1,390 €per person
WALKING THE ALPE-ADRIA TRAIL
Duration: 9 days
This Hut-to-hut in the Julian Alps trip is a 7-day hiking journey through the northwestern corner of Slovenia with the best features of the Triglav National Park, the Julian Alps and the Via Alpina Trail.
Your journey will start with the vibe of our friendly capital city, Ljubljana and continue with a trek through the dense spruce & larch forests of the Pokljuka Plateau and the high alpine karst of the Seven Triglav Lakes Valley. You’ll make the high mountain traverse, with detours and side trips, over the rough and rocky terrain of the highest Slovenian peaks. Should you fancy, climb Mount Triglav summit too. Finally, finish this hiking adventure at Slovenia’s most photogenic lakes Bled and Bohinj.
Lodging in the mountain huts is perfect for in-depth explorations and a more thorough understanding of an area’s rich natural and cultural history through amazing stories shared around a bowl of hot mountain stew. It’s a lifelong tradition in the mountains, and how they are passed on to the next generation.
Upon arrival at your hotel in Ljubljana, settle in for a while to recollect your energy. Afterwards, you’ll meet your trip specialist who will present the details of your upcoming adventure and get you ready to hit the town with your restaurant recommendations handy.
The best way to explore the old city centre is on foot, but if you’d rather crawl Ljubljana’s parks, historic trails and nearby hills, then it’s best done by bike. Either way, you’ll feel the friendly vibe of the city everywhere.
Even if you’re not a fan of urban life, you’ll love to walk through the old town with its countless churches, parks, monuments and architectural buildings. The oldest part is just below the Ljubljana castle hill, whereas the newer part is nestled across the numerous bridges over the Ljubljanica River, from the Dragon Bridge to the Cobbler’s Bridge.
Just by the waterfront alongside both riverbanks are many terrace cafes, where you can enjoy some of the best coffee and finest wines in the country. It’s where you’ll have the best view of the castle, apart from the one up-close, but you’ll have to head over the three bridges, the food market and the tree-lined road to finally reach the hill with the best panorama of Ljubljana.
To immerse yourself in the city life, climb some of the nearby hills where the locals jog their afternoons away or enjoy the traditional street theatre and summer festivals illuminated at night, all within walking distance of your overnight location.
Accommodation: 3* hotel in Ljubljana
In the morning you’ll be transferred from Ljubljana to the trailhead on the Pokljuka Plateau in the Triglav National Park – your starting point for the long days of hiking from one refuge to the next.
Here the lonely, but well-trodden trails have a gentle incline. They will lead you past secluded mountain meadows, where you can visit local shepherds and sample some of their exceptionally tasty, freshly-made dairy products. Afterwards, you’ll set foot in the pristine landscape of the Julian Alps, where amazing panoramic views will open up before you.
You will pass the hut where you’ll spend the night. Just unload your backpack and go chase the lookouts on top of the numerous summits rising on the ridge above the hut. There are several options and you can choose the one which suits your fitness level best.
Hiking: 9 km / elevation gain + 730m, – 400m + optional extensions / 5 hours
Accommodation: mountain hut with shared rooms 1/20 and shared washroom
Transfer: 1 hour
This morning you’ll navigate west, towards the Central Julian Alps and spend most of the day hiking single trails along the mountainsides surrounded by majestic mountains.
The rolling terrain with several up and downhill sections will lead you past serene meadows and rising limestone mountains which give you numerous side-trip options to nearby peaks for the perfect view of Mt. Triglav and surrounding jagged ridges and valleys.
Just before you reach the Vodnik mountain hut on Velo polje, you’ll hike the most fascinating part of the tour. It stretches across the southern slopes of Mount Tosc and offers views all the way to the mountains rising above the Soca river.
Tonight’s mountain hut, along with all others on your way, is owned by the Slovenian Mountain Club, yet looked after by generations of local families and friends since the late 19th century. So you’ll get to experience its long and rich tradition.
