Kanal upon Soca

This picturesque little village with stunning bridge across Slovenia's most beautiful river, the Soca, is one of our very favourite places to hop off, have a coffee, probabubbly an ice cream, maybe a paddle, but certainly a day dream..

The tragedy about so many of our secret Green places is that you will probably have booked so little time in the most beautiful county in Europe that you won't get to see them all with your own eyes.. but one of the fantastic things about Kanal is that it is on the way from the Lodge to lots of these Secret places!

Indeed, Kanal is exactly an hour from the Lodge and is perched either side of the lower Soca river after which it widens and the river flows down to Nova Gorica and then into Italy where it has another name.. Isonzo and flows into the Adriatic sea. Above Kanal the river road continues to the Slovenian Julian Alps and lots of amazing secret places like Tolmin Gorge, the Soca lake (Most na Soci), Kozjak waterfall, the cute Alpine towns of Kobarid, and Bovec, the Boka falls, the Soca gorge and up into the mountains of the Vrsic pass.

It would be easy to drive straight through Kanal without stopping as the road is tight and there ain't a lot of parking possibilities. For Lodge guests arrival here is the perfect time to stretch the legs, so we make sure they are well prepared to watch like hawks after driving over the bridge, turn the bend and then be ready to turn right into the tiny Rafaelo cafe car park.

It is very possible you might drive past the cafe car park by mistake as it comes up very quickly, so dont panic, there is a petrol station at the end of the village where you can turn round and come back.. if you cant get a cafe space just drive a bit further to the bend by the train station sign and there are a few spaces for you there. PLEASE only park at the cafe if you will be using their services.. (we don't normally mention these things as our guests are so wonderful and considerate, but the car park here is very small and it really wouldn't be fair to others if you hogged a space for hours).

be careful on the bridge, it's a tight squeeze, but worth it..
be careful on the bridge, it's a tight squeeze, but worth it..


This is one of our favourite cafes in Green Slovenia and not just for the amazing terrace view you get across to the fantastic stone arched bridge and the colourful medieval houses and church tower on the other side of the river. It serves a mighty fine cup of coffee and also has really really good ice cream!

They also make a house Rafaelo coconut cake here and there are usually other home made cakes on offer.. so choose your poison and go grab a table on that terrace outside to gaze at the heavenly scene awaiting you.

So Kanal is called Kanal cos its a bit like a canal!! Yes, the stunning emerald green water of the Soca river is squeezed and coralled between giant rock walls to form a kinda canal here.

This was a very handy defensive position in medieval times and when you look across the river at the pretty houses with balconies to die for, you are actually looking at the ancient defensive wall. If you look carefully and directly across from Rafaelos you can still make out the castle at the end of the wall and realise that if they didnt want you coming across to the other side then you weren't coming across!

There is nothing like sitting on that terrace slurping ice cream exactly on the hour so you can hear the ringing from the beautiful spaghetti western bell tower next to the stunning bridge. Heavenly!

If you fancy a dip on a hot day, then Kanal is also a great secret place to dip your tootsies into the ice cold Soca river.. yep, they made a sandy beach just down from the cafe car park, which isnt to everyone's taste, but we think it is a lovelyt idea and extra option.

But the other side of the river is quieter, more natural and has some great big rocks to flop out on, so we recommend exploring the village a little bit by crossing the high bridge. As you look upriver from the middle of the bridge you will suddenly notice a platform hanging off the side of the bridge right next to you.. this is a diving platform!! Would you believe it, total nutters actual dive off here and there is a diving competition every year. The water is actually very deep here so maybe it's not so bad, but imagine diving off here!

If you need to calm down a bit, cross the road to the other side of the bridge to look down river and it is far more relaxing. It will probably be a sunny day, so look directly down below the bridge for the shadows in the water and you will see huge Soca trout! You can also see the curvy smooth contours of the rock at the side of the river, shaped like this over time by the power of the running water.

not many people get over to the other side of the river, but it's great to hop on a rock by the water here..
not many people get over to the other side of the river, but it's great to hop on a rock by the water here..


Once over the bridge turn left and you will find a friendly little tourist info office, (TIC) and just past here you can walk into the mini "old town" along the river and old defensive wall to get a much better idea of where the old castle was.

There ar elovely little gardens here and at the end of the path take a left down to the river and you will find a stony Pebble & rock filled beach with completely different views of the bridge.. so why not bring a book, take your socks off and relax awhile.

Back in the village centre there is a really cool Neptune statue.. we are not sure why, but maybe he also looked after rivers as well as the sea?


A few other cool things near to Kanal..

We gave you a bit of geography at the start of this article, but the best is yet to come as Kanal is also part of a fantastic loop you can do into one of Slovenia's 7 wine regions.. Goriska Brda.. or the Gorica hills wine region! You can either go from Kanal for a much longer loopy loop, or better still, head a little way back on the main road towards Nova Gorica and turn off at Plave and go over the cute bridge for access into another world of hills, terracotta villages, the ubersecret Cramp gorge, top quality wine and cherry festivals!

To do the amazing loop head towards Dobrovo and then make your way back to Nova Gorica.

Another amazing thing you could do would be to dump the car just after Nova Gorica and jump on bikes to cycle up the uberstunning cycle path directly next the Soca and all the way up to Kanal.. wow.. can you believe it even we havent done this ourselves yet! But it's on our list as long as a dragon's tail to do. The cycle path looks amazing and is built along the railway line on the other side of the river, so it is a pure cycle path.

As you drive home to the Lodge from Kanal you will also pass a long roadside wooden cafe next to the river and if you are into burgers, then this is the daddy of them all. This place is always full, you will see why, but usually someone is leaving, so hang around safely to get a space and you will then get to sit at a wooden bench right next to fast flowing stunnning river.. We suggest you order just one thing.. a maxi burger.. Oh yes indeedy, this is an absolute monster, as wide as a pizza, but a burger. Think hard about ordering chips with it.. you might not be able to eat them all!

And if you prefer to have a different kind of eating experience on your way home, then apres Nova Gorica you will enter the stunning Green Vipava wine valley, (yes another of Sloveina's 7 wine regions) with a choice of some of the best restaurants in Slovenia, in our humble opinon.

So Kanal really has a fantastic logistical position and you can totally see, whichever way you are travelling to the Lodge, how much there is to see and do on either side of that magical medieval bridge!

Email: info@lipizzanerlodge.com

Address: Landol 17, Postojna 6230, Slovenia

Phone: +386 5620 3443
Mobile: +386 40 47 0239 or +386 40 37 8037