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Responsible travel in the Julian Alps

To consider oneself a responsible traveller, one needs to choose to respect and benefit the local people, their cultures, economies and the environment and comply with their "house rules". The impact of tourism can either benefit or destroy the very essence of why we have chosen to visit a destination. 

Responsible travel is about the choices you make and the attitude you take

While it’s up to all of us to be conscientious explorers, local guidelines make it easier to navigate between responsible travel fundamentals. See if you would follow all the suggestions in the list below without warning: 

1. Park on designated parking areas and use public transport

If you are looking to save on parking fees, use remote car parks and use organised shuttles and public transport options. Learn more about options on our Mobility in the Julian Alps subpage. 

Please note: Public transport service providers have their own rules and most do not accept dogs on buses. There are exceptions to those rules: guide dogs, police dogs, military dogs, rescue unit dogs and mountain rescue dogs accompanied by a guide. In case the provider allows transport of all dogs, that is only possible with a mandatory muzzle.

2. Illegal camping and caravanning

In the Julian Alps, camping and caravanning are only allowed in campsites and caravan parks, while tenting and bivouacking are only allowed in campsites. Unfortunately, when the limited capacities have no vacancy, it is no longer possible to spend the night in the busiest areas in the Julian Alps. Advance booking is therefore recommended during the peak season. "Wild camping" is monitored and penalised by the municipal police. Controls are also carried out at night. 

"We must be aware that we are entering someone else's space, i.e. the land of the owner. None of us would be happy if someone set up a tent in our living room or backyard without asking," adds Klemen Langus, Director of Tourism Bohinj. "And it only takes one set of footprints for thousands to follow." 

 

Overnights in the mountains

Also in the mountains, enjoy clear starry nights from a bench outside the mountain huts and lodges, shelters and bivouacs, instead of setting tents just wherever. This is also important for your own safety. Please note: in most cases, you need to book an overnight in the mountain huts in advance

 

Book here and support the locals

If you want to really support the local economy, make sure you book accommodation directly with the provider. Use our Accommodation in the Julian Alps Search platform to find the best fit. 

3. Biking route or hiking trail?

Thanks to its extensive road infrastructure, the Triglav National Park offers many opportunities for mountain biking. However, it is essential that mountain biking takes place outside the natural environment, on the roads and trails defined in the National Park Management Plan, and only on those trails that are coordinated with the operators, owners and the provisions of the law governing mountain trails and the provisions of the regulations governing forest roads.

In the Julian Alps, we have therefore coordinated over 1,000 kilometres of carefree and authentic cycling enjoyment. Check out the digitised tours of the Juliana Bike long-distance circular bike route and the Julian Alps Bike Network

In addition to using the appropriate routes, all responsible cyclists are encouraged to be considerate of hikers (pedestrians have priority) and wild and domestic animals (cycle in daylight to avoid scaring wildlife, close the gates of cattle pens, etc.).

4. Google Maps is NOT a "go to" navigation sistem while hiking and biking!

“Every mountain top is within reach if you just keep climbing.” This is true, especially when it is an analogy for life. ⁣But when climbing real mountains, make sure, you do it safely. More and more mountain rescues are caused by incorrect data, underestimation of the route (inappropriate footwear and equipment, inadequate fitness) and inadequate navigation tools. Irresponsible mountaineering is not brave. And sometimes, maybe too often, gets other people in danger... ⁣

Google Maps is definitely not the right choice for navigating your hiking and cycling adventures. Use good local maps, digitised routes and specialised apps. Make sure you choose a goal that is in sync with your experiences, equip yourself appropriately, and get well informed about the weather and other conditions. 

Yes, expand your limits and test your bravery. But be smart and do it well prepared.⁣ Don't let your next selfie be the cause of the latest news about a mountain accident that could easily have been prevented with some essential planning! 

GRS SVETUJE: Pohodniška karta / Hiking maps
Video: LakeBohinj

5. Don't disturb the wildlife while hiking

Respect the plants and animals. Admire them from afar when the opportunity presents itself, but make sure your presence does not disturb their lives or you do not harm their delicate habitats. That's why staying on marked trails is so important. Keep your noise level down and keeps your dog on a leash at all times.

