Are you tired of the typical city sightseeing and looking for some adventure? If you are up for the challenge then you may just want to look into canyoning in Slovenia. After seeing a few pictures and reading some reviews of canyoning I figured it would be a blast. After all, who doesn’t like to swim, hike, climb and jump into pools of water? Best of all, canyoning combines all of those into the same trip. I decided to book the 3 hour canyoning tour with 3 Glav Adventures.
3 Glav Adventures said to check-in the day prior before 6 PM to reserve our spot. Some buddies and I drove the 3 hours up to Lake Bled and found a kebab restaurant for a quick lunch. Then we walked over to the 3 Glav office and got checked in for canyoning. They explained what we would be doing the next day and what we needed to bring. The nice thing is they provide all the gear you need, so just show up wearing your swimsuit and bring a towel. They took down our height and shoe size and even arranged to pick us up from our campground. Parking near Lake Bled is hard to come by.
After checking in and getting excited for the next day’s adventure, we set off to find our campsite that we booked online earlier in the week. Having been to Lake Bled a few times I knew there was a campsite at the end of the lake, but I also remembered it being super crowded and not my idea of a relaxing camping experience. After a quick online search I found the Sobec Campground. It’s only a few miles from Lake Bled and is located right on the Sava River. It is still a busy place but even in peak vacation season, I still felt like we had our own little area. Did I mention they even have free wifi? The campsite also has their own little lake fed from the river. The lake is pretty shallow along the shore, so it is a great place to take the kids during the summer. They had a section roped off that had an inflatable pyramid and two floating trampolines for kids to enjoy.
Something on the far end of the lake caught our eye: inflatable balls that you can go inside and try to walk on water in. It’s called zorbing. I convinced three of my buddies to battle it out in the blown up bubble boy type balls as if they were American Gladiators. It sure was comical watching my buddies try to stay on their feet from the shore. For only €4 you get 5 minutes in the ball or €6 for 10 minutes. My friends choose 5 minutes each and it proved to be enough. They were exhausted after! Knowing we had an adventure ahead of us the next day, we headed back to our campsite to grill up some food and enjoy a few adult beverages before calling it a night.
We all woke up early as the sun rose well before we needed up be picked up for canyoning. We cooked up some breakfast and packed up the camp. The 3 Glav van showed up right on time and off we went on our adventure. Our guide told us a bit of history about the area and also about the canyon we would be exploring for the day. The trail head for the Grmecica canyon was only a 10 minute drive from Bled. The guide laid out some tarps and all the gear we would need for the day. The water would be a brisk 48°F, so that meant full wetsuits for everyone. Start with some thick neoprene socks and then your overall-type suit. Throw on some oversize shoes and grab a hooded jacket, harness, helmet and start walking. You sweat A LOT in a wet suit. You don’t need to wear the jacket; just tie it around your waist for the hike up. It was about a 20 minute walk to where we needed to be; 10 minutes of it was flat and then the remaining 10 minutes was a climb. The guide joked that if you want to go down you must climb up first.
Once we reached our entrance to the canyon, we geared up the rest of the way and had a quick lesson at abseiling (or rappelling as you may know it). They take safety seriously, so pay attention. After the lesson they tie off to a tree and we all repelled down to the creek to where the real fun began. After walking down the creek a bit, we hit our first obstacle: a 3-meter waterfall. They tell you where you step and where to jump to avoid any shallow areas that there may be. For the next hour or so we jumped, climbed, scrambled, and rappelled our way down the canyon. At one obstacle you jump down into a small hole filled with water, hold your breath, and the guide pushes you under an arch. You pop right back up the hole adjacent to it. Climb out of there and you have a small waterslide to the next pool. There were probably 6 or 7 pools in all to jump down. After some 6-meter jumps, there is finally a 10-meter waterfall. If you do get scared or just don’t like the jump, you always have the option to rappel down. I will admit that at the last 10-meter waterfall I took the easy way down, which included a 6-meter jump just around the corner.
After posing for a few group pictures, we began the hike back down. Only the way back is not a 20 minute hike; after about a 3 minute hike back to the river and we were relaxing and floating down the river back to the vehicles. Don’t get too comfortable as the river is shallow and there will be a surprising obstacle or two you will encounter. Once you get back to the van you’ll be happy to rip off your climbing gear and wetsuits and soak up the sun for a few minutes before packing up.
The 3 hour canyoning trip with 3 Glav Adventures costs €55 and our group had nothing but good things to say about the trip. A few days later and we’re already trying to plan the next canyoning adventure.