More than hiking along the fabulous Alpe-Adria-Trail in Slovenia!
As you probably already know, Alpe Adria Trail is a long-distance multinational hiking trail combining some of the most beautiful landscapes of Austria, Slovenia, and north-eastern Italy. The trail starts below the highest Austrian peak, at the mighty Grossglockner glacier, and then winds almost 750 km south all the way to shore of the Adriatic Sea in Trieste bay. In my opinion, Alpe Adria Trail is one of the most beautiful & diverse long-distance hiking trails in Europe.
As local connoisseurs, we will focus on the Slovenian part of the Alpe Adria Trail, give you some tips & tricks, local insight, and our proposals to enjoy the Alpe-Adria hiking secrets and side trips to the max! The good news is, that you don’t have to be a keen long-distance hiker to enjoy hiking the Alpe Adria Trail. We know the trail to its bones and have prepared some exciting & unique tours to make your Alpe-Adria experience comfortable & very special.
The official course
The Alpe Adria Trail is not about high alpine hiking & conquering the highest summits. Most of the time, you will be hiking below the tree line, climbing some hills, mountain passes, and following verdant valleys, turquoise rivers, green lakes, and, in the southern part, wine hills and Adriatic coastline.
The Alpe Adria Trail connects Austria’s region of Carinthia, the western part of Slovenia, and Italy’s Friuli Venezia Giulia. It is a hiking journey through very diverse landscapes & different cultures that all share a common history. Besides the incredible landscape variety, you’ll appreciate the changes in architecture, culinary offer, and the character of local people you’ll meet along the way.
Compared to the recently opened Juliana Trail in Slovenia, the Alpe Adria is more diverse, as it takes you from the Alps to the Adriatic Sea. There are much fewer asphalt and gravel road sections, but in return, you will have to overcome slightly more elevation gain, hike some additional hills and mountain passes.
Numbers & Facts:
- Total distance: 670 km (420 miles) in 37 stages.
Extra 6 stages as a circular loop at the triple border of Austria, Slovenia & Italy.
- Average daily distance: 18 km (11 miles)
- Average daily walking time: 7 hours walking
- Total elevation gain: approx: 27,500 m (90,000 ft)
- Total elevation drop: approx: 30,000 m (100,000 ft)
- Accommodation: mostly hotels and local guesthouses
- Best time: May to October
Austrian mountains, valleys & lakes (stages 1-22)
The first stage of the Alpe Adria Trail welcomes you with impressive high mountain views at the foot of the Grossglockner, Austria’s highest peak. Later you follow Carinthia’s charming valleys, walk past immaculately arranged villages, fairy-tale mountain farms, several waterfalls, and wild river gorges. You’ll walk the hills of southern Carinthia and get to know its beautiful lakes (Lake Millstatt, Ossiach, Wolfgang, and Faak), before finally entering Slovenia. You will climb the Karawanke border ridge, catch the first glimpse of the stunning Julian Alps, and follow the little-visited trails all the way to the ski town of Kranjska Gora (Slovenia).
Slovenia’s Julian Alps & the Soca Valley (stages 23-28)
Kranjska Gora is usually the starting point for our Alpe Adria adventures in Slovenia. Just outside of town, you will reach the green lake Jasna with a magic reflection of Mt. Prisank on the water surface. The iron silhouette of the Goldenhorn statue will let you know that you are entering his kingdom – the Triglav National Park. From here you will ascend along forest trails and mule-tracks built by Russian war prisoners during WWI. Enjoy the magnificent views of white-washed limestone walls of some of the highest Slovenian peaks.
The Soca Valley
Passing the famous Vrsic mountain pass, you will then descend into a real Garden of Eden – the Trenta Valley. It is one of the most beautiful alpine valleys in Slovenia and the home of the most beautiful European river, the emerald Soca. Here, you will join the picturesque Soca Trail, which winds along Soca as neatly as the river itself. A little along its left, a little along its right bank. Over picturesque suspension bridges, past numerous tributaries and river gorges.
You will overnight in the Slovenian water sports center – the small town of Bovec in the Soca Valley. Give your hiking boots a rest while you are here and go river rafting, canyoning, or kayaking down the Soca river or the nearby wild canyons. As you proceed with your hike along the Alpe Adria Trail, the waters will continue to be all around you – in many forms. Also in the form of two waterfalls, the monumental Boka, the highest Slovenian waterfall, and the shy, but magical Kozjak.
In the historic town of Kobarid, you will learn about why Ernest Hemingway based his novel Farewell to Arms in this region and possibly have dinner in Slovenia’s best restaurant. Later the trails will lead you to the foothills of Mt. Krn where some of the fiercest WWI battles were fought and where you can get some excellent mountain cheese and other fresh dairy products.
