Monte Matajur: HIKING FROM Slovenia to Italy

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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. 

Trail marker on a rocky outcrop near the summit of Monte Matajur
Trail marker on a rocky outcrop near the summit.

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:

Fall is an especially beautiful time to hike Monte 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.

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:

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!

Related Reading: Alta Via 1 Hiking Tour in Dolomites Italy Entire, North or South Route

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 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!

Small chapel at top of Monte Matajur
Small chapel at top of Mt. Matajur

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… 

Related Reading: How to Convince Your Partner to Go on a Trek

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.