The Postojna Caves Slovenia are one of the top attractions in the country. Even though it is crowded and very touristic, I really recommend a visit to this amazing network of underground caves in the Karst region. Here is my guide and photos to help you plan and imagine your visit.
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About the Postojna Caves - Facts
The world-renowned Postojna caves are the largest in the karst region. Imagine:
- So far, more than 24km of galleries have been found
- 5km of galleries are open to the public and they are mostly horizontal making it easy to visit
- You can admire enormous stalactites and stalagmites and many fascination formations throughout the caves - it is often described as fairytale-like
- There has been carriage to transport visitors since 1872
- Electric lighting has been set up inside the cave since 1883!
It is one of the best attractions in Slovenia.
History and Geology of Postojna Caves
Here are a few interesting facts about Postojna and the Slovenian karst caves in general:
- The Postojna caves were "discovered" in the 13th century, explored in the early 18th century and opened as a tourist attraction in 1819
- Several species of Ice Age animals have been found inside the cave
- They were formed over millions of year by the Pivka River - A karst landscape appear where there is water-soluble rock like limestone and dolomite
- The Slovenian Karst Plateau (Kras) is at the origin of the scientifc name karstic
- The Karst cave system of Slovenia has a great subterranean biodiversity with more than 400 species identified
- The best known and largest is the Olm or white Salamender, considered the offspring of the dragon lol
Postojna Cave Park Map
A park has been set up to manage entrance to the caves.
It has been a tourist attraction for a long time and one of the first cave to implement an entrance fee.
Above is the map with the large car parks, the river, the closest hotel: Postojna Cave Hotel Jama, and the building with the entrance to the cave
Many more photos of the chambers and geological features after the practical information.
PLANNING TIPS - Postojna caves Slovenia
How to get to Postojna Location
This location, along with many other beautiful places, is included in my eBook: The Road Trip Guide-Slovenia.
It is a practical tool to plan your trip with maps, photos, planning tips, GPS coordinates...
Postojna Cave Tour
If you don't want to drive, Half day trips run frequently from Ljubljana and Bled and cover both the Postojna caves and the Predjama Cave Castle - See program and book (April to October)
Visiting the caves of Postojna
- It is recommended to book your tour in advance, because (especially in Summer), tours tend to be fully booked
- To avoid the biggest crowds, book the first morning tour
- Postojna cave price - Several tickets are available for purchase - either the cave alone or combined with the Predjama castle or the other caves around - see your options here
- Postojna Cave opening hours - the frequency of tours vary from month to month - check out the timetable here
- Cave Temperature - Inside the cave the temperature remains constant throughout the year at 8°C so bring a jumper!!!
- Difficulty - they say it is easy access. It is true that there is no big staircase and a well maintained path is available throughout, but there is a significant slope at the beginning and the pace is quite fast. Combined with the stress of being underground, it could be difficult for some people.
Where to stay near the Postojna Caves
I have 2 suggestions for your stay:
- I stayed at Postojna Cave Rooms & Apartments Proteus - Nice little apartment in the center of the small town - great restaurant, 5 min drive from the cave - Check out photos and latest prices
- Or you can stay at the Postojna Cave Hotel Jama which is right by the entrance of the cave and offers great views. It has fantastic reviews - Check out photos and prices
Visiting the Postojna Caves in Video
Now, here is a short video of my visit. The quality is not the best because of the low light in the Caves but it will give you an idea about the experience.
Postojnksa Jama Entrance
Carpark at Postojna Cave & Walk to the entrance
When arriving in the attraction park, there are large carparks available. Fees apply on top of cave entrance.
From the carparks, you have a few minutes of walking with a crossing of the river and some steps or slope to reach the entrance of the cave.
You must arrive earlier than your tour time and queue where your language pole is. Tour guides speak several languages: English, Italian, German...
Note that it looks like you are going to enter through the rock holes but it is not the case so don't push to be at the front 🙂
You will actually move backwards to enter on the right.
Slovenia Cave Train Ride
One of the fantastic features of the postojna cave is that you can explore part of the galleries in a train.
This way you can see a lot more, and explore caves which are deeper underground.
The cave has had a railway since 1872!
Of course nowadays, it is a modern version 🙂
Once you are sitting in the train, screen explains the safety procedure such as keeping your arm inside and not standing (there are tunnels!)
Because of the speed, it was very difficult to photograph. You get through narrow tunnels and larger chambers.
As you can see in the photo below, there is another rail track for the return. Postojna is the only cave in the world with a double-track railway line! The track is 3.7 km long.
Postojna cave Walk
Once at the end of the railway track, you will be grouped for the visit by languages.
The groups are too big for my taste but after a while you get more and more space.
It starts with a slope. It was a bit difficult for my mum with her bad knees.
The walk goes through tunnels, and chambers of all size and different colors.
There is a well-maintained path throughout the visit, which is great because you want to focus on everything around and not where you place your foot.
Some rooms have small stalactites shaped like needles:
At one point you have to cross the Russian Bridge, built by prisoners of war in 1916. It seems I did not take a picture of it...
And at the end of the Postojna cave tour, before climbing into the return train, there is a souvenir shop inside the cave!!!!
Postojna Jama - features
Brillant and Baroque
The most famous feature in Postojna is called 'Brilliant'. It is considered the most beautiful stalagmite. It is 5 meter tall and white in color! Right by its side is the Baroque Pillar which is dark but which I preferred.
The caves also have a lot of organ-like features which are some of my favorite with series of dripping stalactites.
Proteus - The Olm
At the end there is a vivarium where you are supposed to be able to see the famous cave dwellers which looks like a dragon larva and can't see.
Photos are not allowed, but anyway, I did not see anything at all!
The rock star of the caves could be up to 100 years old and it is staying in its larva form with the color of flesh.
It is quite impressive that such a big animal is capable of living within this type of environment...
Return train ride
At the end of this 1 hour walk, you climb back into the train and enjoy the ride back to the entrance.
Postjona Castle - Predjama
A visit to the Postojna Caves is often combined with the Predjama castle.
Only a 15min drive away from the caves, this castle is quite unique. Located on a cliff side by a cave, it is in great condition and you can safely visit it to see the difficult living conditions it offered in exchange of great protection.
You can learn more in my article about the Predjama Castle
Skojcan - Other famous Slovenia Caves
The region offers the possibility to visit to many other Slovenia caves but they are not so easily accessed, therefore less touristic.
The other significant ones are the Skocjan Caves Park, which is a Unesco World Heritage site.
Those caves were created by the River Reka. They have less interesting features but are the most impressive by the size fo the chambers and because of the river flowing at the bottom!
Sadly photos are not allowed inside.
Several tours are offered. The most famous is 'through the underground canyon.
You need a minimum level of fitness to complete this tour. There is no train to help you and it is not flat.
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Fascinating, isn't it?
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