As a UNESCO World Heritage Site, Idrija boasts the second largest mercury mine in the world. It is also the birthplace of a distinct lace-making tradition, a specific culinary legacy and unique technical heritage. Discover "klavže" – water barriers that are the Slovenian equivalent of the pyramids in terms of their ingenious design. Set out to visit the UNESCO Geopark.

Children's hands make haste with bobbins,
quietly creating Idrija Lace

Poem by Kiko, Princess Akishino of Japan, dedicated to the lace of Idrija

TOP 5 experiences

The rich cultural and technical heritage of Idrija makes for a nice challenge for history buffs. Its verdant setting and the picturesque hills surrounding Idrija are great for both outdoor activities and relaxation.

Exploring the Mercury Heritage under UNESCO Protection

Get to know the chequered history of the oldest mining hub in the country. Descend the Anthony Shaft like a real miner and maybe you will run into Perkmandlc, the legendary pit dwarf. Visit the renovated Hg Smeltery and marvel at the mercury extraction process from ore to liquid mercury. Visit the collections of the Idrija Municipal Museum and revisit a bygone era with a stroll through the centre of the old mining town.

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Visiting the Idrija Geopark

Visiting the Idrija Geopark

This geologically fascinating part of Slovenia was incorporated into the Idrija UNESCO Global Geopark, which invites visitors to take part in exciting outdoor activities. Explore the network of 22 themed hiking and cycling paths and discover a paradise for lovers of the great outdoors. Look for amazing dinosaur footprints, discover the beauty of the Gačnik creek ravine, and set out for the Divje jezero lake

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Signature Idrija Cuisine

Signature Idrija Cuisine

The signature dish of the local cuisine is the "Idrijski žlikrofi" – a delicious type of stuffed dumplings. You can get your fair share of this delicacy at the annual Idrijski Žlikrofi Festival, which takes place every August. Other highlights of the local cuisine, which are prepared by adding a contemporary touch to recipes passed down through generations, can be enjoyed at both the Kenda Manor and Hotel Jože in particular, and at other local establishments and catering services. Finish up your meal with a sip of the special bitter absinthe they call "Geruša", the miners' spirit of choice. 

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Timeless Idrija Lace

Timeless Idrija Lace

The main hub for the lace trade and the oldest lace-making town in the country, Idrija is well-known for its exquisite handmade bobbin lace. The Idrija Lace Festival, which takes place every summer is a great opportunity to see first hand the weaving of these delicate threads. The largest international lace-making event, the festival aims to keep this craft and with it, the Idrija lace-making tradition alive. You are welcome to visit the Idrija Lace School, which boasts a tradition that goes back more than 140 years.

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Idrija – Abuzz with Events

Idrija – Abuzz with Events

The Idrija region is a vibrant place all year round; alongside events with an ethnological focus (i.e. on lace-making and "žlikrofi" dumplings), it hosts a range of other events. Explore the UNESCO Global Geopark Idrija through a series of events that are held as part of the European Geoparks Week. Embark on a night hike up to Mt Javornik or get your heart pumping in the "Trnovski maraton" ski marathon. The Charcoal Burning Festival ("Oglarski praznik") and the culinary celebration called "Prfarski štruklevc", which is all about the art of making "štruklji", are held to celebrate and preserve the local ethnological heritage. A compelling mix of events for youths takes place as part of the Čipkarija Festival.

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Exploring Scenic Plateaus by Bike or on Foot

With its lofty views, the Vojskarska planota plateau dominates over the steep banks of the Kanomljica creek and Idrijca river. Make your way past a number of natural and cultural landmarks. The Črnovrška planota plateau features several theme trails of varying levels of difficulty, and reveals the many intriguing natural features of the karst landscape. Scale Mt Javornik and conquer the highest summit in the Municipality of Idrija.

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Winter Fun in the Snow

Winter Fun in the Snow

Countless opportunities for frolicking in the snow await you if you are visiting the Idrija area. After a day of skiing, you can relax in the spa facility of the near-by Cerkno Ski and Mountain Resort. For some family-friendly fun, head to the ski centre on Mt Javornik or to Ski Bor in Črni Vrh nad Idrijo. The Vojskarska planota plateau boasts a nice ski slope and a cross-country ski trail with lovely views, fine winter fun and fitness.

