Hiking trails are often focused on summiting mountains, standing on the very top. Search for #hiking on Instagram and you’ll be flooded with photos of the ultimate sunrise from some amazing climb or other. And whilst there is something deeply satisfying about reaching the high points of a mountain range, it can be at the expense of missing what lies a little lower down the slopes.
To address this, a new trail has just been launched through the Julian Alps. The Juliana Trail delves right into the Slovene alpine world. Hike through valleys, forests, lush meadows and along emerald rivers, learning about the rich natural and cultural heritage of Slovenia as you go.
Owen Clarke, writer for Outside Magazine and one of the first hikers to complete the trail, commented “The Juliana Trail won’t be the most challenging hike you’ve ever done, but you won’t find an experience quite like it anywhere else.” This is because the Juliana Trail has been purposely designed to give you a real taste of Slovenia.
“The Juliana Trail seeks different heroes – those that aspire advancement in their spirit as well as altitude.”
Officially opened in Autumn 2019, the 270km circular trail has been split into 16 stages, each about 17km in length.
The route passes through some of the best natural and cultural sites in Slovenia. You can pass through the alpine hub of Kranjska Gora for some outdoor adventures and experience iconic Lake Bled, rowing or swimming out to the church on the island.
Each stage of the Juliana Trail starts and finishes in a town where you can spend the night and refuel. Interestingly, over half of the overnight stops are in small, remote villages rather than the traditional tourist haunts. Here, you can really immerse yourself in your surroundings whilst experiencing the warm hospitality of the Slovenian people. Slovenia is a very environmentally conscious country, and each stop is accessible by public transport. This means that it is possible to select just a small section of the hike rather than completing the whole trail; perfect for those who are only in Slovenia for a short stay, or for family hiking.
It’s easy to find your way… The J-A blazes mark the route in between signposts.
Hike the new Juliana Trail to get off the beaten track & immerse yourself in the natural world.
Have you hiked part of the Juiliana Trail? Do let us know about your experience in the comment box below.