Slovenia is a riveting destination for hut-to-hut hiking. Hut to Hut hiking is a type of multi-day trekking, where you overnight in mountain huts along the way. In Slovenia, there are both managed huts (Dom and Koča) and unmanaged shelters (Bivouac). We’ll be concentrating exclusively on the managed hut system.
Managed huts offer hikers a mattress, or bed in a dormitory, or shared room. Warm food as well as hot and cold beverages are served throughout the day. Mountain huts have indoor and outdoor seating and shared bathroom facilities. Some huts have showers and most huts have running water, with the exception of the high-altitude huts. A Slovenian mountain hut is like a hostel with food, but far better, because everyone is on the same schedule.
Unlike other alpine regions in Europe, there’s very little ski infrastructure (cableways/chairlifts) in the Slovenian Alps. That means that the most majestic landscapes and trails cannot be easily accessed on a day hike, unless you’re willing and, or able to hike 12-13 hours in a day.
Hut-to-hut hikes enable you to explore quieter paths and peaks in the Slovenian Alps. It’s the best way to experience the incredible beauty and wildlife of the mountains. It’s also the only way to overnight in the backcountry. Wild camping is strictly forbidden in Slovenia.
An added bonus of overnighting in Slovenian huts is being able to watch the sunrise and sunset in the heart of the mountains.
In this guide to hut-to-hut hiking in Slovenia, you’ll learn when and where to go hut-to-hut hiking, how to make hut reservations, what to eat and drink, what to pack, and what to expect (checking-in, payment, hut facilities, etc…).
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Hut to Hut Hiking in Slovenia: Everything you need to know
Tips for Hiking in Slovenia Hut-to-Hut
- When to Hike Hut-to-Hut: July, August, early-mid September
- Permits: None Needed
- Mountain Hut Reservations: Necessary
- When to Make Reservations: 3 weeks – 2 months in advance
- Who Can Make Hut Reservations: Anyone
- Essential Packing Items: Sleeping bag liner like this silk liner or this cotton travel sheet; passport; house slippers (we bring crocs); earplugs; and Kindle.
- Hiking Gear: Cat 4 Polarized Sunglasses like these Julbo Shield Mountain Sunglasses; Trekking Poles like these Unisex Black Diamond Hiking Poles; and Grade B/C Hiking Boots.
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When to Go Hut to Hut Hiking in Slovenia
Most mountain huts in Slovenia are seasonally managed from late-June/early July until late-September. Opening and closing times shift each year, depending on snow conditions.
We recommend planning your hut-to-hut hikes in July, August, and early-mid September.
It’s possible to hike hut-to-hut in June, after a short winter. However, we recommend planning June trips spontaneously, when you’re certain that the conditions are favorable.
Some huts may stay open until early-mid October, weather depending. October can be either the beginning of winter, or a brilliant extension of summer. It changes each year. So, we don’t recommend hut-to-hut hiking in October. October is better for day hiking and road trips.
How to plan a hut-to-hut hike in Slovenia
Choose your destination
The Slovenian Alps are made up of three mountain ranges: the Julian Alps, the Kamnik-Savinja Alps, and the Karawanks. We recommend planning a hut-to-hut hike in either the Julian Alps or the Kamnik-Savinja Alps.
The Julian Alps – home to Mount Triglav – attract the most visitors each year. The Kamnik Alps are just as majestic, but far less popular. We always encourage experienced hikers to consider a hut-to-hut hike in the Kamnik-Savinja range.
Decide how long you want to hike
Some people like short and sweet 3-day hikes. Other hikers like trekking hut-to-hut for 2 weeks, or longer. Kati and I prefer hiking for 4-6 days. After 6 days, we just need a proper shower and fresh clothing.
Plan your hut-to-hut hiking route
This is the hard part. So, unlike other Alpine States, there aren’t a lot of established multi-day hiking routes in Slovenia.
