If you are ever in Slovenia, Bovec is an unmissable experience. When visiting the neighbouring country, there are two cities you need to see. These are Bovec and Bled. The two cities are approximately 100 kilometres apart, about 2 hours by car. While Bled is known for the lake and the famous Vintgar Gorge, Bovec is popular for its natural wonders, the Lake Soca, and its adrenaline-filled activities.
Multiple local partners are offering their rafting, canyoning, etc. programs. And if that is not enough, there are countless trekking and hiking routes in the area, with plenty of bucket list-worthy attractions.
Map - Where is Bovec?
The city of Bovec is located in the Triglav National Park, in the north-western part of Slovenia, next to the Italian border. Bovec is located in the so-called Soca Valley, named after the River Soca. The valley is the cradle of water sports in Slovenia.
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Bovec is a 2-hour car ride away from Ljubljana. We can get there on several routes. We can also make most of the journey via Austria, then turn back from Italy to enter Slovenia or drive through Slovenia.
The three most popular and known cities in the region are Bovec, Tolmin and Kobarid. If you are looking for guided activities (e.g. rafting, kayaking, etc.), individual excursions and accommodation in the area, you will surely come across the names of these three cities.
The River Soca originates from the north, so Bovec is the very first town along the river and the most “mountainous”. Therefore, it is a great opportunity for rafting, and canyoning, and here is the largest zip line in Slovenia too (the second largest is next to Bled). 95% of local guides are located in Bovec.
There won’t be an opportunity for sightseeing in Bovec, as the city we could say lacks museums or exhibitions. The typical mountain town with its population of about 1,600 is very kind and hospitable.
There are a couple of restaurants, some parking lots and a medium-sized hypermarket too. Those who want to stay in the city can find accommodation easily too if they book well in advance. Bovec is a paradise for adventurer families, couples wishing for active rest, friend groups, or solo travellers.
Top 13 Attractions in Bovec
The attractions below are all located within a reasonable distance of Bovec. They are sorted by distance, not popularity. I hope this makes it easier for you to choose attractions within a convenient drive.
|Bovec - Top attractions||Distance from Bovec|
|River Soca||0 km|
|Ravelnik Outdoor Museum||1,8 km|
|Virje waterfall||3,6 km|
|Kluze Fortress||4,5 km|
|Boka waterfall||6 km|
|Susec gorge||10 km (only with tour guide)|
|Kozjak canyon||27 km|
|Napoleon's Bridge||27 km|
|Tolmin gorge||39 km|
|Zelenci Reserve||45 km|
|Lake Jasna||48 km|
|Mangart pass||48 km|
|Pericnik waterfall||65 km|
Those who travel to Bled for the wonderful lake, visit Bovec for the crystal clear and turquoise River Soca. The whole area is surrounded by the 138-kilometre-long fast-roaring stream. The variable-width river originates from the Trenta Valley. There are many places where you can swim in the lake. However, I suggest choosing a swimming area without any vortex and where the water isn’t deep.
Ravelnik Outdoor Museum
The Ravelnik Museum showcases the Austrian-Hungarian front line during the world war. You can get an insight into the lives of soldiers stationed here by viewing the remaining ruins.
- Opening hours: Open every day
- Entry: Free
- Distance from Bovec: 3 minutes / ~ 1 km
- Address: Ravni Laz, 5230 Bovec, Slovenia
Virje Waterfall (Slap Virje)
The Virje Waterfall is only known to a few. The tiny cascade is only 3,7 kilometres away from Bovec. The lovely waterfall is known for its unique shape. The increasingly popular local attraction is an ideal destination if you want to take an easy hike close by.
- Opening hours: Every day
- Entry: Free
- Distance from Bovec: 8-10 minutes / 3,7 km
- Address: Glijun, Slovenia
The Virje Waterfall is located in the village of Plužna. After arriving to Plužna, turn right at the crossroad, then follow the signs, which show the path to the waterfall. Soon you will arrive at a very small( 4 cars fit) parking lot. If you can’t park there, go further and find an ideal parking spot in the neighbourhood.
Take a left turn at the bridge before River Glijun onto the road going down. You should be able to hear the waterfall here, and soon you will catch a glimpse of it too.
