Green Karst – gems of nature
Cavers are always discovering new caves and parts of cave systems and Postojna and the Postojna cave with Karst Research Institute – ZRC SAZU plays a big role in this field, also being the headquarters of the global Speleological Federation and the headquarters of the only doctoral studies of Karstology in the world. From this year it is also the UNESCO educational centre of karst.
The word karst stems from an old word for stone and a name that has typically spread around the world as both a thought and concept, similar to how all volcanic phenomena are named after the eponymous ‘Volcano’ in the Aeolian Islands. The Karst landscape is extremely interesting for congress and conference participants, as it offers many experiences that certainly complement congresses in Ljubljana, that long with new hotels completely offer you your own congress and incentive stories.
Longest-Lived Amphibian – The human fish, which got its name because of its snow white skin, can grow up to 30cm in length and can live for up to 100 years. It feeds on water plankton and is capable of surviving several years without any food at all. Among amphibians the human fish is clearly the most long-lived species.
The easiest way to start exploring Karst is from its centre in Postojna, after which the largest and the most visited tourist cave in Europe is named. It can pride itself on numerous natural and cultural attractions and the unique ‘human fish’. For organised meeting groups, there are several different programmes available, from classic tours to more adrenaline ventures. In Postojna you can satisfy your professional curiosity in two Karst museums that show the full dimensions of this exceptional phenomenon. Furthermore, the regional hotel offer in Postojna will soon be joined by the renovated Hotel Jama, which will complement the rich offer of the Jamski dvorec mansion.
Apart from the Postojna cave, the Karst region offers many other caves that are worthy of the attention. Vilenica cave, located at the Sežana – Lokev road, is one of the oldest tourist caves in the world. It has long stirred the visitor’s imagination and locals believe that there are fairies living inside.
Škocjan caves are the most important underground phenomenon in the Karst region and in Slovenia. They belong among the most important sinkhole caves with an underground river and canyon in the world. The Škcojan caves were listed in 1986 on UNESCO world heritage as a result of their importance.
Križna cave is a world famous karst cave, special because of its underground lakes with sinter divisions and a cave bear bones site. Besides the mandatory visit of Postojna cave there are just some of the many opportunities to take your participants to the karst underground.
The miracle of Lake Cerknica
Cerknica lake, which lies in the southern part of Cerknica field, is an intermittent lake with an area of 26 square kilometres, but when the karst field is flooded the surface can be up to 38 square kilometres. At its full size it is 10.5km long and 4.7km wide, and is the largest lake in Slovenia. It is largest mainly after the autumn rains and in the spring, when the snow is melting, and it fades a little in May or June, sometimes even in the winter,
There is not one conference participant who would not be impressed by such a magical landscape; the lake is interesting in all seasons, but we especially recommend a visit with »drevak«, a traditional lacustrian vessel. In Cerknica and on the way to the capital, there is no shortage of authentic restaurants, which will impress even the most demanding of gourmets.
Lipica Stud farm
The Lipica Stud farm is a world-renowned original stud farm of the Lipizzaner horses, an excellent equestrian centre and a prestigious area of cultural tourism that represents the brand name of the Republic of Slovenia and one of the main sources of development in the Karst. This is a remarkable cultural landscape on a global scale. We recommend to the congress guests a visit to the Lipikum museum that displays centuries of history and the Lipizzaner stud farm. Events can also be held in the Hotel Maestoso or in natural surroundings. Lipica also boasts a golf course. Congress visibility here builds on the initial story of Lipica as a home of the Lipizzaner horses and its 430 years of tradition by incorporating the elements of the rich cultural heritage and natural values.
In the enlarged inner karst region is today the most developed excursion and rural tourism. Postojna has developed as a tourist centre, with the hotels Epiceter, Kras and Šport. The quality of hotel infrastructure is currently the biggest development problem. Among the accommodation capacities, guesthouses and tourist farms are dominating, with the existing hotels only conditionally acceptable for the meetings industry. The development of tourism is quite diversified and it does not reflect the extreme natural features and cultural landscape of the area. A more concerted promotion is missing, which is, to some extent, carried out by the Zeleni Kras institute.
Underground Adventure in the Postojna Caves
The underground adventure is the embodiment of experiencing and getting to know the Postojna cave in a different way, beyond the usual tourist trails. With a touch of adrenaline and a true underground adventure it is intended for closed groups and is particularly suitable for those who aim to work on mutual help, encouraging team work and getting to know their own capabilities. At the same time, it makes adventure participants familiar with the compelling story of this underground world, mainly in relation to the first steps ever taken inside the Postojna Cave.