Descending into this awe-inspiring underground cathedral is like visiting another planet. By sheer volume, Škočjan Caves are said to be one of the world’s largest cavern systems. UNESCO has done a great job of creating a worthwhile experience that is both fun and educational, but respects the preservation of the site and surrounding karst region.
Planning your visit to Škočjan Caves
The park’s website has all the information you need to plan a visit. But save time by booking your ticket in advance on Trip Advisor. There’s a pleasant waiting area with drinks and snacks for sale near the ticket booth. Right on the hour, the entire group filed down a long hillside path to the cave entrance. Visitors are divided into smaller groups according to preferred language, and paired with a guide.
What to See in Skočjan Caves
There are hundreds of steps on steep and sometimes slippery paths. Even the basic tour would not be an option for smaller kids, those with mobility issues or anyone not prepared with sturdy walking gear. Photography is not allowed in the biggest caves of the must-see formations with names like “The Organ,” and “Paradise.”
We clambered up and down crude steps along the gorge carved out by the Reka River, and crossed suspension bridges. But definitely bring your camera. At the very end of the guided walk, there is a photo opportunity.
Hikes and Photo Ops Near Škočjan Caves
Going on the extended self-guided walk (tour #2) gave us a lot more great photo ops. Amazing to see the remains of railings, steps and bridges built by the mountaineering clubs who first developed the area as a hiking destination in the 1800s. Fortunately, the rusty railings have been updated to modern safety standards without losing the natural feel of the experience.
Terry’s Travel Tips for Škočjan Caves
Škocjan Caves are just outside the town of Divača, an easy drive from Ljubljana, less than one hour on the main highway E61. Tours in multiple languages start on the hour from 10 am to 5 pm in the summer months, less frequently in other seasons.
What to Wear in Škočjan Caves: Bring a sweatshirt for the underground chill. Allow about 3 hours. Serious hikers can spend more time on a longer trail. Parking is free.
And this isn’t the only underground experience in Slovenia! The Postojna Caves offer a train ride through the formations and may be a better alternative for families with small kids. It ranks as Slovenia’s most popular natural attraction, not far from scenic Predjama Castle carved into the rocks nearby.
If you are fit and up for a challenge, Škočjan Caves are a day well spent in one of the world’s greenest countries. Those looking for a high-adrenlin experience can book a private adventure tour of the caves, including the caverns underneath Predjama Castle.
If you’d like to experience the surrounding karst region of Slovenia by bike, check out this post on the cycling tours offered by SloActive. They offer trips for all ages and abilities, from competitive cyclists to those who might need a little help from an electric bike.
Want more stories on experiencing history and culture in authentic Europe? Like @strangersinthelivingroom on Facebook, and sign up for the occasional email when there is a new post here on the blog. And please subscribe to my YouTube channel for some fun travel videos.