Studor in Bohinj

Highlights of the Juliana Trail by stage – Nature

Juliana Trail Highlights

CELEBRATE LIFE

Panoramic sunrise views, butterflies dancing over brightly coloured meadows, birds singing in deep beech and spruce forests, clouds playing with mountains peaks, refreshing summer showers, dewdrops on green moss, deer grazing in the dusk, crystal-clear river pools, and carefully tended cultural landscape that is the product of century-old tradition. The Julian Alps celebrate life.

The heart of the mountain chain has been protected since 1924. Since 2003, the Julian Alps have been recognised by UNESCO as a symbol of impressive co-existence of man and nature.

The long-distance Juliana Trail celebrates the mosaic of nature and cultural heritage, inviting hikers to explore, admire and respect the Julian Alps Biosphere Reserve and Triglav National Park. Discovering and exploring the natural and cultural heritage of the Julian Alps is an exceptional experience; however, we should bear in mind that we are just visitors to this fragile environment which local inhabitants are committed to preserving for the future generations.

STAGE 1: KRANJSKA GORA - MOJSTRANA

The stage leads you along the Sava Dolinka Valley and partially on the edges of the Karavanke mountain range, and connects the winter and summer tourist centre of Kranjska Gora with Mojstrana, which is located at the entry to the valley of Vrata.

The majestic Mt. Martuljek group is one of the most spectacular and admired images in the Julian Alps. These impressive mountain peaks formed the core of one of the earliest protected areas in Slovenia (1949). Relatively secluded, the untamed rock faces of Mt. Martuljek are an important habitat for many plant and animal species. A marked trail runs to the gorge and further, to the two waterfalls of the Martuljek stream. This wild yet fragile natural environment requires respectful visitors who appreciate nature and keep to marked paths.

The Alpine ibex (Capra ibex) a strong, thickset and shapely wild goat with greyish hair. It lives in mountain grasslands above the tree line, and in winter it moves to the tree line. The ibex is very agile and can achieve a standing high jump of 2m and a running jump of 4m.

Cross-breeds between the Alpine ibex and the domestic goat are quite common. Males have large, backwards-curving horns which were believed to have medicinal properties, which pushed the species near extinction in the 16th century.

Only ibexes in the area of Gran Paradiso, Italy survived and all present-day ibexes in Europe are descendants of the Gran Paradiso population. In Triglav National Park the reintroduction of the alpine ibex started in 1964, first in the Zadnjica Valley in Trenta.

 

Hairy alpenrose (Rhododendron hirsutum)
Photo: Mikuletič, Triglav National Park
Hiking trail
May 27, 2019
moderate Stage 1
18.2 km
5:34 h
273 m
447 m
by Marko Lenarcic,   Julian Alps

STAGE 2: MOJSTRANA - JESENICE

The stage runs from Mojstrana through Dovje and the foothills of the Karavanke to the ironworks city of Jesenice. In the last section, the trail runs along an ancient mining trail.

The high-altitude karst plateau of Mežakla acts as the boundary between the bustling city of Jesenice and the unique natural environment of Triglav National Park. Located just a short distance from the traffic noise and the bustling city, Mežakla is a haven for many animal species. Its steep and almost inaccessible slopes are home to a wide range of wildlife typical of the national park. Deer who have been pushed further into the forest by the overgrowing of grasslands feed on forest plants, mainly saplings. Observant visitors will spot these forest inhabitants in many sections of the long-distance hiking trail.

The red fox (Vulpes vulpes) is a highly adaptable species. It resides in forests, near human settlements, and even close to large towns. Red foxes are very agile and fast animals, mostly active at night, when they hunt for prey. They also feed on waste and carrion.

The red fox hunts rodents with the typical fox jump. It leaps, sailing high above its quarry, and then lands on its target, grabbing it with front claws. Most of the year red foxes lead a solitary life. They either dig their burrows or use the burrows constructed by badgers, and mark their territory with scent.

Red foxes reproduce once or twice a year, normally in winter. The gestation period lasts 52 days. In spring, the female gives birth to four to eight kits, who stay with their parents for about four months. Vixens help raise the kits. In the wild, red foxes survive an average of three to four years.

