Bela Krajina Europe Slovenia

Drifting Down the Kolpa: Canoeing in Slovenia

August 5, 2016

As the second greenest country within Europe, Slovenia is home to some of the most striking natural beauty found anywhere in the region.  Pristine rivers, crystal clear lakes, natural springs, rich farmland and untouched forests; Slovenia is a nature-lover’s paradise.  Even better, is the Kolpa River – it’s like Slovenia’s highly guarded secret, only we’re going to let you in on it.

When visiting Slovenia, two key locations come to mind for most travellers – Ljubljana and Lake Bled. Though these spots are absolutely worth your time, there is so much more to this beautiful and friendly country.

The Bela Krajina region, located to the South-East of the country (bordering Croatia) plays host to countless beautiful locations, just waiting for you to explore them. This area is rich in history and natural beauty and thanks to Big Berry, we managed to get out and discover much of what the region offers.

On our second day at the eco camp we were told that canoeing was on the agenda and though our preference for activities is normally more on the adventurous side, who could resist immersing oneself in nature as beautiful as is found in Slovenia!  Without a second thought, we donned our togs (or swimming costumes), grabbed a paddle and headed for the water.

canoe kolpa river sloveniaThe Kolpa River is clean, safe and both the warmest and most biologically diverse in Slovenia – the perfect setting for an afternoon of fun in the sun. Though it’s the warmest water in Slovenia, it is fed by natural springs (which sit at 8 degrees throughout the year) which adds a touch of chill – perfect for a hot summers day of fun in the sun.

Having been driven upstream, we spent a number of hours meandering back to our base, stopping along the way to enjoy an ice old drink and to munch on traditional focaccia and gingerbread.

canoe kolpa river sloveniaThe Kolpa itself is dammed periodically which adds a fantastic touch of excitement to an otherwise relaxing ride down the river.  In years gone by, these dams were used to divert the river water towards waterwheels and mills, but now they create still pools of water enjoyed by swimmers as sunbathers rest on their banks.  On one side is Slovenia and on the other bank sits Croatia.

canoe kolpa river sloveniacanoe kolpa river sloveniacanoe kolpa river sloveniacanoe kolpa river sloveniaStopping off at the end of our canoe, we waded up a little side-stream to one of the natural springs that feeds the river and enjoyed cool water, as fresh as you can get.

Back upstream we finished off with some locally caught fish and chips – Slovenian style!  Though I must admit, I wasn’t excited about trout initially, it ended up being delicious and a great choice.  If you’re in the area, we can recommend stopping off at Madronič for an ice cold drink and delicious lunch/dinner.

spring kolpa river slovenia

Thank you to Big Berry for so kindly arranging this excursion on the Kolpa for us and to Peter and Lidija from RIC Bela Krajina for showing us around this gorgeous part of the world.



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  • Reply Yvonne August 10, 2016 at 3:58 am

    Wow I had never ever thought of visiting Slovenia before. Looks just like good ol’ NZ – just beautiful.

    • Reply Sarah - Exploring Kiwis August 10, 2016 at 10:12 am

      Really lovely and very chilled out – it’s the most I’ve felt at home since we left 🙂

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