Hiking: 11 km / elevation gain + 650 m, – 400 m + optional side trips / approx. 5 hours
Accommodation: mountain hut with private or shared rooms 1/2, 1/4, 1/6 and 1/10 and shared washroom
Wake up in a cosy mountain hut in the heart of the Julian Alps! Just underneath Mt. Triglav.
All who are up for the Mt. Triglav adventure will make a detour here to reach Slovenia’s highest summit. It’s only 2864 meters (9,400 ft) above sea level, but it is not to be underestimated as the path along the ridge is very exposed. The gaps on both sides reach a few hundred metres. Moreover, the weather can make the climb even trickier. We recommend getting a guide for the summit climb. Let us know if you are interested in conquering the summit of Slovenia and we will arrange everything necessary.
If you choose to skip the summit, simply follow an easier path which takes you through the Velo Polje alpine pasture. The pasture’s small cheese dairy is the last in the Bohinj’s cheese tour, nestled under stunning summits of Mounts Tosc, Triglav and Miselj Vrh, creating a stunning alpine valley. You’ll walk over lots of rocks and gravel on barren alpine terrain, where edelweiss flowers or a group of alpine ibexes are likely to be seen.
Once you pass the hike’s highest point, you’ll cross the ‘lunar surface’ of the Hribarice Plateau and down through the Valley of the 7 Triglav Lakes. The pleasantly undulating trail will take you through the valley with beautiful but small lakes, where going into the water is considered an offence. Thus you’d best kick your shoes off, put your feet up and look at the views upside down.
Sinkholes and karrens are all around, as well as other karstic formations, making for an opportunity to learn how they form and decompose by the time you reach the hut for the night. The hut is located next to Double Lake. Enjoy it with a well-deserved beer (or schnapps).
Hiking: 14 km / elevation gain + 700 m, – 750 m + optional side trips / approx. 7 hours
Accommodation: mountain hut with private or shared rooms 1/2, 1/4, and 1/6 and shared washroom
Begin the day with a breath of fresh air over an early morning coffee beside Double Lake opposite the hut, to savour the little silent moments one can only experience here. As later on, you’ll leave the gravel trails and limestone paths for the greener alpine pastures, meeting more hikers coming from Lake Bohinj to enjoy the mountain food surrounded by the idyllic huts, farms and grazing livestock.
After a long descent, you will reach Lake Bohinj – an absolute jewel and a gift of nature, located at the end of a dead-end valley within the Triglav National Park. At its shore, it is finally time for a well deserved refreshing summer swim in the most beautiful Slovenian lake.
Lake Bohinj and its surroundings are perfect for paddling, biking, hiking, rock climbing horseback riding or chilling in a hammock. Let us know if you wish to spend a couple of relaxing days in this alpine paradise.
If not, simply take a local bus to Lake Bled and spend your last two nights of this hiking trip there.
Hiking: 16 km / elevation gain + 550 m, – 1600 m / approx. 6 hours
Accommodation: 3* hotel or local guesthouse in Bled
Transfer: local bus, hourly departures, duration: 40 min
Spend the day as you fancy. Yet note that you’ll wake up in the foothills of the Julian Alps, just a few steps away from one of the most picturesque continental lakes in the World, which is Slovenia’s main attraction.
Thus here, an early start is best to explore the most popular highlights, such as Bled Castle and the Island. Whereas any time in the day is great for sports activities like hiking and biking the backroads through the more peaceful traditional villages where you can even visit a local beekeeper!
Not to miss out, opt for a nice bike ride through small countryside villages, a walk through the famous Vintgar Gorge and a stunning viewpoint above the lake. From here you’ll notice the island’s church, where the legend has it that a widow consecrated a new bell to the church in memory of her adored husband, but it was dropped into the lake. If you’d like to tackle it, swim, row or stand-up-paddle to the island. Leave before dark though, as only the fairies can dance the night away here.
In the evening enjoy the town’s colourful lighting and spend the night in Bled.
