The Highlights of Slovenia's Best Long-Distance Hiking Trails
LJUBLJANA · JULIAN ALPS · TRIGLAV NATIONAL PARK · VRSIC PASS · SOCA VALLEY · LAKES BLED & BOHINJ
The Alpe-Adria Trail and the Juliana Trail are the most famous long-distance hiking trails in Slovenia. And we have combined their best sections, added some wonderful side trips and a little bit of biking to make it (we dare to say) the best hiking journey in and around the Triglav National Park. Do you love hiking, but prefer sleeping in comfortable hotels, rather than mountain huts? Do you prefer the green valleys, emerald rivers, lush forests, and amazing mountain views, as opposed to high alpine rocky mountain terrain? Do you like the idea of having your luggage transported between hotels? Yes? This is your hiking trip!
Day 1: Welcome to Ljubljana
Arrive at Slovenia’s beautiful capital city of Ljubljana and get to know why is it considered one of the most charming European capitals. Get lost in the old town, walk its green surroundings, explore it by bike, paddle through on a stand-up paddleboard, and enjoy its culinary secrets. Let the walking adventures begin!
Overnight: centrally located 3* hotel in Ljubljana
Day 2: Hike to Vrsic Pass
After breakfast, you will get a ride to the ski town of Kranjska Gora, where your hiking adventure begins. You will hike along beautiful trails and enter the amphitheater of rugged limestone peaks. The comfortable trails will take you towards the famous Vrsic pass and optionally you can add a side trip to a lonely summit with a fantastic view of the central Julian Alps. You will finish the day at a cosy mountain hut where you’ll have the chance to taste some real home-cooked Slovenian mountain food.
Hiking: 13 km / elevation +900 m, -300 m / approx. 5 hours
Overnight: mountain hut with shared bathrooms
Day 3: Hike through the heart of the Julian Alps
Start the day by hiking on an old military road, built by Russian prisoners of war during WWI. The road was engineered to supply the Soca Front and is gently ascending towards the top of the Vrsic Pass. For early risers, an optional detour to an amazing viewpoint is highly recommended before the crowds start to roll in.
From the pass, your route bites into pristine and untamed alpine landscape. Stop and take in the tranquillity of the surroundings before you start with your steep descend towards the Trenta Valley. Reach the source of the Soca River, an underground water spring where the emerald river bursts to the surface. Spend the night at the loveliest alpine hotel in a hidden dead-end valley. A true alpine paradise!
Hiking: 14 km / elevation +470 m, -1000 m / approx. 6 hours
Overnight: Great alpine hotel in a secluded location
Day 4: Walk & bike in the Soca valley
Follow the river’s flow across rapids, small cascades, through narrow rocky gorges, surprising canyons, and pools. You’ll cross several suspension footbridges and find inviting hidden pots to relax, dip your feet into turquoise water or even go for a refreshing swim. The beauty and the magic of the landscape will ensure many unforgettable moments and you’ll soon realize why Soca is one of the most beautiful rivers in the world.
This day’s section is quite long, which is why you’ll be hopping on a mountain bike after lunch. Expect some short climbs, but mostly an enjoyable ride on scenic gravel and asphalt roads to the town of Bovec.
Hiking: 13 km / elevation +200 m, -500 m / approx. 4 hours
Biking: 16 km / elevation +250 m, -300 m / approx. 2 hours
Overnight: 3* hotel in Bovec
Day 5: From the Soca valley to Lake Bohinj
Oh… there is so much to do today. If you are here purely for hiking, you can opt for a 16 km stage. But we definitely recommend getting a “free morning” and go rafting along the Soca river or canyoneering in one of the wild nearby canyons. Pure fun (and some adrenaline as well)!
When you are done with your water adventures, you will get a 40-min transfer down the valley to the tiny town of Most na Soci. Here you will hop on a train and take a scenic 40-min ride through a series of tunnels to the town of Bohinjska Bistrica. From here on you follow the nicest section of the Juliana Trail. You can choose between the regular 9 km option or add some side trips and walk 16 km before reaching the truly amazing Lake Bohinj. Have a swim in its alluring waters and get comfortable in your cosy hotel by the lake.
Hiking: 9-16 km / elevation +150 to 550 m, -150 to 550 m / approx. 3-5 hours
Overnight: 4* hotel at Lake Bohinj
Day 6: Juliana Trail: Lake Bohinj to the forests of Pokljuka
The next two days are the most beautiful stages of Juliana Trail. Warm-up your engines along the Upper Bohinj valley and walk through typical local villages before you start ascending to the Pokljuka Plateau. Enjoy the vast beech and spruce forests, have your picnic lunch with one of the best views of Lake Bohinj, and be amazed by the lovely alpine architecture on lonely alpine meadows in the heart of Triglav National Park.
Hiking: 17 km / elevation +900 m, -100 m / approx. 6-7 hours
Overnight: 3* hotel in the forests of Pokljuka
Day 7: Juliana Trail: Pokljuka to Lake Bled
Today you are mostly hiking through the extensive forests of Pokljuka and pass by the charming Zajavornik alpine meadow. Between late June and early September, you’ll be able to try some excellent mountain cheese, Slovenian “alpine yogurt”, possibly add some blueberries and, of course, try the medicinal secrets of numerous home-made schnapps’.
But do not forget: today’s stage is super long and you’ll need a solid step to descend down the mountain and the narrow Pokljuka Gorge before reaching your final destination, the picture-perfect Lake Bled. Finish your long-distance hiking journey with a refreshing swim or row to the island to ring a bell and make a wish!
