An easy warm-up day, starting on the outskirts but heading ever-deeper into Triglav National Park, through woodland, mountain pastures and over rocky plateau. Occasional glimpses to monstrous mountains indicates what lies ahead!
A transfer has been arranged to drop you off on the edge of Triglav National Park, at an elevation of 1,200 metres. From here, however, you must continue on foot in order to access some of the most beautiful and inaccessible areas of the park.
The walk starts gently, winding through peaceful woodland where blueberry bushes and mushrooms carpet the forest floor, where cows huddle together between the trees and your footsteps break the silence. In a few places the land has been cleared into verdant pastures. In these clearings you will see traditional wooden huts which tell the story of those who tried to farm here. Often these are dilapidated, unloved and forgotten (though very photogenic), but others, such as the Lipanca Hut, offer a welcome refuge in the form of hot food and cold beers – traditional delicacies in a stunning environment!
From the hut the path climbs higher and begins to offer increasingly impressive views, before reaching a rocky saddle, traversing a section of limestone pavement, and abruptly descending back into the woodland. The views have gone but you have received a teaser for the walking that lies ahead over the following days.
Finish the hike at Pokljuka Biathlon Centre, where snow enthusiasts dream of winning fame. Professional athletes and national teams train here; you are bound to see people roller-skiing along the roads. Don’t be deterred if your afternoon is interrupted by gunfire – the café and hotel overlook the rifle range!
Keep your eyes peeled for olympic athletes at the Pokljuka Biathlon Centre!
Some of the path is along rocky steps; be careful as these may be slippery, especially when wet.
There are some exposed edges; be sure to read instructions carefully, stick to the main path, and don’t wander close to the edge. Use handrails where provided.
In early spring/summer there may still be patches of snow. Walk around where it is possible, and otherwise place your feet carefully and use walking poles if you have them.
You must cross over a cattle grid. Take care when walking over this section, and bear in mind the metal may be slippery when wet.
Such is the way of hiking in the mountains that you need to be prepared for all seasons and weathers; sturdy hiking boots, warm clothes and a waterproof/wind-break layer are all required, as is plenty of sun-cream and a healthy respect for the sun.
Walking poles will be a big advantage on some of these ascents and descents.
Ensure your phone is fully charged; if you doubt the battery will last throughout the hike it might be beneficial to bring a power bank.
This walk is isolated with few opportunities to buy food or water so be sure to bring enough with you.
Points of Interest
Pokljuka has been a regular stop on the Biathlon World Cup circuit since 1992, and hosts a number of additional competitions each winter. During summer it becomes a top training area with elite athletes from across Europe coming to stay. You’ll no doubt see people on roller skis whizzing along the road, your dinner may be interrupted by rifle fire, and the people sitting opposite you at dinner or in the gym/sauna beside you… they may be Olympians.
A bronze dagger was found near the mountain hut of Planina Lipanca, which dates human habitation of the area to the 10th century BC. There are also the foundations of ‘Middle Ages’ structures, and stone-paved paths that were used to transport iron ore, which all add to the depth of history in this region.
Food and Drink
The only opportunity to buy food or drink comes after 5.5km in the form of the Planina Lipanca mountain hut, so be sure to come prepared with sufficient provisions.
Additionally, Pokljuka, where the trail finishes and you will likely spend the night, is little more than a hotel and restaurant/café, leaving restricted options for buying extra provisions.