Slovenia's Soča Valley Has Hiking, River Rafting, Skiing, and One of the Best Tasting Menus in the World
Hiša Franko, chef Ana Roš’ serene farmhouse restaurant in Kobarid, Slovenia, is a major incentive for travelers to venture outside the capital city of Ljubljana. Dinner here is well worth the trek. But how do you actually get there? And what else is there to do?
Turns out, the celebrated restaurant is far from the only draw in the rugged Soča Valley, which follows the Soča River as it runs from the Julian Alps to the Adriatic Sea. And getting there is easier than you might think — giving you plenty of reason to linger after your meal.
PHOTO: CEDRIC ANGELES
Hiša Franko is just a few miles from the Italian border, reachable from both Ljubljana and Venice in about two hours by car. The restaurant team can arrange a taxi transfer, but it’s cheaper and more convenient to go with a rental car for maximum exploring.
Once you’re there, you can stay at one of the 10 rooms attached to the restaurant, a former countryside inn where Roš and her family live and work. You might also want to make your base at one of the area’s many mountain lodges, like the design-forward Nebesa Chalets. The four exclusive-use villas have floor-to-ceiling windows with views of Triglav National Park, plus a furnished patio and access to both the wine cellar and the Finnish sauna.
These stunning landscapes offer plenty of ways to work off your 20-course tasting menu. Ramble through the stunning alpine terrain, perhaps tackling the 15-mile Soča Trail, which starts at the river’s source and takes you through the Mlinarica Gorge and across a hanging bridge with the bright, blue-green pools of Kršovec below you.