Trumpet gentian (Gentiana clusii)
Trumpet gentian (Gentiana clusii)
Photo: Mikuletič, Triglav National Park
Hiking trail Rogarjev rovt - meja med občino KG in Jesenice
May 27, 2019
moderate Stage 2
20.6 km
4:30 h
691 m
784 m
by Marko Lenarcic,   Julian Alps

STAGE 3: JESENICE - BEGUNJE

The stage starts in the ironworks city of Jesenice, over Dobraško polje and over the Sava Dolinka River to the villages beneath Stol, where the attractions are mostly based on culture and beekeeping products. The stage ends in Begunje.

Areas that form part of the Natura 2000 network are the basis of nature protection in the European Union. More than a third of Slovenia’s territory (37%) is designated under Natura 2000, and a surprisingly large part of this nature’s treasure can be admired from the panoramic hill known as St. Peter’s (Sveti Peter). The views from the hill stretch over the densely-wooded Jelovica plateau, the Julian Alps, Triglav National Park, and most of the Karavanke mountain range and the Kamnik-Savinja Alps. The reason why so much of this territory is protected under Natura 2000 lies in the centuries’ old presence of man and his love of nature that is intricately interwoven in the natural environment.

Photo: Mikuletič, Triglav National Park

The fat dormouse (Glis glis) is a nocturnal rodent. Its habitat includes beech and oak forests. Dormice are active during night time and sleep through the day in their dens and tree hollows. They feed mainly on beech mast and acorn. In Slovenia, the tradition of dormice hunting is still alive.

Food supply has a strong influence on the fertility of dormice as well as their hibernation process, which normally lasts from October to March. If food is scarce, dormice will even sleep through summer. In recent decades, fat dormice in Central Europe have been waking up from hibernation rather early, a phenomenon closely linked to climate change.

May 27, 2019
moderate Stage 3
16.7 km
4:30 h
464 m
459 m
by Marko Lenarcic,   Julian Alps

STAGE 4: BEGUNJE - BLED

A flat stage that connects Begunje, a village below the Karavanke mountains, Radovljica, the cultural capital of the Julian Alps, and Bled as one of the most recognised places at the eastern entry area to the Julian Alps. The stage runs from Begunje to Radovljica and to the shore of Lake Bled.

The confluence of both ‘alpine’ rivers – the Sava Dolinka and the Sava Bohinjka – is well-known as the site of a popular campsite. With its favourable and secluded location and the abundance of water features, Šobec is a preferred habitat of many small animals.

Squirrels can be seen chasing each other among pine trees, and the riparian area is home to amphibians and the non-venomous grass snake. Dragonflies are indicators of clean water. Šobec is also a paradise for birders, as swans, grebes, kingfishers, white-throated dippers, tits and many other bird species can be spotted here throughout the year. A perfect sport to listen to the birdsong in the chill of the river and the shadow of high trees.

The black woodpecker (Dryocopus martius) is the largest in the woodpecker family. It can measure up to 46 cm. It lives in nearly all forests where it can find at least a few thick and old trees. The woodpecker makes a hole in a healthy tree and leaves the hollow for a few years to strengthen before using it as a nest.

The bird has several forms of voice communication. It uses a special call when in its home, while other calls are used for mating time, time to flee, or danger alert. Black woodpeckers feed on insects found in decaying tree trunks, ants being their favourite food.

Photo: Mikuletič, Triglav National Park
Photo: Mikuletič, Triglav National Park
Hiking trail · Slovenia

JULIANA TRAIL: stage 4 Begunje - Bled

May 27, 2019
easy Stage 4
15.1 km
3:40 h
95 m
159 m
by Marko Lenarcic,   Julian Alps

STAGE 5: BLED - GORELJEK

The stage starts at Lake Bled and continues through Gorje, the Pokljuka Gorge and a few steep ascents over Kranjska Planina Pasture and Planina Javornik Pasture in the heart of the Pokljuka Plateau, and ends in Goreljek at the Sport Hotel.

