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Top 5 swimmings spots in Soča Valley

While exploring Slovenia, a visit to the Soča Valley is inevitable. It’s considered to be one of the prettiest parts of the country and it’s often called a paradise for cycling, hiking and watersports. Beautiful, yet cold Soča river never reaches more than 7-14°C in its upper stream, but it’s nevertheless the place to jump into the water after a day of cycling or hiking in the valley. 

Many of our touring and mountain-biking routes pass this magical place so it’s only fair to list the places where you can actually jump into this magnificent emerald river.

1) Camp Soča

The first on the list is the confluence of Soča and Lepena rivers, located by the Camp Soča. Surrounded by forested hills and rocky mountain peaks, this swimming place is in the uppermost part of the Soča river of all the listed places. The proximity of the Soča spring can mean only one thing – the water is really cold and hardly reaches 10°C even in summer. 

But the white stone beachfront and the natural pools close to the Great Soča Gorge call for swimming and jumping in the water anyway.

Soča gorge_Tomo Jeseničnik

Jumping spots just next to the Great Soča Gorge (Photo: Tomo Jeseničnik)

2) Magnetic rock

The second place on the list is called magnetic rock by the locals. It’s located just a 10-min walk from the Kal-Koritnica village or from camps (Toni, Liza, Kovač and Vodenca) east of Bovec. The place is hidden in the forest and is more or less known only by the locals which means more solitude. The hanging bridge over the river only adds to the beauty of the place.

Soča river hanging bridges_Koritnica

Koritnica is a hidden swimming gem in Soča Valley

3) Napoleon’s bridge across Nadiža

Close to the village Logje some 13km away from Kobarid, Napoleon’s stone bridge across Nadiža river represents a magical place for a refreshing swim. It was built in the beginning of 19. century at the time of Napoleon’s conquest around Europe, hence its name. Surrounded by greenery you won’t be anything but amazed by this place. As a bonus, Nadiža river is warmer than Soča and reaches up to 20°C in summer.

Napoleons bridge across Nadiža_Ciril Jazbec

The stone bridge across Nadiža dates back to around 1812 (Photo: Ciril Jazbec)

4) Sotočje

The Sotočje sandy beach in Tolmin is perfect for summer swims, picnics and sunbathing. This is already a third place on this list that’s actually a confluence of two rivers – this time Soča and Tolminka rivers. Many music festivals take place here every summer, bringing a lively vibe to the city of Tolmin. 

Sotočje_Tolmin

The famous confluence of Soča and Tolminka rivers

5) Modrej beach

Just next to the town called Most na Soči, the emerald Soča river almost completely slows down. The Modrej beach is therefore one of the safest places to swim in Soča river and also one of the warmest places – especially after the confluence with Idrijca river a 1km further from this beach. Here you also have a possibility to enjoy other water activities, such as kayaking or paddle boarding.

Modrej beach Soča Valley

At Modrej beach the Soča river almost completely slows down

Up for other activities in Soča Valley?

Cycling & mountain-biking routes

One of the MTB routes that crosses the Soča Valley is the Trans Slovenia 01 route that explores Slovenia in 7-days on a mountain-bike. It goes from the Julian Alps, across Soča Valley, through vineyards of Goriška Brda and Karst region before reaching the sunny Adriatic coast where one can relax at the beach after a week of biking.

Similar to this route, but appropriate for touring cycling or e-bikes, is the 8-day Bike Slovenia Green Alps to Adriatic route that enables you to taste the delicious and varied typical cuisine along the way. Jumping in the sea at the end is also part of this route.

MTB and cycling trails in Slovenia

Scenic landscapes make biking around Slovenia a must-do

Hiking in Soča Valley

If you’re up for some long-distance hiking routes or trekking in Slovenia that goes by the Soča Valley, we recommend the Walk of Peace trail. Although the trail goes along the former WW1 frontline, this route isn’t just about history. The ever-changing nature, landscapes and cuisine along the way are unforgettable!