The 1472-built fortress (served as protection against the Turks) played an important role during the Napoleonic wars, as well as in the First World War. The fort is located above the strait formed by the River Koritnica. Even if fortresses don’t really interest you it is worth visiting for its the fantastic views. During July and August the fort is open until 8 pm.
|Address||Ravni Laz 16, 5230 Bovec, Slovenia|
|May - Oct||Every day: 10:00 - 17:00 / 10:00 - 20:00|
|Dec - Apr||Can only be visited by appointment|
|Entry fee: adults||3 euro|
|Entry fee: child, student, senior||2 euro|
Boka Waterfall (Slap Boka)
You may have seen pictures of the Boka Waterfall. Although it is not Slovenia’s tallest waterfall, it is the most spectacular. You can view the 106-meter tall waterfall from different locations.
- Entry: no entry, free
- Distance from Bovec: 7 minutes / 7.6 km
- Address: Podklopca 3, 5230 Bovec, Slovenia
You can look at the Boca Waterfall from the lookout point made for this purpose. It is a 15-minute hike with signs along the way, so you don’t have to worry about getting lost. The hike is not difficult, however, wear appropriate shoes. The pathway is rocky with a lot of stairs, so it definitely requires your attention.
In case you don’t want to hike, park the car in a suitable, safe place next to the road. Honestly, there won’t be a big difference between the views, therefore I only recommend the hike to those who like to trek.
You have the opportunity to hike in the bed of the Boka Waterfall. You can follow along the river until you get to the point where the waterfall crashes into the ground. This hike requires endurance and good physical condition. The riverbed hike is a day-long activity.
Susec is one of Slovenia’s most popular canyons. You can only enter with a state-approved guide who specializes in this terrain. The watery canyon not only promises a great experience, but it is without a doubt one of Slovenia’s most beautiful gorges. The pools, waterfalls and slides carved by the river are truly a “once in a lifetime” attraction and experience.
Kozjak Waterfall (Slap Kozjak)
The Kozjak Waterfall is located next to the town of Kobarid, 27 kilometres from Bovec. It is one of Slovenia’s most known and photographed waterfalls.
- Opening hours: Every day
- Address: Kozjak 5222 Kobarid, Slovenia
- Distance from Bovec: 27 km / 33 minutes
Kobarid Historical Educational Trail
The Kozjak Waterfall is part of the Kobarid Historical Educational Trail, just like the next attraction – the Napoleon’s Bridge. If you have time, go through the educational trail. The historical and natural attractions of the Kobarid area in the Soca Valley are summarised by the so-called Kobarid Historical Educational Trail (Kobariška zgodovinska pot). Here you will find the details of the pleasant hike path:
- Distance: 8 km
- Duration: 4,5 hours
- Level difference: 330 m upwards, the same downwards
Easy walk on well-signed paths. Our path starting from the city centre leads us through the Italian World War memorial, the Iron Age fortress, then through the Soca Valley into the Koziak Waterfall and back through the Napoleon’s Bridge.
Napoleon’s Bridge is also located in Kobarid, less than a 30-minute car ride from Bovec. The interesting fact about the 21-metre high bridge is that Napoleon marched across it with his army during his war with Austria. Next to the bridge is the starting point of the hiking trail leading to the 15 m high Koziak Waterfall.
- Address: 5222 Kobarid, Slovenia
- Distance from Bovec: 27 km / 30 minutes
Tolmin Gorge, as its name indicates, is located next to Tolmin, only 39 km away from Bovec. You need to buy a ticket at the gorge, where a local tour guide will take you into the inside of the canyon. It is worth buying the ticket in advance, online.
- Address: Zatolmin 66a, 5220 Tolmin, Slovenia
- Distance from Bovec: 39 km / 40 minutes
- Opening Hours: varies, but it is usually open between 9:00 – 17:00
- Entry: varies, between € 2 - 8
- Online ticket: here
- Difficulty: easy
- Hiking Distance: 2km round tour / 1,5 hours
- Attractions: Suspension bridge, Bear’s Head, Dante’s cave, Thermal spring
The Zelenci Nature Reserve is part of Kranjska Gora. The lovely reserve is located next to the village of Podkoren. It is well-known in Europe for its iconic lake district. The water on average is 2 metres deep and is green, hence the name (zelenci means green in Slovenian). It is and easy excursion place suitable for families with stroller and also for the elderly, since the nature reserve is located on a flat terrain.
