“You live in your own world, but thank you for showing me that everything can work perfectly in other ways, too.”
This is one of the most beautiful things I’ve been told so far, and even I just partially agree, it’s part of what made me take the decision to take this trip.
I put together different trails for a five-days trekking alone in the Julian Alps, in the North-eastern part of Italy, next to the borders with Austria and Slovenia.
Are you ready?
DAY 1 – 23 km
I took the first train from Venice and started my trekking in Venzone.
This little town was awarded as one of the most beautiful in Italy in 2017.
From there, I followed the Ciclovia Alpe Adria to Resiutta, through several galleries along a nice valley to Chiusaforte.
DAY 2 – 24 km
I started walking from Chiusaforte along the valley, Val Raccolana, passing by several villages, I accepted a lift from a stranger and made it to the Fontanone di Goriuda. Julian Alps have several water springs, and it’s easy to find little waterfalls.
Booking an Alpine guide, it’s possible to have a proper visit of both the water fall and the caves underneath.
DAY 3 – 31 km
After a good sleep and a nice talk with the lovely owner, I started walking, following one of stages of the Cammino Celeste. It covers all the Dogna Valley, reaching 1000m of difference in height.
Once up, I enjoyed a break at the Rifugio Grego, with a great view of all the chain – from Monte Lussari to Jof di Montasio. And then, I walked downhill till Valbruna, where I stayed at an Alpine house.
DAY 4 – 24 km
The following day was another day of great walk. I hiked Monte Lussari from Valbruna, where, on top, a little village was built.
It is a destination for tourists, parachutists, and Christian believers. In fact, the little church is dedicated to the Virgin Mary after a legend, and now masses are held in Italian, German, and Slovenian.
The stage of the Alpe Adria Trail that I followed for that day finished in Tarvisio, so I took the Sentiero del Pellegrino and made it to the hotel I stayed in for the night.
DAY 5 – 14 km
The path of the previous day killed my right knee, so instead of hiking to Fusine Valromana, I took a bus from the station of Tarvisio.
The walk around the inferior and the superior lake is stunning and adventurous, I’d say.
From the superior lake, a trail starts and, hiking uphill for 3 kms, it brings you to the Rifugio Zacchi.
After a good and well-deserved lunch, I took the road and reached the bus stop, which brought me to the train station to get back to Venice.
WHERE I SLEPT
This area is pretty famous as a skiing destination, and therefore many hotels and resort are present. However, as in all the Alps, it’s quite easy to find alpine houses that will host you, almost as an equivalent to hostels. Most of the times, they even have a good kitchen menu that will definitely help you out and make you feel at home.
day 1 – Albergo Martina
day 2 – Osteria Ai Ors
day 3 – Rifugio Casa Alpina Julius Kugy
day 4 – Hotel Al Cacciatore
I have always been used to people living in the mountains that were cold and extremely introverted. But there, in the Julian Alps, I was surprised to find out that they weren’t like that at all.
I have a couple of theories for this – because I was alone? Because I was a girl alone, or maybe because they are just amazing? They have always shared a couple of words with me, a good joke, a little chat, and helped me in every possible way they could.
And they have never stopped telling me how brave I was.
Oh, and I even accepted a lift from a stranger. Sorry, mom!
I was walking uphill on the second day of trekking, with my heavy backpack, when a car slowed down. Very formally, he kindly asked me if I wanted a lift. I wasn’t sure what to answer – I was very tempted from the beginning, but you know, we’ve always been told not to accept this kind of offers. However, seeing how undecisive I was, he told me that if I needn’t it, it would be fine. He was just so grateful when he was offered a lift that, whenever he could, he did so too. And I said yes.
He was very respectful the whole journey (15 mins, more or less). And I’m honestly so grateful to him that I will start doing the same thing he did.
Talking about safety in the mountains is generally quite different than from other destinations. What is enough in a city is usually not sufficient in the mountains.
Nature provides you with beautiful landscapes, but a lot of animals and dangers, too.
As an overall safety rule, I made sure someone at home knew where I was headed and left my GPS activated.
Try to avoid unbeaten paths, and make sure to have in handy your “safety kit” with plasters, scissors, water, tissues, and never EVER forget sunscreen cream.