Trekking across the stunning Julian Alps
LJUBLJANA · TRIGLAV NATIONAL PARK · JULIAN ALPS · SEVEN TRIGLAV LAKES · LAKES BLED & BOHINJ
Experience Slovenia’s alpine wilderness on this hut-to-hut traverse of the Julian Alps from north to south, tackling some of the most spectacular hiking trails next to Slovenia’s highest peaks.
Discover the urban, rural, and mountain highlights of the country, from Ljubljana, one of the smallest capital cities in Europe, breathtaking views towards the highest summits of the Triglav National Park, to Slovenia’s biggest and most charming lakes – Bohinj and Bled.
Challenge yourself with some long ascents, gravel, and rocky trails surrounded by the many steep limestone walls with all your hiking equipment on your back. This trip is reserved for very fit hikers with previous mountaineering experience, who enjoy long hiking stages.
OPTIONAL EXTRA: Climb the summit of Mt. Triglav!
Day 1: Explore Ljubljana as a mountaineer
Welcome to beautiful Slovenia! Arrive in Ljubljana and start your hiking adventure by discovering one of the greenest European capitals.
Ljubljana has been the capital of Slovenia since 1918, yet its history goes way back to the ancient lake dwellers, but the current name, Ljubljana, comes from the Slavic name ‘Ljuba’, which means “the beloved“. Note that even a keen hiker and mountaineer like yourself is not immune to its compactness and sheer attributes with elevated perspectives. So give in and visit the Neboticnik Skyscraper, the tallest building in Europe when built, to enjoy the city and mountain view from its rooftop terrace cafe. Once back down, walk over the Cobbler’s Bridge and head north along the Ljubljanica River under the shade of the willow trees, shrubs, and vines lining its riverbanks, where you’ll feel like you’re a world away from the city. Then take a hike up the castle hill and ascend the clock tower of the medieval Ljubljana Castle, with about 1000 years of history and yet another elevated view of Ljubljana and beyond.
Meet the locals and other travellers and enjoy a pleasant summer evening in one of the many riverside bars. A great way to start this mountaineering adventure!
Overnight: 3* hotel in Ljubljana
Day 2: Hike from Tamar Valley to Vrsic Pass
Morning transfer gets you to the start of the hike in Slovenia’s far north-western corner, the Planica Nordic ski centre. It’s a famous ski flying cradle, where two legends jumped over 100 and 200 metres for the first time in history. The valley extends further to the remote but well-visited alpine valley of Tamar, where you’ll enjoy a leisurely walk. Once pass the popular mountain hut, you’ll start a serious uphill hike over foothills to the base of the Mojstrovka Mountain. Cross its north-facing scree slopes and reach the Vrsic pass.
On this highest mountain road pass in the country, you’ll reach your accommodation for the night, where, after a hearty dinner, you can do a short sunset walk to admire the nearby peaks coloured in crimson by the last sun rays of the day.
Hiking: 11 km / elevation gain +1100 m, -400 m / approx. 6-7 hours
Overnight: mountain hut in shared or private rooms 1/2, 1/4 or 1/6 and shared washroom
Day 3: Hiking underneath the Mount Prisojnik
On this day you’ll hike the southern slopes underneath Mt. Prisojnik. This majestic mountain’s name means ‘close to the sun’, moreover, its huge north wall is visible even from the town of Kranjska Gora.
In the morning you’ll have a nice view over the rocky face of the famous ‘Pagan girl’ and onto a huge natural window just below the summit of Prisojnik. For the most part of the day, you’ll hike on the Slovenian Mountain Trail – a long-distance trail connecting alpine Slovenia with the Pannonian Plains in the east, and the Adriatic coast in the south. On the first two-thirds of the way, the trail crosses the slopes without much elevation gain and you get to enjoy the nice views towards the Soca valley in the south. The last third is a bit more challenging with a couple of rope aids and scree sections which you have to cross in order to reach the next mountain hut located on Kriski podi, in the realm of the mountain ibex.
You can call it a day here, or explore the tiny high mountain lakes, the Kriska jezera lakes, a few minutes’ hike from the hut.
Hiking: 8 km / elevation +950 m, -600 m / approx. 5-6 hours
Overnight: mountain hut in shared rooms 1/4, 1/6 or 1/10 and shared washroom
Day 4: In the Kingdom of Goldenhorn
On the third day of your traverse, you’ll hike in the vicinity of the highest summit of the Julian Alps and the top of Slovenia, the iconic Mount Triglav. The mighty three-headed peak is Slovenia’s national symbol, which every ‘true’ Slovenian should climb at least once in their life.
In the morning you’ll ascent the Bovski Gamsovec peak and if you are lucky enough, you might spot majestic alpine ibexes grazing and lay around on narrow ledges above high vertical drops there. No wonder this place is also referred to as the Kingdom of Goldenhorn, a legendary white chamois buck, that roamed the heights of Mount Triglav.
After reaching a comfortable saddle, your path follows a well preserved and comfortable WWI mule track until you start climbing again on a rocky and gravel trail winding around the sinkholes across Hribarice Plateau. Reach a mountain hut at a stunning location and treat yourself to an amazing sunset.
