Escape from Zagreb
Spend a day exploring new places off the beaten track

Predjama, Postojna & Ljubljana

“The Kingdom of the dragon without wings”

Discover a 800-year-old castle carved into a vertical rockface and study the preserved, ancient items telling of the time gone by. Enjoy a visit to the famous Postojna Cave – a complex of tunnels, galleries and halls. This magnificent underworld is the home of a treasure of the animal kingdom – the mysterious olm.

Departure point:

From your hotel

Departure time:

~ 09:00

Price:

560 €

- Entrance fee +42€ / Price per person

Return:

to departure point

Included:

Visits to the Predjama Castle and Postojna Cave

Sightsee in Ljubljana, the capital of Slovenia

Hotel/apartment pick up and drop off

Professional English-speaking driver

Air-conditioned vehicle with high-speed internet

A good time guaranteed

Itinerary:

We’ll pick you up from your hotel in Zagreb at 08:00 and then drive west for approximately 2 hours. Throughout the journey, you can enjoy a fast Wi-Fi connection in the vehicle. We will arrive at Predjama Castle at approximately 10:00. If you’d like to enter castle and Postojna Cave, you will need to purchase an additional entrance ticket. After soaking in the history and the architectural mastery of this amazing fortification, we will move on to Postojna Cave – arriving around 12:00. Here, visitors are put into groups based on their preferred language for the 90-minute guided tour. You will be accompanied by an expert guide and together embark on a short train journey taking you deep into the magnificent cave complex. At 14:00 we will depart for Ljubljana – a journey lasting approximately 1 hour. Here you will have some free time to visit the most significant Slovenian attractions: Ljubljana castle, Tromostovje, Dragon bridge, Prešernov square and Annunciation Church. Our expected return to Zagreb is 20:00.

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Good to know:

  • Warm clothes are advisable for the Postojna Cave – the caves are always 10°C.
  • The storage pit is the second longest cave channel in the world.
  • Trains are used to transport people in and out of the caves.
  • Inside the cave, be sure to check out the great underwater river.
  • Ljubljana is the capital of Slovenia.
  • Passengers must have passports (and visas if necessary) to cross the border.

Read more:

