Walking in the Julian Alps
Hiking in the mountains is one of the most popular activities in Slovenia and many Slovenians are just crazy about conquering the two thousand-meter peaks in the Julian Alps. One can’t escape the mountains in Slovenia, for the mountain chain stretches through two thirds of the country. That is why a large majority of the population is in love with the mountains, especially the Julian Alps, which are considered the pride and as a little mantra of the Slovenians.
The Julian Alps are considered as one of the most beautiful and best for hiking and multi-days, hut to hut trekking tours. Excellent mountain huts, mostly built in the former Century, open their doors to hikers and visitors between June and October. The paths in the Julian Alps are well seen and marked. With a good map of the area, some preparation and proper hiking equipment, one can take a challenge of crossing the Julian Alps in a relatively safe way. There are numerous routes and they well connect the valleys with mountain huts – at the secluded areas of the mountains also with basically equipped bivouacs and of-course they connect the valleys with the top of the mountains as well. Julian Alps are serious mountains due to their heights and weather dynamics! I will not go into detail and describe the feeling when a storm surprises a hiker in the middle of a sunny summer day, but I can tell you that it is not pleasant at all. One needs to take these mountains seriously and approach them with respect.
I have hiked in the mountains for the past thirty years and many things have changed in this time. Julian Alps were once reserved only for true hikers, but one can find paths nowadays in the lower parts of the Alps, which are also appropriate for families and all who are not such good walkers on a demanding terrain. There are also more and more demanding routes or via ferratas, where we need extra climbing equipment and knowledge – suitable for experienced hikers. The most beautiful hiking tours are the ones, which connect mountain huts at various parts of the Julian Alps into a multi-day trekking tour. Once you are up from the valley, you don’t have to descend down, but walk from hut to hut and do the distances. There is enough comfort in the huts for spending several days in the mountains.
Julian Alps are magical, unique and seductively beautiful. It is an unspoiled mountain world of high peaks, sharp ridges and mountain lakes. We can easily highlight the Triglav Lakes Valley with its magical symphony of nature and lakes. A bit to the West is the Krn Lake, which is surrounded by beautiful mountains. The area that surrounds the highest Slovenian mountain – Mt Triglav, a 2864 meters summit is remarkably dynamic and surrounded by steep walls, which emphasize it as a center point of the Julian Alps. The majority of the Julian Alps belong to the Triglav National Park, which has a task of protecting the unspoiled nature of the area.
After so many years of active hiking and climbing in the Julian Alps, I find that I have just now put the mountaineering equipment a bit to the side and began to explore this mountain pearl in all its variety. I enjoy the mountains by walking the easier paths as well and I explore the forests and pastures with my family. I can see the spark in the little eyes and I know that I am passing on the passion for these mountains and nature. The Julian Alps are a “must do” – at least once in a life time.