Another gem of Slovenia, considered to be the land of the waters, is the Pekel Gorge, just a few kilometres from Ljubljana - the Gorge of Hell. The wildly romantic close-knit doesn’t approach Vintgar or Tolmin Gorges, yet it’s the perfect half-day family program. A fairytale, romantic place where untouched nature awaits us.

During the gorge tour, you can see 7 waterfalls (officially there are only 5), which are 3 to 29 meters high. The hike in the 1.5 km long gorge leads through the woods and takes 2 hours to finish.

Part of the route is technical, so you can only walk it with older children, but the first section of the gorge is also ideal for less experienced families. Hearing the name Hell, you might think you are about to head to a scary, barren and depressing place. Fortunately, in reality, the gorge does not reflect its name.

Pekel gorge Details
Country Slovenia
Local name Soteska Pekel
Locations Ljubljana area
Distance from Ljubljana 30 km / 20 mins
Address Soteska Pekel 1353 Borovnica, Slovenia
Opening hours Every day, 0-24
Admission Free
Difficulty Easy, but technical
Kid-friendly? Yes, from 8 yrs
Dog-friendly? Yes
Barrier-free? No

Photos

Where is Pekel Gorge?

Address, map, distance, parking, entrance, approach

Pekel gorge belongs to Borovnica, and is located 30 km south of Ljubljana. The strait is not far from the Ljubljana wetland. The gorge can be found on the Slovene map as soteska Pekel.

  • Address: Soteska Pekel 1353 Borovnica, Slovenia
  • Parking: at Gostišče Pekel restaurant
  • Distance from Ljubljana: 30 km / 20 minutes by car
Pekel gorge - Ljubljana distance

Leave the "Ljubljana-Koper" motorway at the Vrhnika exit. Turn left at the traffic light and turn left again at the next one. Follow the Borovnica sign and then turn towards Brezovica in Borovnica. Parking is available next to the Pekel Restaurant at the end of the road.

It is worth knowing that there is also a cave called Jama Pekel in Slovenia, which you would translate to Cave of Hell. Don't be fooled by the name match. The two locations are more than an hour’s drive away.

Hiking in Pekel Gorge

The wild and picturesque Pekel Gorge, carved by the Borovniščica stream and well known for its waterfalls, begins at the Gostišče Pekel restaurant and passes in different directions. You can put together tours of varying difficulty from several routes - from easy to difficult.

The name of the gorge translates to "Hell." Therefore, at its entrance stands a colourful wooden statue depicting the Devil. This indicates that the gorge is ruled by the Devil. You will also find wooden bridges and iron ladders in the gorge. The road also runs through a meadow where a renovated watermill stands.

Hiking in Pekel gorge Details
Difficulty Medium
Length 4 km
Level diff. 350 m
Duration 2 hours
Min age 10 yrs
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Tip: swimming in the lakes formed at the bottom of the waterfalls is not forbidden, but it is so cold that no one is used to dipping in it.

The first stage

At the bottom of the ascent leading to the waterfalls, there is a map carved into the trunk of a tree. Although the inscription mentions 5 waterfalls, there are actually 7 falls. The gorge extends to the steep Devil's Tooth Rock (Hudičev zob).

The path is easy at first. The beginning of the tour leads to many whirlpools and pools, a real cavalcade of experiences. Sometimes, you will have to go from one side to the other. The first (official) waterfall is 4 m high, and maybe you won't take it so "seriously" among the other larger waterfalls.

The second waterfall is the “Drugi Slap” (16 m), after which the hiking trail will change, steeper and slippery.

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The road is easy to get to this point. However, you will need to be careful here and, of course, the right shoes.

Further in the gorge

On the same side of the gorge, you go up to the “Tretji Slap” (18 m), above which the road continues on an extremely steep staircase. Behind it, there are some steel cables and the marked path splits in two. Go left (straight). You will cross the creek once again while admiring the interesting rock formations above you.

Here follows the “Četrti Slap” waterfall (17 m). The route is less visible in some places, so you should pay more attention. On the left side of the gorge, you reach the 'Peti Slap' (20 m) waterfall, which will be the last. Here the gorge widens slightly, and you can cross the stream below the waterfall.

The way back

On the other side, you see the road signs for “Pokojišče” - on this side of the gorge, you have to go back. Follow the marked path, keep right and descend in the direction of 'Hudičev Zob'.

The trail is very steep, you have to cling to steel cables, so it is only suitable for hikers with some experience! After a while, you will return to the same path you came from. From here, you just have to go back to your starting point.

Opening hours

The gorge is open day and night in winter and summer. Regardless, after dark, it is not recommended to visit the gorge. In winter, the frozen waterfalls are covered with ice wall climbers.

  • Season: Jan - Dec
  • Opening hours: every day from 0:00 to 24:00
Hiking in the gorge is not recommended during heavy rains and in the days that follow, as the trail runs on slippery rocks that can be dangerous at such times.

Prices

Admission to the gorge is free, you do not have to pay for a ticket.

  • Admissions: free