Natural attractions around Ljubljana
Not only that the center of Ljubljana is beautiful and charming, all the surrounding is even more stunning and worth to see. You can rent a car or take a bus or train to get to desired destination. Every destination is about 1 hour far and you won’t be disappointed.
The Ljubljana Marshes, located south of Ljubljana, is the largest marsh in the country. It covers 163 (63 sq mi) square kilometers. The Ljubljana Marshes is a place of great biodiversity. Since 2008, the major part of the Ljubljana Marshes, covering an area of 135 km2 (52 sq mi), has been protected as a landscape park. Over two thirds of the surface area is agricultural land, most of it taken up by meadows (46%), and fields and gardens (31%). Urban areas account for approximately 5% of the Park, and forests cover 9% of the area.
Due to tectonic shifts, breaks and by river sedimentation in the area of marsh created numerous wetlands and peat bogs in which they live many rare and interesting plants and animal species, especially birds and wildlife. Damp meadows are populated by 89 different species of gaily coloured butterflies. Hundred bird species, which is a half of all the bird species in Slovenia, nest in the area.
The nature reserve situated between the villages of Ig and Podpeč at Ljubljana Marshes is dedicated to conserving the unique natural environment of the wetland area known as Iški Morost. The reserve is crossed by a 1.3-kilometre nature trail called Koščeva pot (Corn Crake Trail). The trail, called after a rare and endangered bird species, offers a unique insight into the wetland wildlife and animal species.
Access to the Nature Reserve
By bus: Take city bus no. 19 to Barje, get off at Lipe, and walk for two kilometres down the macadam road to the reserve.
By car or private bus: Park your vehicle by the side of the road between the villages of Podpeč and Ig or in the village of Črna vas and continue of foot.
Archaeologists have extensively studied the Ljubljana pile-dwelling culture, which is believed to have arisen in the years between 2300 to 1800 BCE. At that time, the Marshes were full of pile-dwellings that were erected near running water, which often flooded.
Archaeologists found more than 10,000 artefacts from different historical periods, which are kept in museums in Ljubljana and abroad. The most important find of all is the world’s oldest wooden wheel, dating approximately between 3,350 and 3,100 B.C.
An architectural particularity
The Church of St. Michael in Črna vas, which was designed by the architect Jože Plečnik and built between 1937 and 1940, is the most beautiful architectural monument on the Ljubljana Marshes. The bearing capacity of the soil is weak, so the church had to be built on 350 eight-meter long piles.
Iški Vintgar Gorge
Iški Vintgar is a scenic gorge of the Iška river. It is a popular destination for walkers, hikers and climbers. If you like to walk in the nature or maybe have a picnic with your friends and family. Iški Vintgar Gorge is a perfect destination even for cooling down in hot summer days.
Iški vintgar is a picturesque gorge carved deeply in the limestone dolomite plateau from the confluence of the Zale and Iška streams where a ten-meter high solitary pillar called the “Rock Man” stands. Along with the numerous rapids, pools, waterfalls and other phenomena in the gorge, we also find indigenous vegetation and numerous animals. Numerous trails, including the E6 European Foot Trail run through the gorge.
The lake of Podpeško jezero
The lake is located on the southern edge of Ljubljana Marshes. The lake has an area of about 1.2 ha and its coastline forms a nearly perfect circle with a diameter of about 130 m. Lake ecosystem forms many plant and animal species, aquatic inhabitants crustaceans, molluscs and various river fish.
During the summer the water temperature on the surface is around 25 ° C. On the north shore of the lake is regulated swimming pool, which is a popular destination for hot summer days. You can reach the location with Ljubljana city bus No.19B.
Lake Zbilje is located 12 km north of Ljubljana in Zbilje a settlement in the Municipality of Medvode and it occupies 47 hectares of surface. It is a popular destination for families with children during spring and summer. There are plenty of opportunities to spend a day by walking around the lake, watching at swans, renting a boat or just sitting on the terrace of an inn that is by the lake.
Lake Zbilje, a reservoir created in 1954 by building the Medvode hydroelectric power plant. Fields lie to the north and west of the settlement. Next to Lake Zbilje there is a boat hire outlet. Apart from boats for rowing on the lake, a horse and carriage can be hired for rides alongside the lake. On the lake shore there are several cafés and a children’s playground.
Rakitna is a popular tourist destination for inhabitants of the Ljubljana Marshes and the surrounding area. In the center of the village is the church of St. Cross flanked by the cemetery. Slightly away from the center of the village, specifically in the western part of Rakitna, is a small lake next to a hotel Rakitna which gives you a catering and accommodation. The lake offers swimming in summer and skating in winter.
Volčji Potok Arboretum
Volčji Potok Arboretum is the most visited horticultural facility in Slovenia. In the last twenty years it became famous for its spring flower shows. Visitors from all parts of the country and from abroad come to Arboretum to be fascinated by millions of daffodil, tulip and other spring flowers.
Volčji Potok Arboretum was established in 1952 by University of Ljubljana. University created a collection of woody plants for research and educative purposes. Later the Arboretum became independent. Today it manages the park, produces plants in its own nurseries, runs a garden centre, employs a group of landscape architects and does practical landscaping all over Slovenia.
It is located in the northern part of Ljubljana. The mountain has two peaks: Šmarna Gora (669 metres, 2,195 ft) and Grmada (676 metres, 2,218 ft). Because of the location and view it has become a popular hiking destination. From the top, where there is a restaurant and a church, openes a beautiful view of Gorenjska, the Julian Alps, Karavanke and Kamnik Alps.
The Šmarna gora run is the best organised competition that has its tradition from the year 1979. The run takes place every year on the first Saturday in October; the regular competitors of the last years are besides our best mountain runners also medal winners from the World and European championships.
A bit younger in tradition is the Record of Šmarna gora. The shortest trail from Tacen to the top has presented a peculiar challenge to sports people from Ljubljana and around – a test of physical condition that has always been there to take. By organising the »Record« we just formalised what we have been doing for decades – the test to see who reaches our Gora first.
In the years 2001 to 2004 the answer was given by organising the Challenge of Šmarna gora where a handful of best Slovene mountain runners and mountain bikers took this challenge. The future generations of sports people will for sure doubt the outcomes and try to prove itself again on the road to Zavrh.
Postojna cave is a 20,570 m long karst cave system near Postojna. It is the best-known cave in the world. It is also the greatest tourist attraction in Slovenia and one of the world’s largest karst monuments. For 140 years, the Postojna Cave offers a unique and adventurous ride with a special train, which will take you into the cave, under spectacular underground arches, which are embellished with chandellier look-alike stalactites, through a beautiful subterranean world full of playful limestone sculptures.
Human fish or Olm (Proteus anguinus) is the largest cave animal in the world. The length of from 25 to 30 inches and is the only vertebrate in Europe, which is completely bound to the underworld. The Olm by law is protected species since 1982, listed as rare and endangered species.
Just 10 kilometers from Postojna Cave is one of the most picturesque wonders of human history – Predjamski Castle. Predjama Castle is a Renaissance castle built within a cave mouth in south-central Slovenia. The castle was first mentioned in the year 1274 with the German name Luegg, when the Patriarch of Aquileia built the castle in Gothic style. The castle was built under a natural rocky arch high in the stone wall to make access to it more difficult.
Popular culture: Predjama Castle was used as the castle featured in the 1986 movie Armour of God by Golden Harvest starring Jackie Chan, Alan Tam, Rosamund Kwan and Lola Forner. It was also investigated for paranormal activity in a 2008 episode of Ghost Hunters International on the Sci Fi Channel.