Property and local area description
Spacious Apartment with many period feautures and big kitchen.
Hemingway House Holiday Apartments is a 19th century townhouse in the centre of Kobarid which has been transformed into five unique self-contained apartments.
The Attic Suite covers the entire top floor of the house and comfortably sleeps five adults.
Its boasts an enormous main room (80sqm) with a vaulted ceiling which incorporates the original wooden roof beams and walls which have sections of exposed stone, giving the apartment a romantic rustic charm.
The room has been divided into two sections. On one side is a queen sized bed (160 x 200) with antique bedside tables. And a living area with a sofa bed which pulls out to sleep two adults comfortably (160 x 200). There is a large wardrobe and antique pine chester drawers to store clothing. There are also two coffee tables and a small book case.
There is also a powerful wood burning stove and if you are chilly I can come up and set a fire for you and provide you with wood to keep it going.
On the otherside of the room is the Kitchen/Dining Area. The Kitchen has a large granite worktop which doubles as a breakfast bar which seats two. There is a 4 ring gas hob, electric oven, microwave, fridge/freezer, kettle, toaster, electric mixer, blender, Bodum french press and Bialetti coffee makers and cooking equipment and crockery for six people. There are also a set of plastic tableware for children.
Its even possible to bake a cake for a special occasion as there is are cake pans, an electric mixer, measuring equipment and mixing bowls also provided.
There is a dining table that seats six people and there is enough spare space around it for you to position it how ever you like best. There is also an uplighter lamp if you would prefer a more romantic atmosphere.
Off the main room is a hallway with a wrought iron and wood balcony which leads to the little bedroom on one end and the bathroom on the other. All of these rooms also have vaulted ceilings with original wood beams. The little bedroom has a single bed.
This apartment would suit a family with children older than five as there are no safety gates on the top of the stairs for smaller children.
The Attic Suites are accessed via a staircase off the upper terrace and the suite has its own private lockable entrance.
Hemingway House has two terraces from which to admire the stunning mountain views visible from them.
There is also a large garden which I'm hoping will be a lovely grass lawn before too long (planted the grass a month ago and there is already green glow to the area). And I've planted a herb garden and so guests can cook with fresh herbs.
To the rear of the property is a large secure barn where you can store larger sports equipment, kayaks, paragliders, bicycles etc. On the top floor, I would be more than happy to dry out wet clothes (and even tents) on your behalf.
Guests do not have access to a washing machine at the house. But, there is one nearby at the campground. Or if you ask me kindly, I might be able to do some for you, but no guarantees and most definitely at your own risk!!
I have tried to make this apartment a home away from home for guests and I wish you a very happy stay here in the Soca Valley.
But, with so much to see and do in the area I'm not sure how much time you will actually want to spend at the house?
Kobarid - the best village to explore the Soca Valley from
Kobarid was immortalised in Ernest Hemingway's Farewell to Arms as a charming amicable little town. Not much has changed in the intervening years but the main square is now filled with lively bars and great restaurants and in the summer numerous music festivals take place here.
Hemingway House is located just three houses off the main square so it couldn't be more centrally located. There are three grocery stores, a bakery and green grocers less than a 5 minute walk from the house.
Kobarid is the perfect base for exploring the Soca Valley particularly for those who don't want to drive. There are numerous walks that can be done right from the house, from the challenging peak of Krn to the gentle stroll up to the Roman Village or along the banks of the Soca River. There are many adventure sport companies in the village offering canyoning, rafting, horse back riding, kayaking and paragliding.
If you like paragliding one of the main take off points is Stol which overlooks the village and there is a regular taxi service to take gliders to the top. The main landing spot is within walking distance of the house.
But, the real pleasure of the Soca Valley is just taking in the breath taking scenery of the valley and meeting the local people.
Things to do in the area:
Hiking - Triglav National Park borders the village on two sides and there are a number of hikes, ranging from easy to difficult which can be done right from town. The Walk of Peace also runs through the village and from this trail you can walk up to Bovec or down to Tolmin. The tourist office has complete list of the hundreds of walks possible in the area.
Swimming - locals like to head to the "beach" on the Najda River which is warmed by natural hot springs with supposed healing qualities. Its 5km outside of town on the road to Italy and there is a great bar serving food and drinks. For the brave, its possible to swim in the Soca just past the Napoleon Bridge. A bit further a field, the best swimming spot on the Soca can be found down valley in the pretty village of Kanal. The River is very shallow on the banks here so it is a suitable place to take children. There is also an excellent bakery/cafe here. For proper swimming there is an aqua park in Bovec and another one in Lake Bohinj.
