Triglav National Park is the only national park in Slovenia. In its modern form, it was established in 1981 and is named after Slovenia’s tallest mountain Triglav (2,864 meters (9,396 feet)). The park extends along the Italian border and is also in close proximity to the Austrian border in the northwest of Slovenia. The principal task of the Triglav National Park Public Institution, which operates the park, is to protect the pristine nature and the cultural landscape within its boundaries.
The Julian Alps stretch through a large area of the park. Mountain peaks, such as Mangart, Jalovec, Prisojnik, and Špik, can reach over 2,000 meters (6,562 feet) and are classified as high Karst. High mountain ridges with towering peaks, glacial U-shaped valleys, and typical karst formations contribute to the distinct look of the mountain area in the park.
Though the mountains may be majestic, it is the forest that is the most plentiful in the park, and visitors can hike one of the many well-marked hiking paths or trails. The best time to hike in the park is between late spring and early autumn – the rest of the year, the conditions can be harsh and are suited only for the most experienced hikers. The Soča Trail, the Tolminka troughs, the Triglavska Bistrica Trail in the Vrata Valley, the Pokljuka Trail, and the Radovna Cycle Route are the five main trails in the park. Visitors can tackle trails on their own, or hire a tour guide to show them round. Rock climbing and mountain climbing are also popular activities in the park.
Rivers and lakes form the captivating landscape of Triglav National Park as well, with the turquoise Soča River known for leaving many of the park’s visitors speechless. One of the most popular sights in the park is Savica Waterfall, the source of Sava, the second major river in Triglav National Park. Gorgeous glacial lakes are another jewel of the park – among the most visited are Bohinj Lake and the Triglav Lakes. Those who wish for solitude can stop at the less known, yet stunning, Križ Lakes, the lake on Planina pri Jezeru, or Duplje Lake.
Both rivers and lakes offer many activities for visitors, including swimming, fishing and stand up paddling for those who wish to relax in nature, while adrenaline junkies will enjoy rafting, canyoning, and river bobsledding on the park’s rivers.
Triglav National Park is also home to beautiful flowers and wild animals. There are at least three endemic plants in the park: Hawksbeard (Crepis terglouensis), Julian Poppy (Papaver alpinum subsp. ernesti-mayeri) and Silver-leaved Cranesbill (Geranium argentum). Be aware that though it might be tempting, picking flowers in the park is forbidden.
When it comes to animals, the most common among the park species are the chamois, the ibex, the red deer, the brown bear, and the lynx. There are also are 84 bird species, with the golden eagle being the most majestic. The plentiful flowers and wild animals add to the beauty of Triglav National Park.
There are several museums in the park that allow visitors to get a closer look into the history and traditions of the area – the Trenta Lodge TNP Information Center is the best place to gather information about places to visit.
Pocar Farm in Zgornja Radovna and The Open House in Studor v Bohinju are two traditional family houses transformed into museums where architecture and original artefacts portray life in the park for residents in the past and nowadays. A day in a milk farmer’s and a herdsman’s life can be observed in the Dairy Museum in Stara Fužina, while in the rest of the park’s museums, visitors can learn about the history of World War I, iron-making, and archeological findings in the area.