Tie your laces and - on your marks, get set, go! 

Why bother running uphill when you can walk, nice and slow, on the level land? Slovenians well know why. How wouldn't we, when our ancestors – shepherds, foresters, hut keepers, soldiers and yes, even smugglers – explored the vibrant natural environment long before it was considered cool. In those days, they would set out, perhaps still in wooden clogs and with a few slices of dried pear in their pockets. And they didn’t need to carry a plastic water bottle in their backpack because they knew exactly where they could find a clear spring rising from under the rocks.  

The popularity of trail runs, which is slowly but steadily surpassing flat marathons, has risen to another level in recent years. Slovenians can boast of not just following global trends, but also of contributing to creating these trends involving active (really active!) leisure time spent outdoors. We have selected some of the most interesting events that you can mark on the calendar from spring to late autumn. Are there too many runs? Do you need a longer break? You don't have to always choose the longest route! What matters is that you enjoy yourself outdoors.  

trailrun_slovenija_ultra trail vipavska dolina

Vipava Valley Ultra Trail: along the peaks around the blooming valley

5 - 7 May 2023

Distances: 13, 32, 50, 106, 160 km, hike

In 2015, 415 runners from 5 countries competed in the first ultra trail run in Slovenia. The competitors could feel that the organisers put their hearts and souls into the event and into each subsequent event. The number of applications has more than doubled in four years! The supreme edition, which starts in Ajdovščina, is the 160-kilometre Emperor Run with 6,704 m of ascent and 6,710 m of descent, for a route which the toughest have 46 hours to complete. In 2021, the record holder, Roman Ficek of Poland, completed the route around the beautiful Vipava Valley in just 20 hours! If you’re tempted by the podium, you have to be well prepared - the competition in this race is really fierce.

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Vipava Valley – a world of flavours and experiences for all days of the year

The Vipava Valley is not for homebodies. It’s an ideal location for those looking for an unforgettable experience at any time of the year. With the warm influence of the Mediterranean climate, it is an excellent venue for outdoor activities, even when people elsewhere are still hiding in the warmth of their homes. Add a colourful palette of rich flavours and indigenous wines to the mix, and you can be sure that you’ll not be bored there.

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Vipava Valley – a world of flavours and experiences for all days of the year

Vipava Valley – a world of flavours and experiences for all days of the year

The Vipava Valley is not for homebodies. It’s an ideal location for those looking for an unforgettable experience at any time of the year. With the warm influence of the Mediterranean climate, it is an excellent venue for outdoor activities, even when people elsewhere are still hiding in the warmth of their homes. Add a colourful palette of rich flavours and indigenous wines to the mix, and you can be sure that you’ll not be bored there.

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trailrun_slovenija_kočevsko outdoor festival
Photo: Marjan Artnak za Zavod Kočevsko

Kočevje Outdoor Festival: do you run faster if there’s a bear on your heels?

2 – 4 June 2023

Distances: 10, 15, 30, 60 km

Slovenia as a whole is known for its forests, but the Kočevje region is the record holder: forest accounts for 91% of the entire area. You may think that local mushroom pickers are not surprised to see a footprint of the country's largest carnivore next to a penny bun. Although this animal avoids encountering humans, while hiking around Kočevje you nurture a silent respect for the bear and thus for nature in general. What’s this, a paw on a tree?! Don't be afraid: the running routes often touch the well-known Kočevski Rog Footpath, which is indicated by a very special marking - a green bear paw. The goal of the run is, oh, so refreshing - by Kočevje Lake.

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Kočevje – forest kingdom of the brown bear

Welcome to the vast forests of Kočevje, where oases where no human has ever set foot still exist. This is home to many plant and animal species, reigned over by the undisputed ruler of the Kočevje forests – the brown bear. Many paths, each providing you with a green shelter and peace, will take you around its kingdom. The forest is full of secrets that await your discovery.

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Kočevje – forest kingdom of the brown bear

Kočevje – forest kingdom of the brown bear

Welcome to the vast forests of Kočevje, where oases where no human has ever set foot still exist. This is home to many plant and animal species, reigned over by the undisputed ruler of the Kočevje forests – the brown bear. Many paths, each providing you with a green shelter and peace, will take you around its kingdom. The forest is full of secrets that await your discovery.

