What To Know About a Day Trip to the Skocjan Caves
Caves in Slovenia
Slovenia’s topography has a little of everything. Want mountains? Slovenia’s got it. Coastline? Yep. Rivers, Lakes, Farms. All yes. However, the most interesting part of Slovenia’s geography is it’s expansive cave systems; some of the biggest in Europe. The two most famous caves are Postojna and Skocjan. Postojna is the larger of the two caves and is known for it’s huge stalegmites and stalactites. Skocjan is known for its huge river-filled cavern. I recommend going to Skocjan caves for a more authentic and intimate experience, here’s why:
Why go to Skocjan?
First off, the atmosphere. At the Postojna cave you will encounter huge groups and a more touristy experience. At the Skocjan caves, groups are smaller and tour guides are professional and informative. Second, what you see. As I mentioned briefly earlier, the Postojna cave is known for its large stalagmites and stalactites. However, at the Skocjan cave you will see stalagmites and stalactites (albeit smaller ones) but you will also encounter a gigantic cavern inside the cave. A river runs through the cavern and some bridges traverse over the expanse making for a very unique experience. I felt like I was in a movie set for the Lord of The Rings. Finally, the price. Skocjan cave is significantly less expensive than Postojna. This is most likely due to the tourist centered approach that Postojna takes, upping prices for unknowing travelers.
How to get there
Now that I have (hopefully) convinced you to go the Skocjan caves, let me run you through how to get there from Ljubljana. The best way to get there is by train. It is important to time your train ride so that you get to the caves in time for the tour (tours at 1:00 P.M.). I recommend taking the 9:43 or 10:21 A.M. train. The train times vary so it will be one or the other, both train times will not be offered. Either the 9:43 or 10:21 A.M. train runs daily and usually has the final stop of Koper (see picture below). You want to get off at Divača. The train ride will last about an hour and a half.
Once you arrive in Divača you will see some buses and a van parked in the train station parking lot. Head there. As sketchy as it sounds, you want to get into the white van with whoever else is heading to the caves that day. The van is a free shuttle to the Skocjan caves and the driver will pick you up at the end of your tour. It is actually a really nice deal. The shuttle ride will take about 10 minutes. After your tour is done, take the shuttle back to the train station and take the 3:45 P.M. train back to Ljubljana.
Prices and What to Expect
Once you get to the cave you can buy your tour ticket at the door. Tours run at 10:00 A.M., 1:00 P.M., and 3:00 P.M. yearly with more tours being offered during peak tourist months. I recommend going on the 1:00 P.M. tour which will last about 2 hours. The tour is primarily walking, in total about 3 km (just under 2 miles). You are technically not allowed to take photos on the tour but I, along with some others, did snap a couple without repercussions. I am not recommending you do the same, but if you must take a photo or two just try to be inconspicuous and don’t have the flash on. Tickets can be bought at the on-site ticket booth up to thirty minutes before the tour begins. Tour prices vary by season, here’s a visual of all the different tour prices and options:
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