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Rerservations necessary in advance in Slovenia/Croatia early-mid July? Huts in Julian Alps?

We will have a car the first two weeks in July in Slovenia and northern Croatia. We would love to wing it and not have to be in a certain place at a certain time. At this time of year, is this possible, or do places fill up quickly as in the rest of Europe? We will mostly be staying in smaller towns and beach areas. Apart from airbnb and vrbo, is there another website that is good for this particular area to find an apartment or room? Is there a hut to hut trip that is recommended in the mountains?
Many thanks!!

Posted by
23028 posts

I used as I traveled through that area by bus in August last year. lists some small B&B-like properties, as well as some single apartments. I didn't get the impression that it was any easier to make last-minute reservations in Slovenia and Croatia than it was in Italy, but of course each town/city is different.

I made reservations for Rovinj and Zagreb 24-48 hours in advance. I think I may have booked Ljubljana a bit earlier than that. Rovinj was tight. When I wanted to extend my stay by a couple of days, I had to find a different place, and I visited three local travel agencies before I found a private room (with bath) in a family home. My requirements were: air conditioning, Wi-Fi, not more than a mile or so from the bus station, private bath, and as inexpensive as possible.

I think you'll likely find something on short notice as long as you don't hit an important festival day somewhere, but if you look for a room after you arrive (as opposed to the day before), you may end up pretty far out in the boonies, and you probably won't get the best value-to-price ratio. My second room in Rovinj was at least a mile from the bus station, and there was a heavy smoker in the home, which was not ideal for me. (Otherwise, it was lovely; I had a nice kitchenette.)

I'm not sure whether you can expect the most casual of private rooms (the sort that don't have an online presence) to have Wi-Fi. I found that really critical since I was planning my trip as I went.

Having a car will help tremendously. Everyone wants the beach towns, but if you can't find anything where you want to be, you can drive inland a few miles and watch for signs. I suggest using your preferred web site(s) to monitor availability as you get closer to the time you expect to be in each town. Arriving in the morning rather than late PM might help, too.

Posted by
470 posts

Regarding the mountains huts, there isn't a specific hut to hut hike that would be recommended, there are literally hundreds of possible hikes in the Julian Alps. Generally, the focus is on a particular mountain or area of interest, not the huts themselves. These huts are very frugal affairs since supplies can only be brought on foot or by helicopter. They have a basic selection of hot meals and drinks and a limited amount of bunk beds with a shared bathroom, just enough to safely spend the night high in the mountains. They aren't really considered to be the high point of a hike, more like a basic necessity, especially since wild camping is illegal.

If you opt for a multi-day hike, just stay at whichever hut is along the route of the hike. There are plenty of resources online on possible hikes, your options are obviously limited by your starting location and your fitness levels. Getting a guide is a good idea, although not necessary, I do recommend a good hiking map, though. July is high season and the Julian Alps are especially popular, since that area sees a lot of foreign hikers as well as locals. If you do decide on a multi-day hike, make sure to book ahead at the appropriate hut(s).

Posted by
33 posts

Thank you very much for these suggestions! Is there an on-line guide you wold recommend for finding appropriate hikes?

Posted by
470 posts

Try these websites as a starting point: is probably the most popular online hiking database for Slovenes, it has an English version but I don't have much experience with it.

A popular multi-day hike you can do is the Triglav Lakes Valley hike that runs through the heart of the Julian Alps. Most starting points for that particular hike will be in Bohinj.

For info on mountain huts, the Alpine Association of Slovenia is the authoritative, official source:

I also recommend having a hiking map with you, the Alpine Association's online shop is a good source of high quality maps: Alternatively, Kartografija has good maps, too: (hiking maps are in the "Kompass Maps" > "Slovenske gore" category). Otherwise, hiking maps for the local area are widely available in all mountain towns in Slovenia and most bookstores and specialized shops in the country will have somewhat larger scale maps of the Julian Alps.