For Nature Lovers, There’s Nothing Quite Like Slovenia’s Alpine Attractions
Move over Switzerland! The Soča Valley in Slovenia boasts spectacular Alpine vistas that the Swiss Tourist Board would be proud to claim as their own. But Switzerland is Europe’s priciest country by far. Luckily, savvy travelers can expect to spend 30-40% less in Slovenia’s Julian Alps than their Swiss counterparts.
Adventure & Active Travel
The Soča Valley is the first place in Slovenia to have earned a European Destination of Excellence title. This is sustainable tourism at its very best. Adventure sports like zip-lining, white-water rafting, rock climbing, paragliding, and kayaking make for excellent cardio workouts. You can also go biking, hiking, or trout fishing in the Soča River.
Most of the Alps are in the Triglav National Park which offers plenty of gorges, waterfalls, and scenic lakes like Bohinj and Bled. You can also take a breathtaking drive up and over the 5,285 ft Vrsic Pass. The road is practically a roller coaster. Its 50 hairpin bends compete with the near vertical cliffs that soar above. Certainly not for the faint at heart!
The Town of Kobarid
Back in the Soča Valley, you’ll find the small town of Kobarid. Fans of Ernest Hemingway will recognize Kobarid from “A Farewell to Arms.” The Battle of Caporetto was fought here in 1917. It was one in a series of bloody clashes between Italy and the Austro-Hungarian empire. As a result, the 300,000+ soldiers who lost their lives are remembered in the award-winning Kobarid Museum. For a closer look at the battle sites, you can take a guided tour along sections of the 100km-long Walk of Peace that runs from the Alps to the Adriatic.
First Class Food Artistry
Kobarid is also where foodies flock to dine at the buzzing restaurant Hiša Franko. Named the world’s best female chef in 2017, Ana Roš was featured in Season 2 of the Netflix series “Chef’s Table.” Her contemporary cuisine contains edible flowers and looks almost too pretty to eat. More rustic is the good-value food at Hiša Polonka, a craft beer and wine bar run by Ana’s sommelier husband, Valter.
Jestival Food & Art Festival
The Soča Valley’s natural bounty includes local ingredients such as plump mushrooms, fresh Tolmin cheese, nettles used to stuff homemade ravioli, and grilled river trout. Sample these traditional dishes and more at the Jestival Food & Wine festival that takes place this year on Saturday, October 5th.
The Soča Valley is a treat for nature enthusiasts, active travelers, foodies, and photographers alike. Its proximity to Italy and Croatia makes for an excellent detour if your itinerary allows.
Have you experienced the Soča Valley or the Julian Alps yet? Let us know in the comments below!