A Detailed Guide to Visiting the Great Soča Gorge [Slovenia]

If you’re visiting the Soča River Valley, a stop at the Great Soča Gorge (Velika Korita Soče is a must! In this post, we’re giving a detailed guide to visiting the gorge.

What is the Great Soča Gorge?

A blue river crashes through a tight rock canyon with ferns on both sides.

The gorgeous, emerald-green Soča River winds for 137 km through the Soča River Valley, passing by and through a large number of towns (Soča, Bovec, Kobarid, Kanal ob Soči, and many, many others).

Between the Source of the Soča and the town of Bovec runs the 25 km Soča River Trail, a hiking path right along the river, with spectacular mountain and water views.

While there are many great spots along the Soča River Trail, the section just outside of the town of Soča is truly special. Here, the river narrows into a tight slot canyon, known as the Great Soča Gorge, or Velika Korita Soče in Slovenian.

The gorge is only 750 meters long, but it packs a punch with high, curving, undulating walls, a couple of small waterfalls, areas of rapids, and areas of calm, undisturbed dark green water. There are several bridges over the 10-15 meters high gorge and many, many viewpoints to admire the enchanting canyon views.

Where Exactly is the Great Soča Gorge?

The Velika Korita Soce is located in Triglav National Park, on an isolated area of Highway 206, between the towns of Bovec and Trenta.

How to Get There and Where to Park

By Bus

A concrete streetss curves through a flush tree forest on a mountain.

During the summer months, there is a hop-on, hop-off shuttle bus that services a large region of the Soča River Valley. You can look at the detailed bus timetable here – you’ll want to look at the “Bus line to the SOČA SOURCE and over VRŠIČ PASS”.

The buses pass through the towns of Bovec, Soča , Trenta, the Vrsic Pass, and Kranjska Gora, as well as several hiking locations, so there are ample opportunities to get a ride.

There are two buses a day (in each direction) that run between June 1 and September 30. Two additional buses run every day between June 25 and August 31, and an additional four buses run between July 1 and August 31 (for a total of 8 daily buses in each direction). There are no buses outside of June 1-September 30.

The cost is 6 euro for a bus ride, and you’ll want to get off at the Lepena Junction stop, which is at the southern end of the Great Soča Gorge. Alternatively, the stop in Soča is only a 15-minute walk from the northern end of the Gorge.

By Car

If you will have your own rental car, it’s extremely easy to get to the gorge. You’ll drive on Highway 206 (a beautiful road), either heading east from Bovec/Kal-Koritnica or south/west from Trenta/Soča .

There are two parking lots on the Great Soča Gorge. There’s a smaller, ~7-car free parking area right on the side of Highway 206, on the eastern side of the gorge. This parking lot is directly connected to a scenic bridge crossing the river. You can find the exact location for this lot here.

A gravel parking lot on the right side at the trailhead for the Soca River and a concrete street on the left side with trees everywhere and a mountain range in the background.

The parking lot on the western side is bigger and a little more developed. To get here, you’ll turn off Highway 206 onto the road just called “Soča .” This road makes a steep, sharp turn, crosses a bridge over the gorge, and then swings and follows the river farther west.

There is a large parking area on the side of the road just past the end of the gorge. You can find the exact location for this parking area here. It costs 1 euro per hour to park here.

Driving yourself around Slovenia is one of the best ways to travel around the country, because you can easily hit up all these small, hidden spots on your own schedule.

👉If you haven’t grabbed your rental car yet, do that ASAP! I recommend (and personally use) DiscoverCars.com for the best prices and availability.

What the Great Soča Gorge is Like

There are three bridges that cross over the river and the gorge, a dirt path that runs alongside it, and many, many little scenic lookout points.

The Eastern Edge

The Soca River runs through 2 slot canyon walls with a metal and wood bridge over it.

If you park at the eastern parking lot just off of 206, you’ll cross a bridge over the river and then hit a dirt path running parallel to the river. If you turn left here and walk for about 5 minutes, you’ll see where the river widens, and the gorge begins. The water right at the beginning of the Great Soča Gorge is very agitated and has vigorous rapids.

Blue water crashes down some small rocks in to the gorge and canyon walls wiht green forest on the sides.
Just barely upstream of where the gorge starts
A woman stands on grey rocks overlooking the blue Soca River through a rock gorge.
The very first section of the gorge

If you start following the main dirt trail back down and along the Great Soča Gorge, you’ll see little dirt paths leading off the main trail down to the river – there are dozens of these little offshoots.

