19 Things To Do In The Soča Valley (Soca Valley Slovenia)

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Post author Bram

Written by our local expert Bram

Bram was born and raised in Belgium and has traveled the Balkans & beyond. He is a professional freelance travel writer and photographer specializing in outdoor travel with an emphasis on national parks, nature, and wildlife.

Here is a list of things to do in the Soča Valley, Slovenia. Located in the northwest of Slovenia, the Soča River Valley is home to one of the most beautiful rivers in Europe and should be a stop on your trip to Slovenia.

Slovenia Travel Blog_Things To Do In The Soca Valley

The Soča Valley, in the northwest of Slovenia,  is home to one of the most beautiful rivers, not just in Slovenia but in Europe.

A land of aquamarine river rapids, dense emerald forests, and untouched nature combined with important cultural heritage make the Soča Valley one of the must-see Slovenian regions. Due to its distinctive turquoise color, the Soča River is also called the emerald beauty and is a popular destination for sports enthusiasts. You’ll soon see why.

Places To Visit In The Soča Valley, Slovenia

Soča Valley was once the site of the First World War’s bloodiest battlefields, where 1.7 million soldiers died on what was known as the Isonzo Front. When you see the raw beauty of the valley, it’s hard to imagine that Slovenia’s Soča Valley was the backdrop for war.

Look at this handy list of attractions in the Soča River Valley.

1. Tolmin Gorge – Triglav National Park

Things to do in the Soca Valley River, Slovenia - Waterfall at Tolmin gorge Soca River Valley_

Approximately 200 meters long and more than 60 meters deep, the gorge was carved by the Tolminka and Zadlaščica rivers; it lies in the Triglav National Park.

One of the gorge’s most prominent sights is the Devil’s Bridge, built in the early 20th century. Despite the fact that the rivers rarely reach more than 9 degrees Celsius, the gorge’s thermal spring has an impressive 20 degrees.

The path through the gorge leads to Dante’s Cave, named after no other than the Italian poet Dante Alighieri. Dante supposedly visited the cave in the 14th century, which inspired him to write the Divine Comedy. This Soca River Valley gorge is also home to the Soča trout, a very rare fish species.

2. Kozjak WaterfallThings to do in the Soca Valley River, Slovenia - Kozjak waterfall

Nestled in a secluded gorge near Kobarid, the Kozjak Waterfall is a hidden gem of the Soča Valley. This stunning waterfall creates a captivating scene as it cascades down into a beautiful emerald green pool. The waterfall is part of the Kozjak Stream and is renowned for its serene beauty and the mystical atmosphere of its surroundings.

Visiting Experience:

  • Access: Reaching the Kozjak Waterfall involves a pleasant walk through the forest, following a well-marked trail that includes wooden bridges and pathways that lead you through the gorge. The walk from the parking area to the waterfall takes about 15-20 minutes.
  • Highlights: The waterfall is enclosed by a natural amphitheater of rock, creating a secluded and almost ethereal setting. Sunlight filters through the foliage, playing off the mist from the falls and illuminating the pool below in a magical light.
  • Photography: This spot is a photographer’s dream, offering the chance to capture the waterfall’s beauty and the unique contrast between the dark, moss-covered rocks and the vibrant turquoise water.
  • Conservation Efforts: Visitors are encouraged to respect the natural environment by staying on designated paths and leaving no trace to preserve the beauty of the waterfall and its surroundings for future generations.

3. Mangart Saddle

The highest-lying asphalt road in Slovenia is at 2072 meters, right on the Slovenian-Italian border.

Driving up the winding road is quite an experience; there are five tunnels and 17 sharp turns along the 12-kilometer journey.

The Mangart Bike Race is a traditional event that takes place every August. The road was built in 1938 by Italian soldiers. The saddle represents a good starting point to ascend Mount Mangart. The saddle provides a fine view of the Mangart Lakes and rich flora and fauna, primarily marmots, sheep, and choughs.

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4. Raft & Go Kayaking In Bovec

Things to do in the Soca Valley - Sunset over Soca valley and mountain Kanin
Kobarid to the high Mountain Range Kanin

The town of Bovec serves as a center of the Upper Soča Valley. It attracts mostly sports enthusiasts, who can engage in all sorts of activities, including kayaking, rafting, canyoning, and, most recently, ziplining.

Kanin Ski Resort is the most popular winter destination in the valley. Sports Airfield allows you to do skydiving as well. Surrounded by mountains, Bovec undoubtedly is one of the most beautiful locations to carry out parachute jumps.

5. Krn Lake

Located just 18 kilometers from Bovec is Krn Lake, Slovenia’s largest alpine lake.

