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St. Ivan and Šebrelje

From Reka to sv. Ivan


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Hiking in Slovenia

The start of the route

The route to Šebrelje begins in Reka, a hamlet on the road between Idrija and Tolmin. If you drive to the starting-point through Idrija or Cerkno, Reka is the first hamlet after the junction where the road branches off for Cerkno, while if you come from the Tolmin direction, Reka is the first hamlet after Stopnik. Opposite the junction where a side road branches off for Bukovo and Zakojca you'll find quite a big carpark, which you can safely use, and then set off back towards Reka. After some metres a macadam road turns off on the right down towards the Idrijca river, at the junction you'll also notice a signpost which promises you a walk of 1 hour, 45 minutes to Šebrelje.

The first slopes

The rocky edges below sv. Ivan

The macadam road quickly dops down to the Idrijca, crosses it by a fairly solid bridge, and then winds by the edge of a meadow to a turn-off by a hay-hut, where the waymarks direct you sharply right. Continue uphill on the macadam as far as the last house, where with some luck you'll see a waymark placed high up on the meadow behind the house. Go left across the yard, and then straight up along the remnants of an old cart-track. This bears slightly right  and then completely disappears, leaving you with only a narrow, but fairly well-used little path, which climbs steeply into the forest. At first it simply heads straight up the slope, but when this becomes too steep, it changes to short zig-zags, bringing you after about half an hour's ascent to a ridge from which you can already see between the trees the neighbouring summits of the Idrijsko hills.

On the ridge the path turns right and follows it comfortably to a rocky edge, above which you'll probably observe the gleaming walls of sv. Ivan. The path now turns left before the rocks and takes you into increasingly precipitous terrain, but then manages to find a natural passage through the rocks, twisting right and again left, and guides you without difficulty along fairly broad ledges above the rocks (while walking along these rock ledges watch out for snakes). From the ledges the path turns again into the forest, which brings to an end the view of the Sevnica ravine and surrounding summits, and some minutes later you find yourself on a broad cart-track leading over surprisingly gentle meadows. Turn right and in a few minutes you see the beautifully restored church of sv Ivan in front of you.

The church is consecrated to John the Baptist (Janez Krstnik), but the local people persist in calling it sv. Ivan.

Saint Ivan

A view of the
surrounding hills

After a short rest in the shade of the trees growing around the church and before continuing your trip, you must by all means walk to the northern defence wall and climb up onto it – you'll be rewarded with an excellent view of part of the Lower Bohinj mountains appearing above the ravine Bukovska grapa through a gap between the plateau Šentviška planota and the summit  of Kojca; you'll soon pick out Porezen in Bukov vrh as well, while far behind them, on a clear day,  the typical bald top of Blegoš is there to greet you.

From the church you can set off on a walk around Šebreljska planota (I recommend it!), or drop down to the caves Divje babe (the well-marked path begins right by the church) and then try to find the little path that leads into the valley, but if you're short of time, it's best to return to the valley the same way as you came.

Translated by Margaret Davis
© www.zaplana.net and Margaret Davis, 2007

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