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Source: Rogla Trail, Photo: Dušan Rauter

Rogla Trail

10 June 2023

Distances: 10, 15, and 35 km

The surroundings of Rogla and Pohorje, unspoilt and extremely biodiverse pre-Alpine highlands, are perfect for relaxed walks in nature. And for those who are a little less relaxed, on the longest route – 35 km – one can hike for 11 hours, including 1,635 m of elevation gain in the shade of coniferous forests. Put your legs and heart to the test! The organiser promises not only a hot meal at the finish, but also a massage for sore limbs. What a pleasure! And because Slovenians like to say that the world rests on young people, the Rogla Trail will also be the site of the Slovenian Trail Championship race for junior women and men born between 2003 and 2006.

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Rogla-Pohorje: among the Pohorje forests and thermal springs

The Rogla-Pohorje destination offers almost everything – the vast Pohorje forests full of experiences for active individuals, rich flavours united under the 'Tastes of Rogla' brand, wine-growing hills with one of the most modern wine cellars in Slovenia, rich cultural and historical heritage and, last but not least, the thermal springs in Zreče, which, in combination with Pohorje herbs and healing peat, are the right place to pamper yourself after actively exploring the surrounding area.

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Rogla-Pohorje: among the Pohorje forests and thermal springs

Rogla-Pohorje: among the Pohorje forests and thermal springs

The Rogla-Pohorje destination offers almost everything – the vast Pohorje forests full of experiences for active individuals, rich flavours united under the 'Tastes of Rogla' brand, wine-growing hills with one of the most modern wine cellars in Slovenia, rich cultural and historical heritage and, last but not least, the thermal springs in Zreče, which, in combination with Pohorje herbs and healing peat, are the right place to pamper yourself after actively exploring the surrounding area.

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trailrun_slovenija_podbrdo trail running festival

Podbrdo Trail Running Festival: up and down, and up and down …

16 – 18 June 2023

Distances: 27, 42, 103 km

This running event has a long tradition, as this year it will be scheduled for the twenty-first time. The slopes around the Bača Gorge, among others, were also a challenge to competitors in the world championships. And if you know how narrow a valley the village of Podbrdo is crammed into and what mountains surround it, you won't be surprised that the 103-kilometre run features as many as 6,600 metres of ascents and as many descents. You have to tackle more than a thousand metres of cumulative elevation gain in one go four times! The height profile of the route has the shape of the sharp teeth of wild beasts, which, as agreed with the locals, retreat deep into the forest during the run. Enjoy yourself, the hills around there reward the effort with magnificent views!

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A friend of mine, a mountain guide and an incurable mountain addict, does not get it: "Why would someone run in the mountains? You don't have any time to see all the beauty around you! You can also get hurt!" But I have my own perspective on this. I know that once I find my rhythm, a rhythm that I can keep up for hours and which I have been working on for many years, I not only notice and appreciate this whole paradise around me, but I become a part of it. I can't explain why, but probably the secret is in deep breathing, an increased heart rate and the absence of heavy worries, which you can easily cast aside when running uphill as if you were taking off a sweaty shirt. As long as that is the case, I will run.

An anonymous runner on why he loves mountain runs

trailrun_slovenija_soča outdoor festival

Soča Outdoor Festival: a party for the whole family

30 June - 2 July 2023

Distances: 10, 15, 25, 45 km, MTB, family cycling circuit, SUP competition on the Soča River

The Soča Outdoor Festival is about more than just who will be the fastest to cover the picturesque route along the slopes of the Soča Valley. The location at the confluence of the Soča and Tolminka rivers is fabulous, as are the trails that take runners through mountain pastures and secluded villages on the outskirts of the Triglav National Park. The organisers have managed to prove that loud music and hectolitres of alcohol are not the only recipe for good socialising in Tolmin, a cult festival venue, and a "by-product" of the event is permanently marked running trails in the area, on which running enthusiasts can test themselves at any time. There's nothing wrong with competing against yourself, right?

