Fabulous Caves, a Castle in a Cave, and a Charming Medieval Town

Predjama Castle

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

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.

Predjama Castle

Predjama Castle

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.

Predjama Castle

High up in the original cave in Predjama Castle; A cave below the castle, not open for tours when we were there

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.

Postojna Cave

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.

Postojna Cave

The White Hall in the Postojna Cave

Inside the Postojna Cave

Postojna Cave tourist train; Paths and bridges winding up and down inside the cave; Underground river inside the Postojna Caves

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.

Skocjan Cave tour 1 exit through the underground canyon

Skocjan Cave Tour #1 Exit through the underground canyon

Škocjan Cave Tour #2

Photos are allowed on Cave Tour #2 called Following The Reka River Underground.

Skocjan Cave tour 2

Skocjan Cave Entrance at Tour #2 Through the Reka River Underground

Skocjan Cave tour 2

Skocjan Cave Tour #2 Through 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.

Skocjan education trail

Skocjan Education Trail: View of the town of Skocjan above the big Doline Collapse; The mouth of the Skocjan Cave; Town of Skocjan; Reka River in the doline collapse

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.

Skofja Loka bridge

The Cappuchin Bridge over the Selca Sora River in Skofja Loka

The Castle above the town has an interesting museum with some fascinating exhibits, perfect for a rainy day.

Skokja Loka Castle museum

Fabulous views from the Skofja Loka Castle; Fascinating WWII poster propaganda exhibit in the museum

Skokja Loka Castle museum

Skofja Loka

Skokja Loka Castle museum

Scenes around Skofja Loka

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.

Practicalities

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?

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