the highest Mountain road in Green Slovenia
Mangart mountain is the 3rd highest mountain in Slovenia at 2,679m and you can also drive up it on Slovenia's highest road to a height of 2,055m.. so we did!
Most people will either come over the unpronounceabubble Vrsic pass along the Soca river to the Alpine hamlet of Bovec or the other way around and miss off this road for obvious reasons.. who wants to drive up a dead end road more than half way up a mountain!
The thing is you need to know that it is incredibly beautiful up here and there are a few more things to think about doing too!
When you leave the very beautiful Bovec, instead of going right going towards the Alps and Vrsic pass, instead go left and it is not long before you reach a stunning bridge and a castle from WW1 in a bunker, which is well worth a visit.
In case you didn't know, this uberstunning mountain region was the brutal meeting point of the Germans & Austrians v the Italians and this bunker was used by the Austrians to stay out of Italian sights.
The beautiful Soca river was actually the border between the two combatants and over a million soldiers were wiped out in this most beautiful setting in the largest ever mountain battle of all time.. you would hardly believe it if you didn't see the evidence of these castle, the trenches and cemeteries that you can find if you look for them.
If you continue further on this road you get the choice to go left towards the Italian Alps and another castle, or right up Mangart mountain.
We recommend you do them both, of course..
If you take the Mangart route right then you go up and up and up. There are hairpin bends, little tunnels and the odd goat jumping around, but you are up here for the views.
The road is narrow of course, so be careful if you meet another car, but there is plenty of room for one car. Some people will drive up as far as they can, park up and then walk further up the mountain.
And about half way up there is a goat farm where you can buy cheese. There are lovely walks around here as well and of course there is nothing to stop you hiking up the mountain road instead of driving!
If you go left direction Italy the scenery is equally stunning and just before the Italian border you reach yet another ruined fortress, Predil and this is one of the very best ruined castles to clamber around and explore in Slovenia.
This was an Austrian castle captured by the advancing Napoleonic armies as they swept across Europe. The brave Austrian garrison put up a strong fight up here in paradise and there is a very impressive stone lion that was carved in their honour.
History and nature are fizzing all around you in Green Slovenia and when you explore this castle and clamber over the rocks surrounding for that perfect photo, maybe you will get a feeling for what it must have been like to be a soldier here, just waiting for an overwhelming force to come over the mountain in a place so unbelievably beautiful.
And if you are keen swimmers, then the name "Predil" might ring a bell as just along from this castle over the paper border into Italy and then down below is the wonderful Predil lake, just perfect for a dip!