Located in the North-west region of Slovenia, the small mountainous town of Tolmin is a fantastic choice for those of you who love being surrounded by the peace and quiet of mother nature. It is not just the cute historic old town attracting people from all over the world, though. The nearby Julian Alps and the spectacular Triglav National Park are also home to the almost 140 km long Soča river, which does not only flow through Slovenia but Italy as well!
The town of Tolmin is also the largest settlement of the Soča Valley and welcomes visitors with the crystal-clear blue waters of the Soča River, rushing in between rocks to create waterfalls and hidden swimming spots along the waterways.
About our Visit to Tolim and Soca River Valley
As the leaves have already started to change their colors from dark green to yellow, orange and red, we explored the picturesque Soča River Valley and the historic town of Tolmin. Our autumn trip also included a drive to Kranjska Gora – another alpine resort worth adding to your travel itinerary.
Our short weekend getaway started immediately as we got to fully enjoy the foliage colors along our ride to Tolmin. We had booked a small apartment nestled in the mountains above the small town of Tolmin. As we arrived a bit later in the afternoon, Friday night was all about treating our taste buds to the local cuisine. We had delicious traditional dishes in Lebraca – to learn more check out the where to eat section below.
We had an early start to our Saturday. The day was sunny and beautiful and we couldn’t wait for the next adventure. Our first stop was the beautiful Nova Gorica. The town is actually located on the border between Slovenia and Italy and presents breathtaking mountain vistas. It was impossible not to stop for freshly brewed coffee and warm delicious croissants.
One of the main attractions in the small town of Nova Gorica is the Cathedral located on top of the hills. Unfortunately, Onawa was not allowed to go up to the higher area, so we had to take turns going up to the cathedral, so keep that in mind if you are planning on taking your dog with you!
Less than an hour away from Nova Gorica was our second stop for the day – the annual food festival Jestivalska in Kobarid. The town is fairly small, but it is packed with fabulous local restaurants, most of which overlook the incredible mountain scenery. We took a little tasting of some of the traditional local dishes and even bought some local cheese and meat to take home with us! Is there any better souvenir – I do not think so?! We really enjoyed Kobarid and discussed coming back in the future and planning an overnight stay. Strongly suggest taking a look as well, if you are planning a getaway to this region of Slovenia.
Our plan for the afternoon was to visit the Triglav National Park and the spectacular Tolmin Gorge. With full and happy bellies after lunch, we head back to Tolmin. The walk to the gorge area was relatively easy and not challenging at all. It was absolutely scenic with the numerous rocks and waterfalls along the way, though, and we thought it was definitely worth the time!
We wanted to spend some time exploring Tolmin as well before leaving the beautiful Slovenian mountains. The town has a charming little center, which is extremely pleasant for a short walk. Rising high above the rest of the town, visitors can find a thousand-year-old castle keeping colorful legends and stories.
Leaving Tolmin for our ride home was also an adventure! We drove through the mountains and stopped at a restaurant to have a light dinner. We were pleasantly surprised when we found out they have native trout from the stream and will cook it fresh for you for lunch or dinner – definitely a must-do when visiting this region of Slovenia!
The lovely small ski resort of Kranjska Gore was the last stop of our trip. The drive there was very picturesque as the road was winding through the mountains. Situated just an hour away from Ljubljana, Kranjska Gora is also a fabulous destination for a short winter getaway spent on the slopes. This was our last stop of an awesome weekend in the mountains of Slovenia!
Where to stay
Even though Tolmin is a fairly popular tourist destination, the accommodation options are quite limited. Situated right at the heart of the city Hotel Dvorec is the most desirable place to stay. We prefer the peace and quiet of mother nature and decided to stay at Pr’ Petrcu just outside of town, but very close to the entrance of Triglav National Park. We absolutely loved waking up to the cowbells!
Where to eat
There is nothing better than diving into the local cuisine and treating yourselves to the local flavors. Before visiting the region, we have already heard of the Tolmin Specialty – Frika. A traditional dish made of potatoes and cheese. We were extremely happy and excited when we when to Labraca for dinner on Friday evening, as the first item on the menu was Frika. We ordered it immediately and absolutely loved it. We also ordered trout and ribs and finished off with delightful local dumplings of pear and local walnut. The dinner was absolutely delicious and combined with the fabulous location along the peaceful waters of Soča River, Labraca is a must-visit!
Tips for Visiting Soča River Valley:
- The Tolmin Gorges are part of the Triglav National Park. It is definitely worth checking their website first to make sure the area is open, as the preserve is closed during the winter months and working hours depend on the season you are visiting. As one of the most popular tourist attractions in Tolmin, keep in mind that it gets very busy in the summer months, so make sure to get an early start to your day.
- Situated in a valley close to the constantly rushing waters of Soca River, the trails around Tolmin Gorge are quite wet and even muddy. Make sure to wear hiking shoes and plenty of socks!
- Even if Tolmin is your final destination, be open to an adventure. The area is extremely picturesque, packed with cute little towns waiting to be explored along your way. Have a plan, but do not be afraid to take a pit stop if something catches your attention.
- Last but definitely not least, keep in mind it is quite a drive. The road winds along the Soča River and you will stumble upon numerous small bridges. Onawa absolutely loved the bridges! She loved every minute of our trip and definitely enjoyed walking on the bridges high above the rushing river waters. She loves heights – very weird for a dog! Make sure to bring your furry friends as well!
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