The Cave of Hell - or Jama Pekel; is another underground gem in Slovenia in the middle of the Celje region. Not as well known as the Krizna, Skocjan or Postojna caves, but with a 1.2 km long tourist trail, it is a must-see in the area.
The Pekel Cave can be explored in about 1 hour, and a total of the 1,200-meter route is available for visitors. Part of the road passes through very narrow places, making the experience even more adventurous!
The most beautiful part of the cave is the Quiet Gallery, where you can also hear the sounds of the bubbling water and the 4 m high waterfall on the other side of the cave. It is the highest underground waterfall in Slovenia, opened to visitors in 1997.
|Slovene name||Jama Pekel|
|Distance from Celje||15 km / 20 mins|
|Address||Zalog pri Šempetru, 3311 Šempeter v Savinjski dolini, Slovenia|
|Visiting||Scheduled guided tours|
|Season||Apr - October|
|Admissions||10 - 6 Euros|
Photos and videos
Where is Pekel Cave?
Address, map, distance, approach, parking, the cave entrance
The Hell Cave is halfway between Maribor and Ljubljana in the heart of the Lower Savinja Valley. It is the closest cave to Celje, about a 20-minute drive away. The cave itself belongs to the municipality of Zalec.
- Address: Zalog pri Šempetru, 3311 Šempeter v Savinjski dolini, Slovenia
- Distance from Celje: 15 km / 20 minutes
- Distance to Maribor: 65 km / 50 minutes
- Distance from Ljubljana: 70 km / 45 minutes
The cave car park is next to the main road, from where you can take a short walk to the entrance. There are also many hiking trails near the cave, where you can extend your adventure after visiting the cave. There is also a café, a souvenir shop and a picnic area.
More about the cave
For millions of years, the Ponikvica stream created the cave by infiltrating the plateau through the limestone. Thus, the river disappears before the cave and reappears inside it as the Peklenščica stream.
Hell Cave is home to many different life forms. Lichen, moss and algae thrive on the walls and in the water. Beetles, spiders, snails, crabs and bats have also found refuge inside. ? ?
The 1,159-meter-long road through the cave is easy and not technical. The exit of the cave is artificial, designed on top of it. When you get out, you find yourselves in the middle of a beautiful regional park with a tourist house.
Sections of the cave
The cave has two levels: the wet and dry parts. The Peklenščica stream passes through the lower, wet part of the cave, leading to the most beautiful part of the cave, the 4-meter-high waterfall.
The upper part of the cave is dry and full of various interesting and colourful formations. Because water carries many substances with it, the stalactites glisten in different shades of red and brown. Stalactites, stalagmites, edged pools and small lakes can be found here. A real underground treasury with:
- spaghetti-like stalactites,
- large stalactites that look like a banana stem
- an onion-like shape
- and even an organ can be seen.
You find a natural bridge that curves over the path to the upper cave. Previously, there was also running water in this part of the cave, but it gradually moved to lower areas.
Why is it called the Cave of Hell?
With a little imagination, you can recognise the image of the devil above the entrance to the cave. In addition, during winter, when the cave's temperature is higher than the outside temperature, steam flies out of the cave. People were, therefore, afraid of the cave. They believed it could be a gate to hell.
Opening hours and tours
The visiting season of the cave lasts from April to the end of October. At this time, you can join guided tours according to schedule. The tour takes about 1 hour.
- Season: March - October
- March: 11:00, 13:00, 15:00 - weekends only
- April - September: 10:00, 12:00, 14:00, 16:00 - every day
- October: 10:00, 12:00, 14:00, 16:00 - weekends only
Please visit the cave's website for further information about the daily schedule.
The cave can only be visited on a guided tour. If you feel like a larger group, get in touch with the cave in advance. Individual prices can be found here:
- Adult ticket: 12 euros
- Child ticket: 8 euros
- Kids up to 4 years: free
- Student and pensioner ticket: 10 euros
Unfortunately, the cave is not barrier-free, so it is not possible to enter with a stroller, wheelchair or crutch.
No, unfortunately, the cave is not dog friendly. You can't take your favourite one with you.
The history of the cave
The cave was made accessible to tourists by Dr Tavber by erecting wooden footbridges in 1860. The cave has slowly become a popular tourist destination and has grown into a local attraction. It gained greater popularity when Professor Reibenschuh (born in Graz) published his expert results on Jama Pekel in various publications in 1866.
Another period of popularity in the cave dates from 1890 to 1905, when one of the secretaries of the city of Žalec once again turned his attention to the cave, presenting written evidence that "parties and festivals" used to be organised in Jama Pekel in the early 19th century.
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