Soteska Pekel (Hell Gorge) – Borovnica, Slovenia - Atlas Obscura

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Soteska Pekel (Hell Gorge)

Borovnica, Slovenia

Apparently, Hell has waterfalls in Slovenia. 


The last thing you’d expect to see in a place named Hell are waterfalls, right? Well, Soteska Pekel (“Hell Gorge”) in Slovenia has five of them and is famous among the locals as a wonderful place to swim and relax during the summer.

The gorge was created as a result of the sinking of the Ljubljana Marshes, which span 163 square kilometers south of the Slovenian capital city. Its steep dolomite walls show alternating bands of dark and light rock, which geologists have used to learn about the ancient history of this region.

The trail to Soteska Pekel starts next to Pekel Inn and a small devil statue. Although it’s relatively easy, it can get a bit steep and narrow at times. The highest of the waterfalls is at about 450 meters above sea level. The round trip to see all the waterfalls takes about two hours, not counting swimming breaks. You can also go higher to the top of the gorge at 650 meters to the rocky Devil’s tooth formation.

Know Before You Go

Soteska Pekel can be found in the village of Borovnica and reached by car or public transport. The train from Ljubljana, the capital of Slovenia, takes 20 minutes to Borovnica and you can walk the rest of the way to Pekel Inn (about 45 minutes down the road). A word of caution: visiting after a longer period of rain can be dangerous and very slippery.

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