The municipality of Ilirska Bistrica
The municipality of Ilirska Bistrica lies at the juncture of the roads between Trieste (Italy), Rijeka (Croatia) and Ljubljana, near the boarder with Croatia.
It spreads over the valley under Mount Snežnik ( 1.796 m), measures 480 km2 and contains about 14.300 inhabitants.
The Reka river dominates the diverse landscape, from the mountainous districts of the mighty forests of Snežnik to the hilly Brkini and the hillsides of Čičarija.
It is divided into the following natural areas:
1. Snežnik Plateau (Snežniška planota) with Javorniki:
Snežnik is the highest non-Alpine mountain, a popular mountain peak, with the riches of the Snežnik forest, grassland valleys, the wild karst landscapes with abysses and precipice walls, and the areas of eternal ice, with unique vegetation, the remains of Ilyric fortifications, the Roman defence walls and the remains of the former Italian border with a great number of underground caverns, barracks, border posts and water reservoirs. Snežnik, the Glacier cave under it, Mašun abyss, Kozlek and Gomanci are renowned for recreation, skiing, fun games in the snow, hunting, photography, educational workshops, and for education on local flora and fauna.
Sviščaki Centre is the starting point for an assault on Snežnik. There you will find many holiday houses, ski slopes and a renovated mountain lodge. The area has a very favourable climate especially for people with respiratory problems.
Mašun as a climate centre is the largest excursion place with a forest farm with accommodation, delicious venison dishes, " picnic" places available in the forest, with a small ski slope, also for night skiing and the possibility of riding on a horse sledge. The wide road network offers a great starting point for bicycling and hiking, and cross-country skiing in the winter.
2. The Reka river Valley ( Dolina reke Reke):
From the spring at the foot of Gomanci to the Škocjanske Caves, it is ideal for water sports, such as rafting, fishing tourism, photography and more. By the spring of the river lies Dleto, a narrow valley, which stretches through the woodland. Further along the trail by the river there are remnants of old mills, among them the home of the poetess Maksa Samsa. In the river valley there are also Lazzarini?s Manor Jablanica and the Zabiče Manor.
The old town of Ilirska Bistrica with the remnants of water-mills and saw-mills, the old-time castle Gradina, the Monastery of the sisters of Notre Dame, Vencin?s house, the Town Hall, the intermittent waterfall of the brook Sušec and rich architecture from different periods, is interesting for walks, performances, encounters and others.
You can also visit the Military Museum (Vojaški muzej), which presents the period from the Austro-Hungarian Monarchy until the last war in Slovenia.
Water-storage lakes Mola and Klivnik.