Explore Slovenia’s Alpine Mountains and Valleys – three centred.
Three different regions of Slovenia's Julian Alps Explored
The wide Bohinj valley and Bled - with the two lovely Lakes of Bled and Bohinj, and close proximity to alpine meadows, fast flowing river gorges and the mighty River Sava which flows into Lake Bohinj from Triglav - Slovenia's iconic highest mountain. Mountains on each side of the valley rising to between 2000 metres high to 2800 metres high.
Then there is that mecca for skiers and walkers alike - Kranska Gora - with high peaks all around, magnificent walking on the north west side of the Julian Alps. Again deep valleys and passes that take you all the way to the highest peaks. The borders with Italy and Austria are just a few miles away.
The third but by no means last is the Soca Valley, the emerald Soca river - with such a distinctive colour- and a mecca for kayakers and wild water rafters - but with superb walking. We stay in Bovec - a real alpine town, close to walking trails both high in the Julian Alps and low.through the Soca river and it's tributaries
Three centres- explained
We stay in the Bohinj Valley and Bled for the first four nights, with three walking days. On the fourth walking day- using our minibus transport, we transfer to the Kranska Gora region for the next three nights.
We walk on the day of transferring our luggage to our next hotel, in the area near Kranska Gora.
Then another day walking on the Slovenian/Austrian/Italian border with a day off walking in between to enjoy this iconic area and maybe farther afield.
On the day 8 we transfer to Bovec over the Vrsic pass-before that we have a four hour walking tour before we travel.
Three nights in Bovec with two days of super walking in the Soca Valley, then on the eleventh day, we transfer back to the airport, calling at Kobarid on our way before we catch the early evening flights.
In the Bohinj Valley- we stay by Lake Bohinj at the Jezero hotel - four star with wellness and swimming facilities - walk out of the door to the lovely lake side.
The Jezero has an excellent restaurant and two bars as well as a terrace coffee cafe- See http://www.hotel-jezero.si/en/restavracije.php
The wellness centre with its indoor swimming pool makes a relaxing apres walk facility - see http://www.hotel-jezero.si/en/wellness.php
Close to Kranska Gora - we use the superb Spik hotel - https://hotelspik.com/en
Set in the idyllic and tranquil setting of Gozd Martuljek, this 3 star hotel has excellent wellness facilities with a large swimming and leisure facility -called water world.- the pools are a bonus after a hard days hiking.See https://hotelspik.com/en/wellness/
In Bovec - we stay in the lovely Slovenian style Hotel- Hotel Sanje OB Soci. https://sanjeobsoci.com/
A traditional hotel, wood as its main building material - and some 400 metres from the centre of Bovec. We have breakfast only in this hotel- three dinners will be taken at local Bovec restaurants.
The Bohinj Valley
See this You Tube video of this magnificent area
From Lake Bled to the rugged limestone cliffs above Slap Savica - the valley of the River Sava Bohinska has carved out an enchanting lanscape for us to enjoy.The lovely alpine meadows and swift flowing streams that have carved out deep gorges characterize this landscape.
Framed by the 2000 metres high Lower Bohinj range of mountains to the south and the rugged Julian Alps to the north west- with Mount Triglav that iconic Slovenian mountain always in view - create a walking paradise.
Lake Bohinj - Slovenia's largest glacial lake is at the heart of the valley. Lovely small traditional villages line the lanes of this area- showing a glimpse of a by gone age but always with a modern touch.
Water everywhere - from the River Sava to the water tumbling down from the many mountain streams, makes this lansdscape very green - in fact a green and pleasant land.
The walking all over this region is terrific. Easy access to mountain walks via the Vogel Ski Lift or the Pockluca Alpine meadows helps, and it is only a short minibus ride before we are hiking into the mountains.
But there are super walks at a low level too- river and gorge walks, lake walks, and in and out of the pretty alpine villages of the lower and upper Bohinj valleys.
Plenty of walking too near Bled - not only the lake but the hinterland of rolling hills leading to the Karavanke mountains.
Kranska Gora and the Triple border country
See this You Tube video of the summer and winter time in the beautiful alpine country around the town.
