The Alps and the Soča Valley

Northwest of Ljubljana lies an unspoiled region of breathtakingly beautiful mountains, alpine lakes, and fast-running rivers. Much of the region is part of the protected Triglavski Narodni Park (Triglav National Park), and it's the perfect jumping-off spot for adventure pursuits of all sorts. Superior skiing, hiking, rafting, biking, and fly-fishing draw people here from around the world.

Each of the major towns and resorts in the region—Bled, Bohinj, Kranjska Gora, and Bovec—offers something a little different. At Bled, the focus is on comfort and excellent facilities, poised against a fairy-tale backdrop of an island church in a green-blue lake. Bohinj's charms are more rustic—a pristine deep-green alpine sea, bordered by mountains on three sides. Kranjska Gora and Bovec offer more immediate access to high-octane adventure. The former is Slovenia's leading ski resort. In summer, it opens its lifts to mountain bikers and free-riders seeking the adrenaline rush of a dash down the slopes. Bovec, on the Soča River, offers world-class rafting and canyoning—or gentler floats—down what must be one of the world's most beautiful mountain streams.

These regional centers can be approached individually or, in the summer, by car or bus as part of a large loop running northwest from Ljubljana. Proceed first to Bled and on to Bohinj, then push on farther north to Kranjska Gora, over the impossibly high Vršic pass, and down to Bovec Returnto Ljubljana through the World War I battle sites of Kobarid and Idrija.

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