Amazing Off-Season Walking Trip in South-Western Slovenia
LJUBLJANA · VIPAVA VALLEY · KARST · SKOCJAN CAVES · SLOVENIA ISTRIA · PIRAN
Discover the undiscovered! Hike the hidden trails of south-western Slovenia, starting with the mighty Mt. Nanos and a long descent to the fertile Vipava valley. Explore small traditional villages and sample the excellent local wines of Pinela and Zelen. Continue to the limestone plateau of Karst, discover the village of Stanjel and dig into mouth-watering culinary delicacies: first-class prosciutto accompanied by hearty Teran wine. The Unesco heritage Skocjan caves are a must-see before we transfer you closer to the Adriatic coast. You will walk the Slovenian part of the Istrian peninsula, explore its wine hills, olive groves, traditional villages, and the untouched pebble beaches of Strunjan nature park. The lovely coastal trail will bring you all the way to the charming Venetian town of Piran. What a way to finish this amazing walking journey!
Day 1: Welcome to Ljubljana
Welcome to beautiful Slovenia! Start your adventure by discovering one of the cutest European capitals – the lovely city of Ljubljana. Walk the river banks, explore the medieval old town, stretch your legs in the immediate green surroundings of the castle hill or the vast Tivoli park, and enjoy a cosy evening on of the lively terraces.
Overnight: centrally located 3* hotel in Ljubljana
Day 2: Nanos to Vipava valley
We will pick you up after breakfast and transfer an hour and half south-west. All the way to the summit of the mighty Nanos mountain. You will start hiking with an amazing view across Vipava valley and the Karst plateau for a perfect overview of your upcoming stages. The first day is super scenic and has a long but gradual descent along Nanos’ western ridge. You will finish the day in the fertile Vipava valley and reserve the evening for sampling excellent local whites of Pinela & Zelen.
Hiking: 16 km / elevation +70 m, -1200 m / approx. 6 hours
Overnight: lovely family run B&B in Vipava valley
Day 3: Vipava valley to Karst (Stanjel)
Today’s beautiful stage will take you through endless vineyards and small traditional villages. Leave Vipava valley behind and walk the beautiful wine hills towards the limestone Karst plateau. A mix of sunny vineyards and shady forests will bring you to the village of Stanjel – one of the oldest and best-preserved settlements on Karst. Definitely the cutest place for some downtime and tasty local lunch. Your beautiful hotel is located about 1.5 km out of town, nestled between lavender fields and vineyards.
Hiking: 15 km / elevation +500 m, -300 m / approx. 5 hours
Overnight: Lovely bio hotel near the town of Stanjel
Day 4: Across the Karst plateau
Time to cross the mysterious Karst plateau. This is the land of porous limestone where the water disappears underground, dissolves & deposits limestone and creates incredible rock formations above and below the ground. The whole stage is fairly flat and you will walk through tranquil forests, picturesque vineyards, and small Karst villages where you’ll chat with friendly locals and sample the excellent cured meats and of course Teran wine.
Hiking: 16 km / elevation +260 m, -230 m / approx. 4.5 hours
Overnight: Small B&B on Karst
Day 5: Skocjan caves and Slovenian Istria
We will start the day with a 25-min transfer to the Unesco heritage Skocjan caves. You will take a 2-hour guided tour through one of the biggest underground canyons in the world. A simply fascinating experience and an amazing display of nature’s power. From Skocjan caves we transfer again (40min) to the lovely hills of Slovenian Istria. Enjoy the smells of the Adriatic Sea and continue your walking adventure through lonely hilltop villages, olive groves, and vineyards of Refosco & Malvazija. Do you like truffles? Our cheerful truffle hunter will be happy to present her dogs, explain (almost) all secrets of truffle hunting, and cook a delicious local pasta with truffles!
Hiking: 15 km / elevation +440 m, -490 m / approx. 6 hours
Overnight: Small B&B in Slovenian Istria
Day 6: Along the coast to Piran
We have saved one of the most difficult stages for the end. You will head west and slowly approach the Adriatic Sea. Walk the most beautiful section of Slovenian coastline at Strunjan nature park, marvel at the high flysch cliffs above the shore, and have a swim in the calm Adriatic Sea. Cute trails and the smell of Adriatic pine trees will accompany you all the way to the cutest town on the Slovenian coast – Piran. You are here! You have done it! Time for a well-deserved sea-food dinner at our favorite restaurant in Piran. Watch the sun plunge into the Adriatic Sea and relive the experiences of this amazing walking journey.
Hiking: 20 km / elevation +400 m, -600 m / approx. 6-7 hours
Overnight: small hotel of 4* standard in the center of Piran
Day 7: Piran and departure
Have an easy breakfast at your cute hotel, explore the streets and squares of this beautiful town and have your final swim in the Adriatic Sea. This self-guided tour finishes in Piran. Let us know what your plans are and we’ll be happy to organize your outbound transfer.
- 6 nights with breakfast in nicely located and comfortable 3* hotels or family-run B&B’s. Double or twin room with ensuite bathroom.
- All transfers according to the itinerary from Ljubljana until Piran.
- All luggage transfers between stages.
- Skocjan caves entrance fee.
- Personalized smartphone app with uploaded GPS tracks for easy independent navigation.
- Detailed hiking descriptions, maps etc.
- Information pack about other local sights, restaurants, activities.
- Organisation, 24-hour holiday service & support.
- Arriving to Ljubljana and departure from Piran.
- Drinks, lunches & dinners.
- Travel insurance.
- Personal expenses.
- Other services not specified in the Inclusions.
- Single traveler supplement: 600 €
Activity Level 3 – MODERATE hiking
Expect to walk about 5-6 hours per day within a distance of 15-20 km (9-13 miles). Almost all stages have several daily ascents and descents, none of them extremely long. The first hiking day, however, has a long but gradual descent of 1200 m (4000 ft). Most of the time the trails are easy and well crafted, there are also some sections on low-traffic local asphalt roads.
A reasonable fitness level is 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.
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 sections with loose rocks and gravel. There is a fair amount of sun exposure, that is why we recommend this tour for Spring (April to June) or Fall (September, October).
In summer (from late June to early September) the weather is usually hot, with temperatures above 30 deg C (90 deg F). We feel it is too hot for walking. That is why we recommend doing this trip in Spring (April to June) or Fall (September – October). The temperatures at this time of the year can be anywhere between 15 and 30 deg C (60-90 deg F). It can get windy or rainy at any time of the year. The region where you will be hiking has the mildest climate in Slovenia, which makes hiking very pleasant even in March & April or October & November.
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. Twice you sleep in nice and cozy local B&B’s of 3* category.
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.
“I experienced an incredible Slovenian adventure with Slotrips.
Miha is a fabulous, knowledgeable guide; taking us on unique, well-planned adventures each day. Enjoyed it all from the breathtaking alpine scenery, waterfalls, unique caves, river rafting, stunning limestone peaks, delightful vintners, gorgeous gorges, and charming Ljubljana. The highlights were the treks in this hiker’s paradise. A perfect trip, can’t wait to take another adventure with the Slotrips group.”
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”.