Hiking

WALK OF PEACE • hiking tour

DURATION

13 DAYS

CATEGORY

HIKING

TOUR TYPE

FITNESS LEVEL

MEDIUM

SEASON

ALL YEAR

LENGHT & ELEVATION

212 - 236 KM, 7180 - 8620M

The Walk of Peace hiking tour is a space of adventure, memory, and a journey through the incredible history of the First World War. What this illuminating trek teaches, however, is that what once divided us now unites us. Walking along the former frontline, it is impossible not to be overtaken by gratitude for peace and the immense beauty of nature.

A century after the First World War, the Walk of Peace honors the history, heritage and memory of one of the war’s most important regions with a long-distance hiking path running from the JulianAlps to the Adriatic.

The Isonzo front, one of the most extensive battlefields in the high mountains, where Austro-Hungarian troops fought the Italians, left behind numerous military cemeteries, trenches, caves, chapels and other memorabilia. The turbulent history of the area, which left a deep mark on both the land and its people, makes this trekking tour especially interesting.

Spreading the message of peace among nations, the Walk of Peace is the only cross-border trail connecting the fronts of two countries – Slovenia and Italy. The path crosses the emerald Soča Valley in the Triglav National Park, the wine-growing region of Brda and the mystical land of Karst before reaching the delightful Adriatic coast. The diversity of the landscape is reflected in delicious local cuisine, a constant companion on the way. Walking along mountain peaks, narrow gorges, karst caves and vineyards, cultural heritage is complemented by incredible natural sites and views.

The cultural path is uniformly marked and suitable for trekking throughout most of the year. It includes various alternate routes and additional loops for the most eager hikers.

In 2016, the Walk of Peace has been put on UNESCO tentative list of world heritage.

HIGHLIGHTS

  • Nineteen WW1 outdoor museums
  • Memorial church at Javorca plateau with EU heritage label
  • Kobarid museum devoted to the Isonzo front
  • Italian and German charnel houses
  • Diverse landscape – the Julian Alps, the emerald Soča Valley and Triglav National Park, the wine-growing region of Brda, the Karst, and the Adriatic coast
  • Tasty local food and wine

walk of peace

In media

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Itinerary

DAY 01

ARRIVAL TO LOG POD MANGARTOM

The Walk of Peace hiking tour starts with the arrival to the famous Soča Valley. The little village of Log pod Mangartomis situated deep between the marvelous mountain peaks in the far Northwest of Slovenia. The village is notable for once having the only mosquein the country. The mosque was erected by Bosniak Muslim troops in the service of Austria-Hungary during the First World War. After the war, the mosque was abandoned and later demolished. In the village, there is another remnant of the great war – an Austro-Hungarian military cemetery, where over 800 soldiers rest.

Close to Log pod Mangartom lies a beautiful river gorge named Frataricawith some easily accessible waterfalls. A 30-minute walk leads to the most impressive among them, the Parabola waterfall, which plunges down over 48 meters in a free fall and ends in a small emerald green pool.

The tranquil surroundings of the village guarantee a good night’s sleep and a fresh start the next morning.


DAY 02

LOG POD MANGARTOM - BOVEC

DistanceDistance: 12,6 km
DistanceElevation: 380 m

The first trekking stage connects Log pod Mangartom with the town of Bovec, which is known as a paradise for active holidays. The historic trail mostly follows the Koritnica river and partially its slimmer sister, the Možnica river. The most dramatic section of the Koritnica is the Kluže gorge, where the river has carved out a narrow 70-meters deep canyon. As an important strategic point, the gorge has been used from the 15thcentury onwards as an observation post for arrivals in the Bovec basin.

Walking along the gorge, one can also admire the Fortress Kluže, which was originally built as a defense stronghold against the Turkish inroads. The fort is hidden below the steep slopes of Mt. Rombon and was therefore safe from Italian shelling during the WW1. The upper fortification, Fortress Hermann, which can be reached through an illuminated tunnel, was not so lucky. Being completely exposed, it was heavily shelled by the Italian artillery and soon abandoned.

Before arriving to Bovec, one can also visit two outdoor museums and another military cemetery. The trenches, connection tunnels, pillboxes and machine-gun emplacements in the Ravelnik outdoor museum remind the visitors of the tragic past. More war remnants can be found at the Čelo outdoor museum, where a 200-meter-long trench connected two gun positions with a kitchen, an observation post, two dormitories for 40 men, and a shelter for 20 soldiers.

