Pristava Lepena

Soca, Slovenia
Book from GBP Book from £110 per night

Pristava Lepena

Soca, Slovenia

A cluster of simple wooden cabins in the stunning Soca Valley - ideal for outdoor pursuits, adventure sports and unspoilt Alpine scenery

A cluster of simple wooden cabins in the stunning Soca Valley - ideal for outdoor pursuits, adventure sports and unspoilt Alpine scenery

Hidden away in an Alpine meadow in Slovenia's Triglav National Park lies a cluster of simple but comfortable stone and wooden chalets, surrounded by wild flowers and the soaring peaks of the Julian Alps. The stunningly beautiful Soca river which flows beneath this plateau is one of Slovenia's highlights, and Pristava Lepena is set right in the midst of this breathtaking scenery.

It was the brainchild of Milan and Silvia Dolenc, who built it up from scratch before handing it on to new owners in 2017. The ambiance remains relaxed but friendly, welcoming outdoorsy types with a nose for hidden gems. Endless walking trails, azure (though icy) rivers with white-sand beaches, and world-class fishing are all on your doorstep. For adrenaline junkies, rafting, kayaking and paragliding are easily arranged - the nearby village of Bovec is Slovenia's centre for adventure sports. There's also a big ski resort nearby if you're coming in winter. Afterwards, you can unwind in the sauna, watch the sunset and tuck into a hearty dinner, before a peaceful night's sleep. It's perfect for families and couples looking for an active off-the-beaten-track holiday, and a good base for exploring northwest Slovenia.

Highs

  • We loved the fly-fishing (my husband), the small pool set amongst the trees (our daughter), and learning to ride on one of their pure-bred Lipizzan horses (myself)
  • All the guests were raving about the spectacular mountain scenery and the magical riverscapes
  • Prices are very reasonable
  • Ideal for families - there's plenty of space, endless activities, and pet goats and ponies to make friends with
  • It's only 1.5 hours from Lake Bled and 2 from Ljubljana (airport)

Lows

  • Rooms are simple and rather dark; recent feedback suggests they could benefit from a refresh
  • The food here is more expensive than in local restaurants nearby, and some breakfast items (e.g. cappuccino) cost extra
  • Horse riding is not always available: check when requesting your stay
  • Expect the odd rainy day - that's why it's so lush!
  • If you're looking for a lazy poolside holiday (or for nightlife), this isn't the place for you
World Favourite Family Hideaway

    Best rooms for families

    The apartments are best for families as they have 2-3 bedrooms each (including twin rooms) and space for extra beds and baby cots. Note that there are no baths in the cabins, only showers.

    Parents should know...

    All the cabins have wood-burning stoves and there's no fencing around the pool. After flying to Ljubljana, Venice or Trieste, you have a 2-hour car journey ahead of you - bring things to keep the kids occupied!
  • Baby cots

Some equipment may need to be requested in advance

Large breakfasts are available and the restaurant is open for lunch and dinner - caters for kids of all ages. Cabins each have a small fridge/minibar, electric kettle, complimentary tea and coffee and a sink. For tinies, the hotel provides a hob to warm up milk or bottled baby food.

  • Pet goats and ponies to befriend
  • Unfenced swimming pool (watch out, it\'s only solar-heated)
  • Ping-pong, archery
  • Games room with pool table, table football and TV
  • Horse riding lessons (age 6 and up), guided trail riding (ages 14+)
  • Hiking
  • Water sports including rafting, kayaking and canyoning
  • Woods to play in and nature to explore
  • Zip-lining nearby

Great for...

Eco
Family
Great Outdoors
Spa
  • Alpine Lodge
  • 16 cabins for 2-6
  • Restaurant and bar (open daily)
  • All ages welcome
  • Closed: 16 Oct 2024 - 14 Dec 2024
  • Outdoor Pool
  • Sauna
  • Beach Nearby
  • Babysitting
  • Creche / Kids Club
  • Car essential
  • Parking
  • Pet Friendly
  • Disabled Access
  • Restaurants Nearby
  • WiFi
  • Air Conditioning
  • Guest Lounge
  • Terrace
  • Garden
  • Gym
  • Daily Maid Service
  • Towels & Bedlinen
  • Tennis Court
  • Laundry Service
  • Table football
Room:

Rooms

Scattered around the meadow, amid pine trees and huge boulders (which thankfully fell from the mountains many years ago!) are a handful of 2-3 bedroom chalets (which they call apartments), ideal for families or a group of friends. There are also some smaller adjoining rooms for couples. We opted for an upstairs room with its double bed cosily tucked in under the slanting wooden roof (Room C). However, for claustrophobics, we would recommend those on the ground floor (Room D), less charming but with their own seating area in the meadow.

