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Hiking

Walk of Peace Hiking Tour

DURATION

13 Days

CATEGORY

Hiking

FITNESS LEVEL

Hard

SEASON

May - September

LENGTH & ELEVATION

213km, 5.560m

Description

The Walk of Peace is a long-distance hiking route, that takes you through the diverse landscapes between the high Alps and the Adriatic Coast. Along the route, you will visit many sites, which will make you encounter the tragic stories of WW1 battles, that happened here between 1915 and 1917. Among museums, cemeteries, trenches, and chapels that you’ll see along the way, the red line of this inspiring route is hiking through the incredible nature of Western Slovenia and Northeastern Italy. Most of the time on this journey you’ll avoid crowds, with your only company being small streams, wild rivers, and mighty mountains.

Luckily, what once divided us, now unites us. While walking along the former frontline from the Julian Alps to the Adriatic Sea, it is impossible not to be overtaken by gratitude for peace and the immense beauty of nature. The diversity of the landscape is also reflected in delicious local cuisine, a constant companion on the way.

The original Walk of Peace trail starts just above the Soča Valley, where this emerald river is still wild and narrow. After hiking below majestic Krn mountain in the Triglav National Park, the river is already calmer – just like you might feel when enjoying the sunset with a glass of wine in the Brda wine region. In the last part of the hike, the landscape becomes less mountainous. The mystical Karst plateau awaits you, known for caves, stone carving, their ‘Teran’ wine, and prosciutto. The hiking trip ends on the Adriatic coast, where you can reward yourself with a swim in the sea.

The cultural path is partly marked and suitable for trekking throughout the months between May and September. The peak summer period can get very warm on the last stages of the route. It includes various alternate routes and additional loops for the most eager hikers. In 2016, the Walk of Peace was put on UNESCO’s tentative list of world heritage.

We strongly recommend you check the stage lengths and take into account their alpine character. The tour is suitable for hikers with higher fitness level.

HIGHLIGHTS

  • Hiking in a very diverse landscape.
  • Exploring the Julian Alps, Triglav National Park, Soča Valley, the wine-growing region of Brda, the Karst, and the Adriatic coast with the historic center of Trieste.
  • Tasty local food and wine.
  • Nineteen WW1 outdoor museums.

Online presentation of our hiking tours:

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Itinerary

DAY 01

Transfer from Ljubljana to Soča Valley

The Walk of Peace hiking tour starts with a transfer from Ljubljana to the famous Soča Valley. The little village of Log pod Mangartom is situated deep between the marvelous mountain peaks in the far Northwest of Slovenia. The village is notable for once having the only mosque in 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 Fratarica with 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: 13 km
DistanceElevation: 230 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-meter-deep canyon. As an important strategic point, the gorge has been used from the 15th century 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 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 in 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. This museum is a steep alternative addition to this stage, which will take you 2 – 3 hours.

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: 23 km
DistanceElevation: 420 m

This stage follows one of the most beautiful sections of the Soča River. Crossing the Bovec basin in the beginning, you will pass the site of the gas attack on Italian troops which happened here in October 1917 and set the beginning of the Front breakthrough. At this point, the Austro-Hungarian troops set the initial attack on Italian soldiers, whose positions were hidden in the narrow valley where the road, connecting Bovec and Čezsoča passes. The gruesome attack left Italian troops without any chance and the breakthrough towards the West began.

The sad place is soon replaced by turquoise Soča waters and the charming Čezsoča village.
You continue westwards, around the Polovnik mountain ridge, which represented the second line of Italian defense in war times. The mighty Boka waterfall, Slovenia’s largest, greets you from the right side and directs you further south along the river. Old military tracks, sometimes used for the transport of military equipment to the front line, are nowadays perfect for an easy walk with the views of Krn mountain group in front of you.

After a short climb on the gravel road through the forest to Magozd, you take the right turn and soon reach Kozjak, one of the most interesting and charming waterfalls in the country. Its setting in the narrow gorge, which resembles an underground cave, is unforgettable. After passing some Italian wartime bunkers, you pass the swing bridge over the Soča and soon reach the historic town of Kobarid.

The stage on Day 03 also has an alternative route across the mountains at a much higher altitude. It is only possible when the snow conditions allow the crossing and has a small landslide in one part which requires some additional caution to cross.


DAY 04

Kobarid - Planina Kuhinja

DistanceDistance: 13 km
DistanceElevation: 1010 m

The Walk of Peace hiking tour carries on along the former Isonzo front. After crossing the glorious Napoleon Bridge with an 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 is the beautiful mountain pastures, where visitors can try the tasty homemade cottage cheese and experience the warm hospitality. Before arriving at the mountain hut on Kuhinja’s alpine pasture, the path leads to a white military chapel. There are many different stories about the chapel, but it was supposedly captain Celestino Bes who had it built in 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: 19 km
DistanceElevation: 400 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 commemorates the fallen Austro-Hungarian defenders of the Isonzo front. It is considered as the most beautiful WW1 memorial in Slovenia. The guide inside the church will explain to you the details of this moving monument. 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, a final 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.

