The Vršič Pass

High above the Soča valley the Vršič pass wends its way up and over the Julian Alps and down into the resort of Kranjska Gora. If you are in the area it is well worth setting aside a day to enjoy a few hours on this most picturesque mountain road. On leaving Bovec you quickly rise above the beautiful valley leaving the sparkling emerald green waters of the river behind you as you traverse the partially cobbled road. On reaching the summit leave your car in one of the relatively plentiful parking spaces and take in the view across the mountains and the valley below. There is a small restaurant adjacent to the parking if you need refreshment and time to relax and take in the stunning vistas from the terrace.

There several hikes accessible from the summit but perhaps the best option is the beautiful trail to Slemenova špica and the trailhead is clearly signposted from the road. This hike starts with a reasonably steep climb to a ridge during which you will cross scree slopes and experience new panoramas at every turn. You then pop up and over the ridge and make a short decent into an attractive wooded and rocky basin before ascending again via a narrow path to a pretty mountain meadow dotted with small ponds. This is a great place to rest for a few minutes to enjoy the views and the many birds which populate the area before making your final ascent to Slemenova špica. Here you can perch on a rocky ledge at the summit with truly stunning vistas of the craggy peaks which surround you. You descend via the same route and the round trip should take approximately 3 - 4 hours to complete but keep an eye on your watch as you will need to descend before the light fades. The walk is not too arduous but can be rocky under foot in places and there are some steep sections to negotiate.

Once back at your vehicle continue towards the pretty town of Kranjska Gora in the valley below. The drive takes you steeply down the mountain through wooded regions with the occasional break in the trees affording glorious views of the surrounding peaks. Shortly before arriving in the town you drive past a gorgeous mountain lake with the high peaks rising sharply up immediately behind it. After enjoying a walk around the town and perhaps some further refreshment in one of the many bars and restaurants you can return to Bovec via the pass or by driving west across the Italian border and round the northern slopes of the mountains , returning via Tarvisio and Log Pod Mangartom.