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Following the Footsteps of Local Explorers

Following the Footsteps of Local Explorers

Set out on an active tour of the Zgornja Idrijca Landscape Park. Follow the path alongside the manmade Rake channel, which will take you past numerous natural landmarks. Take in the beauty of the Scopoli Memorial Garden, its lovely botanical highlights, and stand in awe before the masterful engineering of the water pump and giant wheel ("kamšt"). Those looking for a little adrenaline fix can go rock climbing to the Strug climbing site. The invigorating waters of the Idrijca and Belca rivers offer cool respite from the heavy heat of summer.

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Cooling Off in the Natural Swimming Area of Idrijska Bela

The confluence of the Idrija and Belca rivers makes for a popular, family-friendly swimming area known as "Pri Lajštu", otherwise known as Idrijska Bela. Enjoy a dip in the crystal clear water or join a volleyball match on the neatly kept sand court there. For more active fun, there is also a small basketball court and two table-tennis tables. Idrijska Bela is the perfect place to set out on a hike, day trip or cycling tour.

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Sport Fishing in the Green Idrijca River

Sport Fishing in the Green Idrijca River

Find your moment of Zen – experience some moments of serene fishing on this green, crystal clear river. The water is populated with grayling, marble trout, brown trout, rainbow trout and various hybrids. A dedicated area for angling tourism is set up between Spodnja Idrija and Stopnik. Visitors are allowed to catch fish with a fly rod and an artificial fly.

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Rambling Through the Lovely Countryside

Rambling Through the Lovely Countryside

The countryside of Idrija abounds with natural treasures and authentic experiences. At an altitude of around 1000 m, the sun, wind and water all serve to enhance the healing properties of the many mountain plants growing this high up. Treat yourself to some homemade herbal teas, cordials and beneficial herbal concoctions made according to traditional recipes. Sweeten your preferred cup of joe with some local honey. The high-altitude farms dotting the Idrija countryside offer great homemade cheeses and dairy products.

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Green facts

Slovenia's green story is well in the making. Feel it wherever you go.

The UNESCO Global Geopark Idrija is recognized as a geological, natural and cultural heritage site with great potential for developing sustainable geotourism.

The Municipality of Idrija was named the country's most bee-friendly municipality for its efforts related to bee preservation and beekeeping.

The Divje jezero lake is under protection as a natural monument, and has been operating as the first Slovenian outdoor museum since 1972 when it was opened to visitors.

Slovenia's cradle of science, it was here in Idrija where great men such as Giovanni Antonio Scopoli, Baltazar Hacquet, Henrik Freyer and others did their pioneering work in botany.

"Idrijski žlikrofi"

Foodies know that Idrija is the go-to place to get the most delicious "Idrija žlikrofi". Under European protection, this dumpling-like dish is the star of the local cuisine here. The filling is made from potatoes, bacon and aromatic herbs, while the dumplings are shaped to resemble Napoleon's bicorn hat. A favourite serving suggestion is to pair the dumplings with "bakalca", a type of sauce from made mutton and vegetables.

Try our recipe

Explore the UNESCO Global Geopark Idrija

The UNESCO Global Geopark Idrija covers the entire Idrija region. The clip shows the main landmarks, geological features, unique natural and cultural heritage and leisure opportunities in and around Idrija.

Experience a pleasant getaway and have some rest

Would you like to stay a little longer and see and experience as much as possible? Then select suitable accommodation that is ideal for you in the nearby area.

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Hostel Idrija

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Apartmaji Gostišče Jeršin

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Hotel Jožef

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Hotel Jožef

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Villa Tollazzi

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Gostišče Barbara

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Apartma Pod Gradom

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Apartmaji in sobe na Starem placu

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Must-see destinations nearby

Add a trip to the surrounding area to your Idrija visit. Embark on exciting outdoor activities in the Soča Valley which is touted as thrill-seeker central. Discover a mysterious underground world by descending into the Postojna Cave or visit the impressive Predjama Castle. Enjoy a taste of exquisite local wines in the quaint villages all over the hillsides of the Goriška Brda region, which is around 70 km up-country. Make sure to visit Škofja Loka, which lies some 40 km from Idrija and is another UNESCO town boasting a rich cultural heritage and wonderfully scenic surroundings.

Karst

The world of underground wonders, stunning natural phenomena and unique tastes.

Karst

Karst

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Brda

Sun-Kissed Wine Country between the Alps and the Mediterranean

Brda

Brda

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Škofja Loka

A historic town of tradition and creativity in the vicinity of Ljubljana and an excellent starting point for exploring the Julian Alps.

Škofja Loka

Škofja Loka

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Soča Valley

Escape on an active break in the picturesque world of the Julian Alps, the Triglav National Park and the emerald River Soča.

Soča Valley

Soča Valley

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Idrija in detail

For more information please visit Idrija's website.

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