Captain Dejan & his Paddle Steamer
Hopefully it comes across well from our website that even though Green Slovenia is easily the most beautiful country in Europe, it is actually the local people who will fill your heart with even warmer memories.
And if you take our advice then you will make time in your (probably too short) Slovenian schedule to get to Most na Soci and hop aboard Captain Dejan's paddle steamer for the most stunning views of the Tolmin valley, the Tolminka river and the uberstunning Soca river, allowing the skipper to entertain you and the family or friends along the ride!
Despite visiting this beautiful area around Tolmin so many times it was only actually last year when we decided to explore the river road from the other side of the town.. We were driving from lovely Idrija to Tolmin and we stumbled upon the pretty little village of Most na Soci, (which means the "bridge over the Soca river"). It was pretty much "bang on the brakes / wow time" when we suddenly saw this mass of turquoise emerald water on the approach to Tolmin, so we simply had to just stop, hop off and explore.
We parked nearby the beautiful bridge that gives the village it's name and spotted a big paddle steamer boat coming out from under the bridge and making its way to the other side of this lake. We found out later that this water expanse is a man made reservoir for the river Soca, so this is why it has such a beautiful colour! We followed the shore along a pretty path leading a little outside the village to a special jetty (mooring) where the boat had parked up.
We soon got chatting with captain Dejan and found out there are 2 different boat rides you can do, 1: up (North) towards Tolmin, meeting the confluence of the Soca/Tolminka rivers and 2: down (South) under the stunning bridge and continuing down the Soca river.
Unfortunately that was the last trip for the day, but such is the man, Dejan insisted he took the boat for another quick spin on the lake and do a "donut", so we could get the main photo above for you! (What you can't see in the photo is Captain Dejan waving enthusiastically and blowing his horn loudly)!
We told him we would be back and sure enough when family friends came to visit, we surprised them by arriving here at the jetty after we had already visited Kozjak waterfall and Tolmin Gorge during a wonderful daytrip out.
This is what you need to know.. Please do both the South AND then the North trips together and then you can also get the chance to choose a yummy lunch option from the captain's table during the trip. Each leg is about an hour and completely different. (To be absolutely clear.. to have a meal option, you need to do both the South and the North trips as a "double bubble". We cannot recommend this enough).
Unfortunately we had arrived too late to do the south leg and so hopped on for the last North ride of the day and by then, there were no meals available, but the team still managed to give us some delicious bread and cheese dripping with olive oil.
Dejan and his staff are absolutely fabulous with kids and as the "old lady" made her way upriver all the kids got to steer the boat, wear the captain's hat and most importantly.. pull the horn, several times! And ladies, don't be surprised if you are also invited to the wheel with the captain! He really is a fantastic host, telling jokes and all about the boat, lake and the 2 stunningly beautiful rivers. The scenery is absolutely breth taking as you bob along and wonder how the boat can float in some of the very shallow parts of the river, but don't worry, captain Dejan will get you through!
Anyone who has had a wedding day will know that wonderful feeling of smiling all day until your cheek muscles hurt.. well this is one of those experiences.. don't miss it and make sure you arrive in time to do the first South leg, enjoy the meal and then do the North trip!
The paddle steamer has room for 100 and sails regularly in July and August, with sailings also in May, June and September.. The boat's name is "Lady Lucija" and here is a link to their very good WEBSITE.. in the timetable, the first time shown will be the south trip and the next time is the north trip / then the next time shown is the next south trip again. Our advice is to do a reservation in advance or phone up and just check the times to be sure the boat is sailing at your preferred time on your preferred day.
We do not exagerate when we say that Captain Dejan, his team & his boat are SLOVENIAN NATIONAL TREASURES, representing all that is so fabulous about a holiday in Green Slovenia.. stunning natural beauty, unexpected adventures and warm friendly locals.. what else could you want from a holiday?!
We have been on the boat at the "famous" Plitvice lakes in Croatia and that is absolutely nothing in comparison to this cruise in Little old Slovenia! We do our very best to introduce and explain the secret places of Green Slovenia to you as we know that you might probably not even know about them if we didnt tell you! We live here yet we are the same as you guys.. tourists in Slovenia.. so we know what you might like to do and see if you only knew about it and a trip with Captain Dejan should be at the top of your list!
Parking Tip: Don't try to park in the village of Most na Soci, it's really small and vey few spaces, which are also time limited, so if you drive out of Most na Soci direction Tolmin there is a little free car park on the right hand side, just cross the road and it is a short walk to the jetty from there. There is also a very nice café with fantastic views of the lake opposite the car park, (see above right). Parking this way, you would also then have time after the boat ride to stroll into the village if you wanted.
And if you are driving from Tolmin down to Lipizzaner Lodge, then why not hop onto the first Lucija sailing of the day and then follow the beautiful river road to Idrija, maybe visit the amazing Mercury mine or swim in the fantastic Bela (white) Idrija river and follow the country roads through stunning scenery all the way home!