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Slovenia Road Trip: Vršič Pass, Soca Valley & Tolmin Gorge

Slovenia Road Trip: Vršič Pass, Soca Valley & Tolmin Gorge

On this street journey via northwestern Slovenia, drive the Vršič Cross, go to the Soca Valley and the city of Bovec, discover the Tolmin Gorge, and even go on white-knuckle drive to Mangart, the very best street in Slovenia. For those who like scenic drives and need to see a ravishing a part of the nation, this Slovenia street journey is an excellent day journey concept.

About this Slovenia Road Journey

This street journey will take a full day. You’ll begin within the morning with a drive over the Vršič Cross after which you’ll head south alongside the Soca River, make a fast go to to Bovec, and proceed on to the Tolmin Gorges. From the Tolmin Gorge, you’ve got the choice to finish the day or proceed to the Mangart Saddle.

Road Journey Stats

Complete Distance: 193 km (120 miles)
Complete Driving Time: four.5 hours

These totals are spherical journey from Kranjska Gora, together with Tolmin Gorge and the Mangart Saddle.

The Soca River Valley is a well-liked spot for paragliding and white water rafting. These actions might be added to the street journey however you’ll not have time for the Mangart Saddle and/or the Tolmin Gorge. We inform you how to do that later on this submit.

We did this similar street journey at the start of August 2018. Water ranges within the Soca River have been low so white water rafting was not an choice for us. On the drive again to Kranjska Gora, we noticed indicators for the Mangart Saddle. We by no means heard of this earlier than and driving as much as the saddle was completely unplanned, however for us, it was the spotlight of the day.

Kranjska Gora is a superb place to base your self for this drive and in case you plan to hike in Triglav Nationwide Park from the Vršič Cross. One other fashionable place to remain is Lake Bled. You are able to do this street journey from Lake Bled however you’ll have to do some additional driving to get to Kranjska Gora.

Slovenia Road Journey

Lake Jasna

Whether or not you’re beginning your day in Kranjska Gora, Lake Bled, or someplace else, you’ll first drive previous Lake Jasna to get to the Vršič Move. This synthetic lake is a really busy spot through the scorching summer time months. Individuals come right here to swim and escape the summer time warmth. Within the morning, it’s rather more peaceable. Don’t miss the statue of Zlatorog, the golden-horned Ibex.

Lake Jasna

Vršič Move

The Vršič Move is a paved street that was constructed by Russian POW’s throughout World Warfare I. At 1611 meters, that is the very best mountain cross within the japanese Julian Alps. There are 50 hairpin turns alongside the street, 24 on the Kranjska Gora aspect and 26 on the Trenta aspect.

Vrsic Pass Road

From Kranjska Gora, it takes 30 minutes to drive to the highest of the Vršič Move. From Lake Bled, it takes one hour to get right here.

Anticipate to share the street with cyclists. Biking to the highest of the Vršič Move is a well-liked bucket listing exercise for cyclists and we noticed fairly a couple of individuals biking to the highest of the cross.

Locations to Go to alongside the Vršič Move

There’s extra to do than merely drive up and over the cross. Listed here are a number of the greatest issues to see and do alongside the drive.

The Russian Chapel

The Russian Chapel was inbuilt 1917 by Russian prisoners of conflict as a memorial to those that died whereas setting up the Vršič Move. It’s situated on the Kranjska Gora aspect of the cross simply previous hairpin flip #eight (every hairpin flip is labeled with a brilliant blue signal). There’s a small parking zone close to the chapel.

Russian Chapel

Vršič Move

The very best level of the street (earlier than you descend down the opposite aspect to the Soca Valley) is marked by a number of indicators and one very giant parking zone. Even within the morning, it may be troublesome to seek out parking. Individuals arrive very early within the day as a result of this makes an ideal start line for a lot of hikes in Triglav Nationwide Park.

Vrsic Pass Sign

Triglav National Park

We did an exquisite 5-mile hike from the Vršič Move the day earlier than this scenic drive. You gained’t have time for the hike at present, however you possibly can examine right here and it makes one other welcome addition to your Slovenia itinerary:

Mountaineering the Julian Alps: Vršič Move to Sleme and Slemenova Spica

Ajdovska Deklica

Ajdovska Deklica can also be referred to as The Face within the Stone. With a bit little bit of creativeness, you’ll be able to see a lady’s face on the aspect of Prisank Mountain.

Ajdovska Deklica

Face in the Stone Sign

To get right here, park within the giant parking zone on prime of the Vršič Move after which stroll up the entry street. Go previous Ticarjev dom and proceed till you see the signal marking Ajdovska Deklica. From right here, you possibly can see the face within the stone.