Bovec offers three war heritage collections, namely the Small Museum of the Isonzo Front, the Museum Collection of Ivo Ivančič and the private military collection “Farewell to Arms”.


DAY 03

BOVEC - KOBARID

DistanceDistance: 25,2 km
DistanceElevation: 1350 m

On the following morning, walking continues through the gorgeous Soča Valley andTriglav National Park. The most important WW1 site on the way is the Zaprikaj outdoor museum, situated approximately in the middle of the stage, right between the scenic alpine pastures of Predolina and Zaprikaj. It represents the well-fortified Italian first line of defense, which blocked the passage along the valley. The heaviest battles between the two adversary armies were fought here in 1915. The museum’s circular path runs through the trenches, caves and gun positions, past the remains of cabins and the restored memorial plaque dedicated to the killed Italian lieutenant.

Another highlight of the day is the magical Kozjak waterfall, which is captured in a stony chamber. The Kozjak stream flows in a protected natural reserve and soon joins the Soča river, known for its emerald-green colour and recognised as one of the most beautiful rivers in Europe.

The day ends in the small town of Kobarid, best known for the 1917 Battle of Caporetto, where the Italian retreat was documented by Ernest Hemingway in his novel A Farewell to Arms. Today, Kobarid is a lively tourist hub best known for the restaurant Hiša Franko, where the best female chef in the world, Ana Roš, is turning cooking into art. Kobarid is home to a fascinatingWW1museum that tells the story about the life of soldiers of different nationalities fighting on the Isonzo Front, which has won the Council of Europe Museum Prize. When in town, one can also visit the Walk of Peace Visitor Centre, where plenty of information about the WW1, the Isonzo front and the path itself is available.

Before leaving Kobarid, it would be a shame to miss the Italian Charnel House, positioned on a small hill above the town. Its overall ground plan is octagonal and, on the top, stands the Church of St. Anthony. The charnel house is dedicated to more than 7,000 known and unknown Italian soldierskilled in the Great War and originally buried in different military cemeteries in the area.It was built in the 1930s and was opened by the Italian dictator, Benito Mussolini, himself.


DAY 04

KOBARID – PLANINA KUHINJA

DistanceDistance: 12,7 km
DistanceElevation: 1120 m

The Walk of Peace hiking tour carries on along the former Isonzo front. After crossing the glorious Napoleon Bridge with intriguing history and splendid views of the river below, the path leads to the village of Drežnica. During the war, village inhabitants had to go into exile and Italian soldiers moved inside their houses. The village is dominated by the monumental Church of the Sacred Heart of Jesus, which was built in 1912 and remained undamaged throughout the war.

The most memorable part of this trekking stage are the beautiful mountain pastures, where visitors can try the tasty home-made cottage cheese and experience the warm hospitality. Before arriving to the mountain hut on Kuhinja alpine pasture, the path leads to a white military chapel. There are many different stories about the chapel, but it was supposedly the captain Celestino Bes who had it built in the memory of the killed Italian soldiers.

The pasture is located below the peaks of Krn (2,245 m) and Batognica (2,164 m), which played an important role during the war. As the highest peak in the massif, Krn was an excellent observation and strategic point, while Mt. Batognica was likewise one of the bloodiest mountains. Here, the first frontlines of the two armies were only a few tens of meters apart. Craters that were made by powerful explosions can still be seen at the top.


DAY 05

PLANINA KUHINJA - TOLMIN

DistanceDistance: 29,6-23,6 km
DistanceElevation: 770-1200 m

Trekking continues along the panoramic trails above the Soča Valley. The first recommended stop is the Mrzli vrh outdoor museum, where a well-kept circular path leads visitors past the battlefield remains. Here, the Austro-Hungarian army hollowed a vast complex of caves. A concrete altar dedicated to the Virgin Mary still stands in one of them, its inscription saying: “Virgin Mary, our Mother, may you protect us, your people.” The outdoor museum offers breathtaking views of the river valley below.

The next focal point of the day is the Church of the Holy Spirit at Javorca plateau, proudly bearing the European heritage label. Positioned in an exceptional natural environment of the Julian Alps, the wooden church commemoratesthe fallen Austro-Hungarian defenders of the Isonzo front. It is considered as the most beautiful WW1 memorial in Slovenia. From the terrace next to the church, one can admire the view of the mighty Rdeči rob, the beautiful chain of the Tolmin – Bohinj mountains.

