It is not just children but also adults who love fantasy. How else would you explain the success of Harry Potter books? If you want to enjoy a real-life magical trip experience, take the journey to the best-known caves in Slovenia.
The trip ensures a thrilling adventure through Slovenia's natural wonders and historical marvels. This article guides you through the picturesque views and the mystique of the journey from Postojna Cave to Predjama Castle.
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Perfect Day Trip: Postojna Cave to Predjama Castle
You can plan a beautiful day trip to visit Postojna Cave and Predjama Castle. The two attractions are approximately 6 miles apart, making them an easy day trip from Ljubljana, the Slovenian capital. The distance between Ljubljana and Postojna Cave Park is about 33 miles via the A1 highway, and the travel time is around 40 minutes in regular traffic. There is a huge parking lot at the park, with paid parking available. You can also take public transit, a bus or a train from Ljubljana to Postojna Cave and Predjama Castle.
Tickets for Postojna Cave Park sights can be purchased online or at on-site offices. The main office is near the Postojna Cave entrance, and another is at Predjama Castle. Payment options include cards or cash. Online purchases receive QR-coded tickets by email to be presented for entry. Arrive 30 minutes before the Postojna Cave tour. Online payments accept major cards or PayPal. It's advisable to buy online, especially in the summer, at least a day ahead. Tour time changes can be made free of charge up to 24 hours before, with a 2 EUR fee after that. Changes within 30 minutes incur a 5 EUR fee at the ticket office.
A combined ticket for the three attractions is recommended to get the most out of the experience. The Postojna Cave Park is open all year round, but the number of daily tours to the caves varies according to the season. Between May and September, an hourly tour starts at 9 a.m. and goes until 5 p.m., while the rest of the year has different opening hours. The journey from the train station to Postojna Cave takes about one hour and costs €5.80 (~$6.50) each way. Create a travel planner to include train schedules to enable a smooth trip. Tours with audio guides provide informative narratives, enhancing the overall experience of the unique tourist attraction. Buses run roughly every hour, with less frequency in the evenings. You don't have to walk a long distance as the bus drops you off at the Postojna cave park.
Time and Cost
You can use public transportation to visit Postojna Cave and Predjama Castle. There are three ways to get from Postojna Cave to Predjama Castle: by bus, taxi, or on foot. The recommended option is to take the bus from Veliki Otok to Predjama, which takes around 21 minutes and costs between €2 and €13. Alternatively, you can take a taxi from Postojna Cave to Predjama, which takes around 11 minutes and costs between €11 and €14. If you prefer walking, it will take approximately 1 hour and 39 minutes.
Postojna Caves, known for their enchanting stalagmites and stalactites, offer a mesmerizing underground experience. Visitors can explore the largest cave castle globally and witness the breathtaking formations created over centuries. Guides provide insights into the history and geological wonders. Artefacts, armour, and weaponry from medieval times are enjoyable. The technical aspects of collecting water and the drainage system cut into the rock are admirable.
The Postojna Cave train in Slovenia is the world's only double-track cave railway, which takes visitors on a 3.7-kilometer-long journey. The electric underground train journey is a unique experience that allows visitors to explore the cave's stunning formations and learn about its history and geology. The railway was first opened in 1872 and has since undergone several renovations, introducing gasoline-powered and battery-powered electric locomotives. Inside, you will be awestruck by the pillars, limestone curtains, and other indecipherable forms. The cave also houses the world's only underground post office.
The Skyscraper is a 16-meter-high stalagmite located in Postojna Cave, Slovenia. It is the oldest dated stalagmite located along Postojna Cave's tour route and is estimated to be about 150,000 years old. The Skyscraper is so wide that it does not look like a dripstone but rather like a striking flowstone wall beside the tour path.
The Expo Cave Karst
Expo Cave Karst pavilion is an interactive exhibition located in the Postojna Cave Park. It features a modern exhibit on caves and an interactive presentation of subterranean karst formations and illustrates the history of the cave. As part of the Expo Cave Karst exhibition, you can also see two other exhibitions for free: Life Within a Billion Years and Butterflies of the World.
Predjama Cave Castle
Predjama Castle, perched dramatically on a cliff, captures the imagination with its 15th-century charm. Discover the legend of the rebellious knight Erazem, who defied authorities, and delve into the castle's rich history. The castle's architecture and strategic location make it a must-visit tourist cave attraction.
The medieval castle has been constructed within the entrance of a network of caverns and caves located at the terminus of a valley. It is situated halfway up a 123-metre-high cliff. Historical records mention the castle as far back as 1202, and Guinness World Records recognize it as the largest cave castle in the world.
While Predjama Castle does not have an underground electric train, visitors can take a guided tour through the castle's underground tunnels, which connect to the cave system beneath the castle. This is the second-longest Slovenian show cave, spreading over four floors, and is visited as part of adventure tours. Visitors are given flashlights before entering, and warm clothes and shoes are required. Do not be surprised if you find yourself looking at the formations with a critical yet creative eye to find forms within.