Peat bogs are a special feature of the vast forests that cover the heart of the Pokljuka plateau. They are a unique ecosystem characterised by peat mosses and mysterious carnivorous plants that thrive in the acidic environment of Europe’s southernmost raised bogs.

Most Pokljuka wetlands are not open to visitors due to their exceptional importance that is further emphasised by the amount of water stored in the bogs.

However, hikers are welcome to learn more about this mysterious ecosystem by visiting the short themed trail that has been set up around the easily accessible Goreljek bog. A natural water reservoir, the Pokljuka plateau supplies water to the Radovna Valley, the Bled basin, and further to Bohinj. Have a glass of water, Pokljuka’s precious asset.

The Alpine newt (Mesotriton alpestris) is an amphibian, adapted to life in colder climates. In Triglav National Park alpine newts live at an altitude of 1100 to 1600m. They are frequently found in ponds, tyre tracks and puddles forming on skid trails.

The females can grow up to 12cm, and the males are slightly smaller. Unlike in other newts, the belly of an alpine newt is bright orange-red. Alpine newts often undergo an incomplete transformation, which means that individuals may be sexually mature but will retain certain characteristics of a larva, e.g. gills.

Such newts were found in the Črno Jezero lake and the lake on the Planina pri Jezeru alpine meadow. During the mating season, male newts develop sky-blue stripes along their flanks and a white-black-spotted ridge on their backs.

May 27, 2019
moderate Stage 5
21 km
6:40 h
866 m
91 m
by Marko Lenarcic,   Julian Alps

STAGE 6: GORELJEK - STARA FUŽINA

The stage runs through the forests and pastures of Pokljuka and descends to Gorjuše, Koprivnik and Jereka in the Upper Bohinj Valley. From there, the trail continues through Češnjica, Srednja vas and Studor to Stara Fužina.

Favourable soil and climate conditions, grasslands that have been managed sustainably for centuries, careful consideration of natural cycles, and avoidance of heavy machinery are responsible for the creation and preservation of brightly-coloured wildflower meadows that are Bohinj’s loveliest adornment.

The meadows are at their most beautiful at the end of May when Bohinj hosts the International Wild Flower Festival. Although lush and adapted to the harsh alpine climate, wildflower carpets are not meant to be trampled on by robust hiking footwear. By staying on trails, you will show that you respect this fragile natural environment and the privacy of its inhabitants and landowners.

The capercaillie (Tetrao urogallus) is the largest member of the grouse family. The hen’s feathers are protective brown with black and silver barring, while male birds are dark metallic green. The capercaillie resides in mountainous mixed and coniferous forests. Hormonal disturbances may cause capercaillie to become aggressive and lose their fear of humans.

Studies show that this phenomenon might result from excessive human intervention into capercaillie habitats. The species is renowned for its mating display. In spring the males gather at courting grounds, called leks, posture themselves with raised and fanned tail feathers and sing their typical aria, which sounds like a series of 'clicks' and 'pops'.

It is generally known that the capercaillie does not respond to any activity in their surrounding while singing. Otherwise, the bird is very shy.

May 27, 2019
moderate Stage 6
22 km
4:40 h
313 m
1038 m
by Marko Lenarcic,   Julian Alps

STAGE 7: STARA FUŽINA – BOHINJSKA BISTRICA

A short stage of the trail runs from Stara Fužina, Ribčev Laz near Lake Bohinj on unpaved roads and paths across the panoramic Dobrava meadows to Bohinjska Bistrica, which is the administrative centre of Bohinj.

Lake Bohinj is the heart of Bohinj. It collects waters from the surrounding mountains and the water arteries from the foot of Triglav that flow through the Triglav Lakes and further down to Lake Bohinj and the Sava Bohinjka River. During a flash flood, the water level may rise by several metres. In the summer heat, the lake attracts crowds of bathers.

We hope that your visit to the lake and its coast will be a memorable experience. Please respect the access and visitation regime in place. Wild camping and bivouacking outside designated areas is not allowed.

