As tourists snap selfies in front of the deep green Alpine lake Bled and take a boat to the little island with a 12th century church, the dramatic backdrop of the snow-capped peaks of the Karavanke Mountains lure the other kind – the adventurers at heart. The highest in the 120-km-long mountain range, which stretches all the way from the border with Italy and Austria, to Croatia, is the outstanding Mount Stol.
Hiking it will serve you idyllic vistas quite different from the sheer walls and rugged landscapes typical of the Triglav National Park. Here you’ll be given incredible views across the valley floor, the Sava River, and Lake Bled, while the top will literally blow your mind away as the landscape suddenly transforms into an Alpine fairy tale with seemingly never-ending white peaks all around.
Join us on our guided tour to Mt. Stol
Hiking to the top
Perhaps one of the most favorite day missions just a stone’s throw from Bled, Mt. Stol, should not be missed if you have the energy and the right weather window. The classic trail from the Valvasor Hut climbs up over 1,000 meters, so make sure you have allocated enough time, water, and snacks for the ascent. Also, depending on the time of the year, it’s non-negotiable you need solid hiking experience, and the right gear – crampons and an ice axe (and experience!) in winter conditions.
The huts and food
For those of you who prefer to eat in a mountain hut rather than carry the extra weight on your back, I have both good and bad news for you. The good news is that the Valvasor Hut, a cute mountain hut right next to the trailhead, along which you can either hike or drive, has been voted the best hut in Slovenia three times in the past several years! They serve high quality mountain food all with the ingredients from local farms, so you need not look any further where you’ll regain the lost energy after a long hike. The bad news, however, is that the mountain hut at the top is open only from mid -June until August and closed for the rest of the year. Nonetheless, hot tea and a good sandwich, shared with your likely-to-appear best friends – the Alpine choughs (Slo. planinske kavke), might turn your little picnic spot into a real delight.
I’ve hiked Stol in possibly all conditions, yet every time I end up concluding the feat with one simple thought: it’s indeed perfect in all conditions! There may be perfect blue skies and a light breeze on a warm summer day, or a foggy and windy day in autumn. You may also be wading through flower speckled meadows in spring, or making your way up with crampons in a snowy fairy-tale landscape. It doesn’t matter really, as long as you are prepared and keep your eyes open. This stunning mountain offers epic views of the valley with the Triglav National Park rising above it, and the endless sea of peaks of the Karawanks.
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