Slovenia’s Hidden Gem: Slemenova Spica

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When people think of European travel, they commonly will list off some of the more popular and well documented mountain ranges: the Swiss Alps, Mont Blanc, maybe even the Italian Dolomites.  But tucked away just a stone’s throw away from Venice is the beautiful country of Slovenia, which boasts the equally beautiful, albeit still remotely unheard of Julian Alps and Triglav National Park.

A Slovenian mountain range and river

Holiday Criteria

When I think of the ideal place to backpack on holiday, I will consistently list out a few criteria: 1) epic mountain peaks, 2) many different routes to choose from/the ability to make your own, 3) easily accessible by car, 4) not run down by a ton of tourists, 5) and challenging, yet rewarding. 

The Julian Alps fulfill every single one of my backpacking dreams, and are worth spending far more than a day in. Although for those of us who have jobs Monday to Friday and can’t spend weeks on end in the mountains (boo-hoo!), day hikes here are very possible and equally rewarding.

The author looks out over Slovenia's mountains

All Access Slovenia

Everything in Slovenia is extremely accessible from some of the more common urban tourist attractions.  We started our holiday in Venice and in the Friuli region – wine country. Lovely. After we got our fill of food and wine, we desperately needed an escape to the mountains (and a respite from the tourists).

Within a couple of hours drive, we found ourselves twisting back and forth on the winding roads of the Slovenian Alps. Along the way, we saw dozens of milky blue waterways and hidden glacial waterfalls. Photo opps galore. By noon, we were summiting Slemenova Spica, a wonderful grassy and jagged mountainous viewpoint close to Vršič, Slovenia’s highest road mountain pass.

Appreciating a waterfall in SloveniaSlemenova Spica

To hike Slemenova Spica, we parked our car at Erjavčeva Koča hut. There was local beer and Slovenian cuisine nearby – duly noted for post-hike. We ogled over a herd of local sheep and their newborns before quickly heading up the mountain.  A slight miscalculation in the trailhead location started us off with a scramble up a rocky traverse. Despite dripping sweat as a result of our foolishness (we later found the painfully obvious trailhead location), the views made every bit of the scramble worth it. It also justified local sausage consumption at the hut post-hike. 

You don’t always get spoiled with views like these on a short three-hour hike, but this one was a teaser worth biting into. It only made us want to come back and explore the Slovenian Alps over and over again.

More far-flung escapades from the Lisowski archives: 

The Magic of the Faroe Islands: A Lesson in Faith

About Laura Lisowski

Laura Lisowski

Laura isn’t a traditional outdoor enthusiast like you read about in magazines. A 2009 University of Notre Dame graduate originally from Seattle, Washington, she works as a global sales executive in the financial world by day. Evenings and weekends, she’s a mountain dweller and outdoor warrior. Laura re-ignited her love for the outdoors when she moved to sunny, adventure-filled California in 2009. She spent five years living and working in San Francisco, trekking in every West Coast National park she could find. In early 2016, she accepted an opportunity to spend some time in her company’s London office. Now in the UK, Laura recently, she started The365Adventure snapchat channel, a channel taken over by one adventurer a day, 365 days a year. The purpose is to allow curious individuals to share their stories, discover, and inspire/get inspired by fellow enthusiasts. When not in the office or coordinating social media efforts, Laura can be found on a lake, scrambling up a mountain, or training for her next international marathon. Laura believes that the passion for the outdoors and ability to participate should not be restricted to hardcore enthusiasts, but should also be fully accessible and welcoming to the urban adventurer. It’s because of this that Laura is extremely passionate about connecting globally conscious adventurers and brands to one another through what they all have in common: love for the outdoors and the planet on which we live.