Trek Notes - Slovenia

Walking in Slovenia, Lakes, Mountains, Rivers and Caves

Slovenia: Forests, Hills & a Class A Hike

The Republic of Slovenia lies at the heart of Europe, where the Alps and the Mediterranean meet the Pannonian plains and the mysterious karst limestone landscapes around the Julian Alps. If you have been walking in the Alps or Pyrenees before, this region of great natural beauty will make a refreshing change from what you are used to. This compact escorted drive -trek encompasses a great range of naturally beautiful areas including Lake Bled and the seven Triglav Lakes. There are also possible ascents of a couple of attractive peaks, such as Ticarica (2071 m) and Mount Krn (2182m).

Slovenia sits at a cultural crossroads:to the north is Austria; to the east, Hungary; to the south, Croatia; and to the west, Italy. Maybe because of this, the nation has always been a place of high artistic achievement, which has to a degree compensated until recently at least, for the lack of its own state and political institutions. With the break up of the former Yugoslavia and with its entry into the European Union, Slovenia is directed towards development and a market economy and will become an increasingly attractive alpine alternative for walkers.Through images of the Alps, the Adriatic, karst and the plain, Slovenia can be recognised by the varied landscapes of its regions, which are all accessible to the visitor in a single day! You can experience a morning swim in the Adriatic, followed by a hike below Alpine peaks, then disappear into subterranean cave complexes, have an encounter with history in a lively mediaeval city and not far away, a more solitary stroll through primeval forests or undulating, wine growing hills.

This is a grade ‘C’ trek. This can be fairly strenuous at times, involving some steep ascents and descents on some rough trails. There is mountain walking involved. Nevertheless,anyone used to hill walking should find the tour within his or her capability. There is some driving involved to see the various features of this tour, especially on days 5 and 7.

Day Stages: The duration of walk­ing per day varies. You will normally be able to spend up to 2.5 -7 hours happily walking each day. Some days may have optional activities you might want to try. In this case please make sure that you are covered by your insurance.

The following itinerary is intended as a working guide only and is subject to variation as a result of local factors, weather conditions and group progress.

We reserve the right to alter (shorten or lengthen) any day stage should local conditions make it necessary.

Day 1 – Arrival in Ljubljana. Depart London, arrive Ljubljana.You will be transferred from the airport to your hotel (25 km) and then taken into the center of town where your guide for the week will give you a briefing. Then you are free to enjoy splendid views from Ljubljana castle and catch a glimpse of the sleeping dragon guarding the Slovenian capital. Quaint, narrow streets along the left bank of the Ljubljanica River, with its medieval bridges, are reminiscent of Prague - without the crowds. Climb up to Ljubljana castle, grab fresh fruit from the market and relax in one of the terrace bars near the riverbank.Our usual hotel is only ten minutes from the center of this tiny capital.

Day 2 – Bled - Pokljuka - Bohinj. Sit on the soft grass and enjoy breathtaking views of Julian Alps!

After breakfast we head to Gorenjska region. Our first stop is at Bled (55 km drive) the most picturesque lake in Slovenia. We continue to the Pokljuka plateau where our aim is to ascend one of 2000+ m high peaks close to Slovenia's highest mountain, Mount Triglav (2864m). The top of Debela Pec with its carpets of green grass and breathtaking views of Julian Alps is a perfect place for a lovely picnic-lunch. Our round trip brings us back to Pokljuka plateau. The afternoon rays of sunlight show us the best of alpine flora & fauna. We take a short ride to Bohinj and spend a night there. (Picnic Lunch pack is provided). Accommodation in Bohinj

Day 3 – Triglav National Park. Walk on the green meadows observing shepherds huts where life still goes on in a traditional way.

qIn the early morning we start trekking high above Bohinj. Uphill walking through pine forest bring us into the heart of the Julian Alps. Passing by shepherd's cottages and walking on green meadows we climb Mount Ticarica (2071m) with a breathtaking view of Seven Triglav lakes which are set below us like pearls on the string. On the way back we enter the valley of Seven Triglav lakes and the trail brings us back to the place where we started. If it is warm you may not be able to resist refreshing afternoon dip in to the lake. (Lunch pack is provided). Accommodation in Bohinj

Day 4 – Bohinj. We start a day exploring the attractive gorge of the Mostnica River. This is no more than a pleasant half-day walk (approx. 3 hours) that will get rid of any stiffness. We discover together quite trails mainly used by shepherds making a nice contrast with the Triglav lakes. In the afternoon, for a change of pace, you can choose an optional activity. (Prices not included). We can enjoy a swim in the lake, go canoeing, go biking and for anyone who feels particularly adventurous there might be an opportunity to go on canyoning before dinner.Accommodation in Bohinj

Day 5 – Bohinj - Soca valley - Bovec. This day we take a ride around the Julian Alps (about a 110 km ride) en route to the Soca valley. We drive through isolated alpine Radovna Valley - a naturalist’s dream. We make a short stop at the amazing Pericnik waterfall, from where the North face of Triglav can be seen - known to the mountaineers as a "Big wall". Later on the scenic drive over Vrsic pass (1611m) brings us to the upper valley of the Soca River, the Trenta. The 96km long valley of the untamed Soca River is one of the most unspoilt in the Alps, especially in its upper reaches as it winds through Triglav National Park. We visit the spring at Soca and start our hike alongside the emerald coloured river further down into the fairytale Trenta valley. We spend a night at Slovenian white-water centre, Bovec. Accommodation in Bovec.

