IN Family hiking , Hiking , Hiking blog , Hiking in Soča Valley , Julian Alps

Beautiful and rugged, the Soča Valley has an otherworldly charm. The Soča River of a striking turquoise emerald color snakes through this theatrical valley, forming gorges, crystalline pools and coves, whereas the surrounding hills and mountains rise in a near-to-vertical manner with countless waterfalls plummeting down the steep walls. The drive through the valley is just an hour long, yet it seems that every side road takes you to even more spectacular places, tightly tucked away from the mainstream attractions. One would need weeks if not months to visit all the beautiful places that the Soča Valley has to offer.

I feel fortunate to have visited the Soča Valley numerous times in the past with the last visit a couple of weeks ago. Based on my past scoutings I’ve prepared a list of recommended hikes in the Soča Valley, from rolling meadows, to beautiful waterfalls, hikes along crystal-clear rivers or to the gorgeous mountains and alpine lakes in the surrounding Triglav National Park.

Here is a list of hikes in the Soča Valley that you absolutely shouldn’t miss if you love hiking in pristine nature.

As the sun sparkles over the emerald green Soča River, which winds from its source at 990 meters above Trenta all the way to the Adriatic Sea at Italy’s Trieste, the surrounding hills and mountains call for an adventure. There are numerous options in the Soča Valley and it would be wrong to think that one would only visit it for the river. While the Soča River is truly spectacular, the Soča Valley is so much more! It is interwoven with various hiking trails that bring us either high up into the alpine world, or to hidden waterfalls, gorgeous lakes, and mysterious remains of WWI.

Read also on Blog: 
Hiking in a flower paradise: Golica and its daffodils
The most scenic tour to Triglav
Fairytale loop hike above Srednji Vrh
Best mountain hikes in Slovenia in summer 2023

The drive to the Soča Valley across the Vršič Pass

There are many roads that connect the Soča Valley with the rest of Slovenia, but there’s one route that stands out. The road over the Vršič Pass to the Soča Valley was built in 1916 during WWI by 10,000 – 12,000 Russian prisoners of war in order to connect Kranjska Gora (or the Upper Sava Valley) with the Trenta Valley, the upper part of the Soča Valley. Its main purpose at the time was to send artillery, food and medical supplies to the soldiers on the Soča Front to protect the land from the opposing Italian army.

Today, the road across the Vršič Pass is one of the most striking drives in Slovenia which takes you as high as 1,661m right at the foothills of impressive high mountains. Avid hikers stop along the way for easy hikes to Slemenova Špica, tougher hikes to Mala Mojstrovka and Prisojnik, and incredibly scenic climbs on the via ferratas to Mala Mojstrovka and Prisojnik. However, if you prefer to be comfortable in a car, you are still guaranteed epic views along the whole drive.

Zadnja Trenta

This picturesque glacial valley may be your first stop while going across the Vršič Pass down to the Soča Valley. Located in Triglav National Park, it’s the highest part of the Soča Valley and best known for the source of the Soča River at 990m. The pristine emerald river gushes out of the Karst depths under the towering mountains of the Julian Alps to start its beautiful 138-km journey. 

The source of the Soča River

The valley cuts deep into the surrounding mountains and offers anything from easy strolls for the families, adventurous hikes to the source of the Soča River and Zapotoški slapovi (Eng. the Zapotok Waterfalls), to tough day climbs to the mountains above.

Zadnja Trenta


The second stop on your way could be Zadnjica, yet another stunning glacial valley in the area. Located between the Trenta Valley and the west walls of Triglav, the highest mountain of Slovenia, it serves as a starting point for many long but gorgeous hikes and climbs in the Slovenian mountains. You may climb anything from the most beautiful mountain in Slovenia, Bovški Gamsovec, a true alpine giant Mt. Razor, Triglav on a via Ferrata, or hike to the seven Triglav Lakes. You may also want to take an easy hike along the Zadnjica River and up the valley, and gasp in awe at the towering rocky peaks of the Julian Alps.

