The most beautiful river in Slovenia – Hiking along the Soča River

by Arne

Slovenia is located between the Alps and the Adriatic Sea and due to its fascinating nature is especially interesting as a destination for outdoor enthusiasts. There are countless protected nature parks in the country, which offer excellent opportunities for hiking and outdoor activities. In the Julian Alps in the Triglav National Park is the Soča Valley, which is one of the most popular destinations in Slovenia. The Soča is a turquoise river of incomprehensible beauty and is one of the most beautiful rivers in Europe. The river rises in Trenta, from where the Soča Trail leads hikers along the picturesque river to Bovec.

I also took a hike along the Soča River, which runs along a white-water section of the river. I don’t want to deprive you of these attractions in the Slovenian Alps. Therefore, in this blog post I present you my hike in the valley of the Soča. For me, the visit to the Triglav National Park was an absolute highlight on my round trip through Slovenia. I hope you enjoy reading my travelogue and I’m glad that you found my travel blog.

My hike on the Soča Trail at a glance

If you click on a link below, you will go directly to the corresponding section of the route. It starts from a free parking lot in Kobarid. The first section of the hike, where there is a lot of activity, leads towards the Kozjak Waterfall. After that, the picturesque hiking trail runs directly along the turquoise Soča River. It is followed by sections that run higher up and guarantee magnificent views of the Soča Valley. The whitewater of the river offers optimal conditions for kayakers, which you can observe throughout the hike. After crossing the Soča, the trail follows the river bank, where you are exposed to the roar and whims of the water. At the end of the hike, you will reach the village Trnovo ob Soči, from where a bus will take you back to Kobarid. 

Taking into account the way from the bus stop to the starting point of the hike, the total distance is 9 kilometers. If you do not take the bus, but walk back to Kobarid, it is about 12 kilometers. If you choose the second option, you have to walk 1 kilometer along a road. We needed about 2 hours with breaks for the hike, but we also made longer stops. The trail leads over stony terrain and forest floor, but is well developed and signposted. There is no protection to the river side. The route has no significant incline and is easy to manage even without hiking experience. However, a basic level of fitness should be present. I have marked the route and all important destinations on the map.

  • Length
    9 km (with bus), 12 km (circular hike)
  • Altitude
    ↑↓ 390 m
  • Difficulty
  • Start
    Parking lot Brv čez Sočo
  • Path
    Narrow stony nature trails

If you’re looking for more information and tips on hiking in Slovenia, check out this blog article.

How to get to the Soča River in Kobarid

Traveling by car

The beautiful hiking route along the Soča River starts near the Slap Kozjak in Kobarid. There is parking at the waterfall, which costs 1.50 € per hour or 10 € per day. However, there is also a free parking lot near Kamp Lazar (see map). Coming from Kobarid, do not cross the river at the Napoleon Bridge, but continue straight ahead. After 500 meters you will reach the free parking lot on the left side. From Bovec the drive to the starting point of the hike takes about 30 minutes and from Tolmin about 20 minutes.

To Kobarid by bus

The nearest bus stop from the starting point of the hike is about 1.5 kilometers away in the center of Kobarid. The town is served by buses from Ljubljana via Tolmin or Bovec. You can find more information on the website of the bus company. In addition, in July and August there are shuttle buses to the surrounding villages. You can find more information on the following website.

If you want to learn more about traveling by car or public transportation in Slovenia, check out my travel blog about Slovenia.

My hike in the Soča Valle

Slovenia’s most beautiful river

We reach the free parking lot in the morning and find that many tourists are already on their way to Kozjak Waterfall. After passing a campsite, we come to a large suspension bridge that leads us across the beautiful Soča River. Captivated by the view, we remain on the bridge (Brv čez Sočo) and marvel at the turquoise waters of the river.

View from the suspension bridge
The suspension bridge over the Soča River

Highlight in Slovenia – trip to Kozjak waterfall

We keep to the left and walk along a wide trail with other tourists along the Soča until we reach a viewing platform. This guarantees a magnificent view of the river and the Julian Alps in the background. Time to pause for a moment and enjoy the nature of Slovenia.

Viewing platform on the Soča

Short Facts for your Trip

After another 500 meters on the stony trail, we reach the small Kozjak waterfall, which plunges into the depths under a bridge. A small slippery path leads down to the pool and promises a better view of the beautiful waterfall. It is also possible to climb under the bridge. Actually, from there I took the following picture. When we realize that the entrance fee to the Kozjak Waterfall is 5 €, we turn back towards the viewing platform.

