Best things to do in Karst | Slovenia’s Southwestern region
Best things to do in Karst, Slovenia’s Southwestern region, what is Karst famous for, what to do in Karts, and more you can read in the article below.
Karst region is also called Slovenia’s Tuscany. The Karst Plateau or Karts region is an area that extends between Southwest Slovenia and Northeast Italy. It is a very special landscape which was through years formed by water and limestone.
Karst is a special place. I think we can almost say that it has a soul that is connected with stone, for centuries. Carved with water and the help of a human’s hand. That’s what makes Karst so special.
Besides the stone, the area is most famous for its impressive caves, medieval villages, local wine, and beautiful white Lipizzan horses. Karst will offer you the perfect experience of amazing nature mixed with history and unique traditional culture.
What is Karst famous for?
The first thing that comes to our mind when we think about Karst, is the region’s breathtaking underground world. One of the most fascinating in the world. The most famous caves in the region are for sure Postojna and Skocjan caves, which are true natural phenomena.
The Lipica Stud Farm
Home of the famous Lippizaner horse breed and the biggest Lipizzan stud farm in the world. The Lippizan horse is one of the oldest horse breeds in the world and it has been bred in Lipica since its foundation in 1590. On the farm, you will find more than 300 Lipizzan horses.
Picturesque medieval villages
Idyllic stone villages, where you get the feeling that the time has stopped. Narrow, stone build streets are just calling for you to explore them and later relax in a shade with a delicious glass of wine. The most famous medieval village is Stanjel, which is one of the oldest and most visited settlements in Karst.
Architecture and landscape
You will fall in love with Karts architecture. This is one of the main things that give character to this beautiful region. Charming stone-built houses in a style you can see in Tuscany left a good impression on us. Due to the abundance of stones, most houses in the Karts region are built with stone material.
Wine and cuisine
You cant leave Karst without trying the famous Teran wine and delicious air-dried prosciutto.
Teran is Slovenian autochthonic ruby red wine and it’s delicious. It is one of the best Slovene wines and it is produced in the Karst region. It is made out of a Refosk variety of grapes that grows on the red soil, called ‘Terra Rossa’. You can’t leave Karts without trying it.
Karst Prosciutto is air-dried ham, covered with salt and dried on a wind. It needs to be carefully observed and cured for 12 to 16 months before it is ready to eat. A real delicacy that goes great with Karts Teran wine.
Best things to do in Karst:
Skocjan Caves – Best things to do in Karst
This breathtaking cave system is one of the most spectacular underground views we have ever seen in our lives. Not for nothing, it was entered on UNESCO’s list of natural and cultural world heritage sites and it is an absolute must-see to anyone who comes to visit Slovenia and Karst region in particular.
Through the guided tour you will pass many diverse stalactites, huge stalagmites, the Reka river (yes there is a river inside the caves), and one of the largest underground canyons in Europe.
While exploring the caves we couldn’t stop but feeling like in one of the scenes of ‘Lord of the rings’ and beside the enchanting atmosphere it was also very interesting to hear from the tour guide some history and facts of this unique natural phenomena.
Stanjel – Best things to do in Karst
As one of the oldest villages in Karst, (dated back to the iron age) this hilltop settlement will offer you a medieval vibe while strolling through its stone roads, towers, Castle, and Churches.
Besides the ancient architecture, you will also enjoy observing the picturesque cute houses of the locals around the village and the well-kept charming ‘Ferrari Garden’, where you can get the best view of the surrounding karst landscape.
Lipica Stud Farm – Best things to do in Karst
The main attraction of the Lipica village is the famous Lipica Stud Farm and its gorgeous white horses. The farm is the original stud farm that breeds the Lipizzan horses and one of the oldest stud farms in Europe that specialize in a single horse breed.
The place offers all kinds of activities like guided tours of the farm, where you will hear about the history and get to meet the horses and also performances with professional riders. For those who don’t want to enter the park, you might get lucky and catch a glimpse of the horses along the roads around the farm.
Sezana botanical garden – Best things to do in Karst
In the center of Sezana town, you will find this lovely botanical garden. The garden has a collection of plants from all over the world including impressive trees like a giant sequoia, judas tree, and the Spanish fir. The garden is quite small but beautifully arranged, with charming water ponds, fountains, and art. If you are traveling close by, the Sezana Botanical garden is a great place to spend a sunny afternoon. The entrance is free.
The Karst Living Museum
This natural museum is a wonderful way to experience the history and nature of the Krast region. Along with the Living museum, follow the selected roads to discover exceptional natural beauty and feel the unique cultural heritage of the Karts area. The paths will take you to different caves, ancient wells, and shepherd’s cottages.
The trails are well kept, and it’s very easy to hike and explore around. Along the paths, you will see signs with information about the landscape and the cultural heritage of the place. We recommend dedicating at least a few hours to visiting the museum since it’s quite big and there is a lot to see. Don’t forget to bring enough water with you. The museum is also bicycle-friendly, a great way to experience the park.
Monument of Peace and Observation Tower in Cerje
Above Vipava valley and the sea on the edge of the Karst plateau, rises the lookout peak of Celje. This 25 meters high Peace monument has a view of all sides of the sky, the Adriatic Sea, The Julian Alps, and the Vipava valley.
This monument was built to honor those who fought and got killed by protecting Slovenia’s land. Throughout the seven floors of the building, you will find exhibition displays of various periods of Slovenian history and events.
A trip to Cerje is perfect if you want to relax, enjoy the good views and learn something new about Slovenian culture.
A perfect romantic weekend getaway
Krast was a wonderful place to spend our weekend, we had a lot to explore and see. Besides all that, our experiences were always accompanied by the charming Karsts nature. We enjoyed the fresh local young wine, cute villages, the peaceful atmosphere, and the out-of-this-world caves.