Slovenia: What to Do and What to See

Slovenia (Slovenija) is a country in Central Europe that dwells in the eastern Alps at the northeastern end of the Adriatic Sea, with Austria to the north, Italy to the northwest, Hungary to the northeast and Croatia to the south.

Although small in size, Slovenia has a surprising diversity of landscapes, passing from the beaches of the Mediterranean to the tops of the Julian Alps, to the winding hills of the south.

Slovenia what to visit

The sizing of this small country makes it simple to research as attractions are placed close together. It is possible to see Slovenia’s high spots in a day or two.

Lake Bohinj photo

Lake Bohinj Photo by Bernd Thaller

Slovenia’s Top Attractive Features

Slovenia is filled with natural attractiveness with rolling hills, the Julian Alps, the Adriatic coastline and limestone caves. Slovenia’s must views include the Postojna Caves, Lake Bled, Lake Bohinj, Piran and the capital city of Ljubljana.

Postojna Caves Slovenia

Postojna Caves photo

Postojna Cave Photo by amandabhslater

The most seen cave in all of Europe and the second biggest in the world, Postojna Caves is twenty kilometers of passages, galleries and chambers. This karst underground has hundreds of stalagmites, stalactites and calcite formations in a mixture of shapes and colors. Your Postojna Caves guided tour begins on an electric train through the cave passageways.

There are cave tours and there’s Slovenia’s Postojna cave system where you abseil into underground rivers in search of prehistoric beasts.

Tourism to Postojna started in 1818 when lamp lighter Luca Čeč stumbled upon the caverns. “Here is paradise,” he raved, and others agreed. In 1868 Thomas Cook himself escorted package tourists to Postojna. To date, 150 kings, queens and emperors have joined almost 35 million visitors.

Today, of Postojna’s 24km of caverns, 5km are accessible to casual visitors. An electric train rattles briskly from grand iron gates, along narrow tunnels to the main event. A spectacular Murano glass chandelier, installed in the 1920s, lights one of the caverns known as the ‘Ballroom.’ The chorus of La Scala sang in the ‘Concert Hall’, which accommodates 10,000 people, in 1929. But those pale in comparison to the natural formations of ‘Velika Gora’ (Great Mountain). Stalagmites up to 17m tall grow up to the roof, while thousands of fragile spaghetti-like stalactites hang down amongst translucent curls and folds of curtain deposits.

Postojna Caves photo

Slovenia Postojna Cave Photo by KLMircea

Exploring farther, the ‘Russian Bridge’ (built by WW1 prisoners of war) leads visitors to the ‘Beautiful Cave’, then into the ‘Winter Hall.’ Here, the startlingly white 5m ‘Brilliant’ and neighbouring ‘Baroque’ stalagmites have become symbols of Postojna, and indeed Slovenia. No wonder they deserve their own names. More…

cave olm photo

The olm (Proteus anguinus) Photo by Bernhard Wintersperger

Fun facts about these baby dragons, also known as Olms

  1. They are also called human fish because, in spite of being completely water-borne, they have limbs!
  2. This animal is most notable for its adaptations to a life of complete darkness in its underground habitat.
  3. Their eyes are undeveloped, leaving them blind, while other senses, particularly those of smell and hearing, are acutely developed.
  4. They also lack any pigmentation in their skin.
  5. According to the statistics, a mere two baby olms successfully hatch from 500 eggs in nature.
  6. Olms have a life expectancy of up to 100 years and can survive without food for up to 10 years.
  7. Olms breathe with external gills, as well as with rudimentary lungs and the skin.

The olm (Proteus anguinus) has always excited people’s imagination. Initially, it was believed it was the dragon’s offspring brought onto the surface by high waters. As a matter of fact, there might be some truth to these old beliefs. The olm is a neotenic animal, which means that adult olms retain most of their juvenile features. More…

After the train, a walking Postojna Caves tour will take you to the concert hall which can hold up to ten thousand individuals. A guided Postojna Caves tour endures an hour and a half. Better you bring something to wear as the temperature in the Postojna Caves ranges from 8–10 Celsius.