Rafting/Kayaking - The Soca River is one of two rivers in Slovenia where rafting is permitted. This river has played host to the kayaking world championship several times. There are numerous companies offering guided trips on the river. Some rafting tours are suitable for small children.
Fishing - The Soca River is world renowned for its fly fishing. But, permits are expensive and guides are recommended to find the best locations for the fish.
Paragliding - The Soca Valley has idyllic weather conditions for this sport and there are a number of take-off points in the valley, including Stol which overlooks Kobarid. There is a regular taxi service available to take you to the sites.
Canyoning - For the adventurous canyoning trips can be taken. But, they are not for the faint hearted as there are lots of jumping into rivers from high ledges.
Horseback Riding - there are several stables in the area to rent horses with a guide.
Mountain Biking - many of the trails are open to mountain bikes and range from the gentle to the extreme.
Museums in Town
Kobarid Museum - is dedicated to the history of World War I in the Soca Valley. I found it fascinating and its a good way to spend a rainy day. Next door is a free exhibition on the Walk of Peace.
Planika Cheese Factory - this is a popular tour for families and the free cheese at the end of the tour is a nice bonus.
In the nearby province of Fruili in Italy there are a hundreds of vineyards one can visit.
But, I would recommend a trip to Goriza Brda to sample the local Slovenian wines which are surprisingly good from here. The area is also spectacularly beautiful, with many quaint fortress villages. There are also many good restaurants in the area.
Gambling is legal in Slovenia. The Aurora Casino is located just outside of town and there are cabarets in the evening for those not interested gambling.
Lake Bohinj / Bled - There is a car train from Most na Soci which takes 30 minutes to arrive at the scenic Lake Bohinj which is suitable for swimming. Bled is a further 20 minutes on the train and is considered the most beautiful spot in Slovenia. This makes for a wonderful day out.
Trieste - the city itself is a matter of personal taste but there are some great beaches up the coast if you wish to go for a swim in the sea.
Cividale de Fruili - is a charming medieval town a twenty minute drive from Kobarid. There is a fantastic flea market here on the 4th Sunday of the month. And there is a pastry shop in San Pietro de Navistone which is well worth visiting.
Koper/Piran - it takes about 2 hours to drive down to the Slovenian coast on the motorway and it can often be crowded down there in the summer. But, Koper and Piran are beautiful places to visit.
Skojan Caves / Lipica Horse Farm - On the way to the coast you can visit the Unesco World Heritage site, the Skojan Caves. The caves are amazing and there is a huge river that runs below them. Nearby is the Lipica Horse farm where the famous Lippazzaner Horses are bred. There is a good restaurant here and its possible to see the horses without entering the farm as many brood mares are in the paddocks just outside. Just don't forget to bring a bag of carrots or apples.
Postonja Caves and Castle - These are the most famous caves in Slovenia and there is a train which takes you deep in the cave network. The caves are bigger than those at Skojan but I think less dramatic. They do music performances in the main cave in the summer. Nearby is the castle which has a museum.
Ljubljana - the capital is well worth a visit. The river Sava runs through its small city centre and its banks are lined with cafes and restaurants. There is a castle on top of a hill which gives amazing views of the city and there are a number of interesting museums which one can visit. During the summer there are numerous free musical festivals taking place.
How Hemingway House came into being
I am a Canadian who came to Slovenia on a holiday back in 2007 and feel in love with the beauty of the Soca Valley.
When I returned to London where I was living at the time, I decided that there had to be more to life than working 9 to 5 marketing a law firm. And spurred on by numerous property development programs I decided that I would be the one person alive who could move to a foreign country where I didn't speak the language and renovate a dilapidated house into a bed and breakfast without too much hassle, bearing in mind I had no DIY experience whatsoever.
Need we say things didn't go as planned but after two years I was able to transform a total ruin into a very liveable three bedroom house, in the lovely village of Ciginj, which is available for renting on this site.
Shortly after I finished renovating this house, a property in Kobarid became available and I decided to sell my house in Ciginj to a guest who stayed in the house and loved it and turn my hand at another renovation project.
Two years later, my vision was realised and Hemingway House is now open for business.
Along the way, I've made numerous great friends over here, improved my knowledge on how to renovate stone houses as well as the art of plastering, tiling, painting and whole host of other DIY skills.
I am currently working on another property up in the picturesque village of Livek, which overlooks the Soca Valley, just above Kobarid. With any luck, a magnificent farmhouse with 5 bedrooms, 4 bathrooms, a massive open planned kitchen /living area, with a 45sqm terrace with a fantastic view of Krn will be available for rent in Spring 2013.
I am living proof that you can realise your dream if you have the stupidity, courage and determination to see it through.