Bovec, the hub of outdoor activities in the Alpine region of Slovenia. It’s the place to be if you’re looking for some water-related entertainment in the tranquil embrace of nature. Does that sound a lot like a tourist ad? That’s because Bovec can only be described as any nature enthusiast’s dream location. Particularly if you’re interested in canyoning.
If jumping into a chilly mountain stream or pool, cascading downstream at high velocity, or travelling through a canyon using a variety of techniques that include a combination of hiking, scrambling, climbing, jumping, abseiling, and swimming is something that sparks your interest, then canyoning is the sport for you. And Bovec, with its spectacular surroundings, just happens to be the birthplace of canyoning in Slovenia.
The number one reason why this area of the Julian Alps is such a perfect canyoning destination is the phenomenal landscape and rock formations carved out by the beautiful Soča River and its affluents. The entire Bovec and Soča area is jam packed with remarkable gorges and narrow canyons with streams of exceptional colour and purity. Unsurprisingly, the best of these spots has been designated for canyoning.
But before we delve deeper into the various streams and their canyoning potential, let’s take a look at what this splendid activity entails.
An amazing plus side to canyoning, like most water and climbing based sports in Slovenia, is that it’s completely non-intrusive activity. It therefore challenges you to take on nature at its core without encroaching on the environment. Soča River canyoning, or any other location for that matter, has to be performed in the company of a certified guide. These local adrenaline junkies with their vast knowledge will show you the ropes (quite literally) of how to abseil down walls, jump into pools from waterfalls, slide down natural toboggans, etc. They provide wetsuits, helmets and other necessary gear, so all you need is a bathing suit, a change of clothes and some sunscreen.
A typical canyoning adventure begins with a relatively short hike to the top of a canyon or gorge. Once there, you gear up and descend into the depths. Canyoning can take anywhere from 2.5 to 8 hours. Another bonus of canyoning is that the weather doesn’t have to be at its best behaviour, as a little extra water certainly won’t dampen the fun.
So, which fascinating canyoning locations does the Bovec area hide amidst its breath-taking countryside?
To start with the easiest Bovec canyoning option, we present Sušec. Situated 7 km from Bovec towards the town of Kobarid, the Sušec Stream is ideal for beginners who are looking for a relaxing introduction to canyoning. It offers the basic jumps, slides, and pools – nothing too extreme, but leaping over waterfalls and plunging a few meters into the abyss is included.
If Sušec is for beginners, then Fratarica is for those in love with nature’s aesthetic masterpieces that come with a Bovec Canyoning expedition. Located under the mighty Loška stena wall with its astonishingly wild ambiance, this option is more demanding but worth all the effort. It starts off with an intermediate descent, then soon offers plenty of adrenaline climbing, sliding, and jumping from high lying ledges (always optional). There’s a 50-m free-falling Parabola waterfall, over which the guide helps you abseil on a rope. This is followed by another extremely fun zipline stunt. Fratarica is a long canyoning trip, so you should reserve an entire day for the thrills it offers.
Predelica is located at the Predel border crossing. It is considered to be the most demanding canyoning option in Slovenia, and includes rope descents with over several-meter high jumps. A canyoning descent can be organized in its upper or down the entire gorge, which takes approx. between 7 and 8 hours. The lower part is more demanding, while the upper part is of medium difficulty. Due to its complexity, Predelica is uncrowded, but it has to be stressed that this wild location is reserved for more experienced canyoning participants and those who desire a maximum dose of adrenaline.
Canyoning at Kozjak begins with a 45-min hike to the canyon's entry from the famous Kozjak waterfall. Kozjak canyoning involves up to 13-metre-high jumps and exciting sliding down natural toboggans and rappels. This intermediate tour ends at its beginning – the waterfall, which offers the highest jump of the adventure: approx. 18 metres. Jumpers rappel down the narrow shelf to reach the spot from where they leap into the pool below. A fantastic rush, but very safe.
Globoški potok is considered to be the steepest stream in Slovenia. Fewer pools are included in this Bovec canyoning tour, but it makes up for it with plenty of abseiling and three longer vertical descents. In terms of accessibility, the canyon’s entry point is demanding, as this place is really well-hidden from civilization, but peace and exceptional views are guaranteed. Suitable for beginners, Globoški potok is similar to Sušec, yet is a lot less crowded and includes one of the longest descents in Slovenian canyoning.
By now you are probably already planning your Soča River canyoning experience and should be aware that although our main offer of Bovec canyoning only includes Sušec and Fratarica, the trip to and down any other amazing location listed in this post is also available on demand. To see all our canyoning adventures click here. Another great spot for canyoning is the Bled and Bohinj area. You can read more about canyoning there in this article.
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