POSTOJNA CAVE (Slovenia)
You must definitely visit the Postojnska Jama Park! Admire the largest karst caves in the world, Predjama medieval rock castle and other interesting attractions
Name: Park Postojnska Jama (Postojna Cave)
Adresa: Jamska cesta 30, 6230 Postojna, Slovenia
Their website is in several world languages.
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For us, the Czechs (and everyone else going in the same direction), it is directly offered to visit this unique natural gem on the way to the sea to Croatia or on the way back. Make your way more interesting and make a stop, the town Postojna is right next to the A1 motorway, exit 41, 49 km southwest of Ljubljana. Because there is a lot to see here, I recommend taking a day trip to tour the caves, and visit the iconic medieval Predjama Castle, nestled in the rocks, which is 10 km from the caves. You can buy combo tickets on the web, the more attractions you buy, the cheaper it is. And you don't have to catch everything in one day, you have 30 days from the first visit. It is necessary to book the caves for a specific time, to other attractions you can enter in opening hours, doesnt matter when. The Vivarium is definitely worth a visit - get information about what animals live in caves. Meet the baby dragon. And to keep you fresh for your next trip, I recommend staying at the beautiful modern Hotel Jama next to the caves. And the experience will be perfect.
These breathtaking karst caves boast magnificent cave formations and diverse fauna. Enjoy the ride in the underground train and experience the magic of the underground world, which for millions of years was formed by water droplets of the river Pivka. The cave system is over 24 km long and is the second largest karst system in Slovenia (the first is the Migovec system).
The cave was opened to the public in 1819, but the first documented visit to the caves was discovered as early as 1213. In 1872, a train was put into operation here, and in 1884, as the second cave in the world, electricity was lit. 5.3 km of caves are open to the public, which is the longest of all caves in the world! And also the double-track cave railway is the only one in the world.
The cave system includes the Postojna, Otok, Pivka, Črna jama and Magdalena caves. The dominant feature of the cave is the five-meter bright white stalagmite Briliant. The largest stalagmites here are over 16 m, which is quite an admirable height, given that 1 mm is formed for about 10 years.
The temperature is around 10 degrees Celsius, so do not forget to dress appropriately. Some guys went in sandals, shorts and T-shirts, they were guaranteed to freeze. I had mountain boots, long pants, a sweatshirt and a jacket, and I still had a frozen nose. The biggest cold is in the train, which makes it fast as Shinkansen, so you have almost all the photos greasy and you are guaranteed to freeze :))
There is enough parking places at the caves for cars, buses and motor homes.
The train will take you 3.7 km, and you will walk about 1.6 km (first by train, then on foot, and then back by train). The caves are open every day, including public holidays. The tour lasts about 1.5 hours and is led by a guide who gives explanations in Slovenian, Italian, English and German. For a fee of 3.5 Euros, you can also rent an audio guide, which is in 17 languages. The tour is also suitable for children and visitors with reduced mobility, there are no stairs, and is accessible for wheelchairs and strollers. However, some sections are quite steep.
The caves are home to many animals, including an endemic (local) amphibian called the cave macarat (human fish). Macarats are considered the largest cave animals, they can last without food for an incredible 12 years! These pale salamanders have almost translucent skin and no visible eyes. They occur only in the Dinaric Karst in Slovenia. Elongated serpentine bodies measure up to 30 cm and live up to 100 years. According to legend, these are baby dragons.
Of course, to make the experience perfect, they will not leave you hungry! Magdalena Food & Fun Restaurant is located next to the Jama Hotel. The so-called street food offers burgers (about 20 types, but unfortunately there is nothing else to eat here), craft beers, homemade lemonades and great coffee with Italian ice cream. The name is derived from the Magdalena Cave, and the non-traditional interior corresponds to this.
On the ground floor of the Jama Hotel there is a self-service restaurant Briljant and you can have pizza, some of the lunch menus, grilled snacks, pasta, sandwiches, soups, salads and more. Wifi of course. There is definitely the biggest selection.
You can taste local cuisine at the Modrijan homestead with a mill by the Pivka River. Fresh homemade bread, ripe dried ham, cheese and Slovenian wine. Or homemade cakes for coffee. At the same time, you can see a mill, a water-powered sawmill and a residential building, but where else do you have such a snack experience?
Next to the Postojna Cave is the magnificent Jamski Court, with typical Italian architecture. You can taste local specialties, Central European cuisine, fish and venison.
Don't rush and treat yourself to a stylish break in Hotel Jama 4 * right next to the caves. We personally lived here, so we dedicate a separate article to the hotel here: Hotel Jama Postojna.
