A guide to outdoor adventures in the mountains of Slovenia

Slovenia ridge traverse

Nestled between Italy, Austria, Hungary and Croatia, and with a short coastline to the Adriatic Sea, Slovenia may easily fly under-the-radar when it comes to top European travel picks. However, this small country ―the very first Green Destination in the world as declared in 2016― boasts a surprising diversity of landscapes and is becoming the ultimate year-round destination for outdoor lovers.

From the stunning peaks in the Julian Alps to the fairy-tale glacial lakes and turquoise rivers around Bled, Slovenia has it all.

To help you plan your visit to this fascinating central-European country, we’ve come up with a broad selection of programmes from IFMGA-certified mountain guides. Take notes and get inspired!

SUMMER | SPRING

1. Hiking in Triglav National Park

 

Hiking in Slovenia
Hiking traverse in Triglav 7 Lakes Valley. ©Gregor Kofler

Triglav National Park is the only protected area in the country, covering most of the Julian Alps mountain range. In northwestern of Slovenia, on the border with Italy, the Julian Alps are a popular hiking and climbing area, with peaks over 2500 meters, beautiful green valleys, gorges and the famous Bohinj and Bled lakes.

In the heart of this National Park you’ll find Slovenia’s jewel: Mount Triglav (2864 m). Triglav is the highest peak in the country and also a powerful symbol that is even pictured on the national flag. Even though climbing Mount Triglav is the most popular mountaineering challenge in the country (you can find everything about the ascent here), there’s a lot more going on the area.

These scenic Slovenian mountains are the perfect destination for a hiking trip. There are many options, from short day trips for those traveling on a tight schedule, to multi-day hiking traverses. Long trips generally involve staying at a mountain hut and reaching the summit of Mount Triglav.

Explore the beautiful mountain landscapes of the Julian Alps! Check out all our options for hiking trips in Triglav National Park.

2. Rock climbing around Bled

Rock climbing in Mt Triglav
Climbing a route for beginners in the north face of Mount Triglav. ©Gregor Kofler

Slovenia is an outstanding destination for rock climbers. With three different mountain ranges spread across the country ―the Julian Alps, the Karavanke Mountains and the Kamnik-Savinja Alps― there’s a huge amount of walls to explore. Again, Mount Triglav takes most of the credit here, with its impressive North Face, a mythical 1000 m wall with hundreds of climbing routes.

Bled ―a mountain town 45 minutes away from Ljubljana, Slovenia’s capital city― is a great starting point for a rock climbing trip, as it has an easy access to all the Slovenian mountains. In fact, some interesting crags can be found at only 5’ drive from town. There are climbing routes for all levels, from beginners to advanced climbers. Even children can take part! The best period for rock climbing in Slovenia goes from May to October.

Ready for an exciting mountain adventure? Check out all our options for rock climbing around Bled.

If you need accommodation in Bled, here are some places recommended by local guide Mitja:

3. Via ferrata around Kranjska Gora

 

Slovenia via ferrata
A via ferrata in Mount Prisank: one of the most scenic in the Julian Alps. ©Gregor Kofler

Via ferratas (protected climbing routes) are becoming quite popular in Slovenia. Thanks to the use of steel cables, ladders and bridges, inexperienced climbers are able to reach high summits in a safe way and get to enjoy the mountains from a unique perspective.

From the town of Kranjska Gora ―close to the Austrian and Italian border― it’s possible to reach many via ferrata routes. There are different levels of difficulty, but usually children are allowed to take part. This makes via ferrata a great activity to share on a family trip! Our advice: always climb via ferratas in the company of a mountain guide: they will provide the necessary equipment and teach you the basics to progress in complete safety.

Sounds interesting? Check out all our options for via ferrata trips around Kranjska Gora.

4. Canyoning trips around Bled

Canyoning in Slovenia
Adventures full of adrenaline in the Slovenian rivers. ©Gregor Kofler

Slovenia has one of the most beautiful rivers in Europe: the Soca river. With emerald waters meandering through the mountains, scenic waterfalls and deep gorges, this river and its tributaries are the perfect setting for water sports, canyoning included.

If you’ve never heard about canyoning before, just picture a mix of jumping, scrambling, swimming and rappelling, all this is in a natural pool. There are different levels of difficulty, from canyoning trips oriented to beginners (where children from 8 years old can take part) to more extreme adventures for those seeking a real challenge.

Starting from Bled —and also from other locations, like Bovec— you can find different canyons to explore the Julian Alps’ rivers. Whether you are traveling with friends or family, this exciting and fun activity will certainly spice up your trip, adding a strong dose of adrenaline.

Enjoy an aquatic adventure in Slovenia! Check out all our options for canyoning trips around Bled.

WINTER

5. Winter mountaineering in the Julian Alps and the Kamnik-Savinja Alps

Winter alpine climbing in Slovenia
A winter alpine climbing course is a great chance to learn how to move safely in snow and ice. ©Tomaz Jakofcic

Summer and spring are the best seasons for a mountain trip in Slovenia. However, when the winter season arrives, the peaks are covered in snow and ice, providing an exciting alpine experience and adding an extra difficulty to regular ascents.

There are many options for winter mountaineering trips in the peaks of the Julian Alps and the Kamnik-Savinja Alps, ranging from winter ascents to Mount Triglav to several-day courses. Some of the basic skills for winter mountaineering include the use of crampons and an ice axe, as well as orientation and avalanche training.

Ready to venture on a winter climbing traverse? Check out all our options for winter mountaineering trips in Slovenia.

6. Ski touring in Triglav National Park

Ski touring in Slovenia
Skiers on a hut-to-hut ski touring trip in Triglav National Park ©Mitja Sorn

During winter, the unspoiled terrains of the Julian Alps offer an off-the-beaten-tracks ski experience. Inside Triglav National Park lies Vogel, a small ski resort with amazing views of Lake Bohinj, providing great possibilities for off-piste skiing, with little infrastructure and less crowds.

Those seeking bigger adventure can join a hut-to-hut ski tour, or several-day ski touring trips traversing different areas inside Triglav National Park. There are different options for beginners and seasoned skiers.

Join a ski touring adventure with a local mountain guide and discover Slovenia’s hidden gems! Check out all our options for ski touring trips in Triglav National Park.

Beautiful mountain towns surrounded by alpine landscapes and exciting outdoor activities all-year-round put Slovenia right into every traveler’s bucket list. Contact a certified mountain guide and get ready to explore this amazing country!  

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