- Address: Podkoren 75, 4280 Kranjska Gora, Slovenia
- Distance from Bovec: 45 km / about 60 minutes by car
It is definitely worth a detour to visit Lake Jasna, located just a few minutes away from Zelenci Reserve. Slovenia’s lakes and rivers are famous for their fabulous colour. Just like Lake Jasna. With its dazzling blue and green colours it is truly a mesmerizing sight.
What makes Lake Jasna different? The colour of the water is much more vivid and brighter than Lake Bled or Lake Bohinj. Although, it is smaller than the above mentioned lakes, Lake Jasna is a good alternative if you don’t want to travel to Bled or Bohinj.
The Mangart Saddle (Mangart Pass) is located about 50 minutes away from Bovec, however, it provides completely different views – which is guaranteed to compensate you for the hour-long drive.
This is Slovenia’s highest mountain car road and undoubtedly one of the most beautiful panoramic roads in Europe. Even looking at the pictures amazes one. There are many easier and more difficult hiking opportunities along the way. You can feel like you are in the clouds without having to sweat and hike for kilometres if you go with a car.
Pericnik Falls with its 52 metre height is the tallest and most famous waterfall of Slovenia. The cascade originating from the valley of Vrata consists of 2 waterfalls.
- Upper Waterfall Pericnik: 16 metres
- Lower Waterfall Pericnik: 52 metres
There’s a signed hiking trail starting from the town of Mojstrana leading to the location. It is special because you can actually walk behind the Lower Pericnik Falls, thus you can walk around it.
Top Activities in Bovec
After the attractions mentioned above, I collected the best activities in the area. I always check first, for the difficulty of the program, if you need any previous knowledge, therefore I highlighted these details. Moreover, I also marked the children-friendly activities.
Here you will only find activities that are either in Bovec or nearby.
|Bovec things to do||Diifficulty||Previous exp||Min age||Duration||Price (~)|
|Rafting||Easy||No need||3 yrs||2-3 hours||40 euro|
|Mini Rafting v Gekkoing||Easy||No need||6 yrs||2-3 hours||40 euro|
|Kajaking||Easy||No need||8-10 yrs||2-3 hours||60 euro|
|Canyoning||Easy - Challenging||No need||10 yrs||3-6 hours||50-120 euro|
|Zip line||Easy||No need||6 yrs||2-3 hours||60 euro|
|Adventure park||Easy||No need||6 yrs||2 hours||30 euro|
|Bike rental or Bike tour||Easy - Difficult||No need||10 yrs||2-3 hours||40-80 euro|
|Trail running||Based on your need||No need||0||2-3 hours||45 euro|
|Skydiving||Easy||No need||18 yrs||2-3 hours||230 euro|
|Rock climbing||Easy||No need||6 yrs||4 hours||60 euro|
|Hiking, climbing, mountaineering||Based on the chosen activity||Based on the chosen activity||Based on the chosen activity||Based on the chosen activity||0 - 300 euro|
The variable difficulty means that the level and place of the tour can be altered for request. So activities such as biking, trail run, or hiking can be altered to your needs and experience by the tour guide.
Activities, like rafting and kayaking are also flexible – since you can choose from different versions. If you are a complete beginner, they will take you to a more calm part of the river, where the length of the tour will be shorter. And if you are advanced, you can find more challenging areas too.
Rafting (and mini rafting, geckoing)
Despite what it may look like, rafting is one of the easiest and safest water sports out there. Although at first you would think it is dangerous (and of course it has its own dangers), rafting is recommended from the age of 4! This is because you can do rafting on River Soca’s easier parts. You don’t need previous experience or much stamina. Knowing how to swim is essential!
Unlike kayaking, you can do rafting on speedier waters without previous experience. Inexperienced kayaking is only possible in the standing sections of the river. More on kayaking in the next section. Minimum age for rafting:
- Rafting: 4 years
- Mini rafting (2 people): 12-14 years
- Geckoing: 6 years
Kayaking in Bovec
As mentioned earlier, you can also kayak on the River Soca. It is worth knowing that without experience the guide can take you on two programs. In one of the standing sections of the river you can practice and get acquainted with rowing.
