Wild Lake-Idrija 1206

Wild Lake-Idrija

Region Gorizia Statistical Region
Starting point Sports stadium parking lot, follow the »Jožefov jašek« road signs
Route length 2,5 km (1.97 miles)
route duration 1,5 h
Best time to visit spring, summer, autumn
Appropriate for Baby Strollers , Baby Carriers , 1-3 years of age , 3-6 years of age , 6+ years of age , Dandy Horses, Bikes
Level of difficulty easy route

Route Description

Divje jezero Lake (Wild Lake) in Idrija is definitely one of the most enchanting locations in Slovenia. An interesting natural history trail along the Idrijca River leads us to this karst landmark. The beautiful nature will be etched in your memory forever.

The mysterious karstic lake near Idrija is one of the pearls of Slovenian natural heritage. Since 1967, it has been protected as a natural monument of national significance in Slovenia. In 1972, the area of the lake was arranged in the first Slovenian outdoor museum in nature. It lies 2 km (1.42 miles) south of the town of Idrija.

The lake is hidden under the precipice walls of the foothills of the northern edge of Črni Vrh Plateau and is connected to an intricate underground cave system. Water flows into the lake from an underground passage which is roughly about 200 meters (218 yards) long.

You can access the lake directly from the parking lot via stairs, or you can reach this beautiful natural attraction on a nature trail that starts close to the center of Idrija. In this case, leave the car next to the sports stadium or next to a nearby shopping center and set off on the 2.5 km long “Pot ob Rakah” Trail. Look for the road signs that say “Jožefov jašek”.

Pot ob Rakah” Trail is the only hike in the vicinity of Idrija that is easy and has flat terrain. It climbs a little at the beginning, but then it is flat for almost two and a half kilometres (1.94 miles). It follows the left bank of the Idrijca River, past the suspension bridges, which are magnificent viewpoints, to the unique Divje Jezero Lake. The trail is interesting in all seasons and in all weathers. The terrain is appropriate for baby strollers, however, it needs to be lifted a couple of times (just before the lake and when crossing the bridge over the river).

The natural science educational trail takes you through various forests with rich undergrowth past the biggest common ash tree, a tree avenue, a spring with drinking water, all the way to the cave above the Kobila Dam. The access to the Divje jezero Lake is across the very interesting suspension bridge.

A little tip for you: When in the area, do not forget to visit a local inn, which offers a culinary specialty – the Idrija žlikrofi dish.

Interesting Facts


In the oldest mining center in Slovenia, hammer blows and mining machines were heard day after day for more than half a millennium. Thanks to having the second largest mercury mine in the world, the town of Idrija was for centuries considered to be the centre of scientific and technological progress in the region. The administration of the Idrija Mercury Mine was housed in the Gewerkenegg Castle (16th century) which dominates the town. Today it houses the Idrija Municipal Museum, which together with the Idrija Mine Museum takes care of the region's rich technical, geological, technological, ethnological, and cultural heritage (Source: culture.si website). Idrija beckons you to discover its rich cultural and technical heritage, see the Idrija lace making tradition, breathe in unspoiled nature and taste traditional delicacies in the surrounding villages.


There are almost no real miners left in Idrija, but their cultural and technical heritage accompanies visitors at every turn. The administration of the Idrija Mercury Mine was housed in the Gewerkenegg Castle (16th century) which dominates the town. Today it houses the Idrija Municipal Museum. The town developed rapidly due to the second largest mercury ore deposit in the world. It attracted many important natural scientists, builders and inventors. The miners liked to have fun and relax after work, so a number of music, cultural and sports clubs developed in Idrija. All major events once took place on the "old square" (“stari plac”), as the locals call the Achatius Square (Ahacijev trg), named after the patron saint of miners.


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Naravoslovna pot ob Idrijci do Divjega jezera
Start point coordinates 45,982907

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Nearby Restaurants

Na vas Guesthouse and Pizzeria

Right next to the Idrija-Tolmin main road in Spodnja Idrija stands the Na vas Guesthouse and Pizzeria, where the staff serves local specialties in a pleasant ambience. We chose the Idrija žlikrofi dish and let me say, they were deeeelicious. However, the recipe is top secret! :)

Na vasi 38

5281 Spodnja Idrija

05 9958 223

Vita, Olja and Juna Recommend

How it all began…

The first newcomers from Škofja Loka did not settle in large numbers in the Idrija basin and the surroundings until the 15th century. Some of them made wooden buckets and barrels due to the proximity of the wine-growing Vipava Valley.

According to legend, mercury was discovered in Idrija around 1490 by a tubmaker as he was soaking a wooden bucket in the stream. Today, the Holy Trinity Church stands on this very spot. When the news of the discovery of mercury spread, miners from Friuli and the German states rushed here.

In the first ten years, miners carried out their digging in poorly mineralised shale. Convinced that there was no more ore to be found and that the ore deposit was depleted, Idrija miners and the mine administrator began to fear that the mine would have to be closed down. However, their luck changed when they came across a highly mineralised cinnabar under the Achatius Square. The foundation was now laid for the following five hundred years of mining. One of the oldest tunnels called the Anthony’s Shaft/Anthony’s Main Road (Antonijev rov) is still in use today as a museum part of the mine.

We will share with you some realy interesting stories about Idrija.