Start Routes Via Alpina Slovenia: Red trail Stage 5 (Črni Vrh- Idrija)
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Via Alpina Slovenia: Red trail Stage 5 (Črni Vrh- Idrija)

Hiking trail · Slovenia
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    Video: Visit Idrija
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This route crosses the Idrija hills, to the west of which is the expansive Trnovo Forest. The relatively short and flat stage provides good air and pleasant forest shelter.

About the region

Distance 11.9 km
3:27 h
188 m
547 m
727 m
327 m

The sparsely populated Črni vrh plateau is named after the biggest town in the area, Črni Vrh. Javornik’s ridge forms the plateau’s southern boundary, whilst to the north it descends steeply towards the Idrijca river. Its sparse population and remoteness from urban light pollution make it an ideal location for an astronomical observatory, which lies in the middle of the plateau.

The plateau's serenity is than broken dramatically by the Idrijca valley. We descend into the hilly and furrowed terrain around the town of Idrija. The mercury mine near Idrija was created by a combination of tectonics and volcanic activity. Natural jewls include lake Divje jezero in the valley of the Idrijca river, which is accessible via a steep path from the Črni Vrh plateau. This Karstic lake lies just before Idrija, which is fed by waters from the plateau above it, and is tucked away below a sheer cliff. An educational trail goes around the lake.


Author’s recommendation

Relax and enjoy the air, remembering that most people living in the area were not that lucky, working in the mines under your feet.
Profile picture of Peter Lenarcic
Peter Lenarcic 
Update: September 08, 2022
Highest point
727 m
Lowest point
327 m
Best time of year

Track types

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Safety information

The last descend is quite steep, so caution is advised. Do not swim in the lake Divje Jezero.

Tips and hints

Divje jezero lake (Wild lake) was the first nature museum in Slovenia and is well worth the visit.


Črni Vrh (687 m)
45.926174, 14.043775
45°55'34.2"N 14°02'37.6"E
33T 425858 5086289
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Turn-by-turn directions

Start from the main square in Črni vrh and walk to the church across the road, then turn right. Turn left at the end of the fence and walk along the tarmac road running past the church. Continue walking past the resting area where the road ends, then turn into the forest and cross the hill. When you reach the dirt track, turn right towards the isolated farmstead. 50 m ahead, at the electricity pole, make a sharp left turn off the road. The turn is poorly marked. Pass through a narrow gap between the rock and cross the meadow on the other side to reach the macadam road, which gives way to a tarmac road. You will have arrived at the small hamlet of Spodnje Griže. 15 minutes.

Go left along the tarmac road which gives way to a macadam road only a few metres later at the picturesque hayrack. The level road runs through spacious meadows and grassland in an idyllic rural setting. Turn right when you reach the tarmac road and walk for 15 minutes until you reach a crossroads. A religious monument stands on the traffic island in the middle of the crossroads. You will be standing in the elongated hamlet of Idrijski Log. The hike from Spodnje Griže takes approximately 40 minutes. At the crossroads, go left along the road and walk past the holiday house. Turn right onto the macadam road immediately after the house (approx. 100 m), when you reach the stone scarp.

Walk past the newly-constructed building and head into the forest. The road makes a sharp left turn after about 5 minutes. Here, the Via Alpina route turns right onto the dirt track. After about 100 m, turn right again and climb up a secondary dirt track, which soon gives way to a narrow path. Climb up across the clearing onto the top (Smrekovec (729 m)), then walk lower down the forest road to reach another road. Turn left here and walk to the Pevc farmstead. 15 min. At the farmstead, a narrow road branches off to the left. Cross it and walk down the broad forest road. When the terrain levels out, make a sharp left turn. The last section of the route overlooks the Idrijca river valley and is very steep. You will reach the road at the dam, opposite which is the beginning of a water channel.

Go right along the road for 200 m until you reach a wooden footbridge across the Idrijca river. 30 minutes. Cross the footbridge onto the left bank of the river. Walk along the very good pedestrian path which follow the channel. Go right along path right to the closed mercury mine for which Idrija is renowned. Follow the water channel all along the way. The water flows into the large stone building that can be seen on the right as you pass the mine. This is the so-called "Idrijska kamšt" - a large waterwheel in the building drives the pumps that draw the water from the mine. (The wheel is the largest in Europe with a diameter of 13.8 m). Walk along the road until you reach the crossroads then follow the smaller branch past the small hydroelectric power station Mesto and the school playground. Walk through the metal construction across the road to reach the Idrija bus station. The walk along the water channel to Idrija takes 30 minutes. This is one of the shorter stages and takes 2h 15 minutes.


all notes on protected areas

Public transport

Possible by bus or car to Idrija. Črni Vrh by car.

Getting there

Small section on highway Ljubljana- Koper, exit Logatec/Idrija


Some free and payable parking available


45.926174, 14.043775
45°55'34.2"N 14°02'37.6"E
33T 425858 5086289
Show on Map
Arrival by train, car, foot or bike

Book recommendation by the author

Zbirka vodnikov Kulturni in naravni spomeniki Slovenije, 188. Ljubljana, Ministrstvo za kulturo.

Author’s map recommendations

Notranjski kras ~ Geodetski zavod Slovenije (1 : 50 000)

Book recommendations for this region:

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Normal hiking equipment.

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11.9 km
3:27 h
188 m
547 m
Highest point
727 m
Lowest point
327 m
Multi-stage route Scenic Cultural/historical interest Geological highlights Botanical highlights


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