In one of the previous articles, I described a wonderful family trip to Kobarid, and its surroundings. And in the introduction I wrote that I practically never stopped in Kobarid, it was always just a point that had to be crossed to Bovec. And it was similar with Tolmin. The small difference is that I actually stopped in Tolmin a few times, but only as a basketball player when my team played a game there. I even stayed in Tolmin, for a whole week, at a basketball camp, but all that had nothing to do with getting to know the sights of Tolmin.
Tolmin has an exceptional cultural and natural heritage. It hides some exceptional sights in its surroundings. You have all probably already heard of the Tolmin gorge, the beautiful Javorca church, and the pleasant confluence of the Soča and Tolminka rivers, but in the article, I will take you to some other beauties that you can admire on the slopes of the southernmost part of the Triglav National Park.
Kam v Tolminu
- Tolminka spring
- Javorca church
- Tolminska gorge and Danteje’s cave
- Tolmin castle
- Tolmin museum
- Beri waterfall
- Healing spring Grofova voda and Sopotnica waterfalls
- German kostnica from 1. world war
- Swimming place at the confluence of Soča and Tolminka rivers
It will be difficult to cover all the proposed destinations in one day, so choose 2, 3, or maybe 4 and enjoy them. You can round off the entire trip with a few-day exploration of Tolmin, as you will not run out of exceptional places very quickly.
By the way, if you are looking for ideas for similar trips in the Soča area, I suggest you read the blogs Bovec attractions., Best things to see in Kobarid. and Where to go in Bovec., Sights of Trenta. and Baška grapa. In all these articles you have enough suggestions for a few vacations in northern Primorska.
1. Tolminka spring
- Walking time: 3 hours
- Difficulty of the route: easy circular route
- Height: 695 meters
- Altitude difference: 430 meters
- Starting point: parking lot under Javorca (46.2376, 13.7234)
- Recommended footwear and equipment: sports walking shoes and poles
About a year before I visited the spring of Tolminka for the first time, this trip was recommended to me by Mr. Franci, who was, or he is still my client from time to time when he needs a massage for his sore back. He told me something like this, you must go and see the spring of Tolminka, it is so beautiful there, the water springs on the edge of the mountain and then flows through the meadow into the gorge. Given that Mr. Franci loves hills and knows the springs of Tolminka, he probably knows what he’s talking about.
The spring of Tolminka is truly unique, completely different from all other springs that I have seen so far. Alpine rivers naturally spring-like waterfalls, from under the rock and immediately begin their journey in wild gorges… The source of the Tolminka, despite the fact that it is one of the wildest rivers in Slovenia, is very peaceful and fairytale-like. This scenery, which reigns on the mountain below Osojnica, could easily be used in any of the fairy tales.
Transportation to Javorca
To begin with, we will have to drive to Tolmin, namely to its center. At the main intersection, signs will direct us towards Tolmin gorge and Javorca. At the peak of the summer season, it will be best if you leave your vehicle in the free parking space at the end of Tolmin and then go to the starting point for the spring of Tolminka and Javorca with organized transport (price €2) (during the summer season from 25.6. to 31.8. the road was closed to public traffic, transport only by buses).
We drove our car to the starting point. The road is narrower and in some places, a bit of an adrenaline rush, as the walls of the gorge are extremely steep. Otherwise, the carriageway is nicely arranged and practically suitable for all cars.
From the center of Tolmin, you will drive for about 8 kilometers to the starting point of our route. When you reach the intersection, where the signs invite you to the left to Javorca, and straight to the Tolminka spring, you should rather drive straight to the parking lot for the Tolminka spring, because there you will be able to leave your vehicle in the shade, while the parking lot at Javorca is completely on to the sun. The parking lots are only about 100 meters from each other.
As soon as you get out of the car, you will be greeted by a huge bunker on the right above the parking lot, which the Italians built between the two wars. The bunker never served its purpose, but it is truly amazing. it is built on three floors and must have been intended for a large number of soldiers. The interior of the bunker is still very well preserved today.
Just 100 meters further down the road, a small sign will invite you to visit another bunker, which is hidden at the edge of the forest. This bunker is also very large, although smaller than the previous one, but still extremely large. When I look at these underground fortifications, I always wonder who built all this and how much money they threw away for a whole line of bunkers (on our side and on the Italian side) that were never used. I recommend you to visit this bunker as well, but it’s nice if you have a little better light with you than the one on your phone. After walking through the bunker, on the other side, you continue along the pasture and the path will soon lead you to the main path.
We will then continue the ascent towards the spring of Tolminka along the road, which soon turns into a mulatjera. It is well maintained and wide. In places, there is a lot of gravel on it, so the sand can also slide, so hiking poles will help you.
