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Thursday, 24 February 2011

WELCOME TO THE SOČA VALLEY, SLOVENIA!

Dolina Soče. Slovenija. Dobrodošli!

Top European mtb destination lately! ... Over 1100 km of MTB paths, more than 33.000 m height difference on an immense network of WWI paths which make you reach ubelievable places.

Places from where sights to highest Alps in the North are available, while the view to the south extends beyond the coast of Adriatic see all the way down to Venice. Hard to believe? Well, a must experience! Fly to Trieste or Ljubljana and you reach the capital of the valley, Tolmin, in 45 minutes.

Tuesday, 12 May 2009

NEW: Soca Valley's MTB guide book

Buy the most comprehensive MTB guide book (gorskokolesarski vodnik Dolina Soče, available in English verison) covering 43 mtb tracks of the entire Soca Valley here

Published by SIDARTA, also available in any book shop.



Wednesday, 29 October 2008

6. VRH SKOPICE **** ! DIFFICULT DESCENT

From Slap ob Idrijci up to Vrše pasture and continuing to Vrh Skopice offers quite an interesting climb in the latest stage through the woods. The descent from Vrh Skopice is the most demanding in the whole Soca Valley so take care. It's not that easy to find the right way down

4. AVČE DH ****


A downhill track which lacks a cable car ..... The first uphill part is the same that one to Jelenk. The DH section is very cool with no chicken ways available.

3. Jelenk ****

With a relatively easy ascent from Kanal you can reach the Banščice plateau. A vast plateau that extends from Sv. Gora in the South to Most na Soči in the North. Large region with plenty of forests and forest roads and paths. This one takes you towards Jelenk hill occasionally offering some nice views to lower part of Soca Valley. To finish in stile take the Kanal's downhill path that brings you to Morsko village, just above Kanal city. Very fast downhill single track.

2. Kambreško **


A vast hilly area called Kambreško extends northwest of Kanal. The whole area is intensively covered by forests roads where a detailed map and a good sense of orientation is needed for getting around. This trip includes the climb up from Ročinj to Kambreško village and a descent down to a valley that ends at Ajba. Plus another climb to Sv. Pavel church from where an abandoned single track takes you back down to Ročinj.

Thursday, 16 October 2008

1. Marijino Celje ****

Marijino Celje was once a very well known pilgrimage place to which a paved road led to the top. Today ruins of that road are seen only in the lower part of the descent which is quite tricky due to many forest roads crossing the trail on the way down.

Wednesday, 15 October 2008

40. Gozdec ***


Gozdec is the third descent possibility from the road up to Kanin's cable car middle station. The one down from Krnica is definitely the best, the one down the MTB park is somehow special and the third one, down from Gozdec has the most bike carrying sections :)

43. Javoršček ***

The trip that rounds the entire Bovec basin ends with a climb to Javorček and a drop down to Soča river. The trip passes by the oldest monument in this area, the St.Lenart church. Short but nice explorer trip. Impressions available here

Tuesday, 30 September 2008

42. Na Skali ****

Upper Soča Valley does not provide really a vast choice of mountain bike trails, but those which does all got at least four marks out of five. It's unbelievable where and what sort of single tracks you can find in those mountains where only sheep and goats dare to explore the ways ...

Monday, 29 September 2008

30. Stol z juga *****

All day long trip toward Stol from South side. Where ascent never ends. The uphill road is loooooong. The only good thing is the view and the warm sun keeps you in a good mood. On top the 360 view is absolutely fabulous, and the 4 km long descent along the Stol crest is another superlative of this mountain. The good descents are rare, but the one directly down to Kobarid tops the dh choices.

Thursday, 25 September 2008

41. Krnica *****

Continuing on the road that heads to the MTB Park Kanin starting point you come to a mountain pasture Krnica under the Kanin ski area where a steep zigzag path rides the right side of Rombon mountain and drops you back down to Bovec city centre. This path is certainly more ride-able than the park one and offers from fast DH parts to some almost unridable down steps over some difficult rocky sections. This one is tricky, but in a way one of the most beautiful truly alpine MTB tracks in Soca Valley. Certainly in the club of Matajur, Stol and Razor ones!

37. MTB Park Kanin ****

Where there is a cable car, all you need to find is an old shepherd path that goes down near it and you've got the MTB Park. And that's it. Bovec MTB park it just that. The downhill section is divided in three parts due to two road crossings and the most difficult part comes in the lowers part that brings you back to Bovec. The park is equipped with "north shore" construction elements to allow fast curving, challenging obstacles surmounting and dare testing for the brave ones.

