Tolmin Gorgeous & secret Cafe
In the same way that most people see Postojna caves or Lake Bled and marvel at their beauty, then afterwards, maybe if they are lucky, they hear about & visit Skocjan cave, Krizna cave, Dimnice cave or Lake Bohinj and cannot believe these places are even more beautiful.. just go visit Tolmin Gorge! A lot of people find Vintgar gorge, as it is close to Lake Bled and we don't exagerate either, when we confirm to you that Vintgar is a "must see" destination.
But then, please go visit Tolmin Gorge and you will be blown away by the beauty of this hidden treasure. It must be only because Slovenia is blessed with so many natural treasures, that more people have not heard about this amazing place? Where Vintgar is wooden walkway, Tolmin is steep stony steps with thunderous crystal clear water crashing through a spectacularly narrow gorge that just suddenly.. jumps out at you and surprises you!
The gorge is located not too far away from the little town of Tolmin upon the emeral river Soca. You do need to know the word "kurita" (gorge) though, as for some reason the signs don't say gorge. There is a car park and a basic restaurant.. This is one of the very few places in Slovenia where we recommend you take your own energy food, instead of stopping at the restaurant before the walk, but wait until you have climbed the gorge and reached the amazing secret cafe above to have some food.
If you are lucky you will get your map from the very lovely and bubbly Marina in the wooden cabin at the start of the trail and then follow the riverside tracks to various viewpoints along the gorge. The narrow gorge really jumps out at you and will take your breath away with it's beauty. There is also a bubbling thermal spring next to all this ice cold water, a huge boulder, shaped like a bear's head and a devil's bridge still to cross.
The walk is a little demanding, but take your time. We recommend you hug the stony waterside paths to see the best bits. The greenery and flowers are also quite spectacular. And then when you have reached the devil's bridge you go up the road a little until Dante's cave, where it is believed this cave inspired the famous Italian writer. You can duck off the road again here onto a fabulous little stony curvy track that take you up to a "cafe, 10 mins" sign and then another hike up with fantastic views.
You come up and out onto a grassy meadow with views to Mt Krn at 2,244m and the scene here for us was like a wonderful mix between the beauty we had experienced in Laos, South East Asia and Switzerland.. if you have been to both places, you will know what we mean! A sharp right turn and your hiking is rewarded when you reach Miriam's cafe, where she is always open.. you just need to ring the cowbell to let her know you are here! The apple strudel is delicious, you can eat a small meal here and we recommend you do. You can also buy amazing natural cheese here from the next village up.
For those who cannot walk so well, then you can still drive up the narrow road to the Devil's bridge and the cafe, or you could just walk up the road as it is less demanding, but if you can make the walk, then please do and you will really feel part of this amazing natural phenomenon.
This amazing secret place in Slovenia is at the very least a half day adventure. From the Lodge there are many ways to combine this natural wonder into a great day out.. you have so many options along the Soca river, or into the lower central mountains towards Cerkno or Idrija on a longer round trip, but whatever you do, try to visit Miriam in her lovely cafe!