The trip from Novo Mesto to Izola is only a couple of hours by car and there are a number of things that you can check out on the way. We stopped off at Otocec Castle for a quick look. It is quite pretty and has been converted to a hotel and restaurant. It would be a lovely venue for a special event.
From here we travelled down the highway to Predjama Castle and the caves below. We completely underestimated the time required to see the castle, the caves below and the other caves (Postojna ) which are about 9km away. You really could do with a whole day for the 3 sites if you are into caves. You can buy a multi ticket which gives access to all 3 sites and if interested a couple of others.
The castle is really stunning even if you don’t go inside as it is set into the rock face. You are able to buy tickets to go inside and there are audio guides in a large number of languages.
The caves while not linked to the castle are directly underneath. If you are happy inside caves, not afraid of heights and are okay in the dark with a headlamp, it is a great trip.
The cave tour was really interesting and worth a visit. We didn’t make it to the Postonja caves but they are apparently really worth a visit.
Travelling across Slovenia is easy as the roads are good, the speed limit is reasonable and the distances are short. It is only a couple of hours drive from Maribor to Novo Mesto so it is worth looking at the sights on the way.
We made our stop off in the lovely town of Celje. One of it’s claims to fame is a castle on top of a hill just outside the town. It is one of the nicer castles that hasn’t been over restored. As we were exploring the rooms, we came upon the castle printers which has a very passionate guy demonstrating how the printing was done in the old days. For 8 Euro, you can get him to print a castle imprint with your name, the date and the castle seal on your choice of handmade paper. Maybe a nice souvenir!
The castle also had medieval re-enactment group who are happy to explain life during the times.
Those helmets are heavy!
From Celje, we headed to Novo Mesto where we checked into our hostel. The guide books talk about falling in love with Novo Mesto, however we struggled! The Tourist centre was closed when we arrived on Saturday and was still closed on Sunday. By the time we got to speak to anyone on the Monday, we had spent time in the local thermal pool, walked around the old town and the advice we got from the tourist centre (very abrupt) was that we had seen everything.
Novo Mesto didn’t win us over!