The first part of a major new hiking trail through the Julian Alps was officially opened last month. By the time it is completed in April 2019, the trail will be 190 miles long (300 kilometers) and will lead tourists through many of Slovenia’s best natural features.
The new trail was inspired by the popularity of the Alpe-Adria trail, which guides hikers through parts of Austria, Slovenia, and Italy. The Julian-Alps Hiking Trail, as it is officially known, will be concentrated exclusively within Slovenia, encouraging people to visit more remote and rural parts of the country.
The trail is the culmination of work carried out by ten municipalities located in the Julian Alps, whose aim is not only to increase tourism in the area, but also the levels of cooperation between local tourist entities, such as transport, food services, and accommodation.
While it is possible to walk the entire trail on foot, buses and trains will also connect certain towns and villages, making it easier and more accessible if need be. Once the hiking trail is fully complete, the next stage of the plan is to add a cycling trail.
With the ever-increasing focus on the importance of preserving the environment and slowing down the effects of global warming that we have witnessed over the past few decades, more and more nations are directing their efforts towards encouraging ecotourism. This is tourism that focuses on appreciation for the natural environment, giving government bodies and local citizens greater incentive to protect nature. When people’s livelihoods depend on preserving the natural beauty of their land, it is ultimately better protected.
But the attraction to and benefits of this trail are not purely economic or environmental, but also cultural. No matter where you go in the world, rural areas are always less affected by globalization, and their original culture is always more distinct than in large cities. By making it easier to travel between rural communities, it is hoped that hikers on this trail will experience more of Slovenia’s history, culture, and folklore.
The full Julian Alps Hiking Trail is due to open by April of next year, with an accompanying multilingual digital guide to be released at the same time. For more information on what the full trail will look like, click here.