All are decorated in the same simple but charming style: wooden walls, traditional Trenta wood-burning stoves, and cosy and comfortable pine beds with thick duvets. They are basic and slightly old fashioned, but it is fitting with the feel of the place and you wouldn’t expect or want anything different. Bathrooms are small but very clean with hot showers (no bathtubs); hairdryers and basic toiletries are provided and towels are changed daily. Although each room and apartment has a table, chairs, a small fridge/minibar, a sink and complimentary tea and coffee, they are not self-catering.

Features include:

  • Hairdryer
  • Minibar
  • WiFi

Eating

With all this activity you will need some hearty meals, and that is exactly what you get at Pristava Lepena.

The relaxed candle-lit dining room serves good, honest fare - not epicurean (and not very vegetarian-friendly), but tasty and wholesome. Memorable dishes included tagliatelle with local wild mushrooms, beef fillet with a goulash-style sauce, and Soca-river trout. Try the traditional strudel pastry pudding too; ours was filled with walnuts, raisins and cottage cheese.

At breakfast, we found the ham, fruit, freshly baked bread and cooked eggs sufficient to keep us going through the day - but if not, the restaurant serves lunch.

Want a change of scene? Bovec village has some simple eateries (a 15-minute drive) and there are upscale options in Kobarid (35km). However, we were too exhausted by the end of each day, and never got round to venturing out!

Features include:

  • Bar
  • Kids' meals
  • Restaurant
  • Vegetarian options
Eating:
Activity:

Activities

  • Pure-bred Lipizzan horses reside at Pristava, so for competent riders there are treks through the forest, and for learners there’s a riding school
  • Walking and hiking trails lead you up over mountain passes to alpine lakes, or along river valleys to hidden waterfalls. There are also some fixed cable (via ferrata) mountain walking routes
  • The stunning Soca river is famous for its trout - guides can take you fly-fishing or you can bring your own kit and buy a permit
  • …You can also lounge beside the river or even jump into one of the natural pools - the water may look like the Caribbean but the temperature is rather different!
  • White-water rafting and kayaking can easily be arranged in Bovec - we spent a couple of exhilarating hours going down the Soca with experienced guides
  • The more adventurous can try canyoning, paragliding and gliding/skydiving (July/August). Kanin, one of Europe’s longest zip-lining stretches, is also nearby and has spectacular views of the Soca Valley
  • In winter, go skiing at Kanin-Sella Nevea, Slovenia's highest ski resort, located just 7km away. The hotel offers discounts on ski passes so speak to staff before going
  • Back at Pristava Lepena, enjoy table tennis and archery; there’s also a fitness room, wood saunas, a massage room, a gym and swimming pool
  • From Pristava Lepena, full day trips can also be made to the coast, the famous karst caves, Lake Bled, Bohinj and Ljubljana

Activities on site or nearby include:

  • Cycling
  • Fishing
  • Hiking
  • Historical sites
  • Kayaking
  • Mountain biking
  • Museums / galleries
  • Plantlife / flora
  • Rafting
  • Swimming
  • Table tennis
  • Trekking

Best Time to go

July and August are the warmest months (temperatures reach about 80F, though evenings are cool) and are high season. Spring, early summer and autumn are ideal for riding, lower rates and fewer tourists. Winter is chilly but feels very festive around Christmas, and there's good skiing in the area.

Our Top Tips

In the summer there is a minimum stay of 3 nights. Most people stay for a week or more. If you like hiking, fishing and adventure sports you will not be bored. We stayed for 10 days and still didn't have time to do everything.
Kid Friendly:

Location

Pristava Lepena is in the heart of the beautiful Soca Valley, in Slovenia. The nearest village is Bovec, a 15-minute drive away.

By Air
The easiest route is to fly to Trieste Airport, Italy (134km), or to Venice-Marco Polo and hire a car at either airport. You should declare that you are planning on travelling across the border, but this is quite common so there should not be a problem.

Alternatively, fly into Slovenia’s Ljubljana Airport (130km).

From the Airport
From Trieste and Venice, Pristava Lepena is about a 2-hour drive north along the Soca Valley; from Ljubljana Airport, it’s also about a 2 hour drive through the mountainous Triglav National Park.

We’d definitely recommend hiring a car as the hotel’s setting is pretty isolated and you'll feel stranded without one. Driving in Slovenia is a lovely experience; the roads are quiet and the scenery stunning.

Detailed directions will be sent to you when you book through i-escape.com.

More on getting to Slovenia and getting around

Airports:

  • Trieste Ronchi Dei Legionari 134.0 km TRS
  • Ljubljana 130.0 km LJU

Other:

  • Beach 150.0 km
  • Shops 5.0 km
  • Restaurant 0.1 km

Our guests' ratings...

Based on 1 independent review from i-escape guests

9/10
Room
7/10
Food
9/10
Service
8/10
Value
8/10
Overall

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Rates for Pristava Lepena

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