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Where to go in the green hinterland of Ljubljana to escape the hot summer sun – somewhere you can also enjoy a refreshing dip? We propose Iški Vintgar, in the shelter of dense treetops, Podpeč Lake on the edge of the Ljubljansko Barje wetland, and the river Sora in Medvode, where an old bathing lido has recently been revived.

Iški vintgar

Iški vintgar, a picturesque gorge of the river Iška, is undoubtedly one of the most beautiful places for a refreshing swim in the hinterland of Ljubljana. A rapid little river, pebble beaches, numerous pools and steep rocky banks that in places give the gorge the appearance of a true canyon.
A walk through the gorge, which you can constantly interrupt by climbing down to the river, offers the opportunity to see numerous interesting rocks such as dolomite boulders streaked with white calcite veins and reddish and greenish flat round stones with mineral inclusions – evidence of the area’s varied geological history. A further contribution to the gorge’s scenic appearance comes from its vegetation, including trees whose roots cling to its steep sides and numerous Alpine plants such as sedge, rhododendron, Alpine yellow violet, Carniolan primrose and spring snowflake.

Podpeč Lake

Podpeč Lake (Podpeško jezero) in the village of Jezero is a small yet special natural jewel on the edge of the Ljubljansko Barje wetland. The lake is almost perfectly round and extremely deep (up 51 metres). It is fed by seven karst springs below the nearby forest. The water from the lake drains underground through a deep sinkhole. In summer there is a small bathing area on the lake which, on hot days during the holiday season, is filled with a relaxed and happy atmosphere. There is also a restaurant serving Slovenian food here.

For hiking enthusiasts, a popular marked hiking trail leads from the village of Jezero to Krim (1,107 metres). An equally popular and far shorter trail leads to the summit of Sveta Ana (484 metres), a hill topped by a picturesque pilgrimage church that offers a stunning view over the Barje wetland, the hills of the Central Slovenia region and the Slovene Alps.

Natural lido on the Sora

Decades ago the natural lido on the river Sora (by the weir at Goričane) was one of the most popular places for a day out in the municipality of Medvode; on fine summer Sundays it attracted thousands of visitors. Later on, stricter sanitary standards led to the lido being abandoned, with only a few locals continuing to use it.

In recent years the Medvode-based youth, sport and tourism organisation Sotočje has been reviving this former tourist attraction in conjunction with the local municipality. The area has been thoroughly cleaned up and regular water quality measurements confirm that the water is suitable for bathing. The bathers have returned and the natural lido has found a new lease of life, with plans being made to develop it further in the future.

Swimming in natural swimming pools, lidos and bathing places is at your own risk.