Photo: Mitja Sodja, Triglav National Park

The brown bear (Ursus arctos) population in Slovenia stands at 400 to 500, with most of the animals residing in the Kočevje forests. In Triglav National Park, individual brown bears are occasionally spotted on the Pokljuka plateau, in the Lower Bohinj Mountains, the Trenta Valley and the area of Tolmin.

The brown bear sleeps through the cold winter months in its den. During hibernation, its body temperature declines by 2 ˚C and its metabolic functions slow down slightly. The hibernation period is affected by weather conditions and food deficit. In three or more months in the den, the brown bear loses 30-50% of body weight, which it makes up for in the summer and autumn.

The brown bear can run very fast (60 km/h), swim and even climb. Brown bears feed on forest fruits, underground and green parts of plants, fungi, rodents and carrion. As predators, bears are also known to prey on cattle. The brown bear requires a large well-preserved habitat with minimum human impact.

May 27, 2019
easy Stage 7
11.1 km
2:30 h
104 m
152 m
by Marko Lenarcic,   Julian Alps

STAGE 8: BOHINJSKA BISTRICA - PODBRDO

Centuries before the construction of roads and railways connected Bohinj and the Primorska region, this trail was one of a few options for people to pass from one region to another.

The Peči ridge, which separates the Bohinj area from the Tolmin basin, marks the hydrological divide between the Soča and its tributaries that flow southwards into the Adriatic Sea, and the Sava, which drains into the Black Sea.

The watershed acts as a barrier between the mild Mediterranean climate and the cold alpine, or continental, Slovenia. Explore the differences between both sides of the ridge in terms of geomorphology, vegetation, and architecture, and marvel at the diversity of two different worlds.

The chamois (Rupicapra rupicapra) is the most typical animal species inhabiting the alpine territory. In summer months the chamois prefers open rocky terrains above the tree line, and in winter it also resides in forests. In harsh winters chamois will even move to valleys. In summer chamois are active in the morning and evening, and in winter their activity is spread out throughout the day.

Chamois are social animals, but old bucks are usually solitary. The natural predators of chamois are the wolf and lynx, and the mountain eagle who preys on chamois young. Common causes of mortality include jumps from rock cliffs, avalanches, and diseases.

May 27, 2019
difficult Stage 8
13.7 km
8:00 h
770 m
782 m
by Marko Lenarcic,   Julian Alps

STAGE 9: PODBRDO – GRAHOVO OB BAČI

The stage takes us through the sunny and magical alpine villages high above Baška Grapa, hidden to the majority of visitors travelling along the road and the railway in the lower part of the valley.

The valley of the Bača River, called Baška Grapa in Slovene, is an area of rugged and mountainous terrain that has developed on geologically diverse bedrock. In the geological past, the area was exposed to the erosive power of the Bača and its tributaries, as well as the transformations of massive glaciers receding from the Lower Bohinj Mountains (Spodnje Bohinjske gore).

The running water had excavated narrow valleys, or grape, with steep sides sloping at an average incline of about 35 degrees. As water is in high supply, the area abounds in springs, ravines, troughs, waterfalls and cascades. Rocky slopes are brought to life by the tiny and fragile star-like blossoms of the short-haired sandwort, which is endemic to these parts.

The caddisflies (Trichoptera) are an order of insects. Mature caddisflies are moth-like animals having two pairs of hairy membranous wings and long, thread-like antennas. Caddisflies have aquatic larvae that carry protective cases made of small pebbles and other debris.

They are an important source of food for fish, aquatic birds and other predators. Caddisflies use silk excreted from salivary glands near their mouths for building their protective cases. They wrap the silk threads around themselves and decorate them with various materials.

Most caddisfly species live near springs and in streams, less frequently in standing water bodies. Highly sensitive to pollution, caddisflies feature importantly in the bioassessment surveys of streams and other water bodies.

May 27, 2019
difficult Stage 9
17.1 km
6:30 h
1010 m
1208 m
by Marko Lenarcic,   Julian Alps

STAGE 10: GRAHOVO OB BAČI - MOST NA SOČI

This stage takes us above and through the lower part of Baška grapa across the panoramic Senica to the Soča Valley, and ends in the picturesque Most na Soči.

