Hiking the Alpe Adria Trail: The Three Nation Loop

Alpe Adria Trail | Slovenia, Italy, Austria
Trip Highlights

Top three reasons to hike the Alpe Adria Trail

  • Trip Highlight

    Enjoy the majestic nature and the panoramic view of the Alps

  • Trip Highlight

    Trek across a trail steeped in history from the First World War

  • Trip Highlight

    Expect luscious greenery, rushing rivers, and traditional cuisine

Beauty meets pleasure on this 750 km (466 miles) long cross-border trail that brings together three different yet complementary cultures. The 43 sections of the Alpe Adria traverse through Slovenia, Italy, and Austria, and have plenty of rich history and natural wonders to offer. Highlights include sites from the First World War, the many vineyards, and the UNESCO city of Cividale del Friuli! The spectacular view of the Alps looks almost as if taken out of a fairy tale, and it will leave you breathless in more ways than one. There are hundreds of places just waiting to be explored, from the highest mountains in Austria, the Grossglockner, the lake regions in Carinthia, and the expansive Soča Valley, but what ties this all together is the traditional cuisine and history. Whatever your pace, must-see sights, or favorite food, this is a journey that won’t disappoint. Find out more about the ultimate pleasure hiker’s delight — Alpe Adria Trail — from Martina Kosmina, a Slovenian local hiker and co-founder of Maroways.

Season

The best time to visit is from April to October

Nearest city

Ljubljana, SLO is just an hour away from the trailhead

Duration

8 days

Skill level

Beginner to intermediate

Itineraries

Book This Adventure

8-Day Hike Along the Alpe Adria Trail

8 days

Hike 128km (80 miles) in 8 days with a professional local guide and discover the best of three wonderful countries! This iconic adventure takes you on a borderless journey across the heart of Europe. Explore the tradition, culture, and verdant landscapes of Italy, Austria and Slovenia, and discover why so many return to this paradise on Earth every chance possible. Let your guide take you to the best locations and hidden gems of this history-rich area with miles on end of breathtaking vistas.

Trip Highlights

Itinerary

Day 1: Arrival in Tarvisio

Your adventure begins in Tarvisio, one of the most important mountain towns in all of Friuli-Venezia Giulia. Surrounded by the Julian Alps and boasting extensive valleys and forests, the town has a modern look but is full of traditions just waiting to be discovered. Tarvisio is a natural passage and a crossroads of cultures — the perfect starting point for your trail.

Village of Monte Santo di Lussari (1790 m) and the peak of Mangart (2677 m.) in the Julian Alps. Tarvisio, Friuli Venezia Giulia, Italy, Europe
Village of Monte Santo di Lussari (1790 m) and the peak of Mangart (2677 m.) in the Julian Alps. Tarvisio, Friuli Venezia Giulia, Italy

Day 2: Tarvisio – Mountain hut Zacchi

The first stage of the trail takes you to the Fusine Lakes basin, one of the most fascinating places in the region. Follow the course of the River Slizza until you reach splendid glacial lakes set in a spectacular Alpine amphitheatre. Enjoy the silence, with the tops of the spruce trees and the peaks of the Mangart reflected in the crystalline waters. Continue along an easy path through dense forests to the lower and upper lakes and the charming Zacchi mountain hut where you’ll spend the night.

Distance: 18,5 km
Elevation: + 982 m; – 353 m
Walking hours: 7 h (stops excluded)

Schlucht in den italienischen Alpen

Day 3: Mountain hut Zacchi – Kranjska Gora

After a hearty breakfast, it’s time to get back on the road. Head to Slovenia, passing through places that have become famous thanks to their natural beauty and their important role in winter sports. Visit the impressive Planica ski jumping hills and the VItranc resort, Zelenci Nature Reserve boasting a number of fountains and an emerald-green lake, and finish the day off in Kranjska Gora, an attractive and lively mountain town. This town is the perfect place to relax and recharge your batteries before continuing your adventure.

