Just about the most beautiful place in Europe.
The 86-mile-long river Soča (pronounced “soar-cha”) is an emerald blue Alpine river in north-west Slovenia. It passes though the picturesque towns of Bovec, Kobarid, Tolmin and Nova Gorica before crossing into Italy and making its way to the Adriatic sea in Monfalcone.
For my money, the Soča valley is one of the most stunning locations in Europe partly because of the unspoiled Triglav national park surrounding it, and partly because of the startling colour of the water. The river is known as “the emerald beauty” and is extremely rare in that it retains the same bright blue colour throughout its length. It is crystal clear, refreshingly cold even in summer and is a must-see on any trip to Slovenia.
The Soča is also a huge attraction for water sports, nature and fishing. There are many small companies that can provide you with rafting, kayaking and even canyoning days on the river. These can be booked in advance or by visiting any of the large towns such as Bovec on its route. Fisherman from across the world visit here too and the river even has its own particular breed of marble trout. You can read more on this at the Slovene Tourist Board pages or the official Soča Valley website.
For me though, I like to visit by car and drive the section from Trenta, through Bovec and down to Tolmin where the road runs mostly alongside the river. When you see something interesting, pull over in one of the many parking areas and just go explore for a while. Spending a couple of hours sat with your feet in the water is a far better use of your time than I can adequately explain here.
If you need any more convincing, type “Soča River” into Google Images and try to find a single photograph that doesn’t make you want to travel there right away. The river is about an hour and a half from Ljubljana, depending upon which part you aim for. Doing a loop over the amazing Vršič pass and all the way down to Tolmin will take most of the day but is defiinitely worthwhile.