After descending back to the valley, the cultural path reaches the famous Tolmin gorges, the lowest and probably the most beautiful entry point into Triglav National Park, as well as another Austro-Hungarian military cemetery in Loče. The walk ends in the lovely town of Tolmin, famous for its summer music festivals. Before retiring for the night, history fans are recommended to visit the German Charnel House, afinal resting place for about a thousand German soldiers who had fallen in the last Isonzo battle. The building material for the construction of this impressive monument was brought all the way from south Tyrol.


DAY 06

TOLMIN - KAMBREŠKO

DistanceDistance: 23-27,9 km
DistanceElevation: 1220-1520 m

The next day offers more opportunities for the exploration of WW1 heritage. A 4-km detour leads to the excellent Mengore outdoor museum thatused to be a part of a strongly fortified area, where Austro-Hungarian defense endured until the end of warfare despite constant shelling from the Italian artillery from higher elevations. In the decisive Twelfth Isonzo Battle it was exactly this area of the Tolmin bridgehead that played one of the key roles.

The historic trail then turns back to the current Italian border and passes by yet another space of memory. A visit to the Kolovrat outdoor museum is of special interest thanks to various details, such as spiral stairs in one of the caves, and due to partly original wartime materials on display (wired nets, corrugated tin, slates etc.). A walk along the Kolovrat ridge provides a splendid view over the Soča Valley and Friuli​-Venecia Julia, reaching all the way to the finish line of the Walk of Peace hiking path, the Gulf of Trieste.

Running past the mountain refuge Pod Ježo, the path reaches the village of Kambreško, the final destination of this stage. Here, it is possible to visit the private museum collection Lukčeva hiša. During the war, the nearby Globočak hill was one of the most important Italian fortified peaks on the ridge.


DAY 07

KAMBREŠKO - ŠMARTNO

DistanceDistance: 21,9 km
DistanceElevation: 370 m

It is time for a change of scenery. Leaving the Soča Valley behind, the historic trail turns to the land of gentle, rolling hills covered in orchards and vineyards and dotted with small, secluded villages. The target point of the day is the romantic village of Šmartno in the Brda region.The wine growers here are famous all over the world for their high-quality wine and hospitality. Needless to say, wine tasting is inevitable here, while the region is also known for exquisite home-made food.

To reach Brda, the path follows the border line, passing by the village of Lig and the scenic Korada hill. One the way, one can also visit the Franc Jerončič private museum collection, which was collected and organized by local people interested in the Isonzo Front. Before arriving to Šmartno, a climb to the view tower in Gonjače is highly recommended, as the top guarantees some magnificent views of the surrounding vineyards.


DAY 08

ŠMARTNO – NOVA GORICA

DistanceDistance: 14,7-29,6 km
DistanceElevation: 520-1410 m

The next trekking stage offers two variations. The shorter one crosses the Sabotin hill, an important strategic point in the defense of Italian Gorizia. Here, the trail leads to one of the most important historic points of the hiking trail. Every stone in the Outdoor MuseumPark of Peace could tell a story about the Austro-Hungarian and Italian soldiers, fortifying their battle positions. The most intriguing thing to be seen here is the system of caves drilled in the stone along the ridge. Today, the hill is a popular tourist point, as it offers marvelous view over the broader Goriška region.

The longer route variation first turns back North into the valley and crosses the Soča river before reaching another WW1 memorial park in Prižnica and the Vodice outdoor museum. In addition to numerous trenches and caves, the latter also includes the mausoleum of the Italian General Maurizio Gonzaga. From Sveta Gora, a view opens over the front hinterland – the plateau Banjška planota and the Alps. Before both stage variations come together in Solkan, the path passes another outdoor museum on Mt.Škabrijel, where fierce fights lasted until the end of 1917.

During the war, the settlement of Solkan was completely destroyed, including its 85-meter railway bridge across the Soča river. The longest stone-arch bridge in the world was restored in 1927 and is practically identical to the original. Next, the Walk of Peace path crosses the public square shared by Gorizia and Nova Gorica, a symbolic place of connection between the Italy and Slovenia. The Slovenians call it “Trg Evrope” or the Europe square, and the Italians “Piazza della Transalpina”.

