Ljubljana makes a terrific base for day trips to see some famous caves, castles and medieval towns. We took 3 days of our week long stay to see Predjama Castle, Postojna Cave, Škocjan Cave and the medieval town of Škofja Loka – all about an hour’s drive or less from the city. If you only have time for one excursion the combination of Predjama Castle and Postojna Cave is a great choice, but if you want to see the most spectacular cave, go to the Škocjan Caves for an unforgettable tour Through the Underground Canyon.
Day Trip Experiences
- Predjama Castle and Postojna Cave
- Škocjan Caves
- Škofja Loka
Day Trip #1: Predjama Castle and Postojna Cave
Predjama Castle is about a 40 minute drive from Ljubljana. The 12th century Gothic style castle has an interesting history and unusual feature – it’s partially built inside a cave, one of the very few surviving castle caves in the Alpine foothills and is the best preserved.
Tip: Get the combined ticket to the Postjona Caves – the ticket seller will schedule an appointment time for the busy Postojna cave tour which is only about 10 minutes away.
Your ticket includes an excellent audioguide which will tell you all about the knight and lord of the castle Erazem Lueger, the famous robber baron who occupied the castle in the 15th century.
Erazem resisted a siege on his castle for a year and used a secret tunnel to get supplies from a neighboring village, taunting soldiers by pelting cherries at them. But the romantic legend of Erazem ends with betrayal and death. A servant was bribed to let the besiegers know when Erazem was in the privy hanging over the cliff at the far end of the castle. A single cannonball brought Erazem and the privy down.
The audioguide takes you room to room in about an hour. But if you like looking at everything and taking your time make sure you keep your eye on the clock to make it to your Postjona Cave tour in time.
The fantastic, immense Postojna Caves are hugely popular. A fun little tourist train takes you deep into the cave system where you walk up up up and down down down, over bridges and through fabulous formations.
If you’re having trouble deciding whether you should see this cave and you have time for both this and Scokjan Cave – do it! Postojna is the second longest cave system in Slovenia and one of its top tourism sites, with good reason.
Day Trip #2: Škocjan Caves
Škocjan Cave Tour #1
You’ll think you’re in the Mines of Moria in Middle Earth when you descend into the spectacular Škocjan Caves on the Cave Tour #1 called Through the Underground Canyon. Photos aren’t allowed on this guided tour which is just as well, you wouldn’t be able to get anyone to keep moving forward because the compulsion to take photos of the fantastic scene before your eyes would grind this tour to a halt. Of course the real reason is the damage to the cave environment with all the flash and infrared going off.
On Cave Tour #1 you can take photos at the exit.
Škocjan Cave Tour #2
Photos are allowed on Cave Tour #2 called Following The Reka River Underground.
From June through September you can go on your own on Tour #2, which lets you conveniently fit it in around a time for the guided Tour #1. But if you have to do a guided tour of #2 (Through the Reka River Underground) do it first. It will not be impressive after you go on Tour #1!
Škocjan Eductational Trail
The Škocjan Education Trail is a terrific walk around the top of the Big and Little Collapse Dolines with views down onto the steep sides of the collapse to the river and trails to the caves below. The education trail is free.
Day Trip #3: Medieval Škofja Loka
Charming Škofja Loka is only about 30 minutes from Ljubljana and a picturesque medieval town. The day was threatening rain so we hustled over to take a look at the famous Cappuchin Bridge, the oldest preserved bridge in Slovenia.
The Castle above the town has an interesting museum with some fascinating exhibits, perfect for a rainy day.
After our visit, we wandered through town until a cold front came through that sent us skampering for the car. What started out as rain turned into massive amounts of pelting huge balls of hail. Waiting it out on the side of the road, when it was safe to go on we got back to Ljubljana and…snow.
Fantastic experiences of all types in Slovenia in the spring.
Day trips are easy from Ljubljana, just make sure your holiday apartment comes with a parking space.
Have you been to any of the caves in Slovenia?