Rakov Škocjan - Details
About 2 hours and 15 minutes from Bovec you find an area where most of the karst phenomena that can be found in the karst area of southwest Slovenia can be seen, packed together in an easy walk of little over 2 hours.
The river Rak appears out of a cave and disappears again in another. You can visit a large half open cave where the Rak runs through (Tkalca Jama). A collapsed cave arranged by nature as a beautiful garden where the Rak runs through surrounded by high cliffs (Zelške Jame). Natural bridges as the remains of collapsed caves. Water bubbling out of the rocks as the start of a small tributary. Lovers of trees will find a diversity of beautiful old trees as this area is as usual covered with woods.
The whole area is signposted and information boards give you background information at many places. It doesn’t look touristic though, especially if you are able to go off season.
A visit to Rakov Škocjan is at its best if there is enough water but not too much, so after a rainy period. The Rak can dry up at several places making the natural sights less interesting. If water levels are too high though (during or too short after heavy rains), you might not be able to walk in the collapsed cave (Zelške Jame) at the start, or enter the cave where the river runs through (Tkalca Jama). So it takes some planning to have full advantage of the circumstances.
How to get there
Coming from Bovec you will drive via Kobarid, Tolmin, Kanal, Nova Gorica (start of the highway) and Postonja. After passing Postonja (in direction Ljubljana), exit the highway at Unec.
Coming from Bohinj you will drive via Bled and Ljubljana, in direction Koper exit the highway at Unec.
At the exit drive to Unec, in Unec turn right to Rakov Škocjan, road 914. After 2 kilometers turn left to Rakov Škocjan. It should be clearly signposted. On this road it is about 3,8 kilometers to the parking. You will pass the Veliki Naravni Most (and probably not notice it) and hotel Rakov Škocjan. The parking used for this walk is at the right side of the road, big enough to not oversee it and just before a sharp bend to the right.
During the walk
The walk starts in northwest direction across the road, at sign No. 1, Zelške Jame. You can enter the collapsed cave via another collapsed cave that you can find in southern direction. There are 14 numbered information boards on the whole route in total.
You will eihter need a detailed map from a local tourist agency or use the supplied GPS track since the different locations on the route are not always linked by way marks as far as I remember.
The supplied GPS track follows the route with numbered information boards and at the end returns to the parking via a dirt road without karst phenomena (faster). So if you like, you could walk back the same path after you reach the end of the route which is on top of the Veliki Naravni Most (Big Natural Bridge).
In the waypoints download below are a few waypoints of the karst phenomena:
3 Source of the Rak (with small caves you can go into)
12 Veliki Naravni Most (the great natural bridge under the road)
13 Tkalca Jama (the cave that you can walk down into, with the Rak running through it)
Duration: 2 hours and 15 minutes (add at least an hour for the time you spend at the caves and other natural sights)
Length: 6,2 kilometers
Height difference: 200 meters
Parking coordinates: 45.790863,14.304513
Waypoints of the parking and some points of interest (Google KML): Download
Waypoints of the parking and some points of interest (GPX): Download
Track of the walk (Google KML): Download
Track of the walk (GPX): Download