After passing Tolmin, the biggest town on the Slovenian section of the Alpe Adria Trail, you’ll climb the Kolovrat ridge on the border with Italy. Enjoy the fantastic views of the Soca Valley for the last time & explore the WWI battle positions in the interesting outdoor museum. It is here where you enter Italy and walk the off-the-beaten-path forest trails leading you to the beautiful town of Cividale del Friuli – a World Heritage site!
The vineyards and coastal regions of Slovenia & Italy (stages 29-37)
The landscape has changed completely. You have left the Alps behind and entered the “Tuscany-like” valleys and hills, where you’ll walk the trails and sideroads amongst beautiful vineyards and Mediterranean forests. This part is best done in May, September, or October, to avoid the heat. It can be very pleasant even in March, April, or November.
Soak in the Italian love for food, coffee, and wine, while you walk south across fertile wine hills and fruit orchards, on Italian as well as on the Slovenian side of the border. You will pass some cute medieval villages and enjoy the views of the Adriatic Sea. The Alpe Adria Trail avoids the big city of Trieste and finishes in the cute little coastal town of Muggia.
The best time to hike
May, June, September, October
The Slovene part of the Alpe-Adria-Trail mostly runs through valleys and lowland trails. However, since it crosses the central part of the Julian Alps, it is important to know that due to possible snow you are more or less limited to the period between May and October. In early May you can still encounter snow when crossing the Vrsic Pass (1611 meters). In late May and June, you will walk through the flower fields on all stages, especially along the emerald Soca river. July and August can be quite hot and afternoon storms are more frequent. This is also the busiest time of the year, especially in the popular tourist centers.
Don’t mind the heat and would like to swim in those cold river pools? Come between late June and early September.
Prefer avoiding the heat and the crowds? May, June, September & October are your months.
Hiking the Alpe Adria Trail in Slovenia – the Slotrips way!
As much as we love the Alpe Adria Trail, especially its Slovenian section, there are some things we do differently. Some official stages are too long and rush through incredible places that deserve more time. Other sections are best done on a bicycle. And why not travel a part of your Alpe-Adria-Trail on a river raft? Maybe there is an incredible not-to-be-missed hotel or an awesome viewpoint just off the main route?
We have prepared several guided and self-guided hiking & multi-active tours highlighting the best stages and sections of the Alpe Adria Trail in Slovenia. From 3 to 9 days. From guided multi-active small group tours to family-friendly enjoyable self-guided journeys through the Garden of Eden.
Our versions of the Alpe Adria Trail are meant for travelers who are limited with time and would like to make the most of this inn-to-inn travel experience in Slovenia.
From the Alps to the Adriatic Sea
The perfect all-in-one trip to discover Slovenia’s full diversity. Starting in Ljubljana, visiting Lake Bled, hiking & biking the most spectacular section of the Alpe-Adria-Trail. Exploring the spectacular Goriska Brda wine region on an e-bike and finishing the journey in lovely Piran on the Slovenian coast.
MOUNTAINS TO SEA
Self-guided | 9 days
Guided small group tour
Best choice if you are short on time or traveling on your own and would like to join a group of like-minded travelers. We pick you up in Ljubljana or Bled, and our cheerful guides will show you the hiking highlights of the Julian Alps and the secret corners of the Soca Valley. Hiking, biking & swimming summer fun! Every Thursday from June to September or on-demand.
Hiking & biking
BEST OF ALPE-ADRIA TRAIL
Guided, small group | 3 days
Short multi-active trip
This is your choice if you are short on time and would like to hike independently. It is a combination of hiking, biking, and rafting along the most spectacular section of the Alpe Adria Trail in Slovenia – from Kranjska Gora to Kobarid. A great choice if you have your own car, but we can arrange the necessary transfers as well.
ALPE ADRIA TRAIL ADVENTURE
Self-guided | 4 days
A unique family adventure
A dream inn-to-inn hiking trip for active families. Active kids from 6 years on will enjoy this tour and the itinerary can be adapted to suit even older teenagers. You’ll spend one night in a cute mountain hut and another night in a hay-barn! An amazing way to get away from it all and spend quality family time in the great outdoors in Slovenia!
ALPE-ADRIA TRAIL HIKE
Self-guided | 5 days
Best inn-to-inn hike around the Julian Alps
We dare to say this is the best week-long inn-to-inn hiking trip in Slovenian Alps. You will encircle the Julian Alps mostly on foot, but we can add some cycling sections, do a part of your journey on a river raft, or add some short transfers or a train ride to get the best of the Julian Alps in a week.
BEST OF ALPE-ADRIA AND JULIANA TRAIL
Self-guided | 8 days
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TAILOR-MADE HIKING TRIP
Photos by Slotrips and Jost Gantar (STO)