You’ve been charmed by the streets of Ljubljana and awestruck by the alpine wonders of Bled. However your go to to Slovenia isn’t full till you’ve skilled at the least one of many high 5 caves in Slovenia.

Listed below are the highest ideas from Terry Anzur, a Slovenian-American journalist on the weblog Strangers in the Living Room:

  1. Postojna Cave: one thing for everybody
  2. Predjama Cave Fort: world’s largest cave fort
  3. Škočjan Caves: UNESCO heritage underground
  4. Pivka Cave: journey for thrill-seekers
  5. Idrija Mercury Mine: deep dive into historical past

Which Slovenia cave journey is best for you? In a rustic with lots of of caves in Slovenia, there’s one thing for everybody: Pure magnificence, fascinating historical past, epic journey and even a Disneyland-style practice journey.

The speedy train ride through Postojna Cave makes a Slovenia cave adventure accessible for travelers of all ages and abilities.
The speedy practice journey by Postojna Cave makes a Slovenia cave journey accessible for vacationers of all ages and skills. Photograph courtesy Iztok Media for Postojna Cave Park.

Postojna Cave: Accessible Slovenia Cave Journey

If in case you have time for just one Slovenia cave journey, make it Postojna Cave. This pure marvel has been wowing guests for greater than 200 years. In 1818, an area lamplighter stumbled into the cave and declared: “Right here is paradise.”

Greater than 40 million folks have visited Postojna Cave since then. It’s the third most visited attraction in Slovenia, after Ljubljana and Bled. At instances, you may need the sensation that you simply’re in a cave-themed amusement park. Don’t despair if there’s a line to board the practice; it strikes shortly.

The three.7 km practice journey makes probably the most astounding chambers and galleries accessible for all ages and skills. Don’t miss the huge Dance Corridor, lit by Murano glass chandeliers. There may be an elective 1.5 km stroll to the enduring “Sensible” formation.

You should definitely keep seated on the practice because it whips previous the overhead rocks with lethal pace. Please respect nature by not touching the formations. They fashioned over hundreds of thousands of years, one drop of water at a time.

For max enjoyment, put down your digital camera. Within the low gentle, your telephone images are prone to be disappointing. Flash pictures just isn’t allowed. Skilled photographers want permission to arrange lights.

Be a part of this Postojna Cave tour from Ljubljana!

Postojna Cave in Slovenia
Guests to Postojna Cave have the choice of staying on the practice or taking this brief stroll by huge galleries to view the enduring rock formations. Photograph courtesy Iztok Media for Postojna Cave Park.

Slovenia’s Child Dragons

Children will love seeing the “child dragons,” a novel species in Postojna Cave. The olms can reside for 100 years and might survive a decade with out meals. Purchase a separate ticket to the Vivarium to study extra about all of the creatures of the underground world.

When to Go to: Postojna Cave is open one year a yr. There’s an underground nativity scene through the holidays. Convey a heat jacket due to the fixed 10-degree Celsius temperature, year-round. To keep away from the summer time crowds in June, July and August, arrive when the cave opens at 9 am. The large tour teams arrive later within the morning.

Getting there: Postojna Cave Park is a straightforward day journey from Ljubljana or Bled, by automotive or bus. Reserve tickets online or purchase on the ticket workplace.

Professional tip: Keep on the Hotel Jama to skip the ticket line and get a reduction on tour packages. Tenting within the space can also be fashionable. There’s a car parking zone for motorhomes. There’s even a free kennel the place your pet can wait whilst you tour the cave.

Predjama Fort: Mighty Slovenia Cave Fortress

Predjama Fort, the world’s largest cave fortress, is simply a brief drive from Postonja Cave. You may simply go to each on the identical day with a mixed “Two Adventures” ticket or combined tour.

Many group excursions solely cease for the insta-worthy picture alternative of the Slovenia cave fort rising from stable karst rock. However it’s best to plan to go inside and study the fascinating historical past.

The fifteenth Century knight Erazem withstood a siege for greater than a yr by smuggling in contemporary meals by the cave tunnels. Sadly, he didn’t survive a cannonball that struck the fort at its most susceptible level: the bathroom.

Make a want as you ring the fort’s bell. It was used to warn of approaching invaders. You solely must admire the view of the encompassing countryside.

Professional tip: Get the Predjama Fort audio information for a vivid description of life within the Center Ages as you stroll by the torture chamber and weapon rooms.

Predjama Castle Slovenia cave adventure
Go inside the enduring Predjama Cave Fort to go to the caves that made it attainable to carry off an invading military for greater than a yr.

Škočjan Caves: UNESCO heritage Slovenia Cave

For a extra pure Slovenia cave expertise, go to the Škočjan Caves in Slovenia. UNESCO has organized a guided tour that presents the underground world heritage whereas respecting the atmosphere.

