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EDEN 2010: River Kolpa

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Along its 113-kilometre length, this warm, clear river links tourist destinations of sustainable excellence in the far southeast of Slovenia. Boating and swimming, cycle paths, meditation trails and footpaths lead from story to story. Experience the hospitality of nature and people!

KOLPA. Choose your story!

The water of the clear, warm river Kolpa reaches a temperature of 30° in its lowland section. Ideal for canoeing and swimming! Natural dams are an ideal place for a natural massage and relaxation. The deep channel and playful rapids guarantee a thrilling experience for rafters. Footpaths, hiking trails and cycle paths run along the banks of the river. The gorge of the Kolpa and the surrounding peaks attract climbers and paragliders. The abundant life of the river is a lure for anglers. This unique green beauty on the edge of Slovenia promises unforgettable days by and in the water!

Kolpa stories.

In your wanderings along the river Kolpa, you may cross paths with figures from myth and legend such as Peter Klepec, Zeleni Jurij or the Kolpa Fairies. You might even meet the Bilpa Devil! But there is no need to be afraid: all the stories lead to picturesque little villages and market towns, to churches, castles and watermills. Friendly locals will welcome you to their farms and vineyards and reveal to you an extraordinary cultural heritage! Together you will discover gaily painted Bela krajina Easter eggs, embroidered linen, basket weaving and other local arts and crafts skills. In an area where five ethnic groups and three religions meet, you will hear stories about the unique features of life along the river Kolpa. Round off your exploration of the area with local customs and traditions and sample genuine local cuisine and wines. As well as spit-roasted suckling pig and lamb, excellent Kostel-style stuffed pig's stomach and, especially in the colder months, rusk-filled sausages, you must try Bela krajina pogača – granted Traditional Speciality Guaranteed status by the European Union! These local dishes can be accompanied by local apple juice, natural mineral water, Kostel brandy and, in particular, fine Bela krajina wines.

The exuberance of nature.

The river Kolpa is a bubbling source of life! It is home to more than 30 species of fish (nine of them on the list of endangered species). The surrounding area is home to bears, lynx and wolves and other game. Otters, beavers and the European pond turtle live along the river banks. The karst waters of the area are home to the endemic black proteus or 'human fish', which lives underground. The people of this area have created an idyllic cultural landscape with a keen awareness of the nature that surrounds them. The view extends from waterfalls,
karst sinkholes and other characteristic features to colourful fields and stands of birch trees known as steljniki. Natural and cultural heritage is with you at every step! This heritage enjoys special protection in the Kolpa Nature Park.

Experience everything!

Extreme sports, meditation trails, happy gatherings around a table loaded with good things to eat, watching craftsmen at work, discovering nature and culture, a healthy and beneficent climate. Walk along the southernmost footpath in Slovenia which, like many others, runs right along the river. Climb up to the peaks of the Kuželjska Stena. Listen to myths and legends. Drive along panoramic roads to vine-covered hills. Gaze at the starry sky to the sound of the tamburica or the whisper of nature. Welcome to a little piece of paradise in Slovenia!



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