The Tolmin gorges are Tolmin’s most important sight of nature. The Tolmin gorges are the lowest and southernmost entry point into the Triglav National Park and Tolmin’s most important sight of nature. The most prominent attractions are the wedged rock named Bear's Head and the Devil’s Bridge, 60 metres high above the bluish Tolminka River.
There is a thermal spring in the short horizontal cave under the Devil’s bridge, with an average temperature of between 18.8 and 20.8 °C (the temperature of the Tolminka River is 5 to 9 °C). The surface water penetrates underground where it is heated by the geothermal energy and then it resurfaces through the crevasses and cracks. There are quite a few such springs in Slovenia, but they are quite rare in the Julian Alps.
Devil’s Bridge (Hudičev most) and the road leading to the village of ZadlazČadrg were commissioned in 1907 by the Tolmin mayor’s office. The road was built by locals, together with workers from the Bohinj Railway at the beginning of the twentieth century. Before that only a narrow path led to the village crossing the bridge in the lower level of the riverbeds. The bridge was originally made of wood, and was later, under the Italian government, replaced with iron. At that time the bridge was given its name that is still used today. Devil’s Bridge is a common name for bridges in Slovenia that cross narrow, deep gorges. The Confluence of the Tolminka and the Zadlaščica, the lowest point of The Triglav National Park
As the Tolminka carved its path into the limestone, it created a wild gorge with typical joints that appear as smooth vertical plates. We can find similar ones in the Julian Alps at just one other location, namely the Mlinarica gorge in the Trenta Valley. Going further towards the East, the Zadlaščica carved its gorge with deep erosion. The two rivers then widen and merge into, what is in fact the only confluence of gorges in Slovenia. This confluence (“Sotočje”) lies at approximately 180 m above sea-level and is the lowest point of the Triglav National Park.
The marble trout in the Zadlaščica
The Zadlaščica is a sanctuary for marble trout. The existence of marble trout was seriously threatened by the introduction of the brown trout. The natural barriers formed by the pools of the cascades prevented the brown trout from inhabiting the water in a natural way, while difficult access prevented stocking, hence the marble trout was able to survive in its original genotype here. This fish inhabits the Zadlaščica all the way to the Skalnik farm and its affluent Jelovšček.
The »Bear’s head« and skakalce
Medvedova glava is the name of a natural bridge – a large rock which got stuck, who knows when, between the walls of the Zadlaščica canyon. rock covered with moss aroused the imagination of human beings long, long ago – indeed, it looks like a hairy bear’s head. Since the water of the Zadlaščica literally jumps from one pool to another, it creates picturesque cascades flowing through the gorge which is why the locals started calling it Skakalce or in English “the Jumps”.
The cave of Zadlaška jama (Dante’s cave)
The cave of Zadlaška jama, named after the village Zadlaz, is one of several caves through which the waters of the Soča glacier flowed. This cave complex is 1.140 m long, 41 m deep and boasts three halls. It is said that at the beginning of the 14th century, the patriarch Pagano della Torre hosted the poet Dante Alighieri in Tolmin. At that time, he is said to have visited the cave, which inspired him to create the Hell of the Divine Comedy. The cave was later named after the poet. In 1922 it was explored and mapped for the first time by the members of the Krpelj Tourist Association and it was later made suitable for visitors - stairs have been carved in and passages deepened. It was fully explored and mapped by the Speleology section of the Tolmin Mountaineering Society in 1977. Zadlaška jama is among the most difficult tourist caves, which is why it is only possible to visit it in the company of a competent guide and with appropriate equipment.
Access: Visitors can drive to the parking lot of the Tolmin gorges by car. The distance from Tolmin is 2 km.
Šentviška planota offers a variety of ethnological monuments, examples of folk architecture, and frescoes. Šentviška planota is a broad and extensive plateau formed in the shape of a triangle between Baška grapa, the Idrijca Valley and Cerkljansko. Difficult access to the plateau has made possible a more tranquil life than the one on the busy crossroads in the valley below.
Šentviška planota offers a variety of ethnological monuments, examples of folk architecture, and frescoes. The Church of Saint Mary in Ponikve is a masterpiece of architect Jože Plečnik, who succeeded in combining elements of the former church, which was burnt down during the war, with contemporary solutions, realising an exhilarating new structure.
On the outskirts of Šentviška planota one may explore some attractive karst caves. Visitors will also enjoy the picturesque gorge of the Kostanjevec brook, while the most well known sight is the periodic lake in the middle of the village of Ponikve.
The peaks above Baška grapa are a paradise for botanists and other lovers of mountain flora. Baška grapa is a 30-km long valley of the Bača River situated between Petrovo Brdo and the Idrijca River, which is carved deeply between the peaks of the Alpine edge. A peculiar part of the history of Baška grapa was the arrival of Tirolese immigrants to villages (Rut and Stržišče) below the mountain ridges of Rodica and Črna prst in the beginning of the 13th century. In Baška grapa we come across a variety of significant sacral monuments. The unique and distinctive architectural and historic monument of the valley is a railway line, which was constructed in 1906.
The peaks above Baška grapa are a paradise for botanists and other lovers of mountain flora. Exceptionally diverse and luxurious vegetation flourishes here at the juncture of the Alpine and Mediterranean climates. Particularly famous is the lime tree in Rut, with a trunk some eight meters in circumference, which has been pronounced the widest tree in the country.
Mountain villages above the canyon (Logaršče, Rut, Stržišče, and Zakojca) are all delightful, tiny villages “sunbathing” on terraces high above the valley, which offer stunning, panoramic views. A tended pathway leads to the impressive 66-meter high waterfall Sopota above Podmelec.
Fun fact: The Tolmin gorges
are the lowest and southernmost entry point into the Triglav National Park and Tolmin’s most important sight of nature. The most prominent attractions are the wedged rock named Bear's Head and the Devil’s Bridge, 60 metres high above the bluish Tolminka Rive.
Source: TIC Tolmin