There is a possibility to shorten the last section (9 km) of the walk by taking the shuttle bus from Javorca church to Tolmin.


DAY 06

Tolmin - Kambreško

DistanceDistance: 23 km
DistanceElevation: 1220 m

The next day offers more opportunities for the exploration of WW1 heritage. A 4-km detour leads to the excellent Mengore outdoor museum which used 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. This addition to the stage will take you about 2 hours to visit.

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.

On the guided tour we provide you a transfer along the section of the route, which shortens your hike by 11 km.


DAY 07

Kambreško - Šmartno

DistanceDistance: 25 km
DistanceElevation: 520 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 homemade food.

To reach Brda, the path follows the borderline, passing by the village of Lig and the scenic Korada hill. On 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 at Šmartno, a climb to the view tower in Gonjače is highly recommended, as the top guarantees some magnificent views of the surrounding vineyards.

On the guided tour we provide you a transfer along the section of the route, which shortens your hike by 6 km.


DAY 08

Šmartno - Nova Gorica

DistanceDistance: 16 km
DistanceElevation: 480 m

The next trekking stage offers the crossing of the Sabotin mountain, 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 Museum Park 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 a marvelous view over the broader Goriška region.

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 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 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: 23 km
DistanceElevation: 480 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 on Cerje, which harbors precious treasures of history and art. This monumental seven-story 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 - Sveto

DistanceDistance: 14 km
DistanceElevation: 260 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 distinctive aromas and tastes. The final stop of the day, the village of Sveto, offers plenty of opportunities to try both.


DAY 11

Sveto - Sistiana/Sesljan

DistanceDistance: 19 km
DistanceElevation: 140 m

After a tasty breakfast, it is time to get moving again. Before leaving Sveto, we suggest you a short stop at the Hungarian cemetery and old church (the military hospital in the wartime) in the center of the village. The route then 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 offers, a wide array of excellent wines, and plenty of sun. The host for the night is the picturesque coastal town of Sistiana/Sesljan, which also offers the opportunity to take a swim in the Adriatic. Those who still have energy to spare can take the short Rilke footpath that runs along the edge of high cliffs above the Bay of Sistiana/Sesljan.


DAY 12

Sistiana/Sesljan - Trieste

DistanceDistance: 25 km
DistanceElevation: 400 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/Nabrežina and Prosecco/Prosek.

Trieste/Trst 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, the 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 breakfast in Trieste but remains forever in the hearts of the people who had the opportunity to experience it.

Self-departure from Trieste.

 


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Pre-scheduled dates

  • Sep 1 - 13, 2024 GUIDED
  • All year SELF GUIDED, TAILOR MADE

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

Prices

GUIDEDfrom 3.180 €What’s included?

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.

The price for a guided tour depends on the number of people in the group. Please contact us for the offer.

The price for a guided WALK OF PEACE hiking tour includes:

  • 9-night accommodation in 3 or 4-star hotels/guest houses; 1 night in a mountain hut and 2 nights in apartments (shared rooms in the hut and apartment).
  • 12 breakfasts and 12 dinners; Meals include typical local food.
  • Fully qualified and experienced hiking guide with general knowledge about WW1 for the entire trip.
  • Isonzo Front expert guides in some museums along the route
  • Baggage transfer between tour stages.
  • Isonzo Front Guidebook.
  • Tour booklet.
  • Transfer from Ljubljana to Log pod Mangartom on DAY 1.
  • 6 transfers according to the tour program.
  • Entrance fee to Kobarid Museum, Kozjak Waterfall, Javorca.
  • Short local transfers on some route sections.

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 € (not possible in the hut and apartment, 2 apartments, shared rooms only).

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.

*A guided tour is possible on request.

SELF-GUIDEDWhat’s included?

If you are considering a self-guided tour, you should take the following into consideration to make sure this type of trip is the right fit for you. Our self-guided tours are ideal for individuals who have prior experience in self-guiding tours and have successfully navigated with a GPS device.

Individuals must be independent and can navigate and orient themselves using the information provided. 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, the touring dates, and the time of booking/availability. Please contact us for the offer. See starting prices per person based on double occupancy below.

# 2 4 6 8
Price 2.410 € 2.100 € 2.010 € 1.950 €

 

The price for a 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.
  • Baggage transfer between tour stages.
  • Isonzo Front Guidebook.
  • Navigation pack: Ride with GPS Tour Experience Package, including detailed Guide and complete off-line navigation data (tracks, maps, POI), Online briefing.
  • Transfer from Ljubljana to Log pod Mangartom on DAY 1
  • Helpline for emergencies during the tour.

Optional:

  • Single room supplement: 360 € (not possible at the hut and 2 apartments; shared rooms only).

Price excludes:

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

TAILOR MADEWould you like to customize this tour?

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 a two-hour 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.

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 an 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 7 people.
  • On guided tours, a briefing session is organized every evening. During the 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.

FAQ

You can find answers to frequently asked questions here: FAQ.

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