles) / elevation gain +150 m, -150 m (+490 ft, -490 ft) / approx. 3 hours.
Accommodation: Of your own choice.
Meals included: Breakfast. The optional extension includes lunch with wine tasting.

Tour details

Good to know:

  • Fully guided group hiking tour with English and Spanish speaking guide.
  • Shared group tour. Hikers with similar interests and enthusiasm.
  • Fixed departure dates.
  • Small groups, max 16 travelers and 2 guides.
  • Accommodation: 3* hotels and remote mountain huts.
  • Expect to hike from 4 to 8 hours per day. Be a eager hiker to fully enjoy this tour
  • Safety and limitations: Minimal age: 18 years., When having health issues, please consult with us before the tour.

More details You can find under FAQ. For example:

  • Hiking difficulty.
  • Trail difficulty.
  • Dangerousness and annoyances: (Weather, etc.).
  • More about accommodations.
  • What to bring for the tour.
  • Etc.

 

Price and payment

Trip price: 1,340 EUR per person

Included:

  • 5 nights bed & breakfast in comfortable 3* hotels. Double or twin rooms.
  • 2 nights bed & breakfast & dinner in mountain huts. Shared rooms with 4-10 beds per room. Shared bathrooms.
  • 6 guided days with English and Spanish speaking hiking guide, who is also the driver.
  • All transfers listed in the itinerary. Starting in Ljubljana and ending in Goriška Brda.
  • Van with 8+1 seats is always available to the group, except for 3-day hut-to-hut hike. In the case of more than 8 guests, we will have 2 vans and 2 guides.
  • A drink during welcome meeting  in Ljubljana.
  • All meals specified in the itinerary.
  • Organisation, 24-hour holiday service & support

Excluded:

  • International flights.
  • Airport transfers to Ljubljana and from Goriška Brda or Piran.
  • Drinks.
  • Meals not specified in the itinerary.
  • Travel insurance.
  • Personal expenses.
  • Guide gratuities.
  • Other services not specified under “Included”.

Optional extras:

  • Single room supplement: 215 €.
  • Extension to Piran and Škocjan caves: 115 € per person (includes guiding, transport, Škocjan Caves entrance fee and lunch with wine tasting). 


under FAQ: 

  • What is the payment & cancelation policy?

FAQ

How difficult is the moderate/strenuous hiking?

Expect and be ready to hike 5-7 hours per day, with 10-15 km (6-10 miles) in distance and up to 1000 m (3300 ft) of elevation gain and loss on the hardest day. It might not sound much, but have in mind that trails are a bit more challenging and so far no one has ever said that is was too easy. Therefore you must be in reasonable shape and have some hiking experience to fully and safely enjoy this tour.

What are the trails like on moderate/strenuous hiking?

The trails are uneven, sometimes rocky with lots of loose rocks - scree and narrow. We will need to overcome several steep sections on the uphills as well as on the downhills. On some days we will hike partly in the shade of a forest, on others above the treeline. Mostly expect trails without any shelter along the way.

What is the weather usually like on moderate/strenuous hiking?

Weather can change a lot and fast. On the highest Slovenian mountain peaks, it can snow even in the summer (although it is not very common). If the weather during the summer is sunny it can be very hot. Even above 30 deg C (90 deg F), which is a must for sunscreen, sunglasses and a hat (for shade)! If the weather during the summer is rainy and windy you will need really warm clothes. Be prepared for temperatures as low as 0 deg C and (32 deg F). This does not mean you have to bring a thick down jacket and thermal pants, just keep in mind that it can get cold and unpleasant and bring in a backpack with You some extra layers.
We recommend You to have in your backpack a thin (lightweight) layer to cover your arms, legs and the back of your neck to prevent sunburns.
Of course, don’t forget your swimsuit and a small towel! Lakes and rivers will be calling us for a refreshing swim!

p.s. For more detail please check under the FAQ the packing list for the tour.

What if the weather is too bad/extreme to do the three-day hut to hut hike?

The weather might be so bad and extreme, that the three-day hut-to-hut hike could not be done safely. In this case, we will change the hikes to those less conditioned by the weather and if necessary move to the trailheads by van. We will stay two nights in mountain huts that are accessible by van to keep the price of the tour the same.

How big are the groups on the hiking tour?

Depending on the departure date, maximum group sizes are from 8 to 16 travelers. In the case of more than 8 travelers on the tour, there will be 2 guides guiding the tour and driving two 8-seater minivans during the transfers on the tour. In the case of two guides on the tour, You will be able to join either the faster or more leisurely hiking group. Therefore, everyone can enjoy the pace they feel most comfortable with. The more physically fit hikers will be able to add some extra miles while others will have more time to rest and relax. By doing so we keep the feeling, flexibility and personal approach with pristine contact of a small group tour, so you can have the best hiking/group tour.

What kind of accommodation do we stay on moderate/strenuous hiking?

You will stay in selected nice and clean centrally located 3 star hotels, in double or single rooms with en-suite bathroom.
Please note that different departure dates may include a different selection of hotels. Feel free to ask for accommodation details for your preferred departure dates.
During the 3 days hut to hut hiking, we will sleep 2 nights in mountain huts (see next section).

