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foto panoramica

Municipality of Drenchia-Natisone Valleys


(Province of Udine)

The suggested excursion winds through Drenchia and takes in Monte Colovrat/Kolovrat, on the border with the Republic of Slovenia. The route begins about 100 metres from the Solarie Pass (at the Solarie refuge) at an altitude of 930 metres, and immediately heads left off the strada provinciale (provincial road) at a signboard indicating “bivacco”(bivouac). This leads on to a well maintained mule trail that crosses Monte Colovrat from east to west, about half way up, in a modest climb of about 150 metres.

The route then turns to a south – south westerly direction and crosses abandoned meadowland where hazel and conifers are being planted to create deciduous woodland.

The flora and fauna are typically prealpine, the latter marked by a variety of ungulates and the occasional bear.
There is a choice of two routes:

  • Solarie - Bivio Kras -  Zanuso Bivouac
  • Solarie - Bivio Kras - Drenchia Superiore.

The Solarie - Bivio Kras section, for either route, is1800 metres long.

The Bivio Kras - Zanuso Bivouac section is l300 metres long.

The Bivio Kras - Drenchia Superiore section is l700 metres long.

The route is easy to follow and extremely scenic, with a view extending from Monte Matajur to the mountains of Trnovski gozd in Slovenia. There are noteworthy views of three sanctuaries dedicated to the Virgin Mary at Sveta Gora (Mount Athos), Marijino Celje and Castelmonte, while on very clear days it is possible to make out the sea.
From Zanuso Bivouac the view takes in the Julian Alps, in which Monte Krn (Monte Nero), Vogel, Kanin and Triglav can be recognised.

The area contains a number of interesting natural and environmental features.
We should also remember the historically important role of the Colovrat area in major actions of the First World War, which have left a number of still visible remains such as gun emplacements and lookout posts.


The border between Italia and Slovenia (Yugoslavia before 1991) runs along the ridge of Colovrat. In Summer the Solarie Pass provides a cross-border route to Livek and Kambreško in Slovenia.

The mule trails and the methods of cultivation are notable reminders of the ways in which the area’s inhabitants coped with a demanding mountain environment.
There are still some interesting vestiges of the overhead cable systems once used to carry hay to the valleys below. The route is graded as category E (excursionist).

Walkers of average ability should not require more than two hours to complete the trip, excluding pauses to take in the views, etc.

The Colovrat/Kolovrat route can be considered to comprise the following sections:
Solarie Pass – mule trail – Kras Junction – Zanuso Bivouac – Colovrat/Kolovrat ridge –dirt road to Solarie, partially tarred and closed to traffic.

Map reference: Natisone Valleys - Cividale del Friuli, scale 1: 25,000 (Published by Tabacco).

Assistance: Solarie Refuge (always open) tel. (+39) 368 3710209.

Photography by G.Iussa

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