from snowboarding, panoramic mountaineering to frozen waterfalls – Exploring Slovenia

With the winter college break in sight and two youngsters in tow bursting with vitality, it was excessive time to plan a good household trip. We had virtually tried all ski resorts in Slovenia already and a few throughout the border in Italy and Austria as effectively, however nothing actually appealed. Not with school-break crowds there anyway. Then it dawned on me. The Soča Valley, the lengthy valley of the emerald inexperienced Soča River in northwestern Slovenia with a high-mountain ski resort and numerous mountaineering trails, could be a tiny bit too celebrated in summer season, however is very missed in winter! No crowds, simply lounging in perfection of the excessive mountains and expansive panoramas, mountaineering on empty sunny trails and exploring quite a few frozen waterfalls on this spectacular and secluded valley. 

Sounds idyllic, proper?!

I booked an house in Bovec, which might place us strategically for our deliberate winter enjoyable: 2 minutes away from the cable automotive to the Kanin Ski Resort, 5 minutes from two stunning and straightforward panoramic hikes, 13 minutes from the Nice Soča Gorge, and 13 minutes from the Loška Koritnica Valley, a valley of 100 waterfalls. Certain, Bovec doesn’t provide any spa resorts or every other means for idle pampering to be actual, however, truthfully, we weren’t even searching for that. Being surrounded with a lot magnificence and out of doors choices was sufficient for my household. 

 Because the solar sparkles over the emerald inexperienced Soča River, which winds from its supply at 990 meters above Trenta all the way in which to the Adriatic Sea at Italy’s Trieste, the encircling hills and mountains name for an journey. There are limitless choices within the Soča Valley and it could be unsuitable to assume that one would solely go to it for the river. Whereas the Soča is really spectacular and deserves our consideration, the Soča Valley is simply a lot extra; it’s interwoven with varied mountaineering trails that deliver us both excessive up into the Alpine world, or to hidden waterfalls, beautiful lakes, mysterious stays of WWI, and even the highest-lying ski resort in Slovenia.

 Snowboarding in Kanin – Sella Nevea

Positioned at 2,300 meters, this joint Slovenian – Italian ski resort gives 30 km of finely groomed slopes of each issue. On the Slovenian facet you’ll discover three sun-stroked slopes and a small meals court docket which gives sizzling canines, pizzas and desserts. All fairly primary but it surely offers that good residence feeling, particularly if you find yourself sipping sizzling tea and ploughing by way of little candy fried balls known as miške, whereas suntanning on a deckchair with stellar views of the snowy mountains. On the Italian facet, you’ll discover extra slopes, which in most half are within the shade, however do take you all the way in which all the way down to the valley from the place you possibly can take a fast gondola trip again up. Since Sella Nevea is at 1,200 m, you possibly can simply get a complete of 1,100 m of pure downhill pleasure. Either side work hand in hand, so you will discover many suntanned Italians stress-free within the sunny deckchairs on the Slovenian facet, and plenty of Slovenians using the lengthy Italian slopes. I do must admit that apart from the primary and final hour we additionally stored extra to the Italian facet for the slopes, however all the time took a pleasant stress-free break on the sunny deck. Excellent! 

Should you favor to go ski touring on groomed mountain slopes, Kanin – Sella Nevea does provide an ideal separate piste

Sundown hikes above Bovec

After lengthy hours snowboarding up within the Kanin mountains, the children usually launched themselves on a sofa as soon as again down in Bovec, however I as a substitute headed once more exterior for an additional quick solo journey. Both to only stroll up the hillside above Bovec or drive a few kilometers for a hike on an empty gravel highway, all the time searching for an exquisite sundown spot above the Bovec Valley. 

The enduring Mt. Svinjak, additionally known as the Matterhorn of Bovec, on the left
The Bovec Valley and the encircling mountains for sundown

Loška Koritnica Valley and Fratarica Waterfalls

Surrounded by fifteen 2,000-meter peaks, amongst which the third highest 2,679-m Mt. Mangart and the sixth highest 2,645-m Mt. Jalovec, the picturesque Alpine valley Loška Koritnica can also be known as a valley of 100 waterfalls. It acquired its title after many gorges (Slo. korito means a sink / basin) that the Koritnica River had carved on its approach to the Soča River. 

The Loška Koritnica Valley

After an pleasant household hike within the serene sunlit amphitheater of the excessive mountains within the Loška Koritnica Valley, it was time to step over to the shaded facet of the valley and delve into the fascinating world of frozen waterfalls and ice sculptures within the Fratarica Gorge. The gorge had been carved by the bustling Fratarica Stream, plunging down throughout the spectacular 5-km-wide and one-kilometer-high Loška Stena (Eng. Loška Wall) solely to type quite a few waterfalls starting from simply a few meters excessive to greater than 100 meters.

Looking for a approach throughout the Koritnica River

Comfortably sufficient, the gorge started simply after crossing the Koritnica River in Log pod Mangartom, and we had been wanting to discover the frozen world of the Fratarica Gorge. The path led us from one waterfall to a different, revealing mind-blowing ice sculptures created by the mix of the shaded place of this facet of the mountains, the trickling water and ongoing freezing temperatures. It turned out, we had been extraordinarily fortunate to come back simply at peak time for the icy spectacle. 

The principle path up the forest was straightforward to stroll on and supplied (a bit distant) views of the frozen waterfalls from above, the paths to strategy them from up shut required a little bit of scrambling down icy and steep terrain
Curtains of lengthy icicles hanging from overhanging walls

A sunny path on the Stroll of Peace

The final day of our winter holidays within the Soča Valley known as for a simple household hike. The Čelo Outside Museum, whose trailhead is positioned simply 5 minutes exterior Bovec and its loop hike is an hour lengthy, promised a little bit of historical past, however largely heat sunshine and views of the Bovec Valley. The hike is definitely positioned beneath Mt. Svinjak, an iconic pyramid-shaped mountain additionally known as the Matterhorn of Bovec, and is a part of the Stroll of Peace, which extends 500 km from the Alps to the Adriatic Sea and hyperlinks over 300 monuments alongside the historic websites of WWI.  

We had been greeted by this nosy and bossy goat on the Čelo Outside Museum and it turned out to be nice enjoyable for the children. After twenty minutes we did find yourself escaping the goat after she began to demand her share of sandwiches 😅
Overlooking the Bovec Valley the Čelo fort was constructed by the Austro-Hungarian military in 1914 for the needs of the Isonzo Entrance. It’s a 200-m lengthy trench with two positions for artillery, a kitchen, two residences, a watch tower, a shelter and embrasures

Nice Soča Gorge

Earlier than heading again residence to the opposite facet of the Julian Alps, our paths on this beautiful valley introduced us to the divine Soča River and its Nice Soča Gorge. The emerald inexperienced swimming pools proceed right into a 750-m-long gorge, which is just a few meters vast and fifteen meters deep. It winds by way of a pristine forest that in spots reveals breathtaking views of the snow-capped mountains we had skied down only a day in the past. The 2 worlds appear mild years aside, but so unbelievably shut – actually only a 13-minute drive and a gondola trip away.

The week within the Soča Valley handed at lightning velocity and right here I’m already planning the subsequent go to. The sheer number of routes on the market ready for us to lace up our boots, to not point out racing down freshly groomed slopes at Kanin, which, by the way in which, can keep open till June! All there’s to say at this level – till subsequent time!

Our final cease in Kanal ob Soči, a cute little city with a bridge relationship again to the Roman instances

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