Waiting for the sunset, I sat down on the ground and let the sweeping setting evoke a startling sense of isolation. I couldn’t help but feel I’d entered a back-of-the-wardrobe secret land that had somehow evaded the attention of the outside world. Zadnjica Valley indeed is one of the most beautiful alpine valleys in Slovenia!

Exploring Slovenia’s best climbing tours:
Triglav, Scenic Route
Bovški Gamsovec
Mala Mojstrovka via Ferrata
Mangart via Ferrata


Tucked away in the mountainous Upper Soča Valley, Bovec is one of two exceptionally cute little towns in the Upper Soča Valley that serves as an excellent base for exploring the best trails in the Soča Valley. Everything beautiful to see in the Upper Soča Valley seems to be only a short drive from Bovec. Besides, you’ll find a few nice restaurants open throughout the year, a big grocery store, a spa & wellness, agencies for water sports, and a fast charging station for electric cars.

Where to stay when in the Soča Valley? There are four hotels in Bovec and many private accommodations, but I always opt to stay in Skok Apartments, a small house with several rooms and an outdoor store in Bovec. The owners are super friendly, they have a spacious parking lot in front of the house, while the apartments are well equipped and clean, and the view from the balcony is just beautiful. If you want to try out rafting and canyoning, they also organise water activities on the Soča River!

Perched between the mountains and just a stone’s throw away from the white waters of the emerald-green Soča River, the Skok Apartments are a heaven for active outdoor-oriented people. They are also pets-friendly, so Rubi could come too!
Welcoming a new day on the balcony in Skok apartments

Great Soča Gorge and Lepena 

Whenever on this side of the Slovenian mountains, my paths in this gorgeous valley always bring me to the divine Soča River and its Great Soča Gorge. The emerald green pools stretch into a 750-m-long gorge, which is only a few meters wide and fifteen meters deep. It winds through a forest that in spots reveals breathtaking views of the snow-capped mountains of the Julian Alps. The two worlds seem light years apart, yet they are so unbelievably close – literally just a 12-minute drive from the Great Soča Gorge to the starting hiking point to Lake Krn, the largest alpine lake in Slovenia, hidden up in the mountains at 1,391m.

Lepena River

Exploring Slovenia’s best day hikes:
Krn Lakes above Soča Valley
Stunning Julian Alps
Fairytale hike in Karavanke
Flower hike on Golica

Krn Lake

Nestled between tall rocky peaks of the southwestern Julian Alps, the lonely Lake Krn is a picture-perfect 300-m-long and 150-m-wide lake overlooking Mt. Krn, the highest mountain of the Krn Mountains. It is the biggest Alpine lake of Slovenia and as such attracts a lot of attention of domestic and foreign hikers. Rightly so; Lake Krn looks dreamy in every season!

The third Krn Lake, Jezero v Lužnici

As the day was only awakening and we drove from Bovec to Planina Kuhinja for the start of a new gorgeous hike, the soft sun reflected on the steep forested hills and towering mountains. The valley had already been stroked by spring displaying an abundance of colorful flowers, while the mountaintops still remained in a solid grip of the winter. We were headed to a real gem, an alpine lake at 1,801m called jezero v Lužnici (Eng. Lake at Lužnica).

The hike to the lake at Lužnica starts on Planina Kuhinja and is incredibly scenic throughout!

Exploring Slovenia’s best multi-day treks:
7 Triglav Lakes Trek
From Bohinj to Soča Trek
The Karawanks Traverse
Triglav from Pokljuka

Jezero v Lužnici (Eng. lake at Lužnica) was still under a deep blanket of snow

This deep blue lake lies underneath a long rocky massif that connects Mt. Krn, 2,244m, on the far west and Mt. Peski, 2,035m, on the east. It’s actually one of the three Krn Lakes, of which the most significant one, Krn Lake, is also the biggest Alpine lake in Slovenia. Jezero v Lužnici, on the other hand, is located on the opposite side of the massif at 1,801m, and is one of the best kept secrets around here. When we hiked there, the lake happened to be frozen under a deep blanket of snow, however, we continued to a 1,903-m peak Maselnik which offered breathtaking views!

