Can’t decide whether to hike in Slovenia or Italy? Hike in both, on Monte Matajur a cross-border mountain.
Monte Matajur is an especially fine hike, and despite living in Germany for some time now, the Canadian in me can’t help being excited about this cross-border hike.
Where is Monte Matajur?
The mountain is 1 642 meters high and is located in what is known as the Julian Alps. It sits on the border between Italy and Slovenia.
Monte Matajur is not the tallest in the area, and certainly not the hardest. But with large open views over the Julian Alps, stretching to the Adriatic Sea, your efforts will be rewarded.
A portion of the hike up to the peak is bordered by beautiful woodland, and the views are some of the best in the area.
Related Reading: Cinque Terre & Beyond Hiking Tour in Italy
I hiked it in fall and LOVED the colors:
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.
Related Reading: 5 Travel Tips You Need to Know Before Visiting Cinque Terre
The Hiking Routes
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 Monte Matajur. Our efforts were rewarded along the way with a delicious picnic prepared by Dina:
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!
If our route is a little too much for you, or you weren’t able to arrange transportation, you could drive up to the Rifugio Pelizzo and hike up from there. It is only ~300m of elevation to the summit of Monte Matajur. You can also try this alternative by Summit Post, which also describes a route ascending from the Italian side.
I personally recommend going with Hedonistic Hiking. Especially since food, wine and vehicles seem to magically appear on the mountain!
Next up it was time to explore the nearby Italian villages of Cividale di Gorizia, a UNESCO World Heritage Site and Gorizia. Fortunately, the magic continued…
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Where To Stay Near Monte Matajur
Although I would recommend using a tour to do the hike as you will have the opportunity to see some great places that are not as easy to find on your own. But if you decide to only visit Monte Matajur then you can stay in the nearby city of Cividale del Friuli.
Castello di Buttrio is located outside of Cividale del Friuli, a 50-minute drive from Monte Matajur. This 4-Star hotel is located in a historic castle. the Castello de Buttrio and offers great country accommodation. The hotel features great garden views and is the perfect place to explore the countryside.
Locanda al Castello Wellness Resort is located a 36-minute drive from Monte Matajur. This hotel offers a modern spa and restaurant and is located near Cividale del Friuli.
Guests can take advantage of the well-equipped terraces with panoramic views of the surrounding area. The hotel is set in a 19th-Century monastery and the wellness center includes an indoor pool, a Turkish bath, a hot tub, and a sauna.
Hiking Monte Matajur is a great hike to experience, and not very touristy, which is always a plus with me.
Disclaimer: Thank you to Hedonistic Hiking for taking me to Monte Matajur. As always all opinions expressed are my own.