The Julian Alps supposedly got their name from Julius Caesar or from the roman settlement Forum Iuli, which was supposedly near today’s Čedad. Their highest summit is also Slovenia's highest mountain Triglav, measuring 2864 meters in height. The Julian’s second highest peak is the Italian Jof di Montasio (2753 m), or Montaž in Slovenian.

Most of the Julian Alps are in the area of the Triglav National Park. The Julian Alps consist of the Eastern and Western Julian Alps. In 2003 the Julian Alps were proclaimed as a biosphere reservation, as part of UNESCO’s “Man and the Biosphere” program.