In Italian Gorizia, the Museum of the Great War offers the opportunity to experience the life in the trench by granting access to a reconstructed life-size trench, including the deafening noise of war. It is interesting to experience the contrast between the old Gorizia and the new Gorica, the latter presenting the final destination of this stage.


DAY 09

NOVA GORICA - LOKVICA

DistanceDistance: 17,3 km
DistanceElevation: 340 m

Leaving the city of Nova Gorica behind, the historic route slowly enters the magical world of Slovenian Karst. This part of Slovenia is dotted with various karstic phenomena such as sinkholes, disappearing springs and caves. New caves are discovered in Slovenia every year, and the number of recorded ones now amounts to more than 8,000 with only about 20 of them open for public. Although the landscape is different here, it is again full of vineyards and small villages located on the hill tops and featuring traditional houses built in stone.

An overnight is organized in Lokvica, but before arriving to this tranquil village, the historic trail passes by some impressive war monuments and natural sites. The war left the villages of Šempeter pri Gorici and Vrtojba in total ruins, as they were positioned on the very front line. A permanent exhibition titled “Šempeter and its surroundings during the Great war” can be visited for detailed information.

Crossing the Vipava river in Miren, the cultural path continues towards the highlight of the day – the Monument of Peace in Cerje, whichharbors precious treasures of history and art.This monumental seven-storey fort tells the story of Slovenian history, including the turbulent times of WW1. It offers amazing vistas of all four points of the compass, i.e. the Adriatic Sea, the Friuli Plains, the Julian Alps and the Vipava Valley.


DAY 10

LOKVICA - KOMEN

DistanceDistance: 15,5 km
DistanceElevation: 280 m

On the next day, the cultural path runs by several military cemeteries, caves and other points of interest. The Cave Pečinka is first on the list. During the First World War, it served as a shelter for Astro-Hungarian soldiers as did many other caves in the area. The cave is said to be equipped with bunk beds for soldiers and furnished cubicles for officers. On different military cemeteries located in the close vicinity of the path, one can pay tribute to the fallen Romanian, Serbian and Hungarian soldiers.

The Slovenian Karst is also well-known for its typical cuisine. The Karst dishes are seasonal, enriched with herbs, wild plants and fruit. The most famous regional treats are the dry-cured meat “pršut” and the wine “teran”, both with a distinctive aroma and taste. The final stop of day, the village of Komen, offers plenty opportunities to try both.


DAY 11

KOMEN – DUINO

DistanceDistance: 20,1 km
DistanceElevation: 300 m

After a tasty breakfast, it is time to get moving again. In the morning, the route leads through the villages of Volčji Grad and Gorjansko. Soldiers of different nationalities of the monarchy are buried here, since more than twenty nationalities and ethnic groups fought for the Emperor between 1915 and 1917. Upon crossing the border, these villages can be contrasted with the Italian settlements. Soon after, the path reaches the outdoor museum Ermada, where a section of the Austro-Hungarian line of defense was fortified in 1916. From this position, the troops were able to control the passage to Trieste.  

The next part of the stage includes a delightful descent from the Karst plateau to the Adriatic coast. Entering the wonderful Mediterranean world, one is greeted by delicious culinary offer, wide array of excellent wines and plenty of sun. The host for the night is the picturesque coastal town of Duino, which boasts two castles. Those who still have energy to spare can take the short Rilke footpath that runs along the edge of high cliffs above the gulf of Sistiana.


DAY 12

DUINO - TRIESTE

DistanceDistance: 29,5 km
DistanceElevation: 530 m

The last stage of the Walk of Peace hiking tour features an abundance of incredible views of the Adriatic Sea. Walking parallel to the coastline, the historic trail passes by two Austro-Hungarian military cemeteries in Aurisina and Prosecco.

Trieste is the cultural, artistic and historical center of the Friuli-Venezia Giulia region. The conquest of the city as the center of commercial and cultural exchange between the Mediterranean, the Balkans and the Germanic world, was one of the main goals of the Italian Army in the First World War. Nevertheless, the powerful Austro-Hungarian line of defense hindered any attack on the city and the Italian Army occupied it only after the capitulation of Austria-Hungary at the end of the war.

