Triglav National Park: Hiking Slovenia's Stunning Alps

Lake Bled, Slovenia Slovenia Tourism
Situated in the northwest corner of tiny Slovenia, a nation on the Adriatic sea between eastern Italy, Austria, and Croatia, you'll find Triglav—the second-oldest national park in Europe. Preserved in some form for nearly a century, it's more than just a popular nature spot. Along with the surrounding Julian Alps, Triglav is the locaction of the country’s most iconic landscapes, starting with the fabled fairy-tale town of Bled and its beautiful namesake lake (pictured above). To whet your appetite for this deservedly celebrated region, tour our roundup of Triglav's most enchanted natural wonders.
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Mount Triglav Slovenia Tourism

The importance of Mount Triglav, pictured in the background, cannot be understated. Although just 9,400 feet (2,865 m) in elevation, it is both the visual and figurative king of the Julian Alps—which are the southeastern, and mostly Slovenian, section of the famed Europan mountain range. In fact, Triglav’s prominence, run-off, and far-reaching geological impact are so important to the nation that Slovenia included the “three-headed” peak on its official emblem and flag.

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Bled, Slovenia Slovenia Tourism
Fairy tales are often evoked when describing Slovenia, especially in reference to Bled, an unthinkably romantic mountain lake overlooked by a castle (pictured above), surrounded by an alpine village, and rendered magical by a church-topped island that looks like it came straight from a storybook. While it's the most popular of all attractions in Slovenia, Bled is merely the starting point for exploring Triglav.
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Forests Slovenia Tourism

Green—that’s the best way to describe this New Hampshire-sized country. Since more than 50% of Slovenia is forested, you will see no shortage of green (or, in autumn, New Hampshire-worthy shades of red, gold, and yellow) during your visit. Whether hiking along the Seven Lakes of Triglav, through the Julians' many gorges, or across Trenta and Logar valleys (more on those soon), you will be bathed in green. Beech and spruce trees are everywhere and ever-present. In fact, except for Scandinavia, Slovenia has more forest cover relative to its size than any other country on the continent.

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Julian Alps Slovenia Tourism
Known for its hiking, Triglav and the surrounding Julian Alps feature well-marked trails, climbing routes, and mountain huts (pictured). Named after Julius Caesar, the jagged peaks and serene valleys could easily double as Bavaria, Tyrol, or even parts of New Zealand and Patagonia—they really are that stunning. Big distinguishing factors, however, are Triglav's villages, castles, and many churches, which are neat, clean, and inviting. A few companies, such as Alpine Exploratory and Slotrips, organize multiday, hut-to-hut hiking trips in both Triglav and the greater Julian Alps.
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Seven Lakes Slovenia Tourism
It’s not just the trees that are green. Due to high amounts of limestone, nearly all of the region's lakes and rivers remain a remarkable shade of electric teal. Pictured here in spring, one of the Seven Lakes of Triglav begs to be explored. All told, Seven Lakes is considered one of the most beautiful sections of hiking in the entire park.
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Soca River Slovenia Tourism
Rafting, swimming, and cliff jumping into the inviting Soca River are popular pursuits for locals and visitors alike. Although short on rapids, the river is technically challenging—it's filled with giant boulders that must be negotiated (or leaped from) at every other turn. While on the river, you’ll also see century-old remnants and battle lines from World War I.
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Logar Valley Slovenia Tourism
The breadth of Slovenia’s incredible countryside surprises most first-timers, and because the country is so compact, almost all of the good stuff can be reached in an hour or two of driving from Triglav. Winding but easy-to-navigate and well-marked roads take you to Logar Valley (pictured above), Trenta Valley, and any number of other peaceful spots—so rent a car. Make sure you leave lots of time to stop and gawk at the panoramas and gorgeous villages along the way.
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Vintgar Slovenia Tourism
In addition to mountains, rivers, and lakes, Slovenia is known for its misty gorges. Whether on the boardwalk of Vintgar (pictured above), the steep and historic Tolmin, or the serene Mostnica, you’ll walk alongside green-running water flanked by evergreen trees. And these sites are so close together you can drive to them all within a single day.
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Lake Bohinj Slovenia Tourism
A half hour from Bled and second to it in popularity, the beautiful Lake Bohinj (pictured above) is as stunning in autumn as it is in summer. Vogel, a popular ski resort, overlooks the water from high above. This is where many hikers begin the Seven Lakes of Triglav trek. Heaven on Earth? That’s what many of the proud locals would say of the area. And why shouldn’t they? Just look at this place.
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ram, slovakia Slovenia Tourism
Visitors to Triglav and the Julian Alps will also have the chance to spot the Alpine ibex, a wild mountain goat, as they travel the quiet trails. Much like the park they reside in, the ibex are beautiful—and not seen nearly enough.
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