SOČA VALLEY Along the emerald path
As one transcends the winding road up from Tolmin, or descends the southside of Vršič ountain pass, they become mesmerised by flashes of turquoise appearing at their side. Steal a glance or two and you realise it is an enchanting river, none other than the Soča. Along its banks, in its catchment area, several towns and numerous villages have lain since the Slavic tribes settled here in the 6th century, the ancestors of modern day Slovenes, their luck untold. It is a beautiful valley, in the truest sense of the word. Towering rocky mountains of Triglav National Park, lush green forest and that crystalline water on pure white stones. Breathtaking.
For those who can appreciate natural beauty, or enjoy it through outdoor activities like hiking, mountain biking, fly fishing, whitewater rafting or paragliding, it’s perfection. Its significance in modern history undoubtedly draws visitors too, the world wars having seen key front lines on this territory. The stories of war and the area’s heritage are told through excellent indoor and outdoor museums, mountain trails and historical remains such as the medieval Kluže fortress, all linked by the Walk of Peace.
Culturally speaking, the self-reliant Soča valley offers stone and sand art, wax and wool products, folkloric song and dance, and the cuisine, oh the cuisine. From Tolmin and Bovec cheese to the native Soča trout, unique ‘čompe’ Bovec potatoes and sweet sweet Kobarid ‘štruklji’, there’s plenty to discover.
BOVEC – Valleys of inspiration
Still on the sunny side of the Alps, Bovec is a real green piece of Europe, a must if you really want to feel sLOVEnia! Catchy official slogans aside, Slovenia’s supreme summer and winter sports town really offers a lot. Lying in the magnificent upper Soča valley in northwestern lovenia, Bovec allows you to explore all the natural beauties of Triglav National Park. The town is a great base for summer activity holidays, hiking and mountain biking on land, paragliding from the surrounding alpine peaks through the air, or rafting and kayaking on the truly awesome turquoise waters of the river Soča. The area is also popular during the winter ski season. BOKA WATERFALL AND VIRJE WATERFALL, KLUŽE FORTRESS, RAVELNIK OPEN AIR MUSEUM, THE MANGART ROAD More info …
TOLMIN In the centre of the Soča
Tolmin sits on the southern edge of the Julian Alps close to the Italian border. Tolmin Castle, hich overlooks the town from the top of the hill, was first mentioned in 1188 and appears to have had no permanent inhabitants, functioning instead as a fortress. In 1651 it was bandoned by the Coronnini family who were its last owners. To see the ruins up close you can do a elatively easy hike to the top of the hill where you’ll be rewarded with some beautiful views of the valley.
The most famous time of year in Tolmin is festival season, where for a couple of weeks in July and August the city, actually more like a town or village, is given up to thousands of revellers. Metaldays is held on the banks of the magnificent turquoise Soča, true (hedonistic) paradise people come to Tolmin, the cultural and administrative centre of the region. Lying in the awesome Soča Valley, it is a great place to start your sports/adventure holiday as verything from rafting, kayaking, mountain biking, hiking and paragliding is all within easy reach. Tolmin is also culturally rich, and among other events, every September an annual festival sees teams compete to lovingly prepare the best ‘Frika’, a traditional dish of potatoes and locally-made olminc cheese. TOLMIN GORGES, TOLMIN MUSEUM, MEMORIAL CHURCH OF THE HOLY SPIRIT IN JAVORCA More info …
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