Slovenia's Splendid Mountains, Gorges & Lakes
Guided Walking Holiday --- 8 Days, 7 Nights
Superb walking in the Julian Alps with stunning views at every turn!
Discover Slovenia’s Julian Alps, Triglav National Park, Karavanke Mountains on the Austrian Border, Poclujka, and the Kranska Gora area where there is plenty to offer every level of walking. Slovenia lies south of Austria and Italy and our walking is in the north of the country based near Lake Bohinj, the largest of the Slovenian lakes. There are picturesque villages with farming at the heart of the economy. The scenery is simply stunning on the walks with views of the rocky crags of the Julian Alps and below, the valleys, lakes and meadows offer a tranquil contrast - a walker's delight.
At a Glance
- Five (5) days of center-based guided walking through the beautiful mountains, gorges, meadows, forests and lakes of Slovenia and one (1) free day.
- Seven (7) nights accommodation in 3-star hotel with en-suite rooms.
- Between 5 and 6 hours of walking daily.
- Small group (4-14) for solo travelers, couples or groups of friends.
- Activity Level is Easy to Moderate (average fitness with options for two levels of guided walking offered daily – pick your preference on the morning of the walk).
- Experienced tour leaders and local guides every step of the way.
- Start and end locations -- Ljubljana Airport (alternatively Venice Airport)
- The spectacular Julian Alps are predominantly limestone and their jagged form produce stunning vistas wherever you look.
- Walkers from around the globe have discovered Slovenia's dramatic and lovely landscapes of mountains, forests, meadows, and lakes in which to walk and there are walks to suit all levels from the challenging ascent of Mount Triglav to the easier and gentler walks through Vintgar Gorge.
- There are beautiful glacial lakes, rushing rivers, impressively deep gorges, underground caves – typical to limestone alpine scenery - and alpine meadows with a splash of wildflower color are everywhere.
- Hospitality of the local people – always welcoming – complement this superb walking destination.
- Walking is available from May to October in these mountains and temperatures can be hot in the valleys in July and August though higher up, cool breezes are a help. We walk in June and September – ideal temperatures.
Accommodations & Meals
Hotel Tripic is a family run 3-star hotel centrally located in Bohinjska Bistrica and is a comfortable base for our walking holiday. It is located five kilometers (3 miles) from Lake Bohinj, Slovenia’s largest lake. The village is the center for rural life in the upper Bohinj Valley and has a number of supermarkets, restaurants, bars, a pharmacy and a fitness and swimming center. The rivers Bistrica and Sava meet here.
- En-suite rooms are spacious and include a hairdryer, flat screen cable TV, balcony and toiletries.
- Wi-Fi and wired internet facilities are available.
- There are two restaurants, a bar, a summer terrace and an outdoor swimming pool.
- The hotel’s restaurant includes a comprehensive breakfast and dinner menu – plenty of choice and well cooked.
- Guests can rent bicycles and fishing equipment.
- The hotel is quiet and is the starting point for transport to our walk start.
- Single supplement of $185 total for the 7 nights.
May 20, 2017 $ 1,500
June 24, 2017 $ 1,500
July 1, 2017 $ 1,500
September 2, 2017 $ 1,500
Slovenia Walking Holiday Pictures
Holiday Price Includes
- Accommodations en-suite for seven (7) nights (based on double occupancy) at Hotel Tripic. There is a single supplement of $185 for sole use of a twin room for the seven nights.
- Breakfast each morning as part of your hotel accommodations.
- Three-course dinners for all seven (7) nights.
- Transfers between the hotel and the airport in Ljubljana on arrival and at departure; you will be met at the airport by a tour leader.
- All transport needed on the walks.
- Full program of guided walks with experienced tour leaders and professional local guides who have been arranging, managing and leading tours for over 13 years.
- Services of our tour team including leaders from GCR and Secret Hills, who arrange all aspects of the holiday for you and are with the group every step of the way.
What’s Not Included
- This is a land only holiday so your flight to and from Slovenia is not included. We are happy to assist you with providing flight information from your local airport.
- Lunches and beverages are not included. We either eat at local cafes on the day's walks when it is possible or we take a packed lunch.
- Entries to museums, ski and chair lift costs.
- Additional nights before or following the holiday are possible and we can help with the arrangements.
