4-day loop in the Julian Alps – Stara Fužina to Triglav and back

I hiked a 4-day / 4-night loop from Stara Fužina to Triglav to Stara Fužina in July 2023. I’m writing this up in early March 2024, because it’s taken me a while to get round to it!

I was frustrated when planning my trip by the lack of good resources for longer independent hikes in the Slovenian Alps, even though the area is well suited to them. I ended up relying on personal accounts such as:

So, hopefully I can add one of my own.


Prep, equipment, context


I’m a reasonably fit guy in my early 30s, travelling alone. Not like, super fit, though. I ran the Beer Lover’s Marathon a couple of months before this hike, but I don’t think be much quicker than 4 hours even if I was sober. The commonly referenced GR20 in Corsica took me 15 days, and I do 1-2 reasonably ambitious multi-day hiking trip a year. On the flat, I walk about 30km a day with a pack on a longer trip. So calibrate yourself to this with my time estimates and recommendations.

Technical ability

I had not done any via ferrata before this trip, but I did know what it was. If you want to do Triglav peak, I recommend you look it up and decide for yourself. That said, it’s easy to skip this bit of the route if you don’t fancy it, and I saw a number of groups where some people waited behind whilst others who had brought more equipment spent a couple of hours going up to the summit and back.

Being afraid of heights would also be a problem for this section.


This is a photo of a hut.

Camping is forbidden so you’ll be staying at huts, known as Doms or kočas, which serve plentiful food and beer at prices which are marked up but would not raise eyebrows in any part of London. Most days also include an opportunity for a hut-stop halfway, too. You can see recommended prices here – https://en.pzs.si/vsebina.php?pid=17. I probably spent something like 60 euros a day in total including a bed and 3 simple meals and a beer from the huts each day.

I booked all of the huts here – https://en.pzs.si/koce.php – except the first one just outside Stara Fužina, which I booked by emailing pd-srvas@siol.net in English.


As such, you could get away with travelling very, very light. I probably had more than I needed, but my pack was about 9-10KG including:

  • Via ferrata kit (rented in Bled at Altitude Activities)
  • 1.5L of water
  • 1KG of snacks, mostly a big bag of Bombay Mix (as always when hiking I try to aim for foods with at least 4 calories per gram)
  • 2 changes of clothes (1 to change into at the end of the day, 1 recently washed or drying on the back of my pack)
  • Silk sleeping bag liner (I think I also had a light sleeping bag & inflatable pillow with me, but can’t remember if I used these at any point)
  • A light waterproof coat
  • A light pair of gloves (and I was grateful for these on the Triglav ascent, to protect my hands from sharp edges)
  • Basic wash bag
  • Toilet paper
  • Fast drying towel
  • Wet wipes (no showers!)
  • Cap & sun cream
  • Basic first aid kit + survival bag
  • Map – WK 5141. Days 0 & 1 are also covered as Walk 31 in the Cicerone Guide to the region, but I didn’t bring this book with me and don’t particularly recommend it.
  • Compass
  • Head torch
  • Notebook & pen
  • 20000mAh battery – I use my phone as a kindle, and there is little or no opportunity for phone charging in the huts
  • Water purification (I didn’t use this, but don’t regret having it with me just in case)

Day 0: Ljubljana airport to Planinska koča na Vojah, 690m

In July at least, there were plentiful direct buses from Ljubljana airport to Bled. Something like 1 per hour, maybe more, and Google maps had up-to-date timetables. No booking was required. Continuing from Bled to Stara Fužina, the buses were running more chaotically – not really to timetable and it was unclear which tickets were valid for which buses. I just asked the driver of each bus that pulled up until I found one going where I wanted to go. Many buses also stop at Ribčev Laz or Bohinjsko jezero which is close enough if you were planning to spend the next 4 days hiking anyway!

I also stopped in Bled to have lunch by the lake and rent via ferrata gear for the Triglav summit at Altitude Activities, although keep in mind that you’ll need to make sure they’re open when you’re passing through on the way back.

