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Via Ferratas across the Julian Alps

Traverse the highest mountains and tackle the most spectacular panoramic views in Slovenia

  • self-guided
  • 7 days
  • difficult
  • July to September
  • 920 EUR
  • Highlights
  • Conquer the inaccessible ridges of the highest Slovenian summits.
  • Climb the highest mountain in the Julian Alps and be considered a ‘true Slovenian’.
  • Discover beautiful Ljubljana, fairy tale Lake Bled and breathtaking Lake Bohinj.
  • Immerse yourself in the pristine wilderness of alpine Slovenia.
  • Good to know
  • Only appropriate for experienced hikers with previous via ferrata experience.
  • Navigation and trip descriptions are within smartphone apps. A paper copy is also available.
  • You’ll carry all your hiking equipment. No luggage transfer!
  • Mountain huts are serviced, offering lodging, food and drinks, but no shower.
  • You don’t need a car for this trip. 
  • Via-ferrata equipment and helmet provided.
  • You must be in excellent shape and have a good head for heights to fully enjoy this trip.
  • Would you like to customize the trip? Let us know!
View from the summit of Triglav in Slovenia
Hanz route via-ferrata in Mojstrovka north wall in Slovenia

Overview

The Via Ferratas across the Julian Alps trip is a multi-night hut-to-hut trip that crosses the Julian Alps from north to south, tackling some of the most spectacular via ferrata routes across Slovenia’s highest peaks. As well as Slovenia’s alpine wilderness, you will also get to experience the urban and rural highlights of the country.

The trip will take you from Ljubljana, the capital city of Slovenia and one of the smallest capital cities in Europe, across the rough terrain, steep ridges and highest summits within Triglav National Park, all the way to Slovenia’s biggest and most charming lake – the crystal clear Lake Bohinj. You will finish at Slovenia’s most famous tourist attraction, the beautiful Lake Bled

This trip takes you over some long and challenging ascents, tackles some steep or even vertical sections, and you will carry all your hiking equipment yourself. Therefore, this mountaineering adventure is reserved for very fit hikers with previous via ferrata experience, who enjoy verticality. Most of the time you are walking on gravel and rocky trails surrounded by the many steep limestone walls and drops of the Julian Alps. However, almost every stage has a 1-3 hour via ferrata section.

Hiking with impressive Triglav views in Slovenia

Itinerary

Before you get head over heels in the mountain part of the tour, you will meet with your trip designer who will present all the trip details and walk you through your upcoming adventure, starting in Ljubljana.

Ljubljana has been the capital of Slovenia since 1918, but its history goes way back to the ancient lake dwellers and then the Romans, who named the city Emona and later in the middle ages Laibach. But the current name, Ljubljana, comes from the Slavic name ‘Ljuba’, ‘Luba’, which means ‘loved’. And even though you’re a keen hiker and mountaineer, you’ll love its compactness and sheer attributes.  

If you are on this tour then you clearly have a passion for elevated perspectives. Therefore, you must visit the Neboticnik Skyscraper, which was one of the tallest buildings in Europe when built in the 1930s. From its rooftop terrace cafe, you’ll get the best view of Ljubljana and northwest to the mountains you’ll be climbing. Back down on terra firma, cross 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 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. 

Mingle with 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!

Accommodation: 3* hotel in Ljubljana

In the morning you will be transferred to the trailhead in Slovenia’s far north-western corner. You will start in Planica Nordic ski centre – the famous ski flying cradle, where two legends jumped over 100 and 200 metres for the first time in history.

The valley extends to the remote but well-visited alpine valley of Tamar, offering a leisurely walk to warm up your engine. Once passing a popular mountain hut, you’ll start a serious uphill hike over foothills to the base of Mojstrovka Mountain.

Closer to its north-eastern wall, you’ll put on your via ferrata safety gear and helmet, then start scrambling up the well secured and well marked Hanzova trail and proceed with the help of iron ropes, rings, pegs and carved steps.

Impressive mountain scenery and views of Mt. Jalovec follow you all the way. From the summit, you’ll descend along gravel trails on the mountain’s southern slopes towards the highest mountain road pass in the country, the Vrsic Pass, where you’ll reach your accommodation for the night. 

After a hearty dinner, you can do a short sunset walk to scout the route for your upcoming climb tomorrow. 

Hiking and scrambling: 12 km / elevation gain + 1400 m, – 700 m / approx. 7-8 h

Accommodation: mountain hut in shared or private rooms 1/2, 1/4, and 1/6 and shared washroom.