The stunning Sopota (or Soupat) waterfall, which falls over an overhang in a three-stage drop that ends in an amphitheatre-shaped basin 60m below, is hidden in a remote location between Tolmin and Baška Grapa.

The high, narrow stream of water slips down into a pool that increases in size up to three times when water is abundant, as is clearly evidenced by the site’s vegetation. The pool is surrounded by high, thickly overgrown rock faces. Visitors can take some rest on the panoramic platform and watch the waterfall, as if in a cinema.

Near the pool is a spring of healing water, wittily named by the locals Babja Sitnost (A dame’s ill temper). High in mineral content, the water from the spring is said to have beneficial effects on the body. Fill up a bottle or two for your further explorations of the Juliana Trail.

The white-throated dipper (Cinclus cinclus) is slightly larger than the sparrow. It has short wings and rather long and strong feet. The dipper lives in areas near clear mountain rivers with many rapids and rocks.

It searches for food under the water surface, using its bill to turn over stones in search of aquatic insect larvae and other tiny animals. The dipper’s moss-made nest is near the water, built into a crack or hollow in the rock, on the shore, entangled in tree roots or mounted on the supports of a bridge. The white-throated dipper is the only passerine bird that can dive as well as swim.

May 27, 2019
moderate Stage 10
16.2 km
4:30 h
748 m
897 m
by Marko Lenarcic,   Julian Alps

STAGE 11: MOST NA SOČI – TOLMIN

 The stage between Most na Soči and Tolmin is a short and panoramic walk along the green accumulation lake. The entire stage from Most na Soči runs along the walking path to Tolmin.

The Julian Alps are a treasure trove of geological phenomena. The predominating bedrock is limestone. Limestone is a sedimentary rock that formed on the sea floor. Certain types of limestone were typically found in this area and are therefore named after the places where they occur. Volče, a town near Most na Soči, lent its name to the slabs of limestone common in this part of the Julian Alps. The slabs are soft and brittle in structure, only 10cm thick and cross folded.

Clearly visible and easily accessible layers of Volče limestone, commonly known as the “limestone strata of Modrej”, can be admired near the village of Modrej, along the state road between Tolmin and Most na Soči, on the Juliana Trail. North of the village, across the road from the accumulation lake on the Soča River, at its narrowest end, is a set of folded limestone strata that is accessible through the protective Pod Ključem galleries.

The Modrej limestone is an exciting geological feature which remains hidden from visitors who are pacing through these parts but provides curious and observant hikers with joy, admiration and memorable experience. The diversity of geological phenomena in the Julian Alps area is exceptional and is the basis for the area’s equally stunning biodiversity.

The Soča trout (Salmo marmoratus) is a freshwater fish species endemic to the rivers draining to the Adriatic Sea. In Slovenia, it can be found in the Soča and its tributaries, as well as in the Reka and the Rižana rivers. The largest Soča trout caught measured 121cm and weighed 25kg.

The Soča trout is famous for its relatively large head and a characteristic marbled colour pattern on a grey-white skin. It is among the most threatened species, its population declining because of pollution, destruction of the natural environment and, most importantly, ongoing crossbreeding with the brook trout, which was brought to the Soča trout’s natural habitat at the beginning of the 20th century.

May 27, 2019
easy Stage 11
4.6 km
1:10 h
108 m
72 m
by Marko Lenarcic,   Julian Alps

STAGE 12: TOLMIN - KOBARID

The stage from Tolmin to Kobarid is quite flat and runs in the valley. The entire stage is hiked – as local people say – along the sunny side of the Soča River, through the pleasant villages to the historical Kobarid.

The Grofova Voda (Count’s Water) spring is situated in the Sopotnica gorge above the village of Gabrje. The local inhabitants believe that the water from the spring has healing properties. Radiesthetic measurements place the water from Grofova Voda among the world’s top healing waters.

The water is clean, fresh, rich in minerals and has beneficial effects on the entire body. The spring comes from great depths, bubbles to the surface and never runs dry, not even during the driest periods. The water has a stable temperature, flow, colour and taste. Drinking this water refreshes us and gives us strength.

