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From Polje to Cave

Dear Travellers!

This time, we explored a vast and unique part of our region that attracts athletes, recreation enthusiasts, lovers of nature and everyone longing for a retreat from a daily routine.

Our adventure began with our arrival at Hotel Center. The hotel was fully renovated in 2018 and it is separated from the famous Postojna Cave only by a 10-minute walk. Aside from marvellous rooms and friendly staff, the hotel is a perfect place for a perfect getaway, since it is located in a peaceful environment while still being in the vicinity of the town square.

Hotel Center

We spent our day discovering Postojna and checked out the events held in the main square in the evening. If you are lucky enough, you will be able to visit some of the summer cultural events in the square during the time of your stay and really feel the pulse of the town.

On the second day of our trip, we visited the nearby Planina Cave. We set off on bicycles in the morning. After ten kilometres, we made our first stop at the Planina Polje, considered to be a typical example of a karst polje and the last polje of its kind at the Ljubljanica River basin. The Unica River also paves its way across the polje, and it can be visited during any season, as it offers numerous possibilities to spend time: from walking, jogging, cycling and all the way to ice skating in winter. As we were cycling, we noticed various birds, butterflies and meadow plants.

Fun fact: Did you know that you can find more butterfly species on a single karst polje than in the entire Great Britain?

Planina Polje. Photo: Aleš Komovec

Cycling around the plain took us to Haasberg Castle. The ruins of a former baroque mansion rise high above the gorge of the Unica River on the southern part of the Planina Polje. Unfortunately, the castle was completely burned down during World War II. Yet the sight of it still confirms that this used to be one of the most representative castle buildings in Slovenia.

Haasberg Castle. Photo: Denis Komen

After a short visit we moved onto the other side the road to see an old barn. A magical grassy courtyard surrounded by stone walls serves as a place for various outdoor events today. In the Castle Barn, as it is called, various exhibitions, concerts and workshops take place in the summertime. 

The Škratovka Haasberg Society (the word 'Škratovka' stands for 'Gnome Cave') is the herald of a new life in the castle. Among other various events, the members of the society organize storytelling adventures for children about the valley of magical dwarves and their mischiefs. We also checked out a smaller ethnological collection of different artefacts found at that location.

Castle Barn. Photo: Denis Komen

It was soon time to visit the Demšar Diner where we treated ourselves to a delicious lunch. Having recovered our energy, we rode our bikes towards Ravbar’s Tower.

The tower represents a surviving remnant of the medieval Little Castle, and it was named after the Ravbar family from the 15thcentury. The castle’s main role was to protect the important road between the Ljubljana basin and the coast. You can also take a look at the tower’s interior by prior arrangement.

Ravbar's Tower. Photo: Denis Komen

After a short stop for sightseeing we were already racing towards the largest water cave in Slovenia, situated on the southern edge of the Planina Polje. We were most fascinated by the majestic 20-meter-wide and 8-meter-tall entrance into the cave, which was even more enriched by the humming of the Unica River. We entered the cave accompanied by a tour guide and carrying halogen lamps, and so our one-hour visit began. A pleasant yet exciting walk along a secured path took us to a unique confluence of the underground rivers where the Rak River flowing from Rakov Škocjan and the Pivka River coming from the Postojna Cave merge together into the Unica River. During our walk, we observed the unique underground confluences, lakes, stalagmites and stalactites, and found out that the cave is home to 60 aquatic species and 40 terrestrial animal species.

You can also visit the cave on a boat. The boat tour takes anywhere from 4 to 6 hours, and it can be carried out only when the water level is low, which is why prior arrangement is necessary.

Planina Cave. Photo: Simon Kržič

After a full day of new discoveries and adventures, we waved Planina goodbye and went back down the same road to our hotel in Postojna. If you are still looking for trip ideas, you will not be disappointed by a visit of the sights mentioned above.

Read you later! :)