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Soča Valley – a paradise for outdoor adventures

The world along this beauteous emerald river is full of adventures that await you – in the steep mountain slope, between wild rapids and narrow gorges. The roar of the WWI Isonzo Front has been replaced by a wild heartbeat during unforgettable, adrenaline-fuelled adventures in the fabulously beautiful mountain scenery. And the sighs of gourmets as they taste heavenly cuisine, spiced up by Michelin stars. A variety of festivals with a unique natural backdrop add their own flavour.

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Soča Valley – a paradise for outdoor adventures

Soča Valley – a paradise for outdoor adventures

The world along this beauteous emerald river is full of adventures that await you – in the steep mountain slope, between wild rapids and narrow gorges. The roar of the WWI Isonzo Front has been replaced by a wild heartbeat during unforgettable, adrenaline-fuelled adventures in the fabulously beautiful mountain scenery. And the sighs of gourmets as they taste heavenly cuisine, spiced up by Michelin stars. A variety of festivals with a unique natural backdrop add their own flavour.

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trailrun_slovenija_k24
Foto: Tomo Jeseničnik

K24: have you ever run in a mine? We didn't think so.

11 – 13 August 2023

Distances: 24, 50, 100 km

The enthusiastic organisers of this legendary run have added another dimension to the breathtaking panoramas of the five peaks (Peca, Olševa, Raduha, Smrekovec and Uršlja Gora) and the freshness of the wild forests in Koroška – dark depths! With as many as 6.5 kilometres of the route going through the abandoned Mežica mine, K24 is a unique running event on a global scale, so it's no wonder that more than 500 competitors come to challenge the terrain in Koroška every year. The time for the "hundred" is limited to 28 hours.

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Koroška – a treasure trove of surprises

One of the most forested Slovenian regions is embraced by the UNESCO Geopark Karawanken, the green Pohorje Hills and the Drava River valley. You will be enchanted by the views from the peaks and the mysterious world below the surface, which you can explore on foot, by bicycle or in kayak. The legendary King Matjaž sleeps under the Peca Mountain, while lonely farms watch over the rounded hills where the rich flavours of Koroška are born.

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Koroška – a treasure trove of surprises

Koroška – a treasure trove of surprises

One of the most forested Slovenian regions is embraced by the UNESCO Geopark Karawanken, the green Pohorje Hills and the Drava River valley. You will be enchanted by the views from the peaks and the mysterious world below the surface, which you can explore on foot, by bicycle or in kayak. The legendary King Matjaž sleeps under the Peca Mountain, while lonely farms watch over the rounded hills where the rich flavours of Koroška are born.

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Triglav Trail Run

18 – 20 August 2023

Distances: 12, 26, 44, 78 km

As the highest Slovenian peak and a major symbol of Slovenia, Triglav plays a central role among Slovenian mountains. That’s why the organisers of the Triglav Trail Run placed it in the centre of the action. Don't worry, you won't have to climb all the way to the top of the highest Slovenian peak, while the routes take you around it and its vicinity, from where you'll have a wonderful view of the "three-headed rock giant". The starting point is at the Slovenian Alpine Museum in Mojstrana, where you can start tackling the distance and cumulative elevation gain of your choosing.

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trailrun_slovenija_julian alps trail run

Julian Alps Trail Run: in the Goldhorn's kingdom

16 – 18 September 2022

Distances: 10, 15, 30, 60, 100, 170 km

This event situated in an idyllic ski resort in the north of the Triglav National Park is one of the youngest in the country, but due to the exceptional location and picturesque trails it became one of the 30 elite runs of the UTMB World Series in its second year. The start of the 170-kilometre stage is in Kobarid, on the southern side of the Julian Alps, from where the route leads the runners over the lookout ridge above Lake Bohinj, over the magical forested plateau of Jelovica to Lake Bled. No, dear competitor, it's not over yet – awaiting you is the Prešeren Lodge under the mighty Stol (the highest point of the run at 2,174 metres above sea level) and then a run on the Karavanke mountain range with a constant view of Triglav, Slovenia's highest mountain, to the final destination in Kranjska Gora. Be aware that you might get an overdose of natural wonders in only 46 hours, which is the upper limit for a successful supreme run.

