a multi-day snow-shoeing adventure in the julian alps
18th - 25th january 2024
(8 DAYS, 7 NIGHTS, £1625 PP)
Slow down and let the magic of Slovenia’s wild winter landscapes reveal themselves on our unique snowshoeing experience. Led by inspiring International Mountain Leader and Slovenia resident - Mikaela Toczek of More to Explore, snowshoeing offers the perfect way to explore Slovenia's pristine backcountry environments, immersing ourselves in nature, identifying tracks and traces and understanding the places that are home to some of Europes most diverse ecosystems.
Throughout our journey we will reset, learn, engage our senses, make connections and experience the powerful wellbeing benefits of snow in wild places. After mastering the basics of snowshoeing, we invite you to embark on a multi-day snowshoeing journey, exploring the vast Pokljuka plateau, weaving in and out of alpine pastures, forests and visiting incredible viewpoints, all on the edge of the Triglav National Park in the Julian Alps.
Uniquely brought to you in collaboration with More to Explore
"Snowshoeing on the Pokljuka plateau is a truly spectacular experience, blending nature, culture, adventure and wellbeing for an unforgettable journey..."
(Mikaela from More to Explore - our awesome collaboration partner)
"Wild winter Slovenia is a staged, curated & holistic journey, combining mindful adventure in wild snowy mountains and forests, with a healthy dose of great hotels, local cuisine, saunas, rest and rejuvenation..."
part one: land and learn
Day 1: Arriving at Ljubljana airport, pre-arranged transport will transfer the group to a nearby hotel, where we will spend the night together before continuing our journey on day 2.
Day 2: After a leisurely breakfast together, we'll continue to the beautiful Pokljuka Plateau in time for lunch at Hotel Jelka where we will be staying for two nights. Once we are all settled we'll start gently, fit our snowshoes and have a very short afternoon walk to enjoy the surroundings and get your first taste of snowshoeing. In the evening there will be time to enjoy Hotel Jelka’s wellbeing facilities including a Sauna and Ice room.
Day 3: After a hotel breakfast we will set out on a journey using snowshoes to one of the nearby alpine pastures, immersing ourselves in the winter environment and gaining confidence with some of the skills and techniques needed to enjoy snowshoeing. We will return mid-afternoon and pack our bags ready for the multi-day journey. After enjoying an evening meal together we will share, reflect and look forward to our upcoming journey.
Part Two: EXPLORe
Day 4 (Approx 7km, Ascent 417M, Descent 62M): After a good breakfast in Hotel Jelka, we will check out of our rooms and begin the journey up to Blejska Koča, nestled higher on the stunning Planina Lipanca, with views out across the forests of Pokjluka and hints of the larger mountains behind. Along the way we will take time to find and follow animal tracks and reflect on winter adaptations in nature. We'll stay at Blejska Koča - A simple welcoming mountain cottage, nestled into Lipanca Planina, one of the area's upland plateaus, surrounded by mountains, with views out over the winter forests of Pokjljuka. Facilities are basic but the warmth of the fire and home-made mountain food welcome us from our journey. Depending on conditons and our arrival time, there may be an option for an afternoon walk up to a nearby peak for breathtaking views of the Julian Alps.
Day 5 (Approx 10km, Ascent 274M, Descent 734M):
Descending into the forests from Blejska Koča, we will weave our way back down to Pokljuka, briefly passing through one of the region’s main cross-country skiing areas, popular with Biathlon athletes. This is followed by a gradual ascent to Pokljuka's most beautiful alpine pastures, with shepherds huts surrounded by striking mountains, pausing for tea and rejuvenation before descending down a sheltered forest valley and finishing our day at the newly renovated Uskovnica koča.
Day 6 (Approx 10km, Ascent 313M, Descent 106M):
Today we will begin our forest journey back to Hotel Jelka, visiting Planina Zajamniki along the way. Here we will be able to look back towards the Julian Alps, over this unique alpine pasture, with a perfect line of shepherds huts guiding our gaze towards Triglav, Slovenia’s highest mountain. On our return to Hotel Jelka our transport will meet us and transfer us to our special final hotel on the edge of lake Bohinj, where you will be welcomed to relax in their Finnish and Turkish Saunas, Ice Fountain and Outdoor whirlpool.
Part THREE: REST & rejuvenate
Day 7: After our amazing journey, now it’s time for some comfort and reflection. For those interested in cold water immersion, there will be an opportunity today to dip in the crystal clear waters of Bohinj lake, with some hot čaj (tea) waiting for you as your emerge. Or you may just choose to find one of the many quiet spots around the lake to pause and soak in the beauty of this special place. We will round off our last night in Slovenia at Hotel Bohinj. Finishing our journey with a little luxury, Hotel Bohinj is set back from Bohinj Lake, with beautiful views and attention to detail. Local materials are found both outside and in, with cuisine using local produce and inspired by tradition. With a rich selection of Wellness facilities and an outdoor fire gathering for our final night, this will be the perfect celebration to complete Wild Winter Slovenia, the perfect chance to come together before our journeys home begin tomorrow.
Day 8: After breakfast and one last look at the view it will be time to board our transport and start the journey back to Ljubljana airport. We will have time along the way to visit lake Bled and its iconic island church, as well as tasting some more local specialties before continuing on our journey's home.