You’ll love the gigantic mountains in the morning, thus take a moment to revel in nature’s warm caress before approaching the entrance to today’s via ferrata on Mt. Prisojnik (meaning ‘close to the sun’). 

Prisojnik is a majestic mountain, whose huge north wall is visible from Kranjska Gora and Vrsic Pass. Gear-up there and follow the marked and secured via ferrata. It’ll lead you past the rocky face of the famous ‘Pagan girl’ and through a natural window to the summit. Once on top, you’ll stare enraptured as the panorama reveals a jaw-dropping 360-degree view.

You’ll descend along the trail on the southern slopes until you join the Slovenian Mountain Trail – a long-distance trail connecting alpine Slovenia with the Pannonian Plains in the east, and the Adriatic coast in the west. From here on, apart from a few rope aids and scree sections, you’ll enjoy a more leisurely walk all the way to your mountain hut for the night. It is placed 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 lakes, just a few minutes walk away from the hut. 

Hiking and scrambling: 11 km / elevation gain + 1700 m, – 1300 m / approx. 8-9 h

Accommodation: mountain hut in shared rooms 1/4, 1/6 and 1/10 and shared washroom.

The third day into your via ferrata summit hopping will take you to 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.

Mt. Triglav is undoubtedly the best-known and most visited Slovene mountain, but today’s adventure will take you to its top on a less frequented, but more difficult via ferrata route.

You will walk the high karst plateau in the Kingdom of Goldenhorn, a legendary white chamois buck, or alpine ibex, that roamed the heights of Mount Triglav. So if you’re lucky, you’ll see alpine ibexes grazing and laying around on the narrow ledges above high vertical drops all morning.

At the top of the mountain you’ll come across the famous Aljaz tower, a small storm shelter and triangulation point which has become a cultural symbol of national importance. In fact, it was placed on the summit after a local priest Jakob Aljaz bought the summit of Triglav for 5 guldens. The summit and the descent to the south are very popular. Don’t expect a solitary experience on a nice day in the peak summer season. In bad weather you should avoid the summit and, of course, we will provide alternatives. 

Your via ferrata adventure ends at the mountain hut, where you’ll enjoy the sunset of numerous shades of red with jovial Slovenians and fellow hikers. 

Hiking and climbing: 8 km / elevation gain + 1200 m, – 850 m / approx. 8 h

Accommodation: mountain hut in shared rooms 1/4, 1/6 and 1/10 and shared washroom.

After breakfast get back in your boots and follow a nice rocky, gravel trail that winds around the sinkholes across Hribarice Plateau. It resembles the impact craters of the moon’s surface and finally exhales in the direction of the Seven Triglav Lakes Valley.

If you already feel tired from the previous days, simply follow the easy valley trail. But if you still have some dynamite in your legs, we strongly recommend a detour to cross one of the most beautiful ridges in the Slovenian Alps, high above the Triglav Lakes Valley on one side and the lush Soca Valley on the other. This is one of our favourite off-the-beaten-track sections of this trip with amazing panoramic views.

Finish the day at a popular mountain hut by one of the Triglav lakes – Double Lake. 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. 

Hiking and scrambling: 15 km / elevation gain + 800 m, – 1500 m / approx. 8 h

Accommodation: mountain hut in private or shared rooms 1/2, 1/4, 1/6 and 1/10 and shared washroom.

Today you’ll leave the high alpine terrain behind as you descend into the glacial valley of the biggest permanent lake in the country, Bohinj Lake

From the hut, you’ll head south and pass the last lake in the Triglav Lakes Valley – Black Lake. Continue over the steep walls of the Bohinj valley and the Komarca rock face. It is the quickest exit from the high mountain terrain within Triglav National Park.

A few steel cables, slick rocks, and many switchbacks later, you will reach the western 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. You’ll definitely crave for a nice hot shower and a proper ‘restaurant dinner’.

Hiking: 10 km / elevation drop – 1200 m / approx. 4 h

Accommodation: 3* hotel in Bled

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. You’ll have the privilege of a front-row view of nature’s finest spectacle – an explosion of colours over Lake Bled, 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, we’ll wish you farewell for now and look forward to having you back soon!

