Saturday, July 7, 2018 - Saturday, July 21, 2018
Have you ever wondered what traveling and hiking in Slovenia would be like? Do you enjoy alpine villages, beautiful scenery, delicious food, wonderful hiking and new adventures? Then you should join us as we set off to explore the Julian Alps (named for Julius Caesar) in the northwestern part of the country within yodeling distance of both the Italian and Austrian borders. Here, the mountain culture has a Slavic flavor. One of our potential hikes will take us to the top of a mountain where all three countries meet! The northwestern corner of Slovenia, bordering Austria and Italy, is crowned by the Julian Alps. The Slovenian mountainsides are laced with hiking paths, blanketed in deep forests, and speckled with ski resorts and vacation chalets. Beyond every ridge is a peaceful alpine village nestled around a quaint Baroque steeple. And in the center of it all is Mount Triglav, Slovenia's national symbol and tallest mountain. Most of the Julian Alps are encompassed by Triglav National Park (Triglavski Narodni Park) which is one of the largest national reserves in Europe. It is a pristine, visually spectacular world of rocky mountains- the centerpiece of which is Mount Triglav (2864m), the country's highest peak - as well as river gorges, ravines, canyons, caves, rivers, streams, forests and Alpine meadows. Visitors are pleasantly surprised to find Slovenia's rolling countryside dotted with quaint alpine villages and the spires of miniature Baroque churches, with breathtaking, snowcapped peaks in the distance. The country has a funny way of making people fall in love with it. Slovenes are laid back, easygoing, stylish and fun. Slovenes brag that their country, with 56 percent of the land covered in forest, is Europe's second-greenest. We will take in all of this greenery, and learn to recognize the characteristic Slovenian hayracks (recognized as part of the national heritage and now preserved). Mount Triglav (Three Heads) stands watch over the Julian Alps, and all of Slovenia. Slovenes say that its three peaks are the guardians of the water, air and earth. This mountain defines Slovenes, even adorning the nation's flag. We will divide our time between Ljubljana, the capital of Slovenia, and two alpine villages; the Lake Bohinjska area and Kranjska Gora. We like to stop occasionally to enjoy the magnificent mountain views, look for animals, and admire the alpine wildflowers (which should be plentiful), or take photographs. The first few days will feature low-level hikes to acclimatize you carefully to the altitude. Thereafter, at higher elevations the intermediate day hikes will range from 4 to 6 hours in length, with elevation change (ups and downs) varying from 1500 ft. to 2000 ft. per day.