The entire valley of Soča, from Rombon to the Adriatic sea, was the setting of horrible battles between the Italian and Austro-Hungarian forces during the 1st World War. Twelve battles took place along the 90 kilometers long front in two years and more than 300.000 soldiers of different nationalities lost their lives. You can take a look at several memorials reminding you of the tragic war events in Kobarid and its vicinity.
We recommend you to start this 'educational' trail in the fascinating Kobarid Museum, which is located in the town center by the road towards Bovec. You can see a multivision about the events from the 1st World War and find out a lot about the Soča front. An interesting fact: Ernest Hemingway had been participating in a sanitary unit of the Italian army as a volunteer. He drew his inspiration for his novel ‘A Farewell to Arms’ from the testimonies of the soldiers withdrawing after the defeat in the last battle at Kobarid.
After visiting the museum, you should head towards Drežnica along Gregorčič street. Go through an underpass and on the right side you will spot Mlekarna Planika, where you can visit a museum of cheese making and an exhibition called ‘Od planine do Planike’. Continue descending on the main road from here to the Napoleon Bridge and admire the breathtaking view on the turquoise Soča river. Cross the bridge and go left along the asphalt road. Ascend past camp Koren and just behind it turn left onto a pleasant dirt road (closed for traffic). Cross a meadow and continue along the Soča river. You will come to a marked 'split' of the path. Now you can either proceed along the Soča river or turn upwards to the right and see some remains of the former Italian caverns and positions from the 1st World War along the way. The entire hill is drilled through and through with tunnels, which were used for shelter, storage and sleeping. Both paths merge later on and further down the wide path you reach a bridge, which pretty much blocks the view of Mali Kozjak waterfall. The path narrows on the other side of the bridge, follow the signpost for Kozjak and you gradually come closer to the streambed, which is surrounded by higher and higher walls. A picturesque path brings you right underneath the incredible waterfall Veliki Kozjak .
Return from the waterfall back to Soča river and cross the suspended footbridge to the other side. Ascend to a dirt road, go to the right and turn left in about a hundred meters up some stairs leading into a forest. The Italian battlefront was located here as well and you will be partly walking thorough dugouts. Higher up, you cross the main road 'Kobarid - Bovec' and carry on up the steep concrete stairs towards Tonocov Grad hill. After a pleasant walk, you reach the summit of the small hill and find the remains of an ancient fort. A gorgeous view on Kobarid and Kolovrat opens.
Go back down the stairs from the castle and continue on the path to the left. Soon you will cross a streambed and the path will turn towards Kobarid. Follow the path of peace to the large Italian ossuary with the church of St. Anthony – a reminder, memorial and resting place of over 7000 Italian soldiers. You can return to Kobarid on the road or turn left into the forest at the end of the parking lot at the ossuary. The forest path leads straight to the Kobarid Museum.
The whole trail is technically easy and partly marked with wooden 'pillars', which have more or less visible descriptions. It takes around 3 hours to do the whole trail.
There are plenty more remains and memorials of the Soča front to see elsewhere around the Soča valley. You can find more about 'what is where' on the website of 'The Walk of Peace' foundation. Their info point, where you can also arrange various guided tours, is located right next to the Kobarid Museum.