Julian Alps

The mythical tales behind Slovenia’s mountains

IN Uncategorized

Slovenia, with its stunning mountain peaks, glacial lakes, and clear blue rivers, remains to be an ideal destination for all kinds of outdoor enthusiasts. When a country is filled with such enchanting scenery, there is bound to be a trove of fairy tales surrounding it.
For those familiar with Slovenia’s mountains, perhaps your next hike will be a different experience once you learn of the legends behind these peaks. Not only will you enjoy the country’s natural beauty, but also appreciate its rich culture and folklore.
Jezersko, Exploring Slovenia,October 2017

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Martuljek Mountain Group as seen from Gozd Martuljek near Kranjska Gora, Slovenia

Waterfalls around Kranjska Gora

Hurtling over cliffs, narrow gorges, and mysterious mists lingering in the thick tall forest now dressed in spectacular autumn hues, the waterfalls around Kranjska Gora tend to be most spectacular particularly during the rainy months in the fall. The most fascinating falls in the area, the Peričnik Fall and Martuljek Falls, make a perfect daily trip either in moody weather or sunshine.

For more hiking ideas around Kranjska Gora, you are welcome to read Colors of the fall around Kranjska Gora: Trupejevo Poldne and Sleme 
Julian Alps in fall, autumn, Slovenia, Kranjska Gora, Trupejevo Poldne
 

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At the top of Mt. Križ, Julian Alps, Slovenia

Climbing 2 K+ mountains in the Julian Alps after the first snowfall

IN Hiking , Julian Alps , Triglav National Park , via ferrata

With the early snowfall coloring the peaks of our highest mountains white, my thoughts go back to a special two-day climb in late August to three beautiful mountains in the Julian Alps I was honored to climb with my Dutch-Austrian friend Georg. Originally, we had been planning to climb Triglav over its 1-km high vertical North Face taking the Prag Route on the first day and explore the Triglav Lakes Valley on the second day, but as fate would have it, Slovenia experienced a sudden extreme drop in temperature just a few days before our trip and the mountains above 1,800 m dressed in an unexpected 30-cm snow cover. That called for a quick last-minute change of plan, and instead of climbing the Triglav North Face, we rather opted for the southern slopes of the spectacular mountains on the opposite side of Vrata Valley, also home to the beautiful Alpine ibex.
Hiking in the Julian Alps, view of the Triglav North Face, Slovenia

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Logar Valley, Slovenia

Exploring a most beautiful Alpine valley of Slovenia – hiking, climbing and flyfishing in Logar Valley

IN fly fishing , Hiking , Kamnik-Savinja Alps

When making my way across the highest peaks of the Kamnik-Savinja Alps at the beginning of August, I looked 1,500 meters down from the top of Mt. Planjava, and played with the idea of returning to the same Alps, only instead of going up from the south I would set my base in the north, in Logar Valley. Interwoven with breathtaking green trails that usually end somewhere way up in the high mountains, beautiful tranquil trails along the Savinja River and countless little wild streams in the broader Solčava Valley, the 7-kilometer long Logar Valley is by far one of the most picture-perfect glacial valleys in Europe. As it turned out, it was indeed perfect for yet another hiking, via-ferrata and flyfishing adventure.

Fly fishing brown trout, Logar Valley, Slovenia
Who would’ve guessed a complete rookie like me would ever catch a fish as big as that, right? Well, my instructor might have added that crucial jerk to the fishing rod, but hey, who was I to argue the relevancy of that jerk once I was holding a huge trout in my hands! ?

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Hiking in the Kamnik-Savinja Alps, Ojstrica

Traversing the Kamnik-Savinja Alps across the highest peaks

IN Central Slovenia , Hiking , Kamnik-Savinja Alps , mountaineering

Looking at the Kamnik-Savinja Alps, a beautiful mountain range closest to Ljubljana, lit in vibrant early morning colors with veils of fog lingering below rugged peaks, I got an ingenious idea I just couldn’t shake off. In a weekend excursion, I would traverse a good part of the Kamnik-Savinja Alps across the peaks I hadn’t climbed yet! With five out of eleven favored peaks already checked, I was looking forward to climbing another set of five peaks in one go; Ojstrica, Planjava, Turska Gora, Koroška Rinka and Skuta – all mountains above 2 K meters, steep, and on my planned route from east to west.

