Triglav National Park

First protected in 1924, offically renamed in 1961 and now covering some 838 km2, Triglav National Park is the only National Park in Slovenia and one of Europes oldest parks. Named after its highest mountain 'Triglav' (2,864m) it covers 4% of Slovenia's total land mass and is almost entirely covered by the eastern Julian Alps. Its exceptional beauty and pristine nature attracts visitors in their thousands each year to witness and experience natures deft artistry at close quaters. Lake Bohinj provides just one of the major attractions to the park. Other lakes of equal beauty are dotted throughout, along with numerous waterfalls, gorges, rivers, creeks, streams, and mountains of staggering beauty. Bordering Italy on its north-western side Triglav National Park Slovenia is a valuable preservation area of Slovenian flora, fauna and culture. It is also a valuable educational tool for future generations of visitors.

We have picked out what we think are the 12 highlights of the park. Please scroll down to see them.

 

 

400 m long and 17 m deep, Krn Lake is considered the largest of the Alpine Lakes. At an altitude of 1390 m, it's a 2 to 2 1/2 hour walk from the Dr. Klementa Juga mountain lodge, past abandoned sherherds huts before arriving at this magical lake.

 

Lake Bohinj is the largest, permanent, natural lake in Slovenia, covering an area of 318ha. This stunning lake is at its finest in all seasons. Used as the starting point for various day trips and hikes, the Lake has been a popular tourist destination for many years. A forested walking path takes you around the entire lake, providing the opportunity to appreciate its beauty from many angles. Swimmers take to its depths in summer along with fisherman and tourist boats. Whilst in winter skaters take to its icy surface. Meanwhile sightseers, skiers and snowboarders go aloft to Vogel Ski Resort.

 

Mt. Triglav, Slovenia's highest mountain stands proud as the centrepiece of Triglav National Park. At an impressive 2,864 m this three headed monster dominates its surrounds. A favourite hiking / climbing destination, it is said that one is only considered a true Slovenian after having scaled its slopes and glanced out at the majesty of all that surrounds. First climbed in 1778 there are now four secured routes to ascend this sleeping giant. It can become quite crowded during the summer months. However, come the colder months when the pegs and wires are covered in snow, hikers / climbers give way to mountaineers.

 

Predel Pass began its life as a trade route in 1319 when road construction first began. At the beginning of the 19th century an Austrian wooden fortress built to protect the pass was destroyed after a battle with the invading French; the majority of people stationed at the fort being killed. The then Austrian Emporer Ferdinand I, built a monument at the location to commemorate those fallen. Ruins of a more recent fortification can now be seen on either side of the road in its place. 

Mangart Mountain weighs in as Slovenia's third highest peak at 2,679m; first climbed in 1794. Exceptional views into Italy and the lakes below can be found atop what is Slovenia's highest-lying road.

 

As one of Slovenia's most popular and most famous waterfalls, Savica drops some 78 m into an artificial pool below. Fed from a watersink 500m above, the falls were immortalised by poet France Prešernen in "Krst pri Savici". Access to the falls is either an hours walk from Lake Bohinj or a 15 min walk from Savica Hut. Incidently, the Savica Falls also represent most of the inflow into Lake Bohinj.

 

This 8 km long alpine valley between Bohinj and Trenta is home to what is known as the Seven Lakes Valley. Despite there being a total of ten, not seven and several of them often drying out and being not much larger than pools, they retain their name through folk tradition. The lakes are formed in watertight sediment depressions along a fault line of the Slatna plate. Named in order they are "the Black Lake", "the Double Lake" (two co-joined lakes), "the Great Lake or the Lake at Ledvica", "the Green Lake", "the Brown Lake", and "the Lake under Vršac". The hiking trail for the Seven Lakes Valley begins at the carpark for Savica Waterfalls. Expect to take 3 to 4 hours to reach the first lake.

 

The Tamar Valley; one of the Julian Alps most beautiful glacial valleys is in actuality a continuation of the Planica Valley. Several hiking / climbing routes originate from Tamar Hut, which can be accessed by car from Rateče 6 km away. Home to the source of the Sava Dolinka River which springs from under the Ponce mountain crest as Nadiza Waterfall. Flowing down a rocky riverbed in the valley it soon disappears only to resurface again several hundred meters away as the emerald green Zelenci Lakes.

 

As the lowest and southern most entry point into Triglav National Park, the Tolmin Gorges are Tolmin's most important natural feature. Combining a number of unique attributes including the Bears Head; a natural bridge created by a fallen rock that got stuck between the walls of the gorge. Moisture rich air has since created an excess of moss that cover the rock providing the illusion of a bears head. A thermal spring is given rise in a small cave under another of the sites, the Devil's Bridge. Here surface water penetrates the ground to be heated by geothermal activity and reappears through cracks and crevasses. The Devil's Bridge originally made from wood was first commissioned in 1907 and has since been replaced by the steel structure still used today.

 

First mentioned in a note in the 14th century, the Trenta Valley was mined for Iron ore for over 200 years until the mine closed in 1778. The rising costs for digging, transport and competition bought about the halt in production, with the nearby forge closing a year later. The Trenta also gives birth to Slovenia's most beautiful river; the emerald green Soča. A 20 km trail takes you from the source along the valley to the border of the National Park and then on to Bovec.

 

As one of Slovenia's most popular natural formations; Vintgar Gorge has been attracting visitors for over 100 years. A walkway has been created to trace 1,600 m of the Radovna River as it crashes its way through the narrow chasm. Ending at the 26m Šum waterfall, the walkway criss-crosses the river giving incredible views, of not only the water, but also of the gorge as it rises above you on either side.

 

The Vrata Valley is a glacial valley etched into the base of the imposing north face of Triglav. A popular tourist destination since the end of the 19th century, the valley attracts cyclists, hikers and climbers and is the only place in the National Park where Triglav's mighty presence resonates above, leaving you feeling small. The thundering roar of Peričnik Waterfall as it cascades over 60 meters can be heard a few kilometers along the path into the Valley.

 

Vršič Pass; the saddle between Mojstrovka and Prisank Massif joins the townships of Trenta and Kranjska Gora. With some 50 curves in the road, it's a welcome relief to take a break at the top and be in awe of the astounding mountain views awaiting you. Numerous walking trails begin their journey from this point, taking you to the surrounding mountains and on to even more breathtaking views. For those more adventurous there are several vertical climbs up nearby and surrounding mountains. As the highest pass in Slovenian, it was built by Russian POW's for military purposes and first opened in 1915. A small Russian Orthodox Chapel also built by the POW's commemorates their comrades who died during the construction of the mountain crossing. Given its alitutude it is closed during much of the winter due to heavy snowfall. 

 

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