The Soca River

From the highest of the Vršič Cross, drive down the Trenta aspect in the direction of the city of Bovec. It doesn’t take lengthy till the street runs alongside the Soca River. Earlier than you get to Bovec, there are two incredible locations to cease and luxuriate in a view of this dazzling river.

Kamp Korita and Kamp Jelinc

At this spot, there are two campgrounds alongside the Soca River. However what makes this place so particular is that you would be able to stroll alongside a piece of the river. It’s an attractive place and through our go to, there was hardly anybody else right here. This was our favourite place to go to alongside the Soca River.

Soca Valley Road Trip

Slovenia Soca River

How to Visit Soca River

Soca River in August

There’s a small lay-by on the primary street. Park right here, cross the bridge over the river (and benefit from the view!) after which you’ll be able to discover the riverbank in each instructions.

The right way to Get Right here: From the Vršič Move, it’s a 20 km (12.5 miles) drive and takes 33 minutes. Listed here are the GPS Coordinates that will help you pinpoint this spot on a map: 46.341797, 13.684140

Pedestrian Bridge over the Soca River

This pedestrian bridge provides you hen’s eye view of the Soca River.

Soca River

Velika Korita Soce

How one can Get Right here: There’s a small turn-off on 206 that’s large enough for just some automobiles. Park right here and stroll proper out onto the bridge. Once we did this, there was not an obtainable parking area, so Tim dropped me off, I took a couple of pictures, after which he picked me up.

From the campgrounds it’s only a three km drive and takes three minutes to get right here. GPS coordinates: 46°20’26” N 13°39’four″ E

Bovec

Proceed the drive down 206 till you get to Kal-Koritnica. Flip left onto 203 and comply with indicators for Bovec. It takes 15 minutes to get right here from the pedestrian bridge (10 km).

This nice little city makes a pleasant place to get lunch whether it is attending to be about that point.

Bovec

White Water Rafting in Soca Valley

Soca Rafting is an organization that gives white water rafting journeys they usually run a zipline that folks rave about. Since we didn’t go white water rafting or ziplining, we have now no expertise with them, however they do get nice evaluations on Journey Advisor. Study extra (and make your reservations) on the official Soca Rafting web site.

Professional Journey Tip: Make your reservations prematurely as a result of they do promote out often.

Paragliding in Soca Valley

The Soca Valley is a beautiful spot to go paragliding. You’ll have views over the Julian Alps and the beautiful Soca River. The Bovec Rafting Staff provides tandem paragliding for €160 per individual. Your reservation have to be made at the very least three days prematurely. Study extra on their web site.

Napolean’s Bridge

From Bovec, proceed your drive south on route 203 till you get to Kobarid.

In Kobarid it’s value a fast detour to see Napolean’s Bridge. From the bridge you will have an superior view of the Soca River. And sure, the river actually is that brilliantly blue.

Napoleans Bridge

Soca River Slovenia

From Bovec to Napolean’s Bridge, it’s 22 km and takes a half an hour.

Non-compulsory Detour: Slap Kozjak.

In case you are doing nicely on time and need to see a cool waterfall, make the brief detour to Slap Kozjak. It’s a brief hike to get to the waterfall and it’ll take about an hour of your time. The parking zone for the trailhead is situated simply past Napolean’s Bridge. Study extra right here.

Tolmin Gorge

Tolmin Gorge, additionally referred to as Tolminska Korita, is a 1 km lengthy gorge situated on the southern finish of Triglav Nationwide Park. This can be a comparable expertise to Vintgar Gorge. Nevertheless, it’s situated off the primary vacationer path, so crowds are usually decrease at Tolmin Gorge than Vintgar Gorge.

To stroll your complete gorge and go to all the viewpoints, it takes about an hour and a half.

How you can Get Right here: From Kobarid, it’s a 20-minute drive on route 102 (18 km).

Tolmin Gorge Slovenia

Tolmin Gorge


Study Extra: The best way to Go to Tolmin Gorge


Finish Your Day or Proceed to Mangart Saddle

You’ve gotten the choice to finish your day after the Tolmin Gorge. In case you added in white water rafting, paragliding, or Slap Kozjak, more than likely it’s getting late within the day. And if you have to return to Lake Bled, it’s rather a lot faster to drive instantly there from Tolmin fairly than driving to the Mangart Saddle and again via Kranjska Gora.

From Tolmin Gorge to Lake Bled it’s 77 km (48 miles) and 1.75 hours of driving.

