Global Adventure - Trek Slovenia's Julian and Karawanke Alps


Global Adventure - Trek Slovenia's Julian and Karawanke Alps

Trek hut- to- hut or day hike for 12 days, including 6 nights in mountain huts, over 70 miles through the spectacular Julian and Karawanke Alps of Slovenia. These lesser discovered alps of Europe offer challenging mountain summits, ridgeline hikes, alpine lakes, valley views, and picturesque villages, mountain huts and great food. Carry only a daypack, stay in dorm rooms and shared private rooms along the way with most meals provided. Note that the trip price is $3000. The $1500 “member price” is the 50% deposit required to secure your place on the roster. See details under the Leaders' Notes below. No applications or permission requests will be accepted before registration opens on 11/28/22. Another adventure, dayhiking the length of Croatia, starts right after this one with easy transport between - if you have time, consider doing both!

  • Strenuous
  • Challenging
  • Mileage: 70.0 mi
  • Elevation Gain: 15,000 ft
  • High Point Elevation: 9,396 ft
  • Pace: 2.0

Arrive no later than the evening of Sunday, September 10, 2023 in Ljubljana, Slovenia, where we will explore the city before we start our first segment of the trek on Tuesday, September 12 in the Karawanke Alps. On Thursday, September 21 we will conclude our trek in Bovec, Slovenia. On Friday, September 22 we will transfer from Bovec to Ljubljana. Participants can arrange departure flights starting September 22nd after 3PM or proceed on their own to other explorations in the area!  Those going on to the Croatia adventure can catch a train to Zagreb.

Consider linking up with Cheryl Talbert's adventure day-hiking and exploring the length of Croatia, which starts immediately after this one!  Check it out at this link!

Itinerary Highlights:  This 12 day, 70-mile (15,000 ft gain!) moderate to strenuous route takes us through two distinct mountain regions: the Karawanke Alps and the Julian Alps. Along the way, we’ll stay in rustic inns and mountain huts, some in classic alp-valleys and others perched on panoramic ridges or rocky points.

Arrive in Ljubljana, Slovenia’s capital city and economic and cultural hub, on Sunday, September 10. Ljubljana in one of Europe’s smallest capital cities (pop, 293,000). It’s car-free city center intertwines with the leafy banks of the Ljubljanica River, perfect for pedestrians and cyclists. Explore its street and squares and walk to the castle for the best view of the city. September 11th, we’ll meet our local outfitter who will present all the trip details and walk us through our upcoming adventure. Optional tours can be organized, such as a city bike tour or food tour. We’ll finish the day with a celebratory group Welcome Dinner and spend the night in Ljubljana in a centrally located 3* hotel.

On Tuesday, September 12, we will take our private transfer to the trailhead close to the Slovenian-Austrian border. Here we start our first segment of hut-to-hut hiking in the Karawanke Alps (4 days, 3 nights, 21miles, 7700ft gain). Our main luggage will be transferred to our hotel at Lake Bohinj, where we will meet it 4 days later. We can pack light for this segment: hiking clothes, change of clothes for the huts, toiletries, water, 10 essentials, and some snacks/lunch food. The huts provide breakfast, dinner, and bedding.

Our first day of hiking, September 12, starts by following a scenic trail through the woods and through a series of short tunnels to the southern slopes of Mt. Begunjscica and to an alpine farm. Here we will have the opportunity to sample their fresh dairy products and their famous “štruklji” – fresh ricotta cheese dumplings. Next we climb (steeply) up to the panoramic ridge towards the summit of Begunjscica, where we will be rewarded with astonishing views towards the Julian Alps and the rest of the Karawanks. Descent west to our mountain hut with views overlooking the valley. (5 miles, 3200ft gain).

Our next two days of hiking, September 13 and 14, we will walk over high alpine meadows and plateaus, through moon-like high mountain cirques, and across karst surfaces as we traverse the ridge of the Karawanks with views in all directions. The terrain for the next two days can be rough and rocky with some steeper scree sections. Along the way, we’ll have the option to take short side trips on established trails to ascend to the king of the Karawanks, Mt. Stol (200ft gain, 0.5 miles RT), and Mt. Vajnez (400ft gain, 0.8 miles RT). Spend the next two nights in mountain huts. (5 miles, 3400ft and 9 miles, 984ft)

Our last day of hiking in the Karawanke, September 15, starts with an optional sunrise hike to the summit of Golica (800ft gain, 1.5 miles RT), or enjoy a relaxing breakfast at the hut until the others return. Then we all descend to the village Planina pod Golico and get a short transfer to Lake Bled. (2.5 miles, 2000ft descent)

Lake Bled, located at the foothills of the Julian Alps, is a picture-postcard lake with its island and tower. Here, we will visit a local beekeeper and learn about the peculiarities of Slovenian beekeeping. Then we will continue to the lake for lunch and optionally hike to a viewpoint above the lake. In the afternoon, we transfer to Lake Bohinj (1.5hrs), located in the Triglav National Park and spend the next 2 nights there. We rejoin our luggage at the hotel in Lake Bohinj.

