Top three reasons to hike the Invisible Border
Cross national borders along footpaths and cart tracks
Take in magnificent views of the Adriatic coast and the city of Trieste
Explore the depths of the Škocjan Caves, a UNESCO heritage site
At the top of Italy, just at the border with Slovenia, Trieste boasts rich Austro-Hungarian history, a very long coastline, and plenty of marvelous sights in its vicinity, such as Prosecco, a village known to all wine lovers for the eponymous wine. Less than 20 minutes southeast from Trieste is Val Rosandra Natural Preserve covering a surface area of about 746 hectares with two geologically very different sides and plenty of stunning panoramas over the Gulf of Trieste. The 120ft waterfall and ruins of a Roman aqueduct also adorn the footpaths through the valley leading toward the Slovenian border. Not far away lies the Škocjan Caves Regional Park, a system with its unique natural values — renowned for its exceptional archaeological finds, pioneering explorations of the Karst underground, and rich natural and cultural heritage. Lipica, a nearby village, is one of the main tourist centers of the Karst region known as the origin of the beautiful white Lipizzan horses!
April through mid-October
Your adventure begins in Trieste, IT
Intermediate to advanced
Book This Adventure
3-Day Hike Along the Invisible Border
Italy and Slovenia share centuries of history and cultural heritage, and with a help from your guide, you can travel and enjoy the best parts of it! This 3-day hike takes you from Trieste to Val Rosandra, Škocjan Caves, Lipica, Divača, and Prosecco. Explore the local culture, see the famous Lipizzaner horses, and enjoy the spectacular panoramas along the way. This hike will leave you breathless and wanting for more — the area has so much to offer! Let your guide show you the hidden gems and exceptional nature of Italy and Slovenia and make the most of your trip to this historical part of Europe.
Day 1: Rosandra Valley Natural Reserve and old railway towards the Karst plateau
Begin your journey by heading inland along the ancient salt path once used by merchants on their way to Trieste’s salt flats. The path travels through a valley and offers splendid views of the Rosandra stream with its 35-metre high waterfall and its 21 natural pools! Pass an ancient church and old mills before reaching the remote village of Botač and the border between Italy and Slovenia. Begin the ascent towards the Karst plateau along the former Austro-Hungarian Trieste-Hrpelje railway and follow the panoramic route.Enter Slovenia along the Gročana border path on the slopes of the highest mountain in the Karst plateau, Kokoš, and reach the Karst plateau, arriving in the village of Divača where you’ll will spend the night.
Day 2: The World Heritage caves and grassy meadows
After a hearty breakfast, set off towards the Škocjan Caves and discover the magical underground world of the Karst. This natural spectacle was declared a UNESCO heritage site in 1986. Itts imposing stalactites and mysterious rock formations cannot fail to inspire wonder. Explore this extraordinary underground canyon and walk over a bridge suspended almost 50 metres above the river below! Take a lunch break before continuing your hike along gentle paths lined with numerous dry-stone walls, and reach another wonder of the Karst: the Lipica stud farm, home of the famous Lipizzaner horses that have lived here since 1580. Spend the night in a hotel within the equestrian park.
Day 3: Discover Lipica and the Karst plateau
Spend a part of the morning exploring the Lipica stud farm, walking along unpaved tracks in the shade oak groves and visit the oldest stables in Europe. Continue your hike towards Lipikum — interactive museum dedicated to these majestic horses. Make a quick detour to the nearby valley of Our Lady of Lourdes, a unique shrine nestled in a Karst sinkhole dating back to the 19th century. You’ll soon return to Italian soil and reach the end of the plateau, overlooking the Gulf of Trieste. Hike along the panoramic Napoleonic road with splendid views over the Adriatic and the city of Trieste. To finish up this unique adventure, join your guide in Prosecco from where you’ll be transported back to the centre of Trieste.
Meet your guide
Things to know
Covid measures in Slovenia and Italy
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 and Italy, please refer to the Republic of Slovenia and the Italian Ministry of Health websites.
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 you get on this adventure:
- An experienced, local rock-climbing guide with extensive knowledge of the area
- 3 days of hiking
- Meals (2 breakfasts and 3 packed lunches)
- Accommodation in double rooms
- Transportation from and to Piazza Oberdan, Trieste
- Entrance fees and permits
What’s not included:
- Meals not mentioned above (2 dinners)
- Transportation to Italy
- Accommodations prior and after the trip
- Luggage transfer (additional fee in amount of $70)
How fit do I need to be?
This three-day hiking adventure is ideal for hikers with excellent fitness and mobility. The hike is 46km (29 miles) long and takes 3 days to finish – you can expect 5 hours and about 17km (10 miles) of walking per day with up to +800 meters (2625ft) in elevation. Keep in mind, the weather in summer can be very hot and you’ll also be packing a daypack filled with water and other things you’ll need throughout the day.
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
- A sweater or sweatshirt (inside the caves, the temperature is a constant 12°C all year round)
- Waterproof rain jacket
- Toiletries (sunscreen, hand sanitizer, bug spray, toilet paper, etc.)
- Headlamp or flashlight
- 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 adventure, the usual client to guide ratio is 6:1, with groups of up to 12 people.
- It takes a minimum of 2 people for a tour to operate. The cost does not decrease as the group grows.
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 Trieste, most people fly into Venice Marco Polo International Airport. From there, you can rent a car or take a shuttle service to Trieste, just an hour and a half away. Other options include flying directly into Trieste Airport or to Milan Malpensa International Airport 4 hours away.
Once you and your guide agree on the details of your itinerary, your guide will suggest the best place to meet, usually at the Piazza Oberdan. The guide will choose the appropriate terrain dependent on conditions and the ability of the group.