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If it’s drama you seek when you pull on your hiking boots, you’ll want to head to Slovenia’s Julian Alps, and fortunately, Boundless Journeys is proud to be among the first to venture into this undiscovered gem. With colossal massifs reaching to the heavens and pristine lakes shimmering in vast basins, the landscapes are breathtaking, just as the hiking opportunities are limitless on our Julian Alps Hiking tour.
From the cosmopolitan capital of Ljubljana and picture-perfect Lake Bled, you’ll set out on thrilling hikes into the remote corners of Triglav National Park and Lake Bohinj—a mountain lover’s paradise of impossibly high peaks and alpine-fed lakes. The journey continues on in Bovec, Slovenia’s adventure capital. From here, you ascend to a glacial lake above the tree line and marvel at the hidden waterfall of Kozjek.
Along the way, Slovenian cuisine keeps you fueled during traditional farmhouse meals infused with a gourmet touch and delightful tastings of local cheese and wine that have been produced for generations. And as you explore this enchanting corner of Slovenia with Boundless Journeys, we think you’ll quickly come to fall in love with the Julian Alps…just like we did.
Arrive in Ljubljana
We meet at our hotel in Ljubljana, Slovenia's hip and happening capital in the country's geographic center. This is the "new Old Europe," where the 21st century mingles comfortably with a rich blend of cherished tradition and historic architecture. With its artsy bohemian vibe, many have compared it to Prague, minus the crowds. We'll take in the lovely ambiance of this small city during an easy walking tour featuring its fabled Triple Bridge across the Ljubljanica River. This modest span was considered the link between Central Europe and the Balkans when it was first built in the 13th century. It was "tripled" in width with the addition of two more spans in 1842 to prevent traffic bottlenecks.
We make our way into the Old Town, originally laid out in the Middle Ages. It's a delight to stroll past the Baroque gems that line these narrow warrens and alleys, below the imposing Ljubljana Castle, situated high on a forested hill. We'll sample Slovenian cuisine during our first dinner together at a local restaurant.
Hotel VanderLjubljana, Slovenia
This modern-style hotel features four interconnected medieval townhouses in the heart of Ljubljanas old town. Nestled under Castle Hill, Hotel Vander offers a quiet riverfront location within steps of the center of town. Enjoy the peaceful atmosphere of the rooftop terrace and plunge pool. The hotel’s restaurant features home-made, traditional dishes created with seasonal ingredients from local markets, farms and forests, melding contemporary cuisine and Slovenian tradition.
Vintgar Gorge and Lake Bled
We leave Ljubljana behind and head straight into the Alps. As a warm-up, we hike lush and green Vintgar gorge where Radovna River carved out its way through the vertical rock cliffs. Our trail leads us over some wooden bridges where we can easily spot trout swimming before we turn into the woods and make a nice and gentle loop with views of alpine meadows. We enjoy lunch in quaint little village of Radovljica dating back to the 14th century.
After a delicious signature Slovenian meal, we visit Lake Bled, one of Europe's most scenic spots. Its glacial waters are surrounded by forest and soaring mountains, and its tiny islet — the only natural island in Slovenia — is marked by the storybook bell tower of its medieval church. For a kingly vantage point, we visit the medieval Bled Castle, perched high on a rocky lakeside precipice. From this commanding post, we get our first glimpse of the Julian Alps, tomorrow's destination.
We continue to Triglav National Park and finish the day at our hotel situated on Bohinj Lake.
Hotel JezeroBohinjsko Jezero, Slovenia
Hotel Jezero is centrally located by Bohinj Lake, in the heart of the Julian Alps, where you can fill your lungs with fresh mountain air and admire superb sunsets over the mountains. Enjoy the gardens, swimming pool, sauna, and massage services. Savour authentic Slovenia cuisine in the terrace of the hotel’s restaurant.
Triglav National Park
This morning, we head into the alpine splendor of western Slovenia and the Julian Alps.
The Julians' foothills set the stage for our first hiking adventure. A short drive delivers us to the Pokljuka Plateau and Triglav National Park. Around us, hulking massifs pierce the sky and dense forest blankets the valley. Our hike's destination is the summit of Mt. Brda, at 6,590 feet. Our trail, one of the most stunning in the Julian network, ambles past wild blueberry bushes and pristine alpine tarns. Once at the top, we have spectacular views of Mt. Triglav, Slovenia's highest peak at almost 9,400 feet. At the top, we stop for a picnic lunch in this beautiful setting.
