Hiking Mt. Matajur: Slovenia to Italy

Can’t decide whether to hike in Slovenia or Italy? Hike in both, on Mt. Matajur a cross-border mountain.

Despite having lived in Germany for over 3 1/2 years, the Canadian in me gets excited about cross-border hikes and Mt. Matajur is an especially fine one.

Trail marker on a rocky outcrop near the summit.

Trail marker on a rocky outcrop near the summit.

It’s not the tallest in the area, and certainly not the hardest, but with largely open views over the Julian Alps and on a clear day stretching to the Adriatic Sea, your efforts will be rewarded. I hiked it in fall and LOVED the colors:

Fall is an especially beautiful time to hike Mt Matajur.

Fall is an especially beautiful time to hike Mt Matajur.

Although admittedly it also looks rather nice in summer as well.

I hiked it from the Slovenian side with Hedonistic Hiking.  After a few easier hikes in Triglav National Park, a tour to the historic Franja Partisan Secret WWII Hospital and a day of hiking the Kobarid Historic Trail, our group was warmed up.  We were ready for what would be the hardest day of hiking on our Slovenia and Friuli tour.

Trail markers leading you towards Italy or Slovenia.

Trail markers leading you towards Italy or Slovenia.

There are various options for hiking to the summit of Matajur, but we choose one of the more difficult ways, hiking up ~800m from a village south of  Kobarid, to Mt Matajur.  Our efforts were rewarded along the way with a delicious picnic prepared by Dina:

picnic lunch prepared by Hedonistic Hiking

Picnic lunch prepared by Hedonistic Hiking

Bellies full, we then headed south into Italy to the Rifigugo Pelizzo (mountain hut) where Hedonistic Hiking had pick-up vehicles waiting for us.  Two countries, a peak  and a total of 9.5 km?  That’s what I call a fantastic day!

Hiker on a rocky outcrop with the Julian Alps in the background.

Hiker on a rocky outcrop with the Julian Alps in the background.

If our route is a little too much for you, or you weren’t able to arrange transportation, you could drive up to the Rifiugio Pelizzo and hike up from there, which is only ~300m of elevation or try this alternative by Summit Post which  also describes a route ascending from the Italian side. I personally recommend going with Hedonistic Hiking though since  food, wine and vehicles just seem to magically appear on the mountain!

Small chapel at top of Mt. Matajur

Small chapel at top of Mt. Matajur

Next up it was time to explore the nearby Italian villages of Cividale di Gorzia, a UNESCO World Heritage Site and Gorizia.  Fortunately the magic continued…stay tuned…

Disclaimer:  Thank you to Hedonistic Hiking for taking me to Mt. Matajur.  As always all opinions expressed are my own.






Laurel Robbins is the founder of Monkeys and Mountains, an adventure travel blog and company that helps people plan their active holidays in a sustainable way. Although Canadian, she lives in Germany. You can find her in the mountains on most weekends.



  1. Adrian Tanase January 10, 2014 at 9:13 pm - Reply

    If you cant decide, come intro my country (Romania) hehe.

  2. Katharina @ 100 Miles Highway January 10, 2014 at 10:57 pm - Reply

    These colours are beautiful. And I love the fact that you get to see 2 countries and one peak in just one day!

    • Laurel February 22, 2014 at 12:04 am - Reply

      @Katharina – I don’t think I’ll ever get tired of 2 country hiking days 🙂

  3. Share Travel Experience January 11, 2014 at 9:06 am - Reply

    Hi Laurel, thanks for sharing the travel stories, too far away from China anyway, lol

  4. Al-Wasl January 13, 2014 at 11:41 am - Reply

    Let’s travel to Italy and enjoy Adriatic Sea. I love Picnic lunch! 🙂

  5. Barry January 19, 2014 at 5:20 pm - Reply

    Thanks for sharing the hike. So much different than the expanse in Canada but the depth of history and inter country travel adds a unique dimension. Thanks for sharing the experience. The food looks marvellous.

  6. Leigh January 20, 2014 at 3:22 pm - Reply

    You make me jealous Laurel with the number of countries that are so close at hand that you can explore on foot – and all would feel very different. I think I need 4 months in Europe in the near future to try out many f the adventures you’ve done. This one sounds great.

    • Laurel February 21, 2014 at 11:57 pm - Reply

      @Leigh – I loved this one. Love the Alps, but still miss the Rockies and all the wildlife.

  7. Hitch-Hikers Handbook January 25, 2014 at 12:21 pm - Reply

    Wow! What a great hike! We hiked Julian Alps last summer and we absolutely loved it!
    Lovely photos as well! If you like photography, we invite you to participate in the next edition of our Travel Photography competition. Every week we publish 3 winning shots on our website and write a nice bio with a link to the photographers’ websites/FB/Flickr pages.
    Find more details here: http://hitchhikershandbook.com/your-contributions/travel-photography/
    Happy travels!

  8. Jasmine Brown February 11, 2014 at 1:29 am - Reply

    I am honestly afraid to travel to these areas mainly because of food. I tried a foreign dish a while ago while on my way to Italy and got food poisoning.

    • Laurel February 21, 2014 at 11:40 pm - Reply

      @Jasmine – Sorry to hear that. I’ve had some of the most amazing food of my life in Italy, definitely worth giving it another shot.

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