Twenty photos to inspire you to climb Mangart

Beautiful and rugged, the Julian Alps have unbelievable charm. Towering mountains, boulders scattered along long scree slopes under unforgiving crumbly limestone walls, streams plunging into sudden gorges. Yet in between all that, you’ll find soft sun-stroked meadows which explode with colorful wild flowers in the summer, enchanting forests and high peaks with hypnotic views. The northwestern Julian Alps might even be the most photogenic corner of the Slovenian mountains, and Mangart, the third highest peak of Slovenia, together with the highest road to its Mangart Saddle at 2,055 meters their very best gems. 

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Best mountain hikes in Slovenia in summer 2023

As an owner of a touring agency and a mountain guide I feel fortunate to be able to do many mountain hikes and climbs and see beautiful hard-to-reach places that many only dream about. Whether it’s a daring ascent of Triglav, the highest mountain of Slovenia, wandering among colorful meadows in the beautifully remote mountains above Jezersko, or a dreamy hike in the hills around Lake Bled. We’ve done all of them together and it’s been pretty damn awesome.

This summer, Tracey, a wonderful gal from Australia, whom I shared two great via Ferratas with, asked me if I ever influence people’s decisions about which tour to select. Put aside professional decision making to suggest an appropriate mountain tour based on people’s skills and experience, I most definitely do. To be honest, I always try to push a bit of my own hiking wishes into the decision process and that is not necessarily a bad thing either. Our clients end up visiting all the best places in any given season. 

When flowers bloom in the mountains, we do the most beautiful loops among fragile daffodils, crocuses, wild orchids, gentians, edelweiss and many others. When an abundance of rainfall fills the enchanting Triglav Lakes up to the brim and sometimes even over, we absolutely skip other hikes and go there instead. When it’s time to do a breathtaking via Ferrata in the mountains, we climb Mala Mojstrovka, but when we want a challenging via Ferrata, we go for the bold climb to Gradiška Tura even if the drive takes much longer than the mainstream ones nearby. Given the fact that I’ve been going around Slovenian mountains for a couple of decades, I can confidently say that those who have trusted Exploring Slovenia so far have not been disappointed. Biased or not.

To prove that, here are ten highlights of our best mountain hikes and climbs in the summer season 2023. Enjoy!

Exploring Slovenia’s best day hikes:
Stunning Julian Alps
Fairytale hike in Karavanke
Goli Vrh above Jezersko
Flower hike on Golica

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The beautiful Vršič Pass in winter

Beginner winter climb in the Slovenian Alps: Mala Mojstrovka

{A disclaimer for the wise: conditions in the mountains can change very quickly, therefore plan your climb accordingly; read about the planned route, check the avalanche reports, the amount of snow in the mountains, and reports about the temperature and wind changes, consult with mountain guides and local climbers,…}

As crocuses, primroses and spring snowflakes awake from the hard soil and the nature in the valleys begins to pick up more vibrant hues of blue and green, the mountains continue to stand firmly their winter ground in the face of the awakening spring. You drive to them in perfect sunshine, but end up climbing in temperatures way below freezing with occasional snow blizzards and fierce wind chills. Yet, the freezing temperatures make the snow stable and awesome for some serious winter ascents, and that’s what counts when you’re slowly battling your way up on the steep snow glazed slopes.

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The peak on the brink of the accessible

Through the window of a car, I remember being awestruck as a child by the serrated outline of a rugged mass of rock and snow, usually shrouded  in a swirl of clouds, towering over Gozd Martuljek’s green and vibrant landscape. Later I learned that the Martuljek Mountain Group is the remotest and wildest part of the Julian Alps with only two mountains accessible on marked and secured trails. Other peaks, all over 2K, quietly watching the world from their solitary abode, remain a place for experienced mountaineers, comfortable with climbing and manoeuvring through the labyrinth of faint tracks.

