Soča River valley in Slovenia is one of the most beautiful places I've ever been. Broad green pastures, a turquoise river, flanked on both sides by steep spruce-covered slopes. Here and there you find a small town, or a church with ornate copper steeple. Numerous climbs scale the surrounding mountains, with magnificent panoramas of the landscape. And it's easily accessible from Italy via Val Natisone.
I parked at Ponte di San Quirino below San Pietro di Natisone, and then warmed up by riding to Kobarid. From here I followed the Soča down to Tolmin, and crossed through the town. I intended to climb Tolminske Ravne but couldn't find the road (turns out you must follow the signs for Žabče). So I saw another name I recognized and tried that- Poljubinj to Plainina Razor. The climb is mostly tree-shaded, starting easy at 225m up to meadowy Ljubinj (390m), gradually getting steeper. It averages 8-9% on the 8km from Ljubinj up to end of asphalt at Plainina Stador (1040m). The dirt road isn't bad, though it was a little muddy after the 4 straight days of rain we've had. The grade is easier (2-3%) till Plainina Lom (1060m), a pasture with a couple of huts/small houses with cows mulling about. I turned around here, though the road actually continues, steeply up concrete ramps and on dirt roads for 6 more kilometers until 1315m at Plainina Razor. The Ediciclo guide says you need a mountain bike. Maybe I'll try it next time.
|Kamno from the road along the Soča River|
|Soča flowing downstream from Tolmin bridge|
|Kolovrat from Tolmin bridge|
|Rocky peaks to east|
|Tolmin looking back up Soča valley|
|Meadows and villages to the south|
|Capitello along the road to Ljubinj|
|Close up peak to east|
|This area is part of Triglav National Park|
|Another shot of the tall rocky peaks to the east|
|Most na Soči to the southeast|
|Village and meadows above Ljubinj|
|Close up of climb|