The Soca Valley – Slovenia’s must-see
The most beautiful and the longest river in Slovenia – the fast-flowing azure-turquoise Soca River – is one of the landmarks you absolutely cannot miss during your trip to that country. The Soca Valley, which is home of the crystal clear Soca River, will appeal especially to those who love nature and various outdoor activities, from mountain river canoeing or cycling to breathtaking paragliding flights. The Soca Valley is full of positive vibes – there are lots of canoeists and cyclists, and paragliders are always visible somewhere in the sky. The valley also boasts of very good camping infrastructure and countless hiking routes. It’s a paradise for anybody that likes to be active!
Soča runs through Italy and Slovenia and it’s almost 140km long. Its waters are icy cold (10-15 degrees in summer), crystal clear and their unique colour captivates everyone. What can you do in the Soča Valley and where exactly is the best place to go? Read our tips
Bovec – a good starting point
Bovec is a small town which may serve as a good base camp for tourists looking for adrenaline. It’s located in the Julian Alps and it’s home for multiple agencies and companies organizing rafting and canoeing trips as well as many other sporting activities in the region of the Soča Valley. In winter, in turn, Bovec attracts tourists with Kanin, which is the highest located ski resort in Slovakia. Bovec is a good starting point for those who want to trek, climb or cycle. The town has got its own Tourist Information Office (22 Trg golobarskih žrtev Street; +386 (0)5 30 29 647; [email protected]). You can find there also a sizeable supermarket, stores with tourist and sporting equipment as well as a few restaurants. In the vicinity of Bovec there are many interesting camping sites and no lack of apartment hotels or private accommodation.
Trekking and hiking in Soca Valley
You can choose from a wide variety of hiking trails in the area of the Soča Valley – there are easy one-day tracks as well as challenging mountain tracks that require several days of climbing. There are trails leading to waterfalls, tracks for history lovers and many other types. It’s impossible to describe them all. A very good summary of all the routes taking into account their varying lengths and degree of difficulty is available here:
“Soca trail” (Soska pot) – around 28 km.
Soska pot is the name of the most popular trail described as easy/medium-hard. It’s located in the Triglav National Park. The path starts at the source of Soča River and it ends in the town of Bovec. Although the trail is rather long (distance of 28km), it’s not very hard. It offers many nice views; you may rest by the river along the way and feel the thrill while crossing suspension bridges across the river. You may adjust the trip to your condition and time constraints and finish it at any moment. During the summer season a bus operates along the trail (from Kranjska Gora to Bovec and fro). The timetable is available here: https://www.nomago.eu/avtobusne-vozovniceTAKE A MAP OF THE REGION
You can see several waterfalls in the Soča Valley. Boka Waterfall (Slap Boka) located mere 5km from the town of Bovec is one of the most popular spots of that kind, mainly due to the fact that it’s Slovenia’s highest waterfall (144m). To be honest, it didn’t leave us speechless. You need to walk slightly uphill for 30 minutes in order to reach the viewpoint overlooking the waterfall. That season the waterfall was barely visible from the observation point, arguably because of the draught. The fact remains, however, that the distance between the viewpoint and the waterfall is substantial so if you expect to see some stunning views and feel the power of the falling water, you’ll be disappointed.
We found Kozjak Waterfall (Slap Kozjak), located close to a small town of Kobarid, much more impressive. 15-metre-high Kozjak hidden among the rocks amazes with its wonderful emerald green hue. You can reach it after a leisurely walk through a forest and admire it up close.
Water sports – rafting, canioning, canoeing, stand up paddle surfing, fishing, and even rock jumping
It could hardly be otherwise – Soča is a true paradise for enthusiasts of water sports. There are opportunities for everyone – amateurs, families with children and professional sportsmen. All water sports may be done in the Soča Valley only during the season starting on 15th March and ending on 31st October. Moreover, one may enter the water only between 9 a.m. and 6 p.m. Water sport fans are required to obtain special permits (daily, weekly or for the whole season). It is recommended that tourists also use the services of the professional and qualified local agencies. Special starting points are set out along the river and they are the only places where you can enter the water or leave it. In Bovec itself there are a dozen or so companies dealing with water sports and their full list is available here: https://www.soca-valley.com/en/summer/water-sports/rafting/
The Soca Valley by car
Those who have little time to spare on exploring the Soča Valley or those who cannot afford the fun of water sports may always enjoy a drive along Soča River. It’s not such a stupid thing to do as the river nearly borders the road (road no 206, 203 and then 102). There are also lots of parking bays and small parking lots where you can safely leave the car. You may combine your car expedition through the Soča Valley with a drive up the Vršič Pass or the highest lying road in Slovenia called the Mangart Pass and spend the whole day on the road. We also recommend that you find some beautiful spot by the river and have a picnic so that you can fully experience the atmosphere of that place.
Basic information about Soča and overall an interesting website devoted to Slovenia – https://www.thinkslovenia.com/slovenia-information-bovec-soca-valley