If you prefer apartments, then there is this option - rooms and apartments Proteus 3 *. You can find them in the center of Postojna. Equipped in a modern style, each unit has a private bathroom and hairdryer, wifi, cable TV and air conditioning. There are 2 or 4 bed rooms and apartments for 4 to 6 people. There is also a restaurant that serves breakfast, lunch and dinner. The cave is about 1 km on foot. The apartments are newly renovated and are located at: Titov Trg 1a, Postojna, Slovenia.
The building between the entrance to the caves and the Jama Hotel is hidden under this special name, and you will get to know the inhabitants of the cave in more detail (some in person). More than 150 animal species live in the cave. The biggest attraction is the "dragon" macarat, you will not see it elsewhere.
The Vivarium consists of two parts. The non-public part is intended for science and research. The public can admire the biospeleological exhibition, you will learn something about the basic concepts of carsology and biospeleogy, the underground environment and animals living in caves. The tour is without a guide, I recommend visiting the Vivarium after a tour of the caves. I was surprised at what it looked like inside. I thought we were going to a normal building with aquariums. However, as soon as you walk through the gate and receive an audio guide in your language, you will find yourself in a karst cave again. And there are aquariums and terrariums with some cave animals, including macarat. You can take pictures, of course without a flash. It's definitely an experience.
The Olm (Proteus Anguinus)
With a length of up to 30 cm, it is one of the largest cave animals. It is the only vertebrate in Europe that strictly resides only in caves. He completely adapted to life in the dark. Newts feed on crustaceans, worms, snails and other invertebrates. It lives up to 100 years and lasts up to 12 years without food.
The Slenderneck Beetle (Leptodirus Hochenwartii)
The beetle was discovered in 1831 by Luka Čeč (who discovered even the most beautiful parts of the cave), thus refuting the claim that there is no life in the caves and a new field of science was born - biospeleology.
Expo Cave Karst
Our Full Park experience tickets included the opportunity to visit this exhibition, and because it is located directly on the promenade at the cave, everything is (except the castle) in one place, of course we went. The world's largest exhibition on the karst and the Postojna Cave presents a modern and interactive presentation of underground karst formations and presents the history of the cave. It will take you through the extraordinary events and series of coincidences that led to this underground natural miracle. The Expo Cave Karst exhibition - winner of the prestigious Sejalec award for creative and innovative achievements in Slovenian tourism - is intended for all visitors who are interested in a detailed insight into the karst world that forms and surrounds the Postojna Cave, as well as the wider historical and social background, led to the cave becoming the most famous demonstration cave in the world.
Special attention is paid to the youngest visitors, who are interactively accompanied by olm and a slender beetle. Kids can also try driving a real cave train. The exhibition is without a guide, you can borrow an audio guide for free, but it is only in English, German or Slovenian.
As part of the Expo Cave Karst exhibition, you can see two other exhibitions in the same building for free, namely: Life over a Billion Years and Butterflies of the World.
A fairytale medieval castle surrounded by a rock, the largest cave castle in the world, listed in the Guinness Book of Records. It is one of the 10 most fascinating castles in the world.
The castle is 10 km away from Postojenská Cave, about 20 minutes by car on a narrow asphalt road. In the summer season, a shuttle bus runs between the cave and the castle. Or you can pay for a taxi, order at the ticket office. In front of the castle there is a smaller parking lot, if you come to the top right, for 6 Euros, which is the closest. Another larger car park is at the bottom left, but there you can walk up the hill. Dogs are not allowed in the castle.
The impregnable castle is located on a 123 m high cliff and has stood here for over 800 years. Behind the castle is a network of secret tunnels, from which the knight Erazem of Predjama set out on robbery expeditions.
In the castle you will walk through the armory, chapel, kitchen, torture chamber and other spaces.
The tour of the castle takes about an hour. An audio guide in 17 languages is included. Or you can download the application to your mobile phone. Visits are not suitable for people with reduced mobility, nor for prams (many stairs). And you get pretty busy. When you look at the photo of the castle, you climb over it, right into the rock. Some stairs are quite high. However, there is a great view from the castle. For photos, it is good to visit it until 2 pm (June), then the castle will be in the shade (sun from the side) and later in the afternoon you will be even directly against the sun.
Next to the castle is the Cave below Predjam Castle, the 2nd longest Slovenian cave open to the public, which is open from May to September. So far, a total of 14 km has been discovered, 700 m available for tourists. The tour of the upper floors takes about 45 minutes and children must have min. 6 years. The other floors of the cave are designed for advanced. There are bats in the caves. There is no electricity, you go with headlights. Unfortunately, we were not here.
So what do you think, will you honor these beautiful places with your visit? I definitely recommend them!
The article was created in cooperation with the PR department of the Postojnska Jama Park.
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