White Water Rafting in Slovenia, on the Stunning Soča River (2023) 1
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White Water Rafting in Slovenia, on the Stunning Soča River (2023)

Thinking of going white water rafting in Slovenia? Great choice!

Slovenia is a dream destination for anyone who loves adventure sports, particularly in the areas surrounding the Julian Alps and the towns of Bled, Bohinj, and Bovec.

The two main places for rafting in Slovenia are either the Soča River or the Sava River. 

I opted to do the Soca River. In this article, I’ll tell you everything you need to know about my Slovenia rafting experience so you know exactly what to expect. Spoiler: It’s outstanding!

Birds eye view of a blue river in a green forest with a small raft on it.
Rafting Slovenia

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White Water Rafting Slovenia

Whether you choose Soca river rafting or rafting on the Sava, you’ll get to experience the turquoise water and luscious green scenery that Slovenia is famous for, all to the backdrop of the surrounding Julian mountains. Both are worthy contenders for your Slovenia itinerary, and you won’t be disappointed choosing either.

There are numerous adventure sports outlets in the area. Each offers everything for the adrenalin junkie –  from zip-lining, mountain biking, trekking, canyoning, and climbing as well as some of the best white water rafting in Slovenia

The Best Slovenia White Water Rafting Experience

Of course, with so many outlets, they’re all claiming to offer ‘the best’ white water rafting in Slovenia. You’ll quickly find out that they are all pretty similar – also a heads up you might see it in outlets listed as raften slovenie – which essentially translates to rafting in Slovenia.

The season in Slovenia is a fairly short June to August – unless you’re alright with cold water temperatures – I’m not! –  I recommend booking in advance to get the slot you want. In the low season, it will be cold, BUT you’ll also be able to book a go on the same day. 

Here are my top choices for the best rafting in Slovenia

Overall Best White Water Rafting Experience

Half-Day Rafting Tour on the Soča River with Photos

The Soca River is praised as the ideal destination for white water rafting, offering a unique and beautiful experience. 

Visitors have commended the entertaining and capable guides who create an inclusive environment for diverse groups, pushing participants out of their comfort zones while ensuring a fun and laughter-filled journey. The equipment provided is of high quality, and the river route is considered excellent. 

The opportunity to capture great photos and create memorable moments is also highly appreciated. 

These are some of the highlights:

  • Experience an exciting day of whitewater rafting led by an experienced rafting team.
  • Take a refreshing dip in the crystal-clear waters of the Soča River.
  • Enjoy panoramic views of the majestic Julian Alps.
  • Benefit from the guidance of professional guides and convenient return transfers.
  • All necessary whitewater equipment is provided for a safe and enjoyable experience.
  • Capture lasting memories with photos from the trip.

Read more about Half-Day Rafting Tour on the Soča River with Photos here.

Group of friends wearing their red life vests enjoy the white water rafting activity in Slovenia

Best White Water Rafting From Bled

Half-Day Sava River Rafting Trip from Bled

The best white water rafting tour from Bled takes place on the stunning Sava River, offering an unparalleled adventure filled with adrenaline and natural beauty. 

Offering experienced guides, exhilarating rapids, and the awe-inspiring Julian Alps as a backdrop, this tour delivers a rafting experience in the Bled region that is truly unforgettable and sets it apart from other options available.

Other highlights are as follows:

  • Experience the longest river in the region, providing a challenging and exciting rafting adventure.
  • Take a refreshing swim in the pristine waters of the Sava River, immersing yourself in its natural splendour.
  • Embrace your adventurous side by jumping from the rocks into the inviting river, adding an extra thrill to your rafting experience.

Read more about Half-Day Sava River Rafting Trip from Bled here.

Picture from our boat with a blurred background at Slovenia

Best White Water Rafting, Bovec

Premium Half-Day Rafting Experience on Soča River From Bovec

Renowned as the ultimate white water rafting destination, Bovec offers the best tour for adrenaline enthusiasts. Set against the stunning backdrop of the Soča River, this adventure promises thrilling rapids and expert guidance. 

