Vrsic Pass in the Julian Alps ranks as the most exciting drive in Slovenia, its hairpin (and hair-raising) bends offering views of soaring peaks that define the northwestern corner of the country. Straddling Triglav National Park, and hemmed in by the Karavanke Mountains to the east and the Julian Alps range to the west, the lakes of Bled and Bohinj are two of Slovenia's most treasured resorts, both an easy getaway from Ljubljana and a great base for all kinds of outdoor adventures. Farther west, along the Italian border, and best reached via the aforementioned Vrsic Pass, is the Soca River and the beautiful valley it has carved. Here, the tiny town of Kobarid retains memories of battles that raged along the border at a most critical time in the history of Europe. Besides sheltering some of the nation's finest restaurants and accommodations, Kobarid makes a fine base for exploring the valley by land or water. In winter, nearby Bovec fills up with skiers who prefer their adrenaline rush dusted with white powder.