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Soci Valley Hiking Festival in Sept.

I am traveling solo in Slovenia later this month and considering doing one of the guided hikes in the Soci Valley Hiking Festival on Sept. 21. Here’s my current itinerary, which was planned before the Hiking Festival hikes were (finally!) posted this week.

Wed., Sept. 18, arrive in Ljubljana from Zagreb late in the day
Thursday, Sept 19, drive rental car from Ljubljana to Skocjan Caves and Predjama Castle, Stay in Most na Soci Thursday night.
Friday, Sept 20 and Saturday, Sept 21, Stay in Bohinj
Sunday, Sept. 22, return to Ljubljana for two days before taking a train to Munich on Tuesday, Sept. 24

There are two hikes Saturday, Sept. 21
A 9.7 km “theme hike” that meets at the Sports Park in Tolmin at 9 am. That is 1:24 driving from Bohinj but only 0:11 driving from Most na Soci.
A 12.7 km hike that meets at the Podbrdo train station at 8:30 a.m. That is 44 minutes from Bohinj and 34 minutes from Most na Soci.

I am leaning toward doing the “theme hike”. (The website doesn't translate to English but here's the description I was able to get using a web translator "Dramatic path above the canyon of the Tolminka River will bring us to the mountain Deposit, where they were during World War I Austro-Hungarian hinterland positions to supply the nearby mountainous battlefields. Above the valley as a reminder of the war and at the same time timeless symbol of peace stands Memorial Church of the Holy Spirit in Javorca, who also wears the European Heritage Label. Charming character is on a hillside Tolminka almost concealed the Italian bunker from the interwar period, but we searched his dark secrets. Before returning to Tolmin we will in the near mountain afford even tasting local cheese Tolminc indigenous brands produced in the traditional way.")

Would it be better to change from accommodations from Bohinska to Most na Soci on Friday? This is my first time driving in Europe (unless you count 20+ years ago in Ireland). I am a 66-year old female who is reluctant to hike alone and the Hiking Festival offerings seem do-able.

And has anyone done a hike like the one described?

Posted by
3713 posts

I am currently traveling solo through Slovenia as an uncoordinated, directionally-challenged, 40-something male who enjoys hiking but, like you, is reluctant to do so alone. I've also rented a car during part of my trip.

I find driving in Slovenia not so bad, but if you go with the "theme" hike, I would suggest staying in Most na Soči the night before the hike. It looks like a fairly narrow 2-lane road gets you from Bohinjska Bistrica to Tolmin (you can use Google maps to see part of the road). A farmer driving a tractor that is towing cows could totally hose your arrival time (spoken from personal experience driving through the "other" Alps in Slovenia -- the Kamnik-Savinja Alps).

An alternative to the Soča Valley Hiking Festival is hiring a private guide, which would allow you to hike wherever you want on whichever day you want (along with allowing you to have the undivided-attention of a local for the duration of your hike). If you want to hike in the Bovec/Kobarid/Tolmin area, you may try arranging something with Vesna of Slocally. Check out her website; she's very committed to providing a local experience to travelers. I haven't toured with her yet (2 days next week!), but she has been wonderful to work with. If she's free, she may be able to guide you on a hike that is of interest to you in the area (not just limited to what is on her website). The World War I Museum at Kobarid also has guides who can take you on the Kobarid Historical Trail (or other trails).

From Bohinjska Bistrica, Liza and her very pleasant daughter Monica run a company called Topagencija. The company does a variety of things, including providing guides for hikes in the Julian Alps. I did some hiking around Bled with Monica and enjoyed the time spent with her. I will do more hiking with Liza/Monica when I hit Bohinj late next week. Hiking options are not limited to what is on their website. PM me if you are interested in this option, and I will give you a website that provides a much longer list of hiking options that Liza can provide.

Posted by
3713 posts

I spent a day with Vesna yesterday. She's great. She did tell me that for hiking, she is not certified for mountaineering. She is certified only for guiding hikes in the valleys. So, I don't think she would be able to do a hike like the ones you mentioned with the hiking festival. We visited Tolmin Gorges yesterday as part of a full day of exploring the area -- it's a short hike -- only about one hour, but great. We're doing another hike today near Bovec; we'll see how it goes.

Posted by
3713 posts

Day 2 with Vesna: The iPhone health app showed that I walked a little over 8 miles with Vesna and climbed the equivalent of 90 flights of stairs. We did some hiking around Bovec and around Tolmin. We visited the Memorial Church of the Holy Spirit in Javorca, but we drove most of the way (up a mostly one-lane road built by WWI soldiers as a supply road); it was a steep 20-minute walk from the parking area. Hikes were more valley hikes. If you want top of mountain panoramas, Vesna would not be the right choice for that, though she has A LOT to offer with what she does do. I greatly enjoyed my time with her.

Posted by
3713 posts

Oh yeah, I did the Kobarid Historical Trail today with a guide from the Kobarid Museum (paired with a tour of the museum). It took about 3 hours to cover 5 km. I enjoyed it, too, and I had some very impressive views of the Soča Valley, but, again, not top-of-peak panoramic views.

Posted by
5 posts

Hi there,
just checked your post, probaly to late to be useful about theme hikes, but anyway.
I don't know if it helps, but I was three times already on Soča trail (28,4 km) in the past (app. 5 years ago) and would recommend it totally (I am Slovene).
Lately I turned into running from bike hikes, but I am still visiting Gorenjska places, since I am Slovene, but from east of Slovenia. I also didn't get first infos from site soca valley, but from my collegaue Matjaž, who organizes team building events here in Slovenia. Maybe he can give you additional infos. I reached him on ETC Adriatic site.