The Vilenica Cave
Vilenica is the name of the karst cave near the Lokev village and is the oldest tourist cave in Europe.
Nearly 200 years before tourism started in what are today Slovenia’s most famous karst caves, the Vilenica Cave was already a popular destination for travellers. From nearby Trieste, to which they would sail from far and near, already back in 1633 tourists would come to see this natural underground wonder with gigantic dripstones and mysterious energy. Namely, the locals believed the cave was inhabited by good fairies. Its name originates from the word ‘vile’ (fairies). Up to the mid 19th century, Vilenica was praised as the biggest, most beautiful and most visited cave in the traditional Karst, with interest fading away later on, allowing the cave to retain its authenticity.
Today, the Vilenica Cave is again open to visitors, offering 450 m of arranged walkways. On Sundays and holidays in several months in the year, you can walk through this mystical cave and become thrilled by its large, interestingly-shaped dripstones. The ‘dance hall’ in this magic cave also serves as a cultural venue where the international ‘Vilenica Literary Award’ is handed out by a jury every year.
From 1 April to 31 October: every Sunday and on holidays at 15.00 and 17.00.
Organised groups may visit the cave at any time, by prior arrangement.