Heritage Trails from the Idrijca to the Kolpa
Heritage Tours from the Idrijca to the Kolpa
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Natural Heritage


The landscapes of our region are dramatic and varied – from wild forests, rivers and mountains, to cultivated valleys and high plateaux.

Limestone karst is the dominant geology of the area, resulting in an abundance of associated features. There are sinkholes where surface water disappears to flow underground before re-appearing many kilometres away; great cave systems such as may be seen at Križna Jama; dramatic natural bridges and isolated microclimates, the result of the collapse of underground caverns, such as may be seen in Rakov Škocjan and in the forests of Kočevje and Idrija; deeply carved valleys such as those of the rivers Idrijca, Kolpa and their tributaries. Some of our forests, such as those around Kočevje, retain pockets of virgin forest, extremely rare in today's Europe.

These wild places with their ancient spruce, fir and beech, are home to wolf, bear and lynx, the forest floor a patchwork of fern, cyclamen, anemone, celandine and numerous other plants. Other forests, such as those of the Idrija region, are the result of centuries of management, yet still offer an astonishing wealth and diversity of flora and fauna. The months of spring and early summer see the forest clearings and high plateaux carpeted in the delicate blooms of wild crocus, while the farms on hillsides and valleys burgeon with new life.