What are the mountain huts in Slovenia in general like?

The mountain huts in the Slovenian Alps are quite basic, but they offer everything a hiker needs: food, drinks and accommodation. Many huts are accessible only by helicopter (no roads). Therefore food supply is limited, so expect simple menus like different traditional Slovenian stews (with vegetable or with meat), pasta and local sausages. They also sell chocolate, soft drinks, water, beer, etc. The usual breakfast in the huts would be bread, eggs, ham, cheese, butter, jam…
The huts we use on this hiking tour have normal flush toilets, running (potable) water and sometimes even hot showers.
Expect to share a room, toilets, bathrooms or washrooms. Rooms are from 4 to 12 beds. 

Can I reserve a private room in the mountain hut for the tour?

Unfortunately, this is not possible.

 

Do I need a sleeping bag in the mountain hut?

No. The huts provide blankets and one-time-use paper sheets. For higher comfort and environmental friendliness we highly recommend that You bring with You a lightweight cotton sleeping liner (travel sheet). We will sleep better on it and avoid making unnecessary waste.

p.s. You could buy a lightweight cotton sleeping liner (travel sheet) in Slovenia.

 

 

Do the mountain huts provide vegetarian/vegan meals? About dietary restrictions.

Food in mountain huts is quite basic. There are options for vegans and vegetarians, but the selection is very limited. If You have any special dietary restrictions or needs, we recommend bringing snacks and treats on Your own. (And please inform us because we would like to know Your diet preferences for other organized meals).

Is the luggage transfer between the mountain huts possible?

No. You will need to carry your belongings inside the backpack throughout the entire three-day hut to hut hike. Your main luggage will be stored at the hotel in which we will stay after the three-day hut to hut hike.

 

Can I swim in the lakes of the valley of the Seven Triglav Lakes?

No. The lakes are fairly small, especially during the summer drought. The outflow of the water is super small and the water barely changes. The lake`s micro-ecosystem is very fragile and we must not endanger it with our sweat, sunscreen, etc. Because lakes are protected as natural monument swimming is considered as an offense by the Triglav National Park organization.

 

Where can I find the packing list for the hiking part of the tour?

Here:):

  • Sturdy high cut hiking boots
  • Long hiking pants/trousers (preferably fast dry fabric)
  • Short pants/trousers
  • Warm jacket (fleece)
  • Another long-sleeve layer
  • Rain and wind protection (lightweight rain and windproof jacket)
  • Gloves and hat to keep you warm
  • A hat to protect you from the sun
  • Sunscreen and sunglasses
  • Personal items (personal hygiene, medicine, towel, etc.)
  • Hiking poles (highly recommended, especially if you regularly use them for hiking)
  • Lightweight cotton sleeping liner (travel sheet)
  • A 1.5-liter water bottle
  • A backpack to carry your equipment throughout the 3-day hike
  • Swimsuit and a small quick-drying towel
  • Travel insurance card/details

What is the payment & cancelation policy and travel insurance is recommendation?

The tour is organized by our partner Slotrips. It is required a 20% deposit to confirm your booking. Unless stated differently in our communication the balance is to be paid 45 days before the trip. Both payments are non-refundable. for more details please read the terms and conditions and privacy policies of Slotrips.  

Purchasing travel insurance is recommended, as anyone can encounter unforeseen circumstances while traveling. So you don’t lose your money, we suggest including trip cancellation, medical coverage, baggage loss, loss of passport or wallet, etc. in your insurance policy.

Other dangerousness and annoyances in Slovenia and during the tour?

Health:
In general, there are no specific health concerns for traveling in Slovenia.
There are very few Environmental Hazards in Slovenia. Ticks are one thing to point out if You are practicing outdoor activities.
Ticks are common anywhere in Slovenia below 1500 meters (4900 ft) and because Slovenia is the third most forested country in Europe probably most of Slovenians already had a tick and we are still very relaxed with hiking and outdoor activities.
Ticks are a problem in Slovenia and many other places on the northern hemisphere because of Lyme disease and Tick-borne encephalitis (TBE). The good news is that not every tick is infected and both diseases are not harmful in the same way for all people.
In any case, everyone should take precautions to avoid being bitten, especially during the warmer months in rural or forested areas:

  • Wear neutral-coloured (beige, light grey) and breathable garments, including long-sleeved shirts and pants. Tuck pants into socks.
  • Use a repellent containing 20%-30% DEET or 20% Picaridin. Re-apply according to the manufacturer's directions.
  • When hiking in wooded areas, stay in the middle of the trail and avoid tall grasses and shrubs.
  • Carefully examine your body, clothing, gear for ticks before entering a dwelling and take a shower and check yourselves immediately after you return from hiking (If You remove attached ticks as soon as possible You reduce the possibility to get the disease).

p.s. For more information`s You could check web pages: WHO, IAMAT, Wikipedia.

Safety:
Slovenia is very safe. What crime there is mainly involves theft. Therefore, take the usual precautions with purses and wallets in busy places like bus and train stations. Besides that, don’t leave valuables unattended in a hut while hiking or on the beach. Also, secure any bikes with good locks.

p.s. Our office and guides will be happy to answer Your questions regarding these topics.

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