the Batcave at Predjama castle
If you thought you were coming to Green Slovenia to see just a lake, a pretty city with a river going through, a giant cave, a totally unique castle hanging out of a cliff and a stunning Venetian seaside town.. then think again, as the Batcave is just one of the numerous secret places that you absolutely cannot miss!
Lets get a few things clear first, with a little list..
1: the batcave is the cave under Predjama castle.. this castle is the most unique fortress in the world and probably on your list to see in any case.. so the mistake you will probably make is to have too little time planned to see the castle, meaning you would miss this secret cave experience..
2: the batcave is NOT the Postojna cave.. (which is very possibly the only cave you have heard about in Green Slovenia).. so to be clear the batcave is "the cave under Predjama castle"..
3: Slovenia has over 15,000 discovered caves, the bat cave is just one of dozens of show caves you could.. and SHOULD visit..
4: Every Slovenian show cave is TOTALLY different to each other, so the next most common mistake not to make is to think you can visit just one cave and then you have seen them all.. Would you think, "ok.. I've been to London, so I'm not gonna visit New York or Paris as I've seen a big city".. of course you wouldn't!.. so make sure you have enough days in your schedule to see a few of the caves here. And a cave visit can be easily mixed in with the other amazing natural attrations.. you will be totally blown away by each new cave experience.
5: It's called the bat cave as in the winter, there are more different species of bat in this one cave than in any other cave in the world!
6: In the summer, most of the bats go on their holidays, so there is just one tiny little bat left in this cave and it won't attack you, suck your blood or give you a nasty disease!!
7: In winter, the cave is closed to protect the returning bats, so you can only visit the bat cave between May and September..
8: So you get to go into the cave under the castle, walk and climb around the back of it and then pop out way above near the top of the ciff for exclusive, amazing views!
9: Younger kids can do this experience too, there are steep metallic steps to climb up in places, but it really isn't too scary and is not dangerous..
One of the main reasons that the bat cave and other caves are missed out, is the whole marketing / tourist culture surrounding Postojna cave + Predjama castle.. Maybe you don't realise it, but you are fed the idea that you come to "Postojna" for just a day to see the Postojna cave and Predjama castle on a multi ticket.. Through a combination of money sucking marketing and general local apathy you have no other reason to doubt that there is just enough to do here for a day, so maybe you might overnight, but you certainly wouldn't stay longer!
Lipizzaner Lodge has proved that this is total nonsense and since we have opened here, in the very best location for exploring the whole of Green Slovenia, our guests have been staying longer and longer on average, making more time to find the secret places in Green Slovenia.
Some guests, usually those who have not seen our website, still arrive with ticklists, prepaid tickets and absolutley no clue what else there is to do and see, so after a little chat and a cup of tea, we regularly see the shock on these people's faces as they realise they have totally underestimated this mini region and Green Slovenia in general!
In mitigation.. it's not your fault, as there is so little clear, simple info out there about how much Slovenia has to offer.. that is why we decided to make our website so comprehensive for you.. the bat cave is just another fantastic example of this!
We see it all the time.. families, couples, hikers and bikers leave the Lodge after breakfast to take the secret forest path, 40 mins to Predjama castle and regularly, we don't see them come back until the mid to late afternoon! This is because they know and enjoy what is on offer at Predjama castle.. it's not just a selfie outside and maybe a quick tour inside.. it's the beautiful forest with multiple networks of different green paths, it's the castle visit, the WW1 exhibition, the yummy lunch at a cafe overlooking the castle and, of course.. the bat cave!
OK, so now we have your attention, we will explain a bit more about how amazing this bat cave experience is..
You can get your bat cave ticket at the castle ticket office and you should choose the time of the cave visit depending on when you arrive at the castle, as the bat cave trips are every 2 hours.. so if you arrive an hour before 11am, you might decide to go see the castle inside or have a coffee beforehand.
Group sizes are usually quite small.. partly cos people don't really know about the cave and how fab it is and partly as we already mentioned as people run out of time. You get a safety helmet with a light on and an enthusiastic guide.. the walk down to the cave entrance is quite spectacular.. (but the exit is also pretty cool)!
Predjama means "in front of the cave" and there are actually a multitude of caves hidden behind the castle, one of them used by the sneaky rascal Baron Erasmus to nip out to the shops to get supplies, while the emperor's army camped outside, thinking they were besieging him.. wow what a guy!
So you see.. you enter the cave with this amazing spirit of adventure and basically, you explore and secretly climb up behind the castle, popping out in a completely disorientating location above the castle, with uberstunning secret views down on the castle and the valley below!
On the way you get a reasonable historical, ecological and general explanation of the cave, you will probably see the little bats that stay on over the summer and most importantly, you will actually physically feel a bit like a caver.. this is a genuine cave experience not to be underrated!
Chris was a little short of being petrified before going in here, being scared of heights and enclosed spaces, but in the interests of adventure, we can report that REALLY, there is nothing to worry about on this tour for the fainthearted.. if you are quite unfit, then you might find the walk up the few metal staircases a bit tough, but most could easily do this and there are strong bars to grip all the way up and places to stand away from the very few edges.. so please don't make this a reason to miss out on this cave adventure!
There is no crawling around, you walk the whole trip and the bats are really tiny and have no interest in sucking your blood, so these are not excuses either.
So if you add the feeling of being a real caver for an hour, the beauty of nature around and inside the cave, the feeling of excitement creeping up behind the castle, the legends and the absolutely amazing views at cave entrance and exit then there is nothing to compare with this cave experience!
And this is why we bang on about visiting the caves here in Slovenia as exploring this bat cave is a totally different experience to riding on a train and being overwhelmed, (together with hundreds of people) by the amazing dripstones and size!
A final point is to think that if only you were lucky enough to have this one bat cave in your country, then of course you would go and visit it... It's just that Slovenia has this cave and so many others for you to enjoy and you can find out more on our CAVES page.. happy caving!