Wednesday, 24 September 2008

38. Možnica ***

Short-but-fun. Many hill tops around Bovec are steep and unapproachable by bike, so all it is there are the one way valleys. The one to Možnica has a nice return path that goes through the Možnica river gorges and back out to the road to Kluže, a monumental fortress dated centuries back. Although short these valleys lower part is very picturesque and impressive.

39. Mangart *****


Reaching the Mangart's mountain hut at 1906 m this is the Soca Valleys highest MTB destination. Although it seem that nothing is ride-able from up there the alpine path that drops down to Mangarts mountain pasture offers a tricky but doable descent. Taking a trail above Strmec village makes you avoid the main road and gives you the possibility to drop down to Loška Koritnica with a total of more than 500 m of an interesting single-track descent. Some parts on this one are tricky though and require excellent technique and self-confidence. Try yourself out.

Tuesday, 16 September 2008

11. Bučenica ****

It seems like an innocent small hill looking at it from Tolmin or Most na Soči. But proves to be a hard one. The overall length of this tour hardly beats the one to Vodil Vrh but even if you tried that one and think it is hard to seize than Bučenica will remain an unconquered hill top for you. The uphill part is so difficult due to terrain that the cycling do-ability is on its extreme limits ... but once on top it all gets repaid with two amazing view points. The downhill single-track offers a fast and smooth descent back down to Most na Soči. And a beer or two makes you wonder how come this short trip was so fatiguing ...

Tuesday, 9 September 2008

23. Pretovč ****

A difficult and fatiguing climb to Pretovč on one side and a super fast single track downhill descent can be a shortest description of this trip. Pretovč offers many descent possibilities but also a much easier ascent by one of the most steep uphill tarmac roads :) It takes time to get to the top, but you get down in seconds .... Find it in cloudy Google Earth

Monday, 1 September 2008

33. Kuk ***

A 1000m ascent to Kuk, another hill on Slovenian - Italian border, is not easy. The slope in its first half is very steep, but yet not so difficult as some others since all the way to the top is asphalted. The descent takes you across the border toward Topolovo and switches back to Livek from where a funny descent to Idrsko is available. Funny cors there are so many forest roads you easy miss the right one but eventually get down to Idrsko village.

26. Čeplešišče/Cepletischis ****

The Italians call this village "The one with that name ...". Just try to pronounce it. Well, the Matajur/Montemaggiore hill is full of beautiful single tracks. Especially ones on the Italian side. This one is a shorter version of the one to ŠpieterSlovenov/SanPietroAlNatisone and spares you the fatiguing return.

There is an extended verison of this ride available: g+ users see it here else slideshow is available for public viewers.

Trail map download: Mountminbike_Čeplešišče_Map_ENG.pdf 

Monday, 25 August 2008

35. Planica ****

Another picturesque and fascinating tour in Soca Valley. This one goes from Kobarid through Drežnica across Špit to Krn village from where a splendid open view ascent under the mount Krn plateau begins. The descent is one of the fastest by following the grassy path all the way down to Kosec village. Hadn't been for some unavoidable bike carrying this one would get a 5 star mark.

Monday, 18 August 2008

19. Razor - Čadrg *****

One of Soca Valley’s best. Certainly in the club of Matajur and Stol rides. The crossing from Razor to Spodnji Kal and the descent to Čadrg village offers splendid views, nice technical single-track and some difficult parts on the descent to make it very interesting. The variations of how to get to Razor and how to get out of Čadrg gives this one an infinite possibilities of making an ideal and always different trip to same places. Best places are always hidden!

7. Grudnica ****

South of Tolmin lays a Banjšice plateau. Its northern part is easily accessible from Most na Soči and the rides here are pretty much different than those in northern Soca Valley part. Not to mean they are less attractive. On the contrary, climbs are less though, the top doesn't really exist. Because you are going up and down all the time on the plateau, and the descents are direct, steep, fast and technical.


36. Špik ***

This one is another short but nice up and down trip. Špik can easily be a finish-in-stile end of a much longer trip up to Planica or Bes chapel.

Monday, 11 August 2008

31. Stol s severa *****

We've been to Stol many times, but it always keeps making good impressions. The view from the top is absolutely gorgeous and the descent fascinating. The fast and grassy top section and the steep and technical bottom section keep you focused all the time. The ascent from the north side as it was done this time is very advisable in the summer since the south slope has no forest at all.

10. Srednje ***

South west of Tolmin lies a remote land with plenty of forests and small valleys. Good orientation capabilities are demanded (or a GPS) in order not to get lost in the woods. Its a very nice and long ride with an interesting return on the left side of the Soča river toward Most na Soči.

Monday, 4 August 2008

17. Stador - Kobala ****

Best paragliding starting point in Europe that is. Kobala. The grassy hill from which a paraglide jump to either of sides (toward two different valleys) is possible. The air conditions in this part of Soca Valley allow day long glides and plenty of fly kilometers. Well on the ground side there are also two very nice downhill paths which would be a shame to miss. Find impressions here.

