The area around Bovec, Slovenia is full of beautiful waterfalls to visit and enjoy. One of these waterfalls is the Slap Virje Waterfall and its emerald colored pools, located just outside of the town center.
During a visit to the Virje Waterfall, you can enjoy a short walking trail to the bottom of the waterfall, in addition to going to the source of the Glijuna River and the Pluzna Lake.
This guide will go over how to go about a trip to the Virje Waterfall and what to expect along the way.
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1) Virje Waterfall Helpful Facts
Below are some helpful things to know about the Slap Virje waterfall to better prepare you for your visit:
Waterfall Name: Slap Virje Waterfall
Waterfall Height: 12 meters / 39 feet
Waterfall Width: 30 meters / 98 feet
Parking GPS Coordinates: 46°20’08.4″N 13°30’46.7″E
Parking Fee: 5 Euro for 2 Hours (vehicles other than cars cost 10 Euro)
Hiking Time: 10 Minutes for Waterfall Only / 30-45 Minutes for Waterfall + Source + Lake
Hike Difficulty: Easy
Overall, a visit to Virje Waterfall is quite easy to go about.
From the parking lot, the roundtrip trail to the waterfall should just take around 10-15 minutes. If you would like to continue on exploring the area, you can add on the Izvir Glijuna (source of the Glijuna River) and Pluzna Lake to your day too for an extra 20-30 minutes.
2) Virje Waterfall Signboards
At the parking lot and at the waterfall itself, there are two helpful informational signboards that go into more detail about the history and background of the Virje Waterfall and the Glijuna Spring.
Feel free to read through the below if you would like to gain a bit more insight about the waterfall:
“The Virje Waterfall is one of the main attractions in this area. It is characterized by an interesting shape and two bluegreen pools in the basin beneath it.
This fan shaped waterfall gets its water from the karst spring of Glijun above it. The spring water first flows through a shallow rocky gorge for a short while until it descends over a 12m high slope in two branches, each of them carving a deep basin below the waterfall.
The water level depends on the weather, time of the year and the needs of the nearby hydroelectric power plant. If you visit the waterfall in the summertime, it is possible to freshen up in the pool below it. Virje is also very impressive in the fall and springtime, when you can feel the power of the water on your own skin. When the water level is really high, the strong drizzle makes it almost impossible to approach it.”
Glijuna Spring Signboard
“The area of the waterfall and the karst spring enables the visitor to get familiar with the mysterious world of alpine karst waters. The slopes of the Kanin Mountain Range west of the village of Pluzna are full of karst springs, the strongest among them being the permanent spring of Glijun.
Since the rock layers are inclined southward, a large proportion of the waters from the Italian side of the mountain range also emerge on the Slovenia side. As soon as rain falls on the bare rocky mountain surface, it disappears into numerous karst fissures. The same happens with meltwater.
Water enriched with carbon dioxide slowly dissolves the layers of Dachstein limestone, on the surface as well as in the karst underground. Therefore, a number of vertical shafts and horizontal channels have been created over the past hundreds of thousands of years, through which Kanin water flows to the foot of the mountain. In this way the karst surface and underground karst world are constantly changing.”
3) Virje Waterfall Parking & Directions
Getting to the Virje Waterfall is pretty simple. Once you have entered the coordinates or the name “Parking Slap Virje” into the GPS, you will be directed right to the parking lot area just past the small settlement of Pluzna.
The drive from nearby Bovec is just 10 minutes long, but do note towards the end of the drive, the road can get a bit narrow. So, just be careful as it is a two way street.
→ When renting a car in Slovenia, I would recommend checking out Rentalcars.com for potential options. You will be able to browse through cars based on price, category & other filters, to find the perfect car for your trip.
As you approach the parking lot, you will find a clearing of trees on either side, where you can pull off and safely park. There is a parking meter stand to pay the 5 Euro fee for cars (10 Euro for other vehicles), which lasts for 2 hours of parking.
4) Waterfall Trail Map
Below you can find the trail map that is located on the signboards at the trailhead. You can see the various highlights pinpointed marked T1, T2, and T3.
Depending on your interest level, you can head to just the waterfall or also these other two nearby sites.
T1: Slap Virje
T2: Izvir Glijuna
T3: Pluzna Lake
5) A Visit to Virje Waterfall
After parking your car and paying the fee, it is time to go start exploring the area. During my visit, I was a bit short on time and only ended up visiting the waterfall itself.
However, if you have the time to spare, definitely be sure to check out the source of the Glijuna River as well as the nearby Pluzna Lake.
Once you are ready to go from the parking lot, you should see yellow trail signs pointing you in the right direction towards the Virje Waterfall. Be sure to pay attention here as there are trails that head off in other directions.
The trail will be a mild downhill incline walk along a dirt/rocky pathway. Since the terrain isn’t smooth, I would recommend heading down in shoes rather than flip flops so you don’t hurt yourself if you misstep.
After just 5 minutes of following the pathway, you soon will be welcomed to the waterfall itself with the beautiful emerald green pools on either side of the waterfall.
It is important to note that if you visit during a time period when there is heavy rainfall and the river flow is strong, the waterfall will not look the same.
Instead of enjoying the calm pools below, you will have a rush of water pouring off the cliffside and removing the chance to see the colors of the water.
If the water is calm though and the weather is nice enough, you can hop into the pools underneath the waterfall. But be aware it will be cold!
On the other hand, you can certainly just enjoy the waterfall from a far and from all different angles here.
You will have the moss covered Virje waterfall out in front pouring down into a couple pools down below. It is just a great scenic site to take in and relax at, as you enjoy one of the lesser known attractions of Slovenia.
Once all complete down below, you will need to retrace your steps back up to the parking lot area. From here you can follow signs to the other two nearby attractions if you are up for some additional time around the area.
6) Where to Stay in Bovec
If you are visiting the Virje Waterfall, you will most likely be staying in the nearby town of Bovec. Here is a great place to stay for a few days as you explore the area and take part of other highlights such as the Soca Trail and other Slovenia hikes.
Here are a few highly rated and recommended options that will be great choices to stay at during a visit:
→ Boutique Hotel Dobra Vila Bovec
That about wraps up a guide to the Slap Virje Waterfall near Bovec, Slovenia. If you have any questions or comments, be sure to add them in below.
Also, don’t forget to check out the other Slovenia itineraries and guides up on the site like this Slovenia Road Trip Itinerary. And if you enjoy this waterfall, you are sure to want to visit Slap Pericnik, Boka Waterfall, and Slap Savica.
Have fun out there and safe travels!