Tag: Kobarid

Tourist information for holidays in Kobarid, Slovenia. Accommodation, sights and walks.

WWI Isonzo Front, the Soča Valley, Slovenia

Memorial on Batognica
WWI Isonzo Front memorial on Batognica

World War One began on 28 July 1914, when the Austro-Hungarian Empire declared war on Serbia.  Two opposing blocks entered the war, The Allies, composed of France, Great Britain and Russia on one side and the Central Powers of Germany, Austro-Hungary, Bulgaria and Turkey on the other.  At this stage Italy had not entered the war, remaining neutral until it signed the Treaty of London in 1915 and joined the Allies. Italy declared war on the Austria, Hungary and Germany on 23 May 1915.

The Isonzo Front ran through the Bovec Basin
The Isonzo Front ran through the Bovec Basin

The war was being fought on several fronts throughout Europe and now another was opened up. Running from the Stelvio Pass at the junction of the Italian, Swiss and Austrian borders, it stretched 600km across Tyrol, the Carnian Alps, and the Soča/Isonzo region to the Adriatic Sea. The 90km section of the front running along the River Soča from Mt. Rombon to the Adriatic was called the Isonzo Front (or Soča Front).


Battle raged for nearly two and a half years and twelve offensives took place. The Italians attacked 11 times but each time were unsuccessful. The 12th offensive (sometimes referred to as the Battle of Caporetto and described by Ernest Hemingway in his book, A Farewell to Arms) resulted in a major breakthrough for the joint Austro-Hungarian and German armies who pushed back the Italians to the Piave river, advancing more than 100km towards Venice. Here the advance was halted and, almost exactly a year later, the war ended with the collapse of of the Central Powers.

The grim statistics are that on the Soča Front almost one million people lost their lives, soldiers, plus men, women and children behind the lines.

Today, it is impossible to imagine the horror of it all and the hardships that the soldiers must have endured, but scattered throughout the Soča Valley and on the surrounding mountains are reminders of that terrible time.  Military cemeteries can be found at Trenta, Log Pod Mangarton, Bovec, Kobarid and Tolmin and other locations in the valley.  Most notable perhaps is the Italian Charnel House that stands on the Hill of St Anthony above Kobarid.  Memorials are everywhere, some being simple plaques, others on a grander scale such as the Memorial Church of the Holy Spirit (sv. Duh) at Javorca, near Tolmin.

Austrian-Hungarian cemetery at Log pod Mangarton
Austrian-Hungarian cemetery at Log pod Mangarton

Remains of the battles can be easily spotted – it is hard to go anywhere without coming across ruined defences, gun emplacements, trenches and camps.  Scenes of battle can be visited too.  In order to preserve this heritage as well as possible, the Slovenian Government adopted a ten-year programme in 2000, named “The Soča Region – The Walks of Peace”, as a national and international project. The objective of the project is to preserve, restore and present the historical and cultural heritage of the First World War in the area of the Isonzo Front for the study, tourist and educational purposes. From what we have seen, we can say they are doing an excellent job!

If you would like to explore the front, there is a detailed map of the Soča Front and the many walks that visit it available in tourist offices and shops in Bovec and Kobarid.

Our Slovenia guidebook has several walks in this area and most of them pass by scenes and memorials from the war.

Austro-Hungarian military cemetery at Log pod Mangerton
Austro-Hungarian military cemetery at Log pod Mangerton

16. Kobarid Historical Walk

River Soča, near Kobarid, Slovenia
River Soča, near Kobarid, Slovenia

Walk 16 – The Kobarid Historical Walk, from a Walking Guide to Slovenia.

Following the Kobarid Historical Walk, we visit along the way the Italian Charnel House on the Hill of St Anthony and Tonocov Grad, a hilltop site used as a place of refuge and settlement over the centuries. The walk passes through some of the WWI trenches and positions of the Italian Third Line of Defence on the Isonzo Front, as well as crossing the River Soča and visiting the Kozjak waterfall.

Start/Finish – Kobarid

The WWI Charnel House and Mt. Krn, Kobarid
The WWI Charnel House and Mt. Krn, Kobarid

Distance – 6km/3.8mile

Height gain – approx 200m

Time – 1h53min

Grade – easy; on good but occasionally steep paths and tracks.

Recommended map(s) – are the 1:50 000 Triglavski Narodni Park or the Julijske Alpe zahodni del (western) map published by PZS.

Equipment – Walking boots, walking sticks. See our clothing and walking equipment page for more recommendations.

Refreshments on route – Snacks, ice-creams and drinks at Kamp Koren.

Updates to the 2019, 5th EditionThere are no updates.

Public transport – Kobarid is easily reached by bus.

The nearest railway station is at Most na Soči, 22km away.

Nearest Town/VillageKobarid has hotels, apartments, guesthouses and rooms plus two camping sites within walking distance of the town centre and located on the walk route. It also has all the necessary food shops, plus cafes and restaurants.

Bovec, to the north, has more accommodation.