You can’t go in wild water without knowing how to do an “eskimo roll”, that is turning upside down with a kayak. The tour guide teaches you this among other things during the day courses. So if you just want easy rowing and don’t aim for wilder water, you might want to sign up for an introductory program for a few hours.
- Standing water, introductory rowing (min age: 9 years) 2 hours program
- 1-2 day course with a minimum age of 14 years old
Bovec has an abundance of beautiful gorges and canyons. Therefore, canyoning is one of the most popular activities in the area. The 4 most popular canyons are the following: Susec, Fratarica, Kozjak and Predelica. All of which are watery gorges created by the tributaries of River Soca.
|Bovec canyoning||Difficulty||Previoius experience||Min age||Duration||Price|
|Canyoning - Susec||Easy||No need||10 yrs||3-4 hours||50 euro|
|Canyoning - Fratarica||Moderate||No need||16 yrs||5 hours||90 euro|
|Canyoning - Kozjak||Moderate||No need||16 yrs||4 hours||90 euro|
|Canyoning - Predelica||Difficult||Required||18 yrs||6 hours||120 euro|
It is true for all canyon tours that you can only enter the gorge with a certified tour guide. With the exception of Kozjak Canyon, the rest are almost inaccessible on foot.
The most popular and easiest gorge is Canyon Susec. There are daily 5-6 tours starting from there. This is the most popular, because it is the easiest canyon, therefore it can be explored with children from the age of 10.
The largest zipline field of Slovenia is located in Bovec. The adrenaline-filled experience resembling an adventure park is one of the favourite programs of not only young people, but of the elderly and families.
There are all together 10 ropes in the park. As a part of the program a jeep takes us from the office in Bovec to the hill above the city. Here the tour guides will demonstrate the use of the necessary equipment on a small test rope. You can practice the moves too.
There will be 2 guides with you and the group all along (approx. 10-15 ppl group). One guide will be always at the front, and one in the back. There aren’t any age restrictions for kids, only height restrictions:
- Min height: 120 cm
- Min weight: 35 kg
- Max weight: 125 kg
Not recommended for people with fear of heights or knee pain! It is worth booking the tour 2 days in advance, while you can pay at the venue.
The SRNICA adventure park in Bovec is truly fun and a good challenge for the whole family. The park is open every day, however, you can only visit it with a guide. Therefore, it is necessary to book a tour guide online.
Tour in the SRNICA adventure park, opening hours:
- April, May: 11.00 - 14.00
- June July, August: 10.00 - 14.00 - 17.00
- September, October: 11.00 - 14.00
- November: 13.00
The activity is about 2 hours long. The entry for adults is only € 29 and € 23 for kids. It is a couple euros more expensive in high season.
Usually renting a bike and going on a bike tour is available from the age of 10. Usually younger kids don’t have available bikes in their size. Today almost all of the tours are available with electric bike, let it be MTB or normal one.
Renting Bike, MTB, and electric bike is possible in Bovec. Renting bikes is quite popular from May until September, therefore I suggest renting a bike in advance. You can rent bikes from € 15, while renting an electric bike or MTB for the whole day costs € 40.
- MTB tour between € 50 - 65
- Electric MTB tour for € 80
Mountain bike tours
If you like challenges and fancy mountain hikes, I recommend Mount Matajur or Kobarid. Both mountains are fabulous and promise great experiences. For these tours the min. age is 18 years.
- MTB tour: Mount Kobarid (electric MTB available)
- MTB tour: Mount Matajur (electric MTB available)
If you like trail running, Bovec is a great option to try yourself in foreign terrains. Of course you can go by yourself too, choose a dirt road or other terrain close to your accommodation. You will find roads suitable for terrain running nearby Bovec on Mapmyrun website.
You can also choose a local guide to show you the area. The difficulty level of the tour depends entirely on you, since only You will be in the group. The 2 hour program costs only € 45. The Soca Valley is home to multiple trail running contests a year. You can also do the most popular distances.
