Slovenia is a prime hiking destination. Finding the best hikes in Slovenia is crucial in planning an unforgettable walking holiday. The country’s plains, pastures, gorges, valleys, and mountains, all have one thing in common: they’re green, unspoiled, and very diverse.
Hiking in Slovenia is in the locals’ blood. Virtually everyone hits the trails on a regular basis. The good news is that Slovenia’s population is small and there are almost 10,000 hiking trails to venture on, so it doesn’t get too crowded. Especially if you visit in spring or autumn. And when you do meet a fellow hiker, remember to say hi or “zdravo”– the hiker’s etiquette demands it.
The possibilities are endless, but here’s a quick hiker’s guide to help you make the best of your holiday in the Slovenian mountains, find the best day hikes in Slovenia and other awesome locations.
For some useful hiking rules and tips, check out the blog article Slovenian Mountains: tips and tricks and to help you choose the right time to visit, check our post about seasons.
Family-friendly hiking in Slovenia
When on a family holiday to Slovenia, you should definitely reserve a day or two for hiking. Below are some of the most popular family hiking trails you’d want to consider. There are numerous benefits of outdoor activities for your children.
Hiking across the Velika Planina Plateau and through the Logar Valley
Those are two of the best day hikes in Slovenia. Walking across Velika Planina, Slovenia’s largest pasture plateau, is a bit like venturing into the land of Hobbits. Only that it’s actually a realm of unique herders’ settlements. Located in the Kamnik-Savinja Alps, this mountain plateau has a lovely path across mostly flat terrain lined with idyllic meadows. Those looking for a shortcut can always hop on a cable car in Kamniška Bistrica. Oh, and do try the local sour milk, a herdsman’s specialty.
The path leading through the Logar Valley is only 7 km long but has a phenomenally scenic and educational trail. The three-hour hike through pastures and forests leads you to the Rinka Waterfall, the second-highest waterfall in Slovenia. The Logar Valley is also an excellent starting point for more demanding hikes onto one of the surrounding mountains.
Hiking at or near lakes Bled and Bohinj
Walking around both of these lakes is a magical experience. And so is exploring their surrounding areas. Near Lake Bled, Mala and Velika Osojnica are lovely short hikes with a surreal panorama of the lake. Hiking up to Ojstrica and the ecologically protected Jelovica is just as thrilling for kids and parents alike. Vintgar Gorge, carved amidst splendid vertical walls, is another famous destination for family hikers that ends with a pretty waterfall.
Speaking of waterfalls… Taking a hike around Lake Bohinj can also lead you to the famous Savica waterfall. When in the neighborhood, and if time permits, you should also check out the Soča trail or the Pokljuka plateau. The first takes all day, the second affords relaxing strolls and doubles as a great starting point for more demanding hikes.
Going on a hiking excursion into the Slovenian mountains is a fantastic idea. Family time, a trip with a pack of friends, couples, solo, or combining the whole lot, a place you simply must hike in are the Julian Alps.
Best hiking in Slovenia around Julian Alps
The mighty peaks of the Julian Alps are not just incredible to look at, ascending to the top is a wonderfully fulfilling experience as well. The hiking trails to mountains such as Slemenova špica, Debela peč, or Mount Krn are lined with natural phenomena so stunning you’d think you’re in an alpine fairy-tale. Landscapes vary and are suitable for any type of hiker. The Triglav National Park, which covers most of this part of the Alps, is home to memorizing valleys, crystal-clear rivers, glacial lakes, and traditional alpine homesteads you shouldn’t miss visiting.
Longer hikes in the Julian Alps include the Soča Valley and the Triglav Lakes. They’re unimaginably rewarding and not too demanding. As is traveling across the numerous pastures high above Lake Bohinj, which gives you an entirely different perspective of this idyllic glacial lake. If you’re after more demanding hikes, Kredarica or even further up to Slovenia’s symbol, mount Triglav, are splendid, with some vertigo-inducing and adrenaline-pumping via ferratas…
Alpe Adria Trail: a walk down Slovenia’s unique diversity
The Alpe Adria Trail is a unique route that runs from the Alps down to the Adriatic. It’s a whacking 750 km hike that takes you through Slovenia’s jaw-dropping landscapes. See the countryside change before your eyes. From the very heart of the Alps to the bora battered Karst and the wine-growing country, this trail is diverse in every single way. You’ll cross a stunning mountain pass in the north, then follow the Soča River through the Trenta Valley and walk around winding vineyards in the south.
This picturesque alpine trail lets you experience the true meaning of Slovenia’s geographical and cultural diversity. It combines hikes of varying difficulty, featuring walks along mountain ridges, hut-to-hut hiking, valleys, lakesides, stopping off at remote villages, while tasting the food and culture as you go. Yes, it’s as incredible as it sounds. Probably more so.
Slovenian lowlands: hiking amidst primeval forests, birches and marshes
Slovenia doesn’t only have mountains. The whole country is crisscrossed with hiking trails. Even the capital city of Ljubljana, where you can visit the protected nature park area called Ljubljana Moors. It’s where thousands of years ago people lived in pile dwellings. These marshlands are now a wonderful UNESCO site.
Speaking of ancient stuff, the Kočevski Rog primeval forest is another woodland marvel worth checking out. The Rog hiking trail through this peaceful forested place provides you with several days of forest exploration. You can stop off at Željne Caves, 20,000-year-old caveman dwellings. The trail is conveniently marked by bear paws, as these woods are bear country. Don’t worry, they don’t like humans, but you can always reserve a day on your Slovenia trip to go bear watching.
Another lowland Slovenian classic is Bela Krajina. 25 marked hiking trails through one of Slovenia’s prettiest rural areas are perfect for lovers of nice views and delicious local specialties. Wine being at the very top. You can hike along the lovely Kolpa river (bordering Croatia) and enjoy the area’s typical birch forests (thus the name: White Carniola). The Lahinja Nature Park is cool during the summer, as is participating in autumn vineyard hikes.
Short or long, steep or flat, along river valleys, up mountain slopes, through forests or meadows, around lakes, among vineyards… Slovenia has any hiking trail your heart and feet desire.
With a guide or in a self-guided version. Put on your hiking gear and a smile, the rest is already waiting!