Kolpa River Slovenia

klprvrOnce part of Yugoslavia, Slovenia is a small country in Central Europe. It borders the countries of Italy, Austria, Croatia and Hungary and has a small Adriatic coastline.

One of its major rivers, which lies at southern edge of the country is the river Kolpa which forms a picturesque border to neighbouring Croatia. With a length of 297 kilometres (185 miles), 118 kilometres of which form the border, the Kolpa is considered by locals to be the longest Slovenian “coastline”, particularly as it is one of the warmest rivers in Slovenia.

During the summer months the river is relaxed and a little lazy; however, a good place to visit for anyone who wishes to take a rest from the fast pace of everyday life.

The river Kolpa has many moods with its natural channel, rapids, gorges, and gravel beds. Also, the countryside along its banks is remarkable for its biodiversity and wealth of natural and cultural features such as a feature the locals call steljniki – stands of birch trees with bracken undergrowth.

The Kolpa is really an area of extraordinary biological diversity as in its waters you can encounter as many as 30 different species of fish, many of which are rare enough to be included on the list of endangered species. The area also boasts around 100 species of birds.

As for activities, there is plenty to do. For instance, there are numerous trails which run adjacent to the river that are great for either walking or cycling. Additionally, rafts and canoes are available for trips down the river.

Try heading along the most southern Slovenian footpath which follows the river for over 10kms long between the towns of Radenci to Damelj, through the picturesque Kolpa canyon.

It’s ideal for walking and cycling. In some areas, the path runs at the bottom of narrow canyons, while in other areas it moves up to the wooded plateaus. The path leads through solitary villages, numerous dams, old mills and pleasant bathing areas.

Over the course of history, the Kolpa area has been a point of contact for three religions and five different peoples. As a result, some truly special Kolpa stories are preserved here with legends about the Bilpa Devil and the Kolpa Fairies.

Here too is an opportunity to visit the local craftsmen whose speciality is brightly painted Bela Krajina Easter eggs, embroidery, pottery, ceramics, wicker baskets and other local products. Tantalise your taste buds with local delicacies and make sure that you sample the excellent local wines, Kostel brandy, fruit juices and natural mineral water.

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