Hiking in the Julian Alps
The mountains of the Julian Alps are protected inside the Triglav National Park and offer endless hikes to suit walkers of all abilities, from gentle strolls around Lake Bohinj, to multi-day climbs culminating in an ascent of Mount Triglav, Slovenia’s highest peak at 2864m.
After a day’s hiking in the Julian Alps, a refreshing dip in Lake Bohinj is the perfect way to soothe those aching muscles.
Peak season for hiking in the Julian Alps is between May and October. Low-level walks are available all year round unless there has been heavy snow, and expert mountaineers climb the high peaks throughout the winter. Bohinj hosts the Wild Flower Festival in May/early June and the Hiking Festival in the autumn, both events offering a diverse range of talks and activities for the whole family.
Here is a selection of our favourite walks to give you a flavour of the type of hikes available in the Bohinj region.
Please remember that hiking can be a risky activity. The weather and walking conditions can change very quickly in the mountains, so it is always important to be prepared with suitable clothing and equipment. Only you can know your own abilities.
Walk around Lake Bohinj
A great way to get your bearings is to take the footpath around Lake Bohinj. It takes anywhere between three and five hours to complete the 12km circuit, depending on how often you stop to admire the views or take a dip in the silky waters.
It also makes a great run, and early in the morning you will only have to share the forest path on the north shore with a few deer.
A walk for all seasons.
Slap Savica (Savica Waterfall)
This walk is particularly spectacular after rain (there is a silver lining to every cloud!), when the water bursts out of the rock and crashes down into the emerald-green pool below.
Slap Savica is one of the most famous waterfalls in Slovenia. You can access it via a 25-minute, 550-step walk from the nearest car park on a well maintained forest path, or in about an hour and a half from the lakeside at Ukanc. Entry is free for Julian Alps Card Holders.
Mostnica Gorge & Voje Valley
Easily accessible from the doorstep of Pr Mežnarjo, the Mostnica Gorge illustrates the incredible power of water to carve through solid rock. In places, the gorge is only 1 metre wide, with the bottom looking impossibly distant below. The crystal-clear mountain water generates a refreshing breeze as it crashes down the gorge it has forged.
At the top of the gorge, about an hour and a half from Stara Fužina, lies the Koča na Vojah, a small refuge and café where you can get lunch, a drink or a motivational slice of cake…
Walk further, through the lush flower- and butterfly-adorned pastures of the Voje valley, and you’ll reach Slap Mostnica (Mostnica Waterfall) where another refuge also serves refreshments.
Entry to the gorge portion of the walk is ticketed, but is free for Julian Alps Card holders.
Lying at the eastern end of the lake, Rudnica splits the Bohinj valley into its upper and lower halves. The ascent from Stara Fužina is lovely, passing through forest, pastures and flower meadows.
Close to the summit, a large clearing provides beautiful views down onto the lake and villages below and up to the summits of the high mountains further afield. The far side of the hill is surprisingly steep, and the paths from the east and south are much more challenging.
There are few more lovely spots for a picnic, and because so few people venture up here you will probably have the hill all to yourself.
Triglav Seven Lakes
The valley of the Triglav Seven Lakes is one of the highlights of the Julian Alps. It is possible to visit the lower lakes in a day walk from Ukanc or the Savica car park, but to really do them justice take a couple of days and stay in one of the mountain huts.
The path up the face of Komarča is spectacular, with glimpses of the ever-more-distant lake through the trees. The route is protected in a few places with steel cables to hold on to. Once high up, the scenery changes, with forest giving way to alpine flowers and, higher up still, barren rockscapes.
The lakes are all different in character, varying in size, colour and scenery.
Triglav is the Slovenia’s highest mountain at 2864m, and a symbol of such national pride that it is said every “true” Slovenian should stand on the summit at least once in their lifetime!
Breathtaking views, demanding hiking, and the opportunity to enjoy wonderful Slovene mountain hospitality make the climb an unforgettable experience. The final ascent along the ridge is not for the faint-hearted.
The southern approach of Triglav starts in Stara Fužina, literally 50m from the door of Pr Méžnarjo. It’s a long 2-day, or more leisurely 3-day hike, and you can make it a circuit by returning via the Triglav Lakes. There are several mountains huts to stay in (“Dom” or “Koča” in Slovene), all of which offer a warm welcome at the end of a long day’s hike.
The best time of year to climb Triglav is between July and September, when there is least likely to be snow on the path. It is best to book huts in advance – the tourist information centres can do this for you. You can also climb Triglav with one of Bohinj’s experienced guides.