The only official alpine hut-to-hut hike in Slovenia is the Slovenian Mountain Trail (30+ days). You can use the Slovenian Mountain Trail (Slovenska planinska pot) as inspiration for shorter treks, or hike the whole thing.
- Cicerone Guide: Slovenian Mountain Way / Slovenska Planinska Pot
The best way to plan your route is to purchase a paper trail map and use the following resources:
- Hribi.net is a resource for all Slovenian mountain huts, peaks, and trail connections. This site is a reliable source of information for all things hiking and mountaineering in the Slovenian Alps.
- Pzs.si is the official Alpine Association of Slovenia website. Use this site to find out opening times of huts, hut contact information, ascent routes and more.
- stanje-poti.pzs.si/ – the interactive map on this PZS page indicates which hiking trails are closed. We always double check trail closures with the local tourist office, because sometimes this map isn’t up-to-date.
Our Hut to Hut Hiking Routes
Here are two fantastic hut-to-hut hiking routes we created. These hikes easily rank in our top 10 treks in Europe of all time. And, many readers have since followed our itinerary and loved their experience:
Triglav National Park Traverse: Vršič Pass to Lake Bohinj
This is a 4-day hike in the Julian Alps suitable for hikers with alpine hiking experience who are confident hiking in limestone/karst/scree terrain. There are some secured passages along the route, but no via ferrata equipment is needed. Climbing helmets are always advisable in the Slovenian Alps.
Learn More: Triglav National Park Hut to Hut Hiking Guide
Kamnik-Savinja Alps Traverse: Kamniška Bistrica to Zgornje Jezersko
This is a 4-day hike in the Kamnik-Savinja Alps suitable for highly experienced alpine hikers who are confident hiking and scrambling across exposed ridgelines and very difficult terrain. Stages 1 and 4 are relatively easy, but stages 3 and 4 are extremely long and challenging. A climbing helmet is a must.
- Recommended women’s helmet: black diamond women’s climbing helmet
- Recommended men’s helmet: black diamond men’s climbing helmet
Learn More: Kamnik-Savinja Alps Hut to Hut Hike
Triglav Summit Hike
This is the easiest ascent route to Mount Triglav, starting on the Pokljuka Plateau. You need 2 days to summit Triglav.
Learn More: Climbing Mount Triglav the Easy Way
Veliko Špičje & Seven Lakes Valley
This 2-day circuit hike combines the thrilling Veliko Špičje summit and Špičje ridge with the Seven Lakes Valley.
Learn More: Špičje Ridge Trail
Hiking Trails: Waymarks and Signage
Generally, trails are well-kept and well-marked.
Trails are marked with Knafelc markers and red lines, which indicate direction. Sometimes these waymarks are badly fading, which is only problematic in high karst environments, where there’s no obvious footpath.
We use Maps.me offline maps app, when we’re unsure of the trail direction. Make sure to download the Slovenia map before you start your hike.
How good is the signage? It depends what you’re used to. The signage is pretty good. It’s not as clear as it is in Austria, but it’s far better than signage in the Balkan states. Compared to Austria, there are far less metal trail signs indicating destination and time needed. Instead, directions are lettered and painted in red on stones and boulders.
Also, trails are not color-coded according to difficulty.
Mountain Hut Reservations
When to make overnight reservations for mountain huts
We recommend making reservations 3 weeks – 2 months in advance. You can also make reservations at shorter notice, if your dates are flexible and you don’t mind sleeping in large dormitory rooms.
If you need to cancel your reservation, inform the hut as early as possible.
How to make overnight reservations for mountain huts
There is no uniform system for booking huts in Slovenia. You must contact each hut individually with your arrival date, name, and room preference (if applicable).
We always try to email huts first. If we don’t get a response in 1 week, we usually follow-up with a phone call.
The Alpine Association of Slovenia website (PZS) is where you’ll find every mountain hut’s contact information (email and phone numbers).
