Bovec tries hard to make its claim as the capital for adventure sports in Slovenia: kayaking, rafting, canyoneering, hydrospeed – river boarding here in the US – as well as tandem paragliding, spelunking, climbing and skiing. Most come for the water sports and you can find enthusiasts camped out at several of the nearby campgrounds with their kayaks in hand. A variety of rapids can be run along both the Soèa and Koritnica from class I through V – you need to pick up a license to run the river beforehand. You can also pick up a fishing license if speed is not your gig. Certain areas are catch and release only. Judging from the aerial traffic, it seemed that Kobarid is the busier center for paragliders with the nearby peak of Stol being the most popular take off spot.
Equipment: Bring your own gear or you can rent most stuff here, it is just that sometimes when your life is on the line it is nice to have your own equipment along.
Bovec is beginning to develop into an excellent mini-Queenstownb (as in NZ). Good range of activities, especially rafting and kayaking on the Soca river.
The "X-point" company who work with Exodus travel are very professional - to quote them : "you must wear suit of neopreme" and can be recommended.
Their canyoning experience is also absolutely A1 - includes a last drop that will scare you S***less.
They also do Kayaking, rafting, bodyboarding, paragliding etc.
Equipment: all provided
Bovec is not only a skiing and rafting paradise. It also counts with a lot of biking trails. Everybody will find something adequate as trails range from easy to very demanding. The easiest are around the Bovec city and the most demanding are uphill tours to the high passes or saddles. Especially interesting are side valleys (Zadnjica, Lepena, Bavšica, loška Koritnica, Možnica) to the main Soèa valley as there tend to be less or no traffic. Trails are well marked. You can get a brouchure "Biking guide" in local tourist office.
Equipment: Standard biking equipment + helmet and lot of drinks. Mtb is better than road bike as some trails are not paved. You can borrow bikes at local sports agencies in Bovec.
Perched high above Bovec, Kanin is Slovenia's only high altitude (i.e. over 2000m) ski centre and boasts the country's longest "winter" season, actually running all the way from November until well into spring and the May national holidays. Previously a medium sized resort with 15km of ski runs, this year Kanin is joined with a new lift to the Sella Nevea ski centre across the border in Italy, to make it Slovenia's only transnational resort. With a good range of slopes it will appeal to everyone from complete beginners to advanced skiers and boarders. If that's not enough for you, guests with a six-day Kanin pass can also ski in a third country for two days, at the Arnoldstein centre in Austria. There are off piste opportunities at Kanin, but we wouldn't recommend this without an experienced guide.
The imposing peaks of the mountain range overlook Bovec and the truly magnificent Soèa Valley, with its famous emerald river. The Soèa Valley was even featured in a Hollywood blockbuster, The Chronicles or Narnia. The panorama from Kanin extends all the way from the eastern Julian alps to Trieste, the mouth of the Soèa River and the Adriatic sea, the proximity of which ensures a tangible mix between crisp alpine air and Mediterranean-like warm breezes. In the spring this great combination really blossoms, when you can you can ski in the morning, then sunbathe on the snow-beach, or trek in the warm lush valley in the afternoon. It even makes skiing in a t-shirt a real possibility!
Summertime attracts hikers, climbers, paragliders and mountain bikers - the latter flocking to the 4.5km long and 600m high Kanin MTB park. There are also deep shafts for cavers, the biggest of which, Vrtoglavica Jama, has the longest vertical drop in the world (603m). Kanin is reached by way of a massive cable car, ascending from 436m to 2,200m above sea level it's an adventure in itself, as you can witness the vast change in flora and fauna in just a few minutes - it has to be seen to be believed.
For more, check out: www.inyourpocket.si
Having just returned from a fantastic couple of weeks in Slovenia I have to recommend taking a tandem paragliding flight from the Mangart Saddle (near Bovec).
I've never done anything remotely like this before (never bungee-jumped, sky-dived or even abseiled) so I expected to feel nervous, get butterflies in my stomach and feel the adrenaline rushing through my veins...
... but instead felt I completely relaxed and calm ... like at the end of a good yoga session... my heart rate even slowed down!
This may have been because I had total confidence in my pilot (a guy called Zep from www.avantura.org) - He talked very sensibly on the drive up to the take-off site about the weather conditions and suchlike, he methodically laid out his kit explaining in a non-technical way how it worked, and he checked everything at least twice.
I was also lucky that it was just me - no other "first timers" to wind each other up, and feed one another with their fears.
It was fantastic to enjoy the peaceful experience of soaring in silence over the beautiful alpine scenery. We even had eagles fly below us. The whole experience was quite magical and not at all the "adrenaline rush" I had expected.
If you find yourself in Bovec, I highly recomment you pop into the Top Extreme office in the town centre and book yourself a flight (www.top.si)
It's not cheap - I paid €110 in August 2007, but it was definielty worth every cent!
You can also contact Zep at :
Avantura z.o.o. - P.P. 45, SI-5230 Bovec
Tel.: +386 (0)41 718 317
Equipment: Avantura supply all the kit including a flying suit to keep you warm - you just need to show up wearing a sensible pair of shows - trainers or walking boots seemed both to be fine.
In Bovec and the entire Soca valley, already well-known as a destination for active tourists, there is a wide choice of alternative possibilities during the winter, ranging from pleasant walks and cycling in the valley to more exciting snow rafting. Regular paragliding "trips" are organised from Kanin down to the valley. Another exquisite experience is night sledging down the Alpine Mangart road. The side valleys and the areas at the feet of the high peaks are all a paradise for fans of frozen waterfall climbing. Cross-country skiing fans can enjoy over 60 km of arranged tracks in Bovec and nearby Tarvisio. One of the special features of Bovec is the possibility of skiing in three countries on the skiing grounds in Sella Nevea (25 km) and Tarvisio (30 km) in Italy and in Arnoldstein (45 km) in Austria. Visitors can also use their weekly ski-passes for Kanin at these three resorts. This triple border area is a candidate for the Winter Olympic Games in 2006.
The Soca river is a perfect place for rafting and other water related activities like kayaking or canoeing.