hikes in Julian Alps
With postcard-perfect alpine scenery, stunning turquoise lakes, beautiful wildflower meadows and craggy snow-capped peaks, Slovenia’s Julian Alps are a paradise for all keen hikers. This beautiful region simply oozes charm, with the perfect combination of natural and cultural attractions that keep visitors coming back again and again. Less crowded and developed than the French and Swiss Alps, the Julian Alps are the jewel in Slovenia’s crown.
The Julian Alps offer some of the best hiking in Europe, with towering peaks and lush valleys, littered with epic hiking trails. The scenery here is simply breathtaking, from the scenic Soča River to the spectacular peaks of Triglav National Park. Wherever you go, you’ll find picturesque mountain lodges, fabulous rustic food, and a warm Slovenian welcome in the towns and villages.
The natural splendor of the Julian Alps is matched by the rich culture you’ll encounter on your stay. This region of Slovenia is teeming with cultural and historic treasures, from the lively food and music festivals in the summer, to the impressive castles and caves that loom over the serene lakes, each with a story to tell. This oft-overlooked part of the Alps is quieter than neighboring Italy and Austria, but it packs a serious punch when it comes to fantastic hiking trails.
It’s time to put the Julian Alps in your hiking bucket list! We’ve put together a list of all our favorite hikes in the region, to give you a little inspiration for your next adventure.
Top 10 Hikes In Julian Alps
The Julian Alps offer fabulous diversity when it comes to hiking, with everything you’d expect from alpine terrain. Come in spring for the lush wildflower meadows, marvel at the towering peaks in summer, and gaze upon the night sky from a picturesque hut high in the mountains. If you’re a keen hiker, you’ll find plenty of stunning, challenging trails, perfect for a seriously satisfying hiking holiday. However, you don’t need to be an expert climber or an experienced hiker to enjoy these mountains. The Julian Alps are relatively small, topping out at 2864m, and there are plenty of easy, relaxing trails where you can enjoy the scenery, whatever your fitness level. What are you waiting for? This stunning region has something for everyone.
- Slemenova Špica Hike: This incredible trail is a classic short hike in the Julian Alps, with some spectacular views along the way. You’ll start from the highest mountain pass in the country, rising to a green, grassy plateau with a staggering vista across the surrounding peaks and high walls of Mount Mojstrovka. This is one of the best easy hikes in the Julian Alps.
- The Path of the Pagan Girl Hike: This short trail is one of the most enigmatic trails in the Vršič pass area. You’ll follow the story of a legendary pagan girl who was cursed by her sisters and turned to stone. This beautiful path will take you to a viewpoint where you can see the face of the girl etched into the north face of Mount Prisank. This is one of our favorite family hikes in the Julian Alps.
- Debela Peč Hike: This fun trail offers magnificent views and diverse scenery along the way, making it one of our favorite hikes in the Julian Alps. The path climbs through a pleasant spruce forest, and rises up to a grassy plateau. The trail becomes increasingly steep, but as the views open up they will take your breath away! Make sure to stop for lunch on the descent at the lovely Blejska hut, which serves up delicious local specialties.
- Mount Tosc Hike: This challenging day hike will take you up the slopes of Mount Tosc, passing by Pokljuka’s beautiful lush forests. You’ll experience the best of Slovenia’s scenery, with atmospheric forests, high plateaus, and rocky mountain peaks. From the summit you’ll have a breathtaking view of the southern slopes of Mount Triglav. This is one of the best challenging hikes in the Julian Alps.
- Vogel and Rodica Hike: Vogel Ski resort is one of the most popular destinations in the Julian Alps, and even outside the ski season it’s well worth a visit. This hike will take you all the way to Mount Rodica – a steep trek that comes with a special reward! From the summit you’ll have a magnificent view, taking in the whole of the Julian Alps on one side, and stretching all the way to the Adriatic Sea on the other. This wonderful route is one of the best hikes in the Julian Alps.
- Kredarica Hike: This long trek will take you all the way to Slovenia’s highest mountain hut, with a close-up view of the magnificent peak of Mount Triglav. The hike begins deep in the meadows of the Krma Valley, and the trail climbs steeply through pine groves before rising above the treeline. When you finally reach the hut you’ll be rewarded with stellar views over the Mount Triglav and the Julian Alps.
- The Battlefield of Mount Krn Hike: This hike offers the perfect combination of fascinating history and gorgeous alpine views, passing through the site of an important battle during the First World War. It’s a long, strenuous hike, but you’ll get the chance to see some of the best scenery in the entire Julian Alps, including serene mountain lakes, rolling meadows, and incredible mountain views. This is one of our favorite challenging hikes in the Julian Alps.
