Natural sights

Lake Cerknica

The phenomenon of intermittent (disappearing) Lake Cerknica has become famous worldwide as an area where cattle can graze, farmers can plow fields, catch fish and drive boats in the same place. When the lake is full, it is the largest lake in Slovenia, but then it dries up and reveals its extensive farming land. Through all seasons it shows completely different faces and to truly feel what Lake Cerknica is, you have to come back many times. The lake can be seen from several sides, but I suggest that you start in the village of Dolnje Jezero, where locals have put up a museum about their mysterious attraction.

1 - Lake Cerknica2 - Lake Cerknica3 - Lake Cerknica4 - Lake Cerknica5 - Lake Cerknica

Basic information
LocationCerknica, Notranjska
Type: karst lake
Entrance fee: no
Altitude: 550 m
Trip duration: 1 h
Difficulty:
How to get there:
Leave the motorway 'Ljubljana – Koper' on exit Unec, drive through Rakek and arrive to Cerknica. Pay attention to a signpost for Dolnje Jezero, which directs you to the right. Soon you come to the village and park on a big neat parking lot slightly behind it.

Description:
Streams, karstic springs and underground rivers flow towards Lake Cerknica from the surrounding mountains and at its north-west side the water flows away through caves and sinkholes towards Rakov Škocjan, past Planinsko Polje all the way to Ljubljana. In heavy showers the sinkholes are not able to swallow that amount of water, which firstly starts to gather in the bed of a meandering 'river' that flows through the Cerknica basin. Then the water overflows its banks and spreads all around. During spring-time the lake is at its fullest. If you also wish to see the sinkholes, come during summer droughts. It is especially beautiful there in the winter too – when it freezes, it is full of ice-skaters! The whole area around the lake is nice - nearby forests and meadows, fields and hills call out to all nature-lovers that wish for a peaceful repose.

Lake Cerknica covers 26 square kilometers and the best way to experience it is to circle it with a bicycle. Start in village of Dolnje Jezero, where the local Vekoslav Kebe arranged a Museum of Lake Cerknica. Functioning of the lake's water system is demonstrated on a 'live model', and you can find out everything about the lake and the life around it through time. In the dry part of the year you can see the sinkholes: go from the above mentioned parking lot in the direction of the lake. Turn right onto the first dirt road, which will soon lead you to a 'lunar' landscape where the water vanishes. For a wider view of the lake or Cerknica basin, ascend to the Slivnica or Javorniki mountains.

Here you can see some fantastic photos of the lake in all seasons.




Comments



Cerkniško jezero
The phenomenon of intermittent (disappearing) Lake Cerknica has become famous worldwide as an area where cattle can graze, farmers can plow fields, catch fish and drive boats in the same place. When the lake is full, it is the largest lake in Slovenia, but then it dries up and reveals its extensive farming land. Through all seasons it shows completely different faces and to truly feel what Lake Cerknica is, you have to come back many times. The lake can be seen from several sides, but I suggest that you start in the village of Dolnje Jezero, where locals have put up a museum about their mysterious attraction.