All Slovenia holidays have two grades of walking – moderate and easy. We walk in the Julian Alps, Triglav National Park, Karavanke Mountains on the Austrian Border, Poclujka, and the Kranska Gora area. Additional details on the walks are furnished below. You will have the choice each morning to select the grade that you want to walk that day. Pace on all walks is not rushed – there is time to look around, rest and take in the countryside.
Each holiday’s walk agenda will be chosen according to the ability of the group. A selection of the guided walks on the holiday include:
Moderate grade: Distances 7 to 9 miles a day, ascend and descend at least once per day up to 300 meters (1,000 feet) but generally over an hour and a half – no rush – there is too much to see.
Easy grade: Distances 5 to 6 miles and may include sightseeing in villages and areas of interest including the scenic lakes of Bled and Bohinj. Walks are not as fast with plenty of stops. There will be hills to ascend and descend but are taken at a leisurely pace – never rushed – more of a stroll.
Terrain: Conditions vary in Slovenia – green pathways, stony (limestone country), loose stones, tree roots on many paths and care is taken in these sections.
Climbs: Climbing in the moderate grade is steady with the occasional steep short stretch but there is never a rush and downhills are … well downhills – some find that walking poles help cushion the knee in particular on the downhill sections.
Walk duration: We take a mini bus ride to the trail head and walks are usually 5.5 hours, returning by 16:30 (4:30PM). There will be time for a swim or rest before dinner in the hotel’s restaurant.
Vogel ski lift and Rodica Mountain: We take the gondola to the Vogel Ski resort, then a chair lift before ascending Sija Mountain to approximately 1,800 metres (5,900 feet). Continue on to Rodica Mountain along a superb ridge with views to the Adriatic as well as deep into the Triglav National Park and the Julian Alps. We return a slightly different way to the gondola and transport back to the hotel. Dependent on the ability of the group, we may only ascend Sija and on our return after lunch into the Sava valley we walk round the east side of Lake Bohinj, a lovely lake side walk.
Prsivec Mountain and the hills above Lake Bohinj: Starting at Blato, we ascend through forests to the lovely mountain hut Pl Visevnik beside a small lake for coffee. We then ascend again to the superb viewpoint over the Bohinj Lake and the Lower Bohinj range of mountains at Prsivec. We return to the hut for lunch then descend back to Blato on a different path for transport pick up.
Mount Brda and Debela Pec: Transport to the walk start at Pockluka meadows from which we ascend through forest and meadows to the Lipanca Mountain hut. After a coffee, we ascend Mount Brda (2009 metres/6590 feet) and Debela Pec (2015 metres/6610 feet) which is an ascent from the hut of 250 metres (820 feet). We wind our way down to Lipanca hut for lunch and descend through the forest after lunch to our original starting point.
Vintgar Gorge circular and Lake Bled: We walk through meadows from Bled town through lovely villages to the start of Vintgar Gorge. The Vintgar Gorge carves its way through the vertical rocks and the walk is awe-inspiring – then continue to St Katerinas church. Continue along a meadow path back to the start of the gorge and descend to lunch in Bled town. In the afternoon, we walk around Lake Bled on its eastern side to view the church on the island, Vila Bled, Tito's summer home, and Mlino for transport back to the hotel.
Under the Špik Mountain the spectacular Upper and Lower Martuljek waterfalls: Transport to this deep valley and ascend over wooden bridges and many steps to two waterfalls. Coffee at a magnificent hut under Spik mountain and eventually ascend to the highest waterfall. Return to hut for lunch, then back to minibus and a visit to Kranska Gora.
Mostnice Gorge and Voje Meadows: We start at Ribcev Laz and walk alongside Bohinj Lake to the Mostnice Gorge and continue through this magical deep gorge and out into the Voje meadows to the Mostnica Waterfall. Lunch at a lovely mountain hut, and descend to Stara Fuzina and transport back to the hotel.
The Barons Walk: The walk is to the Austrian border and through small tunnels and woodland to our coffee stop. Then ascend a little higher underneath the Karavanke range of mountains and down through a superb limestone valley for a late lunch, then on to look at Grad castle in the rocks.
Sava River trail: Starting at our hotel we walk to Brod along the Sava River cycle path and then over the hill to Rudnica viewpoint and then Pec before descending into Stara Fuzina village for lunch. Under Studor mountain to Srednja Vas, and over the hill back to Bohinj Bistrica in the Sava Valley.
