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wildlife & nature • 7 days, 6 nights

Subterranean Slovenia: Caves, Cellars, and Secret Tunnels

Slovenia
wildlife & nature • 7 days, 6 nights

Subterranean Slovenia: Caves, Cellars, and Secret Tunnels

Slovenia
See Dates
  • Group Size 12 People Maximum
  • Activity Level
    Moderate
  • Travel Style
    Outdoor Expedition
from $3,205 USD per person
See Dates

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  • Implemented expansive new safety protocols
  • Reduced trip deposits to just $100
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Trip Overview
Overview

Descend into the storied labyrinth of the Slovenian karst, where some of the world’s most famous caves snake below the ground. Equipped with headlamps and flashlights, we’ll explore the geological wonders, mysterious history, and tender ecosystems that characterize this stunning, subterranean world. We’ll search for the quick-swimming “human fish,” glimpse fossils of cave bears, and investigate the remains of an underground espionage operation. Of course, we’ll emerge often enough to visit local vineyards, sample karst prosciutto, tour a medieval castle or two, and skirt around the stunning, glassy waters of Bled Lake, cradled between the Alps. We’ll even partake in a local tradition—a nighttime dormouse hunt, where we’ll journey through the ruins of Šteberk castle in search of one of the most historically important mammals in this region. Along the way, we’ll meet historians, cave experts, and locals who will help us get to know the history, cuisine, and traditions that make this tiny region so special at altitudes high and low. 

Highlights
  • Spectacular karst caves
  • The world's second-largest mercury mine
  • Fossils of prehistoric bears
  • A train that runs into the depths of the Earth
  • Nighttime dormouse hunt

Itinerary

Itineraries and daily schedules are subject to change. We expect to do everything listed in the itinerary, though the order may be rearranged based on weather or other local conditions.
Slovenia

Trip Leader

Žiga Šter
As the son of an alpine climber, Žiga has always been an intrepid adventurer—ascending, traversing, bivouacking, and caving from a young age. Žiga has been climbing, skiing, and guiding adventure groups across the world—from Morocco, Russia, and Montenegro to Iran, France, and Slovenia. Although his work occasionally takes him to climbing competitions across the globe where he serves as the president of the jury, he always eagerly returns to “his office in green,” as he often calls his native Slovenia. His raison d’être is freewheeling around the world with a pack of curious travelers in tow.

Additional Info

Pricing

The cost of this trip is $3,205 (or $3,575 if taking the coast extension), based on double occupancy.

Traveling Solo?

You’re in good company. Solo travelers typically make up about half of our small groups. With curiosity at the center of our experiences, there’s a natural camaraderie that develops over the course of a trip. We have two options for you: 

Shared Room: You’ll be matched with another solo traveler of the same gender. 

Private Room: Have your own room, subject to availability, for a supplemental cost of $225 (or $340 if taking the extension). When booking, please select the single room package option.

Activity Level

Travelers should feel comfortable being on their feet for four to five hours over the course of each day, spending time outdoors and on the water, and walking on uneven, wet, or slippery terrain. Since the majority of this trip takes place underground in dark, sometimes narrow environments, travelers should feel comfortable with heights and in enclosed spaces; this trip may not be suitable for those who suffer from vertigo or claustrophobia. Travelers should also be comfortable on and around the water, as parts of this trip will be spent on boats and around underground lakes, streams, siphons and waterfalls. There will also be several stretches of this journey where we’ll be quite far from medical facilities. If you’re at all unsure whether or not this is the right trip for you, we highly encourage you consult with your doctor before making a decision. 

Arrival & Departure

Our trip begins with an introductory castle visit and welcome dinner in Ljubljana on Day 1. We recommend you arrive in Ljubljana by 3 p.m. that day so you can settle into your accommodations in time to meet with our guide and group. Our trip concludes on Day 7 in Ljubljana (or Day 8 if taking the culinary extension), and we can organize a transfer to the airport at an additional cost. If you’d like to spend extra time in the area, we’d be more than happy to provide suggestions for things to do and see in Slovenia on your own.

Included
  • Accommodation throughout the trip in comfortable hotels, bed and breakfasts, and farmstays.
  • All meals described in the itinerary.
  • Transportation throughout the trip. 
  • Experienced local guides to accompany you for the duration of the trip, as well as special guests throughout.
  • Admission to all proposed activities, locations, and events.
  • Necessary safety gear for cave visits (i.e. headlamps, overalls, boots, helmets).
  • A great group of fellow Atlas Obscura travelers, excited to explore all that Slovenia has to offer!
  • 24/7 emergency assistance through Global Rescue.
  • Special access to unique places and extraordinary experiences.
Excluded
  • Transportation to and from Ljubljana.
  • Pre- and post-trip accommodations.
  • Airport transfers.
  • Travel insurance (recommended).
  • Additional meals and drinks outside of Atlas Obscura offerings, including most alcoholic beverages.
  • Applying for a Slovenian visa, if applicable. 
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Trip FAQ

Weather in the late fall typically includes some mild, sunny days as well as cold rain—and occasionally, light snow. Temperatures typically range from 40 to 70°F. In the springtime, temperatures tend to range from 50 to 60°F, with some cold, rainy days, as well. Cave conditions are typically fairly consistent throughout the year, with temperatures reaching around 50°F. 

See All FAQ

Upcoming Departures

  • Sep 6–Sep 12, 2021
    from $3,205
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