Whenever I travel to Slovenia, I come back home wishing for a return trip, be it for the contact with wildlife, fairy-tale scenery or for confronting my fears on more than one occasion. But it doesn’t stop there, as this small country was blessed with probably the most beautiful natural scenery in Europe. Proof of that is my visit to Soča Valley (pronounces socha).
The Soča river, which gives its name to the valley, has its source under the peaks of the Julian Alps, in the heart of the Triglav National Park. Over millennia, the river carved its way into the Adriatic Sea, creating amazingly deep gorges and beautiful valleys.
WHAT TO DO IN THE SOČA VALLEY?
Before going through what do to in the Soča Valley, I need to tell you about my first sight in the area – the photos above a below already show you. 🙂 I took a train to Most na Soči, where I was mesmerised by the deep emerald colours of the Soča river – yes, just look at that colour! It was a bright sunny day and I just wanted to sit there and take in that surreal view.
From there we made our way to Bovec (pronounced bovaets), a small town popular with adventure sports enthusiasts. Just before arriving at Hotel Mangart, where I was going to spend the night, the rain started pouring. The hotel was very nice and I had a great view over the high mountains semi-covered by low heavy clouds. During our dinner at Martinov Hram, one of the best restaurants in Bovec, I still had the rain in the back of my mind.
The following day, after a night of thunderstorms, I was slightly apprehensive. The reason? The plan for that morning was going zip lining from mountain to mountain, 1km apart, followed by white-water rafting on the Soča river.
Still, under a light drizzle, we went to the river to see off the rest of the group. We walked through the forest carrying the raft, passing by many small many waterfalls, until we got to the river. This time, the emerald colour of the Soča river was replaced by a milky-blue tone covered by a thick mist, making for a mysterious atmosphere.
When my friends returned from their adventure white-water rafting in the Soča river, they were all happy with their achievement. Regret hit me, but it was too late. Betty, the instructor who accompanied the group, is regarded as one of the best rafting competitors in Europe – my loss!
From there, and already with our stomachs roaring, we went for lunch at Pristava Lepena, a country hotel several wooden cabins in the middle of the Triglav National Park. Before lunch I went for a walk to see the area and take some photos. The mountains surrounding the premises were very picturesque and would make for a romantic atmosphere. You can also cross the river gorges in some areas.
On dry days it’s also possible to go mountain biking, caving or canyoning.
WHY VISIT THE SOČA VALLEY?
The main reason people visit the Soča Valley is for the adventure sports opportunities. Slovenes, in general, are very sports-oriented people and in the region there are many sports companies where you can hire all equipment you might need.
Another reason to visit the Soča Valley is to have a break from it all. Staying at a nice hotel village hotel or a country hotel and enjoy the tranquillity and the slower pace of life.
I can’t wait for my next trip to Slovenia when, I hope, I’ll be able to return to the region and venture into the Soča river.