**Book Bovec, Slovenia with Hostelbookers**

The Charnel House on the Hill of St Anthony, Kobarid.
The Charnel House on the Hill of St Anthony, Kobarid.

Please leave a comment below, or contact us, if you have some up to date information that you think might be useful or any suggestions to improve Slovenia-walking.

17. A walk along the Kolovrat ridge

Walk 17 – a walk along the Kolovrat ridge to Kuk, from a Walking Guide to Slovenia.

View along the Kolovrat ridge
Italian Third Line of Defence trench on Na Gradu on the Kolovrat Ridge.

An easy walk along the Kolovrat ridge along the Italian border with lovely mountain views and remains of the Izonzo front from World War One.

WWi bunker
Italian Third Line of Defence bunker on Na Gradu on the Kolovrat Ridge

Start/Finish – Kolovrat Information Boards near  Na Gradu

Distance – 7.9km/4.9mile

Height gain – approx 250m

Time – 2h30min

Grade – easy, on good paths.

Recommended map – the Julijske Alpe zahodni del (western) map published by PZS.

Equipment – Walking shoes, walking sticks. See our clothing and walking equipment page for more recommendations.

Refreshments on route – None.

Updates to the 2019, 5th EditionThere are no updates.

Public transport – None

The nearest railway station is at Most na Soči, 22km away.

Nearest Town/VillageKobarid has hotels, apartments, guesthouses and rooms plus two camping sites within walking distance of the town centre. It also has all the necessary food shops, plus cafes and restaurants.

Bovec, to the north, has more accommodation.

**Bovec hotels – Book Now!**

**Book Bovec, Slovenia with Hostelbookers**

Please leave a comment below, or contact us, if you have some up to date information that you think might be useful or any suggestions to improve Slovenia-walking.

Kobarid, Slovenia

The Charnel House and Sv Anton, Kobarid
The Charnel House and Sv Anton, Kobarid

Kobarid, forever to be associated with WWI and the battles of the Isonzo Front, is a small town sitting a little above the River Soča and at the base of steep wooded mountains. Close to the border, Kobarid has a distinct Italian flavour. The Soča Valley narrows immediately to the north of the town and it was here, and on the surrounding mountains that the Austro-Hungarian and German forces eventually pushed back the Italians after more than two years of stalemate. Ernest Hemmingway described the town (then called Caporetto) in his novel, A Farewell to Arms, and the horror that was WWI. Today, the bustling centre hosts visitors who come for the wide-ranging sporting opportunities – kayakers and rafters enjoy the River Soča, paragliders have easy access to the surrounding hills and revel in the world famous thermals, and of course, there are walkers and holidaymakers.

Attractions around Kobarid

  • River Soča, near Kobarid, Slovenia
    River Soča, near Kobarid

    The River Soča – a draw for kayakers from all over Europe.  Truly, a most beautiful river, sometimes acqua-marine in colour, sometimes blue, sometimes wild and raging, sometimes, gentle and placid, the river has areas suitable for beginner kayakers as well those more experienced. There are opportunities for rafting too.

  • Slap Boka – The magnificent Boka waterfall, easily seen from the main road to Kobarid, is an awe-inspiring sight. Impressive enough from the road, we take you a little nearer in our walk, No.14.
  • The church of St Anton and the Italian Charnel House – built in memory the Italian soldiers who died in the First World War. Over 7000 soldiers are interred here. Our Walk 16 visits here.
  • The Kobarid Museuma fascinating museum about Kobarid and the Isonzo Front.
  • Slap Kozjak – just a short walk away from Kobarid, this beautiful waterfall is hidden away in the woods below the village of Drežnica.  Our Walk No.16 also passes this way.
  • Drežnica – a lovely village set in a beautiful location.  We have two walks starting here or nearby, Walk 14 to Krasji vrh and Walk 18 to some hidden waterfalls

Walking

We have four walks around Kobarid in our book, but eight altogether in the Soča Valley.

Accommodation in Kobarid

Self-catering accommodation at Kamp Koren
Self-catering accommodation at Kamp Koren

Kobarid has one hotel, the 4* Hotel Hvala, guest houses, apartments, rooms and two campsites within walking distance of the town centre. Of the two, Kamp Koren is our favourite.  It is often busy but it is exceptionally well run and always welcoming.  There are also campsites within just a few miles such as Kamp Vili at Volarje, near Tolmin. We advise you to book in the summer months! The Kobarid and Tolmin Local Tourist Board has lots of useful information.

Nearby Bovec has a good range of accomodation.

**Book Bovec, Slovenia with Hostelbookers**

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Public transport

Kobarid is easily reached by bus.

The nearest railway station is at Most na Soči, 22km away.

Kobarid has a small but good supermarket, bakers and fruit/veg shops, cafes and restaurants. Trips, excursions and activities of all kinds can be booked at the Kobarid and Tolmin Local Tourist Board

Slap Kozjak near Kobarid, Slovenia.
Slap Kozjak near Kobarid, Slovenia.

Please leave a comment below, or contact us, if you have some up to date information that you think might be useful or any suggestions to improve Slovenia-walking.