By day's end, we relax at our hotel, situated along the shores of pristine Lake Bohinj. Dinner at Hotel Jezero's superb restaurant gives us the opportunity to try many regional specialities.
Kranjska Gora to Sleme Viewpoint
This morning we leave Bohinj behind and drive through the Julian Alps toward the Italian and Austrian borders. We stop briefly at the town of Kranjska Gora, a ski resort that hosts the annual Alpine Skiing World Cup for slalom competitions. Then we follow one of Europe's most scenic mountain roads to Vrsic Pass, a hairpin-strewn road which was originally built as a supply route during World War I. Today it is a boon to trekkers eager to explore this remarkable wilderness. We pause to walk in their footsteps past larch trees and tiny ponds to Sleme Viewpoint, which overlooks gargantuan walls of solid limestone.
After a lovely picnic lunch, we continue our drive down into the emerald Soca River Valley and Bovec, the adventure capital of Slovenia. Here, we settle into our refined boutique hotel and savor a gourmet dinne
Dobra VilaBovec, Slovenia
The Dobra Vila is a very well appointed, stylish boutique hotel just a few minutes walk to the center of Bovec. It offers an extraordinary restaurant with a menu reflecting the bounty of each season, and outstanding wine list featuring Slovenia’s finest. Rooms are tastefully and artistically decorated, and the property offers beautiful terraces, perfect for enjoying the magnificent views of the surrounding alps.
Soca Valley and Cheese Producers
We head into the southern reaches of the Soca Valley today, a region equally awash in both beauty and history. During World War I, the Italians and Austro-Hungarians battled at the Isonzo Front, loosely defined by the waters of the Soca River (known as the Isonzo River in Italy). Ernest Hemingway's "A Farewell to Arms" vividly depicts the events that unfolded here.
This farming area is also known for its cheeses, and some of the best Slovenian producers are located here, nestled at high elevation where pristine grazing areas make for a top-quality cheese. We hike upward to discover these remote artisans, witnessing how they make their winning products, before doing some grazing of our own on rich samples.
This evening, we're treated to a dinner prepared by one of southeastern Europe's most progressive chefs, Ana Ros, at her restaurant, Hiša Franko.
Just outside Bovec, today's trail leads to the pristine Krn Lake, a glacial lake located at 4,575 feet that is surrounded by alpine flowers, pine forests, and dramatic peaks. The path we follow was built as an old supply route during World War I, yet despite its age, it is clear and well-marked. We enjoy a lakeside picnic lunch, rewarded by the views and mountains surrounding us.
After our well-earned break, we hike the same route down and return to our hotel. This evening, after time to relax and freshen up from the day's adventure, we enjoy a delicious dinner at the onsite restaurant.
Brda to Ljubljana
As we leave Bovec, we pause for a short hike into the hidden waterfall of Kozjek. This stunning cascade is fed by alpine waters, and we take some time to linger in its mist before continuing to Brda, Slovenia's wine country. These picturesque hills border the Collio Goriziano region of Italy, where some of the finest white wines are produced. On the Slovenian side of the border, the terroir is equally amenable to top-quality cabernet sauvignon and merlot wines. We visit with a local organic wine maker to learn about the craft firsthand, before savoring a delicious lunch and sampling recent vintages.
This afternoon, we return to Ljubljana and raise a glass to our hiking adventure over a farewell dinner at a local restaurant.
Departure from Ljubljana
Our journey concludes after breakfast.
Please note that this is a typical itinerary, and actual activities may vary due to weather conditions, local events, and to allow serendipity to play a hand in your experience. Accommodations are as outlined in the itinerary, although we reserve the right to change these or the order visited should the need arise.
Jul 6-13, 2020
Sep 5-12, 2020
Take over a date for your group! See "Make It Private" on Dates & Prices tab.
From $4,595 Per Person
First two reserved:$195
See single supplement policy below.
10+ Guests: $4,695 per person
4 to 9 Guests: $5,095 per person
Make it Private price is based on Land Cost only, and a guarantee of the specified number of guests in double occupancy. For groups smaller than the numbers shown, or those requiring single occupancy, we reserve the right to adjust the per person price. Additionally, some trips have minimum group sizes. Please call 1-800-941-8010 for details.