The spring of Tolminka on the mountain below Osojnica
The mulatjera takes us in several serpentines, which are led along the edge of a rock formation (really stunning), to the edge of the mountain below Osojnica, where the path splits. I advise you to head left to the highest spring on the mountain and then walk along the meadow along the lower springs and admire this truly fairytale environment.
You will probably stay on the mountain for a while and enjoy the views, rushing water and beautiful streams. When we visited the mountain, we took off our shoes and crossed the mountain barefoot, because there was practically no other option. But the cows took care of a nicely trimmed grass area, so walking was very pleasant.
A little lower on the mountain is a (in my opinion) quite ugly hunting lodge. You could do with a little effort and put something a little more personal in this beautiful setting. However, the cottage offers you a few benches where you can sit down and enjoy the ambiance in peace.
You can go towards the starting point along the access path, but I suggest that you go through the streams to the other side of the bed, which Tolminka starts working on as soon as the streams say goodbye to the meadows. There, a well-trodden path will take you toward the mountain of Prodi. The mountain was empty at the time of our visit, but it looks quite nicely arranged and maintained.
One of the highlights of the entire trip will be waiting for you when you come from the mountain to the Tolminka riverbed and ride through it with a hand-powered cable car, it was the first time I tried something like this, a great experience! 😀
2. Javorca church
When you get to the car, you’ll probably need something to drink, especially if it’s a hot day. Then head through a small grove towards the picturesque church of Javorca. The church is about a 20-minute walk from the parking lot on a concrete road. On hot summer days, the climb can be quite hot, but when you reach the church, all the effort is rewarded.
The Church of the Holy Spirit is set high above the steep banks of the Tolminka river, on a wonderful viewing plateau, where views open up in all directions. The landslide on the neighboring bank of Tolminka, which was triggered by a strong earthquake in Posočje in 2004, is especially beautiful.
Javorca is a church that was built during the First World War in memory of fallen soldiers who fought in the Austro-Hungarian army. The initiative for the construction of the Church of the Holy Spirit was given by the soldiers themselves, and the funds for this, today’s most beautiful monument and at the same time a reminder of this crazy killing, which happened more than 100 years ago, were also collected within the troops.
The names of more than 2,500 soldiers of all nationalities who lost their lives on one of the biggest fronts in the history of mankind are written on the oak boards inside the church.
To see the interior of Javorca, you will have to shell out a few Euro coins, but you can buy a combined ticket that will also allow you to see the Tolmin gorge.
|Kids (6-15 let)||2,00 €|
|Students and seniors||3,20 €|
|Family 2+2||10,00 €|
|each subsequent child||1,00 €|
|group adults (10+ persons)||3,20 €|
|group children (10+ persons)||1,60 €|
|children (0-5 let), disabled*||free|
3. Tolminska gorge and Danteje’s cave
Similar to visiting Jovorca and the Tolminka spring, I advise you to leave your vehicle at the free parking lot on the edge of Tolmin (below the castle) and take the free shuttle from there to the starting point for viewing the Tolminka gorge and Dante’s Cave.
The Tolmin troughs are probably the biggest attraction that you can see in the vicinity of Tolmin. And the number of tourists in the troughs also confirms this. The troughs are truly exceptional, although I honestly expected a little more from them, especially that they were a little longer (officially 90 minutes). You can easily see the entire troughs in 35 minutes, but if you are a little slower and will be taking a lot of photos, you will need about 45 minutes to see them.
The confluence of Tolminka and Zadlaščica is at the same time the lowest point of the Triglav National Park, and it is also the only confluence within the troughs in Slovenia. After crossing the Tolminka, the first turn left, between the steep walls of the Tolminka, and then you will return to the confluence and walk into the Zadlaščica gorge, which is also extremely deep and beautiful. Then, take a circular route up to the road above the Devil’s Bridge.
The gorge is otherwise very pleasantly cold, and viewing the beautiful troughs will be very pleasant even in the hottest days. At the confluence, you can go down to the water and refresh yourself with it.
When exiting the troughs above the Devil’s Bridge, don’t forget to walk to Dante’s cave, which is about a 5-minute walk from the exit from the troughs. The cave is best known for the fact that, upon visiting it, the famous Italian poet Dante Alighieri is said to have received the inspiration for Hell in his poem The Divine Comedy.
