The Soča river valley is located in the north-western part of Slovenia, at the foothills of the Julian Alps. The Soča region, as we call this part of Slovenia, consists of four places. Bovec, Kobarid, Tolmin and Kanal. The Soča River flows through the valley, which with its characteristic turquoise color is considered one of the most beautiful rivers in Europe. The picturesque nature and the varied offer of outdoor activities attract more and more domestic and foreign guests every year. We share with you our 20+ ideas and activities on what to do in the Soča Valley.
HOW TO GET TO BOVEC?
You can get to the Soča Valley from three directions:
- from central Slovenia drive to Kranjska Gora and cross the Vršič pass to Bovec (Ljubljana – Bovec 129 km / 2h 12 min)
- if you want to avoid the Vršič pass (or it is closed) you can drive past Kranjska Gora and pass the Predil pass at the Italian side and you will arrive in Bovec (Ljubljana – Bovec 130 km / 2h)
- from the direction of Nova Gorica the path to Bovec takes you past Tolmin and Kobarid (Ljubljana – Bovec 176 km / 2h 22min)
PLACES TO SEE / VISIT
The source of the Soča
The source of the Soča is simply beautiful. Crystal clear water comes out from an underground lake in the narrow gorge of the Last Trenta. The spring is a beautiful natural landmark, which is reached by a hard-to-reach path. Soon after the source, Soča soon creates a ten-meter waterfall and a few smaller waterfalls and rapids. The path to the waterfall is short and undemanding, but if you want to continue to the source, the path becomes challenging and requires some skill. The upper part of the path is more difficult to cross and secured with steel ropes and wedges. The trail requires appropriate footwear and appropriate physical strength.
Near the source of the Soča there is a beautiful view point with a monument to the poet, alpinist and mountain lover dr. Julius Kugya.
In the middle of unspoiled nature in the Triglav National Park, the Lepenjica stream creates beautiful waterfalls and pools that should not be overlooked during a visit to Bovec. Take a short circular path along the water, where you will be impressed by the waterfalls and troughs of Lepenjica. The route is not difficult and demanding, so it is suitable for all visitors. Šunik’s water grove is a great place to relax, where the Lepenjica stream has carved 100 m long and 10 m deep troughs just at the confluence with the Šunik stream. The area is also considered an energy-rich area and is expected to have a beneficial effect on our well-being and health.
The image and purpose of the Kluže fortress have changed through history. It is located a good 3km from Bovec, above the deep gorge of the river Koritnica. Kluže Fortress is one of the most visited cultural sights in the Soča River Valley, and at the same time it is an important monument of defense against Turkish invasions and attacks in the First World War. It is open every day between 10 am and 6 pm, and you will have to pay € 3 for the entrance fee.
Boka Waterfall is known as the most watery waterfall in Slovenia. With its 106 m, it is already visible from the road on the route Bovec – Kobarid. The view of the vertical rocky walls from which the Boka waterfall roars is a real feast for the eyes. You can see the waterfall from several points, but it is recommended that you climb to the lookout point, which you will reach in ten minutes with a moderate and undemanding walk. If you want to see the waterfall from closer, you can go even higher along a steep path, where you will have beautiful views of the waterfall and the Bovec valley. It is about an hour’s walk to the end point.
A great place to see and cool off on hot summer days is the Virje waterfall. The Gljun stream soon after its source creates a beautiful 20-meter-wide and 12-meter-high stranded waterfall. On hot summer days, the waterfall with its turquoise pool invites to an icy refreshment. The waterfall is located in the immediate vicinity of Bovec, and you can visit it by bike, on foot or by car (parking fee 5 € / 2 h). It is a 5-minute easy walk from the parking lot to the waterfall, but if you go to the waterfall from Bovec (the lower station of the cable car), you will need a good hour of walking (2 km).
Entrance fee: no (parking fee for car 5 € / 2h).
One of the most beautiful corners in the vicinity of Bovec are definitely the big Soča troughs. The emerald pools of the Soča stretch into a 750-meter-long, only a few meters wide and up to 15 meters deep trough, which widens at the end and creates blue pools. You can leave your car at the turnoff for Lepena and walk along the marked path along the troughs. Along the upper part of the trough, in certain parts the path splits and brings you just above the trough. The terrain off the trail is a bit demanding, so caution is not superfluous as there is no protection anywhere. In the lower part of the gorge, the Soča calms down and attracts visitors who want to cool off and jump.
In the east of Italy, right next to the Slovenian border, lies Lake Rabelj (Lago di Predil). The lake is a great place if you want to cool off, relax or maybe even paddle in the hot summer months. We definitely recommend paddling. You can also rent a sup, kayak or pedal boat on the lake. There is a modest catering offer by the lake, so you should bring food and drinks with you.
The road to Mangart saddle is the highest road in our country and ends at an altitude of 2055 meters. A 12-kilometer winding road takes you to the top, which also leads through five rock-carved tunnels. The ride is a real experience, as you get more and more beautiful views while driving. Lovers of more demanding tours can go to Mangart, but beware, the route is demanding and requires appropriate footwear, equipment and some mountaineering experience.
Just a stone’s throw away from Tolmin, there are Tolmin Gorges, which are increasingly attracting local visitors. Picturesque and wild gorges are the lowest entry point in the Triglav National Park, and a well-kept circular path runs along them. We will cross the Tolminka and Zadlačica riverbeds, and the biggest attractions are Bears head rock and Devils bridge, which rises 60 meters above the Tolminka river.
