Guest Post: Easy Hiking in Slovenia
Many of you may be wondering where Slovenia is. Others who know may be wondering how on earth you can have an easy hike in the Alps. To put your minds at ease, Slovenia is both easy to get to and easy to hike around. It’s a small country centrally located in Europe sandwiched between Italy, Croatia and Austria.
While there are plenty of hardcore adventure pursuits available in Slovenia, it is also one of the easiest places I’ve been to that allows such diversity of trail hiking.
The Slovenians love the outdoors and there seems to be a hike sprouting off into the woods every few meters.
I recently spent a week in Slovenia and made the Lake Bohinj area my base. Located just 1 ½ hours by car from the Ljubljana where you can hire cheap, but new cars, there really is not excuse not to go.
I spent a week in Bohinj writing and easy hiking. As my main goal was to work on a book I’m writing (shameless promotion, see my bio) I had to make sure my hikes were easy, quick, but filled with enough beauty to satisfy the traveler in me.
After all, who could come to such a stunning country and only work? Amongst my favourite hikes was the trail that runs along the edge of Lake Bohijn.
To find the trailhead, drive to the end of the lake to the village of Ukanc and park your car near the camping ground (yup, you’ll be returning here). Start walking to the East following the road until you hit the lake andhiking path number 4.
This is where the 8 km hiking trail starts, but your amazement at the beauty of the area will have started much earlier.
The path is flat, no ups or downs making it perfect for all ages and fitness levels. It is just one beautiful narrow dirt path right alongside the lake and in the surrounding forests.
Dramatic sheer mountains rise on your left and the smooth, peaceful lake Bohinj rests on your right, a constant companion throughout the hike.
Follow the path all the way to the town of Ribcev Laz the main touristy area. It’s not really a town at all, just a few buildings and one beautiful church from the 14th century, the Church of St. John the Baptist.
If it’s open (only Saturdays and Sundays in the off season) don’t forget to peek in and check out the original frescos and angels with sharp teeth.
If you’re still feeling energetic, you can continue your hike another 4 km back to your car along the other side of the lake. However, the path now follows the road and is not nearly as scenic.
Another option is to take the tourist boat that connects Ribcev Laz and Ukanc. It’s a nice 40 minute slow ride back and the guide gives you a nice summary of the mountains you just walked under and the lake itself. Turns out the lake is emptied and filled with new water every 3 years. Well, I was impressed.
Enjoy the easy hiking in Slovenia and hopefully I’ll see you on the trails.