The first landscape park on the territory of modern day Slovenia was established in 1949 and is named Rakov Skocjan. Rak is the name of the river and Skocjan stands for Saint Kancian: an early christian Saint, to die and burried here, in Roman times. The ruins of ancient temple here is a supposed place of the Saint Kancian's tomb.
The valley is really breathtaking! When I got here for the first time, my thoughts were: it seems like a perfect location for filming King Kong movies.
Rakov Skocjan valley is a part of Kras (Karst) region and perfectly illustrates the peculiarities of stone destruction by the influence of the forces of nature. This "karst" features and caves, sinkholes and others of tremendous size can be seen all over the valley.
In the valley one can find two natural bridges (the little one is on the height of more than 40 meters); trails leading along the banks of the river, under the stone arches; cave halls of more than 50 meters high...all this leaves an unforgettable impression. One can walk the gorge by foot, it's about 3 km one way, or proceed from one point to another with a car and thus minimize the walking distance. But, anyway, comfortable (sports) shoes is a must. The area is accessible almost the whole year long, but be advised that during the spring time Rak river may flood and cover the trails, making many caves unreachable.