Encircled by high mountains, this picturesque village offers a plethora of hiking trails: Bohinjska Bistrica

Approximately 75 kilometers from Ljubljana, the country’s capital, on the outer edge of the Triglav National Park, the largest protected area in Slovenia covering 838 square kilometers that encompasses Mt. Triglav and most of the 400 2K+ peaks found in the country, there is a sense of contented isolation. It seems that wherever you turn there are dusty trails that wind through tall forests and eventually end up in the surrounding snow-capped peaks. Bohinjska Bistrica, a settlement of less than 1,800 people, lies cradled among 2,000-meter high towering mountains, making it a perfect holiday destination for everyone in love with hiking; mountaineers, families and complete beginners included.

Kids hiking in Soriška Planina, Bohinj, Julian Alps, Slovenia
The kids and Lisa taking in epic views from Lajnež, a 1,549-meter high peak in Soriška Planina, south-east of Bohinjska Bistrica and Bohinj

Last week a group of friends and I rented a house perched in an open meadow just above Bohinjska Bistrica. With sunshine and relatively warm temperatures, we climbed mountains every day to take in those epic views of the Julian Alps and Triglav National Park. Here are my favorite hikes we took around Bohinjska Bistrica and they should definitely be on your list as well if you visit the area with or without snow.

Mrežce
Almost 2,000 meters high and just on the opposite side to Mt. Triglav across the narrow but more than the 1000-meter deep glacial valley Krma, stands an impressive mountain with awe-inspiring vistas. Surprisingly easy to climb with only 650 meters of ascent and a hut, open throughout the year, on your way, almost anyone could easily climb it and practically in all conditions. In the past month, I climbed it in perfect sunshine, dense fog, and strong winds, and also with my hiking friends and the kids.

Hiking in Triglav National Park, Julian Alps, Mrežce with a view of Triglav, Slovenia
The highest peaks of the central Triglav National Park seem so close from the top of Mrežce that one could easily reach them
Hiking in Julian Alps towards Mrežce in Pokljuka, Triglav National Park, Slovenia
A hike to Mrežce is marked for under two hours and passes scenic open meadows with views of a dozen of 2,000+-meter high mountains with Triglav in the center
Hiking in Julian Alps towards Mrežce in Pokljuka, Triglav National Park, Slovenia
The first sunny day after a big snowfall reveals a blue-and-white image with trees, bushes and ground all dressed in snow
Julian Alps mountains with a sea of fog, Triglav National Park, Slovenia
While Mrežce is my favorite family hike, one could continue doing a round route across Brda, Okreglež and Debela Peč, and then back down again

Pokljuka
A recreational center 20 minutes from Bled or Bohinj with sledding and hiking options, Nordic walking, and a number of easily accessible 2,000-meter high peaks, Pokljuka is the place to be if you like solitude, nature and sports. Nested between high mountains, the first impression of this forested high karst plateau of around 1,200 to 1,500 meters is often theatrical in its perfection: isolation awash with epic panoramas, tall spruce forests, and a handful of old wooden huts dispersed across hidden meadows throughout the plateau.

For hikers and first-onlookers, hiking possibilities are practically endless; anything from short and easy hikes to multiple-day climbs. If you’re into medium-demanding hikes (3-5 hours, up to 1,000 m elevation gain, technically easy), I suggest you try Mrežce, Debela Peč, Tosc, Viševnik, Vodnik Hut, and Ablanca. Those of you who prefer easy hikes, might want to explore Galetovec, and the Uskovnica, Zajamniki, and Zajavornik plateaus. Those, however, who need a bigger challenge can tackle the peaks of Veliki Draški Vrh, Mali Draški Vrh, and traverse Mrežce, Brda and Debela Peč in one go. Triglav and other spectacular high peaks are reserved for those who are fully fit.