Hiking: 20 km / elevation +150 m, -950 m / approx. 7 hours
Overnight: 3* hotel or a family run B&B very close to the lake
Day 8: Lake Bled & departure
Take it easy at Lake Bled, walk to a stunning viewpoint, bike the beautiful countryside, have the famous local cream cake or rent a stand-up paddleboard and row the placid waters of Lake Bled.
The tour finishes here, but we will be happy to help you with your onward travel arrangements.
- 6 nights with breakfast in nicely located 3-4* hotels. Double or twin room with ensuite bathroom.
- 1 night with breakfast in a mountain hut. Private rooms (if available). Shared bathrooms.
- All transfers according to the itinerary from Ljubljana until Lake Bled.
- All luggage transfers between stages.
- Bikes and biking gear rental & transfer in the Soca valley on Day 4.
- Personalized smartphone app with uploaded GPS tracks for easy independent navigation.
- Detailed hiking & biking descriptions, maps etc.
- Information pack about other local sights, restaurants, activities.
- Organisation, 24-hour holiday service & support.
- Arrival to Ljubljana and departure from Bled.
- Drinks, lunches & dinners.
- Travel insurance.
- Personal expenses.
- Other services not specified in the Inclusions.
- Rafting on Soca river: 50 €
- Single traveler supplement: 600 €
Activity Level 3 – MODERATE hiking
How difficult is the walking?
Expect to walk about 5-7 hours per day within a distance of 13-20 km (8-13 miles). On the most challenging day, you’ll gain 900 m (2900 ft) of elevation. Most of the time the trails are easy and well crafted, however, there are also some narrow and steep downhill sections. Sometimes they are rocky and on a rainy day can be slippery. Hiking experience and a reasonable fitness level are necessary to fully enjoy this trip.
If the hike turns out to be more difficult than you expected, you always have an escape option and can get a transfer to the next accommodation.
How difficult is the biking?
The biking is easy but still exciting for all who have never biked off asphalt roads. Thus it’s good to feel confident about riding a bike on gravel roads. This means that you’re in control when pedaling in a sitting and standing position, as well as changing gears, safely using the brakes while keeping control and maneuvering the bike while other people are around too. There is a section on a regional asphalt road as well.
You can expect sometimes to encounter a thicker layer of gravel, pothole, as well as rocks and roots, which can affect your steering and balance. In case you feel uneasy on some sections, you can always get off the bike and push for a few metres.
If you’re quickly short of breath, upgrade to an e-bike.
What are the trails like?
The hiking trails are mostly well crafted and fairly easy to walk on, yet you can expect to walk along some steep sections with occasional slippery roots and rocks. The terrain is uneven, sometimes rocky and narrow, covered with gravel, grass, and forest soil. Mostly the trails are in the shade of the forest but be prepared for sun exposure too.
The biking trails are mainly nice gravel and dirt roads, but you’ll also ride asphalt backroads. The inclines are gently distributed on long stretches of the trail but expect some shorter and steeper sections with softer gravel too.
Our Best of Alpe-Adria & Juliana Trail hiking trip can be done anytime between May and October. There can still be some snow on Vrsic pass in May. October serves with amazing fall colors. July & August are the hottest (best for swimming) and busiest months.
What is the weather usually like?
In summer (from June to early September) the weather is usually hot, with temperatures around 25-30 deg C (75-90 deg F). In peak season (August) you can expect a heatwave with temperatures likely exceeding 35 deg C (95 deg F) as well as a significant temperature drop in the mountains on a cloudy, windy, or rainy day.
Of course, don’t forget your swimsuit and a small towel! Lakes and rivers are calling for a refreshing swim!
Essential read: our Best time to hike in Slovenia blog post.
You’ll stay in hand-picked nice and clean 3 and 4* accommodation, in double or single rooms (surcharge) with en-suite bathroom. When staying in the mountain hut, you can have your private room for 2-6 people (if available!), but you will share the washroom with a few other hikers.
Slotrips founder, trip designer & guide
I was born in Slovenia’s lovely capital city of Ljubljana but had set the avid hiker and biker in me aside for a while to study civil engineering in Germany. It was there where I met my wife, my cute Spanish girl. Together we traveled the world and finally settled in my homeland, Slovenia in 2007. Since then I have been (re)discovering the hiking trails, biking backroads, hidden natural treasures, and best dining spots all over the country. I am in love with Slovenia’s landscape, diversity, and cultural variety and will proudly show you my “backyard”.
“We could not believe the effort Miha went to make our trip to Slovenia so amazing.
He responded quickly to emails and put together an itinerary that showed he understood exactly what we wanted out of our trip including amazing food, comfortable accommodation and hiking in the Slovenian Alps. We could not have done the hiking trip without Miha’s careful instructions… our guide’s knowledge of this beautiful country and the best place to stop for fresh cherries was incredible. Slotrips is truly a company that understands the travelling preferences of the future – autonomy and adventure with the right amount of guidance so you don’t get trapped by tourist gimmicks.”
Where do I learn about Alpe-Adria and Juliana Trail?
How do your self-guided tours work?
You will be surprised! We have done (and are still doing) a ton of work to make sure your independent active holidays in Slovenia (and across the borders) are flawless, fun, and hassle-free. With the implementation of modern technology and our extensive local knowledge, we believe we are on the right way of delivering exceptional hiking & biking experiences that you are able to enjoy at your own pace. Read more about our “self-guided added value”.