Hiking to the top of 1,903-m Mt. Maselnik above the lake at Lužnica


If you love hunting for beautiful sunsets in the mountains that you can soak up from a lonely bench, conveniently placed right along the road, then you should have an evening stop here. Follow the narrow road that climbs 300m up from the quaint little town Kobarid and stop right when you catch the first glimpse of the iconic church of Drežnica with the imposing Mt.  Krn in the background. In the final hour before the sunset, the postcard scenery bathes in the vibrant late afternoon light, which then slowly, slowly fades out until the very peak of Mt. Krn sinks too into the night.

Drežnica with Mt. Krn in the back as seen from a meadow full of crocuses

Exploring Slovenia’s best spring hikes:
Flower hike on Golica
Velika Planina and crocuses
Goli Vrh above Jezersko

Kozjak Waterfall

Located between Kobarid and Drežnica, is the mysterious Kozjak Waterfall, hidden in a stunning rocky amphitheater. It’s often named the most picturesque waterfall of Slovenia!

Kobarid Waterfalls

You’d be surprised to know how numerous waterfalls in the Soča Valley really are! While we usually visit three well recognized falls in the area on our From Bohinj to Soča Valley Trek, there are many others that, regardless of the hype of the valley, remain little known. In a small area of a couple of square kilometers just ten minutes out of Kobarid, you can explore three beautiful waterfalls on a pretty raw and exposed trail.

Named after the Slovenian poet who was born in a nearby village, Simon Gregorčič, the Gregorčič waterfall and the surrounding nature reflect the beauty in his poems
Malenšček waterfall

Read also:
When Velika Planina dresses in purple
Viewpoints of Lake Bled for a perfect postcard
Fairytale loop hike above Srednji Vrh

Boka Waterfall

Between Bovec and Kobarid you can admire the mighty 144-m tall and 18-m wide Boka Waterfall. In spring, the Kanin mountains above feed it with melting snow and the waterfall becomes the most voluminous waterfall in Slovenia with the water gushing down at 100 m³/s (in the dry summer months the flow can slow down to even 2 m³/s)!

Tolmin Gorge

The lowest and probably the most picturesque entry point into Triglav National Park, the Tolmin Gorges take you through the wild gorges of the Tolminka and Zadlaščica Rivers, which merge into a beautiful confluence inside the gorge.

Church of the Holy Spirit in Javorca

The church of the Holy Spirit in Javorca lies at the foothills of the Bohinj mountains above Tolmin, and is a unique piece of Art Nouveau awarded a special recognition by the European Commission – the European Heritage Label. This memorial church was built by Austro-Hungarian soldiers and celebrates the fallen defenders of the Soča Front battlefield, a series of 12 battles along the Soča River between 1915 and 1917 that demanded as many as 1.2 million casualties. The bloody history aside, the church’s simple but beautiful construction mostly of wood and stone, set against high cliffy mountains, calls for a relaxing half-day hike in the forests along the Tolminka River to finish with a picnic at the sunny church.

Continue reading on Blog:
Hiking in the Julian Alps among flowers, a lake and stunning views: Jerebica
Seven lush, green and fragrant mountain hikes in Slovenia
Twenty photos to inspire you to climb Mangart
Best mountain hikes in Slovenia in summer 2023

Stay tuned for more outdoor adventures! Join seventy thousand Exploring Slovenia fans by liking us on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. If you enjoyed this story, sign up for the monthly newsletter. A handful selection of stories from Hiking and Climbing in Slovenia, delivered to your inbox every month.

Looking for a gorgeous tour in the mountains? Exploring Slovenia offers guided hiking and climbing tours!

Get posts to your mailbox



Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

× How can I help you?