Red and purple trails, 22 stages.
The Red and Purple Trails cross Slovenia. The 14 stages of the Red Trail and the 10 stages of the Purple Trail introduce you to the three high mountain massifs of Slovenia: the Julian Alps, the Karawanken and the Kamnik-Savinja Alps.
The Red Trail crosses the Karst, the dinaric mountains of Nanos, Trnosvski godz forest and the hills of Idrija. It allows you to discover this little known hiking area in a new light. Then the trail leads you through the Julian Alps towards the Korensko sedlo pass in the Karawanken from where it continues towards Austria. Thanks to their natural uniqueness, their unusual cultural features and the historical remnants of the First World War the Julian Alps are one of the most interesting parts of Slovenia.
The Purple Trail begins at the heart of the highest part of the high mountain massif of Slovenia under the Triglav Massif. It crosses the Karawanken Mountains and the Kamnik Alps before meeting up with the Austrian mountains.
Both trails take you to the very heart of the high Slovenian mountains. The Red Trail, depending on the direction of the walk, is more than an introduction to the beauty of the landscapes or a simple relaxing walk whilst the Purple Trail begins right in the heart of the high Slovenian mountains. Even though the two trails are divided into stages that can be combined at will to create short hikes, we recommend hiking the complete trails following the stages. Likewise for the other trails. By doing so we can sample the Alpine Universe in all its different aspects at the border of the Alpine, Mediterranean, Dinaric and Pannonia universes.
Length of the hike: 10 days (Red Trail), 7 days (Purple Trail)
Distance covered: 220 km (Red Trail), 120 km (Purple Trail)
Degree of difficulty: all
First stage in Slovenia: Krvavi Potok (Red Trail), Dolič (Purple Trail)
Last stage in Slovenia: Korensko sedlo (Red Trail, which continues towards Austria), Jezerski vrh (Purple Trail, which continues towards Austria)
Other cross country trails in Slovenia
The longest and most popular track in Slovenia is the Slovenska planinska pot (Slovenian alpine long-distance trail) which is also the oldest hiking track in Europe. It starts from Maribor, crosses the Pohorje massive, the Kamnik-Savinja Alps, the Karawanken mountains, the Julian Alps as well as the Karst right to Ankaran on the Adriatic Sea. A large part of the Via Alpina follows this track. You can recognise it by the signs of the alpine hiking paths in Slovenia, the signs of Knafelč (red circle with a white dot) and by the number 1.
E6 and E7 are European long-distance paths that allow you to discover Slovenia from North to South (E6) and from West to East (E7). Signs: red circle with a yellow dot.
The Subalpine hiking track (Predalpska pot) links the less well known parts of the South and East of Slovenia in Cerkno, through Notranjsko, Kočevjsko, the Bloško plateau towards the valley of the river Kolpa, through the hills of Dolenjska ending up in the massifs of Posavsko and Zasavsko around Laško. There are no specific signs. Usually it is marked with the classic Knafelč sign: a red circle with a white dot.
The Red Trail and the start of the Purple Trail are situated in the only national park of Slovenia: the Triglav National Park which stretches out over the whole of the Julian Alps. It is home to several unusual natural features: the Savica, Peričnik and Boka waterfalls, the Soča River, the high mountain pastures of Bohinj and Trenta, Mount Triglav, the moors of Pokljuka – the highest in Europe as well as many places of cultural and historical interest. The Purple Trail allows you to discover the points of interest of the regional parks of the Logarska valley and the Dovžan gorges.
In the mountains accommodation is synonymous with mountain huts which are distant by a few hours of hiking. There are 170 in Slovenia. In the high mountains the huts are generally open between the 15th of June and the 30th of September. At lower altitude some are open all year round. Outside the high season for hiking some huts are only open at weekends. As well as accommodation the huts also offer meals and drinks at reasonable prices.
Camping is not recommended. Indeed it is banned in the Triglav National Park!
We recommend checking if the mountain huts are open before starting the trail. We also recommend booking at least 2 weeks in advance for the huts on the Julian Alps in the months of July and August.
40 specialised sites – for the most part hotels for hikers, cover the whole of Slovenia (refer to the ”Hiking in Slovenia” catalogue on the website www.slovenia.info/pohodnistvo).
These hotels are particularly well equipped for hikers. They are part of the hiking association Pohodništvo giz (Hiking Slovenia) and offer interesting packages which include walks, guides, transfers of hikers and their baggage.
The best time of year for walking
It is usually possible to hike all year round. In the high mountains it is only advisable in the summer season from the start of June until the end of October. The weather is at its most stable at the end of July, the beginning of August and September.
In Slovenia the mountain guides must be authorised by the Ministry of Education and Sport to guide groups or individuals. You can find information and contacts at Hiking Slovenia and on the website www.slovenia.info.
Here is a list of hiking agencies that offer travel packages including bookings, transfers, secure telephone numbers, cards, GPS, with or without a guide.
- Via Avantura – www.via-avantura.com
- Koren Sports – www.humanfish.com
- Lifetrek - www.lifetrek-slovenia.com
Links / useful information for hikers
- www.slovenia.info/hiking : Slovenian tourist board
- www.pzs.si : Planinska Zveza Slovenije (Slovenian Alpine Club)
- www.pzs.si/index.php?stran=Seznam%20ko%E8 : opening status of mountain huts
- www.arso.gov.si : weather
- www.cipra.org/vozniredi: Timetables of the public transports in the Slovenian Alps
- www.slo-zeleznice.si : trains
- www.vozni-red.si : coaches
Language spoken in the Alpine areas of the country: Slovene.