Soca River in Slovenia is one of the most beautiful rivers I've ever seen. It's only a river but it's in no way ordinary. If you know the famous Verzasca River in Switzerland, Soca is similar. However, having visited both, Soca remains my favorite. It's located near the cozy village of Bovec in Julian Alps where you can enjoy many activities: rafting, swimming, hiking and climbing.
Soca River has an unbelievably beautiful hue of turquoise and blue. It's so crystal clear than it could pass for a tropical sea. Although Soca is only a mountainous stream, in places it's deep enough to enjoy a swim or jump on a hot, summer day. Read on to find out where exactly to find the most attractive parts of the river and how to get there from Bovec.
How to get to Bovec and Soca River?
The little town of Bovec is is squeezed in between the Slovenian Alps. It’s not as easy to reach as, let’s say - Slovenian most popular spot - Bled, but in the summer there shouldn’t be any problems to get there. There are bus connections both from Ljubljana and Bled (which go through the beautiful Vrsic Pass and the village of Kranjska Gora).
However, we chose a different way. And I would recommend you allow 3 days in the Julian Alps and do the same as they are amazing! Not as large as the Swiss Alps - but slightly different no less spectacular. I would say that I enjoyed both - Slovenian and Swiss Alps the same. The best thing about the trails in Slovenia is the fact that despite of how amazing they are - there are far fewer tourists than anywhere else.
So we chose to go from Bled to Bohinj (which also boasts an incredible, crystal clear lake - I’ll write about Bohinj in one of the future posts), enjoyed our stay there and then - instead of going around the Alps - we hiked through them all the way to the village of Trenta from where we caught a local bus to Bovec.
We followed the most beautiful trail in Slovenia - the Triglav lakes, Triglav peak, a night in the mountain hostel “Koca na Dolicu” and down to Trenta. It was extremely tiring but so worth it. One of my best mountainous trails ever. I’ll describe the trail in details in the future posts so you know what to expect.
How to get to Soca River from Bovec?
From Trenta, we took a local bus and soon we arrived in Bovec. Soca (also called Isonzo) is a very long river and you can flows all the way from the Alps passing by the town of Bovec, among a few other villages. You can enjoy Soca river in many ways - hiking, rafting and swimming. There are many tour agencies that organize excursions on Soca river in Bovec - you won’t have a problem finding one. Also, if you like to take beautiful photos, Soca is a perfect place to do so. However, you must be prepared that it’s not going to be easy! The gorges along the river are located near some steep, slippery rocks and dense forest.
Where are the best parts of Soca River?
I’m sure you saw those beautiful photos of the gorge in Soca River online when looking for places to see in the Slovenian Alps. However, note that the river, although quite long, is only interesting in a small portion. I had a lot of difficulties to locate where exactly the places worth seeing were! I’m going to describe where the gorges and the bridge are so you can easily find them.
The screenshot of the map (the links to exact locations are available in the text below):
The whole Soca river trail (from Bovec to the source of Soca) is over 20 km long! So there’s no point to walk it all the way - the best part of Soca river is within the white rocks and gorges vicinity and it is only a few km long. Note that this is not the part where they do rafting. You won’t see the gorges while rafting as they are too narrow.
The place I’m talking about is located around 10 km from Bovec. You can rent a bike, hike or take a bus in order to get there. If you opt for the bus, you have to catch a local one from Bovec (there are 5 daily but apparently they only operate in July and August - we managed to get one). Tell the driver to stop at the Vas na Skali (1 on the map) bus stop. Click here to see this spot on google maps.
Right beside the Vas na Skali stop, there is a beautiful stone bridge and "Mala Korita (1 on the map)" (small gorge). The color of water is unreal. From Mala Korita follow the Soca river trail back towards Bovec, and you'll get to Velika Korita (great gorge - 2 on the map) in around 30 minutes - click here to locate Velika Korita on google maps.
(In the information center in Bovec, you can get a detailed map of the trail). After Velika Korita, leave the trail and go to the main road - place called Lepena - 3 on the map (click here to see Lepena bus stop on google maps). From there you can take a bus back to Bovec (if it operates). If you hike the 10km (3 hour) Soca trail from Bovec, of course you will see Velika Korita (great gorge) first and then you'll get to Mala Korita (small gorge) and Vas na Skali stop.
If you drive, you can stop stop at Mala Korita car park at Kamp Jelinc (the red pin besides number 1 on the map) camping site and walk around the bridge and the small gorge. After that, you can come back to your car and drive more towards Bovec (around 3 km) and stop at Velika Korita - there is a place for cars to park there (Soca 14a near number 2 on the map). Here is the google maps route from the camping site Kamp Jelinc to Velika Korita.
To get to Velika Korita from the road: At the car park, there's a little bridge - you must cross the bridge, turn right and walk a few minutes along the river. Velika Korita is a bit difficult to spot because the rocks are quite narrow.
I hope the tips above were helpful!
Author: Tom @ Adventurous Travels
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