Kobarid is a small town in north-western Slovenia located on the Soča River. North of Kanal ob Soči and south of Bovec, Kobarid is an ideal base for exploring the Soča Valley and the Julian Alps. Whether you love verdant gorges, alpine peaks, or World War I history, this magical place in Slovenia will likely exceed your expectations. In this post, we’re going to outline the best things to do in Kobarid and the best place to stay.
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Best Things to Do in Kobarid, Slovenia
- Walk to Kozjak Waterfall
- Follow the Kobarid Historical Trail
- Visit the Kobarid Museum
- Eat Tolminc Cheese
- Hike the Koseč Gorge Loop Trail
- Hike to the Summits of Mount Krn and Krasji vrh
- Visit the Church of St. Just
Walk to Slap Kozjak
Slap Kozjak is an easy-to-reach waterfall in Kobarid. From the center of town, you can walk to Slap Kozjak in about one hour (~3 km). To begin the walk, cross the Soča River over the Napoleon bridge and turn left. You’ll soon reach a parking lot. Follow the signs to the waterfall. This route forms part of the Kobarid Historical Trail (more on that below). Alternatively, you can drive to and park at Kamp Lazar. From here, cross the bridge and walk 20 minutes to Slap Kozjak. The forest trail is flat and easy. Shortly before the waterfall, you’ll pass through a lush gorge that looks like something from FernGully.
Follow the Kobarid Historical Trail
The 5 km-long Kobarid Historical Trail connects important historical monuments with natural sites. The trail begins in the middle of town at the Kobarid Museum. The Kobarid trail continues to the Italian Charnel House, Tonocov Grad, Kozjak Waterfall, Italian Line of Defense, Napolean Bridge, and the Cheese Museum. You’ll need 3 to 5 hours to complete this walk.
Visit the Kobarid Museum
In World War I, Kobarid saw enormous bloodshed and human torment, as it was positioned on the Isonzo (Soča) Front. Kobarid catapulted onto the map with the Battle of Kobarid (Battle of Caporetto), or the Twelfth Battle of the Isonzo, which took place in October 1917. In the Battle of Caporetto, German reinforcements helped Austria-Hungary win a decisive victory against the Italians. The Kobarid Museum presents this military history from a human perspective. War and warfare aren’t glorified. Instead, facts are showcased along with diary entries and black and white photographs displaying the brutal and violent aftermath of war. It’s difficult to imagine that the peaceful Soča valley and Julian Alps were the backdrops of such a violent episode in our world history. A diary entry displayed in the museum:
“I have returned to my diary today. It was not possible to write it during the past four days which I spent on Mt. Batognica. In these days, I experienced the saddest horrors of the most dreadful war. It did not stop raining even for a moment. It was so cold that fifty men from the entire battalion had to descend from the mountain due to frozen feet. On the 29th of July, I was staying in a trench for the whole of 24 hours, crouching among dead bodies, ours and those of the enemy. The stink was unbearable, and to tip it all, we had to resist a fierce attack by the enemy, which we reppelled. A lot of our comrades died because they were hit in the head when they rose over the bulwark to shoot…. The rations were scarce, consisting mainly of bread, cold boiled meat…Water is brought in skins; it is very scarce and stinking. I did not eat or drink for two days…” – Virgilio Bonamore, Diary 1915
Address: Gregorčičeva ulica 10 5222 Kobarid Slovenija
Opening Hours: The Museum is open every day. April – September (9:00 – 18:00); October – March (10:00 – 17:00).
Guided Tours: If you’re interested in a guided tour, contact the museum at least one day in advance.
Admission: 7 EUR (adult), 5 EUR (students and seniors)
Eat Tolminc Cheese
Tolminc cheese is a cow’s milk hard cheese made in the Soča Valley and protected by European designation of origin (DOP). For centuries, people in the Soča Valley have been making cheese and using it as a means of payment. Written sources from the 13th-century indicate that cheese was used as payment for fishing rights. In the summer, it’s possible to purchase local cheese directly from farmers in the mountain pastures. That’s something we’re hoping to do in the future since we arrived in Kobarid too early in the season (May). Luckily, we were still able to try Tolminc cheese at our accommodation: Tourist Farm Kranjc. It’s a savory cheese packed with personality. To learn more about cheesemaking in this region, you can visit the museum at Planika Mlekarna (Planika Cheese Factory). You can also purchase Tolminc cheese from their market shop.
