Simon and I are crazy about travelling, but despite the fact that we love going out into the world, we also enjoy exploring our own country, Slovenia.
Despite its small size, Slovenia is an extremely varied and interesting country. Everybody who comes here notices that. Just how many countries can be crossed by car from north to south or east to west in only a few hours? Meanwhile, in between, there are historically rich cities, picturesque villages, majestic mountains, natural spas, beautiful rivers, deep lakes, fertile wine-growing landscapes, many underground caves and even a small piece of the sea. Yeah, we’re lucky that we’re from here.
Did you know that the largest cave open to visitors in Europe is right here in Slovenia? Postojna Cave is a true miracle of nature and visiting it is a very special experience. Not only can you explore its beautiful little nooks and crannies on foot, you can even see part of the cave by taking a train.
The beauty of the Postojna Cave was not created overnight, and that makes it even more beautiful, valuable and powerful. Its formation dates back to more than 2 million years ago. Its breath-taking halls, dripping with stalactites, were diligently formed over time by the Pivka River.
Postojna Cave was discovered in 1818 and welcomed its first few visitors that very year. In almost two hundred years it was visited by travellers and curious people from all over the world, as well as some very eminent guests. More recently, the creators of the Lonely Planet travel website were so impressed by this majestic natural occurrence that they placed it on their list of the top 500 destinations that should be visited by everyone.
Postojna Cave is certainly one of those wonders that will thrill anyone who appreciates the power of nature. Visiting the cave will take your breath away, and, even though you will find yourself in a dark and somewhat terrifying underworld, you will be won over by its beauty and come to see that sometimes dark places can be extremely diverse, colourful and beautiful.
Useful tips and information:
- Postojna Cave is open every day of the year.
- Next to the cave is a large car park (€4 / day). Coordinates: 45°46′52.3″N 14°12′11.5″E
- The cave boasts the only underground post office in the world, so do not forget to send a postcard from there.
- Due to its popularity and the importance of tourism, the cave had electricity installed before Slovenia’s capital Ljubljana.
- Postojna Cave has also been adapted for visitors in wheelchairs.
- Guided tours of the cave are conducted in Slovenian, English, German and Italian. Audio-guides are also available in a total of 17 languages.
- The cave is home to 115 species of cave animals, the best known of which is the human fish. People used to think that it was the young of a terrible dragon that lived in the cave!
- The growth of stalactites is an extremely slow process – on average it takes them 100 years to grow one centimetre.
- In the cave there are two huge halls – London’s Westminster Cathedral could fit into one of them.
- For a more detailed insight into Karst and its underworld, we recommend also visiting the Expo exhibition pavilion and the vivarium – a kind of underworld zoo.
- Postojna Cave is part of the Postojna Park complex, which also includes the remarkable Predjama Castle – the largest cave castle in the world. It should not be missed!
Do you enjoy travelling in Europe? Share hidden travel destinations and wonders on the Wonder Map application on Facebook! You can win train tickets to travel in Europe as well as inspire others to take the road less known! Follow #MyWonderfulEurope and ‘Europe. Wonder is all around.’ on Facebook. Learn more about “Europe. Wonder is all around.”, the European Commission’s campaign promoting tourism, here.
All photos are owned by Postojnca cave and are featured on the blog with owner’s aprooval.