the best secret path in all Green Slovenia
Imagine if you knew about a secret forest path that you could walk along for just 40 minutes to get to one of the most unique and stunning castles in the world.. Well this is the shock news that guests (who do not already know) get from us when they arrive at Lipizzaner Lodge!
Many of those just staying overnight or a few days, immediately throw on their walking shoes, grab a bottle of water and rush off to explore this mysterious path.. they all get back in time for tea with big smiles on their faces!
Probably 99.9% of visitors to the jaw droppingly beautiful Predjama castle will go there by car or bus and get their first glimpse of this medieval marvel at eye level when leaving the cramped car park.. the stunning castle just 50 metres directly in front of them. This view alone will induce a gasp of delight or a "wow", especially if you see the castle for the first time in the golden morning sunlight or as the evening sunrays melt into orange.
But just imagine if you had walked here through the forest and came out of the trees at the base of the 123m high cliff, gazing up to see this incredible castle for the first time, perched like a bird, hanging precariously out of the rock face, 70 metres up?!
Ohhhhh yes and imagine then crossing the bubbling river that flows into the largest cave under the castle, (think about it.. a river that flows into a cave.. welcome to Slovenia). You then walk up the steep curvy road to get to the castle. With each step you will be captivated by how the view of the castle changes and you will notice the other caves under the castle, one where horses were kept in the stable of older days. You will see the unique jousting field cut into the side of the steep hillside that helps to make this the most impregnable castle in the world and you might wonder why on earth Game of Thrones digitally manufactured castles when this one is the real deal!
But, best of all.. as you get to the top of the path and reach the very same restricted but beautiful view that the majority of visitors by car or bus will get, you will also gasp with delight at this new angle, but you will have that inner satisfaction that, like an explorer, you walked here and saw the very best views of this Slovenian treasure from below all for yourself!
Pretty much all of our guests walk to the castle along the secret path if they can. Even smaller kids can make it there and maybe mum or dad will walk back and fetch the car to pick the others up or we can come to get you. (It's only 10 mins by car). The path is the ultimate secret path.. it's not marked at all and most people in the local town of Postojna don't even know about it!
A Swedish marathon runner holds the Lodge record for the fastest run from the castle to the Lodge in just over 15 minutes and he beat the previous best by an Oxford teacher. (The rule is you start with one hand touching the castle and the time stops when you touch the wall of the Lodge). An American soldier based in Italy holds the best time for a dad not wearing running shoes (the kids decided they couldn't walk back and so he ran back to get the car to go pick them up).
Both a Cambridge professor and a group of German botanists took delight in informing us that there are between 5-10 different types of wild orchid along the secret path and kids have fun spotting rare frogs in the puddles along the way. The wild flowers along this special path will thrill you in all seasons.
Several guests cycle there as part of a larger loop and from 2017 we should be able to offer horse riding to the castle with a local horse expert.. you will get to ride above this amazing castle at the top of the cliff!! The castle is also upon the "St James Path", a centuries old pilgrim path trodden by walkers going from Zagreb to Spain! So you can do a huge loop from the Lodge to the castle and follow the yellow arrows further along this famous path.
You could easily spend the whole day walking to the castle, visiting it and the Bat cave and following a different path home.
So to summarise.. just follow the yellow brick road directly to the castle and have fun!
Check out another "secret place to visit" article very soon about the "Bat Cave", which is the secret cave below Predjama castle and a surprisingly jolly good visit indeed.