Hike to Koseč Gorge
Koseč is a small hamlet above Drežnica in the Municipality of Kobarid. From the town center of Kobarid, it’s a 12-minute drive to Koseč. Drive across the Napolean Bridge in the direction of Drežnica. From Drežnica, continue right to Koseč.
The Koseč Gorge (Koseška korita) is a hidden gem in the Kobarid region. The well-marked Koseč Gorge loop trail begins at the chapel St. Just. It’s not a difficult hike, but it’s very slippery after rain (as we learned). From the chapel, the trail descends along the Stopnik stream, which has created several waterfalls (Slap stopnik). At the bottom of the 60-meter-deep Koseč Gorge, you’ll find one more waterfall. From Koseška korita, you’ll cross Brusnik river and begin the ascent back to Koseč. We counted over 20 yellow-dotted salamanders on the trail and one fox. This 3 km circuit takes 1.5 – 2 hours. Only hike here in dry conditions.
Hike to the Summits of Mount Krn and Krasji vrh
With Kobarid as your base, you have a lot of hiking options in the Julian Alps. You can hike to the summit of Krn (2244 m), one of the most recognizable peaks in the Julian Alps. There are a few ways to approach the summit, but the easiest is from Planina Kuhinja (the southern approach). If you’re experienced with via ferrata climbing, you can also approach Krn from Koseč (the western approach).
Another summit hike that’s highly recommended is Krasji vrh (1773 m), which is the highest point on the Polovnik ridge. The trail starts above Drežniške Ravne and takes 4-5 hours round-trip (9km). From the grassy summit, there’s an unbeatable view of Krn as well as the villages below. There’s an optional detour to Planina Zaprikraj on your way up.
Read Next: Julian Alps Hiking Trails
Visit the Church of St. Just
The 14th-century Church of St. Just (Sv Just) is a chapel tucked away in the hamlet of Koseč. Surrounded by forest and farmland, this unassuming chapel occupies an incredibly serene location. Inside, soft light streams in and you can hear the flowing stream and singing of birds. The interior walls are decorated with frescoes dating back to 1470. On our way to Koseška korita (gorge), we decided to pop into the chapel. Well, it was really hard to pop out. Locals believe that the church is built atop a powerful energetic source. And from what we experienced, we believe them. It feels like a current of high voltage energy is running through the chapel.
Where to Stay in Kobarid
The best accommodation in Kobarid
You can stay directly in the town center of Kobarid, but for a more unique experience, we recommend staying in Koseč at Tourist Farm Kranjc. Koseč is a small hamlet above Drežnica in the Municipality of Kobarid. Located directly on the long-distance Alpe Adria Trail and at the foot of Mount Krn, Tourist Farm Kranjc is an ideal location for hikers, families, and couples. From the farmstead, you can walk to St. Just Church (5 minutes), hike the Koseč Gorge loop trail, and visit the secret waterfalls Slap Krampež and Slap Sopota (20 minutes).
We stayed in their glamping cabin and can’t get over it. It was comfortable, thoughtfully designed and equipped with tea, teacups, a hot water cooker, drinking water, and slippers. We even had our own private shower – located in the main guesthouse – with fresh towels, bathrobes, and soaps. What luxury!
However, the main reason we keep dreaming about returning to the Kranjc Farm is the sensational home-cooking. Guests who have half-board (recommended!!!), are served a gourmet homecooked three-course dinner. The dinner menu rotates each night so that guests are treated to fresh, local and seasonal meals. In fact, 40% of the kitchen ingredients are sourced from their own farm. Turistična kmetija Kranjc can accommodate dietary restrictions – you just need to let them know in advance. For breakfast, there’s a bountiful buffet of local white and Tolminc cheeses, homemade cured meats, eggs, bacon, homemade jams, fresh fruit and vegetables, local honey, cakes, herbal tea from the garden and more.
We’d rate Tourist Farm Kranjc five stars in a heartbeat. URška and her family pour so much love into running their business. From their divine home-cooking to the manner in which they accommodate guests’ requests, they lead with their hearts. We can’t wait to return!
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