Time: 2 km (1.5 h)
Admission: € 8 adults and € 4 for children (July, August), € 5 adults and € 2.5 children (March, April, October)
Not far from Kobarid, the Kozjak waterfall is trapped in a stone hall, which with its 15 meters is considered one of the most interesting and picturesque waterfalls in our country. A well-maintained promenade leads to it, which runs right along the banks of the Soča river.
Entrance fee: 4 €
Most na Soči is known for its beautiful artificial lake, along the banks of which there are walking paths. They are located right on the shore of the lake, so that it is constantly accompanied by a view of the turquoise water. An increasingly popular activity on the lake is canoeing, which is increasingly attracting visitors. You can paddle and explore the tributary of the Idrijca, head to the confluence of the Tolminka and Soča rivers or simply paddle along the lake. When visiting Most na Soči, you will also notice the boat Lucija, which is sailing on the lake. Great idea to see the lake and beautiful nature from another perspective. The one-way cruise takes one hour, and the ride will cost you € 8.
Heathen Maiden under Vršič pass
Heathen Maiden is one of the interesting masterpieces designed by nature and it resembles a human face carved into a rock. It can be found right on the way to Vršič. The stone face of Heathen Maiden is best seen from the hill in the immediate vicinity of Poštarski dom. The story of Heathen Maiden is a folk legend that partly describes the history of our nation.
Ascent to Svinjak (Svitnjak)
Svinjak (Svitnjak) is that interesting pointed hill that rises above Bovec, and is also known as the Slovenian Matterhoren. The start of the trail is in the village of Kal – Koritnica, from where you will reach the top in three hours. From the top there is a beautiful view of the Soča and Bovec.
Lake Krn is the largest Slovenian high-altitude lake and a popular mountain point in Bovec. The lake is of glacial origin and is almost 400 meters long, 150 meters wide and 17 meters deep, and is located at an altitude of 1394 meters. You start the trail in the Lepena valley, where you will need 2 hours of walking along a well-kept and not too demanding path to the top. At the top you can refresh yourself in a mountain lodge, not far from Lake Krn.
The Soča Trail is a natural science educational trail with beautiful nature, picturesque homesteads, suspension bridges and quiet corners along the Soča. The path leads along the Soča River and runs from the source of the Soča to Bovec. On a 25 kilometers route, you will be able to visit many sights, attractions and admire the natural beauty. On the way you can see the source of the Soča, the Mlinarica riverbed, the large and small troughs of the Soča, the Julian Alpine Botanical Garden … If you want to cross the path, it is recommended to divide it into two parts.
The surroundings of Bovec offer many cycling routes, and mountain biking enthusiasts are the main ones. They will find pleasure on many mountain trails, forest roads and cart tracks. However, we cannot say that the Soča Valley is a cycling destination for those who prefer shorter and less demanding cycling routes. The ideal route for family cycling is to the Lepena valley or a well-maintained cycle path that runs between Tolmin and Kobarid. Fans of more demanding road tours choose the ascent to the popular Vršič, Predil pass, and the bravest can set the ascent to the Mangart saddle as their goal.
One of the most beautiful and adrenaline rafting in our country is undoubtedly rafting on the emerald river Soča. The most popular route is 10 km long, starting in the village of Čezsoča. Rafting is an ideal experience for individuals, couples and families who can visit rafting with their parents from the age of five.
We went rafting with the Active Planet agency, which we were happy with. During the descent along the Soča, we were accompanied by a beautiful panorama, and the trip was enriched by jumps into the icy river. Our rafting would certainly not be so much fun, if there were not experienced guides who took care of a safe as well as fun descent.
Price: 48 €
Duration: 1.5-2 h
Knowledge: No previous knowledge required
Canyoning takes place in river canyons and gorges, natural slides and waterfalls are overcome by jumping, sliding on the back and descending on a rope. The surroundings of Bovec offer quite a few different canyons, but they differ in accessibility, complexity and, of course, price.
One of the most visited and most suitable for the first visit to canyoning is Sušec, which is suitable for practically everyone (including families with small children). On Sušec you will be able to jump from many rocks, dive on natural slides, and finally descend on a 12-meter waterfall, which will definitely impress those who want adrenaline. The best thing about this canyon is that you can walk around any jump or descent without any problems if you find the obstacle too difficult. For those who want more technically demanding canyons, there are Fratarica (90 €), Kozjak (90 €), Predelnica (130 €) …
Price Sušec: 50 €
Duration: 2-3 hours
Knowledge: No previous knowledge required
If you want to try at rowing on the Soča River, you can choose for an independent kayak descent, which takes place under the watchful eye of an experienced guide. The activity is suitable for those who have already tried this type of activity, as well as for complete beginners.
Price: 58 €
Duration: 2.3 – 3 h
Head to Zipline in Bovec, which is the largest zipline park in Slovenia. It is the one of the most popular activities in the Bovec region. There are 5 steel cables, 500 to 700 meters long, waiting for you. They are set at different heights, and the speed of up to 60 km / h provides a dose of adrenaline.
Price: 55 €
Duration: 2.5 – 3.5 h
Prior knowledge: not required