Understanding entry ticket options is crucial. Explore tours that may include both castle and cave visits. Combo tickets are available. Be mindful of any extra costs and plan accordingly. The attraction is well-maintained, ensuring a seamless visit and spending time worth it.
Visit the official website of the park to buy tickets in advance. The entrance fee for Postojna Cave and Predjama Castle are as follows:
- Postojna Cave Tour:
- Adults: €29.90
- Children (6-15 years): €16.90
- Students (16-25 years): €27.90
- Predjama Castle Visit:
- Adults: €19.00
- Children (6-15 years): €11.30
- Students (16-25 years): €15.00
- Combined Tour of Postojna Cave and Predjama Castle:
- Adults: €60.90
- Children (6-15 years): €35.50
- Students (16-25 years): €47.50. Please note that these ticket prices are subject to change and may vary depending on the specific package you choose.
Navigating Cave Entrance
The entrances to Postojna Cave and Predjama Castle are unique in their own way. The entrance to Postojna Cave is located in a picturesque park, and visitors can take a train ride through the cave's tunnels to reach the main attraction. The entrance to Predjama Castle is located at the base of a towering cliff, and visitors can explore the castle's underground tunnels that connect to the cave system beneath the castle.
Tours and Guides
Opting for guided tours enhances your understanding of the sites. Knowledgeable guides provide insights into the caves' geological wonders and the castle's historical significance. Take advantage of these informative guides to make your trip truly memorable.
Erazem of Predjama
Erasmus of Lueg, also known as Erazem Predjamski, was a burgrave of Predjama Castle in the 15th century and a renowned robber baron (the Slovenian Robin Hood). Burgrave was the official title for the ruler of a castle, especially a royal or episcopal castle. According to legend, Erasmus came into conflict with the Habsburgs when he killed the commander of the imperial army.
Erazem's posts in Postojna and Predjama are associated with the Predjama Castle. The castle, situated a few kilometres from Postojna Cave, features a network of secret tunnels, including a cave under the castle, which can be explored during a guided tour. The castle is open to visitors year-round, while the cave is open only from June to August due to the bats' hibernation period. Additionally, Postojna Cave Park offers various restaurants and souvenir shops where visitors can purchase souvenirs, including those related to the Predjama Castle.
Remember to savour local cuisine at the on-site restaurant, making your visit a gastronomical delight. Several restaurants in Postojna and Predjama offer local cuisine. Here are some of the most popular ones:
Predjamka Restaurant, Okrepčevalnica Prepih, and Guesthouse Pozar are popular dining options in the Postojna and Predjama areas. Predjamka Restaurant, located in the village of Predjama, offers Slovenian food, European cuisine, local dishes, homemade ingredients, and vegetarian food, with a beautiful view of the Predjama Castle. Okrepčevalnica Prepih, located in Postojna, provides a cosy atmosphere and is known for its friendly staff and excellent service, offering traditional Slovenian food. Guesthouse Pozar, also situated in Predjama, offers Slovenian cuisine, European cuisine, local dishes, and homemade ingredients and is a great place to stop for lunch or dinner.
In conclusion, the journey from Postojna Cave to Predjama Castle perfectly blends natural beauty and historical intrigue. Whether you're captivated by the underground wonders of Postojna Caves or drawn to the medieval charm of Predjama Castle, this Slovenian adventure promises an unforgettable experience. So, embark on this journey, explore the caverns and caves, scale the cliffs, and immerse yourself in the rich history that defines these unique destinations, which offer authentic cave experiences.
Who knows? You might be inspired enough by the subterranean wonderland and the castle to write an epic novel.
Is the story about the babies of dragons true?
The 'baby dragon' story is accurate to the extent that, in reality, it is an olm, a real aquatic amphibian. This famous inhabitant is the only exclusive cave animal, a chordate species found in Europe and is endemic to the underground waters of the extensive limestone bedrock of the karst of Central and Southeastern Europe. Olms are blind, live in complete darkness, and can survive without food for years.
What is special about the cave system in Slovenia?
The Škocjan Caves and the Caves of Aggtelek Karst and Slovak Karst are two cave systems in Slovenia and Hungary/Slovakia, respectively. The Škocjan Caves are considered the largest underground canyon in Europe and are home to the Reka River, the largest Slovenian sinking river and Europe's rarest and most valuable species. The Caves of Aggtelek Karst and Slovak Karst are a series of over 1000 karst caves spread out over a total area of 55,800 hectares, and they were inscribed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1995 due to their exceptional diversity of karst structures and complex cave systems.
What are the souvenirs that can be bought while visiting Postojna Caves and Predjama Castle?
When tourists explore Postojna Cave and Predjama Castle, they can purchase souvenirs such as postcards, magnets, keychains, books, and local food products like honey, wine, and cheese. These souvenirs come in various designs and sizes, allowing visitors to select the ones that best match their preferences. Postojna Cave Park offers several restaurants and souvenir shops for visitors to enjoy.