If you opt for climbing Mt. Triglav, you’ll do a morning side-trip to a peak with amazing views of the Triglav North wall and follow the rest of the trail to a hut below the summit.
Hiking: 12 km / elevation +1150 m, -1100 m / approx. 5-6 hours
Overnight: mountain hut in a dormitory room and shared washroom
Optional Day: Climbing Mt. Triglav with a guide
For all who are interesting in climbing the highest mountain in the Julian Alps, this is the perfect opportunity to do so. Add one more day to your hike and tackle Mt. Triglav safely with a local IFMGA mountain guide.
You will meet your guide early in the morning at the hut. From there, a less-travelled route to the top will take you across the karst plateau and over an exposed via-ferrata section. Before you know it, you’ll be standing at the top of Slovenia. The views from the summit are simply breathtaking. After receiving the honour of reaching the summit for the first time, a traditional baptism with a rope, you’ll descend via a ridge-line route. Once you exit the technical part of the trail and reach easier terrain once again, you’ll navigate to the next mountain hut on your own.
Cross the high-alpine karst landscape which resembles the impact craters of the moon’s surface, catch a glimpse down the Seven Triglav Lakes valley and reach a mountain hut at a stunning sunset location.
Hiking: 12 km / elevation +870 m, -990 m / approx. 6-7 hours
Overnight: mountain hut in a dormitory room and shared washroom
Day 5: Hike through the Seven Triglav Lakes Valley
Do a 30-minute morning hike to a stunning sunrise peak with amazing panoramic views and take in the serenity of the moment. Return back to the hut for breakfast and head in the direction of the Seven Triglav Lakes Valley.
This day can be as relaxing or as active as you would like it to be. Walk through the Seven Triglav Lakes valley, stop by the alpine lakes and observe the marmots play or climb some more and take a ridge-line route to get an aerial view of the lakes and ascent two summits with vistas across the Julian Alps and towards Lake Bohinj.
Even though the crystal clear waters of the high alpine lakes are extremely inviting, please resist the temptation. Swimming is strictly forbidden. Learn more about it in our FAQ below.
You’ll stay in the simplest, but also the cosiest and one of the most authentic mountain huts in Slovenia.
Hiking: 14 km / elevation +540 m, -950 m / approx. 6-7 hours (including side trips)
Overnight: mountain hut in dormitory room and shared washroom
Day 6: Leave the Alps behind and reach Lake Bohinj
You’ll leave the high alpine terrain behind as you descend into the glacial valley of the largest permanent lake in the country, the Bohinj Lake.
The trail becomes more and more comfortable with each step as you descend past alpine meadows & farms. Reach the eastern shore of the wonderful Lake Bohinj, kick off your shoes and jump in for a well-deserved refreshing swim. Relax in this alpine paradise and reminisce about your hiking adventures of the previous days.
When you’ve recharged your batteries a little, catch one of the frequent buses leaving for Bled for a nice hot shower and a proper ‘restaurant dinner’.
Hiking: 11 km / elevation +80 m, -1200 m / approx. 4 hours
Overnight: 3* hotel in Bled
Day 7: Sunrise hike at Lake Bled and departure
Make your departure day one of your favourite travel memories. As the magic is in the little moments, brave the early hour and hike at sunrise to the Ojstrica and Osojnica hills – the perfect photo spots above Lake Bled. With Bled being so popular, this is one of the rare moments when you can enjoy the place to yourself; unless some passionate photographers beat you to it. Have the privilege of a front-row view of nature’s finest spectacle – an explosion of colours over the lake, the cliff-top castle and the world’s favourite lone island with the Karavanke mountains in the backdrop. Even though many prefer the close view from Ojstrica, you might love the Osojnica view more for its remote feel and higher perspective.
By now, you’ve probably eyed enough gems to believe you’ll come back for more truly off the beaten path adventures in the future. Therefore, we’ll wish you farewell for now and look forward to having you back soon!
- 2 nights with breakfast in conveniently located 3* hotels. Double or twin rooms.
- 3 nights with breakfast & dinner in mountain huts. Shared or private rooms with 2-20 beds per room. Shared bathrooms.
- 1 overnight in the last mountain hut of the itinerary. Dormitory room and shared bathroom.
- Transfer from Ljubljana to the trailhead on Day 2.
- Detailed information for self-guided activities in a personalized smartphone app with uploaded GPS tracks for easy navigation.
- Information pack about other local sights, restaurants, and activities.
- Planning, organization, 24-hour holiday service & support.
- Arrival at Ljubljana and departure from Bled.
- Meals and drinks not specified in the Inclusions.
- Travel insurance.
- Personal expenses.
- Other services not specified in the Inclusions.
- Additional hiking day: 80 € per person
- Guided hike to Mt. Triglav: 430 € per trip with 1-4 hikers
- Single traveler supplement: 480 €
Activity Level 4-5 – VERY STRENUOUS
Expect to walk 6-8 hours per day, 13 km (8 miles), and up to 1200 m (4000 ft) of elevation gain on the hardest day. You need to be in excellent shape and have hiking and mountaineering experience to fully enjoy this tour. Keep in mind: if you are not used to rocky terrain, long ascents, narrow trails, and occasional exposure, your days can be very long.
