The Slovenia Times

A Jewel in the Julian Alps



The land of Bovec is surrounded by a vast Alpine landscape which includes Triglav, the highest mountain of Slovenia, the most exquisite of the Slovenia's rivers, the Soca river, the highest road pass Vrsic, and the Mangart mountain. The highest mountain peaks in the area soar over 2000 metres high, while the deepest karst caves plunge more than 1000 metres underground. The town of Bovec was first mentioned in 1174, but the area's history dates further back, to the early Iron Age. The town has a long history of Alpine tourism, stemming from the time of the Trenta poachers, who led rich town-dwellers on excursions up to the nearby mountains. Between the two gothic churches lies a square with houses, typical of Bovec. The houses blend beautifully with the natural landscape of the area. At homely restaurants, one can try delicious compe (potatoes) with sheep's milk cheese and cottage cheese. The picturesque town offers a wide range of accommodation in hotels, apartments, private rooms, campsites, tourist farms and mountain lodges. The old farm cottages in the valleys between the steep mountains are a testament to the stamina, toughness and vitality of the Bovec people. The mighty fortress Kluze from the 15th century looks down over the wild river Koritnica and, together with the military graveyards and battlefield remnants, silently testifies to the horrors of the largest mountain battle of WWI, which took place in the region. The most beautiful river The Soca River's source lies in the Trenta valley. Regarded by many as the most beautiful river in Europe, it flows through the narrowest of gorges in some places and over broad gravel beds in others. Foaming violently one moment, flowing gently the next, the river holds many surprises and delights. The river's characteristic turquoise hue and the wild beauty of its rapids, ravines and cascades, offer the breathtaking image of natural perfection. Local people regard it as a timeless wonder. Many visitors choose to explore the river along the Soca Trail. It runs from the river's source to the lower end of the Soca Valley and exhibits the valley's natural curiosities, including the old Trenta trader routes. Organised tours along the trail, guided by locals employed by the Triglav National Park Authority, show visitors what life is like in the valley and reveal the priceless heritage which lies within the Slovenia's only national park. The foothills embrace spring, the peaks hold on to winter Although skiing is still possible at Kanin, the valley below is readying itself for its summer tourist season. The ice climbers and dog sleds are giving way to the fishermen who will test their luck at catching the famous Soca trout. On the plateau above the confluence of the Soca and Lepenca rivers, a charming old-style holiday village offers horse riding. Each day is a new adventure on the well-marked and maintained trails through the nature preserve. The highest peaks of the Julian Alps (Mt. Triglav, Mt. Jalovec, Mt. Mangrt, etc.) tempt mountaineers through the whole year. If the marked mountain trails are not exciting enough, many steep cliffs - some reaching over 1000 metres in height - are available for climbing adventures. Even beginners, aided by a skilled guide, can master kayaking on the Soca and Koritnica rivers within a couple of hours. The Trnovo area, though, is reserved for more experienced kayakers. If canyoning is your thing, once you enter one of the natural chasms you can glide across waterfalls and pools with crystal-clear water, swim in limestone baths and enjoy the peacefulness of a hidden world. Or you can choose rafting, if you want to test the team spirit of your friends. No prior paddling skills are necessary. During your rafting adventure you will rush across rapids and dark-green pools, pass huge boulders, and finish off with a "mandatory" bath in one of the Soca's pools. If your thirst for adventure still remains unsatisfied, you could try paragliding, which seems to have been invented for the Soca Valley. Unequalled possibilities for gliding and tandem paragliding are enhanced with a view of the Adriatic Sea to the south and the mighty massif of the central Alps to the north. With its well-organized trails with minor elevation changes on one hand, and more demanding shaded forest trails on the other, Bovec is fantastic for mountain biking. A visit to the mountain bike park at Kanin, which is divided into three difficulty sections, is a must. The airfield in Bovec is considered to be one of most beautiful airfields in the Alps, and flying is possible in nearly all weather conditions. Flying in the company of paragliders and alpine birds of prey, above green forests and mountain peaks and with the emerald-green Soca River below you, is a truly unique experience.


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