A dirt and rock path turns of from the main path in the forest.

These paths are only 10-30 seconds long and take you to picturesque overlooks of the river. You’ll be high above the canyon, looking down at the turquoise water, rapids, and curving canyon walls.

Water crashes down rocks into a blue water Soca River in a rock gorge.

Be very careful on these little overlooks, as they are small, often have uneven surfaces and roots in the path, no railings, and a wrong step or a slip will plunge you down into the water below.

Still, these little paths and viewpoints are the best part of visiting the Great Soča Gorge!

If you’re heading west on the trail, about 4-5 minutes after the main bridge by the parking lot is another, smaller bridge where you can admire the river. Right after this second bridge is an offshoot to a fairly large viewing area that drops down much closer to the river. Here, you’ll get an absolutely incredible look up the gorge, with relatively calm, deep turquoise water surrounded by dark canyon walls.

A woman stands on a rocke dge looking at water spewing off into the Soca river.

You can walk all the way down to the end of the Soča River Gorge on this path (it’s only a 1.5 km hike round trip), or you can drive between the eastern and western ends.

I loved this eastern section of the gorge, but I also just adored the western edge. Even if you aren’t hiking the entire path, I think both sides are worth driving to and visiting.

The Western Edge

The parking lot (described above) on the western side takes you to the very western end of the Gorge – in fact, you’ll come out to a part of the river that’s not part of the gorge at all, just part of the regular Soča River.

The river is still very pretty: wide and shallow, with slow, leisurely moving water. It’s very easy to come right down to the water’s edge and play, fish, or just admire the surroundings.

A clear water, shallow, river spreads out to both sides of the beach with trees and mountains on both sides.

Keep walking east (upriver) for a few minutes, and you’ll reach the mouth of the Great Soča Gorge, where the gorge ends and the river opens back up. There are a lot of areas to scramble and explore the rocks at the mouth of the gorge, with views directly into the canyon.

People stand on the huge rock looking at the mouth of the blue water river.
Looking into the mouth of the gorge

The water here is calm and deep, and is a great spot for swimming. (Although be warned that the Soča is extremely cold, but we still saw several people jumping in the water!)

At the mouth of the gorge, the water is the most gorgeous blue-green turquoise, with pine trees along the shore and mountain peaks in the distance. We spent a while just taking in the view here – it was so peaceful and just absolutely breathtaking.

The Soca River continues down the rock canyon with large tree mountains standing in the background.
So idyllic

There are a lot of spots right along the mouth of the gorge to walk along the cliffs, admire the views, take pictures, and relax for a while.

There were a few other groups around, hanging out, having a picnic, jumping into the deeper river pools, and enjoying a leisurely summer evening. I really wish we would’ve done what I saw a few other groups doing – enjoying a picnic of takeout pizza along the rocks!

People sit on the beach of the soca River with rocks on both sides and crystal clear blue water everywhere

Things to Do Nearby

The area around the Great Soča Gorge is full of incredible things to see and do. Here are a few things that definitely should be on your Slovenia itinerary:

Source of the Soča: A short but super adventurous and exciting climb up to the cave and waterfall where the Soča River starts.

Bovec and White Water Rafting: You can’t come to Bovec and not go white water rafting on the Soča! This white water rafting tour is SO fun and scenic (and you get to slide from the rafts to the water, and get free pictures)

Boka, Globoski, and Virje Waterfalls Near Bovec: Some of the most incredible waterfalls in Slovenia are located near Bovec. Definitely don’t miss the mighty Boka Waterfall or the emerald Virje Falls.

Lake Krn Hike: Hike 8 miles (12 km) up into the mountains to reach a gorgeous alpine lake. Both the hike itself and the views at the end are stunning.

Vrsič Pass: Drive up 25 tight switchbacks taking you 1000 meters up to the top of a mountain pass, to enjoy beautiful views and a series of hiking options. The views along the pass are insane.

The Wrap Up

The Soča is easily one of the most beautiful rivers I have ever seen, and the Great Soča Gorge is an enchanting slot canyon on the river. The water is clear and deep turquoise and the nature around it is pristine, and it’s legitimately one of the most stunning places I’ve ever seen.

Similar Posts