Mali Koziak Waterfall

Soška pot hiking trail along the Soča River

At the viewpoint we take a small path down to the river and shortly after we are standing at a kind of bathing bay where some people are relaxing. A wooden bridge leads us across the Kozjak, which flows here into the Soča. Behind it, a narrow hiking trail awaits us, which always runs along the shore. On the right side, the mountain slopes of the Julian Alps rise up, while on the left side we are repeatedly granted views of the paradisiacal Soča River.

Pure nature in Slovenia – viewpoints on the Soča

We continue on the Soča Trail and are amazed. Viewpoints along the way allow great impressions of the Soča Valley. The altitude at which we walk along Slovenia’s most beautiful river changes constantly, opening up new perspectives. Serpentines lead us high up, where a magnificent view of the green valley is revealed to us. Our spontaneous decision to just hike on has definitely paid off.

Serpentines on the hiking trail

If you are looking for more hikes in Slovenia, check out these books. The books are small and handy, offer useful information about hiking and detailed descriptions of the hikes. I am sure that you will discover hiking routes that you would not find without these book.

Adventures in Slovenia – activities and tours on the Soča

During our hike we see many kayak tours on the Soča. On this section of the river, some experience is certainly necessary, because the current is sometimes very strong here. In general, however, there are enough places where you can also comfortably kayak or do SUP, and even swim. If you like it more adventurous, you can also join a rafting or canyoning tour. For sure this is a great experience and alternative way to get to know the Soča River.

If you prefer to travel in a group, there is a possibility to join a guided tour. You don’t have to worry about transportation, excursion planning, or food, but you can completely focus on the beauty of the Soca Valley. I recommend booking a tour through Viator portal, where countless activities around the world can be booked easily and safely.

A hiking trail on the bank of the Soča

We reach a huge suspension bridge and cross the river. The last section of the hike runs from here on the southern side of the Soča. A narrow path leads us very close along the bank. The roar of the floods drowns out our conversations and humid gusts bring short-term cooling in the hot Slovenian summer. Once again, we reach a large suspension bridge and leave the Soča River at its height.

View from a suspension bridge

If you are looking for a travel guide to Slovenia, check out this book. I personally like this travel guide series very much. The authors give travel tips especially for individual and low budget travelers. Moreover, not only the well-known sights are described, but also more unknown places are mentioned.

The last stage of the hike in the Soča Valley

At the restaurant at the campsite two women sit and try to explain to us that we will not get anything to eat here today. So, we walk towards the village of Trnovo ob Soči, where we wait at the bus stop for the bus to Kobarid. Meanwhile, a huge dog in the neighboring garden watches us as if he knows that there will be no bus today. For the second time we have to hitchhike on our journey through Slovenia. Be smarter than us and check the bus connections from Trnovo ob Soči to Kobarid beforehand.

Conclusion on the hike along the Slovenian Soča

The presented route along the Soča River is beautiful and I liked it very much. Those who appreciate the mountains and nature will love this hike. Especially the white-water character at this section of the river makes the environment special. The entire hike is a highlight in itself.   

No hiking experience is necessary to complete the route. However, a head for heights and surefootedness should be present. In general, however, the trail is well-maintained. The circular hike along the Soča River is 12 kilometers long, and only 9 kilometers if you return by bus. If you want to hike even further, you can theoretically walk the trail along the Soča River to its source. Buses go back to Kobarid and stop in the villages.   

I was hiking in the Julian Alps in August, during the high season. The weather was excellent, but close to the water still quite fresh. We met other tourists almost only on the way to Kozjak Waterfall. I can highly recommend this attraction, which can be perfectly combined with a tour on the Soca, and would come back anytime.

Hotels and accommodations in the Soča Valley

The best starting point for the hike along the Soča is the town of Kobarid, where there is a variety of accommodation* Those who need more hustle and bustle should stay in Bovec* The town is all about outdoor and adventure, so many tours start from Bovec on the Soča River or in the mountains. An alternative is the quieter town of Tolmin, where there are also many accommodations available*

Of course, in the Julian Alps and the Soča Valley there are countless other places that offer accommodation. Below you will find a selection for the entire region.

I hope you enjoyed my travelogue about the Soca Trail. On my Slovenia Blog I show you other beautiful travel destinations in Slovenia and share valuable tips and experiences for your trip to Slovenia. Did you like my blog post? Was I able to help you? Then I would be happy if you recommend my travel blog, leave a comment, or follow me on Instagram. Thanks for reading and have fun on your vacation in Slovenia.

The references marked with an asterisk (*) are so-called commission links. If you click on such a referral link and buy something, I get a small commission from the provider. For you, the price does not change! I see it as a small thank you for my work and look forward to any support. 

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