The new Walk of Peace hiking trail connects the Alps to the Adriatic Sea along the former WWI frontline that once straddled the mountainous border between today’s Slovenia and Italy.
However, the 11-stage route, which extends approximately 220km and passes through villages, under peaks, past glacial lakes, and across pristine rivers, is more than a trekking path.
It is also a living history lesson, a string of museums and memorial sites, and a rolling food-and-wine experience.
The trail launched in 2020 and traverses four geographic regions, serving as the trek-friendly spine of a larger 400km corridor established in 2000 by the Walks of Peace in the Soča Region Foundation.
The foundation’s mission is to study, restore, preserve, and oversee the many important historical sites along WWI’s Isonzo Front, where 12 battles took place from 1915 to 1917.
An estimated 350,000 soldiers, from 20 nations, perished during that 29-month period.
Today, this route is dedicated to open dialogue and respect for all cultures. The Walk of Peace foundation has also created hiking excursions and side routes off the main spine.
Those loops lead visitors to more than 100 sites, including museums, churches, military cemeteries, and the ruins of trenches and battlements.
The trail’s upper stages provide a geographic greatest hits as hikers pass through Slovenia’s Julian Alps.
The path parallels the Soča River to the east and the Italian border to the west as it continues south into the Brda Region and Slovenia’s wine country.
Peaks slowly dissolve into rolling hills and perched villages – surrounded by the corduroy lines of distant, terraced vineyards.
The Walk of Peace marches south and east into Slovenia’s Kras (or karst) Region. A fantasy world for spelunkers, thousands of caves riddle the area’s porous limestone surface.