The Soca River Slovenia
It’s the first week of May and our travels are reaching the Soca River in one of the most picturesque regions of Slovenia.
This is a landscape of mountains, isolated towns and hamlets and a river of turquoise blue flowing at it’s centre.
We’re staying at Camping Polovnik after crossing the incredible Vrsic Pass towards the Soca River. Here, direct from the low-key site is access to a variety of walking routes. After studying a map at the campsite office, we opt for a walk heading through countryside towards the Soca River itself. By the way, this is located in Bovec, one of the main towns of the region.
War time relics
It’s not far from the campsite before we come across an old tunnel entrance. Here, on 24th October 1917, poisonous gas descended on the Soca Valley, trapping Italian soldiers of the 87th Infantry regiment.
An information board tells of the break through in the battle made, here where we’re standing and known as “the miracle at Kobarid”. The fighting had been continuing for over two years, and was finally interrupted due to the gas attack. The Italians then retreating bringing the battle line to an eventual end.
For us, it’s time to take in the events that went on right here all those years ago. We’ve been to many war sights during our years of van travels and so many more that you just happen across along the way. No matter how often you see the remnants from years ago, it’s still hard to comprehend.
The bluest river ever – The Soca River Slovenia
The weather is becoming warm now, it’s the first step into Summer and although rain clouds loom, the feeling of European Summer is on the horizon.
As we wind our way around the road, following the marked trail, the first sights of the Soca River come into view. We’re greeted with a treat, this is not only magical but quite surreal.
The water is the brightest blue/green we’ve ever seen. It resembles something from the Caribbean rather than a river and we can’t help stand and stare.
Equally magical is the timing, just as a group of canoes assemble on the shallow river edge. Then, as they take off downstream, their colourful vessels and the incredibly scenic mountains in the distance, bring an almost perfect picture-postcard feel to this place.
Swing bridges and beaches
Soon, our route leads along a narrow county lane where wild flowers bloom in the most dazzling display. Then, in the distance are the new buds of Spring engulfing fields of green and bringing them alive in the most positive, full-on good vibe way.
Further along, we leave the lane to meet a dirt track, finding mountain houses with land, animals and streams to feed their lifestyle.
Each stream has more freshly opening wild flowers, and the trickle of water set amongst their blossoms is idyllic.
As we enter a woodland path, the river water below us looks simply amazing. Then we come across a swing bridge, crossing above canoeists making their way along the river.
Beside the bridge is a small beach area, the sand resembling something from some exotic beach location rather than a mountain region.
To put it mildly, it’s a little piece of Heaven on Earth.
Sit, Watch, Wonder – The Soca River Slovenia
We can’t walk on from this place straight way, it’s just too beautiful and the solitude is infectious. Instead, we sit on the rocks, dangling our heavy walking boots over the blue of the river.
Up ahead is the perfect mountain view. Wow! we’ve been to some incredible destinations over the years, but this is one to remember.
Nigel heads for the white sands of the beach area, taking off his boots and soaking his feet in the shallows. Of course, it’s freezing. That’s because this water comes from and underground source a little further upstream.
After some time, we have to prise ourselves from our rocky perch, there’s more to this walk and we’re only about half way through.
Slovenia’s highest waterfall
Although we’re reluctant to leave the swing bridge behind, it’s not too long before we meet another and then another. Soon we arrive through woodland at a campsite beside the river. At this time of year it’s very empty, but we imagine it full to the brim at peak season.
After a couple of hours of this ciruclar walk, we find ourselves passing sleepy meadows before reaching the campsite.
Next, we’re leaving Bovec and driving 5km South to Sovenia’s highest waterfalls – the Boka Falls.
There’s a parking area beside a bridge, so we park the campervan easily enough and head over the road bridge to dirt track path.
After about 15 minutes walking uphill, we arrive at a lookout, where in the distance are the 130m high Boka Falls.
Again, it’s quiet here, and we virtually have the views to ourselves. There’s been alot of rain here, so the falls are in full flow and although dramatic, they aren’t the most scenic falls we’ve seen before.
It’s the type of place to come to see whilst passing, and we’re doing just that on our way to Kobarid.
I’d like to be able to write about the Kozjak waterfall in Kobarid, but we don’t end up seeing it.
Why? Simply because we arrive at the parking area and pay €1.50 for 1 hour, hoping to make it there and back within that time. But, then we notice a small poster on a lamppost saying it’s €5 entry fee. So, basically, we decide to give it a miss.
Now, you may think it’s a bit tight, but we just can’t justify paying to see this waterfall. Especially when we’ve seen numerous waterfalls in other parts of the world.
Otherwise, we probably would have paid the price to see Slovenia’s Kozjak Falls!
Anyway, with that, we move on to Tomlin, where we know there’s more paying for natural water attractions coming our way. First though, we need to find somewhere to park the night and it’s not the most easy unless we choose a campsite again.
So, we choose the quiet Camp Siber at €28 per night. Now, this is ideally situated because it’s within a few km walk from Tomlin Gorge. Tomorrow, this is where we’re heading, which apparently is one of the main tourist attractions in the region.
It’s worth noting, that there’s no wild camping permitted here. Also, although there’s a private Aire, it’s still the same price as a campsite.
Also the parking at Tomlin Gorge, is pricey at €3 per hour. So, it makes more economical sense to pay for the campsite and walk to the gorge!
So, that’s exactly what we do, and next time I’ll tell you all about it.