Kozjanski regijski park
It is one of the oldest and largest protected areas in the eastern part of Slovenia and is renowned for its exceptional biodiversity and high share of Natura 2000. Here, many good park practices have been developed that enable the development in accordance with the principles of conservation of nature and environment. Together with Obsotelje, the broader Kozjansko area is defined as a biosphere reserve (UNESCO, MAB) for its unique symbiosis of nature and culture, as well as tradition and modernity.
It is the most recognizable for its tall meadow orchards (traditional fruit farming) with old varieties of fruit, especially apples, which can grow without fertilizers and pesticides. You can enjoy in plantations of more than a hundred different old varieties of apple trees. The Kozjansko Apple Festival is by far the most visited environmental event in the country and is organised each year in October. It is known for its quality supporting events and offers environmentally friendly produced food products, traditional handicrafts and eco-friendly modern technical solutions. High dry grasslands on the slopes of the hills like Vetrnik are the true, well preserved treasure of biodiversity, proved by constant new discoveries of butterflies, fungi, orchids and others.
The Podsreda Castle, which stands out among castles for both its preserved design as well as its events among the fortress walls, is a place of numerous exhibitions, musical events, and glass workshops.
Naravni rezervat Škocjanski zatok
Škocjanski zatok Nature Reserve is a Mediterranean wetland covering an area of 122 hectares. It is the largest brackish wetland in Slovenia, well-known for its rich fauna and flora. The reserve consists of two parts:
- a brackish lagoon with breeding islets, saltmarshes and mudflats overgrown with a variety of halophytic plants, and
- a freshwater marsh at Bertoška bonifika, with wet meadows, open water areas surrounded by reedbeds and termophile shrubs.
The visit to Škocjanski zatok is an excellent choice for all who wish to experience the rich biodiversity of a Mediterranean wetland. The Reserve boasts a visitor centre, several observation hides and a theme trail that illustrate the area’s diverse range of plant and animal life, including many rare and endangered species. Camargue horses and Podolian cattle, which help to maintain the vegetation balance of the freshwater marsh, add to the diversity of the Reserve. The story of Škocjanski zatok is a story of creation, degradation and, most importantly, protection and designation of the area as a Nature Reserve open to the public, a story inspired by remarkable commitment and love for nature.
Regijski park Škocjanske jame
Škocjan Caves Regional Park is situated in the heart of Classical Karst where explorers for the first time ever started to discover and explore the karst phenomena. The most beautiful part of the Park is undoubtedly a set of eleven caves, colapsed dolines, ponors and natural bridges known as the Škocjan Caves. They are the most important underground phenomena of the Karst and on the opinion of international experts one
of the most beautiful pearls on Earth. Therefore are since 1986 listed on UNESCO’s World Heritage List and are the only Slovenian site on the list as natural heritage. Caves are also on the Ramsar Convention list (1999) as the first underground wetland and the Park is also part ofUnesco’s Man and Biosphere (MAB) (2004) research programm.
In the Park you can visit famous Škocjan Caves and dolinas, museum collections (History of the caves exploration, biological, geological, archeological and ethnological collections) or follow the marked Educational trail.
Krajinski park Pivška presihajoča jezera
Pivka is a karst landscape formed by water and shaped by man. Water dictates the rhythm between the two extremes – severe drought and flooded fields. The landscape’s intertwining of fields, meadows and forests tells us a story of how man has adapted to the rhythmic change dictated by water.
After heavy rains, Karst depressions fill with water and intermittent lakes emerge; therefore, they are called seasonal. The Pivka region is covered with 17 seasonal lakes, the large number of those is what makes them unique. Their mysterious disappearance into the karstic underground world in summer gives way to marvellous meadows covered with fragrant flowers, colourful butterflies and bird song. The variety of species in the region is very large, as researchers have found there are 182 plant species, 211 beetle species, 106 species of butterflies and 133 bird species. The area is also an important habitat for large carnivores, e.g. bears, wolves and lynxes. Moreover, one can find some specimens of endangered or even extinct plant and animal species there as well.
The preservation of a healthy environment, clean drinking water and high biodiversity are necessary for a high-quality of life and the sustainable development for the present-day and future generations.
Krajinski park Logarska dolina
The forces of nature sculpted the Logar Valley deep within the heart of the Kamnik-Savinja Alps and surrounded it with mountains over 2000 m high (Krofička, Ojstrica, Planjava, Brana, Turska gora, Rinke, etc.). Today’s picturesque appearance of the Logar Valley was created by a glacier during the last ice age.
The valley is 7km long and has an average width of 250 m. It consists of three parts. Log and Plest feature beautiful meadows, while Kot is mostly covered in forests. The area beyond the green curtain of the forest reverberates with the magnificent roaring of the Rinka Falls.
The beauty of the Logar Valley is reflected by the pristine state of the environment and the numerous natural features that are of great interest to nature lovers. The farms, which through centuries have shaped the cultural landscape, have also left their mark on the region. Harmony between man and nature is a value that is rarely found nowadays. Due to its excellent location, it serves as a great starting point for many an interesting trip to the peaks of the Kamnik-Savinja Alps.
Krajinski park Sečoveljske soline
At Sečovlje Salina Nature Park, the past and present still walk hand in hand. The ancient method of salt-making, learnt ages ago by the Piran salt-workers from their teachers, the salters from Pag Island, is still something special, even in the entire Mediterranean.