To visit the cave, you must officially have a caving guide with you, and caving equipment is also required. If you are only going to enter the cave a few meters, the flashlight on your phone will be enough, but if you want to see more of the cave, which is otherwise more than a kilometer long, you will need serious equipment, with a helmet, a headlamp (another one for reserve), suitable footwear…
As you descend the road towards the entrance point to the troughs, you will walk over the Devil’s Bridge, which is an exceptional point above the troughs. It is located about 60 meters above Tolminka and offers us a wonderful view of the troughs and tributaries of Tolminka and Zadlaščica.
|Price list for visiting the Tolmin basins||March,|
until 4 p.m
after 4 p.m
|adolt||6,00 EUR||8,00 EUR||10,00 EUR||8,00 EUR|
|children (from 6. to 15. years)||3.00 EUR||4,00 EUR||5,00 EUR||4,00 EUR|
|children (0-5 let), disabled*||1,00 EUR||1,00 EUR||1,00 EUR||1,00 EUR|
|students* (to 26 let),|
seniors** (above 65 let)
|5,00 EUR||6,00 EUR||8,00 EUR||6,00 EUR|
|family 2+2||15,00 EUR||20,00 EUR||25,00 EUR||20,00 EUR|
|each subsequent child||1,00 EUR||1,00 EUR||1,00 EUR||1,00 EUR|
|group adults (minimum 10 people)||5,00 EUR||6,00 EUR||8,00 EUR||6,00 EUR|
|group children (at least 10 people)||2,50 EUR||3,00 EUR||4,00 EUR||3,00 EUR|
|holders of the Julian Alps: Soča Valley card||free||free||free||free|
4. Tolmin castle
- Ascent time: 30 minutes
- Trail difficulty: easy trail
- Height: 426 meters
- Altitude difference: 200 meters
- Starting point: free parking lot P2 in Tolmin (46.1903, 13.7308)
- Recommended footwear and equipment: sports walking shoes and poles
Tolmin Castle is another beautiful spot in Tolmin, which offers us exceptional views of Tolmin and the Soča valley. But it is true that with all the beauty that Tolmin has to offer, the castle gets a little lost… you can climb the castle from several directions, I started to the castle from the free parking lot under the castle, which is otherwise intended for viewing the troughs, got down on another, more friendly path.
The ascent from this side is by tractor path, and I don’t like such routes the most. But I was descending along a very pleasant walking path that descends in long serpentines towards Tolmin.
Apart from a beautiful view of the whole of Tolmin, the Soča valley, and the surrounding mountains, the castle offers you nothing else. Well, yes, there is also a board at the top with a description of the history of this building and some benches where you can rest after a rather tiring climb.
Castle Hill is a very popular recreational walking spot for the locals, as there is a trim track around the hill with various props on which you can stretch your body.
5. Tolmin Museum
More about the museum soon…
6. Beri waterfall
- Ascent time: 20 minutes
- Trail difficulty: easy trail
- The height of the waterfall: 36 meters
- Difference in height ascent: approx. 150 meters
- Starting point: parking lot at the end of Podljubinj (46.1812, 13.7561)
- Recommended footwear: sports walking shoes
The Beri waterfall is probably the most visited of all the waterfalls in the vicinity of Tolmin. It is 36 meters high (according to some data 35m) and the water of the Godiča stream falls freely all 36 meters over the rocky shelf.
The turnoff for the village of Podljubinj is only a few 100 meters before Tolmin (if we are coming from the direction of Mosta na Soči), and while driving through the village we are directed to the parking lot at the end of the village by signs with the inscription Beri waterfall. In the last few meters before arriving at the starting point, I had the feeling that I was going to drive into someone’s yard, as the road is very narrow, but behind the last house there is only a space where we can leave our vehicle.
From the parking lot, which is free of charge, a well-maintained and well-trodden hiking trail will lead us to the waterfall. Despite the fact that the route is easy, I recommend that you wear footwear suitable for the terrain.
We climb more or less all the time in the immediate vicinity of the stream, under the canopy of trees, in unspoilt nature. Despite the fact that the waterfall is quite popular, in the vast majority of cases you will not encounter many hikers on the way, and with a little luck you will be completely alone at the waterfall.
The climb to the waterfall is suitable for the whole family and you can visit the waterfall in all seasons.
7. Healing spring Grofova voda and Sopotnica waterfalls
- Lap time: 45 minutes
- Trail difficulty: easy trail
- Height difference along the way: approx. 210 meters
- Starting point: parking lot in the village of Dolje (46.1941, 13.7146Opens in a new tab.)
- Recommended footwear: sports walking shoes
The last sight to see, which you will have to make a little effort to see, is the healing spring Gofova voda. The source is located next to the gorge of the Sopotnica stream, which descends very steeply towards the village of Gabrje and forms quite a few beautiful waterfalls during this descent.
