||The river Kolpa stretches for 292km, of which 113km run along the country border with the Republic of Croatia. The river is also considered the longest Slovenian “coastline” and one of the warmest and intact rivers in Slovenia. In a sense, the river Kolpa offers an intact, picturesque, and invaluable source of inner piece. A part of the river, which cuts the area from Stari trg to the village Dragoše, is a protected area of the Kolpa Regional Park. Particular care is given to 16 natural treasures and 41 cultural landmarks, which are located along the river and in its vicinity. The Kolpa Regional Park is not strictly classified as a protected area, but it is one of rare regional parks in Slovenia, which has been proclaimed on the national level. For that reason it has its own administrative institution, the Kolpa Regional Park Public Institute. The river is divided by more than 50 dams, which are typically made of stones and are remainders of mills, sawmills, and blacksmith's, which no longer exist. However, some dams still serve their purpose. Kolpa is rich with flaura and fauna. Many rare, endangered bird species have found their place of living at its vicinity, particularly birds connected to water. The village Miliči hosts around twenty pairs of grey herons. There is also an otter, which is one of the most endangered European mammals. Latest researches have discovered as many as 39 autochthon fish species in the river. This indicates that nature is still intact in this area. The river is attractive all year round. But it is particularly popular in summer months, when it is perfect for swimming, as the water temperature rises even up to 30°C. If you decide to pay Kolpa a visit, you surely won't regret it. You can choose among a wide rage of sports and recreational activities, which are possible all along the river's stream, such as boating, canoeing, kayaking or rafting. The river is not very demanding and it is suitable even for first-time rowers. Even fishing enthusiasts will be able to make the best out of the river. Along the river and in its vicinity you can find organized and earmarked hiking routes. One of such routes, called the Trška path, begins in Stari trg ob Kolpi and ends in Sodevci. The southernmost Slovenian path winds from Radenci to Damelj, and is followed by the Mlinarska path from Damelj to Vinica. Further on, along the river you can find the Fair path, which ends in Žuniči. In Žuniči you can also find a 200m long the beekeeper’s educational path. The exploration of the area along Kolpa continues on the educational path Kučar-Kolpa in Podzemelj, and comes to an end on the educational path Zdenc-Vidovec in Božakovo. Cycling paths along the river also enable recreational pastime. If you want to dwell on the river banks a while longer, there are also tourist farms, camps, inns, or other accommodation facilities along the river and its surroundings. You will undoubtedly be offered homemade dishes, good wine, and openheartedness.
Podzemelj Camp near Kolpa
The Podzemelj Camp is located near the road Metlika–Črnomelj, in a beautiful unspoiled natural environment, on the right bank of the Kolpa River, one of the cleanest and warmest rivers in Slovenia.
The Camp has about 70 well-organised camping lots, three mobile homes, and its own restaurant.
There is a children's playground organised for recreation of the youngest, and the grounds for beach volleyball, basketball, mini golf, badminton, mini soccer and table tennis, for grown-ups. Guests can also rent kayaks, boats, rafts and canoes.
Primostek Recreation Centre
The Primostek Recreation Centre is located on 2.5 hectares along the Kolpa River in the Primostek village, near the confluence of the Kolpa and Lahinja rivers.
Holiday facilities in Primostek include the campsite, restaurant, five wooden log cabins accommodating about 40 people, and bathrooms located in a separate facility. Besides swimming, visitors can enjoy also in beach volleyball, table tennis, hiking and cycling. Tours by canoes, kayaks and rafts are also popular. The boat offers beautiful views of wonderful flora and fauna of our southernmost beauty.
Lovšin Tourist Farm
The Lovšin Tourist Farm is located in Križevska vas near Metlika, one kilometre from the international border crossing, in the immediate vicinity of the Kolpa River. Due to its natural location, the farm is cut off from the city bustle and located at the far end of the village; therefore, it is a popular meeting place for swimmers, walkers, fishermen and boatmen, from late spring and until early autumn months.
The mill with the dam and a tidy slope is a great place also for picnics. In addition, the nearby Primostek Camp can be quickly accessed by a boat or bicycle. The campsite has 20 camping lots with tidy bathrooms and dishwashing units.
METLIKA SWIMMING RESORT IN THE PAST AND PRESENT
Metlika Swimming Resort was significantly integrated into the life of Metlika citizens during the 20th century. The first arrangements of the Swimming Resort began in 1934, when Tujskoprometno društvo (Foreign Tourist Society) built the swimming resort hut and stairs to the water. During the Second World War, the hut was demolished and removed. After the War, in 1950, a renovated swimming resort was opened. The hut with eight changing cabins and the bar was set up in the same place as it was before the War, only it was made of raw planks. The first bath attendant was Trifun Popović. In 1953, Turistično – olepševalno društvo (Tourism and Embellishment Society) was founded, and under the renovation of the Metlika Swimming Resort, it repaired cabins, built up a dancing place of concrete (today's playground for „Metlika Tennis“), built a „pavilion“ for the band, and repaired the fountain with shower. The Swimming Resort was electrified in the same year. In 1962, the Kolpa riverbed in the Swimming Resort was deepened for the first time, and the deposits were used to improve the previous roads. In 1966, the Swimming Resort was renovated, and the new acquisition included a brick building, changing rooms, the bar, covered terrace and bathrooms. In the following year, the Resort buildings were refurbished into the resort restaurant with 56 seats. In 1971, the bank of the Kolpa River was platted by concrete blocks. In 1979, the youth of Metlika cleaned the Swimming Resort at Kolpa by voluntary work.
(By Zvonko Rus: Kronika mesta Metlika 1 in 2 – Chronicle of the Metlika town 1 and 2)
In 2012, the Swimming Resort was renovated and the recreational and relaxation park and the picnic place were opened.
The beginning of the story about Metlika tennis goes back to the second half of the 50s of the last century. In that time, there were about one meter high and two meters wide semi-circular walls built up in the Metlika Swimming Resort at the Kolpa River, which were intended for musicians, and a circular concrete slab for dancers was built up alongside. Contemporary young men of Metlika that used to stretch nonchalantly in the Swimming Resort during summer months and performed all sorts of tricks, invented Metlika tennis. This was a game that in many ways resembles a tennis game in pairs, but it is played with a football and mostly with legs.