The Boka Waterfall of Slovenia is known to be the highest and one of the most powerful waterfalls in the country. During a trip to the Bovec region, visitors can take in the view of the waterfall from a panoramic viewpoint at the end of a short hiking trail.
While this is one waterfall that you can’t really get up and close to, it is still a great landscape to take in from afar. This guide will go through how to visit the Boka Waterfall and what to expect out on the trail.
1) Waterfall Background & Details
The Boka Waterfall comes in at a height of 136 meters / 446 feet and a width of 18 meters / 59 feet, and is known to be the highest waterfall in Slovenia. The source of the water actually comes from a karst spring under the limestone rock.
During the winter, the snow on the surface of the karst spring stops the inflow of water. Once the springtime comes around, the snow melts, and the water flow begins again. During this time is when the waterfall is most powerful (reaching up to 100 m³/s). If not visiting during the springtime you will also find that after heavy rainfall the waterfall will be at its strongest.
It is also interesting to note that the sheer power of the waterfall has caused erosion where the water hits. Due to this, the waterfall has been slowly but surely growing in height over time.
Below are some interesting things to note about the waterfall taken from the signboards at the viewpoint and parking area:
“The water of the Boka Waterfall arises as a karst spring at an altitude of 725m, and runs along a rocky ledge for about 20m before dropping down 106m. The second drop, with the water running down a steep slope, is 30m high (total waterfall height: 136m). What makes Boka so glorious is the sheer height of its source (altitude of main road: 362m) and the fact that the water falls over the edge almost immediately after rising from the Karst underground.
How was the waterfall formed? With its caves and vertical shafts, the area of the Kanin high karst plateau and Goricica in front of you contains the typical topographical characteristics of a karst landscape, features formed from the dissolution of limestone rock by water containing CO2. Geologists believe that the exact position of the source is to be found where Upper Triassic limestone meets a layer of dolomite rock. As dolomite is less permeable than limestone, it does not allow the water to flow through it, redirecting the fluid instead into a horizontal stream that leads out into the open.”
2) Boka Waterfall Directions & Map
As mentioned earlier, you cannot go directly to the waterfall itself. Instead you will only be able to view the waterfall from a far. To take in the view, you first will make your way to the parking area (more on that next), and then begin a ~15 minute hike to the panorama viewpoint area.
The parking lot area is just a 5 minute (5 km) drive from the town center of Bovec. Simply head west out of town on road 203 / Bovec Zaga road, and you should come across a parking lot area on the left hand side of the road. The starting point of the hike is just a couple minutes from the parking lot.
The map below shows the route from Bovec to the parking lot, in addition to the trail starting point, the viewpoint, and the waterfall itself.
3) Boka Waterfall Parking
The Boka Waterfall parking lot is located just off of the main Bovec Zaga road. Here you will find room for around 20-25 cars to park, so it is best to arrive on the earlier side to claim a spot.
The parking lot appears just before/on a turn in the road, so do be careful as you are pulling into the lot. Directly on the other side of the parking lot you will find a bridge that goes over the Boka River.
Head across the bridge on the pedestrian pathway, where you will get your first view of the waterfall from a far. For some, this view is enough to enjoy instead of taking part of the full hike.
However, if you would like to get a better view, continue to the other side of the bridge, where you will see hiking signs pointing you up to “Slap Boka – Razgledisce/Viewpoint”. From here it is just a 15 minute hike uphill towards the viewing area.
4) Boka Waterfall Hike
Once you have made it to the starting point, it is time to begin the hike up to the viewpoint. Throughout the way up you will see yellow hiking signs pointing you in the right direction. This will be a trail on an incline so to be prepared for some elevation gain.
In addition, the trail is a mixture of a little bit of everything. There will be small rocks, large rocks, dirt, staircases, gravel, and greenery to make your way through. So, while the hike is just 15 minutes, it is not the easiest of terrains to head up.
But once you make it up the hiking trail, you will be greeted with views of the Boka Waterfall way out in the distance. Depending on time of year and recent rainfall will dictate how powerful the water flow will be.
While the waterfall is quite a distance away, it is still a nice landscape to enjoy with the limestone rock and greenery filled mountains all around.
The first main viewing platform is where most people end up taking in the view from. However, there is an option to continue even further up the trail (1+ hours), taking in additional viewpoints along the way. These will continuously get higher and closer to the waterfall if you are trying to enjoy some more time around the Boka Waterfall.
Below is a screenshot from the Maps.me app showing the various viewing area along the trail:
Once you have finished up at the viewpoint (or viewpoints), it is time to retrace your steps back down to the parking lot. Be very cautious on the way down as the terrain can get a bit tricky and slippery in places. After getting yourself down to the street level, head back across the bridge and to the parking lot to continue onwards with your day.
If exploring places outside of Bovec, I would recommend checking out the nearby Virje Waterfall, Napoleon Bridge, and Tolmin Gorges. I would also highly recommend spending additional time in Bovec taking part of hikes like the Soca Trail and Slemenova Spica Hike on the Vrsic Pass.
5) Where to Stay in Bovec
If you are visiting the Boka Waterfall, you will most likely be staying in the nearby town of Bovec. This is a great place to stay for a few days as you explore the area and take part of other nearby highlights.
Here are a few highly rated and recommended options that will be great choices to stay at during a visit:
If you have any questions or comments about the Boka Waterfall, feel free to add them in below. Also, be sure to check out the remaining Slovenia itineraries and guides up on the site like this Slovenia Road Trip.
Have fun out there and safe travels!