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Slovenia - Alpine Flowers of the Julian Alps

Tour Code: SVN01

An 8-day, single-centre holiday focusing on the flora and stunning scenery - as well as the birds, mammals and butterflies - of Slovenia's Lake Bohinj, Triglav National Park and Julian Alps.

8 days from £1395(inc flights) Land Only Price: £1235 SRS: £140


Slovenia is a small, little-known and delightfully unspoiled country lying in the heart of Europe where the Alps meet the Mediterranean. Its meadows and mountain slopes host a rich flora of over 2,900 species, many of which are restricted to the Julian Alps. Our tour begins with a flight to Ljubliana, the capital of Slovenia, after which we transfer to Ribcev Laz on the shores of Lake Bohinj. We will make daily walks in search of the wild flowers, butterflies and other wildlife, breaking at lunchtime for a picnic and to soak up the spectacular mountain scenery. Our botanical searches will focus on key sites around Lake Bohinj, on Mount Vogel, the Mostnica Gorge and Pokljuka Plateau in a variety of alpine, pastural, forest and meadow habitats. We will also visit the beautiful Lake Bled on our drive back to Ljubliana on our final morning to enjoy one last view of the area’s mountains and wildlife before our return flight home.

  • Birdlife includes Black &Three-toed Woodpeckers, Bonelli’s Warbler & Red-backed Shrike
  • Look for butterflies such as Large Copper, Apollo, Common Glider & Spotted Fritillary
  • Stay in Ribcav Laz, home of Slovenia’s annual International Wild Flower Festival
  • Look for clustered Bellflower, Siberian Iris, Erect Clematis & Purple Colt’s-foot, Lake Bohinj
  • Pink Cinquefoil, Red Vanilla Orchid & Edelweiss
  • Chamois, Alpine Marmot & Alpine Ibex live in the mountains
  • Bog Rosemary, Marsh Cinquefoil, Common Sundew & alpines, Pokljuka Plateau
  • Carnic Lily, Sweet William, Alpine Butterwort & Astrantia carniolica among wayside flora
  • Clusius’ Gentian, Crimped Bellflower & Alpine Snowbell grow on Mount Vogel
  • Led by expert botanist guide

Food

All included in the price.

Accommodation

A single-centre holiday staying in the comfortable Hotel Jezero in Ribcev Laz on the shore of Lake Bohinj. All rooms have private facilities.

Edelweiss - courtesy of Discover Julian Alps

Edelweiss - courtesy of Discover Julian Alps

Outline Itinerary Download

Day 1 Fly Ljubljana then drive to Ribèev Laz.

Day 2/7 Botanical and natural history walks in the Julian Alps and Triglav National Park.

Day 8 Fly London.

Slovenia is a small, little known and delightfully unspoiled country lying in the heart of Europe, where the Alps meet the Mediterranean. A member of the European Union since 2004, and about half the size of Switzerland, it is bordered by Austria to the north, Croatia to the south, Hungary to the east and Italy to the west. Predominantly mountainous, and with more than half its area thickly forested, it is a wild and beautiful country where the sharp peaks of the Julian Alps overlook tranquil lakes and spectacular waterfalls. With such a wealth of wild habitats, Slovenia remains a paradise for the natural history enthusiast. Its meadows and mountain slopes host a rich flora of over 2,900 species, many of which are restricted to the Julian Alps, and, although rarely seen, Brown Bears, Wolves and Lynx all still roam the forests in good numbers whilst, in the mountains, Chamois, Alpine Marmots and Alpine Ibex can be found. Bonelli’s Warblers and both Black and Three-toed Woodpeckers are amongst the avian highlights, and butterflies to look out for include Apollo, Large Copper, Common Glider and Spotted Fritillary.

Our tour begins with a flight to Ljubljana, the capital city of Slovenia, from where we transfer to a comfortable hotel in the picturesque village of Ribcev Laz on the shores of Lake Bohinj. Ribcev Laz is surrounded by the dramatic peaks of the Julian Alps and the Triglav National Park and is home to Slovenia’s annual International Wild Flower Festival. Over the next week we will spend our days exploring the surrounding mountains and forests on foot. We will walk throughout the day in search of flowers, butterflies and other wildlife, breaking at lunchtime for a delicious picnic and to soak up the spectacular mountain scenery.

On our first day we will walk from our hotel around the north coast of beautiful Lake Bohinj. We will explore the meadows in search of Erect Clematis, Carnic Masterwort, Clustered Bellflower, Purple Colt’s-foot and Sternberg's Pink, whilst within the beech forests we hope to find Lily of the Valley. After an excellent first day of botanising we can catch the tourist boat from Ukanc on the far side of the lake all the way back to our hotel.

The majestic Mostnica Gorge will be our focus on another day, en route to which we will enjoy the beautiful views of the Voje pastures and such avian residents as Red-backed Shrike, Common Redstart and Grey Wagtail. Our walking route first takes us high above the canyon, then drops right to the edge of the emerald green water before reaching the magnificent Mostnica waterfall. Along the way the abundant flora includes the wonderful orange Carnic Lily, Martagon Lily, Sweet William, Alpine Butterwort and EM>Astrantia carniolica/EM>.