 

What about picking berries and mushrooms? 

The picking is allowed just in the 3rd protective regime in Triglav National park. Make sure, you know the forest fruits and mushrooms before you pick them. The daily limit of picking is 2 kilos per person. 

6. No swimming in the mountain lakes and rivers?!

Although the high mountain lakes and alpine rivers are tempting you to take a dip, bathing in them is strictly forbidden. High mountain lakes and alpine rivers are very sensitive and vulnerable habitats due to their small size, poorer flow and extreme conditions such as low winter temperatures, changes in water levels and high temperatures on summer days. 

In most cases, bathing is only allowed at regulated bathing sites. If you are in doubt about where swimming is allowed, ask at the nearest info point. 

 

Quality of bathing waters

In bathing water areas, ARSO (Slovenian Environment Agency) monitors water quality every 14 days during the bathing season. Check the water quality of bathing areas in the Julian Alps here: quality of bathing waters.

 

What about our four-legged friends?

Dog owners are kindly reminded that bathing is not allowed everywhere. In regulated bathing areas, dogs must be out of the water and on a leash, but they can freshen up higher or lower down by the riverbed or outside the regulated bathing areas. If the riverbed or shoreline is in the Triglav National Park, dogs must be kept on a leash at all times.

7. Can I pet the cow?

For safety reasons, please don't! 
Farmers work hard to preserve traditional pasture farming. Read 10 rules for safe encounters with grazing animals: 

  1. Avoid contact with grazing animals, do not feed animals and keep a safe distance.
  2. Keep calm and don't frighten grazing animals. 
  3. Mother cows protect their calves. Avoid encounters between mother cows and dogs. 
  4. Always keep dogs under control and o a short leash. In case of an attack by a grazing animal, let the dog off the leash immediately.
  5. Stay on marked trails while walking on pastures. 
  6. If a grazing animal blocks the way, go around it and maintain the greatest possible distance. 
  7. If grazing animals approach you, stay calm, do not turn your back and avoid the animals. 
  8. At the first sign of animals' anxiety, leave the pasture as quickly as possible. 
  9. Do not ignore fences! Us ea gate if there is one, close it tightly, and cross the pasture as quickly as possible. 
  10. Treat the people working here, the nature, and the animals with proper respect. 

8. Please, pick up after your pet. Thank you!

Responsible and considerate owners always pick up after their four-legged friends. This helps to keep the surroundings tidy and prevents infections that can affect both people, especially children (toxocariasis), and animals (dog tapeworm). Dog faeces are particularly dangerous for ruminants (cows, sheep, deer, etc.), which can be infected by free grazing in the meadow as well as by hay or silage.

Always put the droppings in special bags and dispose of them in the bins provided, or at least among the rubbish, but never in a nearby bush. There are not many bins in the wild, so we recommend carrying an extra bag in your rucksack to carry it for longer periods of time.

The Ordinance on Public Order in the Municipality of Bohinj stipulates that dog owners are obliged to clean up their dog's faeces, carry cleaning equipment for picking up the faeces and dispose of them in bins. Violators are prosecuted by the municipal police or an inspector and fined €200 or more.

9. Wauuu, amazing drone shot!! Can I make one, too?

Drones are a source of disturbance for animals and other visitors and should be left at home. For a bird’s eye view, hike a trail to one of many panoramic summits. The use of drones in the Triglav national park is not allowed without a permit. 

The use of drones without a previously acquired permit is allowed only for the purpose of protection, rescue and assistance in natural and other disasters, for the purpose of state defence, and for purpose of executing police tasks.

The use of drones for film and video recording is allowed (with priorly acquired permits) in areas of infrastructure and in settlements. In the natural environment, drones can only be used for the purpose of recording documentary and promotional films which are intended for the promotion of the park and its local communities subject to the limitations on noise for such devices and the height of flight above the areas which are classified as particularly sensitive areas of nature and where such use has no significant effect on the elements of animate nature of the Triglav National Park. 

Eno z raznoliko naravo / One with nature`s diversity
Video: Julijske Alpe - The Julian Alps
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The Julian Alps  Verified partner