What are the trails like?
The trails are very uneven, rocky, and narrow, moreover you will need to overcome a few steeper sections on the uphills as well as the downhills. Mostly you will hike above the treeline, exposed to the sun without any shelter along the way.
Our Julian Alps Traverse hiking tour can only be done when the mountain huts in the central Julian Alps are open. They usually open in the last week of June and remain open until late September. The first half of July and September generally see few fellow hikers. August is the peak month and the trails & huts are busy. The temperatures in September start decreasing, especially when the sun sets.
What is the weather usually like?
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), which is a must for sunscreen, sunglasses, and a hat (for shade)! If the weather is bad 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, but just keep in mind that it can get cold and unpleasant. Check our recommended packing list.
We also recommend having 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 in the valley are calling for a refreshing swim!
Essential read: our Best time to hike in Slovenia blog post.
You will spend 4 nights in typical Slovenian mountain huts and 2 nights in centrally located 3* hotels or family-run B&B’s:
What are the mountain huts like?
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, so expect simple menus of mountain food like different stews (vegetable or with meat), pasta, and sausages. They also sell chocolate, soft drinks, water, beer etc. The usual breakfast would be eggs, ham, cheese, butter, jam…
Some of the huts have on this hiking tour have normal flush toilets, running (drinking) water, and sometimes even hot showers. Others depend on rainwater and have pit toilets. Read more about the mountain huts in Slovenia.
Expect to share a room, toilets, bathrooms, or washrooms. Rooms are from 4 to 12 beds. When available, we will book private rooms.
Slotrips trip designer & guide
As a kid, I was introduced to the beauty of mountaineering through mountain summer camps with my local alpine club, where I established my love and respect for nature. I have since become an active member of the club, an alpinist, a recreational mountain biker, a ski mountaineering enthusiast, and a certified hiking guide. This has enabled me to share my fondness for the mountains with others. These days, I spend an equal amount of time exploring not only rugged mountains but also local history & culture, and good food. Ultimately, I have blended my passion, knowledge, and skills into a profession that I love and enjoy.
“We asked Miha to help us maneuver the Slovenian Alps,
with minimal exposure to civilisation, and we could not have been happier with the choice. Miha solved all logistical concerns from maps with alternative routes to safety equipment (we were skeptical at first, but learned to appreciate it!) to daily phone calls on the weather forecast. One tip: As we found Slotrips on Google we continually stressed that we were in very good shape because we feared the route would be too easy. We got what we asked for! It turns out very good shape for an avid mountaineer is indeed very good shape – but ultimately it led to a highly rewarding experience in magnificent surroundings. We give the highest of recommendations to use Slotrips to plan any trip.”
Philip Unger & Jakob Nielsen
Who can do it? Anyone with an excellent fitness level, previous mountaineering experience, and love for long hiking days.
Do I need to have a guide? This tour is meant for experienced hikers. If this is you, you don’t need a guide. If you are intrigued by this but lack hiking experience we recommend getting a guide.
Are private guided experiences available? Sure! We have private guides available for entirely customizable experiences.
Do I need a helmet? We recommend having a helmet. There are just 2 relatively short sections where you’ll feel more comfortable with a helmet. We rent helmets, if you are not bringing your own.
Do I need hiking poles? If you often use them on your hiking trips, of course.
Is there a minimum or maximum group size? There is no minimum or maximum group size, but note that bigger groups are typically slower, thus the timings might not apply to your group.
How is the optional extra climb to Mt. Triglav? Climbing Mt. Triglav is an optional addition to this 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 at the hut and part with you upon reaching the easier terrain again. After the summit climb, you are hiking on your own. Read our blog post for detailed info about the Triglav summit climb.
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”.
What to bring for this walking tour?
Check our recommended packing list. Additionally, we recommend having a helmet.
Do I need a sleeping bag?
Not necessarily. The huts provide blankets and one-time-use paper sheets. However, we highly recommend bringing a lightweight cotton sleeping liner (travel sheet), because you’ll sleep better on it, avoid making unnecessary waste and help preserve some trees.
Is luggage transfer between the mountain huts possible?
No. You will need to carry your belongings throughout the entire hiking tour. Yet your main luggage will be stored at the hotel in which you’ll stay after the hiking tour.
Can I swim in the Triglav lakes?
No! The lakes are fairly small, especially during the summer drought. The water in and outflow is super small and the water barely changes. The lakes’ micro-ecosystem is very fragile and we must not endanger it with our sweat, sunscreen etc. Moreover, it is considered an offence by the Triglav National Park organisation.
Do the mountain huts provide vegetarian/vegan meals?
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 your own snacks and treats.
Can I add more adventures?
Sure! Do you like rock climbing, rappeling down amazing waterfalls, horse-back riding across lovely meadows, kayaking on turquoise rivers, paragliding with stunning views of the Julian Alps, climb a via-ferrata to one of the jagged peaks in Triglav National Park? Let us know and we will deliver your adventures!