Accommodations (hotels, tents, cruise cabins) are based on double occupancy. A single supplement is paid by participants who specifically request single accommodations, subject to availability. If you reserve at least 120 days prior to departure, you may be eligible for a reduced or free single supplement.* This is generally limited to the first one or two solo travelers to reserve, and the reduction is outlined in the pricing for each trip. Please note, free or reduced single supplements are not combinable with other offers or promotions.
If you are traveling alone and wish to share accommodations, we will try to match you with a roommate of the same gender. If you reserve at least 120 days ahead and a roommate is not available, you will only be charged a “forced” single supplement in the amount of 50% of the standard single supplement* (unless otherwise noted in the detailed itinerary). Single accommodations are limited so you are encouraged to reserve early!
*This may not apply to certain trips with unique accommodation arrangements. Please see specific trip information for more details.
Boundless Journeys' trips are designed for energetic and flexible individuals who like to be active and have a spirit of adventure and a positive attitude. Julian Alps Hiking is rated 3+, moderate to strenuous, on a scale of 1-5 (with 5 being the most strenuous). The hikes on this trip range from 4-8 hours. The terrain is mixed, with both gradual and steep sections encountered on most days. Hikes are on unpaved paths and trails, with minimal vehicle support. Trails may be wet, slippery, steep, and/or rocky at times. Certain sections of trails maybe exposed, which may be difficult for people with vertigo.
Most Convenient Airport: Ljubljana Airport; Ljubljana, Slovenia (airport code LJU)
Meeting Time and Place: Your guide(s) will meet you at 3:00 p.m. in the lobby of our first hotel; Ljubljana, Slovenia. Please be dressed for city walking!
Departure Time and Place: Day 8 after breakfast; Ljubljana, Slovenia
Being an alpine environment, weather is variable throughout the day and by elevation. A warm, sunny day in the valley can be anywhere from delightfully refreshing to downright brisk at higher elevations. Therefore, dressing in layers will be essential to your comfort throughout the day. Rain is possible at any time, and weather conditions can change rapidly in the mountains, so having rain gear on hand is also advisable. At the same time, the sun is strong at higher elevations, and therefore adequate precautions should be taken to prevent sunburn, even on cool, sunny days.
You may obtain more detailed weather information by visiting www.weatherbase.com.
The experience of Slovenian cuisine is inseparably connected with the concept of gostilna restaurants, traditional places to enjoy good food and wine in good company. Gostilnas often serve dishes prepared with old recipes using local ingredients. The Slovenian countryside is dotted with small family farms, and food ingredients are relatively healthy and often organically grown. Slovenian wines, meanwhile, can enthuse even the most demanding connoisseur. Our evening meals are enjoyed at our hotels, or at some of the best restaurants in the area. Vegetarians can be accommodated with advance notice, though choices tend to be more limited.
Irena hails from the southern islands of Croatia and currently lives in Slovenia. A passionate and curious traveler, she has been exploring remote regions in Asia and southeast Europe for the last 15 years. Irena knows every small corner of the Balkan region, is an outdoor and adventure enthusiast, and for as long as she can remember has spent part of each year hiking, rock climbing, and participating in summer and winter sports in the Julian Alps.
With a degree in cultural studies, a passion for exploring, and her friendly nature, Irena makes the ideal traveling companion to either country. It’s clear that she truly enjoys guiding and sharing this area of the world with travelers.
Jože is an engineer, and after a successful career of leadership in a multinational company, his passion for traveling and sharing his homeland got to the better of him and led him to a new career of guiding. Every tour with him is well organized and runs smoothly, as one would expect of an engineer!
Jože has spent the past several years traveling and guiding extensively worldwide, spending his summers in the Julian Alps and winters in Southeast Asia. Jože is also a keen photographer, hiker, and avid mountain biker. He enjoys cooking classes and appreciating good food and wine. Jože is fluent in English, German, and Serbo-Croatian and is a wonderful hiking companion on the trail.
With a Boundless Journeys guide, your experience is that of friend and local adventurer. We believe strongly in working with local guides, experts in the areas to which we travel, and they hold the keys to unlocking the hidden delights of your chosen destination. Although you will never know they are at work—the mark of a truly great leader—our guides make magical things happen and add a dimension to your trip that you could not experience on your own. Over the years we have forged bonds with some of the best guides in the world, and we typically work with a small team of guides in each region. You will be informed of the guide for your trip one month prior to your departure.
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