Hiking – Slovenia’s National Pastime

When the sun is out, so are Slovenians. The countryside of this small yet exceptionally diverse country is made for hiking, and that’s exactly what the population of this subalpine jewel does.

hut-to-hut-hiking-sloveniaEvery weekend if possible. Yes, you could say practically every Slovenian hits the hiking trails any opportunity they get. And who can blame them? With almost 10,000 km of marked mountain trails and more than 181 mountain huts, shelters and bivouacs, Slovenia is nothing short of a hiker’s paradise.

The wonderful thing about hiking is that anyone can do it. Young or old, pros or amateurs, there’s a trail out there with your name on it. The enviable network of Slovenian hiking trails stretches all the way from the Adriatic Sea, through endless fields, vineyards, forests, foothills and valleys, up to the vertical walls of the country’s highest peaks.

The Slovenian mountains are considered a national treasure. The most amazing to visit are of course the Julian Alps. It’s wheTriglav-Sloveniare one of the oldest national parks in Europe is located. The Triglav National Park. In and around this area are Lake Bled, Kranjska Gora, Lake Bohinj and the Soča Valley – probably the most scenic places in the Alps and most known in Slovenia. It’s here that you’ll find Slovenia’s highest peaks with their magnificent limestone walls, picture-perfect panoramic views, waterfalls, gorges and valleys.

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, expansive fields and a seemingly endless collection of hills and valleys, Slovenia is a land begging to be explored on foot. Anywhere you go there’s a forest path, goat-track, mountain pass, or countryside lane leading into the beautiful unknown. In the southwest, the wind-swept Karst Plateau with the Nanos Hill reigning over the coastal region and the wine growing hills of Goriška Brda.

In the northeast, the Pohorje Massif, a gorgeous hilly area with a fantastic network of hiking trails invites avid hikers from near and far. In the southeast, Bela Krajina or “White Country”, with its pristine nature and clean rivers Krka and Kolpa, is a popular hiking area.

One of the main perks of hiking in Slovenia is that you can get from one region to another in under two hours. Road connectivity is excellent and accommodations are in their plenty. Regardless of why or how you’re visiting the country, there’s always a splendid hike to be had in the nearby countryside. Even larger urban areas are surrounded by unspoilt nature, so no excuses!

A ridiculously cool Slovenian tradition you simply have to partake in undoubtedly hut-to-hut hiking. It’s a super fun way of Velika Planina huts-Sloveniadiscovering the mountainous world and the treasures it holds. Hiking from one mountain hut to another is a lovely social experience one can share with fellow hikers. There are 178 mountain huts sprinkled all over Slovenia, each with its unique setting.

Few things are more rewarding than eating a hearty authentic alpine meal and resting your weary bones after a day-long hiking adventure. But be warned, hut-to-hut hiking 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 hut way in advance, especially during summer’s high season.

To make a very long and winding and exciting hiking story short: If you’re ever in the neighborhood do go and explore Slovenia’s incredible outdoors. Hiking over here is more than just the unforgettable panoramic views and healthy exercise. It’s about socialising, saying hi to strangers in the mountains, pointing people in the right direction, making merry high up in mountain huts, learning about the local culture, etc. So stop mooching about and go for a hike!

Hope to see you on a hot Alpine tea or cool Slovenian beer in the mountains soon.