So should we go into Predjama Castle?
Yep, oui, ja, si, OF COURSE YOU GO INTO THE CASTLE..YESSSSSSSSSADOODLEDOOOOO!!!!!
If you arrive in Slovenia with your head in a book or even worse with your thumbs stuck to a notsosmartphone then you really wont need to read this article at all, as you will already know everything there is to following someone else's experience and ticklist of Slovenia..
Fortunately, as you are reading this article, you will see that there is up to a full day's fun to be found inside, under, behind and above the most unique castle in the world, Pyjama castle, oops, Predjama castle.
It seems many of these clever guide books and even cleverer tick list monkeys are telling you not to bother going inside the castle.. what a load of tosh! We don't need to tell you that often these books have been written by people who didn't even have the time to go inside the castle themselves and if they did, they would find lots of stone passages, steps, armour and a really great true legend inside a masterpiece of a castle, fused 70 metres up onto the side of a 123m cliff!
Predjama means "in front of the cave" and this is a big clue for some of the fun you are going to get when entering the castle. You should absolutely go right up the beautiful stone steps to the top of the big cave behind the castle and try to work out how on earth this stunning piece of architecture was first perched onto these cliff rocks, almost 1,000 years ago, to form the most impregnable castle in the world!
Actually, it really reminds us of how the Incas in Peru fused their monuments perfectly into the rocks so the building merges with the mountain or rock face, but of course here, there were not thousands of slaves working on the building, so you can see the joins between the cliff side and the castle and to try to work out how on earth they built this fortress.
A lot of our guests ask us if it is worth going inside the castle and this is what we say..
Go to the castle after breakfast. Of course you can walk along the secret path from the Lodge, 40 minutes directly to the castle and you will be the only lucky visitors that day who will see the castle from the forest base, 70 metres below. You will get the same view as all the other visitors who cram into the carpark and whose mouths drop open when they see the castle for the first time and just from eye level, but you will also get to walk up the curvy hill track and admire so many more amazing views available of the cave under the castle, the jousting arena and the castle itself.
We have had so many positive remarks from guests of all languages about the quality of the audio guide which accompanies you around the rooms, stone staircases and explains the legends, that we absolutely tip people to take this audio guide. In the same way as you will never forget seeing this amazing castle for the first time, these stories will also stay with you.. as something cool actually happened here! We are still scratching our heads to understand how this stunning castle was missed by Game of Thrones and Hollywood? Yes, you should ring the bell and make a wish, yes you should go and see the amazing view from the balcony where cheeky Baron Erazem was chucking food down and laughing at the army outside and yes you should take the audio guide.
So a sugar coated yes please, make time to go visit the castle, but please read on, there's more!
the real Batcave
Did you also know that there is another world class cave that you can visit directly under this castle? Don't start looking at your watch now and saying "oh dear, we don't have time to do this, we'll just take a quick selfie outside the castle and zoom off to the next place on our tick list". Did you know that one of the largest caves under the castle was once used as a stables and nowadays, every 2 hours in the summer months, you can put on a caver's helmet with light and walk down to this cave, clamber inside and climb high up the secret route around the back of the castle to find the cheeky Baron's escape route, popping out for a magnificent view on top of the cliff, way above the castle.
And what about this.. the cave is the real "Batcave", being home in the winter to the largest different number of bat species in any cave in the world?! Still not got time to do it?? Don't worry about getting rare bats tangled in your hair as this special cave is only accessible in the summer, when most of the bats have gone off on their holidays, but you will see some tiny ones on your climb.
The other thing not to worry about are the physical demands of this group tour, which takes about an hour in total and tough 7 year olds can do it, but you must have a basic level of fitness (as for any other nature adventure in Green Slovenia).
We haven't had any guests returning from the castle and saying it wasn't worth going inside or visiting the batcave. Indeed, many of our guests have found that this cave gives them a more physical & authentic caving experience and when you know that there are now 3 cafes to choose from, a really good free museum with some sensationally good relics from the mountain battles of WW1 and of course several ways to return the Lodge via forest, track or road.. then you will now not be surprised that many of our guests head off to the castle on foot or bike after breakfast and return with big smiles on their faces in the late afternoon, with just enough time to go visit that other well known cave before a mighty fine evening meal!