Karavanke, the longest, 120 km long mountain range in Slovenia
The Karavanke are a mountain group that stretches from the tri-border between Slovenia, Austria and Italy all the way to Croatia. They are one of the three Slovenian mountains where the heights of the peaks exceed the magical limit of 2000 m. Three-quarters of the Karavanke mountains are covered by forests, especially in the eastern part. The Karavanke Mountains have many well-kept hiking and cycling trails. There are many opportunities for active leisure.
The Karavanke is the longest mountain range in Slovenia. Their peaks, with the highest peak Stol (2236 m), stretch 120 km far from Gorenjska all the way to Carinthia.
In the Karavanke we encounter steep slopes, scenic peaks, mountains, valleys, gorges, waterfalls, diverse plant and animal species, rich nature and preserved cultural heritage. The unspoiled nature and the specificity of plant and animal species make them an integral part of the Natura 2000 site.
In 2018, Lonely Planet ranked the Julian Alps among the ten most attractive regions in the world.
Visit the Karavanke mountains, over which some international mountain trails run: Via Alpina, Slovenian mountain trails, panoramic hiking trails of the Southern Alps (Panoramaweg Sϋdalpen) and Carinthian mountain trails.
The Karavanke are worth a visit. They offer numerous thematic hiking trails (Geotrail Košuta, stages of the Slovenian Geological Trail, forest learning trails, …). There are many huts along the marked mountain trails, where hikers are offered warm shelter and accommodation.
Karavanke mountain peaks
The highest peak of the Karavanke is Stol / Hochstuhl (2,236 m). The other two thousanders follow:
- Vrtača / Wertatscha (2180 m),
- Kepa / Mittagskogel (2143 m),
- Obir / Hochobir (2139 m),
- Košuta (2133 m),
- Peca / Petzen (2126 m),
- Veliki vrh / Hochturm (2088 m) in
- Begunjščica (2063 m),
- Golica (1835 m),
- Uršlja gora (1700 m),
- Klek (1754 m) in
- Dovška Baba (1892 m).
Stol, the highest peak of the Karavanke, is one of the easiest tours in the Karavanke. From the top, there is an extremely beautiful view of the Gorenjska basin and the Kamnik-Savinja Alps. Karavanke mountains are known for their natural beauty. Among them, some erosive forms stand out the most, such as the amphitheatrically gabled valleys, e.g. it is covered by Medvedji dol and Poden, the deep thicket of Čepa pod Mali Ljubelj, the picturesque Dolžan gorge above Tržič and a series of gorges in the Upper Sava Valley. In the month of May, beautiful mountain daffodils bloom on the slopes at the foot of the Golica peak (1836 m), which is a real natural wonder. At this time, the vast meadows look as if they have been hit by snow.
Natural saits of the Karavanke
The Karavanke are full of natural beauty and sights. Special attention is paid to:
- The picturesque Dovžan gorge above Tržič,
- Deep gorge Čepa (Tscheppaschlucht) in Podljubelj (Unterloibl),
- Stegovniški waterfall, is a 15-meter high waterfall in the Stegovnik gorge in caravans,
- Tominčev waterfall in the valley of Beli potok near Podljubelj,
- Završnica Valley in Jezersko, where you can see a very special natural phenomenon of the Lahnjak spring from a lookout bridge;
- Carinthian Furnace Nature Reserve: is a colourful mosaic of forests, gorges, rocks, springs and waterfalls and represents a unique landscape with a unique character. Elements of alpine and sub-Mediterranean vegetation intertwine in this area. It is home to rare and endangered animal and plant species.
There are many other natural attractions in the Karavanke region that are worth your visit.
What to do in Julian Alps and Triglav National Park
The Julian Alps are a paradise for hikers, climbers and mountain bikers. Numerous well-kept hiking trails lead through valleys, villages, forests to the highest mountains. Along the way, you will admire many natural sights and unspoiled nature. Crystal clear waters are drinkable almost all over the July Alps.
Rivers and lakes allow for many water activities. If you like more adrenaline-fueled outdoor activities, you will descend the rapids of the alpine rivers. Activities are available: rafting, kayaking, canoeing, wild river SUP, belliak and canyoning. If you prefer calm waters, you can swim in one of the lakes or calm-rivers. You can take a boat ride or explore with a SUP board.
Adrenaline parks, paragliding and a “zipline” are also available for adrenaline enthusiasts.
In winter, there are many ski resorts in Kranjska gora, Cerkno, Vogelj and high mountain Kanin. In winter, there are many cross-country ski trails. You can go on a winter hike or snowshoeing. If you are a fan of climbing, you should try ice climbing on icy waterfalls.
So what is your favourite activity? What experience will you choose?