The breathtaking Škocjan Caves are located beneath the Karst limestone plateau, less than 50 miles southwest of the Slovenian capital of Ljubljana, near the Italian border.
The region gives its name to geological landscapes of this type around the World, where the topography of otherwise flat limestone plateaus has been heavily modified over thousands of years by the simple process of water dissolving the calcareous rocks.
At the surface, dissolving of the rocks can produce features such as limestone pavements, sink holes or gorges. Underground it can result vast networks of tunnels, caves and caverns. On occasion, these two worlds meet, for example where the roof of a cave gives way, to form a feature known as a collapse doline.
The Škocjan cave system was formed by the Reka River. The river flows 35 miles from its source, before disappearing underground beneath the modern village of Škocjan. It re-emerges over 21 miles away at the Timavo springs in Italy, although the precise route it takes through the underworld remains a Mystery to this day.
Without doubt, the highlight of any tour through the Škocjan Caves is crossing the Cerkvenik Bridge, nearly 150 feet above the Reka River as it rushes below through the Murmuring Cave.
Sadly, you’re not allowed to take photos for most of the tour, so the only subterranean photos we have of our own from this wondrous place are from the final cave before you return to the outside world.
But the sight of the Reka River plunging into and through Big Collapse Doline at the end of the tour (which we were able to photograph) more than made up for this.
The Škocjan Caves are a true wonder of the natural World. Although you only get a small Peek at the entire system during your tour, you come away unsurprised they were named a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1986.
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