Slovenia is a country that is known for its karst terrain and which has more than 7,000 caves. Although Postojna cave is the biggest and the most popular one, these caves are less touristy and therefore more pleasant to visit.
Škocjan Caves consist of seven caves in total and they are part of UNESCO’s list of natural and cultural world heritage sites since 1986.
These caves were inhabited since prehistoric times, while the first explorations of the area commenced in the 19th century. The underground canyon in the caves is the largest of its kind in the world.
The only way to visit the caves is through tours which are led by professional guides of the park and which last an hour and a half. The constant temperature inside is 12 degrees so bring a light jacket or sweater. Photos are not allowed because the ecosystem could be disturbed.
You will see many beautiful stalactites and stalagmites, but the most impressive part of the tour was walking down the stairs and reaching the bridge which is located above the Reka river, some 45 meters above. This of course gives you the feeling, as if you were in Indiana Jones movies.
The bridge above Reka river (Photo: Flickr/sitomon under CC)
While this may seem scary, the trails are safe and not too physically challenging as you’ll have to walk around 1.5 km. But be sure to wear comfortable shoes because surface can be slippery.
Exiting the cave, you will be able to see the view of the underground canyon of the Reka River, where you can take photos.
At the end of the tour, the elevator takes you back to the top, but if you have time I suggest you to visit surrounding villages Škocjan and Betanja, which are part of Škocjan Educational Trail. This should also last about an hour and a half but the nature is really beautiful so it’s worth it. The Škocjan Caves are home to an incredible amount of flora and fauna: 250 varieties of plants and 15 different types of bats.
If you have the time I suggest staying here overnight and exploring the amazing nature of this area.
Prices for tours are as follows;
Adults 16.00 €
Senior citizens 12.00 €
Students 12.00 €
Children 7.50 €
To learn more about this place visit the official website of the park.