Hiking in Pokljuka, Triglav National Park, Slovenia
Many families enjoy the winter idyll up in Pokljuka
Hiking in Pokljuka, Triglav National Park, Slovenia
Tall spruce forest covered in fresh powder snow on the way to Uskovnica
Pokljuka for sunset, Triglav National Park, Slovenia
The Pokljuka Plateau is known for its beautiful forests and mountain pastures (Javornik, Lipanca, Uskovnica, Zajamniki etc.)
Hiking in Pokljuka for sunset, Triglav National Park, Slovenia
The trails wind over frozen grassy pastures leading towards snow-capped peaks

Soriška Planina
While curving down the pristine white slopes of Vogel above Lake Bohinj would have been the preferred option if there had been more snow when we were there, we instead opted for the lesser known ski center just a few kilometers from Bohinjska Bistrica. Soriška Planina might only have a third of Vogel’s ski runs, however, it is oriented towards various sports activities – from skiing, sledding, snowshoeing and ski-touring, while hiking on its seemingly never-ending ridge opens to expansive 360-degree vistas, and a glimpse of the war history with a handful of well-kept bunkers.

Ridge trail in Soriška Planina, Julian Alps
The ridge extends for kilometers from Možic, Slatnik, Lajnar and Dravh, all peaks between 1,548 m to 1,603 m high
Bunkers of the ex Rapallo Border in Soriška Planina, Julian Alps, Slovenia
Bunkers on the trail remind us of the times between the World Wars, when the Rapallo Border separated both the Kingdom of SHS and the Kingdom of Italy

Hiking above the clouds, mountains, Slovenia, Julian Alps

Hiking above the clouds, mountains, Slovenia, Julian Alps

Black Lake
Arguably the most beautiful Alpine valley in Slovenia, the Triglav Lakes Valley extends about eight kilometers from the 1,294 m elevation above the steep wall of Komarča above Lake Bohinj to the 1,933 m elevation not too far from Triglav itself. By far the fastest way to Black Lake, the first of the seven Triglav Lakes starts from the Savica Waterfall and crosses the steep slopes of Komarča.

Frozen Black Lake, Triglav Lakes, Slovenia, Julian Alps
The seventh of the Triglav Lakes, the 150 m long, 80 m wide and 6 m deep Black Lake turned out to be completely frozen

Vogar
A charming plateau perched above Lake Bohinj, Vogar makes a perfect short hike with excellent panoramic views of the largest glacial lake in Slovenia nested underneath towering mountains. The best part? You can start the walk directly from the lake! Hiking with kids, you’ll probably want to start as high as possible; in this case the parking lot a little further up above Stara Fužina is your best bet. The trail from there is marked for 1.15 hours and is a pleasant walk first on an empty road, then through a forest and finally over open pastures and glades.

A paraglider taking off above Lake Bohinj, Julian Alps, mountains, Slovenia
About an hour into your hike, you’ll find the first view point of Lake Bohinj, also a site for paragliding
Lake Bohinj for sunset, Julian Alps, Slovenia
A few minutes from Kosi Hut, a nice hut open on weekends and national holidays, you’ll find the second panoramic point with views of the whole of Lake Bohinj

Galetovec
Mesmerizing views of Lake Bled with the Alps behind, tranquil nature, abundant wildlife, and lonely trails. As much as I love close-up views of the lake from Ojstrica, a small perch just above Lake Bled, there are days when I appreciate intimacy and empty trails more. With five marked trails and three more unmarked, the three times I hiked Galetovec I only met another person one time. On the same hike I arrived at the top with a bouncy chamois just leaving.

Hiking above Lake Bled, best view of Lake Bled
Lost in a mesmerizing panorama seen from the top of Galetovec

Bled and Ojstrica
Known for its countless outdoor activities and stunning views of the lake and the Alps, Bled for sure is the place to visit when in that area. The medieval castle perched above the lake, the little island with a 1000-year-old church, and the lake, they look best from a small hill called Ojstrica. Nevertheless, apart from the view point hike, there are countless beautiful hiking trails interwoven throughout the forested hills on the western side of Bled.

Best view of Lake Bled, view point, Slovenia
To get that picture-perfect view, extend your tour to a 611m-high hill called Ojstrica. It’s a 15-minute walk uphill on a trail starting near the parking lot in Zaka.
Lake Bled, Slovenia
A classic view of Lake Bled
Hiking around Lake Bled, Slovenia
Giacomo walking back in the direction of Bled after two hours of hiking in the forest speckled with beautiful meadows

Until next time, y’all, and stay tuned for more outdoor adventures! Follow me on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Youtube and subscribe to the feed.

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