Saturday, September 16, we explore Lake Bohinj. Our off-the-beaten track walk will take us along the lakeshore, through villages and to the Mostnica Gorge. On the way, we will stop at a local farm to produce our own cheese (2 hours). We will also get to taste their cheeses and homemade cured meats, accompanied by a selection of local schnapps. (6 miles, flat)

Sunday, September 17, we start our second part of our hut-to-hut hike in the Julian Alps. Our main luggage is transferred to our hotel in Bovec, where we will rejoin it on September 21 (4 nights later). After a short drive (15 min) reach an alpine meadow high above Lake Bohinj. We hike through the forest, alpine pastures, and farms as we ascent the mountain. Enjoys views towards Mt. Triglav before reaching our first mountain hut. (7 miles, 3400ft)

September 18, we will hike across the lunar-like surface of the Hribarice Plateau and enter the Seven Triglav Lakes Valley, a high alpine valley of crystal-clear lakes (swimming strictly forbidden!).  For those that want more challenge, there is an option on this day to do a “via ferrata” rout to the summit of Triglav and then rejoin the group later in their hike. We will spend the next two nights in a mountain hut at an amazing sunset location. (6 miles, 2800ft)

 Optional Triglav summit “via ferrata” (10 mi, 4800 ft): This is not part of the Mountaineers itinerary and will be contracted and paid by individual participants with a licensed third-party guiding company including rental of necessary safety gear, if at least 4 people decide to join. Will start and end with the rest of the group. Contact the leader for more details.

September 19, we will do a loop hike from our mountain hut (Prehodavci). We will descend along the Valley of Seven Triglav Lakes, have lunch at one of the other huts along the way and then return along a ridge high above the valley, crossing the rarely visited peaks of Ticarice and Zelnarice. (7 miles, 2300ft)

September 20, we are doing a long descent from Triglav National Park into the Soca Valley. We’ll walk along the Soca River, framed by the tall walls of the surrounding mountains and its narrow canyons. (10 miles, 450ft) We overnight at a farmstead in Jelinc (4 to 6 beds per room, shared bathroom).

September 21, we continue our hike along the Soca River Trail out of the Triglav National Park. The Soca River carves its way dramatically into the rock with stunning views, many swimming holes and several suspension bridges. We end our hike at our hotel in Bovec. (8 miles, 650ft) We’ll conclude our day over a Farewell Dinner to cheers the friends and great memories we’ve made together over the last 10 days!

September 22 is our departure day. We will check out and get our transfer to the Ljubljana airport (9AM departure, 2-hour drive). If you are flying out on the 22nd, please plan your flights no earlier than 3PM.

For further adventuring, continue to Cheryl Talbert’s Global Adventure in Croatia – Dayhike and Explore Through Croatia’s Dalmatian Coast, Islands and National Parks.

NOTE:  As with any extended travel, but particularly in an area with unpredictable mountain weather and changeable trail conditions, our itinerary can change without notice and sections may be modified or dropped.  The priority will always be on safety for all participants. 

Activity Difficulty:    This route ranges from moderate to strenuous, due to some rugged terrain, some moderate exposure, and long days with significant elevation gain. On some parts of this trail, the route is rocky, narrow and ascends or descends steeply. Those with a fear of heights, knee issues, or who are not confident with their balance will not find this trail a good fit. Refer to pictures of the trails here.

Time of Year:   We’ll be visiting during mid-September, which surprisingly has fewer unpredictable storms and quick weather changes than the earlier in the summer. It’s still warm enough and the trails are typically snow-free. However, mountain weather is notoriously fickle, so weather can range from warm and sunny to cold, wet and windy in the span of a day or stay miserable for days. The temperatures in Ljubljana and Bled range from mid 50s to the low 70s during the day. Expect the overnight temperatures at the higher mountain huts to be as low as 35F, and daytime temperatures in the low 50s. August and September are ‘high season’ and considered to have the best weather to visit.

Lodging:  2 nights in a 3-star hotel in Ljubljana, 6 nights in mountain huts with limited amenities and dormitory style co-ed bunk rooms, 2 nights in 4-star hotel in Lake Bohinj, 1 night local farm in the Soca Valley (4 – 6 per room with shared bathroom), 1 night 4 star hotel (Bovec)

Food: Hearty breakfasts and dinners are included on all our trail days.  Participants will have the option to purchase sack lunches for the trail at some of our huts and hotels, though we may also stock up in Ljubljana before hitting the trail.  Lunches and drinks, and dinners in Ljubljana, Bovec and Lake Bohinj, are not included in the trip price.