Not far from the spring there is a thick and vital tree, a mountain elm tree (Ulmus glabra). It measures 81cm in diameter and reaches an impressive height of 39m. It is double the size of all neighbouring elms of comparable age. The water from the spring flows underneath the tree, enriching it with energy.

The elm tree is the sentinel of the springs. Like the spring water enlivens the tree, it will also refresh you and fill you with the energy that you will need as you continue your hike along the Juliana Trail.

The alpine swift (Tachymarptis melba) is at home in rocky mountains. Swifts have very short legs which make it hard for them to walk. With all four toes facing forward, the swift lands on vertical rock faces rather than on flat surfaces. It nests in vertical cracks in steep rocks and overhangs. In autumn alpine swifts migrate to tropical Africa and India. Their diet consists mainly of insects, which they snatch whilst in flight.

Hiking trail · Slovenia

JULIANA TRAIL: stage 12 Tolmin - Kobarid

May 27, 2019
moderate Stage 12
16.1 km
3:50 h
126 m
79 m
by Marko Lenarcic,   Julian Alps

STAGE 13: KOBARID – BOVEC

The stage runs through the gorge of Kobarid and Trnovo, along the Soča River, i.e. in the part where the river is most picturesque and wild.

Soča River is one of Europe’s most beautiful rivers. It is admired for its colour and its many interesting geomorphological forms. Its emerald-green water changes its colour through seasons. In spring, the melting of snow turns the water milky blue, and after heavy rains, the river is brownish and muddy since most of its tributaries are fed by torrents.

Another typical feature of the river is the endemic Soča trout (Salmo trutta marmoratus). Several entry-exit points have been set up along the river. A visit to the bank is a memorable experience which requires an attentive, respectful visitor who brings nothing to the environment and takes nothing away, except the memories stored in the heart or on a memory card.

The golden eagle (Aquila chrysaetos) used to inhabit lowland forests. Hunted by humans, it withdrew to higher, more inaccessible places which are now its habitat. It is a predator, able to snatch up large animals, e.g. hares, capercaillie, marmots or foxes, and even chamois kits.

It is not uncommon that the prey will exceed the eagle’s body size and will need lots of energy to be taken away. Boasting a wingspan of 2m, the golden eagle is the largest bird in Slovenia. Golden eagles nest in inaccessible and hidden rock shelves, rock crevices, and an occasional tree.

The female lays two eggs. After about 40 days, the young will hatch, but only a quarter of them will ever reach maturity.

Hiking trail · Slovenia

JULIANA TRAIL: stage 13 Kobarid - Bovec

May 27, 2019
easy Stage 13
20.4 km
6:00 h
412 m
198 m
by Marko Lenarcic,   Julian Alps

STAGE 14: BOVEC – LOG POD MANGRTOM

This is a picturesque trail stage that runs past the remains of WWI to Log pod Mangartom, one of the most beautiful villages of the Juliana Hiking Trail.

The Koritnica is a vibrant alpine river that, together with its tributaries, collects water from four valleys: Loška Koritnica, Predelica, Možnica and Bavšica. The high relative altitude difference between the mountain peaks and the valley floor increases the erosive power of the water after heavy rains. In the area of the Kluže Fortress, water has been carving, since prehistoric times, the deepest river gorge in Slovenia, which reaches a depth of more than 70m. On the stretch of the Juliana Trail between Log pod Mangrtom and Bovec, hikers will enjoy spectacular views of the ‘strait’ at Kluže.

The ancient, strategically important Kluže passage would never come to existence had it not been for the stubborn and persistent Koritnica River, which has been chiselling, abrading and taking away millennia-old bedrock of the Julian Alps. In Triglav National Park, the Kortinica is not used for recreation activities, and in the Kluže area, it is protected as a natural monument. This majestic work of nature is best observed from the river shore. Be respectful and act as an attentive and careful visitor who leaves nothing but his footprints behind. Downstream from Kluže, the Koritnica attracts small rafts, kayaks and canoes, as well as catch & release fishermen.

The rock ptarmigan (Lagopus muta) is a small gamebird in the grouse family. The bird inhabits grassy slopes strewn with rocks and small shrubs, just above the tree line. Rock ptarmigans are seasonally camouflaged: their feathers moult from white in winter to greyish brown in summer.

