The Lahinja Landscape Park comprises the area of natural and cultural heritage of the upper reaches of the Lahinja River. It is one of the smaller landscape parks in Slovenia with an area of 2.6km2. Its main characteristic is a distinct contrast between karst landscape and large areas of permanent or intermittent wetlands. Unlike most of the Bela krajina region, the predominant natural element of the park is water in its many forms, which has carved out numerous natural phenomena and provided a habitat for various plant and animal species.
There are numerous karst features and distinctive dry land in the park, as well as two natural wetland reserves. This remarkably diverse landscape is home to many rare animal and plant species and habitat types. The entire Lahinja Landscape Park is part of the Natura 2000 network.
Numerous archaeological sites indicate that the area of the park has been inhabited for thousands of years. One of the most important reasons that early settlements formed here is the rich waterway. The Lahinja River, which rises below the village of Knežina, becomes especially wide and deep in the village of Pusti Gradec. People inhabited the area of the park as far back as prehistoric times, but a more complete picture of the settlement was formed in medieval times when a castle was built in Pusti Gradec.
The Lahinja Landscape Park was declared an environmentally protected area by the Municipality of Črnomelj in 1988. In collaboration with the Institute for the Protection of Natural and Cultural Heritage Novo mesto, the purpose of establishing a landscape park was to protect the natural heritage and biodiversity of the Lahinja River watercourse from the effects of hydromelioration. The main principle of declaring the protected area was to maintain and preserve the natural and cultural heritage, which is still the guiding principle of the park to this day.
The Lahinja Landscape Park is located in the heart of Bela krajina and is open to all. Visitors can walk around the park on marked hiking trails and explore the various natural sites, nature reserves, the meanders of the Lahinja and Nerajčica rivers, karst springs and sources, hypothermal springs, sinkholes and rich architectural heritage.
Lahinja Landscape Park information point - Plavec homestead
Veliki Nerajec 11, 8343 Dragatuš, Slovenia
We try and keep steady opening hours of the information point of the park, but due to workload in the park, seasons and staff availability, we occasionaly have to change opening hours. We list all changes and accurate opening hours in the Contact section of our first page.
Hours are subject to change. Please call us in advance to ensure the best experience of visiting the information centre.