Slovenia is a country in central Europe, and it is well known for its mountains and lakes. The Slovenian Mountain Trail is both the most popular and the longest distance trail in Slovenia.
Beginning in Maribor, the trail crosses mountains and plateaus, weaving through forests and valleys, finally ending at Ankaran.
Here is a our complete guide to the Slovenian mountain hiking trail.
- The entire Slovenian Mountain Trail takes roughly 30 days, and covers a distance of 599km.
- The route is well marked by Knafelc blazes, which are white dots with a red circle around it.
- The highest point on the trail is Slovenia’s highest peak, Triglav (2,864m).
- The fastest time someone has taken to do the trail is 7 days, 8 hours and 10 minutes,
- There are 49 huts and 5 towns along the trail. Camping is prohibited in Triglav park. The huts are popular in the peak Summer season so booking early is important.
- The trail was the first transversal hiking trail in Europe and is also the longest in Slovenia. It was also the first connective mountain trail in the world.
Slovenian Mountain Trail Overview
The Alps extends into Slovenia and this is where most of the trails in the country are situated. The trail covers most of the Slovenian mountain areas including Pohorje, the Julian Alps, the Karawanks, the Kamnik-Savinja Alps, as well as the southwestern part of Slovenia.
The Julian Alps, Kamnik - Savinja Alps, and Karawanks are mountain ranges in the Southern Limestone Alps. The Karawanks chain is one of the longest in Europe and has great tourist significance.
Wildlife and Plants
Slovenia is home to more than 3,200 plant and 15,000 animal species, meaning that the country’s flora and fauna are among the richest in the world.
If you are lucky you may catch a glimpse of impressive animals such as the Golden Eagle, Stork, and the Brown Bear.
You may see plants such as the well-known Edelweiss and the Snake's Head Fritillary, both of which are considered endangered and are protected in Slovenia.
The trail passes through extensive and gorgeous forests, which are home to a variety of wildlife.
This 30 day trek really is a hikers dream, and the trail crosses all the Alpine ranges in Slovenia.
The trail has no restrictions in terms where you begin and end, and you can take as long as you like.
The route is well marked by Knafelc blazes, which are white dots with a red circle around it.
There are 49 mountain huts and 5 towns that the Slovenian Mountain Trail connects.
The Slovenian Alps is home to 101 different huts, shelters and bivouacs - however, it is a good idea to note that the shelters and bivouacs are only for emergencies.
If you are planning a multiday hike, the best option is the mountain huts, which are generally a few hours apart.
When you are in the mountains, huts are your only option as pitching a tent anywhere in the Triglav Park is forbidden and camping will result in a fine.
The more popular huts generally fill up in the summer season, so if you are hiking then it may be a good idea to book ahead of time.
One of the best parts of the Slovenian Alps is that is very affordable, especially in comparison to the Swiss and French Alps.
Slovenian Mountain Trail Top Tips
- A wind and waterproof jacket always comes in handy, especially on chillier days.
- All the water in the mountains is clean, and therefore is good for drinking.
- Remember to take a bag with for your rubbish, as you want to leave the pristine environment how you found it.
- Check the weather forecast before heading out, the weather can change rapidly in the mountains so make you are prepared for anything.
Slovenian Trail Map & Guidebook
Finding English maps of the route may be difficult, however, the entire route is covered by seven maps that are produced by the Alpine Association of Slovenia.
Here is a free online map as provided by the Alpine Association of Slovenia.
Alternatively, this guidebook, Trekking in Slovenia - The Slovene High Level Route by Justin Carey and Roy Clark, is very good
Typical Itinerary for Slovenian Mountain Trails
The Alpine Association of Slovenia states that the order and time that you choose to hike the Slovenian mountain trail is insignificant, and you can begin in the middle of the route or at the beginning.
The amount of time you spend is also irrelevant, and you can spend decades (in bits and pieces) or a couple of weeks completing the journey.
However, the route generally begins in Maribor. Please note, the outlined stages were as suggested by the Trekking in Slovenia guide.
Stage 1: Maribor to Slovenj Gradec
Stage 2: Slovenj Gradec to Solcava
Stage 3: Solcava to Zgornje Jezersko
Stage 4: Zgornje Jezersko to Tržic
Stage 5: Tržic to Mojstrana
Stage 6: Mojstrana to Vršic
Stage 7: Vršic to Trenta
Stage 8 & 9: Trenta to Idrija
Stage 10, 11 & 12: Idrija to Ankaran
To get a better idea of what the stunning Slovenian Mountain Trail looks like and entails watch Wanderbursche’s video.
You really get a feel for the stunning mountain trek as well as the challenges along the way (note: not in English).
Preparing for Trekking in the Slovenian Mountains
Best Time To Go
An important aspect to consider when planning your hiking trek along the Slovenian Mountain Trail is when to go.
This is due to the fact that the winter months can be quite cold and snowy. The time with the best weather, when routes are clear from snow, is from mid-June to the end of September.
It is a good idea to note that the high mountain huts are only open from July to September. The time between October and May may see high levels of snow.
The hike ranges in difficulty, from easy to difficult, with certain sections easier or more challenging than others.
Some areas require mountaineering experience while other can be done by any reasonably fit hiker.
You do not need a permit to hike and the trail is stated to be 'unconditionally open to the public’ and anyone can hike the trails at their own risk.
The trail passes 49 mountain huts and you can get a stamp to prove that you hiked the trail.
Frequently Asked Questions
Do I need a reservation to go on Slovenian Trail hikes?
When is the best time to visit the Slovenian Mountain Trail?
Are the Slovenian Mountain Trail hikes difficult?
What gear do I need?
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Hi, is it possible to do the Mt Krn hike in end of April?
Hi Elain, yes, end of April is a fine time to hike Mount Krn but make sure to check weather reports before starting as the trail can be very dangerous in inclement weather.
I’m going to hike the mountain trail here in July. I find it hard to find hut accommodation in some of the stages because some of them are only open in the weekends. E.g. the final stage 12, from Matavun to Ankaran, I have not been able to find any.
Do you have any suggestions to huts or alternative accommodations in this stage, such as shelters? and did you do wild camping?
Thanks in advance!
Hi Tobias, Unfortunately I don’t know the answer to your question. Can anyone help Tobias out?
Hi ya Mark, I am planning to run the full length of the Slovenian Mountain Trail next year as a solo adventure.
However, one website said that there is a section where ropes and helmets are required. Are you aware of where this and if there is a way around it?
Hi Duane, I’m not actually sure on about this. I suspect there are alternatives to the sections that require rope / helmets etc. but don’t know for certain. Can anyone help Duane?
Thank you, I am sure someone will have the answer to this question.
I have plenty of time to sort stuff out.
The only section you need a harness is for the final assent to the peak of Mt. Triglov. You will not be running that part as it is pretty much vertical and you would be smart to use the via ferrata lines. You can get a harness at any of the three mountain huts that are situated at the start of the three paths to the top. I have seen people do this without harness and helmet though as well. Nobody is there to stop you if you do not have the right equipment. But better to be safe. If you don’t want to climb Triglav, then I woudn’t worry about it.. but the peak of Triglav is on the SMT route, so you will have to do it if you want to say you have walked the full trail.