They have white feathers covering their legs and feet up to toes. In winter the males can be distinguished from the females by a dark stripe that extends from behind each eye to the bill. Both males and females have a red comb above their eyes. In spring females moult earlier than males. This way, the female incubating its eggs is still safely camouflaged, while the male’s white winter plumage distracts predators away from the nest.

The bird nests in mid-July. It lays 6-15 eggs into a shallow pit and incubates them for approximately 24 days. It feeds on seeds, fruits, sprouts, buds, leaves, and adds insects and other animals to its diet in the summer.

May 27, 2019
moderate Stage 14
11.3 km
3:10 h
340 m
151 m
by Marko Lenarcic,   Julian Alps

STAGE 15: LOG POD MANGARTOM - TRBIŽ (ITALY)

This is the highest ascent on the Primorska side of Juliana – from Log pod Mangartom we make approximately 600 metres in altitude to Predil Pass and enter Italy.

The mountain landscape of the Julian Alps is an open book on a geological history spanning more than 200 million years. Layer after layer the sea deposited limestone sediments, creating rock faces of the Julian Alps that rise more than a thousand metres high. The diversity and age of marine environments, in which these rocks were formed, is also manifested in numerous beautifully preserved fossil remains.

At many sites within the national park, the visitor’s eye will be caught by images from the petrified seafloor, including seashells, anemone, searching and corals. The Mangart and Loška Stena massifs are a display of impressive geological phenomena. Although mountain chains seem majestic and permanent, they are nothing but a flicker in the geological time.

Erosion always wins, regardless of the power of internal forces. Precipitation in the form of rain, snow and ice can modify the limestone surface and the underground world of the Julian Alps.

The alpine salamander (Salamandra atra) spends most of its time in hideouts within tiny cracks, crevices, cavities and under decaying bark. The only time it leaves these safe havens is in the morning or at night when air humidity is highest.

After the rain, it also comes outside in the daytime. The salamander avoids high temperatures and wind. The alpine salamander has poison glands running along both sides of its body to scare away predators. It prefers mixed forests, areas above the tree line, grasslands and rocky pasturelands. The species has efficiently adapted to life at higher elevations and in the dry karst territory.

Thanks to its black skin, the salamander warms up fast in the sun even in the cold mountains. Unlike other amphibians, it does not need water to reproduce. The female gives birth to live young, who look like mature specimens and are able to live on land. The phenomenon is known as ovoviviparity.

May 27, 2019
difficult Stage 15
17.7 km
4:15 h
664 m
557 m
by Marko Lenarcic,   Julian Alps

STAGE 16: TRBIŽ (ITALY) - KRANJSKA GORA

This stage runs from Cave del Predil across the dams and along the road towards Tarvisio. Before the town, the trail runs through Rute towards Rateče border crossing and Kranjska Gora.

In 1992, the area of Zelenci has been proclaimed a nature reserve by way of a Decree of the Municipality of Jesenice. The reserve is home to a wide range of interesting plants, including the carnivorous sundews, while the fauna is dominated by amphibians and bird breeders.

The westernmost part of the reserve is taken up by the emerald-green tarn. Groundwater seeps through the permeable floor of Lake Kreda, stirring up the silt and bubbling to the surface like small volcanoes, which is a unique case in Slovenia.

The water with its many crystal-clear and cool springs has a permanent temperature of 6 degrees Celsius. Special wooden bridges take visitors safely to the lake and around its marshy surroundings.

Eurasian pygmy owl (Glaucidium passerinum) is a very small owl, measuring 15 to 20cm. It is found in boreal coniferous forests. Pygmy owls nest in tree cavities. They prey on small mammals and birds.

The call of the Eurasian pygmy owl sends passerines flying away in fear they might become prey themselves.

Unlike other owls, the Eurasian pygmy owl is mostly active at dawn, dusk, and even daytime during the nesting period. At night the owl rests, and its call can only exceptionally be heard during bright, moonlit nights. When excited, the owl will cock its tail, flicking it from side to side.

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