Kozjak Waterfall: Your Guide to Planning One of Slovenia’s Best Day Hikes
Kobarid? If you are like me, you probably have never heard of this town. It is situated in the Soca River Valley in Slovenia next to the towering Julian Alps and lush forests. The location is absolutely breathtaking! Kobarid is home to Kozjak Waterfall, an enchanting 49-foot cave waterfall that will leave you spellbound. Discover how to reach it by following my guide to this incredibly unique day hike.
Quick Overview of Hike
- Hiking distance: 2.2 miles
- Hiking time: 1-hour roundtrip
- Hiking difficulty: Easy
Snapshot Video of Kozjak Waterfall
YouTube video of Kozjak Waterfall
My husband and I love to hike and be outdoors. We have seen some amazing waterfalls during our travels including Victoria Falls at the border between Zambia and Zimbabwe, Seljalandsfoss in Iceland, Uluwehi Falls in Kauai, and Plitvice Lakes National Park to name a few.
What makes Kozjak Waterfall unique and unlike all our previous waterfall experiences? Its magical limestone cave setting.
Check out the quick video above to show you why I consider this waterfall a must-see attraction!
Map of Kozjak Waterfall Hiking Trail
Map of Kozjak Waterfall Day Hike Trail
Parking + Entrance Fee at Kozjak Waterfall Trailhead
The parking lot is a quick 2-minute car ride from the town of Kobarid. Alternatively, you could walk to the trailhead from Kobarid, which takes about 10 minutes. As you are leaving the town, take a right to go over the Napoleon Bridge, and then take an immediate left towards Dreznica.
Courtesy of Getty Images: Napoleon Bridge in Kobarid, Slovenia
Kozjak Gravel Parking Lot
The hike is open from April 2 to October 31. Kozjak Waterfall is part of the Kobarid Historic Trail, which takes you around all the main highlights of the town including the Kobarid Museum. If you do this trail, it takes between 3-5 hours with the museum visits. Although we did not have enough time to visit, Kobarid Museum is supposed to be worth a stop.
The parking fee is 1.5 € per hour. You are given a ticket to display in your car. There is an entrance fee of 5 € per adult.
Our Step-By-Step Hiking Experience
I would rate this hike as “easy.” I even saw some Europeans in dress clothes doing the hike. Now that may be a little overdone (we were in athletic clothes), but that just shows this is not a strenuous hike.
The path is very well parked. From the parking lot, walk across the street and follow the trailhead marked “Slap Kozjak.” Slap means waterfall in Slovene.
Start of the Kozjak Waterfall Trailhead (directly across from the parking lot)
This hiking trail is going to take you through a meadow past some beehives and then through a lush green forest with views of the turquoise Soca River along the way.
First part of the trail: hiking through a meadow
Want to know what these colorful boxes are? Beehives! 1 out of every 200 Slovenians is a beekeeper. They are serious about their bees!
Turquoise Soca River as seen on the Kozjak Waterfall Hike in Kobarid
At one point, you will encounter a hanging wooden bridge on your left that takes you across the Soca River. Sometimes you will even see kayakers navigating their way down the river. Admire it and walk over it, but it will not take you to Kozjak Waterfall if you continue along its path. Keep going straight after you take photos.
The beautiful turquoise Soca River … you can see the hanging bridge in the distance.
Hanging wooden bridge on the Kozjak Waterfall Hike in Kobarid
Courtesy of Unsplash Images: Bird’s eye view of the hanging bridge over the Soca River
Kozjak Waterfall Hike
Slap Kozjak Sign
Eventually, you will come across a series of stone steps and wooden planks across the Kozjak stream.
Walking on stone steps to get to Kozjak Waterfall
You must cross a series of wooden planks to get to Kozjak Waterfall
My husband … always several feet ahead.
Yes, this place is real.
Now you are close! The dark rocky walls will become more narrow as you begin to approach this underground chamber.
Gorge walls are becoming more narrow.
Navigating the narrow wooden walkways … almost there!
A few more steps around the bend and this is what you can expect to run into!
Kozjak Waterfall in a limestone cave-like setting
It may not be the largest or highest waterfall, but the 49-foot tall Kozjak Waterfall receives a ton of points for being incredibly unique. It is located in a limestone cave and ends in an emerald green pool. Although it is tempting and some people do it, it is not recommended to swim in the pool since it is located in a nature reserve. Absolutely stunning!
Tips for Visiting Kozjak Waterfall
GO IN THE EARLY MORNING OR LATE AFTERNOON
This hike is especially popular during the summer months. Try to avoid crowds by avoiding the midday. We started the hike around 4 pm. There were definitely other hikers, but it was not crowded. We had Kozjak Waterfall all to ourselves for a good 10 minutes before other hikers joined us.
WEAR COMFORTABLE SHOES WITH A LITTLE GRIP
There are portions where are you navigating across rocks and wooden planks. It can get slippery especially if it just rained. Wear appropriate footwear. My trail runners are usually my go-to shoe for easy to moderate hikes.
HIKE BEFORE YOUR DINING EXPERIENCE AT HISA FRANKO
If you are coming to Kobarid to dine at the incredible 2-star Michelin restaurant Hisa Franko, do this hike before dinner. Then your appetite will be ready for one of the most amazing meals you will ever have!
Where to Stay near Kozjak Waterfall
If you are visiting Kozjak Waterfall, you will likely be staying somewhere around the quaint alpine town of Kobarid.
In addition to hiking to Kozjak Waterfall, we also included a dinner reservation at Hisa Franko during our time in Kobarid. If you are a foodie, this tasting menu experience is not to be missed!
There are several accommodation choices that are close to both the waterfall hike and Hisa Franko.
The accommodation was adequate and clean, but it was not anything special. Perfectly suitable for 1 night.
The bed at Apartment Honey Bee
The living room area at Apartment Honey Bee
If we had stayed two nights or more, we would have stayed at one of these properties:
1. Nebesa Chalets
This gorgeous property overlooks the Soca Valley and is owned by Hisa Franko Chef Ana Ros’ parents and sister.
2. ecoHouse Furlan
This adorable family-owned apartment has all the modern comforts and is situated in a very picturesque location.
3. Hisa Franko
Hisa Franko also offers 10 rooms, so you can roll right into bed after your lovely meal and bottle(s) of wine. No driving is required. The rooms book quickly, so plan well in advance.
Final Thoughts on Kozjak Waterfall
If you are a foodie AND nature enthusiast, Kobarid will satisfy all of your travel desires. This quaint alpine town has a lot to offer and getting there via navigation along the windy scenic roads is half the adventure!
Have you been to Kobarid? Did you hike to Kozjak Waterfall? Any other great hikes to check out nearby?
Let me know in the comments below!