24. Matajur na južno stran *****

One of Soca Valley's top mountain bike places. Being the highest mountain in its nearby area it offers a 360 view reaching as far as the Adriatic sea on a clear day. The climb is not technical save for a few sections on the last part, but the steepness at the beginning and the 1500m of altitude gain will still make you work hard for the descent. There are a couple of options to return down from the vista-rich mountaintop, the best being a long & flowy singletrack to the Italian side. The fast pace on the way down and a long traverse roller coasting up and down will drain the majority of your leftover energy, making your way back to Kobarid a long one. But all this hard work is easily offset by the beauty of the ride. Just be sure to come fit.

DOWNLOAD: PDT guide book trail description for Matajur South

15. Foni *

Foni. A forgotten village above Soča river, hidden on the northern slope of Kolovrat. Only one house is still inhabited confirming this small village’s remote location. Even home animals get scared if they see strangers coming... There was an exciting path traversing the slope from Foni down to Volče years ago but only a small part of it is still ride-able now because of lack of use and maintenance. Recomended only to those with exploratory tendencies.

Monday, 28 July 2008

28. Vogel / Mt.Vogel ***

This ride follows the footsteps of the Montefosca one save for the descent on the trail No. 735, which proved to be uncyclable for the most part. We found another descent down to Montefosca village this time which proved to be far better. The trail that continues from the village starts promising but becomes more demanding in its second part. The slope becomes steeper and the trail abounds in small loose rocks and rock stairs. Not for everyone, but it’s still worth its while for able riders.

29. Breginj ***

The ride in the most western part of Slovenia takes you through some remotest villages in Soca Valley. The Breginj village was also the biggest victim of 1976 earthquake which can steel be seen today by completely deurbanized and temporary housing architecture. The access to Breginj is possible only by asphalt road, but from here some forest roads takes you above the village from where some decent descents are available. Overall is a more get to see the places than a real mtb tour in this area.

Monday, 21 July 2008

34. Planina Pradolina ****

The over hill trip to upper Soca Valley - Bovec, the valley's winter ski centre. The cutting through the woods makes you suffer here. Plenty of rock falls, landslides, high grass, big stones, ravines etc makes the large part of downhill only partially ride able. But overall it is an interesting trip worth trying every 5 years or more....

21. Vodil Vrh ****

This is a slightly shorter version of the ride to Vodil Vrh. You still get to climb the same steep concrete and gravel tractor road towards Pretovč and Sleme but instead of going all the way up to Pretovč turn left at Zavrh just as the climb starts to ease up a bit. From that point a steep grassy road takes you past a shepherd’s station and delivers you on top of the grassy Vodil Vrh. The familiar single track descent is only a short hilltop ride away.Numbers better picture this loop’s steepness: 750m of altitude difference, 5km of ascent, 3km of descent ........ just amazing!
Attention: this descent is better to be avoided on wetter days if you don’t enjoy sliding into the trees that much.

Friday, 18 July 2008

9. Senica - Široko

Senica is a splendid alternative to avoid the main road from Tolmin to Most na Soči. The climb up from Ljubinj is intense but rewards you with an amazing view of the valley below from the viewpoint on its top. You have the full view of the artificial lake spanning from Most na Soči to Tolmin and the mountain ranges beyond it. The descent begins on a fire road but soon switches to a rocky singletrack that brings you down to Most na Soči again.
If you still have energy to burn, an even steeper climb starts towards Široko from the other side of town. With an altitude gain of 600 m in only 5km it’s not for the faint of heart. The climb follows a gravel and concrete road to the halfway point at the Klohe farm and continues on a demanding grassy tractor road on the rest. On the top another splendid view opens up and the option of replenishing your energy at the nearby tourist farm adds another bonus to this nice half day trip. To return back you can either take the same route that brought you to the top or descend on a local freeride trail. The latter is advised only for riders of good technical ability since it has some very steep sections, jumps and can often be slippery.

Monday, 30 June 2008

20. Ozidje ****

Only ruins await you in this hardly accessible part of Tolminka valley where once big property marked this part of territory. The round trip takes you across two bridges, passes by two of the most interesting places in this area (which you are able to pay a visit of course) and brings you back out of this picturesque valley directly to an outdoor bar. The beer there is absolutely perfect.

13. Kovačič planina ****

Kovačič Planina lies on Kolovrat ridge, from which great views on Soca River and the Krn’s mountain chain open up. There are many ways to get back down to the valley and cool down in Soca itself. One of those ways takes you down on single track via Kovačič Planina pasture and finishes with a really badly shaped forest road.