On the way to Mt. Triglav in the Julian Alps, Slovenia
Trip price: 920 EUR per person
  • Included
  • 2 nights bed & breakfast in conveniently located 3* hotels. Double or twin rooms.
  • 4 nights bed & breakfast & dinner in mountain huts. Shared or private rooms with 2-20 beds per room. Shared bathrooms.
  • Transfer from Ljubljana to the trailhead on Day 2.
  • Via ferrata gear rental (harness, self-safety device, helmet).
  • Welcome meeting over a drink in Ljubljana.
  • Personalized smartphone app with uploaded GPS tracks for navigation.
  • Detailed hiking & Via Ferrata route descriptions, maps etc.
  • Organisation, 24-hour holiday service & support.
  • Excluded
  • International flights.
  • Airport transfers to Ljubljana and from Bled.
  • Drinks.
  • Meals not specified in the itinerary.
  • Travel insurance.
  • Personal expenses.
  • Other services not specified under “Included”.
  • Extras
  • Single traveller supplement: 400 €.

FAQ

  • What are the Via Ferratas like in Slovenia? The Via Ferrata routes in the Slovenian mountains vary in length and steepness. They run along the natural passages of steep and exposed walls and are secured with iron cables, pegs and sometimes carved footsteps. They are maintained by the Slovenian Alpine Association. 
  • What is the difficulty level of the Via Ferratas on this trip? There is no difficulty estimation available for the selected Via Ferratas on this trip. They mostly correspond to A-B level on the International UIAA classification. The vertical sections are fairly short, but climbing with a heavy backpack takes its toll and you have to be really confident and comfortable on steep terrain with sheer drops.
  • Who can do it? Anyone with an excellent fitness level, previous via-ferrata experience, and love for long hiking days.
  • Do I need to have a guide? This tour is meant for experienced hikers with via ferrata experience. 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
  • What equipment do you supply? We provide your harness, lanyards and a helmet. 
  • Can I bring my own equipment?  Sure, if your equipment meets all of the UIAA standards and is of good quality and condition.
  • Do I need hiking poles? If you often use them on your hiking trips, of course. Make sure they collapse and fit in your pack while you are on the route.
  • Is there an age or weight limit? Kids must be older than 13 years of age, accompanied by an adult and confident climbing Via Ferratas.  The weight limit is set by the lanyard manufacturer.
  • How long are the Ferrata part of the trips? It varies, but up to 3 hours.
  • Can I fall? Yes, you can. Your lanyards, attached to the steel cable adjacent to the climbing route, are designed to arrest the fall and to minimize the impact of a fall. There are also many sections without any steel cables for security. Falling can be fatal.
  • Can I stop part way and turn around? Yes, you can. But going down is usually more difficult than going up. 
  • Are private guided experiences available? Sure! We have private guides available for entirely customisable experiences.
  • 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. 

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…

Some huts have normal flush toilets, running (drinking) water, others have pit toilets and no running water. You will have to buy bottled water for drinking on some days.

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. The huts provide blankets and one-time-use paper sheets. However, we highly recommend bringing a lightweight cotton sleeping liner (travel sheet), since your sleep will be more comfortable and we try to avoid making unnecessary waste and help preserve some trees.

No. You will need to carry your equipment throughout the whole hiking tour. Your main luggage will wait at your hotel for you to return from the hike.

Expect to walk 7-9 hours per day, 12 km (8 miles) and up to 1700 m (5500 ft) of elevation gain on the hardest day. You need to be in excellent shape and have quite a lot of hiking and some via ferrata scrambling experience to fully enjoy this tour.

The trails are uneven, sometimes rocky and narrow, moreover you will need to overcome several steep & some short vertical 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.

The 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.
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.

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.

Please note that occasional summer storms tend to bring lightning, thunder, rain or snow in the early afternoons, especially around the summits. Since you are attached to a steel cable while climbing the via ferrata, keep in mind to check the weather for the following day, to plan time wisely, detour or retreat as soon as possible in case of storms. 

Here, see below. 🙂

  • Sturdy high cut hiking boots
  • Long hiking pants/trousers (preferably quick drying fabric)
  • Short pants/trousers
  • Warm jacket (fleece)
  • Another long-sleeve layer
  • Rain and wind protection (lightweight rain and windproof jacket)
  • A change of clothes if you get wet
  • 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 often use them for hiking)
  • Lightweight cotton sleeping liner (travel sheet)
  • A 1.5-litre water bottle
  • A backpack to carry your equipment throughout the hiking tour
  • Swimsuit and a small quick drying towel
  • Travel insurance card/details
We require a 20% deposit to confirm your booking. The balance is to be paid 45 days before the trip. Both payments are non-refundable.

Purchasing travel insurance is recommended, as anyone can encounter unforeseen circumstances while travelling. 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.
Reserve your spot now!

Meet our trip designers

Domen Strle

Domen Strle

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 which I love and enjoy.
“We asked Miha to help us manoeuvre 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 and Jakob from Denmark
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