Distance: 16,2 km
Elevation: + 618 m; – 1187 m
Walking hours: 6 h (stops excluded)

Kranjska Gora

Day 4: Kranjska Gora – Faaker See / Baumgartnerhohe

Set foot in Austria! To be more precise, today you’ll reach Carinzia: a land of mountains, verdant valleys and turquoise lakes. Ahead of you is another exciting day in this region of parks and waterfalls which was once described as the most beautiful place in Europe. From Kranjska Gora, the itinerary follows the course of River Sava towards the Karawank mountain range. An old frontier path with spectacular views takes you to Jepzasattel, a mountain pass which rewards you with truly breathtaking views of the surrounding lakes and mountains. Reach the Baumgartnerhohe hill and Faaker See, an iridescent lake.

Distance: 21,4 km
Elevation: + 1398 m; – 1290 m
Walking hours: 8.30 h (stops excluded)

View of lake Faaker See in Carinthia, Austria

Day 5: Faaker See / Baumgartnerhohe – Warmbad / Villach

The path takes you towards the Faaker See, the fifth largest lake in Carinzia famous for its turquoise colour. This is a perfect opportunity to go swimming or enjoy water sports! Pass by the fascinating ruins of Finkenstein Castle before reaching the wetlands of the Faak, with its idyllic woodland path of Dobrova. After a brief walk along River Gail you will drive into Warmbad, the endpoint of today’s stage.

Distance: 15 km
Elevation: + 77 m; – 498 m
Walking hours: 4.15 h (stops excluded)

The castle ruin Finkenstein is a ruined castle on a ridge near Lake Faak in Carinthia

Day 6: Warmbad / Villach – Feistritz an der Gail

Warmbad isn’t just famous for its thermal waters, but also for its historical heritage. Hike along the remains of the Romerweg, an ancient Roman road and don’t miss the opportunity to take a detour to the ruins of Federaun castle, a fascinating former bambergic fortification. Explore the Dobratsch: Carinzia’s top natural park and home to many species of flora and fauna. You can find the most spectacular views in the wild area of Schutt, which you will pass through to get to the fabulous Gail Valley, before reaching Feistritz, a pleasant mountain village at the foot of Mt Osternig.

Distance: 19,9 km
Elevation: + 222 m; – 157 m
Walking hours: 6.15 h (stops excluded)

The Dobratsch is a mountain in the most southern province of Austria and 2166 meter high. He is immediately west of the town Villach

Day 7: Feistritz an der Gail – Valbruna

Today’s hike will take you over the pastures of Mt Osternig and back to Italy. Hike past various mountain huts, a chapel dedicated to Our Lady of the Snow, and enjoy superb Alpine views. Reach the Italian town of Camporosso and then cross into Valbruna in Val Saisera. This valley, surrounded by an impressive ring of mountains, is undoubtedly one of the most fascinating parts of the whole trail, especially in the evening, when the amphitheatre of the surrounding mountains seems to catch alight with the sunset, offering a unique show!

Distance: 23,7 km
Elevation: + 1314 m; – 1071 m
Walking hours: 7.30 h (stops excluded)

Alpine landscape with forest and green meadows in Valbruna, small village near Tarvisio, Friuli Venezia Giulia, Italy

Day 8: Valbruna – Tarvisio

The trail ends in style with a stage that will take you over Mt Lussari (1,790m), a much-loved local pilgrimage destination. At the top of the mountain, you will find the revered Marian sanctuary, and the views from this legendary place offer an unparalleled view over the whole Julian Alps mountain chain! Continue along the Alpe Adria Trail which descends between the trees of the Forest of Tarvisio, intertwining with the legendary Cammino Celeste (Heavenly Way) and the Pilgrim’s Path. Finish your journey at the centre of Tarvisio, where you simply must celebrate with a toast to yourself and to this unforgettable trail without borders!

Distance: 13,7 km
Elevation: + 1065 m; – 1110 m
Walking hours: 5.15 h (stops excluded)

Village Lussari with the sanctuary on the Holy Mountain of Lussari (Monte Santo di Lussari) in the Julian Alps
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Things to know

Things to know

Covid measures on the Alpe Adria Trail

57hours is committed to providing safe outdoor adventure experiences. We require all guides using our platform to have a COVID-19 safety plan and to make the details of that plan accessible to travelers. In most cases, group sizes will be reduced, guides will avoid overcrowded locations, and other safety measures will be met depending on the location and activity.

