Via Dinarica Slovenia

HIKING EXPERIENCE IN THE UNDISCOVERED DINARIC MOUNTAINS

Discover the first seven stages of the Via Dinarica Trail and realise why this trail is the greatest hiking revelation in Europe.

The Dinaric Mountains stretch from Slovenia in the north-west all the way to Kosovo and Serbia in the south. Via Dinarica runs across relatively undiscovered mountain trails of the Western Balkans and is considered one of the most promising hiking destinations in Europe.

Discover this amazing trail at its beginning in Slovenia. The 7-day hiking tour along the Slovenian Dinaric Karst to Croatia mesmerizes with vast forests and meadows, the most beautiful karst phenomena and waters that often sink underneath the surface and create subterranean masterpieces. The local karst caves and seasonal lakes are world-renown phenomenon. The trail leads past interesting castles, charming little villages all the way to rocky peaks, which offer incredible views. The unspoilt nature surprises with its rich flora and fauna. It is a beautiful world worth exploring on foot.

 
7-day itinerary
 
Day 0: Arrival in Postojna
Day 1: Postojna – Nanos – Predjama
Day 2: Sv. Lovrenc - Planinska gora - Planina
Day 3: Planina – Rakov Škocjan – Lake Cerknica
Day 4: Slivnica – Bloke Plateau – Lake Bloke
Day 5: Križna Cave – Lož Valley
Day 6: Podcerkev – Snežnik
Day 7: Snežnik – Babno polje – Croatia
 
Detailed description:
 
Day 0 – arrival to Postojna
 
Transfer from the airport (Ljubljana, Trieste, Treviso, Venice) to Postojna, a town with the world- famous Postojna Cave. Welcome and local dinner on a farm stay where you overnight.
 
Day 1: Postojna – Nanos – Predjama
 
In the morning, we start the walk towards Nanos, a 12-km-long and 6-km-wide limestone plateau, which divides continental Slovenia from its coast. After enjoying the stunning view from the highest peak Pleša (1240 m) to the Adriatic Sea, we will continue towards Predjama, a village with the mighty Predjama Castle jutting out from a cliff-face. Here we will have a traditional meal in a local “gostilna” (inn). Time for visiting a collection of World War I and a hunting collection in the local museum “The Old Lady” and wine tasting in the evening. Overnight.
 
Trail length: 15 km
 
Cumulative elevation gain: 862 m
 
Day 2: Sv. Lovrenc - Planinska gora – Planina
 
We start our walk towards Planina, first climbing Sv. Lovrenc, which offers breathtaking views of the Planina Field. After the descent through forests on marked gravel paths, we will visit Planina Cave, the longest water cave in the country. In this buried wonderland, two underground rivers meet, making this the largest underground confluence of subterranean rivers in Europe. Right next to the cave entrance, remnants of the Ravbar Tower can still be seen. This castle from the 14th century protected the famous Amber Road connecting the inland with the Adriatic ports. Dinner and overnight.
 
Trail length: 17 km
 
Cumulative elevation gain: 876 m
 
Day 3: Planina – Rakov Škocjan – Lake Cerknica 
On our third day, we will walk past the ruins of Haasberg Castle and enjoy the hike through the shade of the chestnut tree avenue. This famous avenue was once used by the nobility and the trees were planted with a single purpose – to provide shade to the nobles while travelling from Haasberg Castle to Snežnik Castle. On the way, we will hike through Rakov Škocjan, a real natural wonderland. This natural park stretches along the approximately 2.5-km-long Rak River Valley, and it is full of interesting geological formations. Two of the highlights are definitely the Little and Big Natural Bridges, where over the course of a thousand years the Rak River carved out impressive arches in the karst landscape. The area is connected by an education trail, presenting flora and fauna as well as other interesting facts along the way. The Rakov Škocjan Park is closely connected with the seasonal Lake Cerknica. This periodic lake is the largest of its kind in Europe and the disappearing waters have intrigued people for centuries. During the rainy seasons, underground waters rise and the lake appears, whilst it becomes a green meadow when dry. Lake Cerknica is an impressive sight and it also provides the venue for countless outdoor activities (kayak, canoe, cycling) and observation of more than 200 different species of birds that live in this natural park. Dinner and overnight.
 
