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Best of the Adriatic--question about the Vrsic Pass

I have a question about one of the bus journeys on the Best of the Adriatic tour. The itinerary says that on day three the tour will have "a scenically winding, mountain-pass drive to the breathtaking Soča River Valley." I assume the "scenically winding mountain-pass" is the Vrsic Pass. I base that on a Cameron Hewitt blog post in 2016 in which he said that the best scenery in Slovenia is deep in the Julian Alps and the best route for seeing it is the one-day drive over the Vršič Pass, then back down along the Soča River Valley. He said the Rick Steves Best of the Adriatic Tour was designed to include a day for this journey. The photos on that blog post are stunning.

Somewhere, I'm almost positive I read that the Vrsic Pass is a summer only experience, that it is closed after summer. But now I can't find that again. If we take the Best of the Adriatic tour in late September or early October, will something else be substituted for the Vrsic Pass & Soca River Valley drive? Or is it possible that drive will still be done, but it's weather dependent, no one can know in advance?

Posted by
488 posts

I went on that trip in September and there was road construction 😞. So we missed the pass. We went thru the next pass up but it wasn’t as scenic. We still ended up in the Soca river valley. I guess you just have to be flexible in your expectations. It’s a great tour!

Posted by
10299 posts

A call to the RS office would be worthwhile. If they do not know, no one will.

Posted by
208 posts

We traveled in Slovenia a few years ago, in May. We were planning to drive the Vrsic pass, but checking at the point where the road to the pass began, were told that it was still impassable to non 4WD vehicles due to snow. We wound up driving through Italy to another pass, one Napoleon's army used back in the day. The most memorable thing on that drive was seeing the abandoned customs check points at the Italian Slovenian borders. Interesting, but probably not as scenic as the Vrsic pass might have been.

You just need to roll with the punches when you travel, IMHO.

Posted by
470 posts

The Vrsic Pass closes only at times of heavy snowfall or if there's avalanche danger, which admittedly happens quite often in winter. While this may last well into late spring on heavy snowfall years, it's very unlikely to happen in early October, let alone September. On the other hand, construction has been ongoing on the pass for a few years now but this summer's works are scheduled to end by September 1. All in all, the chances you'll get to experience the pass are quite good.

Posted by
77 posts


I don't know about that area, but in general I have found that winter weather (snow in the mountains) tends to be a worse problem in Spring than in Fall. The snow lingers in the late spring longer than what you might expect, but it's not as much of a problem in early fall since it hasn't had time to build up. So I would worry more about June than September or October.

However, I'm not an expert on that area, so I agree that calling the RS office to ask specifics might be best for you if it's that important to you. Good luck!