We will also venture further into the Triglav National Park in search of alpine species on the Mangart Sadel (2,678 metres), where we will find a rich and unique flora unrivalled in the Julian Alps. Here, walking down through alpine meadows, we will be on the look-out for Long-flowered Primrose and Dwarf Snowbell. Several saxifrages grow on rocky outcrops, along with EM>Paederota lutea/EM> and Triglav Rose (EM>Potentilla nitida/EM>). In the short turf grow an interesting selection of louseworts, alongside the beautiful Trumpet Gentian and patches of Spring Gentian. 

Later in the week we will visit the Pokljuka Plateau and explore the Sijec peat bog which is home to a unique flora including Bog Rosemary, Marsh Cinquefoil and Common Sundew. We also have the opportunity to look for higher alpine species, by ascending Crna Prst, hoping to find Alpine Clematis, Alpine Snowbell, Bear's-ear Primrose, Oxlip and Alpine Pasque Flower.

Our exploration of the pastures, rivers, forests and meadows around Lake Bohinj ensures that we will visit a full complement of habitats during our week away. During each day of our holiday the bright forests and flower-filled meadows provide endless opportunities to enjoy the wonderful wildlife this country has to offer, with the beautiful rivers, lakes and mountains ensuring stunning views at every turn.

Our return journey to Ljubljana takes us via the beautiful Lake Bled, where we spend our final morning enjoying the spectacular views and the flowers, birds and butterflies one last time. If time permits we may choose to take a boat out to Slovenia’s only island, at the centre of the lake, where we can visit the 15th century church, ring the bell and make a wish, before continuing on to Ljubljana for our return flight home.

Pink Cinquefoil (Potentilla nitida)Hotel Jezero (Kerrie Warburton)Dianthus sternbergiiIdas BlueLake BohinjCarnic LilyBoat on Lake BohinjFragrant OrchidMeadows around Lake Bohinj (© Kerrie Porteous)Spring Gentian (Genitana verna) (Špela Odar)Mountain Avens (Dryas octopetala) (Špela Odar)Edelweiss (Leontopodium alpinum)Lake BohinjNaturetrek Group (Špela Odar)Lake Bled (Kerrie Warburton)Queen of the Alps (Eryngium alpinum)Monkshood (Aconitum napellus)Naturetrek Picnic Lunch (Špela Odar)Naturetrek Group (Špela Odar)Lake BohinjCrimped Bellflower (Campanula zoysii)Naturetrek Group (Špela Odar)Naturetrek Group (Špela Odar)Martagon Lily (Lilium martagon) (Špela Odar)Broad-leaved Marsh Orchid (Dactylorhiza majalis alpestris) (Špela Odar)A Local Alpine ClematisAstrantia carniolicaBotanising above Lake BledBurnt Tip OrchidCampanula barbartaCampanula scheuchzeriCampanula thyrsoides subsp. carniolicaCarnic LilyMeadows above Mostince GorgeChamaecytisus hirsutusDianthus barbatusErect ClematisGroup above Lake BohinjLily of the ValleyMartagon LilyMeadows above Ribcev Laz (© Kerrie Porteous)Mostnice Gorge (© Kerrie Porteous)Slovenian Hay Racks (© Kerrie Porteous)Soca River at BohinjNaturetrek groupPoplar Hawk MothRhodothamnus chamaecistusLake Bled
A.W.
Devon
I enjoyed the expert leadership, knowledge and guidance of our leader, Paul Harmes, and the beauty and unspoilt nature of the country with its varied flora. The food, position, comfort and care [at the hotel] were all superb. For flower lovers, this was the perfect holiday.
J.C.
Bristol
Paul Harmes as leader - not only an expert in botany and much more - but enthusiastic, encouraging and highly skilled at dealing with clients and the unexpected. He's fun to be with and considerate of everyone. Superb countryside, flora and butterflies. Excellent hotel. Exceptional food. Paul Tout was knowledgeable and also a very good leader.
G.A.
Kent
I thoroughly enjoyed this holiday. The scenery and area were stunning. The trip was well organised and the flora and fauna amazing.
J.C.
Cambridgeshire
A great holiday in a beautiful area - thank you! Paul was a very knowledgeable botanist and we saw some fantastic flowers, especially in the alpine meadows and high up on Mangart.
J.C.
Cambridgeshire
A great holiday in a beautiful area - thank you! Paul was a very knowledgeable botanist and we saw some fantastic flowers, especially in the alpine meadows and high up on Mangart.
M.B.
Kent
The best Naturetrek holiday I have been on. Paul & Milan were excellent - always finding plants and insects and appreciating the findings of us all - whatever the level of knowledge.
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DeparturesAvailableCost

Thu 21st June 2018 - Thu 28th June 2018

YES

£1395

more details

Flights: Flights are included in the tour costMore info

Regional Departures: More info

Land only cost: £1235 More info

Room sharing options: More info

Visiting: Slovenia

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BirdsButterfliesMammalsWild flowers

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Tour Reviews

I enjoyed the expert leadership, knowledge and guidance of our leader, Paul Harmes, and the beauty and unspoilt nature of the country with its varied flora. The food, position, comfort and care [at the hotel] were all superb. For flower lovers, this was the perfect holiday.
A.W., Devon