16. Kneške Ravne ****

Many years ago described in one of the first mtb guides in Slovenia, this crossing from Razor toward eastern Lower Bohinj Mountains, offers yet again a unique impression of how well the “mule paths” were build during the WWI. Today after 50+ years the path still exists, although only in a form of a single track on once more than 1,5m wide mountain road. SLIDESHOW

27. Mija / Monte Mia ****

Looking so not attractive, this 1200m hill top doesn't realy look as a favorable mtb destination. So wrong. Its dense forest provides excellent shield from hot summer sun, and the best on this hill starts at its top - descent. If the one from Stol to Kobarid is intense this one is non-stop technical. Steep descent plus many of stone stairs sections on the path makes it really interesting. But surely brings a smile on your face once back in the valley.

18. Razor - Tolminske Ravne *****

Trip to Razor always offers a variety of choices of getting up to it or descend from. This time we took advantage of a beautiful afternoon sun and made the crossing from Stador to Kal pasture and from there by some short cuts single tracks all the way down to the valley to get out the Tolminka gorge at the very end of our trip. As always Razor is an excellent choice.

Sunday, 15 June 2008

32. Zaprikraj ***

Reaching Magozd by taking an old road from camp Koren near Napoleon bridge over Soca river and heading towards Zaprikraj pasture allows you to avoid a big bunch of asphalt road. From the pasture we literally climbed to Krasi Vrh from where a great view on Drežnica and Krn is offering. The uphill suffer paid off on the return. The way down to Dreznica is demanding and technical. To finish in stile a path down the Kosec gorges to Ladra village was taken.

Monday, 27 August 2007

Montefosca

A nice round trip through a very interesting village Robidišče - the most western settlement of Slovenia, reached from Podbela and extending the trip across Italian border to the Vogel hill (1124m), climbing down to Montefosca and descending by a typical well-done-Italian-rock-paved path (il sentiero) down to Stupica/Stupizza and back to Kobarid. If you avoid the 735 path from the top of the hill to Montefosca and return by road you easily avoid some 3 hours of bicycle carrying to reach the village. The 735 way to it is a clear case of no way.

Monday, 6 August 2007

22. Planina Sleme *****

1300m of altitude difference, 10km of ascent, 13% of average slope, with 20% steepness on the very beginning of ascent just outside Zatolmin - these are some facts that make this way up to Sleme not very popular among mountain bike riders to say the least. But there are some who like it just for these facts. The way up takes some effort but when you get to the top where the highest mountain pasture of Tolmins region lies the view opens to the Julian alps on the East and West side. From here many possibilities for descent are available. The most popular is to go down to Mederje and via Pretovč straight down to Zatolmin. The single track is always empty and it allows a very high speed descent with some rocky sections just to keep the thing interesting.

Monday, 30 July 2007

5. Pršjak *****

The Vojsko plateau offers some splendid mtb rides on plenty of tarmac roads. And there are also some single track descents down into the Trebušca river valley. The best among them is the descent down the Pršjak valley which brings you to a splendid viev on the 27 meter high waterfall on this stream.

Friday, 6 July 2007

14. Topolovo / Topolo (Topoluove) **** UPDATED

A very interesting visit to a nice Italian village just across the border. If you pay a visit to this village try to do it in July when Postaja Topolovo - an artististic project - takes place.
There are several nice paths available to reach this settlement by mtb. The latest version we did was down to the village directly from the Kuk mountain. The path itself can be described very easily:

tep, tep, tep, tep, tep, tep, tep, tep, tep, tep, tep, tep,
tep, tep, tep, ter, step, tep, tep, tep, tep, tep, tep, step
and when you think the rocky steps are over in strats again
tep, tep, tep, tep, tep, tep, tep, tep, tep, tep, tep, tep, tep,
te, te, te, tep, te, tep, tep, t, t, t, t, tep, step, step ...
all the way down to the church back yard. Fatiquing but very nice path. Here are some impressions: FOTOS FROM 2010

Korada

Korada lies south of Tolmin, with some 20 km by car to Plave from where a nice path takes you to the top where a nice cottage is located. They serve beer and food. The view from the top reaches many Italian villages to the west, Sveta gora above Gorica to the south east and Julian Apls to the norh.

The descent is mostly rocky, with some nice details. But it allows high speed downhill if you dare. Click the picture for photo gallery.

MounTminBike blogger

MTB - Mountainbiking in Tolmin (T'min) area = MounTminBike

As Soca Valley is a very fine place for mountainbiking I've decided to set up this blogger. Therefore links to photo galleries will be posted, paths descriptions and other usefull stuff which is needed to know when visiting Soca Valley for biking purposes. Links to friends webpages, photo albums and other will also be availeble here.