Every summer, we return to the Slovenian Alps to go hiking. We look forward to eating lunch and drinking Pivovarna Union grapefruit Radlers in mountain huts. And we love heading deep into the mountains on multi-day hikes, where we sleep in Slovenian mountain huts along the way.
In Slovenia, hiking and huts go hand-in-hand. If you’re hiking in Slovenia and you’re not visiting mountain huts, you’re doing it wrong.
There are 179 mountain huts (“Dom” and “Koča”) and bivouacs (“Bivak”) in Slovenia. These huts are owned by the Alpine Association of Slovenia (Planinska zveza Slovenije) and operated by local alpine clubs. Anyone can visit, eat, and sleep in mountain huts. However, we strongly encourage you to make reservations for overnight stays (more on that later).
There isn’t a significant difference between a “Dom” and a “Koča,” though Dom huts are usually larger. Dom and Koča huts are fully staffed during the hiking season (late June/early July to late September/early October) and function like mountain inns, offering a comfortable bed as well as food and drinks.
There are also many bivouacs in Slovenia. Bivouacs are small mountaineering shelters for climbers and hikers, who are tackling peak climbs. Bivouacs usually consist of one room with a few bunk beds. These tiny shelters are not staffed. You need to be fully self-sufficient when staying in a bivouac.
For the purpose of this post, we’re going to focus exclusively on staying and eating in Slovenian mountain huts (not bivouacs).
Whether you’re planning on hiking Mount Triglav (2-day hike), or hiking the Slovenian Mountain Way / Slovenska Planinska Pot (30+ days), you’ll stay in mountain huts along the way.
Slovenian Mountain Huts: Everything You Need to Know about Visiting & Sleeping in a Dom or Koča
Slovenian Huts Essential Information
- Like everywhere else in the European Alps, the hut-to-hut hiking season begins in late June, or early July, and ends in late September, or early October.
- Book your mountain huts in advance. Your booking is only valid until 5 pm on the day of arrival.
- Bring your passport, sleeping bag liner, climbing helmet (for high-altitude hikes), indoor hut shoes (e.g. crocs), and cash (EUR).
- Learn about Slovenian mountain hut etiquette and rules.
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Map of Mountain Huts in Slovenia
All Slovenian huts and bivouacs are marked in the map below. To find out if a hut is open, check out this map.
Hiking Trails to Slovenian Mountain Huts
Day Hikes to Mountain Huts
- Kamnik Saddle and Planjava in the Kamnik-Savinja Alps
- Seven Lakes Valley Day Hike in the Julian Alps
- Kofce Mountain Hut in the Karwanks
- Mount Triglav in the Julian Alps
Hut to Hut Hiking Trails
Slovenian Mountain Hut Reservations
It’s important to make reservations for mountain huts in advance. We recommend booking at least 2 months in advance. If your dates are flexible, a few weeks are probably sufficient.
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 1-2 weeks, we usually follow-up with a phone call.
The Alpine Association of Slovenia website is where you’ll find every mountain hut’s contact information (email and phone numbers).
If you’re reaching out in winter/early Spring for summer hut reservations, do not expect to get quick confirmations.
Important: Your booking is only valid until 5 pm on the day of arrival. If you’re planning on arriving after 5 pm, please contact the hut warden in advance so they don’t give your bed away.
When making reservations far in advance, some huts will ask you to re-confirm 5 days or 1 week prior to arrival.
Slovenian Mountain Hut Overnight Costs
Costs will vary depending on the category of the mountain hut and the type of room you’re staying in. For example, if you’re staying in a dormitory room, you’ll pay less than if you stay in a room with 2 beds.
Slovenian mountain huts are graded into three categories. Category I huts are more expensive than Category II and III huts, because they are located at higher elevations, and are thus less accessible and harder to service. These huts are usually supplied by helicopters.
Here’s approximately how much it costs to stay one night in a Slovenian mountain hut.
Category 1 Hut Overnight Cost
- Room (2 Beds): 28.50 EUR
- Room (3-6 Beds): 27 EUR
- Dormitory (7-12 Beds): 24 EUR
- Dormitory (more than 12 Beds): 22 EUR
Category 1 Hut Overnight Cost with Alpine Club Membership Discount
- Room (2 Beds): 19.95 EUR
- Room (3-6 Beds): 18.90 EUR
- Dormitory (7-12 Beds): 12 EUR
- Dormitory (more than 12 Beds): 11 EUR
Alpine Club Member Discounts
The best way to save money on your overnight stay is to be a member of the Slovenian Alpine Association or any UIAA alpine club which participates in the International Reciprocal Agreement on Mountain Huts. For more info on UIAA alpine clubs, read Tips for Hiking in the European Alps.
