Mountain huts are your shelter on mountain and hiking trails. There you can relax, enjoy home-made dishes and get information about the path ahead. They are also accident information points and are known for their pleasantly relaxed atmosphere.
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Mountaineering and hiking is in our blood
Mysterious peaks have always lured people out of valleys. At first, they were driven to the steep slopes by the need for raw materials for survival, and then by the desire to conquer peaks and discover the beauty of pristine nature. Organised mountaineering in Slovenia began almost 130 years ago with the establishment of the Slovenian Mountaineering Association, the precursor of today's Alpine Association of Slovenia.
Today, the Alpine Association is the largest organisation in Slovenia. It associates more than 290 mountaineering and other mountaineering- and Alpine climbing-related societies. Mountaineering societies manage 179 mountain huts, shelters and bivouacs, where you can relax, gather strength and get useful information for the rest of your journey. Here are some of the most interesting huts in Slovenia.
New Lodge in Uskovnica
If your journey takes you to Pokljuka, you can stop by at the Uskovnica mountain in a new mountain lodge, built on the site of the old, dilapidated lodge. There is a kitchen and dining room with 60 seats on the ground floor, and there are seven rooms with 22 beds and separate bathrooms on the first floor and in the attic and eight beds in a shared room. There is also a special room adapted to people with disabilities.
Triglav is the highest peak of the Julian Alps and holds a symbolic significance for the people of Slovenia. Therefore it is widely visited during summer and early autumn. Many hikers meet at Triglav Lodge at Kredarica, Slovenia’s highest hut and the most visited hut in the Triglav mountain range, which has been the symbol of Slovenianness since 1896 as the first Slovenian hut under Triglav. The hut is open throughout the year and also offers the possibility of an overnight stay. Despite its high elevation it also offers some basic valley commodities ranging from a washroom to electricity. The hut is also distinguished by its ecological orientation and coexistence with the mountain ecosystem.
When hiking towards the peak of Begunjščica in the Karawanks you should stop at Roblek Hut. For years the warm homeliness, hospitality of the hut caretakers and delicious Alpine culinary treats have been impressing visitors, who mostly come from the Draga Valley above Begunje or from Ljubelj. From there you can enjoy an exceptional view of the Julian Alps with Triglav at the head and the valley landscape with sparkling Lake Bled. The legendary musician Slavko Avsenik paid homage to the popular hut with music for the song Na Roblek (“Going to Roblek”). In 2017, Roblek Hut at Begunjščica was chosen as the best mountain hut.
One of the oldest and the most popular mountain huts in the Slovenian mountains, the Czech Lodge is located in the embrace of the Kamnik-Savinja Alps, more precisely at Spodnje Ravni. Its name reflects the centuries-old friendship between Slovenia and the Czech Republic. Here you can rest and treat yourself to delicious one pot stews, home-cooked meals, strudel and home-made tea as well as stay in one of the rooms or shared dormitories. The hut is the perfect starting point for a shorter hike towards Vratca while more experienced mountaineers can climb the Kočna, Grintavec, Dolgi hrbet or Skuta mountains.
Take the path from Bohinj towards the mountain pasture Za Liscem under the Črna prst mountain where you can visit Orožnova koča hut. It stands on the foundations of the first Slovene Mountaineering Society hut. It was built on the initiative of the local people during the first year of operation of the predecessor of today’s Alpine Association of Slovenia. This territory is marked by a mixture of Mediterranean and continental climates and is therefore home to some rare plants.
Ruše Lodge is the oldest mountain post as well as the most visited mountain hut on Pohorje. It is distinguished by a wide selection of outdoor activities as well as by culinary treats with a taste of the mountains. You must try pohorski pisker (Pohorje pot) – a traditional stew from the Pohorje region, venison goulash and mushroom dishes while you can satisfy your sweet tooth with the Pohorje omelette or other sweet dishes. During the summer many picnics and different trips are organised at the hut, while in the winter you can build a snow village there.
Hiking is one of the most popular outdoor activities in Slovenia. The diverse landscape offers a variety of developed and marked trails with a total length of over 10,000 kilometres. And these are definitely not boring kilometres, as they are full of more or less hidden gems, magnificent views and unforgettable experiences. So, it’s high time for you to discover Slovenia in your hiking boots.
