Of all the waterfalls we saw in Slovenia, Slap Kozjak was undoubtedly my favorite. I loved the bright turquoise water, the interesting trail, and gorgeous Soča River that the path to the waterfall followed, and of course, the enchanting cave waterfall.
In this guide, we’re sharing all the details you need to know about how to do the Kozjak waterfall hike.
To start, a little language/pronunciation lesson! In Slovenian, “slap” means waterfall, and j’s are pronounced like “yuh”. So kozjak is pronounced koz-yak.
What You Need – Important!
Of course, you’ll need water and sneakers, but the big thing I want to highlight here is that there is a fee station about 3/4 of the way up the trail. Here, you’ll pay the 5 euro entrance fee before you can continue. Don’t forget your money! They can take card, but cash is preferred. Parking will cost you a little, too, with cash being the easiest way there also.
Where is the Kozjak Waterfall?
Kozjak is located just 5 minutes north of the town of Kobarid, in northwest Slovenia. It is part of Triglav National Park and the Julian Alps. The lovely town of Drežnica is also nearby, only 10 minutes away.
This hike is about 2.2 miles (3.5 km) round trip, with approximately 469 feet (142 m) of elevation gain. I would classify this hike as easy-moderate. We spent almost exactly 1 hour doing this hike, including the multiple stops we made to admire the Soča River, as well as the time spent at the waterfall.
Parking At The Trailhead
There are technically two different trailheads and locations from which you can hike to the Kozjak Waterfall. The first one is by Kamp Koren on the east side of the river. You can search for Parking Kozjak on maps. There is a large gravel parking lot, which costs 1.50 euro per hour.
The 2nd one is by Kamp Lazar on the west side of the river. This one is a little closer and you will cross the Soča on a little suspension bridge to start the trail.
You can start from either parking lot, but we started from the first one, so that’s what we’ll mostly describe here (with a few notes about where the other trail meets up).
There is no public transportation that comes to this spot, so if you want to visit, you’ll need to drive yourself. Driving yourself around Slovenia is definitely one of the best ways to do a big tour of the country, because you can easily hit up all these small, hidden spots.
👉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.
Starting the Trail
The trail to Slap Kozjak starts on a gravel path that cuts through a cute little field.
Just a couple hundred meters, in you’ll pass a quaint fresh water fountain, where you can take a sip and fill up your water bottles – the water was fresh and crisp. (I would recommend coming with water though, and not relying on this spigot to be running, just in case).
Soon, you’ll leave the meadow and enter into a more forested section of trail. Suddenly, the Soča River bends and comes right along the path, and you’ll get INCREDIBLE views of the brilliantly turquoise water through the trees – truly the water doesn’t seem like it should be real.
We were extra impressed with the views here because it was our first time truly seeing the Soča River during our 2 weeks in Slovenia (although to be fair, I was in awe of the water every time I saw it!)
The Bridge and Soča River Viewpoint
After about 0.5 miles (0.8 km) of hiking, you’ll reach the suspension bridge over the Soča River. You don’t need to cross the river to continue the trail up to the Kozjak Waterfall – the trail stays on the right side of the river the entire time, but I’d still highly recommend you go out on the bridge to admire the insane views.
We thought that looking downriver gave you the deepest turquoise color in the water, but looking upriver showcases the mountains in the background.
The trail on the other side of the suspension bridge takes you out to other alternate car park and the main road. This trail is a little bit shorter than the primary trail we are describing here (but not by much).
Right before the suspension bridge, there are a couple of benches to relax on or enjoy a picnic, and there’s also a side trail that goes up a hill to the right. This trail takes you to some World War I bunkers used by soldiers during the long, drawn-out campaign to control this region during the war.
This trail cuts up and over the hill and joins back up with the Kozjak waterfall trail a little farther on. I’d recommend you take the alternate trail on the way back, and I’ll describe it further down in the post.
A couple of hundred yards after the bridge, there is a little wooden platform for more views and photo ops over the stunning turquoise Soča River.
Hiking Along the Kozjak Stream
Right after the platform, the trail curves away from following the Soča River, and starts to follow the Kozjak stream, a small tributary, which feeds into the Soča. For about 0.3 miles (0.5 km), you’ll be hiking through the forest, and then you’ll reach a little bridge that crosses the Mali Kozjak.
The Mali Kozjak is a small little waterfall that drops basically right underneath the bridge. Beyond being a scenic little spot, it also marks the start of where the path follows right along the Kozjak stream. It’s extremely picturesque, with a lot of rocks along the shoreline, and small little spots for people to sit down and relax by a burbling stream.
The Ticket Booth
Another 5 minutes past the bridge and waterfall is the ticket booth for the Kozjak Waterfall. Here, you’ll pay the entrance fee required to keep hiking and see the falls. The cost is 5 euro per adult, 3 euro per child, and 12 euro per family. Cash is preferred, but they do take card.
The ticket booth is open and active between 8am-8pm. If you come through before or after, you don’t have to pay the fee.
The Final Approach
The last section of the trail right before the waterfall is really fun. The trail winds back and forth across the river, and there are a few mini-bridges set up to help you traverse the stream. The trail is starting to enter a canyon area, with some rock walls around you starting to rise up.
At the very end, you’ll see the entrance to a tall, narrow gorge. From the canyon floor, you can kind of peak into the gorge, but because the stream is flowing through it and the gorge does a quick curve, so you can’t see the waterfall – but you can hear it!
Instead of entering on the canyon floor, you get to climb up a stone staircase and walk along a boardwalk that hugs the side of the canyon wall, about 10-15 feet above the ground.
The boardwalk continues for about 30 feet as you go deeper into the canyon, and the waterfall slowly comes into view:
Finally, at the end of the boardwalk, you get an incredible, straight-on view of the falls! The canyon walls curve up and around the 49 foot (15 meter) waterfall, creating an almost cave-like atmosphere. With the jagged, open cave top and the cliff walls surrounding the vibrantly green-blue water, the Kozjak waterfall feels almost magical.
World War I Bunkers on the Way Back
As you’re coming back, keep your eyes out for a sign indicating the World War I trenches:
Follow this side trail up the hill, and it will take you to a whole series of trenches, caves, bunkers, covered rooms and tunnels, used by the armies during World War I. The Soča Valley actually saw a lot of action during World War I, as the Austro-Hungarian (Slovenia was part of the Austria-Hungary empire at the time) and Italian armies fought bitterly to control these mountains and valleys.
For a ton more information and backstory about what happened in World War I in the Soča Valley, I’d highly recommend you visit the Kobarid Museum. Here, they have a short video about the Slovenian campaign you can watch, as well as so many maps, drawings, photographs, informational placards, and artifacts from the war. It gave us a lot of insight and knowledge about a major event in the history of the valley.
The side trail to the trenches winds around, with a lot of different spots to explore, but then joins back up to the main trail, where you follow it back to the parking lot.
Hiking to Slap Kozjak – The Wrap Up
The Kozjak Waterfall was just, from start to finish, such a delight. The trail was interesting and had lots of beautiful and cool things to see along the way, and the waterfall itself was absolutely stunning! I’d recommend this waterfall to anyone visiting Slovenia!