Kayaking in the Soča Valley is possible on certain river sections and even on near by lakes. Endless possibilities of whitewater kayaking fun makes Soča Valley a perfect place either for a family holiday with kids or adventure travellers get-a-way.
As you can see on the map, the Soča river has various levels of difficulty which makes it perfect for beginner and advanced kayakers wanting to get the most out of it. The most popular kayaking section stretches from Lepena in upper Trenta Valley, passing the small town Čezsoča near Bovec and all the way down to Kobarid. Kayakers can enjoy paddling all levels of difficulty, from easy class 1 to playful class 4 level.
1. Kayak from Velika Korita, Lepena - Kršovec (II - IV)
The usual start of this tour is in Lepena, just under the Great Soča Gorge. This section is quite water depended and the best time to paddle is until July or after some heavy rainy days. This section covers all the grades, from easy and mellow level I, to a demanding level IV part with a canyon passage included.
Just after a small suspension bridge there is a 300m long, playful section called Bunkerji. This is one of the most demanding part of the course with some tricky and narrow passages.
If you have time, there is a short path on the left side of Soča that takes you to the WW1 hidden bunkers.
After this part, the Soča becomes a little more open again with a steady II-III, III+ level. Some parts of the river might look easier than they are so we advise river scouting throughout the course. Pay attention to the sharp-edged stones, tricky entries especially at the low water level and don’t underestimate rock facing strong flows.
You want and should scout the canyon and river here.
At the entrance to the gorge, the water falls from right to left down a difficult rapid. The difficulties of the entrance drop are characterised by the fact that the left half of the current pulls directly onto a protruding rock (rock nose), the right half of the current onto a stone that has only just been washed over. At higher water levels, the entrance becomes a little easier. The second part of the gorge is fast and also called the ‘bobsleigh run’.
Run the canyon course only if you are 100% in eskimo roll. There is a narrow pebble beach on the left side of Soča just above the canyon where you can easily exit and scout the section. If you don’t want to paddle it, continue on a walking path all the way to the end of the canyon.
After the end of the gorge, the water calms down and the river bed becomes wider again.
You can also enter the river just after the gorge. Kršovec – Čezsoča is a nice, scenic level II-III course. This part if perfect for advanced beginners or intermediate kayakers. You rather want to do it with more water than with less otherwise a great amount of rock-sliding is included.
2. Kayaking Koritnica river (II-III+)
Koritnica is a scenic, small river in the NW Slovenia. The source of the Koritnica lies in the Julian Alps at an altitude of approx. 1500 m below the Mangrt mountain. Koritnica can be often used all year round but the amount of water may no longer be sufficient only in midsummer (July and August) when the main tourist season kicks in. After rain, the water level rises very quickly, at least for a short time. Because of time-limited accessibility it is extremely popular among the kayakers and is a “must-do” river for many.
It’s praised for its impressive gorge, white limestone rock faces, crystal clear, light turquoise water and lush greenery on the banks.
The entry point is about 200m before the Kluže fortress and just a short drive out of Bovec (direction Italy). Kayaks need to be carried 100m down a steep path to the river. The river current is strong and playful straight from the beginning, so there is no time for sleepers! Even though the river gets a bit wider and calmer afterwards, there is another class III+ section right before the confluence with river Soča in Vodenca (Sotočje), where Koritnica plunges down a cataract with a steep gradient, steps and powerful rollers.
We love Koritnica because it always offers nice opportunities to play and wonderful views of the surrounding mountains.
3. Kayaking for beginners: Čezsoča - Boka Bridge - Srpenica 1 (I-II)
The most popular entry-level section and a must-do for our beginner kayak school.
Here, the river runs all the time in a very wide valley. The water is mostly low, shallow and the course offers almost no rapids. The breathtaking scenery of the surrounding mountains is unforgettable!
4. Popular kayak run: Srpenica 1/2 - Trnovo ob soči (II-III+/IV)
This is the most popular section on the Soča river for many reasons. Easy entry and exit points makes this section extremely accessible. Advanced and intermediate kayakers love it as it provides a great environment for playing and practicing new skills.
We think this is one of the most interesting white water courses in Europe! Although the section is actually quite short, you could spend hours on this course because there are plenty of play areas, boulders, pools, rollers, small steps etc. where you can practice strokes, S-turns, eddies,…even rock jumps.
Exit the river 100m before the high suspension bridge on the right river bank.
If you can and want, you can continue to the way more difficult slalom course where international white water competitions regularly take (more took) place. With a steady class IV/+, steps and strong rollers are lined up one after another. It’s advisable that first timers scout the entire route beforehand via a small path on the right bank. Make sure you do not miss the exit of the slalom course 700 m after the suspension bridge.
A very dangerous section with many visible and invisible siphons of the Soča begins immediately after the slalom course. The well known Katarakt section, IV-V, is forbidden for commercial kayaking.
5. The great Otona - Kobarid kayaking section (III-IV)
Everybody loves the Otona course. But there is one reason why everyone hates it too – over 100m of sweaty vertical metres to overcome before hitting the river. However, the river offers a perfect natural slalom section, a small cataract run and lots of play areas to practice and get joyful. You can finish the course before or after the scenic Napoleon bridge in Kobarid.
BEFORE YOU GO
Make sure you check the rules for navigating the Soča Valley rivers, useful tips and interactive map with warnings.
DID YOU FELL UNDER SOČA RIVER SPELL?
Then, check out how to get to Soča Valley. The best way to discover the hidden corners of this jaw-dropping region is by kayaking Soča river or by riding a MTB on one of the best Slovenia mountain bike trails. Visit us, let us guide you through this magical land and experience more than just a vacation in Slovenia.