The Slovenia Times

Last Call for Skiing!



Easter came early this year... or was Christmas just a little late? The recent holidays were strange and depressing... bad weather and nowhere to go. Max was staring through the window watching the giant snowflakes melt instantly as they hit the ground. He wanted to be somewhere else. Somewhere he could definitely be now that the Easter snowfalls had breathed new life into the ski season. Given the weather conditions, there would be very few resorts able to offer the joys of skiing for another couple of weeks, but there was one place that definitely could. Kanin! The only 'high-mountain' ski field in Slovenia and a place where the season wouldn't end before the May holidays.

As Max began planning how to get there, the hypnotic effect of the snowflakes floating down in front of his eyes, gently transported him back in time to a wonderful two-day skiing trip he had there years ago. It was time when life was a little less stressful, a time when he and his wife were still a couple and could enjoy the cosiness of the one-room apartment they rented in Bovec. It was also a time they probably became a family..., but moving on from all the romance and fun they had in Bovec, the reason they were there for that memorable weekend - the skiing - began on the Saturday morning in a queue in front of the lower cable car station.

Getting high

The upper Soča Valley was awakening from its winter hibernation and the view towards the faraway ski slope of Kanin was awash with verdant greens, rich reds and browns and, of course, the pure white snowfields. The 20-minute, three-stage, cable-car ride is travel at its best. It takes you from 436 to 2,200 metres above sea level and you can see how the vegetation changes, how the snow cover thickens and how beautiful the Bovec

basin looks from above. Yes, Kanin offers a marvellous view, which in clear conditions extends all the way to the Adriatic Sea and, in exceptionally ideal conditions, even to Venice.

Finally, they reached the top station and the time had come to get to get down to business. Unfortunately, Max and his crew had missed the best of the conditions, but it was not too difficult adjusting to the slightly wetter snow; the price you have to pay for the privilege of skiing in a T-shirt.

Kanin boasts 17 kilometres of ski slopes of varying degrees of difficulty, thus being appropriate for both beginners and experienced skiers. The top area itself offers four lifts, three of which are chair lifts. Interestingly, due to the location of the ski field, it is possible that over a metre of fresh snow can fall within 24 hours, which increases the risk of avalanches. However, Kanin is equipped with an advanced system for triggering avalanches in a controlled manner, so there is no need to worry. The resort also prides itself on being a Mecca for off-piste skiers, but this is not something we are going to recommend here; the more adventurous should consult the local guides, who will gladly lead you down into the Krnica Valley if the conditions are suitable.


Max did well that day. His partner (as he had been advised to call his girlfriend by a politically correct British fellow) was also excited. She was a complete beginner and, therefore, stuck close to the short, gentle lift next to the cable-car station. Such runs were perfect for her to put theory into practise and build up her confidence. So Max occasionally glanced over in her direction to check on her progress and even dropped by for a kiss. His preferred choice was the Prevala run, which has a new lift and is intended to link the Italian Sella Nevea resort with Kanin from next season. From Prevala, you can clearly see the Italian slopes, which are similar in size but at a lower altitude. In April, there are spring flowers bursting out, while Kanin is still covered in snow. The union will mean a larger area, which will be ideal for late spring skiing on both sides of the border.

But some skiers from the Italian side just don't seem to care if there are no lifts to take them to Kanin. Max met a group of Italian enthusiasts - 'uphill skiers' - who had used ski touring equipment to climb from nearby Sella Nevea to Kanin, proving that the attractive international connection is already functioning. Yes, you can see many things at this height and if you're tempted by what's on offer on the surrounding slopes, there's good news: anyone who purchases a six-day ticket for Kanin can use two days at any of the surrounding slopes for free. The options include Sella Nevea, Travisio in Italy and Arnoldstein in Austria.

After a couple of enthusiastic runs down Prevala, or to be precise, the ungroomed sections beneath the lift, Max began to feel his legs. The heavy snow had done its job and it was a time to take a rest. But after moving over to the bar next to the cable car station, he realised that he was not alone in his thoughts and the 'snow beach' was almost as busy as the slopes themselves. He spent the next few hours mastering the Skripi run, but eventually the temptation of the beach party was too strong. The music, a love of beer and the smell of herbal tea lured him away from the slopes and into position to watch the sun slowly assume its nightly role.

Eventually, Max packed their gear and they headed back down to carry on partying in the many bars and restaurants in Bovec; but that's a story for another time.


Kanin is the most remote resort from a central Slovenian perspective. It rarely pays to go there for a day skiing, since it is a two hour drive from Ljubljana through mountain passes. Its high altitude means it is also the most snowy place and skiing is usually guaranteed until May.

The resort cannot be regarded as large, but nevertheless it has an equal share of easy, medium and difficult runs, meaning there are runs that everyone can enjoy. The overall length of tracks spreading across the 20-hectare site is 15 km. No essentials are missing: there's a restaurant with home-made food on offer, a ski school, a kindergarten and ski hire. It is also worth mentioning the 9-km sledding track. Bovec, which is situated a few kilometres from the lower cable car station, has all the other ingredients - bars, hotels, etc.- to make this a trip to remember. April is a terrific time to visit Bovec, as you can both ski at Kanin as well as enjoy trekking in the lush valley.

The most beautiful river

The Soča 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 Soča Trail. It runs from the river's source to the lower end of the Soča 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. Also, do not miss Trenta museum, which offer an attractive insight of many elements, from the ethnology to geology.

Soča Tales

At the end of April, the opening of this year's season in Kluže Fortress will happen with a two-day event Zgodbe iz Soče (Soča Tales). The event will start with a literary evening and performance of a choir. On the next day, visitors will be guided through a part of the Pot Miru (Path of Peace) by guides in World War I military uniforms. Afterwards, there will be the main social event at Kluže Fortress where the group 1313 will demonstrate customs and life in the time of Soča Front in a short interactive performance. Furthermore, the local tradesmen, farmers and associations will present authentic Bovec products (e.g. products from Soča stone, wool and wax) and culinary specialties (Bovec cheese and cottage cheese, "čompe" (potatoes), polenta and "frika" (made of crunchy potatoes and alpine cheese on the open fire).

Narnia - somewhere near Bovec

The 16th of May is the day when beauties of Soča River will be revealed in front of the global audience as The Chronicles or Narnia: Prince Caspian will hit the big screens.

Last June, Bovec and its surroundings saw something quite unusual: an 800-person film crew took over the area of the upper Soča Ricer to shoot some scenes for the upcoming blockbuster. The Walt Disney Studios have kept the story in secrecy, so Narnia fans in Slovenia are really curious to find out what the heroes and villains were doing in the familiar land.



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