Slovenia: hikers’ heaven

“A walk in nature walks the soul back home.”

Few things in life clear the mind and fill the soul. There’s something about the mountains that does both. It must be why Slovenian’s are such avid hikers. And who can blame them? 

With almost 10,000 km of marked mountain trails and over 181 mountain huts, shelters and bivouacs, Slovenia is nothing short of a hiker’s heaven.

The beauty about hiking is that anyone can do it. Young or old, experienced mountaineers or amateur hikers, there’s a trail out there waiting just for you. Hundreds of them in fact. The immense network of Slovenian hiking trails spreads from the Adriatic Sea, through endless fields, vineyards, green forests, foothills, up to the vertical walls of the country’s highest Alpine peaks.

Slovenia’s main hiking areas

The Slovenian mountains are a national treasure and the most stunning to venture into are the Julian Alps. They're the home of the awesome Triglav National Park. In and around this area are Bled, Kranjska Gora, Bohinj, the Soča Valley, which are your ultimate starting points for a variety of demanding and less demanding hikes. Here you’ll find Slovenia’s highest peaks with their spectacular limestone walls, breath-taking views, waterfalls and gorges.   

Another superb hiking area are the Kamnik-Savinja Alps. Located at the northern tip of the Ljubljana Basin, this mountainous region is known for the fairy-tale herdsmen village on Velika Planina, Slovenia’s largest meadow, and the incredibly picturesque Logar Valley with its educational nature trails.   

Then there’s the rest of the country. Covered in lush forests, fields and a seemingly endless collection of hills and valleys, Slovenia is a land waiting to be explored on foot. Anywhere you go there’s a path, goat-track or country lane leading into the wild. In the southwest, the Karst plateau with the Nanos Hill and the winegrowing hills of Goriška Brda. In the northeast lies the Pohorje Massif, another hilly area with a wonderful network of hiking trails. In the southeast, Bela Krajina, with its unspoilt nature and gorgeous rivers Krka and Kolpa, is an excellent flat area for family walks and picnics.    

Group of hikers going downhill

Hut-to-hut hiking – a Slovenian tradition

It’s a superbly recommended way of exploring the mountains. Hiking from one mountain hut to another is a unique social experience you can share with you fellow hikers. Many excellent memories are created whilst on route to one of Slovenia’s 178 mountain huts. Can you think of anything more rewarding than munching down on some hot grub and downing some alpine tea while enjoying the best view ever with friends or family after a day-long hike? We didn’t think so.

This mountain activity is very popular in this part of the world, so unless you’re going on a guided tour, it’s highly advisable to book your spot in advance. If you’re visiting the mountains for longer, becoming a member of the Alpine Association of Slovenia will guarantee you discount prices on huts and services. During the summer, all huts are operational, while other times of the year the ones located higher up may be closed due to bad weather conditions.  

Huts on Velika Planina

Alpe Adria Hiking trail

This long-distance hiking trail leads from the foot of the highest mountains, through pristine river valleys, down to the sunny winegrowing areas of the Slovenian Karst Plateau. The individual stages of this 750 km hike take a whole day, but it’s undoubtedly worth going on at least one of them. You can choose between the stunning mountain passes in the north, follow the Soča River through the Trenta Valley, or walk around vineyards in the south.

The Alpe Adria trail also offers an incredible opportunity to taste some of Slovenia’s best local culinary cuisines, sip the wine(s), and explore several fantastic landmarks. You can also stop off at alpine homesteads or visit the ancient mercury mine and museum in Idria. Talk about an all-inclusive walking holiday!

Family Hiking

Slovenia’s via ferrata trails

If you’re an adventurous hiker who wants to experience the mountains dangling from a ridge without needing climbing lessons, via ferratas are you routes of choice. Slovenia offers many such trails that allow you to reach some of the most amazing peaks in the most amazing way. Among them is Mount Triglav – the national pride of every Slovene hiker.

Woman climbing the rock wall on via ferrata experience

***

Hiking the most popular activity in Slovenia. Every Slovenian hikes in some form or another. Whether it’s walking up a local hill on a Sunday morning or ascending to one of the highest peaks this side of the Alps. Join them by going on a walking holiday to Slovenia.

Because it’s more than just the panoramic views and exercise. It’s about socialising, saying hi to strangers in the woods, helping people find their way, making merry in the mountain huts, learning about the local culture… It’s about the kind of unique adventure you won’t find anywhere else.

Now stop standing around – go for a hike!

Ready for the time of your life?

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About the author
Tom Smith
Tom Smith is a content writer, translator, educator and lyricist. He is also a passionate traveller and explorer of the human condition. Tom works and lives in Ljubljana.

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Published: April 15, 2020

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We offer a wide variety of the best things to do in Slovenia, from biking, hiking, winter activities, climbing, caving, canyoning, rafting and other outdoor activities.

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