From 16 to 99 year olds
The Julian Alps are the most easterly extension of the great Alpine Range. The jagged limestone peaks hold some of Europe's best scenery and walking, with Mount Triglav (the highest in Slovenia) at the centre of the range, and the glacial lakes of Bohinj and Bled far below. During the week we will enjoy five varied walks, both inside the national park and on the more distant peaks of the beautiful Karavanke Range. Taking in beautiful wild meadows, along the shores of the lakes, through thick forest and across wild open mountain ridges.
Day 1: Start Radovljica.
Join the group in the early evening at the pension in Radovljica, just 20 minutes north east of the capital, Ljubljana. This is our base for the whole week. Pension Kunstelj or similar
Day 2: A day exploring the local area direct from the pension.
After breakfast we enjoy a walk direct from the pension to explore our surroundings. The historic town of Radovljica dates back as far as 1296 sitting on the confluence of the Sava Bohinjka andthe Sava Dolinka. The old town is full of traditional inns, galleries, churches and surrounded by the largest medieval moats in the country. The local area is extremely pretty, dotted with small churches, quaint villages, lush forests and a beautiful river. Our leader will decide the exact route depending on the weather, but walking to Lake Bled is our most likely route, a perfect warm up through gentle rolling farm land and pretty villages
Day 3: From the village of Gozd Martuljek, we hike into the Martuljek
Gorge, visiting two stunning waterfalls along the route. (breakfast) Starting at the small village of Gozd Martuljek we are rewarded with a breathtaking panorama of the Špik mountain range. One of the most beautiful mountains in the Julian Alps, Mount Špik - 2472m is known at the Slovenian Matterhorn and its pyramid summit dominates the Martuljek range. Leaving the valley our forest trail takes us into Martuljek Gorge, here we slowly start our ascent following the stream, where we arrive at the Lower Fall, cascading down to the valley. The trail snakes its way through the forest where we arrive at our rest stop and enjoy the view. Lipovceva Hut has a lovely setting and is known for its open natural kitchen with delicious homemade mountain soups and juices, made from pine, elderflower and berries. From here we head up to the stunning Higher Falls, passing a monument dedicated to Slovenian climbers. This is a lovely walk into the gorge, suitable in all weathers and offering some fine views of two beautiful waterfalls.
Day 4: A picturesque walk in the Karavanke Mountain Range, to the peak of Golica (1836m).
The Karavanke Mountains are the natural and official border between central and Western Europe where Slovenia, Austria and Italy meet. The ranges position has a great effect on Slovenia's climate - hence the soft south Slovene side in comparison to the harsh northern side in Austria. Here you can also find an abundance of alpine fauna and flora, with over 1200 different plant species, as well as having wonderful views into two naturally contrasting countries. We aim for Golica (1836m), part of the longest ridge in Slovenia (120km) and one of the least travelled trails in the area.
Day 5: Free day for optional activities including horse-riding, rafting, visiting Bled or the capital Ljubljana. (breakfast)
Radovljica itself has plenty of possibilities for the rest day. Alternatively, it's a short bus ride to Lake Bled - here rowing boats and canoes can be hired. Others may wish to take the public bus further into the capital of Slovenia, Ljubljana. Another popular alternative is the Postojna Cave Park, home to one of the largest cave systems in Europe.
Day 6: A gentle and scenic hike around the shores of Lake Bohinj or through the Mostnica Gorge (weather dependent). (breakfast)
Today’s walk is flat, but incredibly pretty. This circular walk takes in the whole of the lake and the pretty village of Ribcav Laz with the famous church of St John the Baptist. There are open views all the way to Mt Triglav - Slovenia's highest mountain and fabulous views of the surrounding mountains. Lake Bohinj is surrounded by a ring of mountains so even though you are in the valley there is plenty to see. An alternative route today takes us through the Mostnica Gorge; this route is more likely if the weather is poor as it is less exposed.
Day 7: A day walking on the Pokljuka Plateau. (breakfast,dinner)
The beautiful forested area of Pokljuka, visible from Lake Bled, is stunning. Virtually uninhabited, it is home to alpine cows, rolling pastures, shepherds' huts, forest trails and some lovely open views of the surrounding peaks. Time stands still on Pokljuka, enabling wild flowers to flourish; the flora and fauna of the high plateau is unique to this area and bird life is abundant. There is a wide variety of trails with many possibilities for the day’s hike. Our guide will determine the route based on the weather and the group's ability during the week.
Day 8: End Radovljica. (breakfast)
Our tour ends after breakfast.
You will spend 7 nights in the 2 star Pension Kunstelj, all rooms have en suite facilities. The pension is located near the crystal clear River Sava in Slovenia's most protected historical town - Radovljica, with plenty of local restaurants and bars nearby for the night’s when dinner is not included. The large terrace has spectacular alpine views across the valley to the surrounding peaks, including Triglav in the far distance. To the rear of the property is the large vegetable plot, where you can see staff picking fruit and salads for dinner in the evening. The family also keep bees, whose honey is sold locally.
Tour leader throughout
All breakfasts and 3 dinners included. The location where the group will have their 3rd dinner will be decided on tour according to the groups preferences. Breakfast: Continental breakfast with tea, coffee, cereal, bread and a selection of meats and cheeses, jams and yoghurt. Lunch: Will usually be in a local hut in the mountains. Options can be limited, but all meals are cooked from scratch using fresh local ingredients, and will include hearty soups and juice made from wild berries and elderflower. Evening meal: This will consist of 3 courses. The main dishes can be: risotto, cheese dishes, fish, spaghetti and grilled meat. The guesthouse uses delicious salads and vegetables from the gardens as well as other locally sourced produce. 3 dinners at the pension are included, for the other nights you're free to enjoy the local restaurants in Radovljica.Vegetarians are well catered for, but please let Exodus know in advance if you have any dietary requirements.
Airport transfers will be private minibuses. Transfers to and from the walks will be by public transport, where available and practical, alternatively a private minibus will be provided. Airport transfers are included for those on the group flights. Please note that transfers are not included for clients arriving on any other flight, even if Exodus has booked it.
5 days centre-based walking, 1 free day