Accommodation: 3* hotel or local guesthouse in Bled
After a hearty breakfast, your hut-to-hut hiking adventure in the Julian Alps ends. Before leaving Slovenia, steal a last moment for a peaceful morning swim in Lake Bled to keep you warm at heart until next time.
The huts in the Slovenian Alps are quite basic, but they offer everything a hiker needs: food, drinks and accommodation. Most of the huts are accessible only by helicopter (no roads). Thus food supply is limited, therefore expect simple menus of mountain food like different stews (vegetable or meat), pasta and sausages. They also sell chocolate, soft drinks, water, beer etc. The usual breakfast would be eggs, ham, cheese, butter, jam,…
The huts we use on this hiking tour have normal flush toilets, 2 of them have running (drinking) water and sometimes even hot showers.
Expect to share a room, toilets, bathrooms or washrooms. There are 2 to 20 beds in one room. We always book the smallest available room, but can never guarantee a private room.
We strongly encourage you to use bio-degradable and natural hygiene products (tissues, soaps, toothpaste etc.), as animals and plants don’t like to feed on saponins or tissues.
You don’t need a sleeping bag. We strongly suggest bringing a lightweight cotton sleeping liner (travel sheet), even though the huts provide blankets and single-use paper sheets. It’s because you’ll be more comfortable and sleep better. Moreover, we encourage you to be a responsible traveller and avoid making unnecessary waste and help preserve some trees.
No, because the huts are not accessible by car. Thus you will need to carry your equipment throughout the entire hiking tour, whereas your main luggage will wait for you at the hotel where you’ll overnight after the hike.
Expect to walk 5-7 hours per day, 10-15 km (6-10 miles) and up to 1000 m (3300 ft) of elevation gain on the hardest day. It might not sound much, but we have never had anyone say it’s a walk in the park. We suggest being in reasonable shape, having had some hiking experience beforehand, to fully enjoy this tour.
The trails are uneven, sometimes rocky and narrow. Moreover, you will need to overcome several steep sections on the uphill as well as the downhill sections. On some days you will hike partly in the shade of a forest, on others above the treeline, but mostly without any shelter along the way.
The food in mountain huts is tasty, yet quite basic, so no culinary highlights are to be expected. There are options for vegans and vegetarians, but the selection is very limited. More so if you have any special dietary restrictions or needs. Thus bringing your own snacks and treats will save the day.
Climbing Mt. Triglav is an optional addition to this self-guided hiking tour. The summit can be very crowded during summer, especially on weekends.
The last 300 vertical metres (1.5 hours) of the ascent and descent is a Via-Ferrata. It is secured with steel hand lines and stemples, yet very exposed in some sections. Even though an experienced mountaineer may not even notice the exposure, the less experienced will definitely feel in need of guidance. The IFMGA licensed mountain guide will take care of your safety and provide all necessary equipment and professional guidance, which is essential when the weather is not perfect. The guide will meet you below the ridge, where the climbing part begins and part with you upon return. Before and after the summit climb you are hiking on your own.
Have a look at this video for a better understanding of the terrain.
No, any activity in the lakes is considered an offence by the Triglav National Park organisation. Moreover, the lakes’ micro-ecosystem is very fragile and we must not endanger it with our sweat, sunscreen etc. The lakes are fairly small, especially during the summer drought. Due to water in and outflow being very small the water barely changes, which limits their ability to self-clean.
Weather can change a lot. On the highest peaks it can snow even in summer (although it is not very common). If the weather is nice it can be very hot. Even above 30 deg C (90 deg F). Sunscreen, sunglasses and a hat (for shade) are a must! If the weather is bad & windy you will need really warm clothes. Be prepared for temperatures as low as 0 degrees Celsius. This does not mean you have to bring a thick down jacket and thermal pants, but just keep in mind that it can get cold and unpleasant.
We also recommend having a thin (lightweight) layer to cover your arms, legs and the back of your neck in case of really hot and sunny weather.
Here below. 🙂