Witness beautiful nature, where the harsh alpine climate meets the mild influence of the Mediterranean, intriguing setting for Hemingway's novel Farwell to the arms. The small village of Bovec is overlooked by high peaks, but benefits from the warm breezes that blow from the Adriatic up the valleys. Situated towards the northern end of Primorska province, Bovec benefits from the warm breezes that blow from the Adriatic up the valleys.

Day 6 – Bovec - Krnska lakes. In the morning we drive to the end of the lush Lepena valley and start our walk to Krnska lakes. We can extend our trekking to Mount Krn (2182m), with great views over the Adriatic Sea, which is only 50 km away. Afterwards we descend to Lepena and take a ride back to Bovec. The valley of Soca was a setting of some of the bloodiest fighting in history. The Battle and the collapse of the Italian army was the theme of the Hemingway's novel Farewell to the Arms. Bovec is the perfect place for kayaking and other river sports, and it’s no accident that some of Europe’s most skilled paddlers come from around here. In the afternoon if you still some energy and time left we suggest an exhilarating afternoon rafting (optional!) on the turbulent rapids of the Soca river. (Lunch pack provided). Accomodation in Bovec

Day 7 – Slap Kozjek - Škocjan Cave. This is a drive and walking excursion day. Before setting off south, we drive to Kobarid. (17km) Just a short walk up a side valley we find the hidden Koziak Waterfall falling into a dark-green plunge pool. Then we drive into southern Slovenia - known as the region of Kras (Karst). We follow a windy road across Goriska Brda (45km), renowned for growing the best wines and fruits in the country; this takes us through the hilly area that borders with Italy. There is a variety of wines here that includes the world-class merlot and sauvignon and these can be tried in the wine cellars of Brda. This is a region of hospitable villagers, amazing rock formations and a pleasant climate giving it a special charm. In the afternoon we drive 75km to explore the unparalleled complex of caves at Skocjan (a UNESCO World Heritage site), where the Reka River has carved some 5 kilometres of underground passages out. After the experience in the underworld we drive back to Ljubljana (77km) where we spend our final night. Accommodation in Ljubljana.

Day 8 – Transfer to Airport and Departure from LjubljanaAccommodation & Meals

Accommodation is on a bed and breakfast basis for 7 nights (7 picnic lunches are included) in 2* and 3* hotels. Ensuite rooms when available (normally shower). Evening meals are not included in the tour cost.

Night 1&2: Hotel Park**, Ljubljana. This hotel is situated in the quiet central part of the town surrounded by parks. Each room has a shower, toilet and telephone. The rooms are single and double. Each ** room is equipped with a TV set; some of them contain a minibar.

There is also a restaurant, an exchange office in the hotel. In the vicinity (about 100m away) there are also tennis, handball and basketball facilities.

The hotel is 800m away from the railway and bus station as well as from the bus stop link with the airport terminal.

Nights 2, 3 & 4: Hotel Bellevue***, Bohinj.
Comprising of two buildings, the Hotel Bellevue and the Savica a 2 star annexe are situated amongst the pinewoods. The hotel was the inspiration for some of Agatha Christie's great thrillers and every week the hotel hosts an unusual dinner in a setting inspired by her books. The hotel boasts a quiet, elevated location with superb lake views a 10-minute walk down hill from the hotel. There is a comfortable lounge, bar, tennis court, TV room and library.

Night 5 & 6: Hotel Alp***, Bovec.
A largish hotel, rooms have TV, radio, telephone, some rooms with minibar; Restaurants, Rest-a-bar, aperitif bar and cafe/cake shop with summer terrace. Guests may use the swimming pool and sauna at a nearby Hotel (for a local payment).

Visas and Permits
Slovenia is an EU member since 1. May 2005 and EU citizens do not need to obtain visa.

What's Included
·Bed and breakfast accommodation on 7 nights
·3 Picnic lunches.
·All land transportation.
·English speaking guide.
·Entrance fees to Skocjan caves.
·Flights and airport transfers for full package customers.

What's NOT Included
·Evening meals and drinks. 4 lunches.
·Optional sport activities (canoeing, rafting, etc…)
·Medical expenses.
·Personal expenses and optional activities.
·Insurance of any kind.

The Slovenian currency is the tolar. There are approximately 240 SIT (Slovenian tolars) to one Euro. You can change money in Ljubljana and also other more touristic places. Credit cards are accepted in most restaurants and shops. These are approx. costs of items you may purchase:

·Coffee/tea (SIT 350)
·Soft drink (SIT 400)
·Medium beer (SIT 600)
·Bottle of wine (SIT 1,600)
·Local snack lunch (SIT 2,010)
·3-course set dinner * (SIT 3,350)
*reasonable mid-range tourist class restaurant.

General: Temperate Mediterranean climate in the south, i.e. dry and sunny in summer. The north has a more Continental climate – rain can fall even in summer. In general though, between June and September temperatures are consistently over 25°C (and can rise over 30°C in July and August); the alpine region is a little cooler due to its elevation, particularly in spring and autumn. Weather in the mountains can be extremely changeable - thunderstorms are common in summer, whereas the weather in spring and autumn is often more settled.


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