Last year we visited Slovenia and enjoyed flying there but after just two days the weather turned bad. So we tried again this year.
Slovenia is nestled in the south east corner of the Alps with white limestone peaks, towers and rock walls. The flying is centered around the towns Tolmin and Kobarid. Conditions were great when we visited in late August. Thermal strength and roughness was comparable to a strong day in the Fraser Valley and quite a bit mellower than Pemberton.
There are two main flying sites in the Soca Valley: Kobala near Tolmin and Stol near Kobarid. In Tolmin a van left from the main LZ around 10 AM (or whenever there were enough pilots to fill it). The main LZ is also where the site fee of Euro 4/day is collected (if there is someone on launch collecting the fee it’s more expensive). Getting up Stol is more complicated since only organized groups drive up. Contact for a ride up, accommodation or guided tours is Wolfgang at http://www.paragliding-adventure.com/en/index.php. There is also another paragliding outfit: http://www.jelkin-hram.com for accommodation and tours. For roughing it there are plenty of campgrounds around. We stayed at Kamp Siber near Tolmin.
The main flying route leads from Tolmin 15 km northwest along the Soca valley, crossing the valley at Kobarid to get on the Stol ridge. This ridge continues for 30 km into Italy. When flying to Gemona in Italy its better to make it back too as roads don’t continue through this valley and ground transport would take many hours.
On our first day there were low clouds just below ridge height and we flew all the way to Italy and back with barely a turn. Another spectacular experience was thermaling up the steep west face of Krn, with 2244m the local high point. Out and returns of 100km are relatively easy. Longer flights are more difficult due to the terrain but pilots often add more zigzag legs to the route to extend the flights.
The launch sites in the Soca Valley don’t work in north or east wind, so we explored a third launch at Lijak. It’s the last ridge before the flats that eventually give way to the Mediterranean and resembles Bassano. There is a camp ground and a regular shuttle service up the mountain.
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