Bela krajina Nature Centre

Did you know that we can admire more than 40 species of orchids in the Bela krajina region? Would you like to discover the diverse life of the karst world? How can we influence the reduction of pollution of nature? You can find the answers to all these questions in interactive presentations, using smartphones and in an inviting corner for children at the Bela krajina Nature Centre. 

Take a peek into the karst cave, where the endemic black olm and Jalžić’s shell await you. The latter is the only cave shell in the world that lives only in the Krupa River in Slovenia. As viticulture is an important part of everyday life for the people of Bela krajina, there is also a wine-growing collection with a tasting wine shop in the cellar premises. 

If you walk only a few hundred metres from the Bela krajina Nature Centre through the market centre of Semič, you will literally arrive in the middle of nature. Upon entering the Dr Derganc learning garden, a meadow orchard surrounds you with a variety of tree species, fragrant healing herbs and bunches of grapes, where hard-working bees are buzzing. Both points are accessible for persons with impaired movement.

Črmošnjiška Valley

Skiing, cross-country skiing, hiking, cycling with ordinary or electric bicycles, running, paragliding… Sports enthusiasts and active families, you will definitely not be bored here! You can explore the secrets of Kočevski Rog plateau starting at the Gače Ski Centre. 

Look at the sky while observing the thickest fir trees in Slovenia, some of which reach a height of 45m. Look into the distance at vast meadows where thousands of orchids bloom. Gače, Smuk and Mirna gora are beautiful viewpoints and great spots for taking photos. Did you know that the Gottscheers lived in these places for more than 600 years? 

Take a ride on e-bikes to the once mighty villages, but today mysterious ruins. Biking and hiking trails are well-organised and marked. One of the most photogenic among them is the Divji potok Educational Path. The stone crayfish also loves life there as it is a bioindicator for assessing the purity of water. 

Over many cascades, rapids and pools, this picturesque stream winds its way through the mighty forest, being a destination for many amateur and professional photographers. You can discover it, too.

Krupa River

Calm, majestic, colourful, mysterious. The Krupa River. Its spring is one of the pearls of Slovenian river springs and is a part of the longer Karst Educational Path from Lebica karstic cave to Krupa. Observe a family of ravens through a tiny peephole, see them nesting on a 30m cliff. It rises mightily right above the spring. 

The river is full of life, as, among others, it is home to the olm and the only cave shell in the world, Congeria jalzici. If you stand on the photo point with the heart, you will be in a photo with the entire spring. The strong spring of the just a little over 2km long river was used to smart effect by the people. There used to be five mills and two sawmills here. Follow the distinctly emerald-coloured river, where a well-kept hiking trail across the suspension bridge will take you all the way to the Jewish House cave. Enter this underground cave and you will get an idea of how Paleolithic people slept, hid, prepared food and ate here. Along the emerald river in the middle of the woods, relaxation and fresh air await you.

Honey and wine

Honey and wine? Yes. Here you can taste a variety of honeys, gingerbreads, meads, honey wines and honey sparkling wines. Mysterious is the world of countless hardworking bees that travel thousands of miles. Did you know that bees visit 4 million flowers on a 120,000-km-long journey for a kilogram of honey? Discover this amazing world with our beekeepers. However, since Semiška gora mountain and other peaks are a wine-growing area, you will also be welcomed by winegrowers. You can choose between dry, semi-dry, sweet, white and red wines and various predicates at the wine tastings. If you prefer bubbles, step into the cellar, where the award-winning sparkling wines mature. Have you ever opened sparkling wine with a sword?

Potica cakes and strudel

A feast of different delicacies baked by peasant women. Various potica cakes and strudels. Do you prefer sweet or salty? The choice of fillings is varied. Tarragon, raisins, poppy seeds, hazelnuts, cracklings, cherries, apples, buckwheat or almost nothing, as in a simple povitica rolled cake. Also known as poftica and stuffed only with eggs and fat, it is best still warm when it melts in your mouth. As it is a specialty in Slovenia, it is entered in the Register of Intangible Cultural Heritage of Slovenia. You can try all these delicacies with housewives on tourist farms and inns. A special treat is when you try your hand at preparing your favourite dessert at the workshop. If you are already experienced in the preparation of strudel, we set you a challenge: take part in the annual ŠtrudlFest – a festival of strudel.


600 Years-of life, work, history, harmony. The Gottscheers were the German-speaking community that lived and worked in the wider region of higher areas of Bela krajina and Kočevsko. The working people made their living with agriculture, peddling, livestock farming and forestry. 

When Christopher Columbus was arriving in America in 1492, the Gottscheers acquired the right to peddling. They founded 176 villages and built 123 churches. Today, the ruins of the village testify to the interesting and, finally, unfortunate history of people and places. Gottscheerish is one of the most endangered languages in the world. If you are interested in these 600 years of history, go on well-maintained trails by bike or on foot to one of the many Gottscheer villages.

Or join organised hikes. The intertwining of mighty nature and the struggle for survival has made a strong impression on these places. Visit the Days of Gottscheer Culture, attend workshops, hikes and exhibitions and support the memory of the rich heritage of this German-speaking minority in Slovenia.