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Home / Natural sights / The Rakov Škocjan valley


Fir and beech forest surrounding the Rakov Škocjan valley ranks among the most diverse forests in Europe. Its most beautiful scenes can be admired in spring, when beeches turn green and colourful flowers enliven the undergrowth, and in autumn, when the forest's warm tints bid farewell to summer.

In spring, the forest ground is decorated with blue-eyed Maries accompanied by small yellow-flowered spring bloomers, drooping, five-leaved, three-leaved and coralroot bittercress, yellow and wood anemone, and primroses. The protected dog-tooth violet may be seen boasting here and there, whereas European wild ginger is hiding its flowers under the fallen leaves...

In summer, the undergrowth is coloured by knotted crane's bill, wall-lettuce, purple rattlesnake root and sticky sage, but the most observant visitor may be delighted to see a rare orchid – Greuter's helleborine.

In the meantime, the enviably old fir trees proudly rise above our heads to the sky. They are naughtily tickled on the hips by field maple, common hornbeam and common ash, whereas mighty common oak trees, eternal guardians, watch over the valley from meadows' edges.

On the banks of the Rak stream, and on flood meadows nearby, thrive the endangered moist-loving plants: tall violet blossoms on cleared woodlands, great yellowcress turns the muddy shore yellow, and flowering rush rises above all the plants.

The native Justin's bellflower has found its place under the sun in the vertical rock walls; in this unkind habitat it is kept company by stonebreaker, thin sledge and a few other persistent species.