When you first see a photo of the turquoise blue Soča, you might think Photoshop is involved. However, this is not the case. The color of the river looks even more magical and vibrant in reality than in the pictures. It is not without reason that the Soča Valley with its gorges and gorges is considered by many to be the most beautiful natural spectacle in Slovenia.
Waterfalls, Rapids, hanging bridges & of course the unreal turquoise of the Alpine river – we dare to say that nature in Slovenia is hardly anywhere as attractive as in the Soča Valley.
In this blog article, we will show you why the Soča Valley should definitely be on your itinerary through Slovenia. We’ll tell you our favorite stops and sights and of course we’ll leave the tips we’ve tried ourselves.
1. Journey to the Soča Valley: information at a glance The Soča rises in the Julian Alps in northern Slovenia. It then makes its way south to flow into the sea in Italy (as “Isonzo”) in the Gulf of Trieste.
The Soča Valley is a Mecca for adventurers: From rafting to canyoning to kayaking, everything is possible. In addition, there are countless short and longer hikes to waterfalls and other natural spectacles.
The best travel time for the Soča Valley We personally found the spring ideal. At this time of the year, the Soča Valley is not nearly as busy as in summer. We were (almost) the only people on many hiking trails.
According to the employee of our hotel, Bovec and the surrounding area should get very crowded in the summer months. . But of course you have the advantage that you can go swimming in the Soča, which is less inviting in spring and autumn.
How much time should I have plan for the Soča Valley? It has rarely been more difficult for us to name a specific period. The reason: You could theoretically drive through the valley in one day and stop at a few highlights. But you could just as easily spend a week here. There are plenty of hiking opportunities.
We ourselves stayed one night in the Soča Valley – more precisely in the town of Bovec. (We’ll show you our hotel at the end of the article.) Looking back, we would have liked to have stayed longer. Whether you prefer to spend the time in one place or want to stop at several places along the way is a matter of taste.
2. The most beautiful places in the Soča Valley: Highlights & Tips There are countless worthwhile stopovers along the Soča Valley. In principle, it doesn’t matter whether you travel from south to north or vice versa. We ourselves came from the south, more precisely from Piran, and therefore describe our highlights in this order. At the end of the blog article you will find an interactive map with all places and sights.
Through the Vipava Valley to Kanal ob Soči Coming from the south (Piran) we decided to literally ignore the fastest route according to the navigation system. Instead, we drove through the picturesque Vipava Valley on the advice of Kathi’s papa (a Slovenia connoisseur). We would have preferred to have made a longer stopover here with a hike, but unfortunately we didn’t have the time.
You finally meet the Soča for the first time north of Nova Gorica. From here you ride along the river bank practically without interruption. The temptation is great to be distracted by the color (more green than turquoise in this section). However, the winding road will demand your full attention.
We made the first stop in the picturesque Canal ob Soči. The stone bridge with the church tower and the river is Even in the rain a postcard motif, as you can see.
Via Tolmin to Kobarid The road then continues north to the slightly larger town of Tolmin. (By “bigger” we mean that there is, for example, a Hofer supermarket here.)
If you have enough time (which we unfortunately didn’t have), then you could stop by the supposedly very beautiful Tolmin Gorges (“Tolminska Korita”) in Tolmin, which are only a few minutes’ drive from the town centre. A 1.5-hour circular hiking trail takes you through this spectacular gorge.
From Tolmin we continue to Kobarid, one of the most famous places in the Soča Valley.
Kobarid Museum The probably the most visited building in Kobarid is the local museum. Kobarid was the scene of several horrifying battles during World War I. The museum tells the story of Kobarid in a very exciting way.
Admission: 7 euros
Napoleon Bridge near Kobarid Just outside the center of Kobarid you will come to the striking Napoleon Bridge, which has only one arch. Napoleon’s troops once marched here – hence the name. A nice photo spot, isn’t it?
Kozjak Waterfall The Kozjak Waterfall (“Slap Kozjak”) is without a doubt one of the most beautiful waterfalls in Slovenia. From the Napoleon Bridge it is only a few minutes by car before you reach the associated parking lot. The latter is located near the campsite.
From the car park you can reach the 15 meter high Kozjak waterfall in about 30 Walking distance. First you cross a truly dizzying suspension bridge. Then a forest path leads you to the first waterfall before you go through a mystical gorge to the actual highlight, the large Kozjak waterfall.
Bovec From Kobarid it’s only about 20 minutes to Bovec – the place in the Soča valley that we chose for our overnight stay had selected. Bovec is the place in the Soča Valley that houses the most accommodation. We also understand why: there is enough space here. Although Bovec is surrounded by spectacular peaks, it is not in a narrow valley like most other places, but rather on a plain.
