a Jolly day out at Sneznik castle!
What better way than to spend your afternoon in Slovenia's perfect Green nature than by jumping on board a horse carriage and taking a ride to one of Slovenia's best secret castles.. Sneznik (Snow Mountain castle)!
Sneznik castle is our second favourite castle in Slovenia, (nothing in Europe can top Predjama of course) and just 40 mins from Lipizzaner Lodge, but why not take your time and go for the more scenic route with our friend Janez and his amazing carriage built for a dozen or so happy passengers!
The castle has the same name as the nearby looming Mt Sneznik (1,796m), Slovenia's highest non alpine mountain and is hidden away in one of Europe's oldest, greenest forests. The fresh air around here has been officially measured as the cleanest in the world and when you hike, bike or bump around in a horse carriage, you will notice this. (Unless you happen to go past a pile of cow or horse dung of course!!)
We had a few friends over to visit on a typically blue skied autumn day and treated them to a trip to the Loz valley to meet our friend Janez and his horses. He hooked up the carriage and Hanna was lucky enough to ride behind with the new foal as our procession left for Sneznik castle. We picked up a local lady and her 2 young boys on the way and travelled like lords as the foal excitedely followed his mum and the little dog Moz bounced around like a jumping bean on the carriage, furiously licking any stray hand that tried to smooth him!
There is an important point to make here.. in that so few visitors to Slovenia take a guide or properly get to chat with a local, which is really a shame as Slovenians are very friendly indeed and the best company is local company when you are exploring the grounds of an ancient castle such as Sneznik.. there is so much you can learn about history, nature and legends when rolling with with a local! So if you get the chance to take a guide, we cannot recommend it enough!
Sneznik castle is a magical place and so worth visiting. It is surrounded by a moat and has a drawbridge across. Make sure you do a circuit outside the castle too and you will find a crazy, mysterious hidden door in one of the oldest forests in Europe. The ticket price is a fraction what you would pay in Ljubljana castle for example and there is actually a story with this castle. What's more Sneznik is stuffed full of antiques and furniture in room after room and floor after floor.. there is even an Egyptian room and a very interesting early heating system and servant bell ringing system to amaze you.
The tours are by the hour and you will usually get a local student to accompany you for around 40 mins exploring this stunning hunting lodge which is nowadays used every summer for a knights festival.
The castle is very homely and you get a warm feeling that the family are still living there and maybe just popped out for a spot of hunting. There is armour, a stuffed bear, a very mysterious painting of St George depicted as a woman and slaying a dragon and plenty of stuff to interest all ages.
There is more than a day's worth of stuff for our guests to do and see in this little slice of the green map on a day out that could include Sneznik castle.. Planina cave, Rapunzel's tower, Krizna cave and the breath taking stone nature wonderland that is Rakov Skocjan .. all along the way from the Lodge to the castle.. and keep an eye on the woods as the Loz valley has a healthy population of bears for bear watching!
But you really cant beat a carriage ride in good company in one of the greenest, densest, oldest forests around and then that amazing feeling when you see the castle for the first time! What a day out!