Why Is the Color of the Soča River Emerald Green?

The Soča River is one of the most beautiful places in Slovenia. The River located in the northern part of the country is a must-see if you are a Slovenia tourist. There are many things to do in the region of the Soča River to be amazed. You will never get used to this beautiful landscape.

The most surprising thing about the Soča River is its vibrant, emerald green color. Mineral deposits can explain this color in the water. When the sun reflects on the rock flour, it gives it a blue or green color depending on the weather. The color is incredible, and you can only believe it when you see it.

After a trip to the Soča River, you will not need to Photoshop your pictures considering how beautiful the River already is. If you are a tourist in Slovenia, you cannot miss your trip in the Soča Valley. Let’s take a more in-depth look into the Soča River. 

What Is the Soča River?

The Soča River is a 136 kilometers long river in Western Slovenia and Northeastern Italy. On average, the water level is about 120 centimeters. 

It is one of the most beautiful rivers in Europe and the world. The Soča River takes its source in the Trenta Valley’s karst at the foot of the Julian Alps and ends in the Adriatic Sea in Italy.

The River flows through the most beautiful and varied sceneries, from mountains to the countryside. It is part of the most significant protected area in Slovenia with the Julijana Alpine Botanical Gardens and the gorge of the Soča.

The River was given the European Destination of Excellence (EDEN) title thanks to the effort for sustainability, numerous activities available, and the Path of Peace.

You can walk along the River for 25 kilometers if you follow the Soča Trail, the most beautiful part of the 640 kilometers long Alpe-Adria-Trail.

In the Soča Valley, you will also find a thousand watersport and adrenaline activities to do, such as rafting, paraglide, hydrospeed, riverbug, stand-up paddle, canoe, kayak, open kayak, biking, wild water kayaking, canyoning, and swimming. However, the water is freezing in the River. In the summer, it is always below 15°C (60°F).

You can boat in the River daily from March 15th to October 31st, and only if you have a permit. There are many regulations for boating and watersport in the River because of the numerous and powerful brisks everywhere.

If you are a dedicated fisherman, you will love the Soča River as it is the home to the Soča Trout. This autochthonous fish is a real attraction for anglers in the entire world. It is served as a delicate culinary dish in the region. You will find delicious trouts at all the local inns in the Soča Valley. Nevertheless, keep in mind that the only fishing form allowed in the River is fly fishing.

The Valley was also a key location for World War I. The mountain in the Valley was very important, and many war prisoners worked during this period. When visiting the Soča River, you will find a lot of information about the War. The heritage is very well preserved.

People love the Soča River, even singers as Iztok Mlakar and poets such as Simon Gregorčič. He wrote the poem “To the River Soča,” and it is beautiful. Here is an extract from the poem:

“I like to look into your lively waves,

These green-blue waves;

The dark green of highland grass

And the cheerful azure of the heights

Have flown together with delight;

From the dew of the blue skies,

From the dew of green mountains,

You have drunk your beauty –

You are splendid, daughter of the heights.

You are my most dear friend!”

The Soča River is a perfect destination for families. Children will love looking at this fairytale water. Visiting the Soča Valley feels like being in a movie, the water seems almost unreal or treated, but it is entirely natural.

Where Does Its Emerald Green Color Come From?

The Soča River is an Alpine river, also known as the “Emerald Beauty.” This lovely nickname comes from the unbelievable emerald green color of the water.

It is one of the only rivers to have this mesmerizing color, and it even inspired the Disney movie Chronicles of Narnia: Prince Caspian. It was shot in the River’s rapids in 2007.

The color of the River can be explained relatively simply. It comes from rock flour reflecting light and giving a blue and green aspect to the water. The rock flour is small particles of bedrock, and also some algae. This flour comes from fine-grained, silt-sized particles of rock, generated by mechanical grinding of bedrock.

The color of the Alpine lakes changes depending on the lake because the environment is the essential factor of color, and the environment of each lake is different.

Depending on the light, you will see the River in a true emerald color or a turquoise blue. If the weather is bad or raining, do not go to the Soča River. Light is crucial for the best experience possible.

The deeper the river, the deeper the color. You will notice that when there is almost no water, it can seem transparent or blue, but when the River is relatively deep, the color is vibrant emerald green.

However, do not worry about which part of the River is going to see its emerald color, because the entire River stays about the same color. Indeed, what impacts its color are the minerals, and most of the River has limestone and marl deposits.

What to Do at the Soča River?

If you want to enjoy the Soča river at its most, the best way is to hike the 25 kilometers trail all along the River. It goes from Bovec’s lovely village to the spring of the River, higher in the mountains. 

Starting from the city of Bovec, you will have the chance to see many attractions, such as impressive waterfalls. Indeed, right next to the town, accessibly by foot, you can find the highest waterfall in Slovenia, peaking at 144 meters above the sea level. If you are adventurous, you can also make it to the Great Soca Gorge, which is 750 kilometers long and 15 meters deep, and the Small gorges.

Bovec Tourist Info Center
Trg golobarskih ztrec 22, 5239 Bovec, Slovenia
phone: +386 (0)5 30 29 647
mail: info.bovec@dolina-soce.si

Overall, you can benefit from unparalleled landscapes and outdoor experiences all along the River. You can try one of the many zip lines that will offer you breathtaking views on the area, but I especially advise you to discover the joy of doing watersports in an emerald and clear River. 

There is an abundance of choices available in the Soča valley, from canyoning to kayaking and including canoeing. You will find many perfect spots that will fit your needs, whether you are a beginner or an athlete.

If you want to rest after your outdoor activity, there is nothing better than enjoying the cute villages’ quietness nestled along the River. In Tolmin, named the Alpine Town of 2016, on the southern part of the Soča river, you will find a breathtaking point of view and a lovely beach to lie on and soak your feet in the -quite cold- water. 

Tolmin Tourist Info Center
Petra Skalarja 4, 5220 Tolmin, Slovenia
phone: +386 (0)5 3800 480
mail: info.tolmin@dolina-soce.si

From there, you can run up the River to the beautiful town of Kobarid. There, you will find plenty of amazing attractions, such as the beautiful Napoleon Bridge and the path of memory that will teach you more about the eventful past of the region. 

Kobarid Tourist Info Center
Trg svobode 16, 5222 Kobarid, Slovenia
phone: +386 (0)5 38 00 490
mail: info.kobarid@dolina-soce.si

However, the city’s biggest highlight is the St Anton church, in a hill that surrounds the town. It is dedicated to the Italian soldiers that perished during the War. The church is particularly beautiful itself, like the lovely museum located right next to it, but it also offers the most amazing view on Kobarid, especially at sunset.

If you love motorcycles, you can also come to the Soča Valley. You will find many bikers on this road, going all the way up the Vršič mountain.

The Most Beautiful River in Slovenia

Now you know the emerald green color of the Soča River comes from the rock deposits in the River and the sun’s reflection on the minerals.

If you did not fall under the Soča River’s spell yet from looking at the pictures, the only thing left for you to do is run to the Soča Valley and experience the fairytale by yourself. It is a journey you truly will not regret, and you will only believe how vibrant it is when you see it with your eyes.

Thank you for reading our article. We do our best to provide you with first-hand information about Slovenia and its wonders. We know we are not infallible though. In case you encounter any mistakes in our articles or you have any suggestions, please contact us. Let us know how we could improve. It will help us to keep our information updated and deliver to readers the most valuable possible content.  We will gladly take your suggestions!

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