Lipica.. Home of the Lipizzaner

There is no other place like Lipica in the world. It is not a town or even a village, but it appears as a dot on the map. It is essentially a breeding farm set up in huge private Green Karst woodland over 400 years ago by the Austro Hungarian emperor, with the purpose of creating a new horse breed, known as the Lipizzaner and then nurturing and sustaining it.

One of the many reasons our Lipizzaner Lodge is located exactly where we are is to be just 20 minutes from the birthplace of this unique Slovenian horse.

Lipica is now a mecca for horse people and Lipizzaners are used exclusively by those who know, respect and understand their unique capabilities to perform dressage or carriage work.



But it is only now after ten years of living here in the most beautiful country in Europe that we have included a visit to Lipica in our beloved Secret Places to Visit section and we will explain why.

We will ONLY tip secret places to visit here that we are sure guests will have a great experience at AND might be surprised are so close to the Lodge, so maybe would like to know a little bit more about them.

So there are gaps on the map where only we will know that we decided NOT to recommend a place OR that we have just not gotten around to visiting it.. (Incredibly, we still do have a list as long as a dragon's tail of secret places we want to visit and check out)!

For hardened horse lovers around the world, the Lipica stud will absolutely not be a secret place at all and might be the very reason for their trip to Green Slovenia. 

the landscape here is just awesome..
the landscape here is just awesome..


But for the rest of us, Green Slovenia is packed with LOTS of other choices and amazing secret places to go see or do and so Lipica will be one of many secret places on your "Maybe List".. 

We rarely mention on our website if a place is NOT worth you visiting, we just do not mention it at all! So if we do say somewhere is not worth your valuable time we will always give a good explanation as to why not and strong suggestions of what to do instead and why.

So some dots on the map that you might expect to be included in this website are NOT and sadly, for a long time, Lipica was one of those.. the really dedicated horse nuts were always gonna go visit there anyway! But now we are very happy to include a trip to Lipica on our very long tip list for everyone!

expect to see a lot of these beautiful horses..
expect to see a lot of these beautiful horses..


Many guests arrive at the Lodge still not realising how close the world HQ of the stunning Lipizzaner horse is and some have never even heard of the Lipizzaner breed at all! That is soon remedied when they see our own beautiful Lipizzaners in the riding school in our back garden or grazing in the fields under Nanos mountain.

So to be very clear.. the Lipizzaner horse comes from Slovenia and every single pure bred Lipizzaner in the world can be traced back to the Lipica stud.

You might have also heard about the "Spanish Riding School" of Vienna, well they tour the world using Lipizzaners exclusively for their shows.. maybe you have even seen a show in your home country and did not realise these are the same horses!

For non horsey people (like one member of the Lodge team), these horses are highly intelligent & strong and can be trained to do all the dance moves AND brush up very nicely, so also look fantastic pulling a carriage! 

Did You Know.. Baby lipizzaners are born black and take a few years to turn into white swans! About only one in a hundred Lipizzaners remain this dark colour and a rare black Lipizzaner stallion is highly sought after!

how cute is that..
how cute is that..


Why is Lipica so Impressive even for Non Horsey people too?

The Austrian emperor mixed breeds and came up with the perfect looking white horse, 192 years before America got independence and nowadays there are hundreds of Lipizzaners at the Lipica farm.

The epic story of how a plan was made to protect Lipizzaners from the Nazis is surely a Hollywood blockbuster in the making.

The facilities at Lipica are majestic, stables, riding arenas and huge open areas of forest and Karst green land for the horses to graze in.

your iconic drive into Lipica..
your iconic drive into Lipica..


Arriving at Lipica..

If you are lucky you will see the herds of mums with their foals in these vast fields behind those typical Lipica white wooden fences when you drive in from either Sezana or Lokev/Divaca direction.

There is a big car park with slightly confusing way of paying next to the main hotel and you then walk down a long tree lined avenue to the main dark green gates and the ticket office.. The main farm is behind here and this is where you buy your entrance tickets, not at the hotel.

The hotel was one of the reasons we did not feel it was right to tip guests coming here in the past.. It had a tired 1970's look and generally poor customer service all over the park, but the hotel and cafe terrace have had a revamp in recent years and several visits by us and good feedback from our own guests mean we are very happy to report that the customer service has improved dramatically.

revamped cafe terrace outside the main hotel..
revamped cafe terrace outside the main hotel..


So now when you arrive at Lipica you will have a wildlife park kinda feeling and a sense you are also entering somewhere grand and special, a bit like your first time in Venice or London say. 

But there are no elephants of giraffes here, just hundreds of beautiful white horses fit for an emperor AND lots and lots of really cute baby Lipizzaners.. after all it is a posh stud farm!

There aren't too many countries in the world where you can EASILY see two completely different UNESCO protected places in the same day, but a very popular combo for Lodge guests is to visit UNESCO protected Lipica combined with a visit to the nearby UNESCO protected Skocjan Caves.. wow, what about that for a Unesco day out! 

Did You Know.. Her late Majesty the Queen was given a Lipizzaner as a present when she visited Lipica.. George Bush jnr was given a mountain bike when he came here.. not a lot more to be said on that one!! 

the ticket office next to the green fence..
the ticket office next to the green fence..


So What Can We get up to at Lipica?

There is an hourly tour that starts on the other side of the beautiful British Racing Green coloured gates, next to that ticket office.

