Taking a break in the shades of century-old oak trees, enjoying the view of the splendid Big Natural Bridge (Veliki naravni most), travelling back in time at the ruins of the church of St. Cantianus, breathing in the fresh cave air under the slender arch of the Little Natural Bridge (Mali naravni most), or strolling along the soft and maintained trail by the tall-grown firs is an unforgettable experience over and over again, just 10 km from Postojna town…
On an afternoon walk, one can observe millions of years of geological processes which shaped this little karst valley. Therefore, it is not at all surprising that it was nominated to be included on the UNESCO World Heritage List.
The Rakov Škocjan valley is a karst valley at the northern base of the Javornik hills, 10 km from Postojna town, which was created when the ceiling of a karst cave began sinking and collapsing. This is proven by the 42-meter Little Natural Bridge, the 37-meter Big Natural Bridge and two gorges behind them.
At the flat clayey bottom meanders the Rak stream, surrounded by cleared woodlands and flood meadows. The Rak is fed by underground waters discharging from the Cerknica plain and from beneath the Javorniki hills. This small river surfaces from the Zelške jame caves in the eastern part of the valley and disappears in the Tkalca jama cave in the west.
Together with Lake Cerknica and the Križna jama cave, the Rakov Škocjan valley has been designated as a wetland of international importance – Ramsar Site. The valley was also the first Slovenian regional park, established as early as 1949. As it is appropriate for such a natural sight, the valley also features an education trail.
Source: Green Karst