- The Valley of the Seven Lakes Hike: This magnificent hike will take you to the most popular area of the Julian Alps, and you’ll soon understand why visitors keep coming back! This strenuous route will take you through some remarkably diverse scenery, featuring glittering lakes, craggy ridges, picturesque mountain huts and stellar views over the surrounding mountains. It’s a long day out, but worth every little bit of effort.
- Komna and Lanževica Hike: This fantastic day hike will delight your senses, as you hike through fragrant pine forests to one of the best panoramic spots in the Julian Alps. You’ll walk along old mule tracks, past tumbling waterfalls and historic World War I remains, before reaching the summit of Mount Lanževica. The views from here are fantastic, so try and pick a clear day for your hike so you can enjoy them to the maximum.
- Bohinj Pastures Route Hike: This is a hike for cheese lovers – the Bohinj Pastures Route will take you to six historic Slovenian farms that are famous for their cheese and dairy products. Some are still in business and make a lovely place for a mid-hike snack. This is a long but very pleasant route, passing by peaceful shepherd’s huts, picturesque alpine villages and lush, beautiful scenery. The best time to complete this hike is in autumn, when the larches turn yellow and the forests come alive.
When Is The Best Time To Hike In Julian Alps?
The hiking season in the Julian Alps runs from May to early October, although sometimes the trails can stay open until November if the snows are late. Spring is a particularly lovely time of year to visit, as the wild flowers are in bloom and the hills are lush and green. The summer months can get very busy, so we think that September is the best time to hike in the Julian Alps, when the forests are glowing with autumn colors, making for simply spectacular views on every hike.
It’s also worth checking for local festivals, as this can be a wonderful way to experience Slovenian culture and hospitality. The International Wildflower Festival takes place in May, and is a must for all keen botanists. July is a bumper month for festivals in Bled Lake, with two important events taking place: Festival Bled and Bled Days. Don’t miss the Cow’s Ball in Lake Bohinj in mid-September, when the locals celebrate the return of the cows from their high pasture with a fantastic event featuring music, dancing, food, and of course, plenty of cheese!
Other Outdoor Activities In Julian Alps
Hiking is one of the most popular activities in the Julian Alps, and you’ll find hiking and backpacking trails to suit all tastes and levels of experience. However, if you’re a fan of outdoor adventures, you’ll find plenty of other outdoor activities in the Julian Alps! With kayaking, rafting, caving, canyoning, mountain biking and rock climbing all on offer, there’s lots here to keep you busy during your vacation. In winter you’ll also find a handful of ski resorts that offer downhill skiing, snowboarding and snowshoeing, as well as lots of possibilities for winter hikes.
How To Plan A Trip To Julian Alps
Planning a trip to the Julian Alps is easier than you might expect! This beautiful part of Europe is fast becoming one of the most popular hiking destinations in the Alps, and you can expect a warm welcome from the local population. To help you get started, we’ve put together the ultimate guide to planning a trip to the Julian Alps, complete with insider tips on where to stay, where to eat, and all the best hiking trails across the region. Happy hiking!
Frequently-Asked-Questions About Julian Alps
Where are the Julian Alps?
The Julian Alps form part of the Southern Alps, stretch from northeastern Italy all the way to northwest Slovenia. The range covers 4,400 square kilometers, rising to a height of 2864m above sea level at the peak of Mount Triglav, Slovenia’s highest mountain.
Why are they called the Julian Alps?
The Julian Alps are named after the infamous Roman ruler Julius Caesar. He is thought to have begun construction on a road through the Alps, which was later completed by his successor, the Emperor Augustus.
How hard is it to climb Mount Triglav?
The ascent of Mount Triglav is considered to be an intermediate-level route, and isn’t too technical. However, you will need some experience and there are some steep and exposed sections that require the use of a rope or the via ferrata (depending on the route you choose). If you are an experienced and well-equipped climber, it’s possible to climb Mount Triglav without a guide, but if you’d like some extra support, there are plenty of local guides who will be to help you climb to the top of Slovenia’s highest peak.
What is the Slovenian Mountain Trail?
The Slovenian Mountain Trail is one of the most popular long distance hiking trails in Slovenia, beginning in Maribor, and passing across the Pohorje Hills, the Kamnik, Savinja and Karavanke Alps, before reaching the Julian Alps and passing to the Adriatic coast. The total length of the trail is 385.3mi, and can be walked in 28 days.
The best hikes in Julian Alps
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