BIKE SLOVENIA GREEN

CERKNO: GREEN BY NATURE

Duration

1 DAY

Category

TOURING

Fitness level

MEDIUM

Tour type

SELF-GUIDED, GUIDED

Technical difficulty

LOW

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.

Gallery

Highlights

1

Natura 2000

A significant part of the tour leads through the area protected by the Natura 2000 Directive. The mountainous world stretching among Cerkno, Zakriž and Trebenče serves as natural habitat of the lesser horseshoe bat (Latin: Rhinolophus hipposideros) and the Jersey tiger butterfly (Latin: Euplagia quadripunctaria).


2

Trebenče village

The village of Trebenče features a church of Saint Judoc, which is an excellent sightseeing point. Inside, one can find frescoes from the 16th century, with the most interesting being the one entitled Deklica in Smrt (A Girl and the Death).


3

Ravenska jama cave

Up until several years ago, the village of Ravne was probably best known for the cave of Ravenska jama. The cave’s special features include the rich decorations made of snow-white aragonite crystal coatings, which are formed in the varied shapes of needles. The most beautiful among them are bunches of needles that look like urchins. The cave was discovered accidentally by a local in 1832. However, he was convinced that his discovery caused extensive hail precipitation in the following years, so he walled up the entrance. Subsequently, the place became and remained a tourist attraction for a long time, but is now closed to the public.


4

Zakriž village

It is assumed that a settlement existed at the Zakriž village as early as pre-antiquity period. The village with magnificent views is surrounded by meadows full of flowers, fields abundant in crops, pastures with farm animals grazing on them, and hills covered with mixed forests. Home-made crafts, such as basket weaving, blacksmithing and woodworking are still preserved in the village.

 

Here, one can find a restored village trough, one of the oldest houses in the Cerkno region, i.e. the protected Julia’s House, and typical huts used for fruit drying called “pajštve”.

 

The village of Zakriž features the remains of Italian military fortresses, which were part of a 1850-kilometre long defence Alpine wall between the Italian city of Genova and the Croatian town of Rijeka. In the village, the Italians built two caverns to accommodate their army and two bunkers, the so-called “operas”, where they would place their machine guns.


5

The Kojce area

The tour leads through the two hamlets of Orehek and Jesenice, which cover the entire valley on the sunny side of Kojca, with houses scattered at the foothills of Kojca and Ritovščica. At the top of Mt Križ, the most beautiful view of the valley, the two villages and Kojca, opens with Mt Črna prst rising in the background. Beautiful views open up at the top of Mt Križ, from where one can see the church of Saint Ubaldo.


6

Bukovo

The Church of Saint Lenart is one of the oldest churches in Cerknica, which served as part of a system for informing about Turkish invasions.


7

Zakojca

Zakojca is a remote, idyllic village situated high above Baška grapa and offering a beautiful view over Porezen. In the village, one can see the beautifully preserved remains attesting to the ancient way of life, while the little known Zakojška grapa featuring beautiful waterfalls and remains of a former village can be found nearby.


Price includes navigation pack with GPS tracks.

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