Šorlit

GEOPARKS

In addition to nature parks, Slovenia boasts with two Geoparks, which have the status of UNESCO Global Geoparks. The basic principles of Geoparks are protection, education and popularization of geological and other natural and cultural heritage and sustainable development of the region. UNESCO Global Geoparks do not include any additional restrictions. However, they are an important and attractive brand area. Geopark boasts with an exceptional geological and geomorphological heritage, which is important at the national level and stands out as well as in European and worldwide level.



Karavanke Geopark

Peca mountainLocation of the Geopark

Size: 106,700 ha
Year of foundation: 2013
Founder: Geopark Karavanke Working Community

Geopark Karavanke is a geopark on the border between Slovenia and Austria. It is distinguished by an interesting geological history and a diverse soil composition with special minerals. These were the basis for the development of mining, ironworks and the iron industry. It is also rich with natural, cultural and technical heritage.
Dravite mineral

Dravite mineral

Western capercaillie

Western capercaillie

SIGHTS

  • The Peca underworld with its unique underworld cycling and kayak tours of the submerged parts of the lead and zinc mine.
  • Museums and collections with a preserved rich cultural heritage.
  • The legend of King Matjaž sleeping under the Peca Mountain.
  • Geological hiking trails.
  • Modern information centres in Bad Eisenkappel and Mežica.
 

Idrija Geopark

Elementary mercuryLocation of the Geopark

Size: 29,400 ha
Year of foundation: 2010
Founder: Idrija Municipality

The Idrija Geopark, which extends over the Municipality of Idrija, is one of the most interesting areas in Slovenia with its rich natural and cultural heritage. Its exceptional location, at the crossroads between the Alps and the Dinarides, results in an extremely varied and divided surface with deep ravines, vast plateaus and high peaks.
Valley along the Idrija Fault

Valley along the Idrija Fault

Fossil of the Triadomegalodon idrianus mussel

Fossil of the Triadomegalodon idrianus mussel

SIGHTS

  • The Idrija ore deposit is the second largest ore deposit of mercury in the world
  • The Wild Lake is one of the largest karst springs in Slovenia
  • A large common ash (Fraxinus excelsior), 30 metres high, the largest specimen of its kind in Slovenia
  • Footprints of a bipedal reptile (predecessor of the dinosaur) dating 220 million years ago
  • Tomaž’s table, naturally formed large stone table
 

Karst Geopark

ŠtanjelLocation of the Geopark

The park is in the process of establishment


The Karst, a picturesque plateau over the Gulf of Trieste, stretches in the Dinaric direction to a length of 40km and width of 13km, and comprises an area of 440km2. The international technical term karst was derived from the name of this region, and is a synonym for a stony barren land full of sinkholes.
Typical image of karst ground

Typical image of karst ground

Cross section of rudist shell in Cretaceonus limestone

Cross section of rudist shell in Cretaceonus limestone

SIGHTS

  • The antique name for the Carsadus or Carsus Region was derived from the word karra (rock), and later changed into Kras (Slovenian), Karst (German) and Carso (Italian).
  • Debela griža at Volčji Grad is one of the largest and best preserved Hallstatt forts in the Karst Region.
  • The karst natural stone Lipica fiorito (rosy stone) was named after the cross-sections of fossil rudist shells, which remind us of roses.
  • Terrano, the Slovenian autochthonous wine, is only produced in the Karst Region from the Refosco grape. Its characteristic taste comes from the reddish brown terra rossa soil.