This year, we’re seeing more and more huts on the Alpsonline reservation platform. If a hut can be booked online, the PZS hut page links directly to the Alpsonline booking page. Look for the blue button with the following text: “Rezervacija ležišč.”
Note: Some huts may ask you to re-confirm your booking several days before arrival.
Check-in Process & Payment
- Check-in before 5 p.m.
- Present your passport and alpine club membership card (if you have one).
- Inform staff that you have a sleeping bag liner.
- Decide whether you want half board (breakfast and dinner).
- Ask for a shower token.
- Pay for your stay.
- Take off your shoes, before entering the sleeping quarters.
What time can you check-in?
It depends on the hut.
Some huts are very casual. The staff will let you check-in anytime after noon, and they’ll show you to your room/mattress right away.
However, other huts are more rigid and have strict check-in times (e.g. 3 pm). Recently, we stayed in Vodnikov Dom, and they didn’t let anyone access the rooms until 6 pm (which is frankly absurd).
Officially, your overnight reservation is valid until 5 pm. If you think you’ll be arriving later, you should communicate your approximate arrival time to the hut in advance.
When you check-in, you should present the following:
- Passport. Not all huts will accept a driver’s license as a form of ID.
- Alpine Club Membership Card (if you have on). This will save you a lot of money on your overnight stay. You can learn more about Alpine Clubs in Tips for Hiking in the European Alps.
We’ve never had to show proof of our reservation (e.g. Alpsonline document/email confirmation).
Sleeping Bag Liner
Slovenian mountain huts provide basic bedding (sheets/comforter/pillow), but this bedding isn’t washed regularly. For hygienic purposes, a sleeping bag liner is mandatory.
Make sure to inform the staff that you have a sleeping bag liner with you. Guests who do not bring a sleeping bag liner must purchase disposable sheets, which creates a lot of waste. Note: you are not allowed to sleep in a sleeping bag in the huts.
- Recommended Silk Sleeping Bag Liner: 100% Mulberry Silk Ultra lightweight (150 g)
- Recommended Cotton Sleeping Bag Liner: Cocoon Cotton TravelSheet
Half Board or À La Carte
The staff will ask you if you want half board (breakfast and dinner). If you say yes, you’ll pay for your overnight stay and half board right away. If you say no, you’ll just pay for your overnight stay and you can purchase breakfast and dinner on an à la carte basis.
Kati and I always opt for à la carte in Slovenian Huts. Unlike huts in Austria and Italy, half board doesn’t equate to a 3-course dinner and a generous breakfast buffet. In Slovenia, half board is usually a 1-course dinner (stew or pasta dish of your choice) and a meager breakfast (sliced bread, marmalade and other spreads, and 1 egg).
Also, when you order half board at some huts, coffee is not included. Tea, or a white coffee is included, and you have to pay extra for real coffee.
By ordering à la carte, you have the most flexibility and you can eat exactly what you want.
Some huts have showers. These showers are usually token-operated and cost around 3 or 4 EUR for a 3 min hot shower.
When you check-in, you can inquire about their shower facilities. We recommend purchasing the shower tokens right away and showering earlier rather than later. Sometimes the hot water will run out, and you’ll end up paying for a cold shower.
You will pay for your stay upon arrival (not in the evening like in Austrian huts). Some huts accept credit cards, but not all. We recommend always bringing sufficient cash.
It’s extremely rare for mountain huts in Slovenia to ask for a deposit in advance.
How much does it cost to stay overnight in a Slovenian mountain hut?
The price will vary depending on the category of hut you’re staying in and the type of room you’re sleeping in. We wrote about that in detail in our guide to Slovenia mountain huts. Huts at higher elevations will be more expensive than huts at lower elevations.
Your overnight stay may cost as little as 9 EUR per person (dormitory with alpine club membership) and as much as 28.50 EUR per person (double room with no alpine club membership).
In addition to your overnight stay and any food/drinks you consume, you also have to pay a tourist tax (~2 EUR per person).
There’s no formal process for checking-out. However, it’s commonplace that you need to vacate your room by 8 or 9 am.
