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With a water surface area up to 28 km², Lake Cerknica is the largest lake in Slovenia. That is, sometimes, because the water level in this intermittent lake changes from day to day. In most years, the lake is full of water in spring and autumn. In summer, it is often completely dry. The winter water level depends on snow, rain and the temperature and is unpredictable. This changing water level means that you never quite know what to expect at Lake Cerknica. And this is why our Magical springs of Lake Cerknica tour is never the same!
During this 4-hour hike, we follow the forest edge towards the largest springs of Lake Cerknica. After heavy rain and when the snow melts in spring, an incredible amount of water comes out of the underground, on the lower edge of the hills. Even when there is no water appearing at all, the springs are a special place to see, because bare gravel and rocks mark where the water was flowing before. This is a quiet place and often, animals come to drink. We may not see them, but we will search for their tracks: deer, fox, badger and even brown bear often leave their footprints in the sand. The quiet forest edge, with water nearby, attracts birds as well. Woodpeckers are regularly seen and if we are lucky, we may observe black storks searching for fish and frogs.
Lake Cerknica changes every day, but in springtime, everything seems to happen at once! Directly after the snow has melted, early spring flowers appear. Just a few weeks later, the entire forest is green and birds are singing everywhere. Then mayflies appear. First, there are just a few, but soon there are countless mayflies as large clouds of insects swarming above the water.
Birds of many species come to feast on the mayflies, but the insect numbers are so vast that there is no real difference, no matter how many are eaten. This spectacle took one year of preparation because that is how long mayfly larvae take to develop in the water. Once they emerge, all they do is to search for a partner, mate, lay eggs and die. Just a few days after they appeared, the water surface is covered with dead insects and it is all over.
Summer is a quiet time at the magical springs of Lake Cerknica. During our hike, we may see rare forest butterflies. Birds become more difficult to find because they are mostly silent now. There may not be much water, and we can walk straight through the dry streambed. The trees in the forest edge provide a pleasant shade on hot summer days. Even when there is no water, we may see frogs, because they hunt for insects in the meadows. No matter in which season we hike to the magical springs of Lake Cerknica, it will be a memorable experience!
For 1 participant, the tour price is 90 € with 20% discount = 72 €
For two participants the tour price is 45 € per person = 90 € together
For three participants the price is 30 € per person = 90 € together
For 4-8 participants, the group price stays 90 € for the whole group.
This price includes guiding and accident insurance during the tour.
The price does not include: transfer to and from our meeting point
Optional supplements are:
Staying at out authentic Slovenian farmhouse called “The Dormouse house”
picknick lunch or dinner – 10 € per adult and 5 € per child
Transfer from and to a local accommodation – 20 € per group
Transfer from and to a local bus- or train station – 20 € per group
Transfer from and to Ljubljana city or airport – 70 € per group
Please note that we can accept only advance payment via bank-transfer or direct payment in cash at the beginning of the tour. We cannot accept credit- or debit cards at this moment.
We can offer this tour from May until October – any day of the week, depending on the availability of our guides.
Your guides will be Paul or Jana (both for larger groups), who are licensed local guides and naturalists, living in southern Slovenia. They speak English, Slovenian and Dutch.
When you arrive by car, we can meet at Lake Cerknica. If you come by public transport, we can pick you up at the Rakek train station or Cerknica bus stop.
The starting point for this excursion is only a 1 ½ hour drive from Bled, a one-hour drive from Ljubljana and a 45 minutes drive from Postojna Cave.
We think that tasty, high-quality meals are a very important part of any tour! Where possible we prefer it when we can eat local dishes, based on locally produced ecological products. Often, we include seasonal fruits and other farm products. This is why we like to include a picknick-lunch in this tour, which we enjoy in a beautiful, natural area. Our picknick consists of delicious home-baked bread and a variety of local products depending on the seasons together with home-made juice and Slovenian tea.
We can provide vegetarian meals and of course take any requirements into account which you may have, like allergies and based on religious beliefs. We will ask you about this sometime before the start of the tour. Sometimes, it means that we will have to buy ingredients which are not available locally.
Easy to moderate. In the 4 hours, we will walk about 4 kilometres at an easy pace. We will follow unpaved roads and smaller paths. The whole route has almost no difference in height. This tour is suitable for children as long as they can to walk the distance.
Waterproof hiking shoes
Tick- and mosquito repellent
Refillable water bottle