The glacial lake lies under Mount Krn (2244 m). The lake measures almost 400 meters in length, 150 meters in width, and is nearly 17 meters deep.

Bathing in the lake is prohibited to maintain the lake’s ecosystem. There are about 40 plant and 24 animal species living in the lake. Reaching the lake and enjoying the stunning view of Mount Krn and the surrounding peaks will take about two and a half hours.

6. Nadiža River And The Napoleon Bridge

Things to do in the Soca Valley River, Slovenia - Napoleon's bridge over the turquoise Soca river in Kobarid

The Napoleon Bridge, which should not be confused with the bridge in Kobarid, is an important architectural landmark built during Napoleon’s conquests, hence the name.

The stone bridge crosses the Nadiža River, a turquoise river that is one of the cleanest and warmest alpine rivers. It is said that it has healing properties as well.

Since the Soča River has a constant temperature of about 10 degrees Celsius, the Nadiža River is a more popular destination to keep cool in the hot summer.

7. Boka Waterfall

One of the most magnificent waterfalls in Europe is 106 meters high and is situated not far from Bovec.

While it is not the highest waterfall in the country, it certainly stands out with its width and flow. In the rainy season, the Boka’s flow can reach up to 100 cubic meters per second.

The thundering waters are surrounded by lush greenery and plentiful walking trails to show you the beauty and power of Mother Nature. The area is a hiker’s paradise full of rich natural treasures.

Boka can be seen in all its glory from the road between Bovec and Kobarid, but you can also walk up to its source.

Jump on the Bovec-Kobarid service, which stops very close to the waterfall.

8. Tolmin

Things to do in the Soca Valley River, Slovenia - Waterfall at Tolmin gorge Soca River Valley_

If you’re looking to have some fun, you’ve come to the right place. Not only is Tolmin the largest settlement in the region, but it also hosts several summer festivals.

One of the most well-known is Metal Days, a week-long festival attracting thousands of fans worldwide. Other festivals worth mentioning include Punk Rock Holiday and Overjam Reggae Festival.

9. The Source Of The Soča River

One of the Alps’ most beautiful springs is the Trenta Valley.

A crystal clear river springs from an underground lake at the end of a narrow gorge in the Zadnja Trenta Valley. Soon after, Soča created a 10-meter waterfall and endless minor waterfalls.

The path to the waterfall is relatively easy, but if you want to reach the source, you must wear good hiking shoes due to the steep slope.

Local Tip: Make sure to visit a nearby Botanical Garden, Juliana, with over 600 plant species that can only be found in Slovenia.

10. Historical Trails and WWI Walks

Given the valley’s significance during WWI, visitors can embark on guided historical trails that provide insight into the region’s wartime history. These trails often lead to trenches, fortifications, and memorials, offering a poignant glimpse into the past.

11. Paragliding Over The Julian Alps

A person is paragliding over the Soča River Valley.

For an aerial perspective of the Soča Valley’s stunning landscapes, visitors can try paragliding. This activity is perfect for those looking to experience the valley’s beauty from above, offering unparalleled views of the Emerald Soca River, also known as the Emerald River, rugged mountains, and lush forests.


12. Mountain Biking Trails

Mountain biking is another way to explore the Soča Valley’s diverse terrain. With numerous trails ranging from easy to challenging, cyclists can enjoy the scenic vistas, navigate through forests, and discover hidden waterfalls and lakes.

13. Cheese Tasting Tours At Local Farms

The Soča Valley is home to several farms that produce traditional Slovenian cheeses. Visitors can take a tour of these farms to learn about cheese-making processes and indulge in tastings, experiencing the region’s rich culinary heritage.

14. Fly Fishing In The Soča River

A group of people fishing in the Soča River Valley.

The Soča River is renowned for its fly fishing, particularly for the Soča trout. Anglers can enjoy the serene environment while fishing in one of Europe’s most beautiful rivers. Fishing permits are required and can usually be obtained locally.

15. Hiking To The Valley Of Seven Lakes

For those seeking a more challenging hiking experience, the trail to the Valley of Seven Lakes offers breathtaking landscapes and a chance to explore the heart of the Triglav National Park. This hike reveals glacial lakes, rugged peaks, and diverse flora and fauna.

16. Visit The Fort Kluže

Explore the historical Fort Kluže, located near Bovec. This fortification has played a crucial role in the defense of the valley throughout history. Visitors can tour the fort, learn about its military significance, and enjoy scenic views of the surrounding area.

17. Traditional Culinary Experiences

Montenegro Souvenirs_What to Buy in Montenegro _ Prsut

Engage in culinary workshops or visit local inns to taste traditional Slovenian dishes. The Soča Valley is known for its hearty cuisine, which features dishes like “čompe” (potatoes with cottage cheese) and “kraški pršut” (air-dried ham), offering a taste of local culture.

