The Skocjan Caves (German: Höhlen von St. Kanzian) are a system of caves in the southwest of Slovenia. The impressive natural phenomenon is located 20 kilometers east of Trieste and has been a UNESCO World Heritage Site since 1986. The reason for the inclusion is, among other things, the underground canyon, which is the deepest in Europe with a depth of 146 meters. The s Škocjan Caves are a popular destination for trips to Slovenia with 90,000 visitors annually.
The underground world of caves
The caves were created by the karst river Reka, which disappears under a rock wall in a gorge near the village of Skocjan and continues to flow underground over a long distance. Over the course of many thousands of years, the river’s water has washed countless cavities in the rock.
Some of these grottos can be visited and offer breathtaking insights into the subterranean worlds. A three kilometer long visitor path with around 500 steps leads past rock faces, formations of stalagmites and stalactites, over bridges and through gorges. The path also runs through the so-called “great hall”, where huge stalactites with a length of up to 15 meters have formed.
Every visitor will particularly remember the view from the Cerkvenik Bridge, under which the Reka River rushes through the canyon at a depth of 45 meters. The power of the water can not only be felt on this bridge, but in the entire cave. The largest of the caves washed away by the water is approx. 300 meters long, approx. 120 meters wide and 146 meters high in places.
As archaeological finds show, people lived in the caves as early as 5000 years ago. Up until the Middle Ages, they sought protection from enemies and the weather here. Even today this underground world has the best living conditions for rare cave animals, e. B. endangered bat species.
The visitor center or a nature trail offer more scientific background information on the formation of the caves. The Skocjan Caves are therefore a recommended destination for study trips.
Stilt houses in the Ljubljana moor
The Slovenian city of Ljubljana owes its former mayor to the fact that the neighboring moor gained supraregional importance and has recently even been included in the list of UNESCO World Heritage Sites. Karl Deschmann was the name of this man who, as a research assistant at the State Museum of the Margraviate of Krain, began excavations in the aforementioned moor on July 26, 1875. He soon found what he was looking for and discovered nine pile dwellings and numerous remains from prehistoric times.
A huge wetland
Around six thousand years ago, a huge wetland stretched outside the gates of Ljubljana. The people who had withdrawn here and lived mostly from the hunt, built their houses on stakes because of the constant flooding. The formerly boggy plain is now crossed by a number of smaller rivers and canals and covers an area of 15,000 hectares. After the Ice Age subsided, the earlier lakes silted up and developed into moors.
Vessels, tools and dugouts
During the excavations in the 19th century, numerous objects from the life of the people of this period were brought to light. They included clay vessels and tools made of bones and antlers. But relatively well-preserved boats were also salvaged from the boggy subsoil. The finds from the pile dwellings near Ljubljana can now be admired in several museums. The village of Ig on the northern edge of the moor organized a special exhibition for the 140th anniversary of the discovery of the pile dwellings.
The oldest wooden wheel in the world
The showpiece of the excavations in the Ljubljana moor is undoubtedly the so-called Stare gmajne disc wheel. Scientists call it the “oldest wooden wheel in the world”. The wooden wheel with axle is said to be around 5200 years old and around two thirds of it has been preserved. It consists of two sturdy iron boards and four slide-in rails. Today the wetland near Ljubljana is a breeding area for birds and a retreat for smaller amphibians and butterflies. Some of the rare plant and animal species that live here in Slovenia were just as much an argument for inclusion in the UNESCO World Heritage List as the remains of the pile dwellings.
Picturesque port city in Slovenia on the Riviera
Piran is a city on the Gulf of Piran on the Adriatic Sea in southwest Slovenia. It is one of the three large cities of Slovenian Istria and borders on neighboring Croatia in the south. The city offers interested visitors a lot of medieval architecture, with narrow streets and pretty houses. Piran is the administrative center of the region and one of the main tourist attractions in Slovenia. Italian was the predominant language until the middle of the 20th century, but was replaced by Slovene as demographic trends changed.
Venetian flair and traditional salt production
Holidaymakers are drawn to Piran, the fishing village on the Adriatic coast, with beautiful photo motifs of a turquoise sea and Venetian-style architecture. But the city, with around 17,000 inhabitants, is more than just a place to relax; it is a culinary heaven with some of the best wellness spas in the world. The city is known for its olive oil, the famous “la fleur de sel” and other local delicacies such as white truffles, inexpensive wines and fresh seafood.
Activities and sights
Leisure activities abound in this pearl of Slovenia, from biking on the seaside promenade to sailing in the gentle waters of the Gulf of Piran. Swimming and sunbathing are of course particularly popular. One of the most interesting sights in Piran is the Church of St. George. Here it is worth climbing the bell tower for a spectacular view of the city. Parts of the old city walls of Piran run through the hill beyond, which can also be visited, and just behind them is the local cemetery, which is usually adorned with bright flowers.
In addition, many of the area’s best spas are located in the city’s hotels. The wellness centers have mud and salt cures that are known for their healing abilities.
Wild and romantic gorge in Slovenia
The Vintgar Gorge a good four kilometers northwest of Bled in the Upper Carniola region with the turquoise waters of the Radovna, typical of the limestone of the Julian Alps, is one of the most popular destinations for a trip to Slovenia.
Development of the gorge
Although the Vintgar Gorge is now one of the most visited attractions in Triglav National Park, it owes its discovery to a coincidence. When the Radovna had very little water in 1891, the then mayor of Gorje Jakob Žumer and the Bled photographer and cartographer Benedikt Lergetporer ventured into the previously inaccessible gorge. Impressed by the natural spectacle that they saw between towering, green cliffs on the banks of the sometimes calm, sometimes through rapid rapids flowing, emerald green to turquoise blue shimmering river, they decided to make it accessible to visitors. These have been pouring in since 1893 and discover the wild beauty of the 1.6 kilometer long gorge.
Deep gorge, wide view
The path through the gorge, often only a meter wide, is not particularly steep and easy to walk thanks to the stairs, wooden paths and the Žumer galleries. Particularly impressive is the crossing of the bridges over the roaring waters of the Radovna, in whose quieter sections and numerous pools trout swim. In addition, the up to 300 meters deep Vintgar Gorge, which thanks to its microclimate has produced an endemic flora, is predestined for botanical study trips. It pulls its visitors under its spell in the truest sense of the word. So it is not surprising that she saves one of her main attractions right down to the bottom. Even after the stone arch bridge of the Bohinj Railway from 1906 spanning the gorge at a height of 33 meters, the highest river waterfall in Slovenia, the Šum, falls from around 15 meters down into a picturesque pool. From here, on the way back to the starting point, the ascent to the historic church of St. Katharina is worthwhile, where a breathtaking view of Bled, the Karawanken and the Triglav opens up.
Travel to beautiful cities in Slovenia
Here you will find study trips and round trips through the metropolises of Slovenia
Experience Ljublijana, the capital and largest city of Slovenia. Find out on a Ljublijana city break why this city is the political, economic and cultural center of Slovenia and also the seat of a Roman Catholic archbishop. Visit Ljubljana’s highlights such as the castle, the old town, the Dragon Bridge, the Franciscan Church on Prešeren Square, the Town Hall, the Philharmonic Hall with the castle in the background, the Ljublijana Cathedral, the river promenade, the buildings by Joze Plecnik, the Church of St. Nicholas, Ljublijana Castle, Jewish Quarter, Triglav National Park, Postojna Cave, Adriatic coast and also get to know their interesting culture. Enjoy your study trip in Ljublijana.