Škocjan Caves is an exceptional system of limestone caves comprises collapsed dolines, some 6 km of underground passages with a total depth of more than 200 m, many waterfalls and one of the largest known underground chambers. The protected area of 413 ha conserves an exceptional limestone cave system which comprises one of the world’s largest known underground river canyons, that was cut into the limestone bedrock by the Reka River. In 1986, listed in UNESCO Heritage list.
Located in the Kras Plateau of South-West Slovenia.
About Škocjan Caves
1. The Škocjan cave system and its surroundings are eminent and well-conserved manifestations of Karst topography. It reveals a broad range of karst features with its exceptional scale and aesthetic quality. Some outstanding landscape highlights include the vast, roughly two-kilometre long underground canyon, up to some 150 metres high and in places more than 120 metres wide. An underground torrent runs through it along series of cascades, turning it into a major visual and auditory spectacle.
2. An impressive array of exceptional karst manifestations, the result of past and present geological, geomorphological, speleological and hydrological processes, are clearly at display for scientists and visitors alike within a relatively small area. The heart of the site, the main cave system with the underground stretches of the Reka River, has been formed in a thick layer of cretaceous limestone.
3. The constantly dynamic system is an outstanding textbook example of contact Karst with well-developed features, such as a blind valley, collapsed dolines, openings, chasms and caves. Remarkably, this geological diversity supports an equally fascinating biological diversity which has important implications for land and water management.
4. The caves support many endemic and endangered species, including the Cave Salamander along with many invertebrates and crustaceans. The very particular environmental conditions of the collapsed dolines provide a habitat for rare and threatened flora and fauna. Furthermore, ongoing archaeological studies have been revealing ever more details of a very long history of human occupation since prehistoric times. There is strong evidence that our ancestors appreciated the area as a place for settlements. Archaeological research has also disclosed that the area was historically used as a burial ground as well as for rituals.
Best Time to Visit
If you are planning a Travel to Slovenia then the best time to visit is different for everyone. The alpine northwest sees abundant snow Dec-March, while warm, dry conditions May-Sep are ideal for climbing, hiking, cycling and adventure sports. Snow melt makes white water rafting a great option by late May.