In case you are wondering where to go on your next hiking adventure, let us introduce Triglav National Park in Slovenia where each path brings its own majesty and where subtle light kissed mountain tops rise above beautiful valleys dotted with wildflowers.
After hiking adventures in the Dolomites followed by a trip to Banff National Park, I knew we wouldn’t be able to stay away from snow-capped peaks for too long because spending time in mountains isn’t optional, it’s vital for my mental health. While I was looking forward to seeing Lake Bled and its surrounding scenery, pouring over the maps and planning my hiking adventures in the park was the most exciting part.
I had a memorable time navigating my way through the unfamiliar terrain of Triglav National Park – it provided me with a warm sense of familiarity even though it was my first time roaming around the park.
Jumping across small streams, enjoying speechless moments, running around with pure stoke, tripping in knee-high grass all while trying to immortalise the expanse of natural scenery through hundreds of photographs – it’s incredible that the earth formed in such a way.
9 essential things to know before visiting the beautiful Triglav National Park
Slovenia still remains undiscovered by mass tourism which makes it even more appealing and from a touristic standpoint in terms of natural beauty, hospitality, accessibility, safety and diversity, Triglav National Park makes the top of the list.
In this blog post, we outline 10 essential things you need to know if you plan on visiting and hiking through the Triglav National Park.
#1. General information & fast facts
Established in 1981 and named after Slovenia’s highest mountain Triglav, Triglav National Park is the only national park in the country.
This beautifully diverse and protected area where visitors can hike, swim, bike and relax extends along the Italian border and is part of the Julian Alps. There is so much to see that you can easily spend an entire summer here and still have plenty to do.
- Getting there: Catch a bus at the Jože Pučnik Airport or Ljubljana and travel to Bled which is the nearest town to Triglav National Park. From there you can continue to Bohinj where you’ll find plenty of trails.
- Address: Triglav National Park, Ljubljanska Cesta 27, 4260 Bled, Slovenia
- Top sights: Lake Jasna, Vršič Pass, Kranjska Gora, Tromeja, Soča River, Boka waterfall
- Location: The park is situated in the northwest of Slovenia
- Animals: Golden eagles, brown bears and lynx
- Size: It covers 838 square kilometres
#2. A car is a great way to get around the park, but not essential
Triglav National Park is a pretty amazing place to explore on four wheels – what can be better than whizzing past towering peaks, gawking at impossibly beautiful vistas and stopping every time you spot a stunning composition.
Hiring a car is a fantastic way to efficiently cover the distances between tourist attractions and beautiful towns and also a great way to reach more rural spots that public transport doesn’t cover.
However, if you plan on relying solely on public transport, you won’t be left behind. Buses are comfortable, and there’s heating in winter and air conditioning in summer, but you have to plan ahead. Slovenian public transport that operates between towns and cities is very cheap and reliable, yet it can be a time-consuming way to get around.
During the summer season, plenty of buses can take you from Ljubljana to nearby villages and tourist attractions such as Ribčev Laz and Lake Bohinj. From Bohinj, you can use the ”Hop-on-hop-off’ bus which cost EUR 5 for an adult and runs from 28 June to 31 August.
If you wish to rent a car then shop around for your rental before you make a decision. There are a few things to know before you jump behind the wheel:
- You must be 21 years of age to rent a car
- Driving in Slovenia is on the right side
- Snow chains are required during the winter month
- Seatbelts are mandatory
- Border crossing may require documentation such as your passport or Cross-Boarder Pass
#3. Escape the summer crowds and visit during the shoulder season
The best time to visit Triglav National Park is between June and September because it’s when most of the huts are open for booking, the snow has melted away, and nature is in full bloom. But it is also the busiest time of the year, and if you are setting sights on slightly fewer crowds, you have to way out your options.
Triglav National Park is an all year park, but knowing when to go, especially if you like to be away from tourist crowds just so you can enjoy solitude – will either make or break your trip.
Early autumn and late spring are the best times to visit – it’s when the temperatures are most comfortable. Try to plan around the time when kids go back to school or just before they are done with it.
September is one of the perfect months to spend exploring the Triglav national park – there’s still plenty of daylight to tackle long-distance trails, and the weather is warm. Being surrounded by magnificent mountain views adorned with autumn colours and everything it has to offer is a sight to behold.
It’s also possible to visit the park in the winter, but in order to hit the trails, you ought to be an experienced mountaineer as snowstorms and ice are common.
If you travel with kids then travelling usually means embarking on trips during the summer month – considered a peak season. In this case, to find a quiet spot, you’ll need to get up very early.
#4. It’s an excellent value option
If you’re looking for an excellent value alternative to Swiss and French alps then Triglav National Park is your best bet. Affordable public transport, cosy dorm/hotel beds, tasty meals for under 10 euros – there’s plenty to love about this part of Europe and its low price tag.
- Food | You can expect to pay 8 euros for a vegetarian meal and 14 euros for a pizza and glass of wine in one of the restaurants in Bled. Expect to pay EUR 10 for lunch and dessert in a mountain hut. Self-catering and groceries are very cheap and will set you back to
- Accommodation | Plenty of affordable accommodation can be booked in guest houses, campsites, hotels, hostels at parks entrances. If you plan on staying high up on a mountain, there’s a wealth of options to choose from too – alpine huts, cottages and chalets. Expect to pay up to EUR 20 for a dorm bed, EUR 50 for a double hotel room and up to EUR 30 for a comfy mountain hut bed.
