Kocevski Rog or Kocevje Rog is a karst plateau in southeastern Slovenia. The forested plateau is part of the Slovenian Dinaric Alps. Its highest point is the 1,099-meter peak of Veliki Rog. One of the features of the untouched countryside is the famous Slovenian brown bear, of which nearly 250 individuals live here.

Kočevski Rog is a protected natural area for more than 100 years. This paradise is home to the brown bears, lynxes, and foxes that live here.

The countryside has been growing in popularity since the opening of the bear-watching tours. You can see the king of the forest from the safe houses built in the woods.

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Bear watching tours in Kocevski rog

Map - Where is Kocevski Rog?

The plateau is located above the Crmosnjice valley in the southern part of Slovenia in the region of Bela Krajina. The Croatian border is only a few kilometers away. The plateau is also part of the Dinaric Alps, and the Krk Valley.

  • Distance from Ljubljana: 1.5 hours / 85 km
Kocevski rog map, Slovenia

Veliki Rog (1099 m)

Veliki Rog is located in the middle of the endless forests of the Kocevje Rog karst plateau. The top is already overgrown, but it has a lookout tower with a nice panorama in clear weather. Below the summit are the remains of a sawmill that was abandoned before World War II. Easy, comfortable half-day tour.

Hiking around

Roughly 10 different hiking trails pass through the mostly pine and beech forest. In addition to the trees, you can see smaller caves, sinkholes, and medium hilltops.

Feel free to climb the highest peak, Veliki Rog. And let's not wander off from the marked trails, remember that it is the land of the bear.

Due to the great importance of the animal species found here, Kočevsko has been identified as part of a Natura 2000 site. In addition to the animals listed earlier, wolves, bees, owls, and various bat species makes their homes here.

You must not forget that in parts of the primeval forests such as Rajhenavski Rog, Prelesnikova koliševka, Strmec, and the Krakow Forest; the aim is to research and protect species, not to develop mass tourism.

The endless forest of Kocevski rog

Attractions in the area

Don’t expect as many attractions and programs as in Triglav National Park. The main value of the countryside is its undisturbed nature. Focus on the forest, enjoy it, and go hiking in it.

With the exception of Kočevje and other smaller towns and villages, the area is mostly covered with forests. The real treasure is the hidden primeval forest, as it is one of the best-preserved natural parts of Central Europe.

#1 Soteska ruins, Grad Soteska

Between 1664 and 1689, Yuri Žiga Gallenberg built the huge Soteska Castle in the deep and narrow valley of the river Krka. Valvasor was designed as one of the most beautiful castles in the Kranjska region as a rectangle with four single-story wings, four corner towers, and a special entrance tower.

Soteska Castle ruins

The source of its economic strength was the nearby forests, and a kind of golden age for the valley began in the 19th century when a sawmill was built on the right bank of the Krka river. The ruins of the castle and the sawmill are open to visitors. The castle has a gazebo and the Devil's Tower.

  • Address: Soteska 42, 8351 Straža pri Novem mestu, Slovenia

#2 Rozek castle, Grad Rožek

You can also go to the ruins of the 13th century Rozek Castle. Unfortunately, there is very little visible from the ruin today, so be careful not to go past them.

  • Address: Grad Rozek, 8350 Podturn pri Dol. Toplicah, Slovenia

#3 River Divji, Divji potok

During our excursions, it is worth visiting the river called Divji Pots, where you can see several smaller waterfalls.

Divji stream

#4 Zeljnske Cave, Željnske jame

Here you will also find the Željnske Cave, a collapsed cave with two windows. Your visit is free.

#5 Lake Kocevski, Kočevski jezero

Next to Kocevje, next to the Zeljnske Cave, there is a lake of the same name, where you can even swim, pedal, and go boating.

#6 Krupa source, Izvir Krupe

Krupa is a small village next to the Krupa stream. The Krupa River later joins the Lahinja River, which is a tributary of the Kolpa River. Super excursion place. You can also follow the 2.5 km long river.

Krupa river source

II. World War

During World War II, partisans, under the command of Marshal Tito, used this forest as headquarters. In 1943 and 1944, 26 barracks housed Partizan leadership.

Base 20 is also a trail on one of the shorter hiking trails in Kocevje Rog. The circular resistance path leads past various memorial cemeteries and the Jelendol Partisan Hospital, which has treated the injured since 1943.

In May 1945, a shocking incident occurred, with 12,000 people massacred by Yugoslav troops.

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