A landscape of subterranean worlds
Slovenia is a karstic land, and it was the Slovenian Karst that lent its name to karst landscapes and phenomena across the world, for it was here that scientists first explained numerous karst features. Speleologists discover new caves in Slovenia every year, which amount to more than 8,000 by now, but only about 20 of them are show caves. The largest and most visited is Postojna Cave, the home of the human fish. Škocjan Caves, a natural and cultural site inscribed on the UNESCO world heritage list, continue to impress visitors with their unique beauty. Vilenica is the oldest show cave in Europe, and Križna Jama cave delights with its underground lakes. Postojna Cave is connected through passages with Pivka Cave, Black Cave, Planina Cave (Planinska jama), Otok Cave (Otoška Jama), the cave under the Predjama Castle and many others.
Living museum of the Karst
Feel the northern wind of the Karst, the bora, sweeping across the landscape. Discover the intermittent lakes, especially the largest among them, Lake Cerknica. Visit the Eco-museum of the intermittent Pivka Lakes and learn more about the mysterious life of karstic rivers in the Rakov Škocjan regional park. The Wild Lake (Divje jezero) near Idrija is another lake with a karstic character. The area of the Karst Living Museum showcasing characteristic karst phenomena such as sinkholes, collapse dolines, limestone pavements (škrapljišča), chasms and, of course, underground caves, is identified as an ecologically important area, the largest part of which is protected as a Natura 2000 site. In the past the area was closed to the public for nearly a half-century.
Many visitors looking to enjoy authentic local food are drawn to the Karst. Try the traditional jota hot pot, made from sauerkraut or pickled turnips, beans and potatoes, a frtalja omelette and many other seasonal dishes served in inns across the Karst. Discover the wine region praised by the ancient Greeks and Romans. The Karst Wine Route boasts more than 100 wine cellars where you can taste and explore the wealth of Karst wines. Fruit lovers mustn’t miss the Brkini Fruit Route, known for its first-class apples, plums, and the Brikini plum brandy known as “Brkinski slivovec”.
Karst Teran and Karst pršut
Teran is Slovenia’s autochthonous red wine. It is produced in the Karst from the Refošk variety of grape in the red loamy soil called “terra rossa”. Hence its name – terrano (terra – soil).
Karst pršut (air-dried ham) is labelled with the “protected geographical indication” designation. All it takes is salt, clean air, the bora wind, a watchful eye, and 12 to 16 months of curing for you to be able to cut a slice of this truly delectable, succulent ruby red prosciutto with its inviting, intoxicating fragrance.
If active holidays are your thing
The Karst boasts a pleasant climate all year round, allowing you to explore different hiking trails or go cycling, horseback riding or even play a round of golf.Explore
Land of creative genius
Since time immemorial, the Karst and the Brkini Hills have served as a source of artistic inspiration. Celebrated architect Maks Fabiani and poet Srečko Kosovel, one of Slovenia’s most notable poets, both lived and worked here. Visit the Museum of Slovenian Film Actors and the Škratelj homestead in Divača. Take the Wheel of Culture Karst cycling tour and discover the artists, poets and writers who have left their mark on the Karst.
More opportunities to unwind
You might already know exactly what you want to do in the Karst, or you might decide as you go. There’s a lot to choose from, so you’d better set out on your way and start exploring.
Spend your holiday in the heart of mountainous Slovenia. Walk through vibrant and untouched nature that is criss-crossed by 10,000 kilometres of marked and arranged hiking trails. You can choose from 175 mountain huts or spend your nights in hotels and camps for hikers.
Walks across the lowland trails
Do you like exploring natural sites? Experience a hiking adventure in the lowlands of Slovenia. Interesting walking, themed, educational, and mountain trails can be found everywhere.
Take your children to a world that they have never seen before. You can bike on forest trails or on special biking trails. To spend an active and healthy holiday, choose between a mountainous or coastal environment, Pannonian plains or rolling hills.
Equestrianism and horseback riding in Slovenia have a centuries-old tradition thanks to the Lipica Stud Farm, the cradle of the world-famous Lipizzaner horses. Equestrian centres, tourist farms and ranches offer various options for horseback riding in fenced areas around farms, in meadows, and in forests.
Golf courses in Slovenia are located amidst idyllic surroundings and are among the most beautiful courses in Europe. They are set in typical landscapes on the edge of the Pannonian Plain, among vineyards and rolling hills, below Alpine summits, and in the idyllic karst landscape.
And now for a ramble across Slovenia
A good hour’s drive and you’ll find yourself in an entirely different part of the country, with different customs and landmarks. But wherever you go, hospitable locals will be waiting.
Stories from Slovenia
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