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NATURAL TREASURES
RIVER KOLPA
The river Kolpa is a Bela krajina river, which is the owner of a flattering title – “the longest Slovenian coastline”. It is also the southernmost Slovenian river and one of the purest and intact rivers in the country. In summer months the water temperature reaches as much as 30ºC and is more than perfect for swimming. It is extremely rich with fish. It offers many recreational possibilities to groups or families. A part of the river, running from Stari trg ob Kolpi to Dragoše, is a protected area of the Kolpa Regional Park.
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VINOMER BIRCH TREES
Although Bela Krajina’s famous birch trees are not as abundant as they were centuries ago, when the region was given its name in part because of the vast white forests that grew here, there are still areas covered with them. The most popular spot to view the trees (called breza in Slovene) is along the road between Metlika and Drašiči , were the sight of the thin white trunks is made all the more intense by the sea of pillowy green ferns that blanked the entire area. These can grow as high as 2m, but when they’re cut in the late summer each year it looks almost like a golf course. The forest is part of Metlika’s protected Natura 2000 site, and is also several interesting plant and animal species including Ural Owl.
EDEN In Your Pocket
ZDENC-VIDOVEC CAVES
On the edge of Bela krajina karstic flatland and east of the village Božakovo, we can find two magnificent karstic caves Zdenc and Vidovec. Božakovo stretches alongside the river bank, where Kolpa has carved its way deep into the river valley with a high Magdalenska rock. We strongly recommend a visit to the Baroque church of St Magdalena. The spring cave Zdenc with a statue of Our Lady of Lourdes is one of the most extraordinary spring caves in Bela krajina, revealing the once strong bond between people and karstic springs. The spring flowing out of the cave under the village was dammed by the villagers, and the 78 metre long spring cave stretches behind the fenced entrance. The cave Vidovec, 270 m, is the longest water cave in Bela krajina, parallel carved by the brook Vidovec. The entire walk takes one hour.
URBANOVA PATH
Not many people have heard of the village Grabrovec, marked by the church of St Urban, the patron of vine. The Urbanova Path begins in Metlika, and through vineyards, forest and fields leads us to the church of St Urban. Every May and the New Year's Eve, the locals organise a traditional party near the church. A similar landscape takes us back to Metlika and concludes the 6.3 km long path.