This guidebook offers 23 walking routes across the 120km Karavanke mountain range, a natural border between Austria and Slovenia. The one and two-day routes are graded for difficulty, and range from low-level walks to high summits. The approaches are mainly from the Slovenian valleys, with bases in unspoilt towns and villages.
SeasonsMain walking season late June to early September, safely extended to include May for the wonderful bursts of spring flowers and up to mid-October for the amazing autumn colours
CentresKranjska Gora, Mojstrana, Jesenice, Tržic, Solcava, Slovenj Gradec
DifficultyAlthough the Karavanke lack the steep rock and barren heights of the nearby Julian Alps, several of the peaks are over 2000m and many just under this altitude; a number of the walks include short steep sections of rock protected with steel cable and pegs; all routes graded
Must SeeMajor peaks in the Karavanke are: Stol - the highest at 2236m and a stunning backdrop to beautiful Lake Bled; Uršlja Gora - the furthest eastern peak with its fine summit mountain; the majestic Košuta ridge Olševa with its prehistoric cave; Golica in May for the white daffodils
This guidebook lets walkers explore the magnificent 120km-long Karavanke mountain range which forms a natural border between Slovenia and Austria. It is one of the longest mountain ranges in Western Europe, yet it remains relatively unvisited and unknown among English-speaking hillwalkers. Visitors tend to rush to the much better known Julian Alps, leaving these gems of mountains untouched, so they are yet to experience the extent of the commercial development known by the Western Alps.
The range divides naturally into two sections: the Western Karavanke, as far as the Košuta ridge, is more or less a single unbroken ridge, while the Eastern Karavanke are split into several massifs. The typical pattern all along the range is of precipitous rocky faces to the northern, Austrian side, while to the southern, Slovene side there are steep grassy slopes and terraces.
All the walks are graded from 1 to 3, and though not an official system this will help assess each route’s suitability to your own ability and taste. It should be noted however, that even the easiest grade (1) may be a long and tiring excursion, despite not being excessively steep or technical, so previous mountain experience is recommended. The highest graded routes are particularly strenuous, tackling high and exposed sections that require the aid of fixed steel cables and pegs.
Arranged in the book by peak from west to east along the range, the routes feature major highlights including Stol (at 2236m the highest in the range and one that forms a stunning backdrop to the beautiful Lake Bled), the majestic Košuta ridge and Golica – a mountain that displays a fine carpet of white daffodils in May.
• detailed description of 23 walking routes, covering the entire range from west to east
• insight into the history of the area
• practical details on transport, accessing the routes, accommodation and available facilities
Landscape and geology
Climate and weather
Wildlife and flowers
When to go
Travelling within Slovenia
Food and drink
Money and shopping
Health and hazards
Using this guide
The Western Karavanke
Walk 1 Peč (Tromeja)
Walk 2 Trupejevo poldne and Vošca
Walk 3 Kepa
Walk 4 Dovška Baba
Walk 5 Hrušica to Planina pod Golico
Walk 6 Golica
Walk 7 Hruški vrh and Klek
Walk 8 Dovška Baba to Planina pod Golico
Walk 9 Ajdna
Walk 10 Stol
Walk 11 Vajnež
Walk 12 Stol from Austria
Walk 13 Dobrča
Walk 14 Preval
Walk 15 Begunjščica
Walk 16 Vrtača
Walk 17 The Ljubelj Pass
Walk 18 Košutica
Walk 19 Košuta
The Eastern Karavanke
Walk 20 Hochobir (Ojstrc)
Walk 21 Olševa
Walk 22 Peca
Walk 23 Uršlja gora (Plešivec)
Appendix A Walk summary table
Appendix B Key names in German
Appendix C Glossary
Appendix D Useful contacts
Appendix E Further reading
The walks are almost all covered by three maps:
- Kranjska Gora 1:30,000 (Walks 1–4)
- Karavanke 1:50,000 (Walks 5–20)
- Kamniško-Savinjske Alpe 1:50,000 (Walks 21–22, and part of Walk 23)
Frustratingly, the first half of Walk 23, Uršlja gora, is on a different map, Pohorje 1:50,000. The maps are published by PZS (Planinska zveza Slovenije – the Slovene Alpine Club) except for Kranjska Gora, which is published by LTO Kranjska Gora.
The Karavanke website has a free map of the range which can be printed out: go to www.karavanke.eu/index.php?t=news&id=19&l=sl. This has the full route of Uršlja gora on it.
Note that the sketch maps that accompany the route descriptions in this guide are not intended to be used alone, but to provide orientation to the sheet map.
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Justi Carey and Roy Clark started visiting the British mountains in their teens, a discovery which has shaped their whole lives. Their passion for the outdoors has since led to travels across the world and a deep commitment to the environment, while their continuing interest in being 'out there' has resulted in an enthusiasm for skiing, canoeing, cycle touring, horse riding and even rollerblading! Since moving to Slovenia in 2002, Justi has worked as an English teacher, while Roy has developed his skills in landscape photography. They now run a Bed and Breakfast in the mountainous north-west corner of Slovenia.View Articles and Books by Justi Carey
Justi Carey and Roy Clark started visiting the British mountains in their teens, a discovery that has shaped their whole lives. Their passion for the outdoors has since led to travels across the world and a deep commitment to the environment, while their continuing interest in being 'out there' has resulted in an enthusiasm for skiing, canoeing, cycle touring, horse riding and even rollerblading! Since moving to Slovenia in 2002, Justi has worked as an English teacher, while Roy has developed his skills in landscape photography. They now run a Bed and Breakfast in the mountainous north-west corner of Slovenia.View Articles and Books by Roy Clark