Trek Notes - Slovenia

Julian Alps

Julian Alps

General Information
“Europe in miniature” and the “Green Treasure of Europe” are some of the expressions used to describe one of the most beautiful alpine regions in Europe. Situated between Austria, Italy, Hungary and Croatia the small but diverse country of Slovenia has an abundance of breathtaking scenery none more so than the mountain ranges of the Julian Alps, and the Karavanke Range. Slovenia is a walker’s paradise with open colourful meadows, deep valleys, cascading waterfalls and towering peaks, where alpine trails take you into the very heart of the mountains and the Triglav National Park. Lake Bled, with its medieval castle overlooking the emerald green lake and small teardrop shaped island, was a summer retreat for past Yugoslavian royal families and still enchants everyone with its natural beauty. We also take time to visit the beautiful capital of Ljubljana and the amazing underground world of Skocjan.

Travel Information
Joining the tour
It is important that you join the tour in Lake Bled on day 1 of the itinerary during the afternoon. Please check-in at the main reception of the Grand Hotel Toplice and then you will be shown to your accommodation.
Health requirements There are no compulsory vaccinations necessary for entry into Slovenia. Please check with your medical professional for recommended immunisations before you travel.
Equipment and clothing
Day pack/rucksack (minimum 30 litres)
Light clothes for day wear around Bled and Ljubljana
Lightweight walking trousers/shorts
Warmer clothes/fleece for colder days, evenings and trekking
Lightweight waterproof jacket
Sturdy walking boots
Trainers/lightweight trekking shoes for evenings in the mountain hostels
Sleeping bag liner
Water bottle (min 1 litre)
Swimming costume
Camera and film
Sun hat/glasses/cream
Small personal first aid kit
Money It is best to bring your spending money in British Pounds, Euros or US Dollars cash, Cash Passport or travellers cheques. Cash and travellers cheques can be changed in Lake Bled either in banks, private exchange bureaus or in the hotel. Credit cards (VISA or Master Card) can be used around Bled in restaurants and shops etc; there is also an ATM for the withdrawing of cash in Bled.

Tour Style
While walking in the Karavanke Mountain Range and trekking in the Julian Alps, accommodation is in mountain huts/hostels. Constructed in a traditional way in order to enhance the country’s natural beauty, they are functional and certainly not as basic as many mountain huts. The accommodation is dormitory style and full bedding is provided (just bring a sleeping bag liner), all dinners andbreakfasts are provided too, and they all have basic washing facilities. While trekking in the Julian Alps on days 5-7, light backpacking is necessary as we will not be able to transfer your main luggage to the hostels. You will not need to carry bedding or food so you should be able to keep your backpack light. While in Lake Bled accommodation is en-suite in twin rooms on a bed and breakfast basis. A fully qualified English speaking mountain guide with a mountaineering license will accompany the tour throughout. Transport in private vehicles is provided.

DAY 1. The tour begins with a transfer from Ljubljana airport to Lake Bled. The towering peaks of the Karavanke Mountain Range surround this beautiful town, while in the distance we can see the Julian Alps. The hotel that we use in Bled is situated opposite the emerald lake itself and near the compact centre where there are traditional restaurants serving wonderful food in a warm atmosphere and local bars where you can sit and sample their excellent wine or schnapps.
DAY 2.
Veliki Vrh and Kofce (7 hours)
A short drive takes us to the base of the mighty Karavanke Mountains, the natural border between Slovenia and Austria. We start our day walking at Matizovec (1100m) and walk through a richly forested area with alpine flora and fauna. As we reach Kofce Hut we are rewarded with a magnificent view of the Karavanke Mountains and the Kamnik Alps, in the distance are the Julian Alps and Mt Triglav (2864m). We continue up to Veliki Vrh (High Peak-2088m), Kofce Gora (1967m) and Kladivo (2094m). On the border between Slovenia and Austria the views are astounding, around us are the Austrian Alps with Grossglocker, the three Slovenian mountain ranges, and also the towns of Ljubljana and Kranj in the valleys below.
DAY 3. Begunjscica (7 hours)
From Ljubelj (1058m) we make our way up and around the mountain of Begunjscica (2060m), below us our gaze settles on the stunning valley of St Ana. We pass through the mysterious Barons Tunnels (150m), built for passage in ancient times through the mountain, bringing us from the north to the south facing side. As we pass an abundance of wild flowers only to be found in this area, we can also admire the panorama from Roblekov Hut (1657m). Walking up natural mountain trails we can see Lake Bled and the Julian Alps in the distance while, towering closer is Mt Stol (2236m) the highest mountain in the Karavanke Range. We finish back on the north side where the steep north faces tower above us, having made a complete circle around the mountain.
DAY 4. Lake Bled
A delightful town, with its medieval castle and small island of St Maria in the centre of the emerald lake, make this a great place to spend the day at leisure. Wooden pletna boats are available to gently row you across to the island with its picturesque church. Bled’s castle, with its museum and spectacular location, offers one of the most stunning views of the lake and its surroundingmountains. A great option for the afternoon would be the leisurely walk to the beautiful Vintgar Gorge, where wooden walkways lead you along the crystal clear Radovna River passed rapids, whirlpools and waterfalls.
DAY 5. The Julian Alps (6 hours)
A short drive takes us to the Julian Alps and the Triglav National Park, an area of outstanding beauty and also home to the tranquil lake of Bohinj, the largest Glacier Lake in Slovenia. Our day starts at Stara Fuzina (546m) and ascends slowly up to the mountain meadows around Vogar (1054m). With a panorama of stunning mountains above us and Lake Bohinj below us, the scenery unfolding before us is breathtaking. The trail climbs gradually as we pass open pastures and small wooded shepherd’s huts. Our first night is spent at the beginning of the Triglav Lakes Valley (1685m) in a mountain hostel.
DAY 6. Triglav Lakes (7 hours)
The source of Lake Bohinj is seven magical lakes coloured like jewels and strung across a high valley. Each lake has its own individual colour, ranging from turquoise to black. As we walk along this enchanting valley we are offered an overwhelming panorama of the Julian Alps and a 1400m vista down into the beautiful Trent Valley. Dominating the Triglav Lakes Valley is Mt Triglav itself, Triglav’s North Face is the dream of every Slovenian mountaineer, and it stands surrounded by a
host of other impressive peaks such Razor (2601m), Krn (2244m), Mangart (2677m) and Kanin (2587m). We cross the Hribarice Pass at 2300m before descending into the Velska Valley to Vodnikov Hostel, where we will spend the night.
DAY 7. The Pokljuka Plateau (6 hours)
After breakfast we make our way over the Studorski Pass (1892m) towards Pokljuka Plateau. As we see the plateau from afar it’s easy to see why Slovenia is known as the “Green Treasure of Europe” this densely forested area is rich in alpine flowers and the roaming cows and mountain sheep give it its tranquil feel. After reaching Lipanca (1630m), our final trekking destination, it is only a short drive back down to Lake Bled.
DAY 8. Ljubljana and Skocjan Caves
The morning is spent in the capital of Slovenia, a compact but colourful city. Pavement cafes alongside the river give Ljubljana a relaxed and open feel, with the castle dominating the city and offering superb views of the surrounding area. The mix of architecture, blending ancient and modern, coupled with the beautiful bridges across the river, gives Ljubljana a warm cosmopolitan feel. Later we travel to the Skojcan caves. These caves are considered by many to be some of the finest in the world, boasting the 1400m long and 150m deep underground canyon of the Reka River. The caves are on the UNESCO list of natural and cultural world heritage sites.
DAY 9. Tour ends after breakfast with a transfer to Ljubljana airport.


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