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Meeting the wild goats along the Walk of Peace route

7 must-see sights of the Walk of Peace hiking route

Walk of Peace is a UNESCO protected hiking trail that goes along the former WW1 front-line on the Slovenian-Italian border. The hike starts in the Julian Alps in Slovenia and finishes 13-days later on the sunny Adriatic coast in Italy.

Our list of 7 must-see sights will show you that this route is much more than just about WW1 and the peace with the past. It’s also about the beautiful nature, local culture, authentic cuisine and present inner peace. 

In this 13-day hike you’ll:

1) Marvel at the Alps and the views

The Walk of Peace hiking route passes beautiful Alpine valleys that are surrounded by many high mountains. If you’d wish to hike to any mountain, we recommend the Krn mountain (2245m) which is easily accessible from the Kuhinja alpine pasture that’s along the way. 

Another two route viewpoints are Mrzli vrh (1359m) hill and Sabotin mountain ridge (609m). They were a place of important WW1 battles and an outdoor museum is on top of both. The first one overlooks the surrounding hills and the nearby Tolminka river and the second overlooks the emerald Soča river and the Tuscany-like wine region of Goriška Brda.

walk-of-peace-views-valleys

Picturesque Alpine valleys and mountains

2) Swim in rivers, waterfalls and gorges

At the start the trail goes along the emerald Soča river which is one of the prettiest European rivers. It was even a part of the Chronicles of Narnia movie, but its freezing temperatures never go above 7-14°C. On the way, you’ll also see the magnificent Tolmin Gorge, Koritnica Gorge and Fratarica Gorge that are named after the eponymous Alpine rivers.

In the Fratarica Gorge there are two waterfalls – 8m high Katedrala waterfall and the 48m high Parabola waterfall. The latter has small turquoise ponds above and below it, so make sure to take a refreshing swim there. Otherwise, the route also passes a 15m high Kozjak waterfall. It’s hidden in a small cave and the play of light lets you marvel at its beauty.

soča-river-walking-trail

Some scenes from the Chronicles of Narnia were filmed in the Soča river valley

3) Walk the vineyards of Goriška Brda

If you ever wanted to visit picturesque Tuscany, you’re gonna love the Tuscany-like wine region of Goriška Brda. This region is full of vineyard hills and small romantic stone villages and it comes right after leaving the Soča river valley. To have a great panoramic view of the vineyard hills, visit the Gonjače view tower.

Since Goriška Brda are renowned for high quality wine and exquisite home-made food, we also recommend visiting some local wine cellars and trying the dry white Rebula wine which is the most typical wine of the region.

goriška-brda-walking-trail

The endless vineyards of Goriška Brda

4) Visit the Karst caves

After passing the Goriška Brda, you come to the Slovenian Karst region that’s full of disappearing springs and caves. There are more than 8.000 caves there, but only about 20 are open to the public. Many of the caves were used as military shelters during WW1 and some have also been destroyed for this reason. 

During this hiking route you can visit Cave Pečinka that was used as a military shelter during WW1 and WW2. The cave even has an artificially made passage that served as an observation post during the war and it goes from the cave to the top of the hill Pečina.

military-caves-ww1-pečinka

Pečinka cave is only one of the many WW1 shelter caves

5) Take a swim in the Adriatic sea

Leaving the Karst plateau you’ll soon notice the landscape changing to the Mediterranean. When you reach the sunny coastal town of Duino you can finally take a swim in the Adriatic sea and even visit two castles that are above the city cliffs. One is open for visitors, but the other one is unfortunately in ruins. 

