Hiking in Slovenia
Hiking in Slovenia is popular with both locals and an increasing number of overseas tourists who come to take in the scenery of one of Europe's smallest countries but also of the prettiest. Slovenia has a lot to offer experienced hikers, who want demanding hikes such as in the rugged mountains of the Julian Alps or in the rugged gorges of the Soca valley but of course, anyone can enjoy the scenery which varies from soaring mountains to forested hills and beautiful alpine valleys.
Themed Hiking Trails
One of the best ways to enjoy Slovenia is to experience one of the themed hiking trails. These are organized by the Slovenian Ramblers’ Association and Slovenian Tourist Board.
A number of different themed hiking trails are available and give hikers an insight into the culture and history of Slovenia and also help walkers discover more about Slovenia's wildlife and fauna.
The variety of thematic walkers can choose from include:
Cultural trails, nature trails, heritage trails, historical trails and food and wine trails. Of course many of the trails overlap so for example you can take a trail through hills, valleys, mountains and combine it with some culture as well such as visiting local sights of interest or some win tasting.
Many of the trails are through protected areas which are considered to be areas of exceptional natural beauty and many, trails are through areas which not generally well known to tourists.
The Slovenian tourist board and ramblers association, will provide full details on the trails which are open to the public and they can be easy trails or hard but you can check before you try the trail for yourself and get all the following details:
The approximate time it will take to walk the trail.
The exact length of the trail.
You can also get maps and guides, on the trail with all the facts on the area the trail passes through.
When walking many of the trails its a good idea to get an experienced guides who can help you maximize your enjoyment by showing you all the interesting sites on and around the trail.
Many of the thematic hikes can take a few days or longer and you will be able to get recommendations on the best and most suitable accommodation for you which available along the route
There are about 9,500 km marked trails in the hills and mountains of Slovenia. These trails offer hikes for people, of all levels of experience and degrees of fitness. The Julian Alps, the Kamnik-Savinja Alps and Karavanke mountains are some of the most popular places for hiking with both locals and overseas tourists and the peak season for walking is April through to October. are popular, between the months of April and October.
Other areas which are popular are: Idrijsko Hribovje, Pohorje Cerkljansk, Škofjeloško Hribovje, Polhograjsko Hribovje and finally Posavsko.
If walking in the hills or mountains it is a good idea to get a local guide especially on the more demanding trails due to the dangers which are present. The heavy snow can make some areas harardous in terms of – avalanches. If you use a local, experienced, guide who knows the trails you will be able to enjoy the hiking and be in safe hands.
Nordic walking has become increasingly popular in recent years and was introduced originally from Finland and since its introduction to Slovenia in the 1990s, its become a very popular pastime with Slovenians and many overseas tourists also come to the country to enjoy Nordic walking.
It increases levels of fitness, stamina and endurance and is suitable for all ages and those with no experience.
Nordic walking is a sport which means walking with poles and is simply gives anyone a complete body workout. If you try Nordic walking you will find its a good way increase fitness levels and also you can enjoy the natural beauty which Slovenia offers at the same time – no wonder its such a popular sport.
Nordic walking can be done anywhere just like any other hiking but there are also designated Nordic walking parks There are two specific parks located in Šmarješke Toplice and in Pomurje. The parks have marked trails you can follow and there are also experienced guides available in both parks and they can also give you instruction on Nordic walking techniques.
So what are the benefits of Nordic walking?
Its a complete body workout and is low impact meaning its very safe for anyone to try.
It helps to strengthen both the cardiovascular and respiratory systems.
Increases the heart rate by up to 20 beats per minute more than just normal walking
Helps the body burn 40% more calories than ordinary walking
Uses around 25% more oxygen than ordinary walking to improve lung capacity.
Increases muscle mass and improves both stamina and endurance
Strengthens the upper body muscles like the arms and shoulders.
Improves flexibility, of the body particularly the back and spine.
Helps to strengthen the neck, shoulders and lower back.
Strengthens the leg muscles, the buttocks, and abdominal muscles
Nordic walking is an outdoor activity anyone can enjoy and there is no better place to enjoy it than in Slovenia.
Trails in Slovenia are marked with signs which consist of a red circle with a white centre to show the starting point of the trail, the grade of each trail in terms of difficulty is shown by a red triangle for harder trails and a red triangle with exclamation mark for the most demanding trails of all. Easy trails which are suitable for anyone have no grade shown.
Most trails in Slovenia start and end, at designated lodges or hotels which specialise in providing accommodation, equipment and also provide information for hikers on the trail and surroudning area. In the mountainous regions, there are lodges on routes which are open throughout the summer months to provide accomadation and refreshments to hikers.
When walking trails you can combine several together as they cover the whole coutnry and Slovenia is also in the middle of the European E6 and E7 Walking Routes which covers the whole of Europe. Slovenia offers a great hiking experience for anyone and offers demanding hikes to less demanding walks through one of Europe's smallest but prettiest countries.