- Activities | The entrance to the park is free; however, you have to pay to visit Vintgar Gorge and Savica Waterfall. Various activities such as ziplining, river rafting, tandem paragliding and guided tours are available for visitors, with prices starting from as little as EUR 35. If you are interested – check here.
#5. There’s so much more than social media would have you believe
There’s so much more to see and experience at Triglav National Park than social media would have you believe. And there’s so much to be fully aware of that even the best equipment can’t capture – listening to the early mornings became alive with bird songs, feeling the rugged façade of the mountain against your fingertips, letting the wind tangle your hair and sensing the distinctive nature’s aromas.
Visit the park at any time of the year, and you’ll encounter extraordinary beauty. In springtime, you’ll find wildflowers such as crocuses complimenting the landscape and in autumn foliage decorates the trees.
No matter how many times you have seen pictures of Lake Bohinj or Savica Waterfall, being there in person and seeing the changing light completely transform the landscape right before your eyes is invaluable.
We can look at the same view and depending on our circumstances, viewpoint and time of day, see something different.
#6. It’s a hiker’s paradise
Nothing tops an authentic experience of a hike that goes on for hours, often filled with excitement and an equal dose of uncertainty.
The most common route that takes somewhere between 6-10 hours to complete, perhaps is the beautifully remote mountain valley known as the Valley of the Seven Lakes. This captivating hike of the Julian Alps – located between Bohinj and Trenta and characterised by a number of little lakes – is 8 km long and not technically difficult.
Another place worth exploring is the Bohinj Plateau where you’ll find larch and pine trees, shepherds huts, plenty of livestock such as cows and sheep and plenty of hiking adventures.
In Triglav National Park, hiking routes are well secured with bolted-down steel cables and there are plenty of other beautiful trails you can choose from:
- The Soča Trail
- The Pokljuka Trail
- The Radovna Cycle Route
- The Mostnica gorge
- The Triglavska Bistrica Trail in the Vrata Valley
- The Tolminka Troughs
#7. Summit isn’t always the prize
Many arrive at the park tempted to reach the summit of Slovenia’s highest peak, and I have to admit that Mount Triglav was the first challenge that emerged in my head once I knew id be travelling to Slovenia in September.
No matter how many summits you have reached before, bagging a new one, especially the highest point in the range, and taking in the views after you endlessly scrambled over rock edges is a truly wonderful feeling.
I spend many hours examining the maps, various routes and admiring Triglav craggy spine. I weighed out options between attacking its peak solo and sharing a route with a guide.
On the one hand – relining solely on yourself to reach the summit or desired peak of a mountain all while observing the weather, studying topography, estimating difficulties and overcoming unforeseen obstacles is a deeply satisfying challenge. A challenge that demands both physical and mental ability to climb skilfully through a sudden storm or find a way across difficult terrain.
On the other hand – climbing with a professional mountain guide who can tell you more about the history of the mountains and about the area as well as providing a few encouraging words is one of the best ways how to explore new grounds.
And from our personal experience, it’s always extra special to share those last few meters with someone.
I don’t claim to have immunity to summit fever yet on this trip, with Triglav peak beckoning under spills of autumn sunshine, I learned to appreciate the beauty of simply being outdoors.
#8. Less is more
The fear of missing out can ruin the soul-satisfying journey you were looking forward to, and that’s why it is essential to find the balance and have time to thoroughly enjoy your surroundings.
Everyone moves at their pace, and you shouldn’t feel inadequate because you have seen a lesser amount of attractions while road tripping and travelling troughs a certain country or place.
Don’t try to cram too much into your itinerary – give yourself enough time between A and B – it often pays to not be in a rush, and by doing so you get to energetically connect to the new place.
I’ve said this before, and ill say it again – it’s always the little things – savour the subtle moments, they might turn out to be the most memorable. Enjoy seeing beautiful nature in sweeping vistas yet learn to appreciate little details too.
#9. Bring your best gear
Do you strive to integrate outdoors into your travel routine and are you travelling to Triglav National Park in order to discover new trails and bag challenging summits?
Either your heart is set on day hikes or hut-to-hut hikes, be a clever hiker and bring your best gear.
- Weather appropriate clothing | Quick-drying pants or shorts, woll&syntetic blended socks, moisture-wicking T-shirt, long-sleeve shirt and lightweight fleece or/and rain jacket to keep you dry.
- Hiking boots or shoes | Bring good quality footwear and make sure you break them in to avoid blisters. Look out for waterproof, breathable and supportive hiking boots that allow you to navigate through dry and wet trails
- Navigation tools | For a trip into backcountry map and compass are two essential navigation tools to keep you from getting lost. Learn how to use both and keep your maps into a waterproof and clear map sack.
- Right size backpack | For a day-hike bring anything between 16 to 24 L and for a multi-day hiking trip look for a bag that’s somewhere between 50-70 litres. If you are not sure than lay out all the gear, you plan on packing and then decide on a size.
- Medical kit |First aid supplies, sun protection, SPF lip balm, bug spray.
- Nutrition | Plenty of healthy snacks such as trail mix and bars.
- Fluids | Bring plenty of water and stay hydrated while exploring the park.
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Now, over to you!
Have you been to Triglav National Park? Let us know in the comments below!
Let us know if you are plotting a visit to Triglav National Park and have travel-related questions!