We also expect clients to respect local regulations and take measures to protect themselves, guides and the communities they’re travelling to. For more information on COVID-19 measures in Slovenia, please refer to the Government of Slovenia website. For more information on COVID-19 measures in Italy, please refer to the Government of Italy website. And for more information on COVID-19 measures in Austria, please refer to the Government of Austria website.

Please contact us if you have any questions or require further information. We are happy to provide you with the most up-to-date information!

What’s included?

What you get on this adventure:

    • An experienced, local hiking guide with extensive knowledge of the area
    • 8 days of hiking
    • 6 accommodation in double room
    • 1 accommodation in mountain hut in multi-bed rooms with shared bathroom
    • Scheduled meals (7 breakfasts and 6 dinners)
    • Welcome kit with the map of the itinerary

What’s not included:

    • Transportation
    • Meals not mentioned above (7 lunches and 1 dinner)
    • Medical insurance
    • Supplement for luggage transfer
    • Tourist taxes to be paid directly on site
    • Expenses and personal extras
    • Anything not expressly mentioned above

How fit do I need to be?

The Alpe Adria Trail is not technically difficult (no mountaineering skills necessary) but it does require a good fitness level. There are at least six hours of hiking each day, so your endurance should be up to this standard. To prepare, I recommend doing cardio, such as slower, long-distance runs, and going on shorter hikes with your backpack and hiking boots on. To fully enjoy the trip, you should be able to hike between five to eight hours, with your pack, without much huffing and puffing.

What do I need to bring?

Here’s a list of the equipment you need to bring:

    • Day pack large enough to carry all the items listed (around a 25-40L bag)
    • Hiking poles — optional
    • Water bottle or hydration bladder (2L capacity)
    • Lightweight hiking boots or shoes
    • Spare clothes for layering
    • Waterproof rain jacket
    • Sunhat
    • Toiletries (sunscreen, hand sanitizer, bug spray, toilet paper, etc.)
    • Headlamp or flashlight
    • Sunglasses
    • Camera — optional (but recommended)

Dress comfortably and for the weather in clothes you can move in. We suggest bringing clothing appropriate for the season. Layers are best and don’t wear jeans.

Group sizes and age requirements

Group sizes and prices:

    • For this group adventures, the usual client to guide ratio is 6:1.
    • It takes a minimum of 2 people for a tour to operate.
    • All cost is per person. The cost decreases as the group grows, making this the perfect opportunity to hike with your friends and family!

Hiking can be arranged for larger groups. Contact us to make arrangements.

Min. age requirements:

    • If you are older than 18, you’re good to go.
    • Minors younger than 18 may be permitted to join the hike on a case-by-case basis, but must be in the presence of a parent or legal guardian.

If your group has hikers under the age of 18, contact us prior to booking to make arrangements.

Getting there and meeting location

To get to Tarvisio, Italy, most people fly into either of the two Venice airports (Venice Treviso (TSF) or Venice (VCE)), both of which are about 2.5 hours away. The nearest airport is in Klagenfurt (KLU) in Austria 28 miles (45 km) away. If you wish to land in Slovenia, you can take a flight to Ljubljana (LJU), about an hour away (however, there’s a chance of a traffic jam at the border crossing).

Once you and your guide agree on the details of your itinerary, your guide will suggest the best place to meet. The guide will choose the appropriate terrain dependent on conditions and the ability of the group.

Cancellation Policy

Your guide operates in Slovenia, Italy, and Austria, and therefore, all EU rights that concern tour packages shall apply.

Deposits

Upon booking, the traveller is required to pay a non-refundable deposit equal to 30 % of the total price unless otherwise specified in the program of the tour package. The remaining amount is required 30 days before departure unless otherwise specified. If the traveller fails to pay the above-mentioned sum at the agreed dates, they will be considered to have withdrawn from the contract.

