Perfect weekend getaway in nature! Rakov Škocijan valley is like a dream come true for explorers!

We are confident that no matter which spot we discuss concerning Slovenia, it will always come as a surprise, as this country is truly filled with wonders in every corner. One destination stood out for us as proof of the abundance of Slovenian marvels—the enchanting valley of Rakov Škocjan.

In a country where surprises seem to be an everyday occurrence, this valley serves as evidence of the extraordinary diversity that Slovenia has to offer.



Rakov Skocijan, Photo: Mihael Grmek CC BY-SA 4.0


Just 6 kilometers west of the city of Cerknica, known for its disappearing Cerknica Lake, lies the picturesque Rakov Škocjan valley. Formed by the meandering Rak Stream, one of six significant springs contributing to the formation of the Ljubljanica River, this enchanting forested river canyon beckons as an ideal destination for a weekend getaway.


Rakov Skocijan, Photo: Pyty, Depositphotos


Rak is a unique subterranean stream that flows on the surface for only about 2 kilometers before it dives into Weaver Cave (Tkalca jama) and then continues its way to Pivka River and Unica.

Rak Stream and Pivka River together are considered one of the largest underground estuaries in Europe.


Rakov Skocijan, Photo: Henk Bogaard, Depositphotos


The captivating landscape surrounding the Rak stream, known as Rakov Škocjan, draws its name from the ancient church of St. Cantius.

The ruins of this historic church still grace the vicinity, situated near the Great Natural Bridge and Weaver Cave. Dating back to the 16th century, the church was erected during a period when the valley sheltered inhabitants seeking refuge from Ottoman raids that swept across the country.

As the centuries unfolded, the 19th century brought an industrial touch to the valley with the establishment of three sawmills along the banks of Rak Stream. However, they were destroyed due to great floods.


Church of St. Cantius, Rakov Skocijan, Photo: Ajznponar, CC BY-SA 4.0


With its picturesque trails winding through natural rock bridges, caves, and limestone formations, and boasting a rich diversity of flora and fauna, Rakov Škocjan earned the well-deserved status of a protected natural landmark in 1949. This commitment to preservation was further solidified into a landscape park, thanks to the dedicated efforts of naturalist Pavel Kunaver and nature conservationist Angela Piskernik.


Rakov Skocijan, Photo: Pyty, Depositphotos


Within the boundaries of the Rakov Škocjan landscape park, visitors are treated to meticulously marked learning paths featuring informative boards. The park’s attractions include the enchanting Zelška caves, the impressive Small and Great Natural Bridge, the mysterious Kotel sinkhole, and the iconic Weaver Cave.


Rakov Skocijan, Photo: Fotovincek, Depositphotos


For those seeking a serene escape into the heart of nature’s wonders, Rakov Škocjan provides an idyllic retreat easily accessible from Cerknica. Complete with a convenient parking lot, now is the opportune time to explore this natural haven as the spring weather promises to enhance its beauty even further.




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Once I saw that there was a bigger world out there, so I made myself be a part of it.

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