Not only that the traditional manual gathering of salt in salt fields is a special feature of the cultural heritage of the Mediterranean Slovenia, but it also provides for conditions that enable conservation of the most significant natural heritage of the Sečovlje Salina. According to the available written records, the Sečovlje salt-pans are more than 700 years old, and even much older according to some other sources. Once upon a time, salt-pans were quite common along the mouths of the rivers in the Gulf of Trieste and Istria.
Triglavski narodni park
The Triglav National Park is the only Slovenian national park. The park was named after Triglav, the highest mountain in the heart of the park, which is also the highest summit in Slovenia (2864 m). The mountain is a true national symbol and is featured on the national coat of arms and the flag.
The Triglav National Park extends along the Italian border and close to the Austrian border in the north-west of Slovenia, that is, in the south-eastern section of the Alps. Its territory is nearly identical with that occupied by the Eastern Julian Alps. The park covers 880 square kilometres, or 3% of the territory of Slovenia. The Triglav National Park is among the earliest European parks; the first protection dates back to 1924 when the Alpine Conservation Park was founded. The principal task of the Triglav National Park Public Institution is the protection of the park, but it also carries out specialist and research tasks.
The Triglav National park’s most prominent landscape features include glacier-shaped valleys, mountain plateaus and high-altitude mountains above the tree line. The park prides itself on pure waters, deep-cut gorges, remains of virgin forests, richness of biodiversity, and an eldorado of mountain flowers including a number of endemic plants such as Zois’ Bellflower (Campanula zoysii), Julian Poppy (Papaver alpinum subsp. ernesti-mayeri) and Silver-leaved Cranesbill (Geranium argentum). Typical park animals are the chamois, ibex, red deer, brown bear, lynx, eagle, numerous bird and reptile species, and the endemic Marble Trout. In short, TNP is home to over 5,500 plant and animal species.
Krajinski park Goričko
What not so long ago was called backwardness turned out to be an advantage. Vineyards, orchards, meadows and fields overgrown with various cultivated crops are scattered like a mosaic and are harmoniously interwoven with and complement the settlements, villages and individual farms. Together they form a unique appearance and also a unique people. Since the soil was not very fertile, the modesty and wisdom of prudent exploitation of soil, sun and rainfall were required. Humans and nature have lived here in symbiosis for centuries, and together they form a varied cultural landscape. There is still enough space for numerous animals and plants, and according to tradition, almost every farmer has at least a small vineyard where he produces “his own” wine. Even in the Middle Ages they were already famous for their fruits and orchards with tall-trunk trees, with several hundred kinds of fruits which still grow today. In some places the old rustic architecture is still preserved as well as some crafts which have otherwise already disappeared. This harmonious picture invites one to take a walk among the “gorice”, along streams and across meadows, along ridges and through forests, or go for a drive over the slightly sloping hillsides.
The interested visitor will be welcomed by old mills, old thatched-roofed farms, numerous Protestant and Catholic churches as well as the largest castle in Slovenia, which has as many rooms as there are days in a year.
Krajinski park Ljubljansko barje
There are only few capital cities in which so little travel (whether on foot, by bike or public transportation) to a natural park is required, to reach an area of rich history, archeological heritage and natural uniqueness. Ljubljansko barje ( Ljubljana Marsh) is the lungs of Ljubljana, offering not only the perfect getaway from city noise and summer sultry temperatures, but also an open air classroom to learn about the importance of marshy ecosystems.
Sited on over 135 km2 of bog plain, it is characterized by a mosaic of meadows, vast green spaces, birds and butterflies flying overhead and rich stories from long past pile dwellers times. The Ljubljanica, historically significant river, connects its West and East. Best experienced by bike, Ljubljansko barje can also be viewed from a lazy canoe ride along the river, or even via a hot-air balloon ride.
Krajinski park Strunjan
Strunjan Nature Park covers 428.6 ha and includes the 4 km long coast, which constitutes 3% of the still naturally preserved Gulf of Trieste. The area of the Park embraces the Strunjan Peninsula from Simon Bay to the mouth of the Strunjan River, including some 200 metres long belt of the sea and the inner part of Strunjan Bay. The Park was founded in order to conserve valuable natural features, biodiversity and landscape diversity within it. It is part of the European network of ecologically significant Natura 2000 sites.
The great diversity of natural resources in this part of Slovenia has been enabled by the favourable maritime climate and position of the Strunjan Peninsula in the shelter from north-easterly wind. Man exploited them in order to survive in this environment and shaped, in harmony with nature, the characteristic landscape. This diversity of life has been preserved thanks to the dispersed settling pattern in the area, farming on the terraces, coastal fishing and traditional manual salt-making.
Notranjski regijski park
Notranjska Regional Park covers the area of the Municipality of Cerknica. It was established in 2002 in order to preserve, protect, and explore the natural and cultural heritage of this area. The park contains invaluable biodiversity. A large part of the park is included in the European Network of Special Protected Areas, the Natura 2000 sites. Eight such areas are included in Notranjska Regional Park. The wetlands and numerous karst caves it contains are of international conservational importance.
The diverse cultural landscape of the park is a result of centuries of people living in harmony with nature. Old orchards and hay racks are typical of this landscape. The park contains numerous churches, other well-preserved buildings of cultural significance, archeological sites, and the remains of linden-tree avenues along the road between Unec and Martinjak. The remains of an old pear-tree avenue that served as a resting place for travelers and haymakers can still be found between Lipsenj and Martinjak, next to Lake Cerknica.
In the Cerknica Karst Polje, spring and autumn rains fill up intermittent Lake Cerknica. In the summer and late winter, when the lake is usually dry, picturesque karst features can be seen on its dry surface, including vertical sinkholes, estavelles, cave sinkholes, and surface water flows. The main watercourse in the lake area is Stržen River.