Slovenia

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Escape to Nature - Hike The Bear Trail

Highlights

Expert guide taking you back to nature
Hike in the realm of bears
Stay in forest huts
Bear watching hide

Introduction

This short break is designed for lovers of nature, hiking, photography and adventure. The bear trail runs in secluded forests of the Kočevje region of southern Slovenia that is home to bears, wolves and other wildlife. Our outstanding local guide passes on informed snippets about the wildlife and natural environments as you hike. In back-to-nature style the accommodation is in forest huts without electricity and running water which adds charm to the adventure. Each day will begin with the traditional breakfast and end with dinner prepared over coals.

Outline Itinerary

Day
1. Arrive Slovenia, transfer to Kočevje
2. Start Bear Trail to forest hut
3. Follow the trail through ancient forest
4. Conclude the hike and to bear hide
5. Depart Slovenia.

Cost

Price is dependant on season and numbers travelling. Please contact us for specific pricing.

Departure Dates

April to October, any date to your requirements. Some fixed departure dates.

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Description

Transferring from the airport to Kočevje for a night in the comfortable Bear Log Hostel the Bear Trail adventure begins the next morning beside Kočevje Lake. From here where you hike to Željnske Caves which sheltered people 20,000 years ago. Continuing on you reach the forest reserve of Pugled - Žiben before the first day ends at a forest hut with a traditional BBQ feast.

Hiking further into the forests the second day you reach the virgin forest of Rajhenavski Rog where some trees are known to be up to 500 years old. You also reach the high point of the walk at 1099m where there is a lookout tower for great views. The extensive forests cover 85% of this region with just a few remote villages. Walking through the forest is peaceful and allows the mind to wander as you keep a passing eye for the bearfoot prints on the ground and as waymarks on the trees. This narrow trail is always varied and often contours around old limestone sink holes that form natural hollows in the ground, in other places you may come across an isolated meadow full of flowers and butterflies, you also walk along old forest tracks. Signs of large predators, Ural owls, woodpeckers and colourful butterflies are among the faunal highlights.

Today you hike to the forest reserve of Prelesnikova koliševka which is a 70 m deep hollow cave covered with primeval virgin pine forest and diverse vegetation that generally can only be found in colder climates. The hike ends in the afternoon back at Kočevje Lake.

Later you will be met in Kočevje and transferred to a bear hide to spend the evening watching for these great denizens of the forests in which you have spent the last few days gaining an appreciation of their habitat and lives. This is surely the most memorable way to end this short break to Slovenia.

Notes:
A fairly high degree of physical fitness required as you will hike approximately 20km per day, 60km in total with 660m of height gain. The walk is suitable for couples, small groups and families with older children.

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