IDRIJA UNESCO GLOBAL GEOPARK
The karst world of chasms, depressions, sinkholes, swallow holes, karst fields, and caves was formed through water washing over the rocks for long periods of time. Limestone and dolomite that are typical for karst also form a large part of the Idrija region. These rocks are soluble in water – a process that helps shape the landscape and its inhabitants.
The Wild Lake is one of the most fascinating karst springs in Slovenia as it is both a spring as well as a lake and cave, all in one. It is situated in the beginning of the Strug gorge, under the cliff-like slopes of the Črni Vrh Plateau, which represents the larger part of the spring’s background area. The majestic, almost 100 m high slopes are made of Lower Cretacious limestones (with an age of 145–100 million years) on an impermeable basis of Paleocene-Eocene flysch rocks (66–34 million years), the youngest rocks in the Idrija region.
The water flows into the lake from a steeply descending underwater cave tunnel. So far, divers have explored it to the depth of 164 m, which is the edge of human capability. In dry periods, the water forms a small lake at the base of the imposing cliffside. During heaving rainfall, however, the lake spews forth an enormous amount of water, forming a mushroom-like shape up to several tens of centimeters in height.
The steep cliffsides are home to alpine flora such as the Carniolan primrose (Primula carniolica), a species endemic to Slovenia. In the lake’s syphon, divers have encountered the olm (Proteus anguinus).
In the Upper Idrijca Landscape Park, you will find a beautifully maintained natural bathing area Lajšt on the confluence of Idrijca and Belca rivers. This calming environment is perfect for relaxing and enjoying in the rich pristine nature of the landscape park and its unique natural characteristics.
There, you can also find the Idrija Geopark fun educational site “Explore the Riverbank”. It is equipped with traditional games such as Man, Don’t Get Angry, volkalca, hopscotch, etc. All the figurines or pebbles that you need to play these games can be picked from the riverbank.