Slovenia is a simply stunning place to paddle and the weeks spent paddling the emerald green Soča in spring are a real highlight of the Live2Flow year. The Soča valley is a now well established early season paddling destination that Live2Flow has been coaching and guiding in since 2014. The levels in May & early June are perfect and although probably ideal for intermediates, any paddler wishing to improve their skills and enjoy alpine whitewater in a beautiful location will be happy on the Soča.
Here is the lowdown:
Dates – In view of the Coronavirus situation the 2020 dates have been cancelled. So, I’ve looked further ahead than usual and pencilled in dates for 2021 – Week 1 22-29 May 21 and Week 2 29 May- 5 Jun 21 . Each week involves arriving on the Saturday, paddling Sunday to Friday inclusive and travelling home on the following Saturday.
Paddling – Soča levels are good at this time of year and we should have full choice of river sections, a detailed description of the paddling on the Soča is in my blog here. There is lots of Grade 2 and 3 so it is a great location for whitewater improvers, but there are also some superb Grade 4 sections to give more advanced options. With easy access and egress and short shuttles it is really straightforward to structure a progressive week.
Accommodation – Live2Flow uses chalets close to Bovec that are well located and have good self-catering facilities. Bovec is a thriving mountain town with all the resources a paddler needs only a short distance from the river.
Driving – an economic option with at least 3 in the car and allows you to bring your boat and kit. But it is a long way; allow just over 13hrs driving in Europe, plus travel UK side and ferry. Cost wise you need to factor in ferry charges and up to 2300 miles of fuel usage but there are virtually no tolls on the fastest routes. I would suggest a Fri night ferry and overnight drive to arrive Sat afternoon then reversing this on the return leg Sat & Sun.
Flying – Slovenia does offer a fly & paddle opportunity. A number of cheap airlines offer a return flight package to Ljubljana airport which is only a couple of hours drive from the chalet in a hire car. If you don’t want to fly with your boat then boat hire works out at about €25 per day.
Numbers – Each week needs a minimum of 4 paddlers to run.
Cost – For 2021 the estimated cost is £450 per person for accommodation, guiding and coaching, but Brexit may impact this if unforeseen charges occur. Travel and food are extra.