Bovec has the location, infrastructure and culture to make it an ideal base from which to explore the stunning scenery of the area and enjoy some of the experiences that the natural environment offers, from gentle walks to jumping out of an airplane, from paddling in a slow bend in the river to hurtling over rapids, your knuckles as white as the waters. We’ll deal with the summer in another post, and start with a brief guide to what you can do at the time of writing, in the depths of winter.
Bovec attracts active thrill-seekers
While it’s always a good idea to take more clothes than you think you'll need, Bovec itself is relatively warm in the winter, with the average temperature being just above 0°C in December, just below in January, and then starting to slowly warm up again, reaching around 5°C in March, with snow still on the slopes. That said, when you head out of town and into the mountains things will obviously get colder, so do be careful.
In the summer many activities revolve around the River Soča, but in winter kayaking, rafting and so on are forbidden between October 31 and March 15 to protect the breeding trout, although you can still enjoy walks along the banks and views of the blue-green waters, and, if lucky, see the strange majesty of a frozen waterfall and the tenacious spirit of those who climb them.
With water sports verboten, the activities thus turn to snow-based fun, in addition to the regular hiking and photography that take place in all seasons. As such, visitors can enjoy skiing in all its forms (downhill, running, cross-country and so on), as well as snowboarding and sledding, while paragliding continues throughout the coldest months if you want see the area from the air. Hikers can follow any of the more than dozen trails detailed on the official site, while those looking for something more challenging can also consider a trip to the mountains in Triglav National Park, and mountaineers looking to expand their skill-set can try ice-climbing. All these activities and more can be arranged through one of the many agencies and stores operating out of Bovec, including equipment rental and the hiring of guides. Skiers may also want to check out the nearby Kanin resort, the passes to which let you go over the border into the Italian resort of Sella Nevea, and is covered in another article on this site.
An additional draw is the annual Bovec Outdoor Film Festival, which shows documentaries about the great outsdoors and the people who explore it. Deailts of the 2017 programme, which will be screened December 28 to 30, can be found here.
You can travel from Ljubljana to Bovec by bus, or take the train to Jesenice and then on to Most na Soči, with a bus then connecting you to the town. There are also buses to and from the ski resort and ski jumping centre of Kranjska Gora, the focus of an earlier feature. Driving is also possible, but do check the weather conditions before setting out and make sure you have an appropriate vehicle. There's also a train from from Bled and Bohinj, which is said to be one of the prettiest in the country. The bus timetable can searched here, while the train timetable is here.