The Soča Valley is one of the most picturesque valleys in the world and there are so many gorgeous photos of the famous emerald river cutting through the green mountains with the blue sky enhancing the beauty. Although we have had one of the hottest summers on record, it doesn’t mean the sun is always shining. The month of September has so far been dominated by big thunderstorms, huge rain showers and cooler temperatures. This is a rural, mountainous area with a lot of outdoor activities on offer but sometimes they don’t seem so appealing when it’s chucking it down with rain.
But don’t despair! If you have arrived in the Soča Valley on holiday and it’s raining, I have compiled a list of fun things to do that will keep you (mostly) dry and allow you to experience other aspects of the Soča area.
Kobarid Museum Kobariški muzej
The Soča Valley played a very important part in history and it has had a very turbulent past. This museum showcases some excellent exhibitions with maps which show the World War I battlefields around Kobarid and the reestablished political borders at the end of the war. There are also exhibitions about the Isonzo front, the work of the brave Partisans and stories of suffering from the frontline in the karst mountains.
Entrance to the museum costs €6 for adults, €4 for pensioners and students and €2.50 for children.
Located close to Bovec on the way up to the Predel Pass is Kluže Fortress. It was built in 1472 and has seen a lot of conflict over the years, from being to a wooden fort to what it looks like today. It played an important role as a command and control facility for the Austro-Hungarian forces in World War I and it was also used during World War II. It is now an interesting museum with a small entrance fee. Adults are €3 and it’s €2 for pensioners, students and children.
Enjoy a local coffee kava in Bovec
Bovec is a quaint town with plenty of cafés to sit and enjoy a coffee, perhaps a burek and indulge in a spot of people watching. Bovec is the social hub of the Soča Valley and you can escape the rain showers by hanging out with the locals and knocking back a strong espresso or two. Slovenian coffee is good and strong flavoured.
Eat at a local gostilna pub
Going out for lunch is a great way to sample some local Slovenian food. There are great vegetarian options like warming vegetable soups, skuta cheese with rye bread and delicious Italian style pizzas. Gostilna Pri Mostu in Žaga is one of my favourite places to eat in the Soča Valley because of it’s local vibes, friendly staff and huge, tasty portions. A large pizza here is €8 and it definitely fills you up.
Low level valley walks
If you are willing to brave the rain showers then there are plenty of low level walks in the valley that are suitable for all abilities. Two of my favourite walks start and finish in our little village of Žaga.
1. Start behind Gostilna Pri Mostu pub and follow the lower S1a footpath. This leads you to the wooden viewing platform for Boka waterfall. After being mesmerised by the tallest waterfall in Slovenia, the path continues downwards to Hotel Boka where you can take a dip in the Soča river if you’re feeling brave (and the water level isn’t too high!). From here, you return to Žaga back along the road in a westerly direction.
2. Starting 50m along the road, south of Gostilna Pri Mostu is a gap in the wall with an obvious signpost directing you onto the S1 footpath towards Sušec on the Alpe Adria Trail. This footpath leads you towards the village of Srpenica. Upon entering the Srpenica, there are signs back towards the river to Most Lipuc or Lipuc bridge. You enter a forest footpath which leads you to a foot bridge with fantastic views of the Soča river. When you cross the bridge there are signs towards Bovec which you follow. This footpath follows the Soča river back upstream to Boka bridge. You return back to Žaga following the road as above.
Shop for souvenirs or local products in Bovec
Slovenians pride themselves on keeping things super local. They are loads of little shops where you can pick yourself up some local wine or schnapps, homemade bags, printed t-shirts and honey from Bovec.
White water rafting
White water rafting on the Soča river is one of the most popular activities to do in the valley. Despite the rain, outdoor agencies will still take the keenest tourists out on the Soča. The swell in the height of the river and the huge rapids means it will make for a thrilling experience and hey, you’re going to get wet anyway!
I hope you have a great time in the Soča Valley, whatever the weather. Don’t be put off the by rain and make the most of this wonderful place.