From there you can prolong your walk to the Rilke trail that goes along the sea and offers views over the city of Trieste which was one of the main Italian goals during WW1. Trieste is also the finish line of this 13-day long hiking route.

adriatic-sea-views

Finishing the hiking tour at the sunny seaside? Yes, please

6) Enjoy tasty local food and wine

This hiking trip enables you to also immerse yourself in the authentic local cuisine and wine culture. When in Soča Valley, don’t forget to try the typical Čompa an skuta dish which is cooked potatoes served with cottage cheese. Later, in the vineyards of Goriška Brda, try the Frtalja, a traditional herbal omelette, and a glass of the dry white Rebula wine

In the Karst region we recommend trying the local prosciutto which is highly prized by gourmets. And if you’d like to have a top-level culinary experience, you can visit the Michelin starred restaurant Hiša Franko in Kobarid that’s owned by the world’s best female chef of 2017.

traditional-slovenian-dishes-cuisine-frtalja

Frtalja and white Rebula wine are a must-try of this hiking tour

7) Learn about the WW1

As you can see by now, the Walk of Peace isn’t just about WW1, it’s also about the outstandingly beautiful nature and local culture. Still, the trail is UNESCO protected because of its WW1 importance and the fortified tunnels, shelters, trenches, bomb craters and even machine gun emplacements that you can still see along the way.

To learn more about the history of WW1 and the Isonzo front, we encourage you to visit the outdoor museums that you pass on the route, for example the Zaprikaj, Čelo or Ravelnik outdoor museums, and the Walk of Peace Visitors Centre in Kobarid.

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On the way you can still see the WW1 trenches

Prepare for an unforgettable hiking adventure

 

The Walk of Peace hiking trail is perfect for the end of summer, autumn or spring hiking trip when the trails are empty and the temperature is more suitable. You can embark on this adventure on your own or with an organized self-guided or guided hiking tour.

Why an organized hiking tour?

  • You never get lost (24/7 assistance)
  • You visit the local hidden gems 
  • Accommodation and meals are organized
  • Baggage and start/end transfers are organized 
  • An experienced hiking guide will tell you a lot of interesting things about the WW1 and local culture 

Self-guided tours can be organized anytime. This year’s guided tour dates are:
May 30 – June 11, 2022
Sep 8 – 20, 2022

And don’t worry about the Covid-19 travel restrictions, you can book the tour risk-free. Read more about the Covid refund guarantee here.

walk-of-peace-hiking-tour

Making friends olong the way

5 reasons to book your Slovenia hiking holiday with a tour operator

Are you thinking about hiking Slovenia and you are not sure whether to travel individually or book a tour with a tour operator? We firmly believe that either option you go for, you are up for an unforgettable hiking adventure. We can, however, think of five important features of organized Slovenia hiking tours that might make your decision easier.

Save precious time

Our daily lives can be quite stressful and full of errands. Even though we love making travel plans, it is sometimes hard to find sufficient time to prepare for a trip properly. We simply can’t spend hours creating a travel schedule, checking prices and opening times, and wonder how long it will take to get from point A to point B. As an experienced tour operator organizing Slovenia hiking tours, we can do the heavy lifting for you. Your only task is to enjoy. Hiking Slovenia can indeed be simple.

Hike your perfect route

Tour operators know their area of work very well. At Visit GoodPlace we know Slovenian mountains and valleys down to the last detail as many of our team members are enthusiastic hikers. According to your fitness level, technical skills and overall wishes, we can prepare a hiking Slovenia tour of your dreams. You can choose from our offered itineraries, but we can also create a special hiking adventure just for you. Slovenia hiking tours can be short, long, easy, difficult, and everything in between. Let us know about your wants and needs and we promise to deliver. 

Never get lost

There are numerous paths crossing the scenic mountain ranges of Slovenia. While most of them are well marked, it is easy to miss a signpost when you are distracted by the incredible surroundings. This is why we always equip our guests with a top-quality navigation package. All of our GPX tracks have been field-tested and are therefore extremely accurate. During our Slovenia hiking tours, you can also be accompanied by our specialised hiking guides, who know almost every pebble along the way. When Hiking Slovenia with the help of a tour operator, the only thing you will lose are your worries.

Enjoy 24/7 assistance

What if you sprain an ankle or it rains or…? Well, you know. When you travel individually, you need to figure these things out by yourself, but when you book Slovenia hiking tours with a tour operator such as Visit GoodPlace, there is always help available. Call, email us, or send a messenger bird. It’s our job to resolve any issue you might encounter while hiking Slovenia (not that we expect you to 😊). 

