Tolmin gorge is a gorgeous natural attraction in Slovenia. The gorge is located in Triglav national park, the only national park in Slovenia. The Triglav National Park is located in north-western Slovenia. It covers 840 square kilometers, which is four percent of Slovenia's surface area. The highest point of the park is the peak of Mt. Triglav (2864 m), which also gave the park its name, while its lowest point lies in Tolmin Gorges, at 180 meters.
Tolmin gorge is the lowest and the southern entrance point to the national park. The gorge is a confluence of two rivers, Tolminka and Zadlaščica. The gorge is 200 metres long, about 60 meters deep and between 5 to 10 meters wide.
To visit the gorge, you will have to pay an entrance fee, but it is really worth it. There is a nice path going all along the gorge and it allows you to visit all the spots and at the same time admire the incredible turquoise water, canyons, cascades and the gorge itself.
The path is not long, is 2 km long, in general is an easy walk wit few steep parts.
There are 5 main viewpoints on the trail:
- confluence of Tolmin and Zadlaščica river,
- gorge with a thermal spring
- natural bridge (the Bear’s head)
- the Devil’s bridge and
- Dante’s cave
Confluence of Tolmin and Zadlaščica- is in fact the lowest point of Triglav National Park (180 meters)
The Tolminka River cut into the limestone and formed the gorge with steep walls. Not far away, similar as done by river Zadlaščica. At one point, the two gorges merged. This is the only confluence in the gorges in Slovenia.
Gorge with a thermal spring
The path will lead us along the river, and we will climb the stirs through a dark tunnel, to reach my favourite part of Tolmin gorge. A breathtaking part of the gorge with thermal spring. The walls of the gorge are dark and covered with moss, while the riverbed is covered with white sand and the turquoise water is really unique. The gorge is so narrow that at certain points you have the impression that the rocks with touch each other. The water was so clean and inviting, that we would love to jump in (but the temperature is between 5 and 9 degrees Celsius only).. so we were just enchanted by the colours and we were admiring some really big trout in it.
In a small cove, inside the gorge, there is a thermal spring with water temperatures between 18 and 20 degrees Celsius. Surface water seeps into the depths and heats up there due to geothermal energy.
If you look up, you will notice a bridge over the gorge – the Devil’s Bridge (more about that below in my post).
If you watch the river carefully and are a bit lucky, you might see a marble trout. The Zadlaščica River is a reserve for the The marble trout. The existence of the marble trout has been most threatened by man, with the introduction of the trout. Natural barriers in the Zadlaščica River have prevented the natural introduction of trout, and the area has therefore preserved the marble trout in its original form. The distinctive feature of the brown trout is the large marbling pattern, the absence of red spots in the adult fish.
Natural bridge Bear’s head
It is giant triangular rock covered with moss that got stuck between two cliffs in Zadlaščica canyon. The vegetation in the canyon is very lush and the rock is overgrown with moss. The rock had long ago stirred the imagination of locals, who saw the image of a bear. Our imagination was obviously not so good, as we were in no way able to imagine the bear’s head. In any case, it is a very nice location. Small pools and waterfalls in the Zadlaščica gorge are especially beautiful.
The whole cave system is 1140 m long and 41 m wide, and there are tree halls. The cave system can be visited, but it is only an organized visit, and you must be guided by a cave guide – it is a difficult cave, not for everyone. You can of course stop bay and look at the entrance, but you will not see much… Since it was quite a hot day when we visited the gorge, what pleasantly surprised us from the cave, was the chilly air that was coming from a smaller cave under the entrance, we just stop there and relax for a while.
Why is called Dante’s cave? Dante’s cave got its name after the Italian poet Dante Alighieri. It is said that the Florentine poet visited his friend in the area of Tolmin and that the cave inspired a part of his Divine Comedy – the Inferno.
The prig was built in 1907 to connect Tolmin town with the small village of Cadrg. Before the bridge was built, there was only a small path at the bottom of the gorge that led to the small village of Cadrg. The bridge was originally made of wood and lately of iron (as it is today). The Devil’s Bridge is quite a popular name in Slovenia to denominate bridges that are constructed over deep and steep canyons or gorges.
I also found out that the first car that reached the village of Cadrg was only in 1966 (before the road was just a path. But I must tell you that the road is still quite narrow, for one car only (don’t ask how it is if you meet one going in the opposite way).
Devil’s bridge is 60 meters high and offers a great view of the river and the gorge.
Passing the Devil’s Bridge, you will return to your staring point. The best time to visit the gorge is in Spring or early Autumn. Summer months are also very nice, but I suggest that you visit in the early morning, since it can be quite hot during the day.
It is surprisingly hot these days here in Slovenia, and just watching again at the photos with turquoise waters I feel energised again and I hope that I’ve inspired you to stop by Tolmin gorge during your next visit to Slovenia.
Thanks for reading,
feel free to leave a comment, I will be glad to reply to.
Best regards, @miljo76