Mangart Saddle

Topping out at 2,072 meters, you’ll be able to drive to the Mangartsko Sedlo, the place you’ve got panoramic views over Slovenia and Italy.

Road to Mangart Saddle

Mangart Saddle

This really is a white-knuckle drive. We have now pushed on a number of loopy, winding roads around the globe however this simply could also be one of many craziest. It’s a slender, winding street with quite a few hairpin turns that would not have guardrails. To be able to do that drive, you want wonderful driving expertise, nerves of metal, and a great head for heights.

For us, it was the spotlight of our day. And to assume we didn’t know a factor concerning the Mangart Saddle this exact same morning!

Once we did this, we drove by way of an enormous thunderstorm in Bovec. Extra storms have been shifting is as we drove as much as the saddle. Sadly, we couldn’t spend a lot time right here due to the climate circumstances, however these rumbles of thunder made the go to much more thrilling.

How to do that: From Tolmin, drive again to Bovec. Quite than taking 206 and the street to the Vrsic Cross, flip proper onto 203 and head north to Log pod Mangartom.

This street begins close to Log pod Mangartom and ends on the Mangartsko Sedlo. It’s a dead-end street, so you’ll drive it in each instructions. That is additionally a toll street. Earlier than the actual climbing begins, you’ll pay a small charge (€5) at a ticket sales space as a way to proceed in your method. It takes roughly one hour spherical journey to do that drive, longer for those who spend time on the saddle having fun with the view.

Distance from Tolmin Gorge: 65 km
Driving Time: 1.5 hours

A Border Crossing, Italy, and Dinner close to Kranjska Gora

From the Mangart Saddle, the quickest strategy to drive again to Kranjska Gora and Lake Bled is by way of Italy, consider it or not. On route 203, cross the border into Italy. There’s an deserted border crossing station right here, stays from a a lot totally different period in European historical past.

Slovenia Italy Border

Drive SS54 via Italy till you cross again over into Slovenia. Within the city of Ratece is an superior Slovenian restaurant referred to as Gostilna Mojmir. This was our favourite restaurant within the Kranjska Gora space and we advocate it if you wish to attempt to genuine Slovenia meals.

From Ratece, proceed in the direction of Kranjska Gora. The drive from Mangart Saddle to Kranjska Gora takes simply over an hour with 42 km (26 miles) of driving.

Methods to Modify This Slovenia Road Journey

In case you are staying in Lake Bled, contemplate doing this in the other way. Drive on to Tolmin Gorge, go to Bovec, and contemplate making the detour to the Mangart Saddle. From the Saddle, drive again to Bovec, go to the viewpoints alongside the Soca River, after which drive the Vršič Cross.

It’s inconceivable to squeeze in the whole lot we point out on this article into someday. We didn’t go white water rafting, paragliding, or go to Slap Kozjak and it was nonetheless a really lengthy day. We began at 9 am and received again to our lodge round 7 pm.

If you wish to add white water rafting, paragliding, or Slap Kozjak, what would we skip? In case you don’t like the thought of a loopy, white-knuckle drive, skip the Mangart Saddle. When you’ve got plans to go to Vintgar Gorge, skip Tolmin Gorge. We favored Tolmin Gorge however in our opinion, Vintgar Gorge was a greater expertise. Seeing Ajdovska Deklica, the Face within the Stone at Vršič Move, is good however it’s low on our listing of thrilling issues to do on this street journey (remove this for those who would somewhat have time for one thing else).

Our prime 5 favourite moments:
  • Driving to the Mangart Saddle
  • Soca River Viewpoints
  • Driving the Vrsic Cross
  • Tolmin Gorge
  • Dinner at Gostilna Mojmir

The place We Stayed

We stayed on the Condominium Home Berghi in Kranjska Gora. We picked Kranjska Gora over Lake Bled as a result of it was barely cheaper, a lot simpler to seek out lodging, and situated very near the Vršič Move.

Kranjska Gora is a superb place to make your own home base for exploring Slovenia. This small city is full of fantastic eating places and is about with the backdrop of the jagged, rocky Julian Alps. Plus, it’s a lot much less crowded than Lake Bled so we didn’t should cope with every day visitors jams attending to and from our lodging.


In case you are planning a Slovenia street journey and have any questions, remark under. And when you have achieved this street journey and need to share your expertise, we might love to listen to about it! Cheers!

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Slovenia Road Trip: Visit the Vrsic Pass, Lake Jasna, Soca River, Soca Valley, Tolmin Gorge, Mangart Saddle, Bovec and Bovec. #slovenia #roadtrip #tolmingorge #socavalley