Yesterday’s memories of cycling around Lake Bled, indulging in Bled cake and kicking back on the Palenta boat has left you feeling as if there’s nothing left in Slovenia for you to discover. Wrong! Lake Bled may be considered Slovenia’s most alluring tourist attraction but there’s no doubt about it that the Sava River is rising straight to number two. Flowing through a number of Slovene towns and villages, the Sava River is a hidden treasure that is not receiving the attention it deserves.
If you need to be persuaded then here are 10 reasons why the River Sava should be added to your Slovene itinerary.
1. It’s not just any old river
At first glance The River Sava will have you hypnotized by its magical mix of blue and green tones. The river is also known as the ‘Blue Heart of Europe’ and it is no surprise as to why it holds that title. Science buffs explain that the incredible iridescent green-blue colour is caused by sediments entering the river. The River Sava is so unique and precious it is really something you have to see and experience for your own eyes. Its unique colour will leave you dazzled. Photographs just don’t quite capture the magic.
2. The views are so enchanting they give Lake Bled a run for its money
There is no doubt that the best way to explore the river is to follow the Sava River Trail. The trail begins at Sobec and ends at Fuxova Brv. Running alongside the river, the trail ranges from a mix of ascents and descents. Up high gives you the perfect view of not only the river but also a glimpse of nearby towns and villages. From down low you will be able to get up close and personal with the river. If you’re feeling brave why not dip your feet in? But be warned, it’s cold!
3. The river isn’t the only thing waiting to be explored
With a river that inviting, it’s hard to take your eyes off it even for a second. But do try to redirect your attention to the dense forest that rests besides you. Listen and follow the sounds of trickling water that will lead you to nearby springs that slowly wiggle their way down to the river. If the earthy magic lures you off path a little, don’t worry the trail is well signposted so you can easily find your way back.
4. Boulder rock is pretty impressive too
Halfway through your Sava River adventure you will notice signs for upcoming Balvani (Boulder Rock). The entire walk you’ll continue to stop and announce, ‘oh look I think this is Boulder Rock!’, at every boulder you see. But trust me, you’ll know when you see it. Perched on the riverside, this geological formation really is a sight of natural wonder.
5. There’s something for the animal lover in you
As you make your way down the river you’ll begin to realise you’re not alone. The forest is rich in wildlife due to its perfect habitable conditions. Many animals linger around the river banks because all year long the river is a vital source for food. The kinds of animals you can expect to find here can include Deer, Badger and Fox.
The river will have to take a backseat, while the creatures of the forest steal the spotlight. So make sure to pack your binoculars and pay close attention to the footprints in the mud. You never know who’s round the corner!
6. You don’t have to be an advanced trekker to give it a go
From start to finish the trail can last a few hours. However, starting in the charming town of Radovlijca shortens the walk to just 45 minutes but still allows you to see all the breath-taking best bits of the full walk.
7. Walking isn’t the only way of exploring the river
If you’re one of those adrenaline junkies and walking doesn’t set your heart racing enough then there are other ways to check the river out.
The River Sava holds the perfect conditions for adrenaline pumping sport of river boarding. This isn’t for the faint hearted! With just one small float between you and the river, you’ll feel direct contact with the powerful waters.
If you’re looking for something (slightly) less scary there are opportunities for other water sports such as kayaking and rafting.
8. The weather isn’t an excuse
Don’t let the hot and sweaty Slovene summer sunshine put you off! The thick forest overhead keeps you out of the sun and in the shade for the majority of the trail. When the forest thins out and the sunshine bursts through, dip your feet in the river to cool off. A winter’s walk by the river side isn’t so glum when the sun is shining through. It may be cold but the sights are still equally as pretty. Keep an eye out for the iced over springs.
9. More than likely you’ll meet The River Sava again… in a different country
Connecting four other countries the river begins at its source in the Slovenian Alps flowing through Slovenia, Croatia, Bosnia and Serbia and then filtering off into the Danube in Hungary. So as European travelling buff, you better get make yourself familiar with the river… as this won’t be the last you hear of it.
10. The fun doesn’t finish at the end of the trail
Embedded into the charming town of Radovjlica, upon finishing the trail you would be silly to just head straight home. Pop into the Old Town and treat yourself to some delicious home-made pastries. You deserve it!