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Wow, wow, wow. This was one of my favourite European day trips ever! Whilst on a visit to Ljubljana in Slovenia, I was looking for things to do in the area and came across Postojna Caves and Predjama Castle about 5km apart. They looked beautiful, but I assumed they’d be heaving with people and the photos would have just been taken at forgiving angles.

History of the cave & castle

Postojna Cave is a 24,000 metre long cave carved out by the Pivka River over millions of years. It’s made of limestone, and each 1cm of growth takes around 100 years! The caves were officially discovered in the 1800s (although graffiti in the caves dates back to as early as the 1200s), and have been open as a tourist attraction since 1819!

In fact, the caves were even given electricity before Ljubljana itself was, way back in 1884, and it even had a train line installed in 1872 – well ahead of its time. Today, the train is electric and only 5km of the cave is open to the public. But 5km is more than enough to explore one of the most amazing sites in the country.

The cave visit

Arriving at the entrance to the cave, you are split in to different languages as each time slot runs in Slovenian, German, Italian and English. Each group is then taken to board a train which runs through the caves for 3.5km.

The train ride was so much fun, and we were so lucky as we managed to be right at the front of the train! Please do wear warm clothes though as it’s quite cold down there and the train goes quite quickly so the resulting wind makes it even chillier! The train then pulls in to the main chamber with the most incredible views.

After disembarking the train, you then also walk through the cave for 1.5km with a guide. This takes around 1hr and is just incredible. To avoid lots of people in my photos I made sure to be right up front to get the views out in to the caves uninterrupted and was very glad I did.

The castle visit

You can explore the castle at your own leisure, using an audio guide which has around 45 minutes worth of content. It’s a really unique castle, with half of it being building and half of it being cave!

You are also able to head in to the mouth of the cave behind the building and see how big and deep it was. Though be careful, the steps are super slippy and steep so it’s very easy to slip and fall. Sensible shoes are essential!

Today the castle itself is preserved in the medieval style dating back to the structure of 1567, which was the last to be built after the previous versions were destroyed by earthquakes. The castle was in private hands and passed to the Windischgratz family in 1846, who remained its owners until the end of WW2, when it was confiscated and nationalized by the Yugoslav Communist authorities and turned in to a museum. And, after enjoying some final views out across the valley before leaving it was time to head back to Ljubljana – what a day!

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