180 – 2,854 meters
Home to towering peaks, rolling pastures, glistening lakes and gentle brooks, Triglav National Park, Slovenia’s only national park, is a breathtaking corner of Europe’s largest mountain range: The Alps.
Named after Mt Triglav, the highest mountain in Slovenia, Triglav National Park encompasses almost all of the eastern Julian Alps. A stunning place bursting with idyllic Alpine panoramas, glistening glacial lakes, thick forests and rolling pastures, the park is a place of serious spiritual significance to the people who call this region home. Here, the locals opt to stop and enjoy the views rather than race through them as quickly as possible — and no matter if you come for the hiking, the cycling, or the relaxing, you’ll be compelled to do the same.
Triglav National Park
The area comprising modern day Triglav National Park has been one of wonder for centuries. In fact, proposals to make it an official national park were first submitted in 1908, although it took until 1981 for the region to gain its official designation. In 2010, the park expanded, absorbing the surrounding settlement of Kneške Ravne and bringing its final size to 88,000 hectares, or 4% of Slovenia.
Today, visitors to the national park can enjoy thousands of miles of signposted and well-maintained hiking trails and bike paths, or take in the views from aboard a canoe as you glide along one of the many beautiful lakes and rivers. In the winter, the region becomes a renowned hot-spot for ski touring and winter mountaineering, while the many trekking routes through the valleys evolve into picture-perfect cross-country skiing runs. Near Lake Bohinj in the south, a 78 hectare ski resort also comes alive in the colder months, offering visitors over 20 kilometers of stunning pistes.
Consider climbing the park’s namesake, Mt. Triglav, a 2,854-meter high mountain that’ll take most around two days to climb, depending on the route. Numerous companies offer guided tours, although unsupported climbs are also possible. In the winter months, ski tours are possible to the summit of Mt. Triglav. A guided round trip takes between 1 and 3 days depending on the route. Just be sure to go only when it’s safe to do so. Don’t leave immediately after fresh snowfall and ideally plan your trip between February and April when the weather is more predictable. However you get the top, it’s tradition to whip first-time climbers three times with a rope once they reach the summit!
Situated slightly northwest of Ljubljana, the Slovenian capital, Triglav National Park is fairly easy to get to. Whether you drive or take one of the numerous public busses, it’ll take around two hours to reach the park. Once in the park, there are several bus lines you can use to move around the national park, while Alpetour buses link the major towns around Triglav. Within the park itself, there is little infrastructure and virtually no traffic.
Wildlife and plants
The wildlife in the park is largely Alpine with numerous species endemic to the area. The soča trout is one such species, being found only in rivers that drain to the Adriatic Sea. The white-throated dipper, a bird slightly larger in size than a sparrow, is also found in the park, although its numbers are highly threatened. More commonly, dormice, marmot, deer, foxes, adders, eagles and ibexes are found in the park. Outside of hibernation season, brown bears are also occasionally spotted in Triglav, although their primary habitat is in the south of Slovenia.
The flora in Triglav is reminiscent of that found in other parts of the Alps, with Edelweiss, toadflax, and alpenrose being common throughout the park. The colourful Gentiana clusii, with its deep blue petals, can also be spotted along the limestone pastures and rocky meadows in spring.
Along your hike, you will undoubtedly meet grazing cows, sheep and mountain goats.
Where to stay
In the nearby towns of Bohinjska Bistrica and Kranjska Gora, you’ll find numerous accommodation options to suit all budgets. Due to the high number of visitors to the park, however (1.6 million in 2019), it’s advised you book your stay well in advance. If you’d like to camp, there are several sites around the national park. Wild camping is strictly forbidden in Triglav National Park. Within the park itself, you’ll also find numerous lodges and hiking hostels that make for a comfortable and affordable night in the park.
Activities in the park
kayaking / rafting
When should I visit the park?
The park is open year-round, but winter visits can be very challenging. Due to the altitude and climate, it is best to visit from April until October, after the last and before the first drop of snow.
Do I need to stick to trails?
Please stick to the trails as much as possible.
Can I go wild camping?
No, but there are lodges and other sleeping option inside the park if you plan on doing multiple-day tours.
Can I bring my dog?
Yes, but keep dogs on a leash anywhere in the park.
Is the park wheelchair accessible?
Numerous trails are wheelchair accessible. Contact or visit the visitor center for updated information on trail quality and accessibility, and to find the location of all access ramps.
Where do I park?
There are car parks located at the entry points to the park. Parking costs around €3 per day.
National parks in Slovenia
Triglav is Slovenia’s only national park, but it covers over 4% of the countries total area.
If you want to visit nearby national parks in the region, cross the border to Italy and drive up to the Dolomites National Park (around 4h) or drive to Austria’s Hohe Tauern (3h) or Gesäuse (3h30).