Last year I got to spend four amazing days in Slovenia, a small but gorgeous country which was once part of Yugoslavia . I teamed up with Roundabout Travel Slovenia to show you guys how beautiful this country is. On my first day my dreams of seeing Lake Bled finally came true. Read all about my first day in Slovenia here.
On my second day we visited the outside of a Castle built into a cave, amazing caves which are UNESCO protected, a horse farm, and the famous coastal town of Piran.
One of the most picturesque castles in Slovenia, is located a few kilometres from the Postonja Caves. Built onto a overhanging rock of a Karst cave more than 700 years ago, the Castle is also connected with a cave system underneath it. We only visited the outside of the Castle, as the inside has now been turned into a museum.
“Predjamski Grad”, which in Slovenian means “the castle in front of the cave”, is believed to be built around the 12th century. The owners of the castle were Patriarchs of Aquileia but it was owned by several high-bred families over the centuries that followed. The most famous of them all was Erazem Lueger, the Robin Hood from the second half of the 15th century. Today, every summer, the Erazem Medieaval Tournament is organised and carried out according to documented historic facts from the 16th century.
The castle has secret passages through the cave, which meant that during a siege the castle inhabitants could get food and drink supply
The Skocjan Caves is made up of several limestone caves, collapsed dolines (sinkholes), 5km of underground passages, deep caves (some up to 200 meters deep), and a number of waterfalls. The caves were first written about by Posidonius of Apamea in the 2nd century B.C. Archaeological research in the area found that the caves were home to humans as far back as 10,000 years ago.
The 1.5 hour tour took us into different parts of the cave. We entered with our tickets and followed a narrow passage way which lead to a locked door. The first cave we enter is the Mahorčič, directly below the town of Škocjan. We were told that the entrance to the caves is as large as it is because about 10,000 years ago, where we had just entered from had collapsed leaving a massive depression and dropping the floor over 100 meters. Alot of OMG’s and concerned faces followed. Rest assured, as long as you dont touch anything or are reckless with selfies (no photos allowed anyways)
We went down farther into the cave and the tour leader told us about the history. At the Silent Caves we were amazed by a formation of stalagmites that resembles an organ, and which can actually be used to produce music. Hence its name The Organ.
Everyone remained silent, or more so lost for words. The caves were so impressive, and its really amazing at what nature can do without humans interfering. It takes about 100 to 150 years for each stalactite or stalagmite to grow a single centimetre. If you remember from school these are elongated forms of various minerals deposited from solution by slowly dripping water. I saw a stalagmite and stalactite almost touching each other, but it would be another 100 or so years before they their tips join.
The Giant stalagmite is 250,000 years old and stands at 15 meters tall and the entire cave is three million years old!
My favourite part of the tour was walking down the stairs and reaching the bridge which is located above the Reka river, some 70 meters above. This gorge is one of the largest underground canyons in the world, with heights of up to 148m and in places widths of 100m. This was the moment many held onto the rails pretty tightly.
We took the funicular ride back to the starting point, but there is walk only path that you can take but we decided against it due to time and more so how tired we were.
Please be advised that cameras are not allowed inside. The reason the flash can hurt the organisms that live inside. I was pretty disappointed about the photos, its hard as a blogger to not take a photo of something I would recommend but honestly not being able to take photos allowed us to see things in a different perspective.
Skocjan Caves: 12 € – 16 € / person
Lipica stud farm
On our way to Piran we stopped at a small town called Lipica which is at the Italian/Slovenian border near Trieste. The Lipica stud farm, established in 1580, was part of the municipality of Trieste, until 1947. It is the birth place of the Lippizian horse, a breed that dates back to the 16th century. They are usually grey in colour aside from the rare solid coloured horse. They have black skin, dark eyes and adult horses have white hair coat. They are born dark and become lighter each year, with the greying process usually complete between 6-10 years of age.
As we drove through the alley of the estate, we saw these incredible almost mythical-like animals. Some eating, others rolling on the grass. We had a few come up to us, and the first thing you notice is their amazing blonde hair which stands out.
With charming colourful and narrow streets, its picture postcard old town feel, the quaint town of Piran is perfect for a day trip away from Ljubljana. During the 12th century, Piran was under Venetian rule, and remained so until 1797, which is why this town is nicknamed “Little Venice”. It has influences from Italy, Austria, Croatia and Slovenia itself.
Our guide wanted to start with a panoramic view of Piran. We drove to the top of the City Walls, where for 1 Euro (coin only) you can enter and see the amazing view.
From the city walls you can see Italy in the distance (Ciao Krizia)
The Tartinijev Trg was named after the composer Giuseppe Tartini
As you move away from the marina and the square, you find colourful narrow alleyways, washing hanging up on the lines from above, and an old town charm.
Now you can see why its called Little Venice
Would you like to see all these amazing places?
The day starts off in Ljubljana at 8.30am and ends at around 7pm, on Tuesdays, Thursdays, Saturdays and Sundays from 1st April until 30th October.
The whole day only costs 53 € / person for a group tour (excludes entrance fees and food)
*I was a guest of Roundabout but as always opinion is my own and 100% honest.