The Adventurer's Guide
Slovenia's New Julian Alps Trail You Need to Know About
Holding titles as both the World’s Most Sustainable Country and Europe’s Greenest Capital, it’s no wonder Slovenia is an outdoor lover’s paradise. And now, with a new Julian Alps trail on the horizon, there’s even more to love. Whether you’re a casual day hiker or seasoned trekker, the new hiking route boasts a 300-kilometer network of trails and has something for everyone — from high peaks and waterfalls, to authentic villages and culture. Here are four reasons to add this new trail (or parts of it) to your Slovenia itinerary.
1. It traverses Triglav Mountain, Slovenia’s highest mountain and the tallest peak in the Julian Alps. This majestic mountain holds a special place in the nation’s heart; you’ll see it depicted on Slovenia’s Coat of Arms, and hiking it is considered a rite of passage for young Slovenians. Prepare to spend an average of two days to summit the 2,864 meters that make up this section. If you’re short on time, Triglav Mountain is a great choice.
2. You’ll pass the Soca River, where the emerald and turquoise waters will delight you. This section skirts waterfalls, gorges, and natural swimming pools for those days you really need to cool off. Many of the trails around Soca were used during WWI, so history buffs can experience the significance of this area first-hand. You’ll also cross Boka Waterfall; with it’s 348-foot descent, it’s one of Slovenia’s mightiest. If you need a break from hiking, other outdoor activities include white-water rafting, canyoning, ziplining, and (of course) fly fishing for the famous Soca trout.
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3. You’ll experience the flare of local culture — this hike is not short on villages for those who love an authentic, off-the-beaten-path vibe. Discover quaint farming towns with tranquil mountain backdrops, signature European red roofs, Medieval churches, and hidden mountain huts along the way. Some noteworthy towns you’ll pass during your hike include:
- Kranjska Gora — A ski resort town that annually hosts world cup skiing and ski-jumping events. You can also find the beautiful Lake Jasna, as well as the Tromeja (or, Triple Border), which connects Slovenia, Italy, and Austria. For the kids, a Fairytale land awaits, featuring a Land of Dwarves as well as Seven Triglav fairytales.
- Stara Fužina — No trip to Slovenia is complete without visiting Lake Bohinj and the remote town of Stara Fužina. Located on the eastern edge of the lake, it offers the perfect photo op to capture the picturesque church of St. John the Baptist. If you want to find out more about the incredible Bohinj region, check out this article!
- Bovec — In the upper Soca River region, bordering Italy, this stunning mountain town gives access to Kluze Fortress. The Fortress was originally erected in defense against invading Turks, and more recently used as a filming location for the Chronicles of Narnia. Bovec is located along The Walk of Peace, a 230-kilometer trail that stretches from the Alps to the Adriatic, and commemorates the bloody Isonzo Front of WWI.
So, the only question left is: Where will you begin your journey? The new trail officially opens September 2019. In the meantime, if you’re looking for a rigorous long-distance pilgrimage this summer, check out the 600-kilometer Slovenian Mountain Trail. For more on routes, the Slovenian Tourist Board offers a fantastic online resource for Hiking and Biking in Slovenia. And to all you cyclists out there — do not fret, you’re up next! Plans to integrate cycling trails on The Julian Alps Hiking Trail are underway.
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