view from the path to the peak Debela pec.

Enjoy summer hiking in Slovenia

Hiking is something we Slovenians have very strong feelings about. Either we love it or we hate it. There is no ‘’in between’’. And is getting more and more popular among tourists as well. More and more people want to go hiking to Slovenia.

foggy Bohinj valley from Komarča cliff, hiking Slovenian mountains

Looking down to the foggy Bohinj valley from Komarča cliff, early in the morning.

Don’t give mountain rescue teams extra work

This might be one of the reasons, that last weekend it was really tough for brave guys from mountain rescue teams. Local newspapers are full of hiking newbies, who, for example, go on a 12-hour long hike without water. And, of course, nice people from flatter countries, who forget that walking on 0 m above sea level is warmer than doing the same thing 2000 m up. It can get very cold very fast, and it will get even colder at night. Even in August.

The monument to the mountain rescue team members, who lost their lives during the helicopter rescue exercise in 1997.

The monument to the mountain rescue team members, who lost their lives during the helicopter rescue exercise in 1997.

Where can I hike?

According to there are more than 7000 km of different trails. And they recommend getting a live human guide. Which is a good idea. There is also a company, which will charge you a crazy amount of money to print you a map of Julian Alps and drive your luggage around while you go to a self-guided tour and sleep in the mountain huts. There are maps and detailed trail descriptions online, but If you are not in a top shape it is probably not good idea to go alone.


Sleeping and insurance part

Getting an empty bed can be a problem, if you don’t reserve in advance. So here is a useful list of mountain huts in Slovenia and in few other countries. And it is a good idea to check the news in Alpine association of Slovenia’s page. As with almost every sport, there are memberships and insurances, but if you are a member of Alpine association in your country, chances are, they have a contract with Slovenian Mountain association. If my friends had read this list one week ago, they would have saved a lot of money. And if you are from New Zealand Alpine Club and hiking in Slovenia, yes, you would save too.

Is there any food on the mountain peaks?

Usually, there is not much on the peak. A sign or a cross on the highest point, a book, where you should write where you came from and where are you planning to descent to. In the case of …. You know. But there are plenty of mountain huts, where you can buy traditional Slovenian food and drinks. In the summer. In other seasons, they might be open only at weekends or not at all. Check in advance. If you prefer pizza, well, you have a problem.

A mug of soured milk from Kofce hut. It tastes best paired with Buckwheat Žganci dish.

A mug of soured milk from Kofce hut (1488 m). It tastes best paired with Buckwheat Žganci dish.

Slovenia has hills of all shapes and sizes

If you are not in shape at all, and in Ljubljana, you can enjoy the view from the castle. Mini-hike from the old centre to the castle hill or a very short ride with the funicular railway. A bit more walking is required to go to the top of Golovec from Tivoli Park. There is a church and a big restaurant on top, with Wi-Fi for people who don’t want their bosses to notice they are not in the office.

Two girls getting their lunch from restaurant at Smarna gora.

Locals often use the short hike to Smarna gora to show off their new hiking gear or to enjoy nice lunch on the top.

During sunny weekends, the most popular destinations in the area is Šmarna gora, 668m. A place for hikers to train for real mountains, for local show–offs who want all town to see their new hiking shoes and backpacks, for families, who bribe their kids with sweets from the restaurant on top to persuade them to like hiking. It’s a dream come true for everyone who likes the nice view, good food and lots of people.

There are also mountains up to 2,864m

The highest Slovenian mountain is Triglav, located in Triglav national park and a part of Julian Alps. I went to the top once, which is enough for me.
I guess my favourite hike in the last days was the one from Logarska dolina (Logar Valley) to Dom na Okrešlju (1396 m). Not too much walking, stunning view from the cottage, and the path was steep enough to discourage those not so fit. And we saw the Rinka waterfall on the way.

Hikers drying their sweaty T-shirts in front of the Okrešelj hut

Hikers drying their sweaty T-shirts in front of the Okrešelj hut.

A few days before that my friends went on three days long hike in Triglav national park, hiking Slovenia from peak to peak, mountain hut to mountain hut. Since I spend to much time seating down, I joined them on day two. And I got to enjoy the company and sunshine at the 7 Triglav Lakes hut for an hour while waiting for them to come from the other direction. After a three and a half hour hike to the first stop and hiking for the next five hours, I came back to my car in the valley dog tired.

Benefits of hiking in Slovenia in Avgust

After 3,5 hours hike, I arrived at the 7 lakes hut next to the lake.

After 3,5 hours hike, I arrived at the 7 lakes hut next to the lake.

There is not much serenity and options for a quiet contemplation to be found on the majestic mountain peaks during high tourist season. But we still had a great time outdoors, we enjoyed a few breath-taking views and the typical mountain hut cuisine. It was a lot colder up there than in the overheated city. And I believe I lost a few grams of fat while hiking in Slovenia, so consequently I am now typing on my laptop more energetically. Hence the extra-long post.

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Posted in Budget, Europe, Travel smart.
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