Leader’s Experience:   Amalija Kopac ( has led many Mountaineers activities, including hiking, backpacking and trail running, and several private backpacks and trips around the US west and worldwide, including previous trips to Slovenia. This is Amalija’s first Global Adventure as a leader and is partnering with her mentor Cheryl Talbert. Cheryl has led many Mountaineers hikes and many Mountaineers and private backpacks, treks and cultural trips around the U.S. west and worldwide, including many Global Adventures. (

Participant Requirements: 

Must be a current Mountaineers member with an up-to-date waiver on file. This outing includes some strenuous hiking on rocky terrain for multiple successive days, so participants need to be in excellent aerobic condition with good balance and confidence traveling on rough, rocky, and steep trails with a pack, and with the experience and willingness to deal with some discomfort, cold and inclement weather for extended periods.  Participants must demonstrate recent experience with multi-day strenuous backpacking or mountain trekking, plus a positive attitude and a demonstrated ability to get along well with groups under demanding conditions. Participants must demonstrate that they are comfortable hiking steep rocky trails that involve taking large steps up or down: these trails are not appropriate for people who experience chronic knee pain on steep trails.

Participants are required to be fully vaccinated and boosted against COVID, agree to wear masks in transit and at crowded public venues in the country, and bring self-test kits and use them during the trip.

As a Mountaineers group we will operate as interdependent, capable travelers making our way together and helping one another succeed and be safe.  You are responsible for your own safety and that of your fellow travelers.  You must have the ability to navigate on trails with a map and compass.

The Mountaineers require participants to carry international medical and emergency evacuation insurance (and recommend trip cancellation and trip delay insurance).

Trip Price Detail:  $3000 including all lodging, Welcome and Farewell dinners, transportation (dedicated private driver), and half-board (breakfast and dinner) during the hut-to-hut treks.  Your airfare (~$1200), travel insurance ($75-350), lunches, drinks and a few other meals in town (~$250) are not included.   International medical and emergency evacuation insurance are required.

Registration Instructions:   Please complete and submit the application form at the link below (leader permission requests are not required).   PERMISSION REQUESTS AND APPLICATIONS WILL NOT BE ACCEPTED UNTIL REGISTRATION OPENS ON 11/28/22, and approval will not be based on the order of application  - applications will be accepted based on fit with the trip requirements and the leader may collect applications for 2-3 weeks before beginning to approve people for the roster.   Please do not register until you receive leader approval.

Application     Trip Agreement     Release
Supplemental Information

After the leader’s approval, please pay the 50% deposit ($1500) in order to hold your space on the roster. Registration will close on February 1, 2023 or whenever the roster fills. A place on the roster can only be held with payment of the deposit. The balance of the trip payment is due by June 1, 2023.

As soon as you have joined the roster, please complete the Trip Agreement and Release forms at the buttons below.  The Supplemental Information form will be requested closer to the trip departure date.

Cancellation Policy:

  • If you cancel more than 80 days in advance of trip departure, you will be eligible for a full refund of monies paid to date less a $100 cancellation fee to cover bank fees.  
  • If you cancel between 60 and 79 days, you will be charged a cancellation fee of $400.
  • If you cancel between 30 and 59 days, you will be charged a cancellation fee of $1000.
  • If you cancel less than 30 days in advance of trip departure you will not be eligible for a refund.  
  • The above cancellation penalties may be waived if someone takes your place on the adventure, but the agreed refund would only be paid after the new person is fully registered.  
  • If the trip cannot proceed due to travel restrictions by the US or Slovenia, or if The Mountaineers decides that the trip must be cancelled due to unsafe conditions or insufficient registration to make the trip viable, the leader will do their best to reschedule the trip to a new date with no associated change fee.  If you decide not to move to the new date, the above cancellation fees will apply.  
  • NOTE REGARDING CANCEL FOR ANY REASON (CFAR) INSURANCE:  To purchase CFAR coverage (which is the only policy that would cover your trip expense if you or the Mountaineers cancelled the trip due to Covid-19 risk), you need to purchase a policy within 14-20 days of paying your first trip deposit.  For available policies, see

Trek Slovenia's Julian and Karawanke Alps

Required Equipment

Required Equipment

After receiving your deposit, the leader will send out a series of letters or emails providing information to help participants succeed on the trip, including recommended and required gear, recommended maps and guidebooks.


Trip Reports