And, as it was a hot day and it was now the heat of the early afternoon, I also stopped in Stara Fužina for a točeno pivo in the shade.

Image courtesy of https://www.outdooractive.com/en/routeplanner/

The walk from Stara Fužina to the first hut is fairly straightforward and took no more than an hour. There are a number of possible routes, including road and forest trail. In my case, from the very basic supermarket in the village, I went north at the crossroads, keeping the river on my right. Shortly after, I crossed said river at the next minor road bridge, then turned left, keeping the river now on my left. This eventually met an unmade track along the top edge of a field, and I followed it back to the river again, following the gorge now upstream all the way to the first hut.

This hut is not on the regular booking setup, so I emailed them in advance at pd-srvas@siol.net.

Day 1: Planinska koča na Vojah to Dom Planika

This is by far the most physically challenging day of this route due to the significant elevation gain. However, it is not remotely technical besides some occasional loose surface on a path that is often a 1/3 gradient.

Image courtesy of https://www.outdooractive.com/en/routeplanner/

I set off at 5:30am to avoid forecast rains in the afternoon, eating breakfast from my pack as I walked. At about 9:30am I got to Vodnikov Dom (marked “C” on the map above), to the considerable surprise of the breakfasters there, who reckoned I’d done well to make the elevation so fast. This praise nourished me nearly as much as the strudel and the view.

I took the rest of the morning more gently and got to Dom Planika in time for lunch, where the views are even better.

What Dom Planika doesn’t have, though, is a water source. Neither did Koča na Doliču – or at least, only enough to serve the hut kitchen. I ended up buying bottled water, but I think it’s possible I could have filled up at Vodnikov Dom – and if so, I should have. I had water purifying stuff with me, but there were few if any viable water sources in the higher sections of this trip.

Day 2: Triglav summit & Dom Planika pod Triglavom to Koča na Doliču

I left most of the contents of my pack at Dom Planika and donned my rented via ferrata kit to ascend Triglav in the morning.

I did not strictly need the via ferrata set – as in, I never fell and had it catch me and save my life. That said, I would not have been doing this without it. I saw some people doing so, and good for them! But this would be outside of my comfort zone without the safety net.

The scrambling is mostly not too difficult on the way up, but daunting on the way down. I don’t have good pictures of the more difficult bits, as taking photos was not my priority in these moments.

I also encountered some traffic delays – I was far from the quickest person here, but also not the slowest. Apparently, a few days earlier, a group of 40 partially sighted hikers had caused significant delays on the summit. I was told it’s something of a rite of passage for Slovenians, so people of very varying abilities do attempt it. And it’s single file in many cases, so queues build up whilst people wait for hikers in the opposite direction to reach passing points.

The summit and descent back to Dom Planika took me about 2.5 hours.

Image courtesy of https://www.outdooractive.com/en/routeplanner/

The remaining couple of miles from Dom Planika across to Koča na Doliču were less demanding, but not totally without technical challenge.

Day 3: Day 3: Koča na Doliču to Koča pri Triglavskih jezerih

Image courtesy of https://www.outdooractive.com/en/routeplanner/

With the exception of a steep climb up to an almost lunar basin early on, this was a very straightfoward day, potentially allowing for some recovery. I had planned a sidequest over to Zasavska koča na Prehodavci or potentially one of the nearby summits, but extremely foggy conditions put me off. (And indeed, someone fell in this area and was rescued by helicopter when the weather cleared later that day.)

Day 4: Koča pri Triglavskih jezerih to Stara Fužina

Image courtesy of https://www.outdooractive.com/en/routeplanner/

A more ambitious hiker might have combined this with the previous day. That would result in a huge amount of descent in one day, but ultimately I did arrive by noon two days in a row so it’s definitely doable.

The scenery was rather different on this last day – covered forest paths, loose roaming cattle in forest clearings, and eventually forestry trails. I stopped for a coffee at Koča na Planini pri Jezeru, and some people I met along the way got a bus out from not far from there. I hiked all the way down though, emerging in the lanes above the village of Stara Fužina.