These are the highlights of this Bovec rafting experience:

  • Indulge in the unique and crystal-clear Soča River, renowned for its stunning beauty and pristine waters.
  • Experience the excitement of trying out a water slide and jumping from various heights, adding an extra dose of thrill to your rafting adventure.
  • Encounter a range of exhilarating rapids, ranging from class II to IV, catering to different levels of adventure and ensuring an adrenaline-pumping trip.

Read more about Premium Half-Day Rafting Experience on Soča River From Bovec here.

Taking a group picture raising their yellow rowing equipments before the white water rafting activity at Slovenia

Best White Water Rafting, Bohinj

Original Emerald Soca River Full Day Adventure

Discover the ultimate white water rafting tour from Bohinj, as you go on an exhilarating adventure along the picturesque Soca River. 

Offering seamless pick-up options from Bohinj and based in Bled, this tour guarantees the best rafting experience, complete with experienced guides, thrilling rapids, and all the necessary equipment for a safe and unforgettable journey.

Other highlights are as follows:

  • Immerse yourself in Slovenia’s natural wonders with a full-day tour from Bled, designed for outdoor enthusiasts who have limited time.
  • Explore and check off the must-see natural treasures, including Triglav National Park, the majestic Julian Alps, and the iconic Lake Bled.
  • Enjoy the convenience of having entrance fees included, allowing you to focus on immersing yourself in the beauty of Slovenia’s natural highlights.

Read more about Original Emerald Soca River Full Day Adventure here

Group of friends raising their yellow rowing equipment while at the middle of the water in Slovenia

White Water Rafting in Slovenia – Useful Info

In this article, I’ll share my experience of rafting in the gorgeous Soča River. Ask anyone in the country, and they will tell you that this is the best place for white water rafting in Slovenia. 

If you’re planning on going Soca river rafting, this section is filled with useful info to help you plan your trip.     

Where Are the Julian Alps and Emerald River?

The Julian Alps are located in northwestern Slovenia. The Soca River, also known as the Emerald River, flows 138 km through western Slovenia and northeastern Italy. The river’s character varies significantly from one section to another, making it an ideal destination for white water rafting.

Who Can Do Water Rafting in Slovenia?

White water rafting in Slovenia is accessible to a wide range of individuals. No special skills are required, and even children as young as 5 years old can participate!

While it is recommended to know how to swim, everyone taking part is provided with a life vest and helmet for their safety during the Soča River rafting tour.

Group of friends holding together while doing the white water rafting activity in Slovenia
White water rapids

Best Time for Rafting in Slovenia

For the best white water rafting experience in Slovenia, plan your adventure between April and October. The rivers are at their peak during spring, fueled by snowmelt, resulting in fast and full-flowing conditions. 

Although water levels decrease in summer, the pleasant and warm weather makes it the preferred time for rafting and kayaking enthusiasts – especially, if you’re like me and, and hate the cold.

Which Is Better? Sava River Rafting or Soca River Rafting?

There are two main rivers in Slovenia for white water rafting. You can choose between rafting on the Sava or rafting on the Soca River. The Sava river rafting is the calmer of the two which makes it a great choice for beginners or younger families.

If you’re after a bit more excitement and fancy trying out some of the best rafting in Slovenia, then definitely opt for Soca river rafting which has more rapids. Rafting on Soča is graded as class III-IV.

I opted to raft on the Soca River. I’ve done white water rafting several times before (including Costa Rica, Kenya, and Croatia) and I’d certainly class this as a moderate-grade course. Although they reckoned the Sava River as an introduction to white water rafting, families with older children were enjoying the Soca River course too.

If you’re new to white water rafting, whichever course you choose, both will have striking turquoise water and stunning scenery. Slovenia is undoubtedly one of the most beautiful places in the world to pop your white water rafting cherry.

A Soca River in Slovenia featuring turquiose and non-stop over flowing of water surrounded by large rocks and trees
Soca River

Water Temperature of Soca River in Slovenia

Both the Sava and the Soča rivers are fed by melting snow from the surrounding Julian Alps. Typically the season runs from April to October, this is when you’ll have the best river rafting experience.