Vzajemna Trail Run
The 10 km long run starts at the intersection of River Soca and Tolminka, then continues towards the Babrje Camp. Here the path leads to the village Zatolmin, and then takes you to the local gem, the Tolmin Gorge. During descending the next point is the intersection of River Tolminka and Zadlaščica, then the village Žabče.
From here the next destination is again where River Tolminka and Soca meets, where you can meet plenty of runners as they cross Tolminka through the water. If you are not keen on that, choose the bridge.
- Find the trail's map here, on runmap.net.
Tolminka Trail Run
The Tolminka pathway is 15 kilometres long. Similar to Vzajemma, it starts at the intersection of River Soca and Tolminka, then continues towards Gabrje Camp. Here with steep ascending leads to Tolmin Castle.
The road continues in the direction of village Zatolmin, touching Tomin Gorge and the intersection of River Tolminka and Zadlascica. This is followed by an ascent to the village of Zabce. The run ends in the next meeting point of River Tolminka and Soca.
- You can find the tour on runmap.net too.
Soca Trail Run
The 21 kilometres long route goes along the most beautiful attractions. This is the longest route in the Soca Valley. It is a complemented version of the Tolminka pathway. Starting from Sotocjethe route continues towards Volčanski Most. Then passing by from Labrca Ba toMengore. Here the roads goes through the First World War bunkers, then returns to the intersection of River Tolminka and Soca. The trail is almost always a narrow path.
In the area of Bovec, perhaps the most trivial program is hiking and trekking. You can get to the attractions listed in the first half of the post via a short hike, therefore trekking is given in most activities.
The most iconic routes are the educational trails leading through Tolmin Gorge and Soca, which are although part of “Soca Trail”, (which is more than 100 km long), but you can adjust the distance by shortening it to your liking. Hiking on Mangart Saddle also provides a unique experience. Other than these, to see almost all of the previously mentioned sights, you need to take a shorter hike.
If you have time the typical “Hut to Hut” hike and the “Seven Lakes Valley” tour is unmissable. If you are looking for a certified guide, here you can find a professional guide, who will take you on “Hut to Hut” hikes or to the Seven Lakes Valley. The Soca Valley is part of the Triglav National Park. We compared the most beautiful hiking trails of the park in a separate blog post, which you can find here.
Climbing Mount Triglav
Mount Triglav, which is the most popular summit of Slovenia, is located not far from. To visit here without experience and suitable equipment is only recommended with a guide. The hike is a 1,5 day program, which includes hiking, mountain climbing and via ferrata too.
If your accommodation is located in Bovec or in the neighbourhood, it is worth spending one or two whole days hiking. Thus you can fit climbing Mount Triglav or a longer hike in the schedule. However, if you only travel through Bovec, or are not a fan of longer hikes, rather focus on the attractions, where you will need to hike anyways.
If without a doubt wort trying skydiving in Slovenia. The diverse landscape, tall mountains, broad pastures and the view interwoven by rivers and lakes are captivating. The airport, where the plane takes off is next to Bovec. You need to book online previously.
Skydiving is not physically demanding however, it is unfortunately not the cheaper category either. The price of one session is between € 200-300. It is not recommended for children and expecting ladies. It is only available for people over 18.
Beginner and pro rock climbers can both find variable and suitable climbing terrain around Bovec. If you are a beginner and would like to try out this sport, book a certified rock climbing guide, who also provides safety.
An average rock climbing session is a 4 hour program, in an approx. 4-8 people group (it can be less too). It costs about € 60, including the price of the guide and the equipment too (helmet, ropes, carabiners). Since the difficulty of the rock climbing can be personally adjusted, kids can try it too. The recommended minimum age is 6 years.
You will find multiple smaller and bigger parking lots in Bovec. Almost all of them have a fee, so have credit card and euro with you in cash. You will usually have to buy the ticket from a machine. The daily ticket costs a couple of euros.
You are even able to do a bigger grocery shopping in Bovec in the local Mercator. You will have a broad selection of vegetables, fruits, bakery products, meets, etc. Even if your accommodation is not in Bovec, it is worth coming here after a long day to buy something for dinner or breakfast.
When we visited Bovec, we had activities planned both in the morning and afternoon (canyoning, zipline, etc.), therefore we ate lunch from the supermarket and visited an inn in a neighbouring village on our way back home.