In every aspect, Cerkno is the centre of the Cerkno region; it is a land of Pre-Alpine highlands, steep slopes and narrow valleys and gorges. Although it seems at a glance as lying “at the end of the world,” important transport routes once led through Cerkno, connecting the central part of Slovenia with the Friuli region in today’s Italy. The Neanderthal flute, which is the world’s oldest instrument (55,000 years old) was found along with other remains from the Ice Age era.
The features of the Cerkno landscape are beautifully illustrated by the popular landmark – the Franja Partisan Hospital in the Pasica gorge, which has been placed on the UNESCO World Heritage Tentative List. The hospital was built and remained preserved mainly because due to the well-hidden and hardly accessible gorge.
The terrain features very little of flat surface here, but still enough for industry to have developed in Cerkno. However, population in the surrounding hamlets and villages and typical secluded farms is mostly engaged in agriculture. The steep slopes made intensive agriculture impossible to develop, which helped to preserve greenery in the Cerkno region, thus making it green by nature!
Forests, meadows and orchards there feature but a few small settlements and secluded farms. Wonderful views, opportunities to visit homesteads and buy home-made products, idyllic churches, homes built in the traditional Idrija and Cerkno style preserving the cultural heritage, and above all, plenty of unspoiled nature and fresh air, mark the tour that leads along the slopes on the right bank of the Cerknica river, while the longer variation encircles Kojca, a 1,303-metre hill located south of Mt Porezen.