Part of the UNESCO World Heritage Site, the Skocjan Cave System is Slovenia’s second most famous cave after Cave Postojna. The cave - which is decorated with standing and hanging stalactites along with special rock formations - is the largest excavated underground system in Europe.
Another special feature of the millions years old cave's surroundings is that it also includes several smaller caves, some of which can be visited.
The Skocjan cave world is a real unique treasure, which is only 55 minutes away from Ljubljana. Slovenia’s must-see attraction made it on our Top 50 list, but we thought we would present it in a separate article as well.
The cave was created and shaped by the Reka River millions of years ago to this day - as the river flows through part of the karst cave. The river enters a gorge below the village of Skocjan, then flows into the Dead Lake in the cave, and finally disappears here.
As river Timavo, it resurfaces again at Duino in Italy, 34 km away, and then makes its adventurous journey in the Gulf of Trieste.
Photos and videos
Where is Skocjan Cave?
Ljubljana Skocjan distance
Skocjan Cave is located near the town of Divaca. Due to its ideal location, many people going to (or returning from) the Slovenian coast, take a break here.
- Address: Javni zavod Park Skocjanske jame Skocjan 2 SI-6215 Divaca
- Geographical coordinates: 45.663168, 13.989321
- GPS coordinates: 45 ° 39 ′ 47.4048 ”N 13 ° 59 ′ 21.5556” E
- Distance from Bled: 70 minutes / 126 km
- Distance from Ljubljana: 55 minutes / 77 km
One of the most interesting formations in Skocjan are the so-called “pools”. These underground lakes fill with water during heavy rains. As the water flows out at the edge of the pool, interesting formations form due to the deposition of minerals.
The stalactites formed over the years are magnificent in their unique and special shapes. Along the way, you will find even more beautiful specimens. At first it may seem like a lot to take 2 hours to explore the cave itself, but believe me, time flies quickly down there.
Visiting the cave
The Skocjan cave system is more than a single cave. Therefore, you can choose not only 1 but 3 tours.
- Skocjan Cave Tour (group tour)
- Reka river "additional" tour (group tour)
- Skocjan Cave educational trail (individual tour)
# 1 Exploring the Skocjan Cave
During the cave tour you will walk about 3 km with 144 m elevation. Count about 2 hours for the program, plus buying tickets, etc. It is only recommended to go on the tour in closed, comfortable and non-slip shoes!
The guided tour starts from the visitor center. Here you can join the group tours that start every hour (about 25 people / group). Of course, you can choose from several languages. English, German and Italian groups are always available.
You will have to proceed on a pre-designed route for about 10 minutes between the visitor center and the entrance to the cave. The cave tour consists of 5 sections. Going through these sections, the tour guide tells you about the formation of the cave and you will go through the major chambers one by one. In the meantime, of course, you will find useful information about the countryside and the cave.
The trail is well lit, well built and even. During the tour, there will always be a railing in the cave on one side so you can hold on to it.
The main attractions of the cave are the waterfalls inside of it, and there are several of them. At some point, you will have to cross a narrow bridge 50 meters above the underground river Reka.
The tour of the cave ends at the natural opening of the cave. You will see natural light here, and you can take photos only at this place.
# 2 Reka River additional tour
Leaving the cave with the "Reka River Ticket", your adventurous journey continues. You will be able see two other caves, the chambers of Mahoricic and Marinic, which are located in Mala Dolina. These are smaller, brighter caves where you can witness the work of shaping the river along the way.
After exiting the Mala Dolina (here, you will see a waterfall flowing into the lake) you will visit the Velika Dolina and the Tominc Cave (Tominceva jama).
You have to buy a separate ticket for the caves of the river Reka, and you can also visit them if you want to skip the Skocjan Cave.
# 3 Skocjan educational trail
The essence of the educational trail is that by walking around the surrounding countryside you will learn more about karst phenomena and the Skocjan area itself. Along the way, you can view the Reka River, with carved caves (from the outside), while listening to the chirping of birds and admiring the flora.
Calculate with approximately 1-1,5 hours to complete the 2 km long trail. You can request a map at the ticket office, which will make orientation easier.
The Skocjan Cave can only be visited on a guided tour. The tour is led by the tour guides of the Skocjan Caves Regional Park. In high season, from June to September, tours run hourly. The opening hours depend on the season.
Departure of groups
- November to March: 10:00 to 13:00
- April, May, October: 10:00, 13:00, 15:30
- June, July, August, September: 10:00 to 17:00 every hour
Admission and prices
Prices for a tour through the cave vary depending on the season. Admission is a few euros more expensive in July and August, while they are cheaper in winter.
- Adult ticket in high season: 20 euros
- Adult ticket in winter: 16 euros (Nov - Feb)
- Adult ticket at other times: 18 euros
- Children's ticket in high season: 10 euros (July, Aug)
- Children's ticket at other times: 9 euros
- Children's ticket in winter: 7.5 euros (Nov - Feb)
This tour also can only done with a guide, but it is possible to skip the Skocjan Cave and only exchange tickets for the Reka River. Prices to be considered separately in the areas. Keep in mind that this tour is only available from April to the end of October.
- Adult ticket: 24 euros
- Senior and student ticket: 18 euros
- Children's ticket: 12.50 euros
The cave also has a restaurant and a gift shop where you can buy souvenirs.
The tour is free and individually accessible.
The cave is quite cold in summer as well. In summer, pack at least one sweater and long pants and socks, in winter you should bring a coat. The average temperature in the cave is 12 ° C.
Exploration of Skocjan
Although during the tour you will get more information about which sections of the cave were discovered when and how, we will tell you a few things in advance.
The cave was discovered by local explorers in the 1800s, when in 1890 they reached the shores of Mrtvo jezero (the Dead Lake). Of course, at that time, they had no idea that the largest cave system in Europe had been found.
Not long after, in 1904, the next major discovery was the "Quiet Cave," the Tiha jama.
In these parts of the cave, the guided tour all goes through.
What can you do in the area?
Divaca is the closest town to the caves. You will find a train station and a bus station here, but if you come by car, you will not need to use them.
There are many cycling and hiking trails in the area - of course the beach is only 30-40 minutes away, and Ljubljana is also this close but in the other direction.
Surprisingly, there are many flora and fauna which lives around the cave; of course, the number one inhabitants are bats.
When you visit the Skocjan Cave, you will not have a question of whether it was worth it?! Although many people only think of the world of Skocjan as a half-day program, reading the article and looking through the fabulous pictures, you can already see that it is more than about just a few stalactites.
Do not hesitate to pay a visit! Head to the underground (and above) world of Skocjan, step in and discover the fabulous cave system.
Have a nice trip!