22 May The Postojna Caves in Slovenia
The Postojna Caves were definitely one of the highlights of my trip to Slovenia. There are two sets of cave systems in Slovenia- the Škocjan Caves and the Postojna Caves.
We rented a car from Hertz in Portoroz to make the drive to the Karst region of Slovenia, where the Postojna caves are located. It’s well signposted, and there is paid parking at the caves. I would definitely allow a full day to visit them, as you can get a ticket which allows you to combine the caves with Predjama Castle and the ‘Vivarium Proteus’. With the ticket, which cost 33 euros and 20 cents, we also got a discount voucher for the restaurant.
Since we had a while to wait, we started with the Vivarium Proteus, which houses some of the creatures that live in the cave, including the Proteus anguinus- the human fish. We were shown a short video about the underground world of the caves, then headed inside the vivarium with a torch to light up the dark. They had the proteus anguinus in tanks filled with water- they look a little bit like baby dragons with translucent pale pink skin.
We used our voucher to have lunch in the restaurant, then queued up for the start of the tour. One piece of advice for visiting the caves…wear some warm clothing. It gets really chilly down there and I was not in appropriate attire! Ballet flats and a light jacket definitely won’t keep you warm.
The entire tour through the cave system took 1 1/2 hours. We hopped on a train through the first part of the cave system, then we were instructed to get off and assemble into the appropriate tour group for our language.
We then walked through the cave system, admiring incredible stalactite and stalagmite formations, magnificent cave halls and pillars. My favourite was the ‘spaghetti’ hanging from the ceiling, but there are lots of beautiful formations of different shapes and colours. The 2 million year-old cave system is the biggest in Slovenia, measuring over 27km. Obviously we only walked part of it, but it was one of the best cave systems I have ever seen.
At the end we then boarded the train to take us back to the cave entrance. From Postojna we drove the short distance to Predjama castle, which is a beautiful castle set dramatically in a 123 metre-high cliff face. The baroque castle has existed for over 700 years and you can have a look around the refurbished rooms inside to give you an idea of what life might have been like for those living there.