Boka Waterfall From the highest waterfall in Slovenia we would have us honestly expected a little more. It’s not because the Boka Waterfall (“Slap Boka”) isn’t impressive, not at all. However, the vantage point is then too far away to be able to admire the waterfall in all its glory. In addition, the waterfall had relatively little water during our visit.
You will reach the standard vantage point after about 15 Walking distance from the main street. (Parking possible at Hotel Boka). Unfortunately, it didn’t bring us as close to the waterfall as we would have liked.
Next time we would probably opt for the more challenging ascent to the waterfall, which runs on the right side of the waterfall and is obviously not supposed to be completely harmless.
Big Soča troughs ( “Velika Korita”) Wow! We got the tip to visit Velika Korita from the Employee of our hotel (Hotel Sanje ob Soči). According to her, this place in the Soča Valley is a must-see. And what can we say: she’s right!
The Velika Korita are undoubtedly the most impressive natural spectacle around Bovec. The water whips through the narrow gorge here with incredible force.
We ourselves have the Big Soča troughs close after a short hike from the parking lot of the campsite reached. (We have marked the exact location on the map at the end of the article). You walk upstream on the right side of the Soča. The way is hardly signposted – according to the employee of our hotel, the big Soča troughs are one of the lesser known sights.
Depending on how far you dare to go, you can always come very close Approach the cliffs. In this case, you should be reasonably free from giddiness. In front of the small wooden bridge we finally took the chance and climbed down a bit to have a look into the gorge from this perspective.
If you don’t feel like adventure, then we have a tip on how you can see Velika Korita in a leisurely manner: At the level of the large suspension bridge, along the main road (on the other side of the described hiking trail), there is a small parking lot. From here you can at least have a spectacular view of the depths.
Šunik Wasserhain ( “Šunikov vodni gaj”) The Šunik water grove is also a small insider tip, located not far from the Soča Valley near Lepena is located. On a half-hour circular route you hike over forest paths, suspension bridges and boardwalks around cascading waterfalls.
The further you go, the louder it gets Noise and the more impressive the sight of the waterfalls. All in all: It couldn’t be more idyllic! We highly recommend this place.
Vršičpass One of the highlights in Slovenia we have saved for last: crossing the Vršič Pass. It’s not the quickest way back to Austria, but it’s definitely the most spectacular. In 30 Hairpin curves it goes over the imposing mountain pass from Trenta to Kranjska Gora. The curves of the north side are partly made of cobblestones.
The Vršičpass is marked with 1 .30 meters the highest pass in Slovenia. In winter (when there is a lot of snow) it is regularly closed. But don’t worry: the information that the pass only opens from May is not correct. In the year 749 the pass could already be used again in February.
Kranjska Gora In the end we ended up on the other side of the pass at the Jasna-See. The fact that the lake is artificial cannot be overlooked, but it hardly spoils the dreamlike scenery. If you want to make a short stopover: The terrace of Villa Triglav is perfect for a quick coffee.
Kranjska Gora itself is unspectacular, but we have a very special tip for you. Only a few minutes from the town center is a natural jewel of a special kind. We were amazed when we reached the nature reserve Zelenci.
The Scenery with the wooden pier, the green lake and the mountains on the horizon is unique. You can easily reach the Zelenci nature reserve after about 10-minute walk from the main street.
3. Our accommodation in the Soča Valley For our overnight stay in the Soča Valley we chose Bovec. We chose the Hotel Sanje ob Soči, which we can highly recommend.
Admittedly: the hotel looks more stylish from the outside than the rooms are. The apartments are more functional, but rather spacious. In any case, we felt very comfortable. Our apartment was on the first floor, so we had a beautiful view of the mountain peaks from our terrace.
The staff are incredibly friendly and helpful and always had a great time r tips in store. The breakfast is also great: Many regional specialties are offered, including, for example, homemade jams and cheese from the region.
Here you can book the hotel: Hotel Sanje ob Soči
4. Map: The most beautiful sights in the Soča Valley at a glance So that you can find your way better, we have given you our personal tips marked for the Soča Valley in a map.
Transparency: Affiliate Links This blog article contains our personal recommendations in the form of so-called affiliate links. If you book or buy something through the links, we will receive a small commission. For you, this does not change the price at all. A thousand thanks from both of us!
Have you ever made a trip to the Soča Valley? Which places did you like the most? We look forward to your comments with your tips and recommendations.