From Austria to Portorož

Route over the alpine passes descends by one of the most beautyful river Soča and continues over remarkable Kras region. There are lot of interesting spots, tourist attractive towns, inns and restaurants… Some published here, rest waiting for you to discover.

The route takes local roads. The road from Kranjska Gora town over Vršič pass requires attention at some turns.

This route offers a lot of nice stops, resting sites, food, and more… Only some of the plenty options are listed here. I return to the parts of this route every year once or twice for more than ten years, and discover something interesting and new each time.

The road across Slovenia is started, or ended, at Slovenian-Austrian border pass Korensko sedlo/Wurzenpass near Villach and Faaker See. Descend the route 201 to town Kranjska Gora (6km) with colourful tourist selection for each taste.

Take the road 205 from Kranjska Gora to Vršič saddle (11km). The road quickly ascends and has some sharp turns, but the view of the mountains and valley below pays the effort. There is a mountain inn at the saddle.

Descend from Vršič to Trenta valley (road 206) and after some sharp turns the remarkable valley of Soča mountain river starts. All the towns and villages along the road offer various tourist experiences (rooms, camp sites, inns, adrenaline sports etc.).

After 33km from Vršič, you will arrive to Bovec (455m above sea level), small town with beautiful healthy alpine tourism.

If Bovec doesn’t make you stop, the next town Kobarid is only 20km ahead taking nice scenic route 203 by the Soča river. Mountain town has diverse tourism and awarded museum of 1st World War.

The world renowned hotel with a restaurant Hiša Franko is only 4km out of Kobarid taking road 102 towards Italy.

Head towards Nova Gorica taking roads 102 and then 103.

If your schedule allows, you can take a detour after 13km and visit Tolmin and Most na Soči towns. In the later, one can take the boat Lucija at Soča river and have a delicious marble trout.

There are 30km from Kobarid to Kanal – the settlement dates back to the Roman Empire – take a break, stretch your legs and see the Soča river.

Continuing for 7km to Plave village by the road 103, go over the bridge and after 300m find a small inn to take a small or bigger snack: trout in vinegar, smoked trout, cod fish and more.

Just before Solkan (less than 10km from Plave, still on road 103), you can stop in sport-tourist facility by Soča river and take a look at the Solkan bridge – the bridge with the longest stone arc in the World.

Some 100m ahead is the crossroad for Sveta gora mountain: from road 103 take road 608 and after 3km take the turn to Sveta gora. There is 2.7km to the top. If you drive to the top, you should see Alps and Dolomites in all their glory on a clear day. The view goes far over Slovenian coast of Adriatic Sea.

Go thru the Nova Gorica and you are at the lower Kras/Carst. From road 103 go under motorway and take the local road 204. The 204 will take you thru the heart of the Kras to Sežana town.

From Nova Gorica follows: Voljčna Draga, Dornberk, Štanjel Castle (25km from Nova Gorica, worth a visit).

Kras is loaded with tourist choice and experts know that there you eat well, enjoy well, and relax well.

Example: Drive for 6.5km from Štanjel thru Skopa village and ask for the Živcovi farm with top home grown wine teran, prosciutto and nice rooms.

Or: Drive for 12km from Štanjel thru Dutovlje and Tomaj, both are the heart of Kras’ teran to Šepulje village. There is a beautifully restored typical Kras homestead with top cuisine and nice rooms: Domačija Šajna.

From Sežana take the turn towards Lipica and follow the road 934. Lipica is a stud farm for centuries only 4km from Sežana and is the home of Lipizzaner horses. Have a look at the stud farm or take a ride with the carriage.

From Lipica take the road 205 to Divača (10km). You can choose between A1 motorway (46km) or romantic scenic route 409 (50km) to the coastal town Koper.

In both cases you can stop at the small castle Socerb with a nice view of Trieste and Gulf of Trieste. There is a restaurant in the castle.

I recommend the Brič restaurant before Koper in Dekani by the road 409.

From a roundabout connecting scenic route 409 and A1 motorway take the road H5 past Koper, and Portorož is only 18-20km away.

Author: Rastko Korošec

I ride my Springer since 1989.

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