Caves and rocks have intrigued, fascinated and intimidated human beings ever since the beginning of time. The fear of the unknown is natural and a fear of heights is very common… and facing up to our fears can be a truly adrenaline pumping experience. In the southwest of Slovenia, two jewels are hidden away: Predjama Castle and Postojna Cave. The sights are quite different, yet both marvellous and incredible examples of Nature’s work. These sites are located in the heart of the Karst relief terrain - a landscape characterised by amazing underground topography due to soluble rocks and constant water flow. In recent years, both attractions have undergone preservation work to protect and guarantee the future generation’s enjoyment of these majestic sites. Standing half embedded in a 123-metre-high rock, the Predjama Castle dates back to the 12th century. This impressive fortress is a remarkable testament to the highly skilled building capabilities of the Medieval people. Built on and into the steep cliff face, the castle provides a fascinating insight into how life was back then, revealing some of the social and business activities of the people. Although the original castle was destroyed in an earthquake, it was rebuilt in the Renaissance style during the 16th century. The pit below the castle has its own history too - historians have found that it was inhabited long before Christ. Many legends from this region also serve to keep the spirit of the past alive. According to the legends, the castle has been cursed. Perhaps this is proven by the story of its most famous ruler, Erazmo Predjamski. He very unfortunately murdered while on the toilet in the castle. After feuding unsuccessfully with Emperor Fridrik III, he found a safe haven here at Predjama Castle. Due to its structure - embedded within a massive rock and above a pit and defense canal - the castle made an ideal shelter and was almost impossible to penetrate. Though making the building extremely cold, the bare rock face which forms the back wall of the castle offered a source of freshwater. Water dripped through the porous rock and flowed inside, keeping the inhabitants alive during the long-lasting siege raging outside. Another significant advantage for Erazmo's long resistance were the largest network of karstic tunnels in Slovenia, conveniently located below the castle. These allowed Erazmo to sneak out unnoticed whenever he or his servants needed to. This situation could have ultimately ended in Erazmo’s favour, however it wasn’t to be for this brave knight. A “faithful” servant knew of the castle’s one weakness and betrayed poor Erazmo. The toilet used by Erazmo was a later addition to the exceptionally well-fortified castle… meaning that the walls in this small room were the thinnest. By leaving a candle on the window when Erazmo entered the room - the agreed sign between the servant and his enemies - this servant sealed Erazmo fate. Some say he is still wandering around the corridors of the castle seeking revenge for his betrayal and death. The Postojna cave is one of Nature’s finest masterpieces, a work carved out over millions of years. This magnificent wonder stirs up admiration and respect in every visitor. Guided group visits to the Postojna Cave are run in different languages and last for 90 minutes. Over time, the river Pivka has worked away at rocks in this Karst terrain, shaping these impressive caverns and large halls – all of which are at a pleasant 10°C regardless of seasons above. Deep underground, reachable to visitors by an electric train, you can find an overwhelming variety of speleological phenomenon and perhaps even spot a “baby dragon” ... a curious little aquatic salamander which has made these caves its home. This mysterious creature, pale and snake-like, would come up from the ground during very heavy rain storms. As dragons are deeply woven into Slovenian folklore and regional history, the locals were not surprised by their appearance and simply named them “the baby dragons”. Curious scientists later categorised these creatures as an extremely rare species - endemic to this particular Dinaric Karst terrain – and named them the Olm (Proteus anguinus). The Olm is highly adapted to this unusual underground environment. They have no eyes but are extremely sensitive to light through their skin and thousands of light receptors. An Olm can live for 100 years and can survive 12 years without any food. How these fascinating creatures reproduce is still mystery to scientists, but in the Postojna cave, a female Olm has been documented to have laid 21 eggs - which have hatched and produced the next generation. The Postojna cave itself was only discovered in 1818. During local preparations for a visit from the Emperor Franjo I, Luka Čeč, an assistant "lamplighter", accidentally fell into a deep pit and thus opening up a whole new underworld. He was delighted with the discovery, believing it would catapult him out of his poor existence. However, Postojna’s cashier was credited with finding this new landscape and poor Luka Čeč was not recognised for his famous fall while alive. Yet he still enjoyed exploring this thrilling Karst landscape and getting acquainted with its wildlife, becoming the initiator of the first speleological research project in the area. Visiting this magical underground world was made easier for the growing numbers of explorers in 1872, when the first railway was opened inside the cave, saving the long walk down. The first of its kind globally, the train comprised of 2 carriages, each seating 4 visitors plus a cave guide who pulled the carriage around the cave. In 1899, the first post office inside a cave anywhere in the world was opened here. Visitors were able to buy postcards upon arrival and send them from within this natural spectacle. A record number of postcards were sold in 1904 during the festival of Pentecost, when 13,800 postcards were purchased! The postcards that these can be seen as the forerunners of today’s social media - imagine the number of selfies that would have been taken in this wonderful cave if technology advances had been earlier! Any visit to Slovenia must be accompanied by an outing to the capital city, Ljubljana. Ljubljana’s history goes as far back as the Roman times; a settlement called Emona was founded here. Due to its exceptional geographic position between countries and continents, it makes sense that this area was always inhabited. A settlement named Ljubljana was first mentioned in the 12th century. The origin of the name causes animated arguments amongst experts; some associate it with word – “ljubljena” meaning “beloved” in Slovenian, while others believe it is connected to the Roman term for a flooded river or the name of a Slavic deity. Ljubljana is adored by visitors who are enchanted by its charm and culture - many of whom frequently return to this friendly city to soak up its lively atmosphere. One particularly special national holiday gives an interesting insight into the Slovenian mentality and their true dedication to culture. Slovenia is the only country to have a day completely devoted to a person who made significant cultural achievements - a poet by the name of France Prešern. The central square is dedicated to him and his poem “Zdravljica” is the current Slovenian national anthem. 7 bridges cross over the river Ljubljanica which runs through the city. The Tromostovje Bridge is made up from three smaller bridges and this has become one of the most recognizable landmarks of the city. The Mesar's Bridge is dedicated to couples, where it is possible to hang a padlock and throw the key into the water below - symbolising endless love. Šuštar Bridge is recognisable for its 12 magnificent stone pillars and it is one of the oldest bridges in Ljubljana. Yet the most famous of all the bridges is the “Zmajski” – the Dragon Bridge. Statues of large dragons stand guard on the bridge into the city, welcoming visitors and reminding locals of an old legend. Local folklore tells of how the Greek hero Jazon and the Argonauts went in search for gold. Upon meeting the Kolhid king, Jazon stole his gold and kidnapped his beautiful daughter Medeja. The escaped victors fled along the Danube, through the Sava region, and finally to Ljubljana, where they were stopped in their tracks by a very scary beast - Ljubljana’s Dragon. Yet this did not to stop Jazon, who gained victory over the dragon and celebrated the victory here in Ljubljana. However, the dragon still remains a symbol of the courage and power connected with Ljubljana and its history. It is essential when visiting Ljubljana to take a trip up the hill to the “Ljubljana grad”, - the city castle, which is home to a museum and a chapel dedicated to St. Jurij (the patron saint of Ljubljana). Enjoy the unforgettable 360° view over the city and across to the surrounding mountains. But don’t forget the famous Tivoli town park and make sure to admire the stunning architecture found all over town; allow time to slowly meander through the streets, noting the beautiful town hall and the church of St. Nikola. Ljubljana keeps up with other famous European capitals and even advances ahead. The desire for a clean environment and the local eco friendliness is well ingrained into the way of life here - the city centre is celebrated as a car free zone with free electric taxis available for the disabled and elderly. This legislation not only has a massively positive environmental impact, but also encourages the growth of local community and the bustling, welcoming atmosphere which radiates from both the main thoroughfares and quaint side streets. This modern and vibrant city is the meeting point for different art movements and embraces modern art as much as it does the serenity of the green, natural world which surrounds it. Here you will find hospitable citizens will welcome you to explore their city, which they so carefully maintain for the enjoyment of new generations and visitors alike. It is impossible to leave Ljubljana with only one memorable experience; instead by allow this small city to wow you with its depth and emotion, you’ll find yourself reminiscing over countless good memories and longing to visit again.

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