The Kamnik-Savinja Alps for sunrise
The Kamnik-Savinja Alps for sunrise as seen from Šmarna Gora

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Rainy Julian Alps with the Americans

IN Hiking , Julian Alps , Lakes , Triglav National Park

One day in February I got the most exhilarating call. It was Alenka from the Ljubljana Guides asking me if I could join her on an organized group hike in the Julian Alps in July. The plan was to start the hike from Savica above Lake Bohinj, go to the Krn Lake Hut on the first day, then off to the Triglav Lakes on the second and third day, and finally head back down to Lake Bohinj across the Blato Plateau on the fourth day. It sounded like a blast and so I was in!

Hiking in Julian Alps, Slovenia
Hiking towards the Krn Lakes. Photo by: Journey Through Italy

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Wandering through the land of the Alpine ibex

IN Alps , Julian Alps

On the hidden slopes of the Julian Alps lies a remarkable kingdom of the legendary Goldhorn, an Alpine ibex with golden horns that had supposedly chased away everyone intruding upon his territory. Today, the rare Alpine ibex continues the Goldhorn’s famed charisma. With only about 300 left in the Slovenian Alps, their awe-inspiring image with horns as long as over a meter earned them the title of the king of the Alpine world. While there’s a big chance meeting a chamois in the Slovenian Alps, finding an ibex generally means knowing its territory well, seeing a large group of ibexes, on the other hand, only means sheer luck.

Alpine ibexes with Triglav in the back, Julian Alps, Slovenia
The guardians of Mt. Triglav

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The Double Lake, Triglav Lakes, Julian Alps, Slovenia

A spectacular yet stormy adventure through the Triglav Lakes

IN Adventure , Hiking , Julian Alps , Lakes , Triglav National Park

To be fair, May was not the best month for hiking in terms of good weather. I had so many plans yet realized so few (come check my Facebook for more adventures). Thankfully, sunny and warm June is here, which started off with the bonus that May had left behind – plenty of water and lush vegetation. So, if there’s ever the right time to do the Triglav Lakes trail, then it is definitely now. Hear my story.

Triglav Lakes, the Big Lake, Julian Alps, Triglav, Slovenia
Arguably the most beautiful Alpine valley in Slovenia, the Triglav Lakes Valley extends about eight kilometers from the 1,294 m elevation above the steep wall of Komarča above Lake Bohinj to the 1,933 m elevation not too far from Triglav itself. If you’ve ever wanted to make a trek around there, typical Triglav treks combine an ascent to Triglav with a walk through the Triglav Lakes Valley. Not a total shocker, right?

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Wild daffodils in the Slovenian Alps, the Karawanks, Dovška Rožca

Chasing spring flowers in the Slovenian Alps: Dovška Baba

IN Hiking , photography

Spring too often seems to take its time arriving in the Slovenian Alps. But when it does turn up, it creates otherworldly scenery spreading wildflower colors everywhere. While in May you can find glorious spring practically everywhere at different elevation, there are a few spots particularly famous for their blooming flowers. Yes, I’ve written about Velika Planina and Golica already, but here is yet another beautiful flower hike, which against all odds isn’t crowded at all.

A dog enjoying in a field of wild daffodils on Dovška Rožca, the Slovenian Alps
The Dovška Rožca Plateau and its daffodils (16th May)

Blooming fields of dandelion, Slovenia, the Karawanks
Long yellow meadows of dandelions blooming somewhere at the beginning of the Dovška Baba trail.

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Crocuses on Velika Planina for sunrise

When Velika Planina dresses in purple: welcome to endless fields of crocuses

On the southern rim of the Kamnik-Savinja Alps, some thirty kilometers north of Slovenia’s boutique capital Ljubljana, lies a large Alpine plateau called Velika Planina. The place is known not only for its unique shepherds’ settlement, arguably the oldest in Europe that remains active to date, but also for organic milk goodies produced every summer. Locals and tourists alike visit it for its long hiking and biking trails, skiing and sledding in winter, good food and friendly people. Every spring, though, something extraordinary happens: as the snow finally melts sometime in April, little crowns of crocuses flood the whole plateau turning a good part of the landscape purple.

Purple crocuses on Velika Planina, Central Slovenia
Tranquil open plains of Velika Planina colored purple slowly disappearing into a playground of snow-capped peaks. Picture courtesy: Barbara Kandus (thanks!)

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