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Julian Alps – the world of the highest Slovenian peaks

The highest mountain range in Slovenia stands tall in the north-western corner of the country. The king of the Julian Alps is the 2,864-metre high Triglav, the highest peak in Slovenia, which also has an important symbolic role for Slovenians. In addition to the mighty peaks, the world of the Julian Alps is also adorned by picturesque valleys with iconic lakes and rivers of world renown.

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Julian Alps – the world of the highest Slovenian peaks

Julian Alps – the world of the highest Slovenian peaks

The highest mountain range in Slovenia stands tall in the north-western corner of the country. The king of the Julian Alps is the 2,864-metre high Triglav, the highest peak in Slovenia, which also has an important symbolic role for Slovenians. In addition to the mighty peaks, the world of the Julian Alps is also adorned by picturesque valleys with iconic lakes and rivers of world renown.

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trailrun_slovenia_obala ultra trail

Obala Ultra Trail: extend the season on the Adriatic coast

4 – 6 November 2022

Distances: 11, 18, 35, 65, 100 km

You haven't had enough yet? OK: those who love to run up hill and down dale all year round can extend the season in the milder climate of the Slovenian coast. And if this is precisely what you love – the coast, choose one of the shorter runs (11, 18, 35 km), as the longer ones lead away from the sea to the hidden corners of romantic, hilly Istria. There is a chance that you’ll fall in love with the hills, return and want to get to know Istria at the pace at which the locals experience it, which is a shade more relaxed than a runner's.

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Slovenian Istria – from the sunny hills to the coast

While the Slovenian coast may not be very long, it features so many pleasant corners and charming places that you can easily fall in love with it. Rising above it are the picturesque hills where the best flavours of Istria bask in the sun.

Koper

This picturesque historical town with its own green surroundings is a bridge between the Karst and the Sub-Mediterranean world.

Koper

Koper

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Izola

Enter the World of Fish and Get in Touch with the Authentic Mediterranean!

Izola

Izola

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Portorož - Piran

The very centre of social events on the coast and one of the most beautiful historical Mediterranean towns, connected by the story of salt.

Portorož - Piran

Portorož - Piran

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Ankaran

A green and healthy starting point to explore Slovenian Istria.

Ankaran

Ankaran

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Are you ready for new running challenges?

Slovenians love to run and every year there are more and more people active in this sport. Running is an exceptional outdoor form of relaxation that has a number of benefits for your overall well-being. Running is also becoming an increasingly popular form of socialising, as many recreational running events do not have only a competitive character, but also a social note as they are accompanied by a number of other events and activities.

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A thousand and one reasons for an active break in Slovenia

With its diversity, Slovenia invites you to enjoy active outdoor experiences, so it will be difficult for you to find an excuse to be lazy. Sport is in our blood, and this also shows in the numerous achievements and medals won by Slovenian athletes in international competitions. Feel the invigorating energy and embark on an active adventure yourself.

Active holidays

Discover the world of active outdoor adventures in Slovenia.

Active holidays

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Slovenia – top hiking destination

Hiking in Slovenia rules! Find out why.

Slovenia – top hiking destination

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Ten reasons to go cycling in Slovenia

Discover why it is worth choosing Slovenia for your cycling holiday.

Ten reasons to go cycling in Slovenia

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Top reasons to visit Slovenia for adrenaline junkies

In need of adrenaline-filled adventures? Choose your favourite!

Top reasons to visit Slovenia for adrenaline junkies

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Water activities

Vacation by rivers, lakes, in thermal spas or at the seaside.

Water activities

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The most beautiful hiking trails

Discover some of the most interesting trails with beautiful views.

The most beautiful hiking trails

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The Most Beautiful Biking Trails

Pick an unforgettable cycling experience on some of the most beautiful trails.

The Most Beautiful Biking Trails

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Green story of Slovenia

Plan your holidays in green.

Green story of Slovenia

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Stories from Slovenia

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