WILD WINTER SLOVENIA INCLUSIONS
Inspiring Leader: International Mountain Leader and Slovenia resident - Mikaela Toczek of More to Explore
In depth local knowledge & passion of the area
All in-country transport, including transfers to and from the airport (provided you are able to take the suggested flight - detailed below)
All accommodation as described above (based on twin/triple sharing)
All meals starting from and including breakfast on Day 2 to breakfast on day 8
One session using the Wellness Facilities at Hotel Bohinj (Finnish and Turkish Saunas, Ice Fountain and Massage Pool)
One session using the Wellness Facilities at Hotel Jelka
Equipment rental (snowshoes and snow safety equipment)
Your own personal 'Wilder' journal + pencil to record your adventure
Water purification stuff so we can collect water on the go
Required group safety kit
The Living Project public liability insurance
Flights to and from Slovenia (please see below for recommended flights)
Additional use of Wellness facilities at Hotel Bohinj & Hotel Jelka (15-30E)
Additional food/snacks not mentioned above
Personal travel insurance (required)
Personal kit (full kit list will be provided on booking)
Any other food or drinks not mentioned in inclusions
Personal spending money
Slovenia is a small country rich in nature, with a deeply ingrained mountain culture. 68% is covered in forest and there are 3 Alpine ranges, each with their own distinctive characters. The Julian Alps, The Karavanke Alps and the Kamnik Alps. Hiking is widely considered the most popular activity, and in winter, downhill, alpine and cross-country skiing prevail, alongside snowboarding and mountaineering, with ski jumping attracting tens of thousands of spectators. However, unlike other European countries, there are currently no dedicated trails marked for snowshoeing in Slovenia, making it a true adventure, and with comparably few ski lifts and gondolas, the winter mountains are pristine.
We will base our tour on the Pokljuka plateau, shaped by glaciers in the last ice age and forming the largest rounded forest area in Slovenia. The environment is a balance of Spruce, Pine, Beech and Larch forests with Europe’s highest most southernly peat bogs, characteristic sinkholes and alpine pastures. Pokljuka is also one of the gateways to the higher mountains of the Julian Alps and on each day we will be treated to incredible mountain views.
how do i get there from the uk?
There are 2 direct flights per week to Ljubljana airport and we recommend booking the following - as soon as we give you the go ahead to do so (this will be at least 3 months before the adventure)
Easyjet London Gatwick - Ljubljana Jože Pučnik Aiport.
Easyjet Ljubljana Jože Pučnik Aiport - London Gatwick
Our transport has been arranged to coincide with these flights. If you choose to take an alternative flight or mode of transport (e.g you are driving over) then you are welcome to make your own way to Ljubljana Airport on the 18th to meet us there.
Once you arrive in Slovenia, all the transport for the trip is looked after by us, leaving you time to sit back and enjoy the journey.
WILD WINTER SLOVENIA FAQ's
If you have any others please give us a shout or check our general FAQs
What is snowshoeing?
The essence of snowshoeing is built on hiking, using a greater surface area to prevent you from sinking into the snow. This is achieved through the use of specially designed wide-framed rackets, which you attach to your boots with bindings. Snowshoeing is a wonderful low-impact activity, perfect for exploring the winter environment away from the crowds, ski resorts and prepared tracks. This is referred to as the winter backcountry.
It is estimated that the first snowshoes were created 4000-6000 years ago and were made from wood, woven baskets and sometimes fur. Modern snowshoes are mostly made from plastic and aluminium, although some still prefer traditionally crafted shoes.
Is snowshoeing suitable for complete beginners?
Snowshoeing itself is very easy to get started, and you can learn the initial techniques required in just a few hours. As you gain confidence, more skills can be developed and journeys can be extended into more remote places. The most challenging skills to develop are avalanche awareness and route planning. You don’t need any prior experience for this tour, it is ideal for complete beginners and for those with some winter experience looking to explore Slovenia’s winter backcountry. Whatever your level of experience, you can rely on our guidance, support and encouragement throughout the trip.
How fit do I need to be?
This tour would be suitable for anyone with a good base level of fitness from regular hillwalking in the UK or similar, which can be developed in the time leading up to departure. Although this tour is suitable for beginners there will be elements of challenge throughout the journey. Moving through fresh snow is tiring and we will have some moderate ascents to enable us to reach our amazing viewpoints. We believe these challenges are part of what makes this experience so special and as our distances are carefully planned, we will have plenty of time to move slowly, rest and work together.
Why choose our guided experience?
Our fun, inclusive and gentle approach to teaching the skills required for snowshoeing will lay the perfect foundations for winter journeys. We are passionate about the magic offered through snowshoeing, and invite you to join us as we find animal tracks and traces, breathtaking views, cosy huts, and experience the benefits for our winter wellbeing.
What kit / equipment do i need?
Aside from the snowshoes, which are included you do not need anything we' class as specific 'snow kit'. If you are already a keen hillwalker in the UK, then the chances are you probably have a lot of what's needed. Here's a full it list of what we suggest to pack and bring with you. You'll also be provided with this kit list as part of your adventure pack as soon as you sign up.
If you have a question that hasn't been answered here, or you'd prefer to talk to one of us - we'd love to here from you!