Iški Vintgar – the Ig Canyon -- was created millions of years ago, when a new fault emerged in the tectonically active region and was then shaped by the waters of the Iška River, as it made its way down from the highlands of Inner Carniola towards the Ljubljana Basin.
The waters created a magical world of rocks, cliffs, scraggly peaks, and waterfalls, all surrounded by forests with diverse animal and plant life. Among the rare flowers found in the area is the Carniolan primrose, which is endemic to Slovenia. Most of the gorge, which is around 400 to 500 meters deep, can be explored by walking; the European E6 trail runs partly in the canyon. Along the way, dolomite and calcite cliffs provide a special treat to those interested in geology.
Iški Vintgar, for all its serenity, did not escape the political turmoil of the 20th century. In 1942, the Partisan resistance set up a military hospital in the area. Because of its location above the canyon, the facility, known as Krvavice, remained hidden to the occupying forces. After the war, the Yugoslav Army maintained its facilities nearby, and Iški Vintgar was long closed to foreign visitors.
These days, the area is open to all and the old Partisan hospital, now restored, is just a short hike away from the bottom of the canyon. All summer long, the banks of the Iška River are filled with people who come to escape the heat of the city by walking in the greenery or swimming in the clean water of the Iška River – another reminder of Ljubljana’s close bonds to the nature that surrounds it.