Many years later I am still awestruck; so much that entering that mystical world seems like a far-fetched unattainable adventure that only exists in dreams. Particularly so in winter. Coming close to it to catch a glimpse of the elusive beauty and absorb the grandeur is another matter. And there is no peak closer than Vrtaško Sleme, which at its 2,077 meters brings you so close to the Martuljek Group it seems like you can almost touch its first peak Kukova Špica.

Exploring Slovenia’s Guided Tour to Špik – another peak in the Martuljek Group

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Hiking in a winter fairy tale above Kranjska Gora: Mt. Cipernik

Serene and tranquil, rising high above Kranjska Gora, this mountain hides under a thick layer of virgin fluffy snow, its top unveiling unspoiled Alpine vistas, never-ending rolling hills, and “the mother of all ski jumping hills” Planica. Yet this lonely 1,745-meter peak is not only a forest hike with only stunning views at the top. Cipernik is adorned with a mysterious “Black cave”, numerous viewpoints, a meadow with a mountain hut, a rock arch formation with a naturally occurring window, and a perfect 6-7-hour round route. Want to hear the crazy part? You can *literally* hike it from the cute little alpine town of Kranjska Gora.

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A glimpse of WWI on a stunning traverse from Bohinj to the Soča

IN Adventure , Alps , Bled , Bohinj , Hiking , Hiking blog , Julian Alps , Krn , mountains , News , Slovenia , Soča

On stunningly beautiful trails above Bohinj, where wild flowers grow in abundance and marmots peek from behind large rocks peppered on Alpine meadows, one may be also taken back to the bloody years of WWI. Numerous deteriorating buildings of the war, remains of walls, an old border line with bunkers, and bombs are dotted all along the rugged mountainous stretch between Bohinj and the Soča Valley.

There we were, on a warm and bright day in late September, wearing our hiking clothes and a backpack with the basics for two days in the mountains, starting out our three-day adventure in the Julian Alps. In the first two days we would hike over 24 kilometers and make 2,050 meters of ascent to reach Mt. Krn, 2,244 m, then descend 1,253 meters down to the Soča Valley and spend the third day hiking and relaxing along the Soča River before driving back to Bled, where we had met earlier that day.

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Jezersko, Exploring Slovenia,October 2017

Exploring Slovenia 2017 through Instagram

IN Hiking blog , Instagram , photography

From the sunrise on Šmarna gora, Jezersko in fall colors, to climbing the Triglav North face, here are the photos you liked the most on @exploringslovenia Instagram.

On the road from the Krvavec Ski Resort to Kriška Planina, Slovenia
When your family rides fluffy slopes of Krvavec and you’re stuck with the dog. To be quite honest, I readily volunteered for the job as I just love hiking around the second largest ski resort in Slovenia. ❤️❄️❤️ December 2017.

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Family hiking: Triglav Lakes and Mala Tičarica

IN Family hiking , Hiking , Hiking blog , Hiking with kids

Our kids have finally reached the age when we can all pack the minimum of things, head towards the mountains and have a hell of a good time. Yay! Since it’s still warm (but not hot) and backpacks much lighter than in the colder months ahead, September is probably the best time to take a weekend trip to the mountains. And so we did.
A reflection of the mountains in a lake; the Double Lake

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Outdoor adventure below Mt. Mojstrovka

Just another day in the mountains: Sleme

IN Family , Family hiking , Hiking , Hiking blog , Julian Alps

A picturesque mountain that’s easily accessible with minimal effort? My sister, visiting from Canada, likes the outdoors but not the sweating part too much. I, on the other hand, needed a little extra, an adventure of a sort to spice up the planned family hike, which I could perhaps even share with my older kiddo. Slemenova špica in the Julian Alps seemed like the best choice and as it turned out – it was.
Hanzova trail below Mt. Mojstrovka and its breathtaking scenery

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Valley Mrzle Vode / Valle di Riofreddo: the best ski touring this season

IN Ski touring

A week of heavy snow fall colored the mountains in white. They looked stunning, promising, even magical in a way. So we set off early in the morning for another ski-tour adventure to one of the most beautiful parts of the Western Julian Alps, the valley of Mrzle vode or as our Italian counterparts call it, Valle di Riofreddo.

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