Slovenia - Mountain Walking - August - September 2015

I spent a very enjoyable 23 days walking in the mountains of Slovenia. I started from the city of Maribor and first crossed the Pohorje Plateau, and then made my way to the very rugged Kamniško-Savinjske Alpe. Then over some smaller peaks to the Karavanke Alps, and next to the Julian Alps. All of this walk was along good  tracks, although some of the steeper and exposed sections has assistance in the form of steel pegs and cables. All nights were spent in either mountain huts (kočas or doms) or hotels or hostels in the valley towns. Meals and other refreshments were available at those locations and the only food I carried was some bread, cheese and salami for lunch and a few other items of snack food.

The route I followed for the most part was the Slovene High Level Route (Slovenska Planinska Pot or Transverzala). This route is very well described in a Cicerone Guidebook "Trekking In Slovenia" by Justi Carey and Roy Clark (2009). In addition my friends Ashley and Kendy Burke walked a long section of the Transverzala in 2010 and were very enthusiastic about it. Ashley has well documented their walk on his website. Ashley's photos were great inspiraion for my trip.  He also went out of his way to answer my queries. I thank him for his very generous help.

"Don't be in a hurry. Stop. Listen. Feel."


Page 1 - Maribor - Pohorje Plateau - Slovenj Gradec

Page 2 - Slovenj Gradec - Solčava

Page 3 - Solčava - Kamniško-Savinjske Alpe

Page 4 - Kamniško-Savinjske Alpe - Zgornje Jezersko

Page 5 - Zgornje Jezersko - Tržič

Page 6 - Tržič - Karavanke Alps

Page 7 - Karavanke Alps - Mojstrana

Page 8 - Mojstrana - Julian Alps

Page 9 - Julian Alps - Bohinjsko Jezero


I used these maps -
All 1:50,000 scale, Planninska Zveza Slovenije. I bought the first map from the Tourist office at Maribor, and the other three at a bookshop in Slovenj-Gradec.

This site has a map of the whole Transverzala, with a gpx file that you can download.


All mountain accomodation was in mountain huts known as koča or dom, that are owned by the Planninska Zveza Slovenije. The hut keepers also provide food and refreshments. I am a member of the Austrian Alipne Club and this provided a discount for the accommodation part of the bill. In the towns in the valleys I stayed in hostels, hotels or Bed and Breakfast places. All were good and on many occasions the local tourist office was very helpful with accomodation advice and bookings. I found I spent about €30 - €35 in the lower huts and €50 in the higher huts each night (afternoon drinks, dinner, accomodation and breakfast). It is possible to book the huts in advance - but I never did this. I did find huts booked out on some occasions - probably due to special events eg a birthday party. Quite often however, I was the only overnight guest staying in the hut. Most visitors only called in for a meal or drink during the day. Huts were always busier on weekends (Saturday night).

Food and Drink

The huts provide quite good meals - but the choice is often limited (which is fair enough given their location). Common meals are Goulash (beef stew), Ričet (Barley stew - often with meat), Jota (Boiled sausage with sauerkraut), Thick vegetable soup, Pasta such as Spaghetti Bolognaise). All meals are served with a bowl or bread. Breakfast - I mainly had bread with jam and coffee and/or tea. Tea is often very sweet fruit tea. The local beer is excellent.  The main brands are Union and Laško. I particularly enjoyed the Laško Zlatarog.

For lunch, I carried a small loaf of bread and cheese and salami. Chocolate for snacks. Orange drink powder.


I took a small Lonely Planet Phrasebook (Central European) - which had a brief but useful Slovene section. I found most, but not all hut keepers spoke reasonable English.  English seemed to be a lot more spoken than German (Eg Austrian hikers I met spoke in English to the hut keepers - evn in huts on the border). The only Slovene I learnt were essential words like "Pivo" (beer).

For hikers - the following is useful -

kot or dolina - valley
vrh - summit or high point
sedlo - saddle
slap - waterfall
voda - water
planina - alp or open clearing


I cashed up on Euros from ATM's in Vienna and Maribor. There were ATM's in many of the towns I passed through - eg Slovenj-Gradec, Solčava, Mojstrana. Most of the mountain huts only accepted cash.


I carried all my stuff from Australia with me - including spare clothes, camera batteries and chargers, cables etc. I found I could recharge my batteries in all the towns and some of the mountain huts. All the towns had wifi available in my accommodation - which was useful to keep in touch with friends, weather forecasts etc. Some stuff I carried -

Pack - smallish backpack
Sleeping Bag - I carried a 500 g bag and did use it a bit, but most huts had blankets.
Inner Sheet (silk) - I used this in many mountain huts although quite a few had linen.
Water bottle - essential in the limestone country with little surface water. A 1.25 PET bottle was sufficient. Many huts had taps where you could fill your bottle. Or you could use springs. I had to buy bottled water twice.
Clothes - I mainly walked in shorts and a light shirt. A hat was very useful. I also used a light fleece and sometimes long pants. Once or twice - light gloves and a beenie. I also carried a Patagonia Nanopuff jacket whcih I wore around the huts. I never used a down vest I carried. I wore Salomon hiking shoes and light Darn Tough socks ( 2 pairs - which I alternated every few days). 2 thermal tops (one 1 next time), Rain jacket - useful, overpants - used a bit, should have been used more!)
Trekking poles - very useful (Helinox)
Gadgets - Camera (see below), Kindle - very useful in the evenings in the huts when no one spoke English, iPhone (useful when wifi was available) - and I had the openstreet map for Slovenia loaded on (using the app), iPod nano, GPS (Etrex - very seldom used), very small radio - seldom used (no English language stations that I could pick up)
Harness and Via Ferrate self belaying device - never used on this trip (but could have been essential if I had varied my route)
Very small first aid kit, toiletries. Suncream - used in the high mountains
Swiss army knife, spoon and cup (the scissors on the knife were useful for trimming fingernails etc)
Light pack cover (used a bit)
Emergency shelter - small cuben fibre tarp (not used)


The weather I had was mixed. Most days were fine and excellent walking weather.  I had some very wet days - best spent in the shelter of a hut. I had some very hot days in the high mountains - and it was hard to find shade. When wifi was available I could get a weather forecast (I had pre-bookmarked locations like this using the Norwegian Weather Service) - these forecasts were generally reliable and very useful.

Photography Notes

I carried a Sony Nex 7 with 18-200 and 10-18 mm lenses. This was a good combination. I carried 5 batteries (but could have got by with 2 due to recharging possibilities). I carried a few filters - but rarely used them. I carried a very small tabletop tripod (Gitzo GT531 - about 600 g with RRS ball head) - I used this a bit but probably not enough to justify its weight. Lens tissues and brush.


Slovenia is a small country with a population of about 2 million. It is a very beautiful country. About 2/3 of it is still covered by forests. The land seems well cared for - both the forests and farms. Many of the houses in the mountain districts are decorated by flowers, like in Switzerland. Many houses have good gardens - both flowers and vegetable gardens. All the people I met were very friendly and went out of their way to welcome visitors. Public transport (mainly trains) was good.

A lot of the locals enjoy mountain walking (1 in every 25 people is a member of the Planninska Zveza Slovenije (Alpine Club. Also it is quite common to see people walking in the mountains with their dogs.

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