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Between the hills of Notranjska in southern Slovenia, lies a hidden, steep valley. Only the lower part, which is called Iški vintgar, is well known among Slovenian nature lovers. On our guided hike, we will go to the less-known upper part of the valley. Our hike is like a mountain hike, but then upside-down: we start out on top, and hike down into the valley. Here, we find a lovely mountain stream with crystal clear water and silent forests. In some parts, the forest is little used because of the steepness of the valley: pristine nature at its best.
Steep valleys, like this one, are among the best places to observe forest butterflies. Already from a distance, we see how different they behave from the meadow butterflies. In the forest, there are fewer flowers and many butterfly species have become territorial: especially males defend small forest clearings against other butterflies – especially against male of their own species. Their flight is fast and direct, and when they are not visiting flowers, they often sit high in the canopy and observe their surroundings. The moment they see another butterfly, they fly towards it. Once when they are very close, they can smell which species and even which gender the other butterfly is. Only then, they decide if they chase the other one away, or court it!
During our hike, we are not only looking for butterflies. We also keep our eyes open for the special birds of mountain streams: dippers and grey wagtails. Both species can be a bit shy, so we have to watch carefully and approach them slowly. From some distance, we can observe them without disturbing. Dippers are songbirds, but, unlike any other songbirds, they adapted to find their food under water! Their plumage is water-resistant and they can even dive with flapping movements of their wings. They often sit on boulders, in the middle of the stream. Here, they imitate the movement of the water surface when they are constantly bobbing their body up and down.
Grey wagtails like the same mountain streams as dippers do. But, while dippers search their food below the surface, the wagtails fly upwards and hunt for insects which fly above the stream. The wagtails also move like the water, only in a different way: they mainly move their hind body and tail.
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:
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.
If you have your own transport, we can meet in Nova vas on the Bloke plateau. From here, it will take us a 15 minutes drive to reach the starting point of our hike.
The meeting point for this excursion is only a 45 minutes drive from the Postojna Cave, a 1-hour drive from Ljubljana and a 1 ½ hour drive from Bled.
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.
You should expect a moderate to occasionally demanding hike. In this 4-hour tour, we walk about 4 kilometres at an easy pace. We largely follow unpaved roads and smaller paths. The valley is steep, so expect to walk little on level-ground but no serious climbing. The route is suitable for children over 10 years.
Waterproof hiking shoes
Tick- and mosquito repellent
Refillable water bottle