Date: 29. July 2020
Time to read: 3 min
Slovenia boasts a beautiful Alpine world and pre-Alpine mountain ranges that attract numerous foreign and domestic visitors who wish to experience a pristine natural environment. As many as 1.7 million visitors come to the Slovenian mountains every year. Over half of the last year’s visitors were from outside the country.
Slovenians love to spend their free time hiking and being active in nature, and the country offers numerous and remarkably diverse mountain trails that connect valleys with mountains top and huts.
Hikers can choose from 179 mountain huts, shelters or bivouacs, where they can spend a night or have a meal.
This year’s hiking season is already in full swing. Due to the COVID-19 epidemic, there are fewer foreign visitors, but the offer in mountain huts has been adapted to better suit the needs of Slovenian guests. Various packages are available, including visits to sights in the surrounding area, especially in huts on low mountains
All mountain huts have their purpose and mission. The honourable code of conduct of Slovenian hikers, available on the Alpine Association of Slovenia website, states that mountain huts (lodges, chalets, shelters and bivouacs) are intended for shelter, rest, food and mountain training. Since different hikers have different wishes and needs, and since the facilities and offer available in huts vary, it is of course necessary to make some concessions to the local context.
When using the huts’ facilities, it is important to use the least energy and water possible, to make as little noise as possible and to produce as little waste as possible. Ideally any waste should be brought back to the valley.
Be considerate to the staff and other visitors and respect the house rules. Huts welcome us in a homely atmosphere, they offer simple accommodation and services, provide information on trail conditions and weather forecasts, and send out alerts in the event of accidents. Eating in mountain huts will reduce the weight of your backpack and, at the same time, will help support the huts and hiking associations that maintain them.
Stay safe in the mountains
As in previous years, the Alpine Association of Slovenia stresses the appropriate safety precautions that you have to follow in the mountains. Hikers should observe the rules for safe mountaineering. They should bear in mind that this year’s epidemic prevented the trail markers from doing their job and that therefore some trails might not be well marked. The Association stresses that it is important to be well prepared for hiking and to observe the rules of safe mountaineering in order to avoid accidents:
“Take care in choosing your trail and planning the timeline, in particular if you are accompanied by children or older hikers. Since conditions in the mountains can be unpredictable, it is not uncommon to encounter snowfields along some hiking trails even in summer, especially on shaded and northern slopes. You should not be misled by the temperatures in the valley and should always carry warm clothes in your backpack, including a hat and gloves. Storms and lightning are common during summer months. We cannot protect ourselves from being struck by lightning. It is important to set out to the mountains early in order to be safe in the valley or a mountain hut in the afternoon, when summer storms are the most frequent,” warns the Alpine Association of Slovenia.
The Association, in participation with the Triglav Insurance Company, organises the Slovenia-wide campaign called Let's Clean Up Our Mountains. This year’s Slovenia-wide campaign is focused on better fire safety for mountain huts. For the third consecutive year, the partners are organising a contest for the most beautiful trail according to hikers. This year they chose scenic path to Triglav accros Luknja and Plemenice, once called the Bambergova path.
The Alpine Association of Slovenia and the Pivovarna Laško Union brewery work together in the project Let’s Head for the Hills. Though a large part of this year’s events were cancelled due to the epidemic, the brewery has come up with an idea of how to help the mountain huts: "With the Alpine Association of Slovenia we have developed a reusable 0.5-litre plastic cup that we will donate to 44 mountain huts. For each hut, the Pivovarna Laško Union brewery is offering 2,400 commemorative cups, free-of-charge and including delivery. The huts will make the commemorative cups available to their visitors and there will be a sign reading A Donation to Us. The cups bear the name of the respective hut and the profits from their sale will go to support their activities. The 105,600 cups will thus enable 105,600 euros of donations," explains Urban Kramberger, the Laško brand manager at the Pivovarna Laško Union brewery. The cups are made out of eco plastic, are very durable and thus contribute to a more sustainable environment.
As in previous years, the Siol.net webpage and Alpine Association of Slovenia have prepared a project called Best Mountain Hut. Enthusiastic hikers can vote for their favourite huts in the Slovenian hills and mountains. They can choose from 156 huts, 28 of which are in the high mountains and the rest in the low mountains or hills. The result will be announced at the end of the summer.