In the early season the rivers can be as chilly as 7 degrees, although, in the summer months, temperatures might get as warm as 15 degrees. If you have the option, wait for a sunny day. 

You can check the weather here.

What’s Included When You Book Rafting in Slovenia?

  • Transfers to and from the rafting start point (Bovec, Bohinj, or Bled)
  • Qualified guide
  • Wetsuit
  • Water boots
  • Lifejacket
  • Safety helmet

Slovenia Rafting Packing List

  • A towel (a big one!)
  • Change of clothes
  • Flip-flops or slide-on water shoes
  • Snacks – rafting is hungry work!
  • A plastic bag to put your soggy swimwear in
  • Travel insurance that covers rafting
Me taking a picture with my buddy wearing the safety gear before doing the white water rafting activity in Slovenia
All kitted up
Group shot before doing the white water rafting activity in Slovenia
Group Shot

White Water Rafting Slovenia – What to Expect

It’s useful to know what to expect when you go rafting in Slovenia. After your pick-up, you’ll be transferred to the rafting starting point. 

Kitting Up and Briefing

You’ll get kitted up close to the water’s edge. I highly suggest putting on your swimwear BEFORE arriving here otherwise it’s a dash to the bushes for some modesty to get changed.

Once you’re kitted up, you’ll be put into your teams, usually 6 – 8 people, before being given a briefing on what to expect. You’ll be told and shown the various rafting commands as well as how to do it safely without clobbering your teammates over the head with your paddle.

To check you’ve understood the commands, whilst your raft is still on dry land, your instructor will usually play a game, where they shout a command at you for your team to follow. 

We drilled everything we were just taught finishing with the obligatory ‘high-five’ with the paddles above our heads. One last safety check and this is where the real fun begins.

Our Tour guide briefing us on how to do the white water rafting activity in Slovenia
Briefing

A Gentle Start

The rapids start gently, as we navigated the river following commands from our guide; ‘forward’, ‘left’, and ‘backward’’. It’s always chaos at the start as everyone is getting used to paddling in sync.

We were certainly in one of the more enthusiastic groups, even after going down the smallest of rapids we did our group ‘high five’ – you are highly encouraged to do this by the way!

Our guide certainly kept us on our toes, shouting the commands at us. ‘Left side’ as we all shifted our weight over to one side of the raft to avoid hitting a rock, before getting to a big rapid where things get exciting. 

Taking a shot from above while doing the white water rafting activity in Slovenia
Calm Rapids….
Raising our rowing equipment at the middle of white water rafting in Slovenia
…even these deserve a High 5!

The Rapids

We hear our guide should ‘get down’ which resulted in all of us scrambling to sit inside the floor of the raft and hold on tight. It’s quite a workout and exhilarating. Don’t show up expecting a relaxing and casual jolly down the river.

The rapids continue, as you traverse down the river navigating between rocks, low-hanging branches, and of course, mini cascades. 

Rock Jumping & Body Rafting

After a while, you’ll stop for a break. You have the options of swimming in the chilly water, relaxing on the rocks or like the big children we were climbing up to the highest rocks and jumping in.

Nerve-rackingly stood at the edge of the top of a rock, looking down at the colourful water below, we take it in turns to jump off. You can also relax and do body rafting in this sheltered spot.

Playtime is over as we clamber back into the rafts and continue down the river. 

Me Body rafting at the river of Slovenia
Body Rafting

More Rapids

Back in our rafts, we start our journey again with more rapids. Some of them are gentle to ease us back into the rhythm of it before more commands are shouted to shift from the left side of the raft and the right side of the raft to avoid rocks.

Of course, there are plenty more opportunities to ‘get down’, which are naturally followed by the obligatory ‘high five’. 

Back On Land

Our day out on the Soca River was nearly over. The whole afternoon was exhilarating and outstanding in every way. It was certainly one of my highlights during my trip to Slovenia. 

Our experience of rafting in Slovenia was coming to an end as we floated the rafts to the shore. Exhausted but ecstatic from our experience, we have to lug the raft up the river bank to the trailers, where we’re greeted by refreshing tins of cool sweet lemonade.

