The stunning valley and mountain views from the Julian Alps.
The stunning valley and mountain views from the Julian Alps. Photo: Stuart Kenny

Being part of the Much Better Adventures team means that you spend a lot of time – like, pretty much all of your time, everyday – working on, writing about, thinking about, planning, reading or writing about adventures. And drinking coffee. So every now and then, it makes sense to put down the coffee cups and the keyboards and go on an adventure ourselves. Just to, y’know, check that it’s all running smoothly for our future adventurers. We’re doing it for you, really. Very selfless of us, we know. But someone’s got to…

A pine forest in Slovenia' Triglav Mountains.
A beautiful forest view near the start of our trek to the mountain hut. Photo: Stuart Kenny

We touched down on the forest-lined Ljubljana Airport on a sunny Tuesday and checked into the Jazz Hostel in Bled with every intention of beginning our hike up Mount Triglav (2864m) – the highest point in Slovenia – the next day.

Picturesque Lake Bled, with the Church of Mary the Queen on a small islet in the middle of the lake.
Lake Bled is, as you can see, really rather picturesque. Photo: Stuart Kenny

Triglav isn’t just a mountain in Slovenia. It’s an emblem of the country. It’s the centrepiece of Triglav National Park, the only national park in Slovenia. It’s on the coat of arms on the flag of the country. It’s on their 50 cent coin. Former Slovene president Milan Kučan even once said that it’s the duty of every Slovenian to climb the mountain at least once in their life. Since we’ve sent a good few people up Triglav in the not so distant past, we thought on this occasion, it was our duty too.

The summit of Mount Triglav, the highest mountain in Slovenia
Mount Triglav, the highest mountain in Slovenia, as spotted on our second day of hiking. Photo: Stuart Kenny

Slovenia on the other hand – and in particular – the weather forecast, had some other ideas.

A pine forest on a cloudy day in Slovenia, with the Julian Alps in the background.
A rather wet, wild and windy view from near the mountain hut. Photo: Stuart Kenny

30cm of fresh snow at the top of the mountain meant we weren’t going to be able to summit Triglav. It also meant we were going to spend our first day hiking to the Blejska Koča mountain hut (rather than the Kredarica hut, which you stay at before summiting Triglav) in more or less torrential rain. Thanks for the trip bosses!

Climb Mount Triglav (2863m)
Trek your way to the top of Slovenia’s highest peak

But seriously, as American writer Suzy Kassem said: “Life is no different than the weather. Not only is it unpredictable, it shows us a new perspective of the world every day.” The rain can brings good things too.

A landscape of forest and hills with a rainbow in the background.
Once the rain had stopped, the view from Blejska Koča wasn’t so bad… Photo: Stuart Kenny

Where there is rain, there are rainbows and where there is a mountain hut, there is, of course, a pack of cards.

A close up of a card table in the middle of a game, with drinks balanced on it.
A valiant, time-honoured way to spend a night up a mountain. Photo: Stuart Kenny

And schnapps. There’s always schnapps too. We think it must be in the mountain hut rules or something.

A woman wincing after downing a glass of schnapps.
Cat was not an enormous fan of the schnapps. Photo: Stuart Kenny

So, we weren’t going to be able to summit Mount Triglav, but we were going to get a second full day of hiking in the sun of the Julian Alps. The Blejska Koča mountain hut was 1630m, so we were treated to stunning views within minutes of our departure, too. Slovenia is a country that is almost 60% forest – and it certainly shows.

The Blejska Koča Mountain Hut in Slovenia, surrounded by pine forest.
The Blejska Koča mountain hut in all its glory. Photo: Stuart Kenny
The forest in Slovenia, which carpets the Julian Alps.
A stunning panorama of the forests in Slovenia. Photo: Stuart Kenny
A view of the forest, looking down from the rocky Julian Alps in Slovenia.
Down the barrel of the rocks, and into the forests. Photo: Stuart Kenny
A limestone mountain in Slovenia, with forested slopes behind.
The far-reaching forests were visible for the majority of the hike. Photo: Stuart Kenny

Our first ascent brought us through dense forests, still in the process of changing into their Autumnal shades, and then eventually dropped us off at the bottom of the proper hiking trails up to the mountains. We began to climb more seriously after this, rising to the 2008m Brda, and then dropping back down, before climbing again to reach the 1965m Mrežce. Both summits are blessed with remarkable valley views below, and views of snowy Mt Triglav above.