You’ll be awestruck by the underground cathedrals, carved out over the centuries by the Reka River. Pictures just isn’t allowed for many of the tour contained in the caves. Close to the exit, there’s a image alternative that conveys the majesty of what you have got simply skilled.

Sturdy mountain climbing footwear are a should, in addition to a jacket for the underground chill. Be ready for slippery pavement and lots of of steps. This journey just isn’t beneficial for small youngsters or these with mobility considerations.

Getting there: You may go to Škočjan Caves on a day trip from Ljubljana by automotive. Buy tickets online or on the ticket workplace. Horse lovers might need to add a cease in close by Lipica, dwelling of the Lipizzaner horses you will have seen performing in Vienna. Bicycle excursions of the karst area are one other nice possibility.

Professional tip: Permit some additional time for an prolonged hike by the karst panorama and the charming village of Škočjan. Mountain climbing trails are nicely marked, ranging from the top of the cave tour.

Škočjan Cave adventure Slovenia
Škočjan Cave guided tour and prolonged hike exploring the beautiful surroundings of the karst area in Slovenia. Photograph courtesy Terry Anzur.

Pivka Cave: Journey for Thrill Seekers

In the event you got here to Slovenia for a high-octane journey, you’re in luck. With a bit planning forward, you may book an adrenalin tour within the huge underground of Postojna Cave Park. All the particular tools you will want is included within the value of the guided tour.

The Luka Čeč tour in Pivka Cave is called for the lamplighter who found the cave system in 1818, however toiled in poverty for many years earlier than getting the credit score he deserved. Be ready for rappelling down rock faces, slogging by mud and paddling by an underground lake.

Exploring the caves in Slovenia
Guide upfront to expertise a thrill-seeking Slovenia cave journey, like this tour of Pivka Cave. Photograph courtesy Terry Anzur.

You even have an opportunity to identify the child dragons and different distinctive cave species of their pure habitat. This journey was so epic for my household of three that it deserves its personal film, as you’ll see on this video:

The Bat Cave underneath the Fort

A much less demanding journey lets you discover the Windy Gap and different passageways beneath Predjama Fort. Completely different variations of this guided tour are appropriate for older youngsters and teenagers.

However watch out for bats! The constant year-round temperature makes the fort caves a hibernating spot. Tours must be reserved in advance from Could to September, when the bats are awake.

Professional tip: Gasoline up on your journey at Gostilna Požar, a pleasant mid-priced restaurant serving Slovenian specialties with a picture-postcard view of Predjama Fort.

Idrija Mercury Mine: Underground Historical past

Historical past paired with caves in Slovenia! This tour covers 500 years of UNESCO world heritage within the 700 km of mercury mine tunnels beneath the city of Idrija. Anthony’s Shaft is the oldest preserved mine entrance in Europe.

The tour begins with a film concerning the laborious lives of the mercury miners. A information sporting a mine foreman’s uniform takes you into the tunnels. You’ll see the numbered medallions miners wore throughout their shifts on the “dying clock.” They stopped at an underground chapel to wish for a secure return.

Miners stored up their spirits with robust drink. They believed the mine was haunted by a mischievous elf who would cause them to the quicksilver — or nugatory rocks. Idrija prospered because it grew to become one of many largest mercury mines on this planet. Sadly, the wealth didn’t trickle right down to the poorly paid miners.

The miners labored with out security tools till fashionable instances. What number of died from mercury poisoning and associated diseases? All of them. However you’ll be completely secure within the heat jacket and protecting helmet included with the tour. Anticipate a lot of strolling on slippery surfaces and stairs.

Idrija Mercury Mine Tour Slovenia
Miners wished one another “good luck” earlier than starting an extended laborious day within the Idrija Mercury Mine. Photograph courtesy Terry Anzur

Discover out extra on this video:

Idrija Dumplings and Lace

Above floor, the miners’ wives stored busy with lacemaking, a convention that continues immediately. The handcrafted lace bought within the native retailers makes a stupendous memento to take dwelling.

Don’t neglect to attempt the standard Idrija dumplings referred to as žlikrofi. Served with hearty sauce, they have been a filling meal for the hard-working miners. The preferred restaurant is Gostilna Pri Škafarju, only a brief stroll from the doorway to the mine tour, however the dumplings are served in lots of the native eateries.

Getting there: Idrija could be reached by automotive on a day journey from Ljubljana. Discover tour times and ticket information on the web site.

Professional tip: If in case you have extra time, go to Gewerkenegg Fort, which looms over the slim streets of the small, pleasant city. It’s stuffed with reveals concerning the historical past of mercury mining and lacemaking in Idrija.

Planning a visit to Slovenia? The most important mistake you may make just isn’t permitting sufficient time for the entire nature and historical past that’s packed into this small nation – the caves in Slovenia specifically. It’s a miniature model of Europe in a single clear, inexperienced, sustainable package deal.

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