Slovenia is becoming increasingly popular as a holiday destination; each year more and more travelers are visiting this beautiful country. If you’ve ever been there, you can probably imagine why. Are you planning a trip to Slovenia soon? You might want to consider skipping those touristy hotspots like Lake Bled and Bohinj and head out to the stunningly beautiful Triglav National Park!
Even though the stunning images of Lake Bled and Lake Bohinj persuade a lot of travelers to visit Slovenia, these places are now so immensely popular that you’ll probably be left feeling like you’ve been played by all those pretty images. Don’t get me wrong, the area definitely ís beautiful but there’re simply too many people in summer to properly enjoy it. BUT, this certainly doesn’t mean you should skip Slovenia altogether, because the country has so much more to offer. In my opinion, one of those highlights is the Triglav National Park, where you can find many of the counties highest peaks and some amazing nature and wildlife.
How to get to the National Park?
The National Park owes its name to the highest mountain in the country: the Triglav, with a height of 2.864 meters. But almost the whole park is situated in the rugged Julian Alps, so you don’t even have to go up to the top to enjoy the spectacular mountain view. Triglav National Park is the only national park in Slovenia and in my opinion a must to visit if you are into nature or want to learn more about the cultural aspect of the alps. With a total area of 840 square kilometers, the park is quite extensive and is located in the north of the country. It’s wedged between Lake Bohinj, Tolmin, Bovec, Kranjska Gora, and Mojstrana. So wherever you’re located, the national park probably isn’t far away. There is a hop-on-hop-off bus where you can get off at different places. But there’re more ways to get there. You could rent a bike and cycle to the national park, catch a train or walk your way up there. By leaving your car at home, you’re contributing to the preservation of the clean mountain air, less noise pollution in and around the National Park and last but certainly not least: your carbon footprint will be smaller.
Triglav National Park’s main objective is to protect its nature and cultural heritage. Besides all its natural beauty, the park also has plenty to offer if you’re more into learning about the Slovenian and Alpine culture. There are numerous museums and workshops and you can learn more about the rich history of Slovenia and the many myths and legends that go with it. But to be honest, most people who visit the National Park do so mainly because of the beautiful nature.
All things nature
The nature reserve really has something to offer for everyone: crystal clear rivers, pristine forests, impressive peaks and boulders, glaciers and glacial lakes, valleys and much more. In the Soca valley on the west side of the park, you’ll find the most beautiful trails along the rivers or guiding you towards a waterfall. Around Lake Bohinj, you can take relaxing walks around the lake and in near Radovljica you will find ruins and small churches on top of a hill. And from Kranjska Gora, you can endlessly walk through the beautiful valleys between the high mountain peaks.
If you’re going to plan a trip to the national park, you’re going to need a map. Even when you’re just planning to walk the more common tracks. When we visit the Triglav National Park in Slovenia, we use this detailed map of the area around Mount Triglav. This map lacks a small part of the NP. If you want one that covers the entire national park, then opt for this, slightly less detailed map.
Wildlife in the National Park
There are roughly 7000 species living in Triglav National Park. While hiking you could come across chamoix, ibexes, red deer, foxes, and alpine marmots. And although they hardly show themselves, there are also lynxes and even brown bears in Triglav National Park. Do you encounter an animal during your hike? Make sure you do not disturb them or the environment they live in. There is also no lack of birds in the park. There are no fewer than 84 bird species in the national park, of which the golden eagle is most impressive.
There’s even the possibility to experience the wildlife in Triglav National Park under the professional guidance of park employees. This wildlife watching tours take about four hours and start from Lake Bohinj.
Spending the night in mountain huts in Triglav National Park
Are you up or for a multi-day hike around the lovely Triglav National Park? Then you can spend the night in one of the many mountain huts. Are you exploring the park in the summer? Then it may be wise to book your bed in advance. The mountain huts are full almost every evening in peak season. Check out this website, for an overview of the huts in this area, including how to contact them and their opening hours.
To the top of the Triglav
Fancy getting up the highest mountain in the country while visiting Slovenia? Keep in mind that it’s recommended to take some climbing materials with you. A climbing harness, via ferrata kit and a helmet, are strongly recommended if you’re planning to ascent Mount Triglav. On the way up there, you’ll regularly encounter cables attached to the rock wall. Sometimes they seem unnecessary, but I found them very useful on most parts. The route up the mountain is well marked. If you have some experience in the mountains and know your stuff, a mountain guide is not absolutely necessary.
The hike to the top takes about eight hours, depending on your starting point. It’s more comfortable to spread it over two days and spend the night in a cabin, for example, Triglavski dom na Kredarici at 2515 meters altitude. If you do not know where to start planning your route, then I would recommend buying the book Triglav, Slovenia’s highest mountain from all sides. This book contains most routes to the top of the Triglav with useful information, maps and points of interest during the hike.
The last part of the trail leads you over a narrow mountain ridge. Because the mountain is fairly accessible, it can get quite crowded. Especially in summer, when locals make their way to the national park and the top of the Triglav.
On a clear day, all the pain and suffering while hiking up there, is definitely worth it. Don’t you think?
Before you start your ascent, you’re wise to check the weather forecast. Mountain-forecast.com is not only a good source of information if you want to know what the weather is like on the summit, but they also keep you up to date about the conditions at 1000 and 2000 meter altitude. The mountain huts always have the latest weather forecasts available. So, if you’re unsure or just want to check again, just ask them! Wise, as the weather can quickly change in the mountains.
Hiking in the mountains is great, but remember: it’s definitely not risk-free! Make sure you check out these 11 tips for maximum fun during a hike.
Feeling adventurous? Check out our in-depth guide to the top of the Triglav
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