A panoramic view of mountains, taken from the summit of Mount Brda in Slovenia
A valley view from Brda. Photo: Stuart Kenny
A hiking group scrambling up a rocky slope in Slovenia's Julian Alps.
Making our way downtown, walking fast, faces past and we’re homebound. Photo: Stuart Kenny
Two hikers pointing out the summit of Mount Triglav, in Slovenia.
Alex and Emily pointing at something or other, quite possibly because I asked them to do so for this photo. Photo: Stuart Kenny

Triglav wouldn’t leave our sight for the next few hours. You’d think that might be a bit sad in a way. Given that we were hiking next to the mountain we had come all the way to Slovenia to hike, but were prevented from doing so by the weather. It’s sort of like hiking with a giant picture of the ex you’re still in love planted on the skyline. But actually, the views were so good in every direction that it was hard to be wistful for even the mighty Triglav.

Climb Mount Triglav (2863m)
Trek your way to the top of Slovenia’s highest peak
A stunning view of mountains on the way to Lipanski Vrh, a rocky summit in Slovenia.
A stunning view back the way, of our route to Lipanski vrh. Photo: Stuart Kenny
Guy on top of a mountain with Triglav in the background.
Guy in front of Triglav and a rather attractive backdrop. Photo: Stuart Kenny

The next summit was Lipanski vrh (1965m). The variation in scenery and terrain here was particularly notable. On one side you’d have those big bad exposed rock faces we had been hiking past, and then on another, a beautiful forest line blocking out the grey.

Stunning views of the rugged mountains from near Viševnik in Slovenia
Stunning views of the rugged mountains from near Viševnik. Photo: Stuart Kenny
A man hiking along the ridgeline of Lipanski vrh, a mountain in Slovenia.
Hiking along the ridge line to Lipanski vrh. Photo: Stuart Kenny
A woman hiker looking out over the forests and mountains of Slovenia.
A lush valley view down the way to Lipanski vrh. Photo: Stuart Kenny

Our high point of the trek was Viševnik at 2050m. Views reached out over Autumnal forests and all the way to Lake Bohinj on one side, and right back to Triglav and the Julian Alps on the other. Group photo time.

The Much Better Adventures staff team pose at the top of Viševnik, a mountain in Slovenia.
Guy gets distracted pointing at a bird while the rest of the team celebrate reaching the top of Viševnik.

Then, as they say (though we’ve never been quite sure who ‘they’ are), it was all downhill from there…

A blackbird perching at the top of Viševnik mountain in Slovenia.
A bird chilling just below the summit of Viševnik. Photo: Stuart Kenny
Hikers descend from Mount Viševnik, a sliver of Lake Bohinj visible in the background.
The descent from Viševnik begins, with a sliver of Lake Bohinj visible in the distance. Photo: Stuart Kenny

So no Triglav this time around for us… with the exception of Emily, pictured below, who stayed in the Julian Alps a bit longer and went back up the mountain!

A hiker takes a selfie in front of the summit of Mount Triglav.
Emily at the summit ridge of Mt Triglav. Photo: Emily Woodhouse.

But with views like all of the above for the rest of us though, even sans Triglav, it was certainly hard to complain. And what better excuse to make sure we all come back and get ourselves up the mountain another time?

Mount Triglav, Slovenia.
The illusive Mount Triglav. Photo: Stuart Kenny
Climb Mount Triglav (2863m)
Trek your way to the top of Slovenia’s highest peak

If fancy following in our footsteps (and hopefully actually climbing Mount Triglav!) then check out our Slovenian adventure holidays .