Mountain tops with magnificent views, walks along the lake and streams, or education trails. The Notranjska Regional Park, with its sights and rugged geological structure, offers a host of different hiking trips.
You can set off to one of the mountain tops – Slivnica, Veliki Javornik, Špičasto Stražišče and Križna Gora. The most avid hikers may choose to conquer the Notranjska transverzala Trail and check off all four tops at once.
Those who prefer shorter walks in idyllic nature will enjoy themselves most on one of the education trails. The shortest one is the Bee-keepers' Trail, on which you can see different beehives and sample some of the honey products when accompanied by a guide. The most famous trail is the one through the Rakov Škocjan valley, where you can see the most important natural and cultural sights of this sunken valley. However, to see a wonderful example of interaction between natural and cultural heritage, you should opt for the Menišija Education Trail at the village of Dobec.
And let's not forget longer trails – the Kunaver Trail leads from Rakek to the Rakov Škocjan valley, whereas the Trail from Šteberk to Karlovec runs along Lake Cerknica and follows the legend of the creation of the lake. The lake offers many possibilities in summer as well – when it drains out, it turns into a picturesque landscape, which enables strolling along the dry lake basin.
Around the lake 1
From the village of Dolenje Jezero through the lake's Ribiški kot (Fishermen's Corner) section, along the Javorniki foothills and back to the starting point. A walk past the remains of Karlovec Castle and to the viewpoints to see Mt Slivnica and Lake Cerknica.
Starting point: Dolenje Jezero Length: 10 km Duration: 2 h Difficulty: Easy trail on gentle macadam surface
Around the lake 2
This 12-km trail starts in Dolenje Jezero right next to Lake Cerknica, leads through the village of Otok and returns back to the starting point along the Javorniki foothills. The trail also hosts the annual Tek ob cerkniškem jezeru (Run along Lake Cerknica).
Starting point: Dolenje Jezero Length: 12 km Duration: 2.5 h Difficulty: Easy trail on gentle macadam surface
Around the lake 3
Longer trail along Lake Cerknica through the village of Otok, then past the ruins of Karlovec Castle and lookout to the village of Dolenja vas, and back to the starting point in Dolenje Jezero.
Starting point: Dolenje Jezero Length: 18 km Duration: 3.5 h Difficulty: Longer trail on gentle macadam surface
There are multiple hiking trails to the 1114-metre-high Mount Slivnica, the two marked ones start in Cerknica and Grahovo. The magnificent view of Lake Cerknica and the surroundings from the witch mountain is certainly worth hiking those 500 metres of altitude on this non-demanding trail.
Starting point: Cerknica/Grahovo Altitude: 1114 m Duration: 1.5 h Difficulty: Non-demanding marked hiking trail
Mount Veliki Javornik
Mount Veliki Javornik is the highest peak in the Notranjska Regional Park. It can be reached via two marked trails starting in the village of Dolenja vas and the Rakov Škocjan valley. Both trails run through the forest so you can also conquer the peak in warmer weather; you will be less exposed to sunbeams, compared to hiking Mount Slivnica, for example.
Starting point: Dolenja vas/the Rakov Škocjan valley Altitude: 1269 m Duration: 2 h Difficulty: Non-demanding marked hiking trail
Špičasto Stražišče (Špička) hill
It is really not difficult to find out why the hill north of Begunje is called Špička (spike). Its pointed peak, rising above the Menišija plateau, is visible even from a far. There are multiple trails to the peak, the marked one starts in Begunje, and once on the top, you can enjoy beautiful views of Mount Slivnica and the surrounding hills and villages.
Starting point: Begunje pri Cerknici Altitude: 955 m Duration: 1 h Difficulty: Non-demanding marked hiking trail
The Notranjska transverzala trail
Well-prepared hiking enthusiasts can set off to the Notranjska transverzala Trail. On this one- or two-day trip, it is possible to circle the Cerknica valley by conquering four peaks: Veliki Javornik, Križna Gora, Slivnica and Špičasto Stražišče. This feat is considered the absolute hiking challenge of the Notranjska region.
Starting point: Cerknica (also Begunje or Dolenja vas) Altitude: 1269 m (Veliki Javornik), 856 m (Križna gora), 1114 m (Slivnica), 955 m (Špičasto Stražišče) Duration: (at least) 1 day Difficulty: Very demanding marked hiking trail
Along the springs of Lake Cerkinca (Along Janko's footsteps)
This trail leads past lesser known karst tributaries of Lake Cerknica at the south-eastern part of the Cerknica plain. It also hosts the annual hike, Po Jankovih stopinjah (Along Janko's Footsteps).
Starting point: Laze pri Gorenjem Jezeru Length: Duration: 2 h Difficulty: Non-demanding trail, suitable for everybody
The Kunaver trail
The marked Kunaver Trail starts at the railway station in Rakek, leads across the Rakek plain, and through beautiful beech forests to the Rakov Škocjan valley, where it unites with the existing education trail that leads along the entire Rakov Škocjan valley.
Starting point: Rakek (railway station) Length: Duration: 3 h Difficulty: Non-demanding marked trail
The Maister trail
This trail follows the paths of the General Rudolf Maister, who spent his last days in Unec. Starting at the fire station in Unec, leading over Hribce, past the sunken structure Unška koliševka, ruins of Planina and Stari grad Castles, and then back to the starting point. It hosts the annual hiking event, Kunaverjev pohod (Kunaver's Hike), and also Maistrov tek (Maister Run) in early April.
Starting point: Unec (fire station) Length: 8 or 12 km Duration: Difficulty: Non-demanding trail
The Trail from Šteberk to Karlovec
The marked trail follows the legend of the creation of Lake Cerknica from Šteberk to Karlovec Castles and runs entirely along the lake. Since the trail isn't circular, we suggest taking part in the traditional annual hike or run, as bus transfer takes the participants back to their starting point. The hike takes place in September, whereas the run is organized in June.
Starting point: Šteberk Castle (Lipsenj); destination: Karlovec Castle (Dolenja vas) Length: 21 km Duration: 5 h Difficulty: Non-demanding, but long, trail
Along the Iška gorge
The Iška gorge lies on the utmost northern part of the Notranjska Regional Park. It is rich with waterfalls, polls and rapids making their way towards the Ljubljana Marshes. This is the place for unspoilt-nature lovers, who don't mind walking part of their trip in water.
Starting point: Osredek? Length: Duration: Difficulty:
The Rakov Škocjan education trail
Information boards along the trail tell us all about the Rakov Škocjan valley – primarily about the Big and Small Natural Bridges (Veliki in Mali naravni most), which are, in fact, remains of a cave ceiling. Namely, the Rakov Škocjan was created when the ceiling of a karst cave collapsed and created this picturesque sunken valley.
Starting point: Rakov Škocjan (parking at Mali naravni most) Length: 6 km Duration: 3 h Difficulty: Non-demanding marked education trail featuring many interesting sights
The Menišija education trail
The trail is a wonderful example of interaction between natural and cultural heritage on which you can see a beautiful well with a Christian wayside shrine, the Gabrovška and Cvekarjeva jama caves, the spring of the Brejnice stream, a daffodil plain, the large fir tree and more. The trail is marked and equipped with information boards.
Starting point: Dobec Length: 3 km Duration: 2 h Difficulty: Non-demanding marked education trail featuring many interesting sights