18. Soča Fun Park

For families and adventure seekers, the Soča Fun Park offers a variety of outdoor activities, including rope courses, zip lines, and suspension bridges. It’s a great way to spend a fun-filled day in the midst of nature.

19. Kobarid

Drone view of St Anton Church and Kobarid Ossuary in Slovenia. Caporetto Memorial from First World War.

This small town is mainly known for the Soča front, one of the First World War’s most brutal frontlines, which sadly resulted in more than 300 thousand soldiers’ lost lives. The events are well documented in the Kobarid Museum in the town center.

Kobarid is also described in Ernest Hemingway’s novel Farewell to Arms, based on Hemingway’s own experiences working as a volunteer for the Italian campaign.

Overlooking Kobarid is an Italian ossuary with the Church of St. Anthony, which serves as a memorial for over 7000 Italian soldiers.

Passing the Planika dairy, you will reach the Napoleon Bridge, a popular attraction where you can snap a photo or two of the breathtaking Soca River. Just a half-hour walk away lies the Kozjak waterfall, one of the most picturesque waterfalls in Slovenia.

Best Way To Get To The River Soca 

The best way to get there largely depends on your starting point, budget, and preferences for convenience and speed.

Here’s a guide on how to best reach the Soča Valley:

From Ljubljana (The Capital of Slovenia)

  • By Car: driving from Ljubljana to the Soča Valley is the most flexible and convenient option, offering the freedom to explore the valley and its surrounding areas at your own pace. The journey takes approximately 2 to 2.5 hours, depending on the exact destination in the valley. Take the A1/E61 motorway towards Kranj and Jesenice, then follow the signs for the Soča Valley via the Vršič Pass or through the Italian border at Tarvisio if you’re heading to the upper part of the valley, such as Bovec
  • By Bus: regular bus services connect Ljubljana to various towns in the Soča Valley, such as Bovec, Kobarid, and Tolmin. The journey can take around 3 to 4 hours, depending on the connection and destination. This is a budget-friendly option and also allows you to enjoy the scenic route without the worry of driving
  • By Train: there is no direct train to the heart of the Soča Valley, but you can take a train to Most na Soči and then continue by bus or taxi to your final destination in the valley. The train journey offers beautiful views, especially as it winds along the river in the latter part of the trip

From Other Parts of Slovenia

  • By Car: the Soča Valley is well-connected by road from other major Slovenian cities and regions. The scenic drive is part of the experience, with stunning landscapes unfolding as you approach the valley
  • By Bus: bus connections from other cities like Maribor, Kranj, and Nova Gorica are available, though they may require a change in Ljubljana or another major hub

From Italy

  • By Car: if you’re coming from Italy, the Soča Valley can be accessed via the border crossings at Tarvisio (for Bovec and the upper Soča Valley) or Gorizia (to access the lower part of the valley). The drive from Udine to the Soča Valley takes about 1 to 1.5 hours
  • By Train and Bus: trains run from Italian cities to the border, where you can then switch to Slovenian buses after crossing into Slovenia



What is unique about Soca Valley, Slovenia?

Soca Valley is known for its pristine natural beauty, characterized by azure-colored rivers, green valleys, waterfalls, and mountains. It is a less explored travel destination offering an escape from mass tourism.

What kind of activities are available in Soca Valley?

The region is particularly favorable for adventure travelers, with activities like whitewater rafting, paragliding, and epic hiking available. It also offers eco-tourism experiences with its abundant animal and plant life.

What is the focus of tourism in Soca Valley?

Soca Valley promotes sustainable tourism, emphasizing clean air, organic local food, and preserving its pristine wildlife.

Does Soca Valley have historical attractions?

Yes, the Soca Valley has several World War II historic sites and intriguing local stories, making it appealing for history enthusiasts.

What are the accommodation options in Soca Valley?

Accommodation options in Soca Valley range from camping and glamping to hot

Comments (3)

  1. Hi would Soca Valley be assessible in early April?

    Also any suggestions on where to go on 9 to 12 April? I will be staying in the bled area but interested in going to Triglav and Soca. Thank you

  2. My wife and I went there last year, visiting Bohinj, Bovec, Triglav National Park. It is a fabulous place. We stayed around Bohinj and then went to Bovec one day. If you’re by car the Motorail is pretty useful. Basically you and your car travel by train to the other side of the mountain. I can only recommend it. It saves a lot of time and hassle.

    Also as you wrote in the article it’s worth trying a lot of fun activities in the valley. We did a cool biking with a guide visited some waterfalls, did rafting on Soca, ziplining in Bovec. It was amazing. Probably we’ll go this year again.

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