Idrija

Divje Jezero

more than a year ago
Literally translated as 'wild lake', there's more to this small pool of water than meets the eye. Found only a couple of kilometres south of Idrija, at the base of nearly 100m high sheer rock cliffs, the setting is undeniably impressive, especially during the spring months when several varieties of native flowers cover the surrounding area in a carpet of white, yellow and intense purple blossoms.

While we were admittedly sceptical when first told by locals that the lake was bottomless, not only is this claim true, but several experienced divers have lost their lives trying to find its subterranean source. What is currently known for sure is that the lake originates from a Vauclusian karst spring of at least 400m in length and more than 160m in depth, and is the second most important spring of this type in all of Europe - with only the namesake spring outside the village of Vaucluse in Avignon, France more well-known.

Fed by a series of underground waterways that cover an area of some 125km2 above ground, during the heaviest rains the lake can discharge an enormous 100m3 of water per second into the 55m long Jezernica river (which is the shortest in Slovenia), while during the drier autumn months the flow can slow to a trickle and the river completely disappears. In 1967, the area was designated as the first protected natural monument in Slovenia, and now includes a small walking path, signs detailing some of the extensive flora and fauna and benches on which to rest while contemplating the magnitude of what lies beneath the turquoise surface.

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