Like the experience of getting kitted up earlier on in the day, you’ll find that there’s next to nowhere to get changed, actually, there was even less privacy here as the trailers were parked in the middle of a field!

Insider tip: I highly recommend packing a BIG towel to wrap around you here to at least try and get some privacy as well as a pair of flip-flops to put on after you take off the water boots. 

Back in the vans with that post-adrenalin sleepy feeling, we head back to our hotels. Simply wow, what a day!

Group of people carrying the raft up at Slovenia
Carrying the Raft Up

Other Options for Kayaking, Canyoning and Rafting in Slovenia

So, not only are you limited to rafting in Soca Valley, there’s a whole load of adrenalin sport in the region. Some other popular activities include kayaking and canyoning! 

If you’ve already experienced Slovenia river rafting, and like me, you’re an adrenalin junkie, then you might want to tag some of these other great excursions onto your itinerary while you’re in the area.

Kayaking in Slovenia

Take part in this exciting Soča River kayaking experience with easy sit-on-top kayaks. Paddle through the rapids of the emerald river, enjoying thrilling challenges as you meander through the picturesque mountain views and hidden spots in the valley. Create lasting memories with photos of your unforgettable kayaking adventure.

Enjoy this full-day underground kayaking adventure, exploring a former mine from the comfort of your kayak. Experience the thrill of the hidden underground world that is inaccessible to most. This unique and unforgettable experience offers a one-of-a-kind experience that cannot be found anywhere else.

Canyoning in Slovenia

On this execution, you’ll get to experience exhilarating Canyoning in Slovenia’s Sušec Stream, nestled in the gorgeous Soča Valley. Discover the outstanding natural beauty of the Sušec Canyon as you conquer its challenges using a range of techniques. Feel the adrenaline rush as you jump from rocks and toboggan across the riverbed, making this adventure an unforgettable experience.

White Water Rafting Locations in Croatia

If you’re still after another white water rafting fix and you’re travelling down to Croatia, then I recommend the Cetina River. The Cetina River is located in the southeast of the country – so makes a great day trip from Split! 

Check out these rafting Cetina River, Croatia options here. 

Slovenia Rafting – FAQs

So far I’ve covered a ton of information on what to expect about river rafting in Slovenia. This next section answers any more questions you might have about planning your trip to Slovenia.

When’s the Best Time for White Water Rafting in Slovenia?

The best time for white water rafting in Slovenia, particularly on the Soca River, is during the summer months of July and August. This period offers optimal water levels and weather conditions, ensuring an exciting and enjoyable rafting experience in Slovenia.

Should You Go White Water Rafting if You Cant Swim?

Basic swimming skills are recommended for white water rafting, even though a life jacket is provided for safety. 

While you don’t need to be an Olympic swimmer, being able to swim will enhance your confidence and enjoyment during the rafting adventure.

Where’s the Best Rafting in Slovenia?

The best rafting in Slovenia can be found on the Soca River, Sava River, as well as in the towns of Bovec and Bohinj. These locations offer outstandingly beautiful river landscapes, thrilling rapids, and experienced guides, ensuring an exceptional rafting experience in Slovenia.

How Do I Get From Ljubljana to Bovec?

To travel from Ljubljana to Bovec, the capital of Slovenia, you have convenient transportation options. The easiest way is to drive, as the two locations are well connected by roads. Alternatively, you can take a bus, which offers a comfortable and scenic journey to Bovec for your rafting on the Soca River.

How Long Should I Spend in Slovenia?

To make the most of your visit, it is recommended to spend at least 4 to 5 days in Slovenia. This timeframe allows you to discover highlights such as Ljubljana, Lake Bled, and Triglav National Park, and engage in exciting activities like white water rafting on the Soca River.

Ready for Your Rafting Slovenia Adventure?

So, are you ready for your rafting in Slovenia adventure?

Whether you’re seeking the thrilling rapids of the Soca River or exploring other scenic waterways, Slovenia offers a range of white water rafting experiences. 

Get ready to make lasting memories with your rafting Slovenia rafting adventure!

Travelling around Slovenia or north Croatia? Check out these other inspirational articles…

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White Water Rafting in Slovenia, on the Stunning Soča River (2023) 2
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