Slovenia

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Natural History of Slovenia

Highlights

Southern forests
High Alpine lakes
Beautiful flower meadows
Birds, insects, mammals & much more
Expert guiding

Introduction

Delightfully small and full of natural biodiversity Slovenia's climate is predominately Central European with Mediterranean influences. Couple this with varied landscapes from thick forests with patches of meadows, to open limestone massifs, to high Alpine lakes and deep valleys and there are a plethora of opportunities to enjoy nature in this welcoming country.

Outline Itinerary

Day
1. Arrive Ljubljana
2. Lake Cernika area
3. Karst limestone landscapes
4. Forests and meadows on Javorniki mountain
5. Otlica & to Bovec
6. Explore the Soča Valley
7. High Alpine habitats
8. Depart Slovenia.

Cost

Price is dependant on season and numbers travelling. Please contact us for specific pricing.

Departure Dates

May to September, any departure date to your requirements.

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Description

After a short transfer to your guesthouse accommodation for the next 4 nights the following day starts gently with an introduction to the Bloska plateau and Slivnica mountain. The former is an upland region surrounded by low, rounded mountains where the flora and fauna is best observed where a small stream meanders through wet, untouched meadows. Here you will find a host of wild orchids including the rare, pure white Transylvanian orchid. Butterflies and dragonflies are varied and abundant too. Mammals are of course present too and you may see signs of otters, bear deer and voles.
Above the beech forests on Slivnica mountain, you will discover the top is an open meadow with great views to Lake Cernika. Here impressive Carnolian lilies are among the flowers to be found. Butterflies hurry from flower to flowre and there are also islotated populations of grasshoppers and bush-crickets.

The following day sees you visit the limestone Karst landscapes of the small but spectacular valley of Rakov Škocjan. Here a river emerges from caves into the valley which is itself a collapsed cave with natural rock bridges before disappearing again into another cave system. The most unusual species here is perhaps Horvath's Rock Lizard but this is a place that has to be experienced to be appreciated.

Javorniki mountain range lies to the west of Lake Cernika and is a wild place with few unpaved roads or trails. Woodpecker species predominate in the forests and include Black Woodpecker, Grey-headed Woodpecker and Middle Spotted Woodpecker. Roadside perches are popular for Ural owls that are more brown in colour than their greyer relatives further north in Europe. A single mountain top here is devoid of trees and is the habitat of many flowers that attract butterflies such as Scarce Swallowtail and Clouded Apollo.

It is time to leave the south and head north over the hills to Otlica where there is plenty of floral interest and butterfly species such as Swallowtails, Ringlets and Fritillaries. After lunch continue north to the stunning Soča Valley whose turquoise river flows down from ever higher mountains. Bovec in the Julian Alps is your destination for the next few days with a stay in a very comfortable hotel or guesthouse.

Your first full day in the Alps will probably be spend low down exploring small streams, waterfalls and the River Nadiza for Vairone fish and White-clawed Crayfish. Of course you will discover the popular blue river canyon on the main Soča River. A final full day is spent in the high Alpine region. While the road to Mt. Mangart is currently closed there is the possibility to walk to Krnsko jezero or Krn Lake stopping en route at Dupeljsko jezero to look for Alpine Newts. However, it is the flora around Krn Lake that is special with many Alpine species such as Papaver rhaetica, Campanula zoysii, Dryas octopetala, Trollius europaeus and many others.

On your departure day you will likely cross the Vrsic Pass squeezed in between steep mountains and offering stupendous views. With luck you may see Chamois, Ring Ouzel and Eagles soaring above before descending back to the airport to end a fascinatingly diverse week in Slovenia's nature.

Inspired? To read more about this itinerary, or for us to design your own unique holiday contact us …

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