Slovenia Holiday Tour Leaders & Guides
Great Circle Route is pleased to be associated with Secret Hills Walking, our partner in Europe Walking, who arrange and manage your itinerary. Secret Hills Walking has been in the guided walking tour business since 2002, and as walkers themselves, they appreciate and understand the requirements of a walking holiday. Great Circle Route markets, sells and coordinates with Secret Hills Walking to ensure our guests are completely satisfied. Great Circle Route researches and develops itineraries as well as conducting tours.
Local guides who are passionate and knowledgeable about the area and the walking routes complement the team in Slovenia. Two guides are provided for each walk, with back up from Chris Bland and Alan Garner. The guides will structure a balanced program of walks to suit the ability of the group. We also have two walks per day, around the same area, giving the opportunity for a shorter and less demanding walk.
Slovenia is located in central Europe and shares borders with Hungary, Austria, Croatia and Italy. Comprised primarily of mountains and meadows, it is the convergence of the Carpathian Basin, the Adriatic Sea, the Alps and the Dinaric Mountains which sets the stage for diverse flora, fauna and landscapes. Slovenia’s dramatic mountains, underground caves, forests, Adriatic coast, lakes and rivers are all within easy reach of the capital Ljubljana and other major cities, as it is one of the smallest countries in Europe. Slovenia is a member of NATO and joined the European Union in 2004.
Slovenia’s attractions include the magnificent Julian Alps and Triglav National Park, Lake Bled, Bohinj, the Kamniske Savinje Alps, the Soca Valley, Logarska Dolina alpine valley, the Adriatic coastline, and below ground with over 7,000 caves including the Postojina Caves and the Skocjan Caves. There are plenty of museums as well, ancient monasteries, Gothic frescoes, houndreds of castles scattered throughout and even hot water spas.
Ljubljana is the capital and is a 45 minute drive to the hotel and Lake Bled, one of the more famous glacial and tectonic lakes is just 12 kilometers (7 miles) from our hotel base. Ljubljana is a delightful city to visit to get a feel for the Slovenian culture.
The country has a proud reputation for cleanliness, and self-sufficiency - you will find many small allotments for vegetable and fruit growing in most gardens. The Slovenes are a welcoming people, friendly and outgoing. They want you to explore their superb countryside. Walking is a national hobby - why wouldn’t it be when there is so much grand scenery to explore. Their other national pastime is eating - and they have excellent Slovenian wine. The Slovenian people will welcome you to their magnificent country - rest assured.
Further Travel Information
Getting to the Slovenia holiday. The price for this holiday is land only and does not include flights from the United States to Slovenia. We can help research your options for arranging travel to Ljubljana's Joze Pucnik Airport or optionally to Venice's Marco Polo Airport in Italy. Transfer between Venice and your hotel in Bohinj Bistrica will take 2.25 hours and there will be a transfer supplement but may end up being a less expensive alternative as more airlines fly into Venice. Airfare will cost between $900 and $1,400 roundtrip between the United States and either Ljubljana or Venice, depending on where your flight originates, the time of year and when you make your booking. Budget airlines from several European capitals may offer a better price if you are adding onto a trip to other parts of Europe or are booking separate airlines to a major city. For instance, from London area airports the roundtrip price is anywhere between $120 and $200 nonstop -- only a 2 hour flight. It is ideal to arrive by mid-afternoon or early evening if possible to alllow yourself a bit of time to relax. Please note that the published holiday dates are the dates you arrive in your holiday area and not when you leave the United States.
Extra days or nights. If you are interested in adding any extra days and nights to your holiday to explore more of Slovenia, and you would like our help, please let us know.
Passport, Visa and Vaccination Requirements for U.S. Citizens. Passports must be valid for at least three (3) months beyond the period of intended stay and issued within the past ten (10) years. It is further recommended that your passport have at least six (6) months validity remaining beyond the date of completion of the holiday and ensure there a sufficient number of blank pages in your passport (usually 4 to 6). No Visa is required for stays under 90 days within each 180-day period. No vaccinations are mandatory. Consult the U.S. Department of State’s website for the most current country requirements.
Weather. Temperatures in the spring and autumn average in the 70s during the day and 50s at night, making for an ideal walking climate.
Official language. Slovene is the official language. English is not widely spoken outside of major cities and tourist attractions.
Travel Insurance. Unexpected events before or during a trip may leave you with cancelled plans, delayed flights and missed connections, lost luggage, or unforeseen medical expenses. Obtaining Travel Insurance to protect your travel investment is recommended. Companies that provide comprehensive policies include Travel Guard, Travel Insured International, Allianz, Travelex to name a few.