Nestling in the Sava Dolinka Valley some 40km northwest of Bled, Kranjska Gora (Carniolan Mountain) is among Slovenia's largest and best-equipped ski resorts. It's at its most perfect under a blanket of snow, but its surroundings – nudging both the Austrian and Italian borders – are wonderful to explore at other times, too.
There are endless possibilities for hiking, cycling and mountaineering in Triglav National Park, which is right on the town's doorstep to the south, and few travellers will be unimpressed by a trip over the Vršic Pass, the gateway to the Soca Valley.
The town itself is a pretty alpine affair, very family friendly, with lots of lively restaurants, bars, a couple of swimming pools / spas, mountain bike park and a Summer Sledging piste.
Around Kranjska Gora are a number of extremely pretty villages (Podkoren, Ratece, Mojstrana, Dovje), jumbles of traditional Gorenjska style farmhouses usually focused around excellent local gostilna's (inns).
Kranjska Gora lies at the point where Slovenia, Italy and Austria meet, which adds a fascinating twist to holidays in the region especially as unlike many "blurred" border regions the 3 countries remain quite distinct in terms of language and culture. You can easily visit all three countries in a day from Kranjska Gora or indeed walk in all three countries over a long weekend with resorts over each border in very close reach. For those wanting to experience the triple border up close and personal, a lovely 2 hour walk up to the Tromeja (Literally meaning triple border) from the village of Ratece, 5 minutes drive from Kranjska Gora takes you to the point where all three countries meet via some spectacular views of the Julian Alps
The Tamar Valley; one of the Julian Alps most beautiful glacial valleys is in actuality a continuation of the Planica Valley. 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.
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 Pericnik Waterfall as it cascades over 60 meters can be heard a few kilometers along the path into the Valley.
The Vršic 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. 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.
Bovec and the Soca Valley
See this You Tube video of the emerald Soca Valley around Bovec
The “Emerald” Soca is a remarkably beautiful river valley with its source in the heart of the Triglav National Park and running down to the Italian Adriatic. The upper stretch of the valley runs through the beautiful Julian Alps and is a magnet for adventure sports lovers – offering a dizzying abundance of river activities and mountain activities (plenty of excellent hiking routes in this wonderful valley) Bovec is the main town in the area, a charming little place with lots of good restaurants, bars and places to stay and a growing global reputation for adventure sports.
The Soca Valley was one of the major fronts in the First World War with the Italian and Austro-Hungarian forces dug in on different sides of the valley in a brutal attritional conflict which resulted in the loss of life of over 1 million men. The conflict is still very much in evidence around the valley in the form of numerous forts (among the best are Celo in Kal Koritnica, Hermann on the Predel pass and Kluže just outside Bovec), a number of First World War historical trails and an excellent museum in Kobarid.Ernest Hemingways classic novel A Farewell to Arms was largely based in the region
Undoubtedly one of Slovenia's most beautiful sights and perhaps one of Europe's most beautiful rivers, the colour of the Soca is what will first impress - an often shocking turquoise that makes you think there must be a chemical factory up river, but in fact is entirely natural and caused by the limestone in the river. Following the river downstream takes you past most of the region's main points of interest - running from its source high in the Trenta Valley, via Bovec, past Kobarid to Tolmin, Most na Soci, then onto to Kanal and into Italy where it becomes the Isonzo river and empties into the Italian Adriatic. The Soca is a mecca for watersports and is home to Slovenia's best kayaking and rafting - with sections suitable for beginners to very advanced levels alike. Fishermen also flock to the Soca for some of Europe's best trout fishing. The river and surrounding nature is superbly unspoilt especially along its upper course and as such it is one of the Slovenian Government's main focuses for nature preservation and development of responsible tourism.
The pretty resort town of Bovec - a lovely place to be based to explore the delights of the upper So?a valley with attractive early 20th century architecture, some excellent restaurants, bars and nightlife and an energetic adventure sports atmosphere.
The walking programme
This walking programme will be flexibly managed by your tour guide Alan Garner, and our Slovenia guides from Human Fish, our Slovenian partners.
