The Julian Alps are one of the mountain ranges in the Alps that are amicably shared between Slovenia and Italy. Two-thirds of it is located on the Slovenian side, in the Triglav National Park. The mountain range covers an area of ​​4,400 km2. Its highest altitude is 2,864 meters at the top of Mount Triglav. The length of the main ridge of the mountain is 126 km. The width of the line is approx. 94 km.

Its' varied countryside includes steep rock walls, deep gorges, barren mountain peaks, and lush alpine valleys. And if that weren’t enough, rivers, lakes, and waterfalls will colour your way here and there. You can easily feel like you are in Tyrol or Carinthia.

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Did you know? It is named after Julius Caesar.

Quick Details

Julain Alps Details
Countries Slovenia, Italy
Slowenian / Itlaian names Julijske Alpe / Julische Alpen
Area 4 400 km2
Length 126 km
Width 94 km
Highest peak Triglav (2 864 m)
Major cities Bovec, Bled, Kranjska Gora, Tarvisio
Top5 attractions River Soca, Triglav mountain, Mangart pass, Lake Bled, Vintgar gorge
Most popular sport in summer Rafting, canyoning, ziplining, hiking, mountaineering, biking
Most popular sports in winter Skiing, snowshoeing, ice climbing

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Map

1/3 of the range is located in Italy. As most of the mountain belongs to Slovenia,  it is often called a Slovenian range. Here are two maps that show the location of the Julian Alps. On the first, you can see the whole range extending from Italy to Slovenia. On the second map, you will find only the Slovenian part of the mountain range.  

The Julian Alps map | Source: Wikimedia Commons
Julian Alps map - Slovenia | Source: Wikimedia commons

Mountains and peaks

Highest peaks, mountains

The mountain range contains a number of significant peaks that are well known to hikers. The most popular, of course, is the two-day tour of Triglav, which is also the highest point and symbol of Slovenia. The mountain range two parts:

  • Eastside: Slovenia
  • Westside: Italy
Triglav mountain, Slovenia

List of highest peaks

Here are the highest scores, in descending order. With a few exceptions, the largest peaks are on the main ridge.

Peaks of the Julian Alps Height Country
Triglav 2 864 m East side, Slovenia
Jôf del Montasio 2 755 m West side, Italy
Škrlatica 2 740 m East side, Slovenia
Mangart 2 679 m East side, Slovenia
Jôf Fuart 2 666 m West side, Italy
Jalovec 2 645 m East side, Slovenia
Razor 2 601 m East side, Slovenia
Kanin 2 582 m West side, Italy
Kanjavec 2 568 m East side, Slovenia
Prisojnik 2 546 m East side, Slovenia
Prestreljenik 2 500 m East side, Slovenia
Špik (Martuljek) 2 472 m East side, Slovenia
Tošc 2 275 m East side, Slovenia
Krn 2 244 m East side, Slovenia

Slovenian Alps

Did you know? The Julian Alps is only one of the 3 major Alpine ranges of Slovenia. There are also the Karawanks and the Kamnik-Savinja Alps. We call these three the Slovenian Alps.

Alps of Slovenia map | Source: Hiking in Slovenia

Passes, saddles

The Julian Alps have four major passes. The highest is the Mangart saddle at 2,055 meters, followed by the picturesque 1,611 meters at Vršič. Both are popular places for hiking and trekking.

Mangart Saddle, Slovenia
  • Mangart saddle, 2,055 meters high
  • Vrsic pass, 1,611 meters high
  • Predil Pass, 1,156 meters high
  • Pontebba Pass, 797 meters high

The highest panoramic road in Slovenia goes into the saddle of Mangart, which is a popular place for hiking, biking, and cycling. The panoramic road is chargeable.

Cities

There are many major towns and resorts in the mountain range. The most popular ski resort on the Italian side is Tarvisio. On the Slovenian side, the nearest town to Ljubljana is Bled, while Bovec and Kranjska Gora are located in the heart of the range.

On the south, there is Lake Bohinj, then to the west of Mt Triglav on the other side are Bovec, Kobarid, and Tolmin. Finally, Kranjska Gora in the north, where skiing is also the number one program in winter.

  • Bled
  • Bovec
  • Kobarid
  • Tolmin
  • Kranjska Gora
  • Tarvisio (Italy)
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It is an interesting fact that Slovenia has the highest proportion of wetlands in Europe - compared to its land areas. This is great news for us, tourists, as we will find water everywhere, even here, in the Alps.

Rivers

There are many rivers, lakes, and waterfalls in the Julian Alps. The largest river is the Soca. But hence both branches of the Sava, the Sava Bohinjka and the Sava Dolinka. Less well known is the Radovna River, which forms the Vintgar Gorge.

  • Soca River
  • Sava river
  • Radovna river

Lakes

Its largest lakes are Lake Bled and Lake Bohinj. Both lakes are located on the eastern side of the Alps, so closer to Ljubljana. While Lake Bled is a bit busier and more touristy, Bohinj offers more outdoor activities, camping, boating, etc.

The Triglav Lakes region is an alpine hiking area made up of several lakes. This can be explored on a more difficult, more technical (1 v 2 day) tour. Another name for the Triglav Lakes is the Triglav Seven Lakes region. Although there are many more lakes in the area, this name is also used.

Also worth mentioning is Lake Jasna at Kranjska Gora, as well as the nearby Slovenian reserve, Zelenci Park. Both lakes attract thousands of tourists every year. On the western side of Italy lies the charming Fusine Lakes, i.e. Lagho di Fusine.

  • Lake Bled
  • Lake Bohinj
  • Lake Jasna
  • Triglav Lake District / Triglav Lakes
  • Zelenci Reserve
  • Fusine lakes

Waterfalls

If anything, there will be no shortage of waterfalls. The most popular waterfalls are Pericnik Falls on the east, Martuljek in the north, and the Boka, Kozjak, and Virje waterfalls near Italy in the west.

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Those around Bovec are just a 5 to 10-minute drive from Virje and Boka Falls. You can visit both in the area within one hour.

Plateaus

There are three popular plateaus in the Juliske Alpe. Pokljuka Plateau is the most popular excursion destination near Lake Bohinj. The countryside was rehabilitated a few years ago and the forest that had been cut down over the years was replanted.

Today, everyone knows about the charming alpine chalets - and the excellent dairy products available here. The locals are mainly engaged in animal husbandry, and of course in logging. The Jelovica and Mezakla plateaus are also located here.

  • Pokljuka
  • Jelovica
  • Mežakla

Gorges

In terms of gorges, as well as from waterfalls - there are plenty. The most popular of these is the Vintgar Gorge, formed by the Radovna River. To the west of it, we find the Pokljuka gorge and cave known to few. (The cave system of the mountain range is dwarfed compared to the Slovenian Karst anyway.)

We can also get to the Martuljek waterfalls through the Martuljek gorge. One of the most secluded gorges is Mostnica, known for its rock formation of the Little Elephant.

Approaching the Italian border we find more and more gorges. The best known of these is the Tolmin Strait.

The gorges of Susec, Predelica, Kozjak, and Fratarica can only be explored during the season with a tour guide. Find our canyoning tour guide here.