When you enter any of Slovenia's caves, you enter another world. Unique ecosystems harbor strange life; mineral formations, developed over millions of years, decorate huge and ancient halls; and underground lakes continue to imperceptibly carve out tunnels that draw visitors by the thousands every year. Caves are some of Slovenia's most intriguing natural wonders, and they'll add an element of adventure to a tour of this country.
To visit caves in Slovenia, be prepared for temperatures that dip once you're underground. Also wear good walking shoes with solid tread. Some cave visits must be booked in advance and may only be explored with a dedicated guide.
Postonja Caves are some of the most popular in Slovenia. Caverns, named for their natural formations, are the highlight of the tour. These include the Concert Hall, The Red Room, and the Winter Chamber.
The caves are home to a strange amphibious creature, the Proteus Anguinus, also known as the olm or human fish. This blind creature that looks roughly like a large, pale salamander. Its habits are still being documented by researchers, though it is known to have a long life span and to prefer complete darkness, to which it has adapted.
These caves are toured by an underground train. During the summer months, tours run every hour, but the tour schedule is reduced during the off season. A variety of events are held at Postonja cave, including concerts and a medieval festival.
If you want to see Predjama Castle, which lies at the mouth of one of the Postonja Caves, you'll have to venture a short distance north to the village of Predjama.
Associated with Postonja Caves are the Pivka and Black Caves. If you wish to visit these two caves, contact the Postonja Cave ticketing office for information.
Škocjan Caves are UNESCO protected and is on the level of significance of the Grand Canyon. In fact, Škocjan Caves can boast one of the largest underground canyons in the world! Modern tourism to the cave began in the early 1800s, though the cave was mentioned in writing as early as the 2nd century B.C.
The tour of the caves lasts about 1 1/2 hours. During the tour, you'll come face-to-face with some of the caves' most astounding formations. For example, Cerkvenik Bridge is suspended above the cave-forming Reka River in the Murmuring Cave, one of the most impressive underground spaces within Škocjan Caves.
Križna Cave is known as water cave due to the series of underground lakes that have carved out the mysterious space once home to gigantic cave bears. Though some parts of Križna are unable to be viewed by the average tourist, those caverns that can be seen by boat will fill you with wonderment. Evanescent mineral deposites reflect off of water colored green with calcite.
Tours to the dry part of the cave occur on the weekends, but tours to the subterranean lakes require advanced booking. Visit the official website of Križna Cave for more information.
Snezna (Snow) Cave
Snezna Cave is the highest cave in Slovenia and the only snow cave that can be visited. Below-freezing temperatures require proper clothing. Along with ice formations, mineral pillars of over 15 meters make up the interior "decorations" of the cave. Snezna may be seen with a guide during the summer months.
Minor caves are found throughout Slovenia. Some can be visited; others are closed to the public. These caves include Ravenska, known for its white crystal formations; Planina, where two rivers converge; and Otok with its impressive stalagtites and stalagmites.