For example, as members of the Austrian Alpine Club, we receive discounts on all Slovenian mountain huts owned by the PZS.
Typically, you’ll pay for your overnight stay as soon as you check-in. If you opted for half board (dinner and breakfast), you’ll pay for that as well. If you choose to eat à la carte, you’ll pay for your food separately.
If you’re staying in a busy/popular hut (especially in the Julian Alps), the check-in and payment process will be very efficient and regimented. There will be strict check-in times, so you can forget about checking in early.
If you’re staying in less-frequented mountain huts, you can expect a more relaxed check-in process.
Some huts accept credit cards. Though, other huts only accept cash (EUR). We always bring sufficient cash to be on the safe side. Prior to your hike, I would contact the hut to confirm what your payment options are.
Sleeping in a Slovenian Mountain Hut
Sleeping at Higher Altitudes
If you’re not used to sleeping at higher altitudes, it’s normal to sleep more lightly. We recommend drinking lots of water and abstaining from alcohol if you have difficulty sleeping.
When thinking of a mountain hut, picture a hostel in the mountains. Rooms are simple and rustic, though always clean.
Usually, you can choose between sleeping in a mattress dormitory, a room with multiple beds (4, 6, 8, 10 beds), and if you’re lucky a room with only 2 beds. When you make your reservation, specify what you want.
All rooms are mixed and not gender-specific.
Some mountain huts always provide bedding and will charge a small fee automatically. If you did bring a sleeping bag liner, make sure to show them when you check-in, so they don’t charge you.
Important: Sleeping bags are not allowed.
Bathrooms are always shared. Though, there’s generally a men’s and a women’s bathroom.
Some mountain huts have flush toilets while others only have outdoor drop toilets. Bring your own toilet paper.
Lower elevation huts may have showers. When you check-in, you can inquire about the shower facilities and pay any necessary fees. Usually, showers are token operated.
- Sleeping Bag Liner like this silk liner or this cotton travel sheet
- House Slippers. We always bring our crocs
- E-reader, or Kindle
Eating and Drinking in a Slovenian Mountain Hut
Overnight Guests: Unless you have very strict dietary restrictions, you should eat breakfast and dinner in the Slovenian mountain huts. It’s not courteous to eat your own food. That being said: “all visitors may consume the food and drink which they brought themselves, however, in this case, they may be charged a place setting fee” (Mountain Hut Rules).
Lower-elevation mountain huts have running water. You can drink the tap, unless there’s a sign that says the water isn’t drinkable.
High-altitude huts only have rain water. In these huts, you can purchase bottled water.
Half Board or à la carte
When you check-in (or when you make your reservation), you can choose between paying for:
- Half Board (overnight stay plus breakfast and dinner)
- Bed and Breakfast (overnight stay plus breakfast)
- Overnight Stay only
Half board is probably the most economical way to go.
We tend to pay for our overnight stay and then purchase our food à la carte. That gives us more flexibility because we can eat when we want and eat what we want.
The half-board dinner menu is usually limited to only a few choices. Additionally, dinner is usually served at very specific times. When we hiked Mount Triglav, we ate dinner early (à la carte), rested, and then hiked before sunset (when everyone else was eating dinner).
Note: It’s possible that some huts only have a half board option.
Typical Food in a Slovenian Mountain Food
Slovenian hut food is basic but filling. Huts typically serve pot stews, soups, and sausages.
Soups & Stews
- Jota – thick stew made with sour cabbage (Sauerkraut) and beans.
- Ričet – barley stew made with beans, smoked pork, or sausage. We ate a delicious Ričet at Jarški dom na Mali planini, a mountain hut on Mali Planina (close to Velika Planina).
- Pasulj – bean stew
- Gobova Juha – mushroom soup
- 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. Try it at Dolga Njiva.
- Kislo Zelje – Sauerkraut
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
Slovenian Mountain Hut Etiquette
You can find all the hut rules here.
- Upon arrival, write your name in the mountain hut logbook.
- Only enter the sleeping quarters after you have formally checked in.
- Take off your hiking boots before entering the sleeping quarters. There’s always a storage area for shoes near the hut entrance. Bring crocs, so you have something comfortable to wear in the huts.
- Take all your trash with you. Do not leave garbage in the huts. Trash should be disposed of responsibly in the valleys.
- Quiet hours are from 10 PM until 5 AM. If you get up earlier, do not disturb others.
- Smoking is forbidden inside the hut.
- It’s forbidden to cook and/or eat inside the sleeping quarters.
- Dogs and other animals are not allowed to enter mountain huts.
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