Dolina Soče, Sedeznica na Kaninu, Uroš Ledinek

TOP 5 natural sights in the Soča Valley

et to know the most attractive natural sights in the Soča Valley. Discover the source of the Soča and visit Kanin, Šunik Water Grove or Krn Lake.

    TOP 5 natural sights in the Soča Valley that will enchant you

    Do you enjoy wandering through unspoilt nature and discovering unforgettable natural sights? The Soča Valley boasts a rich natural and cultural heritage. Explore the wonderful Soča Valley and let yourself be enchanted.

    Kanin mountain range

    Kanin mountain range
    (Photo: Uroš Ledinek)

    The source of the river Soča is located in the Alpine valley of Trenta, not far from the main road leading to the Vršič Pass. Water from the peaks of the Julian Alps comes bubbling out into the open from a cave with an underground lake. The initially narrow gorge soon widens and follows the lively Soča on its 138 km journey to its mouth in Italy (where it is known as the Isonzo). The river’s source is a wonderful natural sight, although a little bit out of the way, so reaching it requires a certain amount of skill. Follow the marked path for around 15 minutes to reach the source. The first part of the path is easy but it becomes steeper towards the end, with a steel cable to help you past the most difficult sections. Hiking boots are recommended.

     

    Not far from the spring you can see the monument to the mountaineer Julius Kugy, follow the path over the gravel beds of Zapoden and seek inspiration in the Alpine botanical garden Alpinum Juliana. The magical valley of Trenta will entrance you with its beauty, tranquillity and unspoilt nature, proudly conserved by the local inhabitants.

    Source of the Soča River
    (photo: David Štulc Zornik)

    The Lepenjica (or Lepenjca) is a stream that rises at the end of another valley, called Lepena. After flowing over a high waterfall, the stream continues over a series of smaller cascades. This little area in the midst of the unspoilt nature of the Triglav National Park is popular with tourists who love nature and relaxation. A fly-fisher’s paradise, the stream is especially attractive in the section known as the Šunik Water Grove, where it has hollowed out a deep gorge around 100 metres long and up to ten metres wide. To reach this treasure of nature – sometimes credited with healing powers – follow the easy marked path leading from the road (look for the sign saying Šunikov vodni gaj). Those who enjoy longer walks can follow a 3 km circular trail starting in the vicinity of the Klin campsite. The area is not suitable for bathing.

    Šunik Water Grove
    (photo: Živa Hernaus)

    Do you like high mountain areas? Put on your climbing boots and set off to the highest-lying lake in Slovenia. Krn Lake is a glacial lake at 1,391 m above sea level. It is just under 400 m long, 150 m wide and up to 17 m deep. From it, you can enjoy a fantastic view of Mt Krn and the other peaks. Several paths and trails lead to the lake. The easy marked path starting in Lepena in front of the mountain lodge named after philosopher and climber Klement Jug (Dom dr. Klementa Juga) takes about two and half hours. The area around the lake is full of colourful Alpine flowers, including a number of endangered species.

    Krn Lake
    (poto: Miljko Lesjak)

    The remarkably beautiful landscape of Mt Krn and Krn Lake once witnessed the bloody events of the Isonzo Front (First World War) and the dark period following the Treaty of Rapallo (1922). The remains of trenches, bunkers and barbed-wire emplacements are a reminder of the battles on the Isonzo Front. The lake lies in the Triglav National Park, the only national park in Slovenia. The primary purpose of this protected Alpine area is to conserve ecosystems and natural processes, so by respecting the special rules and regulations in the park, we help to keep nature clean and maintain it in its current pristine state.

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    Eco Camp Koren

    Here, you can find sanctuary from everyday stress and stifling summer heat of the cities. Also in the hottest days, Koren Kobarid Campsite offers pleasant refreshment and numerous possibilities for active leisure time for the young and the old.

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    Undoubtedly one of the most interesting natural sights in the Soča Valley is the unique Kanin mountain range. The most extensive range in the Western Julian Alps is a karstified, predominantly rocky landscape full of natural features such as grikes, steep-sided dolines, karrens, bowls, natural bridges and windows. The Kanin range is also rich in caves and potholes, which makes it a real paradise for cavers. Climb to the summit of Visoki [High] Kanin (2,587 m) and be rewarded by remarkable panoramic views over the Alps, the Adriatic Sea and the Gulf of Trieste. Skiing at over 2,000 m with the views of the Alps and the Adriatic is a unique experience. Sunny Kanin, which is directly connected to the Sella Nevea ski area on the Italian side of the border, offers a unique mountain atmosphere and natural snow that lasts right up until late spring. In summer it offers a host of other activities such as downhill mountain biking, ziplines and trekking. The Prestreljenik Window and the natural bridge on Kanin are well worth a visit, while Slovenia’s first family-friendly via ferrata is a special adventure for the whole family. The latter traverses the steep face of Mt Prestreljenik from Sedlo to the Prestreljenik Window and is 750 m long. You can also paraglide from Kanin and enjoy a panoramic flight both in summer and in winter.

     

    Hiking enthusiasts will appreciate the fact that three long-distance walking trails meet here: the Juliana Trail, a 270 km trail across Slovenia, the Alpe Adria Trail, an international trail connecting the Grossglockner in Austria to the Adriatic coast, and the Walk of Peace, a UNESCO World Heritage Site that encompasses the heritage of the First World War from the Alps to the Adriatic. All three trails run through unspoilt countryside past the most beautiful natural and cultural sights. Enjoy stunning views and drink pure mountain water straight from the springs. Get to know the local inhabitants and feel how the present blends with historical heritage.

     

    Author: Uroš Ledinek

    Kanin Ferata | Photo: Ursa Drofenik

    Ferrata on Kanin
    (Photo: Ursa Drofenik)

    On the trail with experienced guides!

    If you enjoy adrenaline-boosting outdoor activities, why not try rafting, canoeing or kayaking on the rapids of the river Soča. Alternatively, you can hike into the high mountains or explore the beautiful valley by bicycle. Does caving give you a thrill? Set off and explore the dark underworld. If you don’t have much experience of rivers, mountains and caves, the best thing to do is to visit one of the local agencies and hire a guide to accompany you. A number of outdoor agencies operate in the Soča Valley, including Positive Sport, Soča Freeride in Kobarid and Soča Fun Park in Solkan.

     

    Where to sleep in the Soča Valley

    Planning a longer stay in the Soča Valley? If you enjoy sleeping out of doors, you can try one of the area’s many campsites. The Koren Eco-Campsite in Kobarid, located next to the path to the Kozjak Falls, is very well known. The Soča Valley also offers numerous private accommodation options and hotels, including Hotel Boka by the Boka Falls (near Bovec), Penzion Jelkin Hram in Drežnica near Kobarid, Penzion Kobala in Poljubinj near Tolmin, Hotel Dvorec in Tolmin and Hotel Sabotin in Solkan.

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