Guide’s right to change the price

Your guide reserves the right to change the price as a result of changes in the exchange rate applied to the tour package in question, changes in transportation costs, based on the cost of fuel or other energy sources, and changes to the fees and charges applicable to some types of tourist services included in the package and charged by third parties not directly involved in the execution of the package (such as taxes and fees) that affect the price of the package. Your guide will communicate in writing any variations in price to the travellers, at the latest 20 days before the date of departure. If the price variation exceeds 8% of the original price amount, the traveller has the right to withdraw from the travel contract.

Cancellations and replacements

The traveler has the right, at any moment, to withdraw in writing from the travel contract. If the traveller withdraws from the contract, the organizer shall refund him within 14 days, reserving the right to withhold the withdrawal expenses/fines indicated below:

● For withdrawals made up to thirty days before the beginning of the trip: 30% of the total amount (non-refundable deposit)

● For withdrawals made between 29 and 15 days before the beginning of the trip: 50% of the total amount

● For withdrawals made between 14 and 7 days before the beginning of the trip: 75% of the total amount

● For withdrawals made between 6 and 1 days before the trip: 100% of the total amount.

If the traveler does not withdraw from the travel contract in writing before the beginning of the trip and does not participate in the trip, they is not entitled to a refund.

In the event that the traveler cannot take part in the trip, they can be replaced by another person, if the latter meets all the conditions of the chosen tour package. The transferor traveler must inform the organizer of this in writing at least 7 days before the beginning of the trip. In this case, the transferor must refund the organizer all the expenses incurred for the substitution. In the event that third parties necessary for the execution of the tour package (e.g., airlines) do not allow a booking replacement, the transferor will not be able to take advantage of the rights described in this paragraph.

Withdrawals during the trip

The traveler may withdraw in writing from the travel contract during the trip itself as well. In this case, the traveler is not entitled to a refund of the sums paid to the organizer, nor of any other expenses incurred. The following are considered a withdrawal from the travel contract: (i) during the trip, the traveler independently, without a valid cause and without the consent of the organizer, interrupts the chosen tour package; (ii) the traveler is not accepted aboard the means of transportation (air, sea, land or others) for security reasons or regulations imputable to the traveller himself; (iii) the traveler independently and with the consent of guides partially modifies the tour package.

The traveler may withdraw from the travel contract because of extraordinary and inevitable circumstances that modify significantly the performance of the tour package and must, in this case, present relevant evidence. In this event, the traveler is entitled to a full refund, from which only the expenses that the organizer incurred for the registration and the eventual participation in the tour package can be withheld. Whenever withdrawal from the travel contract for extraordinary and inevitable circumstances arises during the performance of the tour package, the organizer offers to the traveller the necessary support. In case of withdrawal on the part of the traveler, they do not have the right to a refund of the expenses such as expenses for obtaining visas, obligatory or recommended vaccines, purchase of flight, bus, boat or train tickets.

Organizer’s cancellation rights 

Your guides reserves the right to cancel the travel contract if, because of inevitable and extraordinary circumstances, it cannot perform the tour package pursuant to the provisions of the program of the package itself or the provisions contained in these terms and conditions, or if the number of travellers registered to the tour package is lower than the minimum foreseen in the travel contract. In this case, the organizer will cancel the contract and refund in full the payments made by the traveler for the tour package. The reimbursement does not include any expenses incurred by the traveller due to the cancellation of the tour package. The right to cancel on the part of the organizer may be invoked:

● 20 days before the beginning of the tour package for packages that last longer than 6 days;

● 7 days before the beginning of the tour package for packages that last between 2 to 6 days;

● 48 hours before the beginning of the tour package for packages that last less than 2 days.

In the event of cancellation on the part of the organizer, the traveler is not entitled to be refunded the expenses connected to the tour package that are not included in the price itself (such as expenses to obtain visas, obligatory or recommended vaccines, any insurance policies, or flight, bus, boat and train tickets).

Your guide reserves the right to cancel the travel contract before the beginning of the tour package or during its performance and will be entitled to request a refund for expenses/damages from the traveler, if they directly violates the provisions of the travel contract that they have signed. In particular, if the traveler has voluntarily communicated incorrect information regarding the number and the age of the participants, or if during its performance, they have modified the tour package without informing the guide.

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