A Surprising Hike in Slovenia

Slovenia is a stunning country with many diverse regions to explore but is yet to be discovered by many tourists leaving it blissfully free of crowds. It seems to me that that the main reason for the marked absence of visitors is this nation’s complete lack of talent for self-promotion! Some of the truly extraordinary places I discovered on my recent visit were mysteriously absent from what little promotional material I could find and I stumbled across some world class walking trails which barely merited a mention anywhere!

Mostnica Gorge and the Voje Valley

I was staying in the Lake Bohinj area and having spent a couple of days travelling further afield I was looking for activities close to my base. A walking guide I had managed to track down online mentioned a walk starting close to the lake in the pretty village of Stara Fužina. I headed out frankly not expecting much as most great hikes in Europe are well publicised and hard to miss and so the absence of this trail from any literature did not auger well. I am, however, well aware that fortune favours not only the brave but the curious and so I set out on the trail trying to keep an open mind. I was very quickly rewarded with the extraordinary sight of a beautiful and ethereal gorge cutting deep into the landscape with emerald green waters flowing through the canyon. I was amazed that nobody else was around and felt like an intrepid explorer discovering a natural wonder for the first time. Further upstream it was possible to explore the river banks and in doing so I found a deep pool of amazing clarity with a stunning natural arch in a huge boulder beneath the water.

Mountain Meadows

Moving further up the valley the trail took me away from the river and into some beautiful woodland before opening up into mountain meadows packed with wild flowers in every conceivable colour. There were still no other people around as what few visitors there were in the region were clearly unaware that this stunning valley even existed. The only person I passed was a local woman who was in front of her small home collecting wild salad leaves from the garden. I then started to see signage to a waterfall and made my way to the head of the valley to view the dramatic Mostnice falls before heading back down the trail. On the return journey I again marvelled at the beauty of the river and wished that I had some fishing tackle with me to spend an hour or two on the river bank angling for the trout clearly visible in the water.

Stara Fužina

On returning to the village I took an amble around admiring the pretty houses and floral displays before stumbling across a riding stable. I was seized by a desire to do some riding and arranged to return the following day to explore the area further on horseback. The ride proved to be as under-subscribed as the hiking trail as I and just two other travellers experienced the delights of the valley and the gorge on a morning trek which was one of the highlights of my trip. The Slovenians should really tell the world about what their nation has to offer but if they don’t I will have to do it for them. There is some magic in the Julian Alps which should not be missed!

Byline

Sally Stacey is a keen blogger and travel enthusiast with a passion for Slovenia.