It is supposedly the “best known cave in the world“. I probably haven’t travelled or researched enough but I had never heard of it – until three years ago. The Postojna region is situated south west of Slovenia. Postojnska-Jama, otherwise known as Postojna Cave, is located approximately 1km from the centre of Postojna.
I spent a few hours here about three years ago – one of the many stopovers during our quick honeymoon stint in Europe. We only got to see about 5kms of this 20.6kms long cave (Tip: take a light jacket). We took the cave’s unique electric train and as we zoomed past intricate stalactite formations (Tip: put your camera on the correct setting), it immediately reminded me of Jenolan Caves in Blue Mountains.
Created and hollowed out by nature, the Pivka River, the tour took us through an artificial passage, followed by the first natural passage. According to the official Postojna Jama website, that natural passage turned black as a result of petrol being destroyed during World War II.
The next part of the tour was the Gothic Hall consisting of numerous flowstone (cave deposits composed of calcite or other carbonate minerals) creations – then the Congress Hall (formerly Dance Hall), which has apparently been a highly appealing and sought after venue for concerts and other events over the last two centuries due to its unique acoustics.
And as if on cue, a chorus of “coo-ee” echoing and bouncing off the cave walls could be heard.
A further 2 kilometres to the Great Mountain, we were allowed to hop off the train to continue the tour on foot (Tip: wear non-slip shoes). The path was illuminated, taking us safely over the Great Mountain (the Cavalry) across the Russian Bridge into the Beautiful Caves which consists of the Spaghetti Hall, the White Hall and the Red Hall – all names after the colour and shape of stalactites and stalagmites found in there.
We kept walking until we reached the Brilliant Passage. There we were met by the famous stalagmite and the symbol of the Postojna Cave – the Brilliant.
The tour concluded by getting back on the train that took us back to the surface.
“The stalagmites take familiar shapes – pears, cauliflower and sand castles – but there are also bizarre columns, pillars and translucent curtains that look like rashers of bacon” (Lonely Planet)
Overall, I really liked Postojna Cave. However, because we went during peak season, there were probably hundreds of tourists in there. It was quite difficult to hear the guide and be able to ask questions. A more personalised and perhaps a smaller tour group option (if there is one) would be beneficial.
I’m not sure or convinced that Postojna Cave is the “best known cave in the world” as Postojna claims. I mean, it’s certainly not the longest either. But it is definitely beautiful enough to visit if you’re passing through. And if you haven’t already, add Slovenia to your travel bucketlist!
Also, apologies in advance for these photos. At the time, my camera was having a tantrum and decided not to focus. A shame really, as there were some really amazing formations.