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The small mountain town of Bovec in Slovenia might look like a charming, quiet place, but its bold adventurous spirit puts it firmly on the adrenaline-junkie map. It's nestled against the Julian Alps, surrounded by towering peaks and the verdant Soča Valley, with the emerald Soča River running through it. From hiking to rafting and mountain biking to skiing, there's always something to get your pulse racing in Slovenia's outdoor sports hub. There are sites to keep history buffs happy, while the bars and restaurants of the town make for a laid-back evening.
Lots of Bovec hostels make the most of the area's natural beauty, with balconies or terraces where you can relax with a beer and get chatting to your fellow travellers. Stay in a Bovec hostel with an in-house adventure sports agency for a convenient one-stop shop, or one with an on-site bar where you can kick off your evening. Many have free Wi-Fi, while free breakfasts give you the fuel you'll need to reach the peaks.
At the centre of town is Bovec Square, where you can grab a coffee by day and watch lively events in the summer evenings. The nightlife vibe is relaxed and fun, with a few friendly pubs and bars. This Alpine town is surrounded by hike-able peaks, a raft-able river and mountain bike-able trails, with plenty of tour companies to help you navigate them. The nearby settlement of Kobarid has a more Italian architectural feel and its archaeological sites are a great place to explore the region's Iron Age history.
Bovec is a destination for thrill seekers and its outdoor activities are the main draw – along with the breathtaking mountain, lake and valley views. Head to the Soča River to try white-water rafting on its clear waters. In winter, the snowfall makes for exciting skiing in the mountains. There are numerous trails in nearby Triglav National Park, including a walk to Savica Waterfall and up the region's highest peak, Triglav. You can combine hiking with history on the Walk of Peace, a 230km trail that takes in outdoor museums and monuments dedicated to the World Wars.
The nearest airport is in Italy, Trieste, around a 90-minute drive if you're hiring a car. To reach it on public transport, you'll need to take a train to Ljubljana then a bus to Bovec, which takes about 5 hours altogether. There are buses joining the surrounding areas, and within Bovec itself, it's best to walk.