Trail length: 21 km
 
Cumulative elevation gain: 523 m
 
Day 4: Slivnica – Bloke Plateau – Lake Bloke 
 
We will follow the trail towards Slivnica. This 1,114 metre-high hill is supposedly the home of witches and local farmers believe that they are to blame for all misfortune. Just below the top of the mountain, a Witches’ Cave can be found. Locals believe that this is the place where storms are made. Slivnica is easy to hike and it offers the best views of Lake Cerknica. We will continue towards the Bloke Plateau. This area, also known as the Slovenian Tibet, is a place of unspoilt natural sights. The main attraction is the Bloščica Stream with its numerous meanders and it is a place where you can find the common sundew (Drosera rotundifolia), a carnivorous plant. Dinner and overnight.
 
Trail length: 26 km
 
Cumulative elevation gain: 988 m
 
Day 5: Križna Cave – Lož Valley
 
After breakfast, we will hike towards the Lož Valley. On the way through the forest, we will visit the Križna Cave, a special water cave with more than 22 underground emerald lakes. The visit of the cave includes a guided tour of the dry part and a boat ride on the first underground lake. Beside the lakes, bones of prehistoric cave bears and a vast array of indigenous animals are the cave’s main attractions. After the visit to the cave, we will climb Križna gora, the hill that lent its name to the cave below. In the afternoon, you will have time to relax or take part in the cultural programme in the Lož Valley. Dinner and overnight.
 
Trail length: 16 km
 
Cumulative elevation gain: 469 m
 
Day 6: Podcerkev – Snežnik 
 
We begin our mountain ascent on Snežnik, the highest non-Alpine mountain in Slovenia. On the way, we will go past Snežnik Castle, famous for the fascinating history and its well-preserved state. Its lavishly decorated rooms, furniture and antiquities (including a room full of Egyptian artefacts) are the main highlights of this 13th century castle. Snežnik Castle gives an impression of the magnificent lives lived by the nobility throughout European history whilst giving an insight into the lives of the servants who worked for them their entire lives.
 
Roads towards the top of Snežnik wind their way through one of the largest unpopulated areas in Europe and the home of the ancient and primeval beech and fir forests. This part of Slovenia (Snežnik-Ždrocle) is also included in UNESCO’s Natural World Heritage List. Since the end of the last Ice Age, the European beech has spread from a few isolated refuge areas in the Alps, the Carpathians, the Dinarides, the Mediterranean and the Pyrenees over a short period of a few thousand years in a process that is still ongoing. The successful expansion across a whole continent is related to the tree’s adaptability and tolerance of different climatic, geographical and physical conditions.
 
Snežnik is the highest peak of Slovenian Karst. Its peak, which is snow-covered as late as spring, offers incredible views all the way to the Bay of Trieste, the Slovenian Alps, Kvarner and the Adriatic Sea. It is also the home of wildlife, including the brown bear, the wolf and the lynx. Special tours that let you observe the brown bear in its natural habitat are organised from April to October. Dinner and overnight in a mountain hut.
 
Trail length: 36 km
 
Cumulative elevation gain: 1907 m
 
Day 7: Snežnik – Babno polje – Croatia

On the last day, we will descent from Snežnik to the karst field called Babno polje (the coldest place in Slovenia), concluding the Slovenian portion of the Via Dinarica Trail. Transfer to airport or possible continuation of the Via Dinarica Trail to Croatia.

Trail length: 21 km
 
Cumulative elevation gain: 394 m
 
The programme includes:
  • Accommodation: 6 x overnight with breakfast (5 x overnight on a farm stay, hostel or glamping, 1 x overnight in a dorm room in a mountain hut)
  • Meals specified in itinerary
  • Fees (Planinska jama, Križna jama, grad Snežnik, Muzej Cerkniškega jezera, Kajak in kolo na Cerkniškem jezeru…)
  • English speaking tour leader/guide
  • Transportation during entire trip with a minivan (8+1) or a minibus (20+1) (including airport transfers)

Info

DMO Zeleni kras
Prečna ulica 1
6257 Pivka
Slovenija

T: 00386 5 7212 249
E:
www.zelenikras.si

Best time to visit

April-October

What is special

Suitable for experienced hikers

Duration

7 days

Price

787€/person (4-7 pax) 622€/person (8-14 pax)

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