Issues such as weather and the groups overall ability as well as understanding the intersts of the group in general, will shape the programme
Day 1 is travel from UK and arrive at our first hotel – transfer from the airport to our hotel - meet your walking colleagues and our guides – dinner at the Jezero hotel
Night 1 Hotel Jezero
Day 2 – Walk 1 - We take in the Vogel Alpine resort. Travel on gondola to the resort and walk to Mount Vogel – return to Ukanc. Visit the mighty Slap Savica waterfall before returning to our hotel. Alternative shorter walk round Lake Bohinj.
Evening – dinner at the hotel
Night 2 -Hotel Jezero
Day 3 Walk 2 – Travel to the Pockluka alpine meadows and hike to the Lipanca mountain hut. After coffee – hike to Mount Debela Pec. Shorter walk- the villages of the lower and upper Bohinj valley
Night 3 - Hotel Jezero
Day 4 – Walk 3 - Travel to Soriska Planina and hike to three peaks on the Rapallo border before reaching Mount Mozic. Late lunch then return to Lake Bohinj and walk to part of the Mostnice Gorge, Shorter walk - walk to the Mostnice waterfall via the Mostnice gorge
Night 4 – Hotel Jezero
Morning day 5 – load vans with luggage and proceed towards Kranska Gora
Day 5 – Walk 4 – Hike Mount Golica in the Karavanke range of mountains. Alternative hike in Gord Martukliek.
After walk – travel to Kranska Gora - Spik hotel with luggage and check in
Night 5 – Spik Hotel
Day 6 – walk 5 - Vrata Valley – a lovely hike - The Vrata Valley (Door Valley) in the heart of the Julian Alps leads to the base of the northern wall of the Slovenian highest peak Triglav. Shorter walk - along Sava Dolinka river into Kranska Gora
Night 6 Spik hotel
Day 7 Day off walking
Night 7 Spik Hotel
Load luggage into vans
Day 8 – walk 6 - Tromeja (Triple Border)- 5 hour hike to the borders of Slovenia/Austria and Italy, Pec/Tromeja/Monte Forno/Dreiländereck/Ofen is a 1,508 m high peak,
After the hike, in the mini vans - drive over the iconic Vrsic pass to our Bovec hotel
Vršic Mountain Pass with its 1,611m is the highest road pass in the Eastern Julian Alps. The high-mountain road from Kranjska Gora through Vršic to Log in Trenta has 50 serpentines, 24 on the side of Kranjska Gora and 26 on the Trenta side.
Night 8- Hotel Sanje ob Soci, in Bovec
Day 9 Hike in Soca valley- the ridge of Mt. Kolovrat. Shorter walk - Soca valley stroll along this iconic turqouise river
Night 9 Hotel Sanje ob Soci in Bovec
Day 10 – Bovec hike in Soca valley- finding the beauty of this turquoise valley
Night 10 – Hotel Sanje ob soci, in Bovec
Day 11- Load up our luggage and drive to Kobarid- visit Kobarid World War I Museum on the way. Arrive airport at 2.30pm for check in.
Clients will be on Easyjet Stansted or Gatwick flights at 4.30pm.
Flights and Transfers
Flights from the UK are from Stansted, Gatwick (EASYJET) and Heathrow (BA)- direct.
It is possible to fly from some other regional airports with one change- either at Paris, Munich' Brussels, Amsterdam or Frankfurt, and this can be cost effective. Ask for a quotation,
Regional airports available for this one change option are Newcastle, Manchester, Birmingham, Bristol and Southampton. From Glasgow and Edinburgh – change at either Stansted or Gatwick
On day eleven, we aim to connect with the early evening flights back to the UK.
Transfers to first hotel from airport - and transfer back at the end of the holiday are included.
Superb hotels in super locations, super food and services
- walking in superb scenery in the variety of terrains in Slovenia
- a different view at every turn
- local cuisine
- our relaxed,social approach-
- local guides who know the areas very well
- wellness centres and swimming in two hotels
Whats included in your holiday price
What you get on your Secret Hills Slovenian Holiday:
Individual quotation from airport of your choice.
