Arrive at the airport in Ljubljana, Slovenia, by 12pm today. We provide one group-pickup from a downtown hotel at 1pm, and a second pickup from the airport at 2pm. A short transfer brings us to Bled, a picturesque blue-green lake with an 11th-century castle?the oldest in Slovenia? built on a precipice overlooking the lake and town. In the middle of the lake, a 17th-century baroque church is perched on a tiny, tear-shaped island. We'll stroll a section of the pathway that surrounds the lake to take in the remarkable views. Next we continue to Lake Bohinj, the largest lake in the country and our home for the next two nights. Located in the heart of the Triglav National Park, Lake Bohinj is surrounded by steep mountain peaks including Mt. Vogel (5,905') and Mt. Triglav (9,396'). Dinner included.
Transfers: 2+ hours; Walking/sightseeing: 1.5 hours; Terrain: Paved pathways and lakeside road.
Depending upon factors such as weather and group makeup, your guide will recommend two hiking options. The first is a hike up the narrow canyon of Mostnica Gorge to a cascading 200' waterfall. The path here winds through beech forest and past interesting rock formations such as the "elephant's head." We are almost always within view of the aqua-marine river below. There's time after the hike to visit the quaint villages of Studor (famous hay racks), Srednja Vas (known for making some of the best Slovene cheese) and Stara Fuzina at the southern end of the lake. The second hiking option is more rigorous but offers one of the most spectacular views over the whole Bohinj area and the Julian Alps. After a short ride on the gondola-cable car followed by another ride on a ski-lift to the Mt. Vogel ski area , we enjoy a stupendous ridge hike toward Mt. Rodica. This is an uphill trail with huge views of mountains in all directions. We return to Bohinj for the evening. All meals included.
Transfers: 20-50 minutes depending on selected hike; Hiking: 6-10 miles, 4-6 hours, elevation gain up to 2,000'.
An early breakfast, a full daypack, and securely tied boots add up to two days of rugged hiking in Triglav's breathtaking high country. Much of our trail takes us along exposed and rocky terrain, and our hike is dependent on favorable weather conditions. Commencing at the end of Bohinj Lake, we hike west toward the Mt. Bogatin area made famous by Hemingway?s ?A Farewell to Arms?. A series of switchbacks takes us up out of a box canyon and into alpine country. We stop at a mountain hut for a picnic lunch before continuing our hike to another traditional mountain hut where we spend the night. The hut has electricity and hot water as well as beautiful mountain scenery in all directions. All meals included.
Transfers: 20 minutes; Hiking: 11 miles, 5-6 hours, elevation gain 3,000'; Terrain: Forested pathways, open meadows and rocky trails.
We depart for the summit of Mt. Krn (7,365?), an impressive peak that rises more than 6,000 feet above the Soca Valley to the west. This is a steep, strenuous and open hike on a rocky trail leading to the summit from where, weather permitting, we enjoy a stunning view of the Gulf of Trieste to the southwest, the Dolomites in Italy and the Austrian Alps. We stop for lunch in a small hut about 10 minutes short of the peak before winding our way down the rocky, switchbacked and sometimes steep western slopes of Triglav park. We definitely want our hiking poles here. At the end of the trail, we meet up with the support vehicle and transfer to a family-owned lodge near historical Kobarid, where we spend the next two nights. Enjoy the hot showers and the sauna! All meals included.
Transfers: 45 minutes; Hiking: 9 miles, 7-9 hours, elevation gain 3,100'/loss 4,000'. Terrain: Dirt and rocky trails.
There are several options for this day. Take it easy and explore picturesque Kobarid, a town with a history that reaches back into the Iron Age. Be sure to visit the Kobarid Museum (voted Best European Museum in 1993), which displays exhibits of the events that occurred during World War I on the So?ka Fronta - Isonzo Front. A pleasant stroll takes you across a Napoleonic bridge to the lovely Kozjak waterfalls and further along the scenic Soca River. For something completely different, there is also an option of trying the water sports on the unbelievably clear, emerald-blue Soca River. There are few rivers as wildly lovely as the Soca cutting through the Julian Alps. Breakfast and lunch included.
Transfers: 30 minutes; Activity level based on various options; Optional rafting: Class III-IV, 2.5 hours.
We transfer to the small village of Livek and hike through flower-filled meadows to Mt. Matajur, located on the border of Italy. Mt. Matajur offers incredible views to the Krn ranges of Slovenia as well as the plains of Friuli and the Gulf of Trieste in Italy. Our day ends in Piran, one of the most beautiful towns on the Adriatic Coast. This delightful medieval town is located on the tip of a peninsula on coastal Adriatic. Our next two nights are spent in Piran. Breakfast, lunch and dinnerincluded.
Transfers: 3 hours; Hiking: 6.8 miles, 4 hours, elevation gain 2,600'/loss 2,600'; Terrain: Meadows, dirt and rocky paths.
We stroll the beaches along the coast from Piran, passing through a pedestrian tunnel that takes us to the charming little town of Portoroz. Nearby, the Se?ovlje saltpans and their natural elements ? salt, brine, Fango mud ? are prized for their healing properties. Later this morning we board a traditional fishing boat and spend the afternoon cruising the Slovene coastline. We take time for a swim in the Adriatic and enjoy an authentic Istrian "fish picnic" on the boat. The food is delicious and it is great fun! The remainder of the afternoon and dinner are on your own. We gather in the evening for a final dessert together, and raise a toast to a wonderful week of mountain adventures. Breakfast and lunch included.
Transfers: 15 minutes; Walking: 4 miles, 2 hours; Terrain: Seaside promenade with a mix of paved, sandy and pebbled sections.
After breakfast we transfer to Ljubljana in time to meet afternoon flights or train departures. Or, extend your stay to explore the city's Old Town, baroque cathedrals and vast, colorful marketplace. Breakfast included.
Transfers: 1.5-2 hours.