I suggest that you choose the village of Dolje as your starting point, where you have a nicely arranged free parking lot, and from there you go through the village (turn right from the parking lot into the village, and after a few 10 meters turn off the main road into the village) towards the spring. The path is not marked at first, but it is still beautiful and wide (tractor path).
In some places, the trail is fairly straight at the end, so you will definitely warm up during the ascent. The ascent will take you about 20 minutes. About 5 minutes before you reach the spring, you will walk past the signs that will invite you to the waterfalls of Sopotnica and the old mill.
On the last part of the path to the spring, you will leave the tractor path and walk along the well-maintained hiking path above the 2 waterfalls to the well-maintained spring, next to which grows one of the largest hornbeams in the area. Unfortunately, there is no board next to the spring explaining why it is a healing spring, since when it has been used, and similar interesting facts and anecdotes.
When you have quenched your thirst and filled your water supplies, head back towards the intersection, where the signs point us to the right. After only a few 10 meters, we come under one of the waterfalls… From here to the village, the stream creates an extremely steep gorge, where the waterfalls follow one after the other. Some waterfalls can be seen up close, while some can only be seen from a distance.
On the way down to the village of Gabrje, we will walk past an old but still working mill. The mill is located right at the end of a steep gorge and from there you can admire the last waterfalls.
Towards our starting point, we will walk past the Italian chapel from the 1st World War, and a little before the village of Dolje we will “meet” a monument to fallen fighters from the 2nd World War.
We return from Gabrj to Dolj by road, which is not the most pleasant, but these few 100 meters probably won’t be a problem.
8. German ossuary from 1. world war
The German ossuary from World War I is not as “spectacular” as Javorca or the one in Kobarid. But considering that we will be in the immediate vicinity of the last resting place of German soldiers who fell in the 12th offensive of the Soča Front, it is worth walking to it and seeing it. The ossuary was built in 1938 by the Germans.
Kostnica is located in the immediate vicinity of the bathing area at the confluence of the Soča and Tolminka. When you arrive at the parking lot of the swimming pool, a sign will direct you to the right, where the mentioned building is located about 200 meters away.
9. Swimming place at the confluence of Soča and Tolminka rivers
It probably won’t be difficult for you to find the swimming place, but anyway… At the main intersection near the museum, where we turned right for the spring of Tolminka, Javorca and the trough (if you came to Tolmin from the direction of Mosta na Soči), we now turn left, or if we are returning from the troughs, we simply continue straight. After about 500 meters, the road will lead us to the parking lot next to the former building of the Yugoslav Army. The building is abandoned today, but the parking lot, which is hidden under the dense tree canopy, is extremely friendly to the temperature in your vehicle.
The confluence is only about 100 meters away from a pleasant walk. The beach is very lively when the weather is good. On my last visit there were surprisingly many foreigners, especially Italians.
Of course, the wonderful Soča and especially Tolminka, which in my opinion is a degree or two cooler than its bigger sister, will ensure that you don’t get too hot on the beach. In the second plan, a pleasant bar will take care of the coolness, where you will be served a chilled drink and a friendly smile.
For all those who have not been to the confluence yet. The Soča is already very calm here, and you can really swim, paddle, and have fun in and on it in one way or another. With the Tolminka, however, it is a little different, it calms down only when it flows into the Soča, as its flow is still very lively just before its discharge. Because of this, anything more than soaking in it will be out of the question. And even this irrigation will be for those who are the most heated, or the bravest. During my last cooling in it, it was only a few tenths above 6°C. At least that’s what they said in the bar on the beach, and based on my experience with ice water, I’d agree with them.
In any case, I highly recommend that you refresh yourself in one or both rivers after a tiring day. The drive home will be much more pleasant, and the regeneration of the body is much better after soaking in ice water for a few minutes… Verified. 😀
Tolmin is an extremely interesting town. I am especially fascinated by the natural beauty in its surroundings, but the city also has an exceptional cultural heritage, which can also be seen in the local museum, which I did not visit this time, but according to the locals, the museum is worth a visit. I may confirm this or I will refute on my next visit.
In addition to everything else, Tolmin is an exceptional starting point for an attack on our Julian Alps. We don’t need much time and we are already in the heart of our largest mountain range, but go to the mountains in the early hours, because the temperatures on this side of the mountains are even higher than in Gorenjska and most of the slopes are very exposed to the sun…
If you need some more ideas for trips in these areas, I suggest you read the article entitled Where in BovecOpens in a new tab. and Sunday nature tripsOpens in a new tab..
I wish you a wonderful trip around Tolmin and go to Vnarava as often as possible!