You get to see behind the scenes, stables a museum and some days in the week there is also a SHOW in the main riding hall, where you get to see all the horses skills and a bit of carriage riding at 3pm. (Looks like the show will be 3 days a week for 2023, but that is not for us to confirm). There is another day when you can watch a demonstration of training methods, which is preferred by some of our guests.

So depending on the dynamics within your family, couple or group, the tour on it's own might be sufficient, but if you even have just a small interest in horses, we do recommend planning to visit on either the show or the training day to see one of those too.

It is also worth mentioning that Lipca has a 9 hole golf course on site, so if the group are divided into very different interests, this could also be a way to keep everyone happy!

If a show is at 3pm, then it is a great idea to either turn up for the 2pm tour, then you are walked directly into the show after the tour OTHERWISE start with the show and do the tour straight after.

Most people book tickets online now, but you can also pay at the ticket office by the gate.

The main activity of the stud is, of course to breed horses and people do come here to buy Lipizzaners, but another key activitiy that you might expect to be able to do is to ride a Lipizzaner!

We are delighted to tell you that riding a Lipizzaner is now possible and a serious option for visitors.. (this was not so easy in the past, shall we say), but now we are getting good feedback from our horse riding guests and this is another important reason why we are delighted to finally tip Lipica as a place for you to go visit and have a great time.

To book all or any of these activities your best bet is to go to the Lipica website, as times and days change from year to year.. (we should mention that, it is not just a Lipica thing.. Slovenian websites generally have great photos, but do have a tendancy to over confuse or complicate things in English, especially timetables and tickets.. not much we can do about that, but you will find a way to book)!

Did You Know.. There is a secret farm in green paradise where young male Lipizzaners are sent to frolic around together in their younger years until they turn white and the decision is made as to whether they are trained, sold or used for breeding. But there are some secret Green places we are ABSOLUTELY not going to share with the world.. and this is one of them! 


A final secret & MASSIVE TIP that we recommend from the rooftops you try to see..

There will be times or places in your life that you will never ever forget.. Green Slovenia will certainly give you a few of those moments, even if you cannot pronounce or remember the name of the place you were in!

We were so lucky when we stayed in Thailand and got up early to go for a cooler run and totally by chance saw the line of monks dressed in identical bright orange robes walking the streets with their begging bowls in perfect silence.. Locals queueing up to give the food for the day.. if we hadn't gone out jogging early, we would never have known.. we made sure we saw this daily event several more times.. wow..

Well, here is another secret moment you need to know about and it happens at Lipica..

here they come on the way home..
here they come on the way home..


So the mares, some of them pregnant and the babies trot off for the day into the fields, but they are herded and brought back into the stud farm at the end of the afternoon.

Inside the green fence, when the time comes, the wardens stretch out a long rope and there is total silence and anticipation while the lead mare snorts and stamps and decides when she will lead her procession of ladies past the last visitors of the day..


All of a sudden the horses will decide to go and you will now experience the sound of thundering hooves, the smell, the power, the dust, the beauty of this event as dozens & dozens of mares guide their skipping black foals right past your nose.. wow.. 

There is NEVER a fixed time to see this, as late afternoon is different at different times of the year, but it will happen each day.. in the middle of summer the days are long so the horses might stay out longer and at the end of the summer the days are getting a bit shorter.

the procession home..
the procession home..


If our guests want to see this fantastic procession of nature, we recommend they do the very last tour of the day and then hang around..

You could also wait outside the green gate sticking your head through the green railings, but the horses will be a bit further away and will not go past your nose..

Sometimes the staff know what time the horses will come back, sometimes they don't, but if you are determined to see this special moment and your family members, partner of friends are up for it too, then you will surely find a way to see this..

Sometimes it is really hot and the horses decide to stroll in, this can happen too, but it is still something you will never forget.. unless you do try to video it and competely miss all the magic!!

One last thing.. the horses also go out to the fields as a group in the morning, of course.. We were very lucky to witness this one morning as we drove into the stud.. we just parked up next to that iconic white fence and stared as the herd fanned out into the meadows to start their day grazing and frolicking around.

You might be asked at the water cooler by friends and colleagues when back home.. "Slovenia, where is that exactly?" or "Lipizzaner horses, never heard of them!" but if you do see this unique procession, you will have that special moment just for you in your heart for ever..



Final thoughts on all things Lipizzaner..

Lodge guests do get to ride our Lipizzaners too, please check our HORSES page for that, but we are so happy that we can finally do this article and wholeheartedley recommend the world class Lipica facility as part of your day out. 

In our early days here in the most beautiful country in Europe, we were totally shocked when we excitedely attended the Lipica press conference to announce what was going to happen at Lipica that year.. (don't worry, years ago now)..

We were the only people to raise our hands in a packed room to ask in horror, why on earth they thought it was a good idea to have a Harley Davidson motorbike event at the most famous horse stud in the world!!

We hope those strange days are truly over now and that Lipica stick to all things horse related.. what they are good at.. looking after the reputation of one of the most famous, beautiful horses in the world.. a Green Slovenian national treasure.. Ladies and Gentlemen, Boys and Girls.. the Lipizzaner.


Address: Landol 17, Postojna 6230, Slovenia

Phone: +386 5620 3443
Mobile: +386 40 47 0239 or +386 40 37 8037