Slovenia’s new Juliana Trail reveals a land of water, rock and forest


Chris Zacharia

Our writer explores the latest addition to the country’s sustainable tourism plan – a 270km walking trail across one of Europe’s oldest national parks

They call the Soča the emerald river. To my eyes it’s turquoise, or sometimes a shocking shade of sapphire. Or like crushed crystal, coaxed into flow. Either way, it’s irresistible. Our trail runs by it and, step after step, our heads are made motionless by those blue-green waters.

I’m in Slovenia but I’m not anywhere easily found on a map. Here, at the far east of the Julian Alps, is a land of water and woods. Half the country is forested, but the part we’re walking through is especially remote. Triglav national park is one of Europe’s oldest. In the middle sits the eponymous Triglav, Slovenia’s tallest mountain, spiritual summit of the nation’s fables and myths.

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