Draga Karolina Hut on Veliki Snežnik (PD Snežnik Ilirska Bistrica)
Just below Veliki Snežnik (1,796 m), the highest peak of the Snežnik Mountains and the highest peak beyond the Slovenian Alps, stands the Draga Karolina Hut, the only high-altitude hut outside the Slovenian Alps. The view from the "littoral Triglav" reaches to Istria, the Kvarner Bay and Brkini on the one side, and to the Loka Valley, Lake Cerknica and the Bloke plateau all the way to the Julian Alps, Kamnik-Savinja Alps and even Pohorje on the other. In the hut you can have a rest in one of the 28 beds in shared rooms, and 8 beds in two separate rooms.
Krek Hut on Ratitovec (PD Za Selško dolino Železniki)
The Krek Hut was declared the best high-altitude mountain hut in 2021. It stands just below Gladki Vrh (1,667 m) on the top ridge of Ratitovec, the easternmost extension of the Julian Alps, a popular peak above the Selca Valley. The hut is a popular excursion point – not only because of the magnificent views of the Alps, the Selca Valley and the Ljubljana Basin, but also because of the unique and must-try flancati (angel wings). What seals the deal is the 40-member service and maintenance team, which has been led by Anica and Alojz Lotrič for more than two decades.
At 1,220 metres, Kum is the highest peak of the Posavje Hills, and is a "Posavje Triglav" of sorts. Just below its western face, you can stop at the mountain lodge that was once declared the best mountain hut in Slovenia. There are rooms with 27 beds and 12 bunk beds at the lodge, which is serviced all year round. From its terrace you can see the Posavje Hills and Kočevje forests all the way to the Karst, and the highest peaks of the Slovenian Alps on the other side. Just above the lodge is the Church of St. Agnes of Rome, which was built in medieval times.
The mountain of Peca (Petzen) stirs the imagination with its legend of King Matjaž. In addition to the attractive underground world of the former mine shafts in Mežica, it also impresses with trails and views on the surface. In the clearing just below the peak on the eastern face of Mala Peca (1,731 m) you can stop at the mountain lodge, which boasts the eco-friendly and family-friendly mountain hut certificates. You may also decide to visit the Cave of King Matjaž, which is only a 10-minute walk away from the lodge.
Krn Lake attracts hikers with its wild beauty. Only a stone's throw from this high-altitude lake at 1,385 m stands a mountain lodge, the design of which was inspired by the architecture of Tolmin and Bovec shepherd stables. You can try home-made dishes at the lodge, which also has more than 100 beds. The lodge is an excellent starting point for exploring the surroundings and rich Alpine flora, while the entire Krn Mountains are of interest to history lovers because of the WWI Isonzo Front.
The Lodge on Kofce is a popular hiking and excursion point for all generations, including families, which is why it has earned the title of a family-friendly mountain hut. The top mountain hut of 2021 is known for its unique štruklji with various fillings. Reaching the lodge is not necessarily challenging, but it depends on the starting point you choose. The lodge is an excellent starting point for conquering the nearby two-thousanders, such as Veliki Vrh and Veliko Kladivo, or you can head from there to the Šija Mountain, which is only half an hour away from the lodge. Meanwhile, you can enjoy the magnificent views from the ridge of Košuta.
Before setting off, make sure the huts will be open
Lower-lying huts, some of which are also accessible by vehicle, are open and serviced every day of the year. High-altitude huts, however, are usually only open from June to September. This is why it is important to make sure the huts will be open before going to the mountains. If you plan to spend the night in a hut, book a bed in advance.
A large part of the mountain country in Slovenia comprises protected areas, so it is even more important to have respect for the environment there. Efforts are also made to ensure that huts have as little impact on the mountain ecosystem as possible. As many as 28 huts have received the environmentally friendly mountain hut certificate. Here are some recommendations for respectful conduct in the mountains and mountain huts. These can also be found in the leaflet of the Alpine Association of Slovenia.
Slovenia is a paradise for hikers, as they can choose from a wide variety of trails in the plains, hills, plateaus and mountains. Why not combine all these landscapes into one experience on long-distance trails? Add other experiences to your hiking accomplishments.
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