Food and Drinks
All managed huts in Slovenia sell warm food and a variety of beverages. The food can quickly get monotonous, as some Slovenian huts only serve 2-3 dishes per day and those dishes are usually the same in each hut.
The cost of food and drinks will sharply increase the higher you go, as high-elevation huts can only be serviced by helicopters. The more accessible the hut, the cheaper the food.
Vegetarian soups and stews usually cost 4.50 – 7 EUR. If you add sausage to a stew, it’ll cost 6.50 – 9 EUR. Goulash costs 7 EUR – 11 EUR. A slice of apple strudel will cost around 3.50 EUR. Pasta with bolognese sauce will cost 7 – 9 EUR.
Soups & Stews
- Zelenjavna Juha – vegetable soup
- Gobova Juha – mushroom soup
- Jota – thick stew made with sour cabbage (Sauerkraut), potatoes and beans.
- Jota s klobaso – cabbage stew with sausage.
- Jota s mesom – cabbage stew with meat.
- Ričet – barley stew made with beans.
- Ričet s klobaso – barley stew with sausage.
- Ričet s mesom – barley stew with meat.
- Pasulj – bean stew
- Golaž – goulash
- Kranjska klobasa – Carniolan sausage, a sausage made with pork meat and bacon and spiced with salt, pepper, and garlic.
- Ajdovi Žganci – buckwheat spoon bread, or buckwheat porridge, served with pork cracklings.
- Makaronovo meso – macaroni with minced meat/bolognese sauce
Štruklji is a dough roll (or dumpling) made with various fillings. It can be served savory, or sweet. For the best blueberry Štruklji, hike to Kofce mountain hut.
- Štruklji Sirovi – cheese filling
- Štruklji Borovničevi – blueberry filling
- Jabolčni zavitek – apple strudel
- Palačinke čokolada – crepes with chocolate
- Palačinke marmelada – crepes with jam
- Fanta, Coca Cola
- Jabolčni sok – apple juice
- Water – still or sparkling
- Pivovarna Laško – Beer
- Union – Beer
- Union Radler – grapefruit juice and beer
- Vino – wine, available by the glass ( ,1 L) or by the liter.
- Borovničke – blueberry Liqueur
- Čaj – Tea
- Kava – Coffee. Most huts serve Turkish-style coffee. Only a few huts have espresso machines.
- Kava z mlekom – Coffee with milk
- Kakav – Cacao
Where do I order food & drinks?
Slovenian mountain huts are always self-service. Usually, you’ll order inside directly at the counter. Some huts may have an outdoor window.
Is the water safe to drink?
It depends on the hut. Some huts have drinking water, directly from the tap or outdoor fountain. Other mountain huts do not have potable water. If they don’t, you can always purchase bottled water.
Can I bring my own food?
You can. However, you should prepare and eat your food outside. If you use the hut tables, they have the right to charge you a “setting fee.”
Hut Hiking in Slovenia FAQ
These are questions we frequently receive. If you have more questions, don’t hesitate to leave us a comment below.
Can I bring my dog?
No. Dogs aren’t allowed inside mountain huts in Slovenia.
Do you feel safe hiking in Slovenia as a LGBTQ woman?
Absolutely. Slovenia is very safe. We’ve visited several times and we’ve never had a negative experience.
Can I meet people in the huts?
Yes, you certainly can. We’ve met many interesting people in the mountain huts.
A lot of people ask us if they can meet people in the huts to hike with. I’m assuming that’s a common question for solo hikers who have experience hiking the Camino routes.
While it’s possible, it’s unlikely. Unlike a Camino route, you won’t necessarily be hiking at the same speed or even the same trail/direction as other hikers. Furthermore, hiking in the Slovenian Alps isn’t an inherently social, or casual endeavor. It’s a serious undertaking with real risks.
In a high alpine environment, no one wants to assume responsibility for someone they’ve never hiked with.
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