Flight organised for you- cost is included in our price
Transfers to hotel from airport and return
Half-board en suite accommodation, including buffet breakfast
Three course dinner – in the Bohinj Valley and Kranska Gora
Nine guided walking days
Transport to walks start and finish
Friendly, knowledgeable walking guides- from the area
UK tour leader
Our administration services.
Three evening dinners in Bovec
Your personal expenses
Occasional fee to enter a gorge – will be nominal.
The Vogel Ski lift charge
Sole Occupancy room supplement
Each hotel has a sole occupancy rate between £22 and £32 PER NIGHT.
Our relationship with New Experience Holidays
Our Partners in Europe Walking
Secret Hills Walking are pleased to be associated with New Experience Holidays, who organise flights, accommodation and transfers for these holidays and provide you with ATOL security.
All your joining instructions and individual flight arrangements will be made by Paul and Deborah Sawyer. Once you have committed to a holiday, and have accepted the individual quote we send, we will forward a New Experience reservation form, and you should pay all deposits and final payments to New Experience Holidays.
Secret Hills Walking is responsible for marketing and selling the holidays and for arranging your itinerary when you arrive at the airport in the country you are visiting. You will receive individual attention throughout your holiday from us.
ATOL Bonding - New Experience Holidays REGISTRATION
Insurance - you need to be fully covered
It is a condition of joining any of our holidays that you must be fully insured against travel,medical and personal accident risks (to include repatriation costs and air ambulance or helicopter rescue services where appropriate). Our partners New Experience holidays will ask for this information as a condition of reserving a place.
If you are a UK citizen and travelling in Europe you should obtain the European Health Insurance Card (EHIC) from your Post Office. This gives you medical care at a reduced cost, and some cases for free, in many European countries, but should not be considered a substitute for adequate insurance
The booking process
Do not book on line at this point. Read on and follow the instructions
In order to conform with ATOL bonding requirements, prior to you reserving a holiday with us, we need to provide you with an official quotation. This will contain all the details and costs of the holiday and your requested choice of flights and airports. You will find a GET QUOTE button at the top of the page, use this and fill in the form in order to start the quotation process. Once you have filled in the Quotation Request form, you will get an email confirmation from us.
We partner with New Experience Holidays who provide the ATOL bonding, so all quotations will be sent by them, and you will reserve and pay for your holiday with them.
The quotation process - ATOL BONDING requirement- the quotation is the first part of the contract between us and you.
The quotation will include
- the basic price of the holiday as advertised
- any flight supplement from the airport of your choice
- single supplement if this applies
- a choice of flights if this is applicable
- any specific requirement such as additional nights/ sea view rooms etc.
- final price and payment information
The Quotation stage - who sends you your quotation
In order to conform to ATOL bonding protection rules, New Experience Holidays will send you your full quotation normally by email- please ask if you want to receive the quotation by post.
Your contacts at New Experience Holidays are Matthew Newcombe, Anna Brown and Paul Sawyer.
We need to know your preferred departure airport. We can guide you about the right airport and options - simply read the web pages for the country you are wanting to visit, or email us for flight advice.
The Booking Process
Once you have accepted the quotation, fill in a New Experience booking form (this can be done online) or send in the completed form, and pay both the deposit – normally £125 - plus any additional flight supplements to New Experience.Holidays Final payment is also made to New Experience.Holidays.
Once you have booked, you will not be sent a reminder of when to pay the full amount, so please diarise this.
About three weeks prior to departure, New Experience Holidays will send you holiday joining details, including your flight details with instruction to print off your boarding cards.
Once you arrive at your holiday destination
Secret Hills Walking Holidays (Slovenia Walking Holidays) organise all aspects of your holiday– including guiding, transport to walks start and provide you with an experienced tour guide.You make your won arrangements to get to the airport in the UK, we meet you at the airport you are flying to, and help you with your transfer to the appointed hotel.
It is important to read New Experience Holidays' Terms and Conditions - click on the tab on their web site - before you sign the booking form.
Changes in European travel rules in 2021
We have now left the European Union and from January 1 2021, new guidance from UK government is issued. These new rules are simple but you need to make sure you are complying with them.See the UK governments guidelines. See