I did a lot of internet research to find the perfect place to stay in Slovenia and I think I found it in Hisa Kostanja. If, like me, you value being within striking distance of a totally different experience every day of your holiday, I don't think you could find a better place to stay. Whilst the town of Kanal ob Soci is not the liveliest or most beautiful town in the world, it's certainly very picturesque, reminiscent of Mostar with it's large arched bridge, the beautiful Soca river flowing beneath it and the cluster of medieval houses that cling to the limestone riverbanks. It also has everything you need, with bars, an excellent pizzeria and supermarket all within five minutes' walk of the house.
The house itself is perched above the town in the village of Gorenja Vas, which is so close to Kanal that it's effectively another part of the town, only even quieter and with great views of the surrounding hills. There's a lovely terrace at the back which overlooks a little stream with a tiny waterfall that you can hear babbling away constantly while you relax, plus when you're in bed - the perfect way to send you off to sleep! We liked the size of the place - three big bedrooms, of which we only needed two - and spacious, modern living spaces with plenty of original character preserved. The bathroom was clean with new fittings and the boiler provided perfect hot water with the best water pressure I've ever come across in a rented property abroad - none of the usual irritating dribbling showers that go from freezing cold to boiling hot every 30 seconds here! The house was obviously very well maintained and, had we needed him, one of the neighbours, Tomas, was on hand to sort out any problems - we had no problems whatsoever, though.
The real bonus of this property, though, was the convenience for exploring the local area. With so much to see and do within an hour's drive - Bohinj (via the great fun car train - an experience in itself!), the Tolmin gorges, the incredible Skocjan caves, Idrija mercury mine/museum, Kobarid (WW1 museum and historical trails), the Goriska Brda wine region (Slovenia's undiscovered Tuscany) and Most na Soci (paddle steamer trip on the artificial lake created by the dammed valley of the Soca at this point) - we were able to cram more into 8 days than we ever would have imagined and didn't have a single moment where we were at a loose end. As long as you have a hire car, you can really explore some undiscovered corners. However, even if you're restricted to rail travel, the convenience of the station in Kanal to the cottage (3 minutes down the hill) means that you could do pretty much everything we did with a little forward planning and some early starts.
In summary, I can honestly say that I cannot think of any negative points about our holiday at Hisa Kostanja. We had lovely summer weather, witht the added bonus of one enormous, beautiful nighttime storm, but I can imagine the place being perfect for a holiday in any season and I would love to go back in winter to see the snow and try out the Slovene skiing experience. 100% recommended!
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