Nowadays, numerous museums, monuments and street names draw attention to the tragic events of the past century. To end the tour in style, one can pay a visit to the Monument to the Fallen, Monument to the Italian Third Army, the Memorial Park on Colle di San Giusto and other iconic spots in the city.


DAY 13

DEPARTURE DAY

The journey through the shocking history of the First World War overwhelms us with gratitude for the peace we have today. The Walk of Peace hiking tour officially ends with an overnight in Trieste, but remains forever in the heart of people that had the opportunity to experienced it.


Dates

  • June 2 - 14, 2020 GUIDED
  • September 9 - 21, 2020 GUIDED
  • All year SELF GUIDED, TAILOR MADE

*In season, tour can be organised on any date. Please contact us for individual offer.

We recommend guided tours to everybody who seeks complete relaxation and wants to have only one thing on their mind – great hiking. Our guides will take care of everything else – navigation and interesting local insights. Guided tours are also perfect for meeting other outdoor enthusiasts from around the globe and creating life-long friendships.

Price for guided WALK OF PEACE hiking tour includes:

  • 10-night accommodation in 3 or 4-star hotels/guest houses; 1 night in a mountain hut and 1 night in an apartment
  • 12 breakfasts and 8 dinners; Meals include typical local food
  • Fully qualified and experienced hiking guide with in-depth knowledge about WW1 for the entire trip
  • Baggage transfer between tour stages
  • Isonzo Front Guidebook
  • Tour booklet
  • Transfer from the tour ending point to the tour starting point

Rates are valid per person, based on double occupancy on pre-scheduled departures. For individual departures feel free to contact us for the offer.

Optional:

  • Single room supplement: 360 €
  • Navigation device (GPS): 120 €

Price excludes:

  • Travel and activity insurance
  • Personal safety and hiking equipment
  • Lunches
  • Any beverages consumed with meals that are included in the package
  • Any other items not mentioned as included

We recommend self-guided tours to everybody who knows how to navigate a map or a GPS device and has previous experience in self-guided hiking. If you think you don’t fit this description, maybe a guided tour would be a more enjoyable option for you.

The price of a self-guided tour depends on the number of people in the group. See prices per person based on double occupancy below.

# 2 4 6 8
Price 1.660 € 1.390 € 1.300 € 1.260 €

 

Price for self-guided WALK OF PEACE hiking tour includes:

  • 10-night accommodation in 3 or 4-star hotels/guest houses; 1 night in a mountain hut and 1 night in an apartment
  • 12 breakfasts and 8 dinners; Meals include typical local food
  • Baggage transfer between tour stages
  • Isonzo Front Guidebook
  • Navigation pack: GPS tracks, maps, tour booklet, Skype call
  • Transfer from the tour ending point to the tour starting point
  • 24/7 hotline number (support)

Rates per person are based on double occupancy.

Optional:

  • Single room supplement: 360 €
  • Navigation device (GPS): 120 €

Price excludes:

  • Travel and activity insurance
  • Personal safety and hiking equipment
  • Lunches
  • Any beverages consumed with meals that are included in the package
  • Any other items not mentioned as included

Would you like to customize this tour?

Are you worried you are not prepared enough physically? Would you like to select a different starting or ending point, or perhaps have a day off before, after or during the tour?

Send an e-mail to: [email protected]

Logistics

The adventure starts at the Alpine town of Log pod Mangartom and ends in the city of Trieste on the Italian coast.

GETTING THERE

Ljubljana international airport is located within two hours driving distance from Log pod Mangartom. There are several other international airports in the area, those of Venice, Trieste, Klagenfurt, Treviso, Graz and Zagreb, each of them within a maximum of 2-4 hour driving distance. We are happy to arrange airport shuttles from any of these airports upon request.

If you are traveling by car, parking is possible at the tour starting point.

ACCOMMODATION

Our tours are mostly operated through small towns and villages. We always make effort to select the most authentic and visitor-friendly accommodation and dining arrangements available. This way the tour groups can enjoy local hospitality and great food on the entire route.

ADDITIONAL INFORMATION

  • One guided group can include a maximum of 10 people.
  • On guided tours a briefing session is organized every evening. During briefing, the guide(s) reveal details about the next day’s hiking stage, including the altitude, length, difficulty etc.
  • On some hiking stages alternative trail variations can be chosen according to the specific requirements of the group.
  • Final trip arrangements are sent to participants two weeks before the tour start date.

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