Zelenci Springs Slovenia - Kranjska Gora

Zelenci Springs Slovenia

Zelenci Springs

Zelenci Springs is a nature reserve near  Kranjska Gora, 15km from us, in the far northwestern corner of Slovenia. It is the source of the Sava Dolinka River, a tributary of the Danube.

At Zelenci Springs, water from underground Nadiža Creek (originating in the Planica Valley) re-emerges through the porous bottom of a 2 m deep lake, whose waters are noted for their deep, brilliant green. The spring and surrounding area are named after this colour (Zelenci is a deadjectival plural noun from Slovene zelen ‘green’.)

History of Zelenci Springs Slovenia

Zelenci Springs was declared a nature reserve in 1992, both for its geological interest and as home to numerous endangered animal and plant species. The area of the nature reserve is 47 ha. The maintained trails feature informational signage, as well as viewing bridges and an observation tower.

The natural environment, multiple springs and emerald-green lake also drew the attention of the painter Ladislau Benesch (1845–1922).

Zelenci Nature Reserve is a picturesque natural gem in the heart of the Julian Alps near Kranjska Gora, Slovenia. Renowned for its emerald-green lake, lush wetlands, and diverse ecosystem, Zelenci is a haven for nature lovers, outdoor enthusiasts, and photographers alike. Here’s a closer look at what makes Zelenci Nature Reserve a must-visit destination:

Natural Beauty of Zelenci Springs:

  1. Emerald-green Lake: The centrepiece of Zelenci Nature Reserve is the stunning emerald-green lake, fed by the crystal-clear waters of the Šunik Stream. The vibrant colour of the water is due to the mineral deposits and submerged vegetation, creating a mesmerising sight that contrasts beautifully with the surrounding landscape.
  2. Wetlands and Marshes: Surrounding the lake, visitors will find a diverse wetland habitat with marshes, peat bogs, and meadows. These wetlands provide essential habitat for various plant and animal species, including rare and endangered flora and fauna.
  3. Scenic Views: Zelenci offers breathtaking views of the surrounding Julian Alps, including towering peaks, verdant forests, and alpine meadows. The tranquil ambience and pristine natural setting make it a perfect spot for relaxation and contemplation.


  1. Flora: Zelenci Nature Reserve is home to diverse plant life, including unique wetland species such as water lilies, marsh marigolds, and carnivorous sundew plants. The reserve also supports a variety of grasses, sedges, and mosses adapted to the wetland environment.
  2. Fauna: The wetlands and surrounding habitats provide habitat for various animal species, including amphibians, birds, and small mammals. Visitors may spot species such as frogs, newts, waterfowl, and songbirds as they explore the reserve.

Recreational Activities:

  1. Nature Walks and Hiking: Zelenci Nature Reserve offers a network of well-maintained trails and boardwalks, allowing visitors to explore the diverse ecosystems and scenic vistas at their own pace. Interpretive signage along the trails provides insights into the natural and cultural history of the area.
  2. Photography: With its stunning landscapes, vibrant colours, and abundant wildlife, Zelenci is a paradise for photographers seeking to capture the beauty of nature in all its glory. The reserve offers endless opportunities for capturing memorable shots from sunrise to sunset.
  3. Birdwatching: Birdwatchers will delight in observing various bird species in their natural habitat, including waterfowl, songbirds, and raptors. The wetlands and surrounding forests provide excellent opportunities for birdwatching throughout the year.

Conservation and Protection:

  1. Nature Conservation: Zelenci Nature Reserve is designated as a protected area managed by the Triglav National Park Authority. Conservation efforts focus on preserving unique ecosystems, safeguarding rare and endangered species, and promoting environmental education and awareness.
  2. Visitor Education: Interpretive displays, guided tours, and educational programs offer visitors insights into the ecological importance of wetlands, the cultural heritage of the area, and the importance of conservation efforts in preserving natural treasures like Zelenci.

In summary, Zelenci Nature Reserve stands as a testament to the beauty and diversity of Slovenia’s natural heritage. With its emerald-green lake, lush wetlands, and breathtaking scenery, Zelenci offers a sanctuary for wildlife and visitors, inviting exploration, appreciation, and conservation for future generations.

Accommodation in a mountain hut

Trips and Hikes around the hut

Trips and Hikes on the map

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Slovenia (en)

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Erjavceva mountain hut at Vrsic pass in summer

Erjavčeva mountain hut is open the whole year. Reserve your stay and spend some time in the natural paradise of Triglav National Park (UNESCO) near Kranjska Gora on Vršič mountain pass in the heart of Triglav National Park.

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