Travel locally 

A huge amount of information about hiking Slovenia can be found online. However, nothing beats the tips of locals with a strong passion for the outdoors. We want to show you the best Slovenia has to offer and this often doesn’t include the most famous tourist attractions, trails, and mountain huts. We take you to truly authentic, boutique places, which don’t always appear in Google search. You can also be sure that on our Slovenia hiking tours we give priority to sustainability-oriented service providers and destinations that follow the green vision of Slovenia.

If you enjoyed this article, make sure to check our hiking tour below:

two men biking trans slovenia trail in beautiful nature

Walk Of Peace

Hiking Tour

Why choose Slovenia as your next hiking and biking destination?

Do you wonder why Slovenia is known as a hiking and biking paradise? We are here to help. Let’s check out some of the top reasons why you should discover our tiny country in the most sustainable, boutique, and active way – on foot or by bike. Whether you choose Slovenia hiking holidays, Slovenia biking holidays, or a combination of hiking and biking Slovenia, you are in for an unforgettable adventure.

Feel the Green Slovenia

Slovenia is one of the most environmentally friendly countries in the world. According to the Good Country Index, it ranks fourth among 154 countries in terms of its positive contribution to the planet and the climate. Furthermore, over 100 Slovenian destinations and tourism businesses have already obtained the Slovenia Green label due to their sustainable tourism development. Hiking and biking Slovenia tours enable you to fully understand the green story of Slovenia. Walking or cycling through a pristine environment, you will discover vast forests, rich biodiversity, interesting cultural heritage, various protected habitats, and an exceptional wealth of Slovenian waters. Going on Slovenia hiking holidays or Slovenia biking holidays also means to travel responsibly and with a minimal carbon footprint.

Foto by Žiga Koren

Experience the boutique Slovenia

Besides becoming a leader in sustainable development, the vision of Slovenia is to represent a synonym for a boutique destination for 5-star experiences. In our opinion, the best 5-star experiences can be enjoyed on personalized Slovenia hiking holidays and Slovenia biking holidays. Nothing compares to the active exploration of the wonders of Slovenia, the majority of which are still under the tourist radar. Hiking and biking Slovenia tours invite you to explore the most diverse landscapes, taste local dishes and wines in top-notch restaurants, and try out premium experiences far away from the crowds. The small size of Slovenia also enables you to combine your trip with several other countries in the region.

Enjoy the active and healthy Slovenia

We can describe Slovenia in three key adjectives – green, active, and healthy. While Slovenia is regularly named one of the top 10 safest countries in the world, we have also implemented strict hygiene requirements and health protection actions in light of the Corona crisis. It is to no surprise we were one of the first countries to get the Safe Travels label of the World Tourism and Travel Council. On our Slovenia hiking holidays and Slovenia biking holidays, all recommendations to prevent infections are carefully carried out so that you will feel safe at every step or push of the pedals. In this way, we protect both our visitors and friendly locals. Our hiking and biking Slovenia tours avoid crowded places, making your trip especially safe and peaceful.

Foto by Žiga Koren

Combine hiking and biking Slovenia

We are both cyclists and hikers at heart and we could never give up any of these exciting outdoor activities. Luckily, Slovenia offers the perfect terrain to enjoy both. Many famous tourist routes such as the Walk of Peace hiking path and Trans Slovenia biking routes intertwine at some of the most beautiful corners of Slovenia, providing for an ideal holiday combo of hiking and biking Slovenia. On Slovenia hiking holidays you can enjoy the calm surroundings, take it easy, and observe the stunning surroundings, but you can also reach the highest and less accessible places. On Slovenia biking holidays, on the other hand, you can cover longer daily distances and discover more of the Slovenian diversity. On our tailor-made hiking and biking Slovenia tours, however, you can enjoy the best of both worlds. Tell us about your wishes and we will organize a special tour just for you.

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