“ Slovenia „
During a trip last summer we had occasion to visit Postojna in the south west of Slovenia in the Notranjska region. Out of the 3 Slovenian campistes we stayed in 1 was awful, 1 was superb and 1 was average. This is the average one that is probably made quite a bit better if you have a car! We arrived by train and the train station is a little bit (not too far.. perhaps 2km) from the center of Postojna. I stopped in the first hotel at the bottom of the road and asked for directions to the place which they kindly gave and looked at me with sympathy before saying it was 7km away!
Carrying heavy backpacks and being pulled by a slightly intrigued Golden retriever (ours) on a lead in the summer amidst a heatwave across Europe was quite hard work, so we stocked up on some drinks from the local supermarket next to the Tourist Information from where I confirmed the info about the campsite. Only 6km now and the directions seemed fairly straightforward, left outside the office.. keep on going until you see the sign for the campsite. No public transport and the taxi out of our budget we began walking. Unsuccesfully hitchhiking (hitchhiking with a dog small distances elsewhere in Slovenia was very easy) but there were very few locals and just a couple of miserable Dutch and Germans going to the campsite.
Anyway we arrived there following an incredibly uphill walk along the roads which took much longer than it should, we were overloaded with a gas cooker and a bloody huge bag of dog food (my girlfriend's idea) at the time.
A friendly receptionist, gave us a sticky ticket to put on our tent and told us we could choose absolutely anywhere within the camping grounds (which was fairly large), we headed for the area opposite the swimming pool as we would then be able to swim and the dog could still see us so wouldn't get distressed! Having set up camp, we bought a bottle of wine from the shop and decided to visit the on site restaurant for a meal. I can't recall what we had but recall that it wasn't particularly good, was quite dear by Slovenian standards and that the service (which consisted of this grumpy old man who resembled Smithers from The Simpsons and another character who just seemed to stand and watch), Smithers was a miserable character who pointed out that the majority of things on the menu weren't available, forgot our order, then finally gave us somebody elses meal. After everything being smoothed over and finishing the meal, I was shocked to receive an enormous bill, this wasn't them trying to rip us off though it was Smithers up to his old tricks, he'd given me the bill of a table behind me (a young English couple) who in turn had received our bill and were over the moon to be only paying about 15 euros for an enormous seafood meal (that they mostly left). The restaurant could be quite relaxing, it's above Pivka Jama (a cave system) and has the potential to be wonderful but you get the feeling they want you to leave the minute you arrive.
The next morning we visited the shop, which again was also expensive but camp site shops normally are and the woman who ran the place was extremely friendly unlike Smithers. The camp site was mostly filled up with Germans, Austrians and Dutch. One of my bizarre hobbies (probably inherited from my parents) is to stroll around the campsite nosying at car number plates and looking where people are from. There were 2 english cars, a few Czechs and one enormous bus load of 10 year-oldish Polish school kids. Something that always irritates me at campsites during the summer across Europe is that whilst most everyone behaves their children properly, the Germans always let theirs run riot and almost seem to encourage it. This leads to lots of little germans running around like terrorists, well into the middle of the night. The swimming pool which closed at about 8pm, was a victim of their misbehaviour as they somehow climbed over the fence and threw things in the swimming pool keeping everyone awake all night until a security guard put them in their place and for that reason I hope the Germans lose the European Championship final tonight!
I've probably sounded rather negative so far but that's unfair on the campsite which is in a forested area, plots are reasonably big and it wasn't expensive bar the hitler youth, the guests were quiet and friendly. We visited Postojna and despite a bit of walking actually hitchhiked both ways, once with a Slovenian and on the way back with a Dutch couple. Postojna has a really laid back feel to it and we spent quite a few hours having some coffee, then beer at the cafe outside. The staff were really friendly, talking to first us and second to a Japanese family, the cafe also offered free internet (although this didn't always work), they also offered cracking Pizzas (I love Slovenian pizzas and think they beat Italians hands down)
The main reason to visit Postojna is generally to visit it's amazing underground network of Karst caves, the caves were created by the Pivka river and the network extends between 20km and 37km depending on who you are talking to. Some of the sights to be seen underground (the caves are lighted) are truly magnificient. Some of the chambers are also home to the olm, a blind amphibian and the largest trogloditic amphibian in the world. A strange creature for sure.
This review is about the campsite though and they offer tours of the Pivka Jama cave which is directly below the campsite. There are a huge set of stairs with a gate at the bottom by the restaurant and this leads to the cave system. The tour is every day if enough people sign up and the guide is an impressive character who told the story in English, German and Dutch to different people. The caves themselves despite being incredibly (we walked for a good 4km underground) large are not that impressive and I think if you go to the Postojna caves, it is not really necessary to fork out the additional euros (I can't remember exactly how much it was, I think 10?) on this one. Our neighbours two dutch brothers had a car and went further up the valley and discovered a similar cave system for free, so as long as you have a powerful torch and mind your step, it may be worth looking for those instead.
Showers and toilets are clean, there is a washing facility but you must first buy a token from reception and then give it to the cleaning lady, you should also bring your own washing powder but we didn't have any and the very pleasant old lady working their used some of the campsites and gave me a crafty wink of the eye whilst putting her finger to her lip and going shhh..
The swimming pool is cleaned regularly but the opening hours are perhaps a little shorter than they could be in the middle of the summer. Depending on the time it's either really busy or really empty (quite quiet during the middle of the day)
Postojna is easily reachable by train from Ljubljana or Rijeka but if you are planning to stay at this campsite, I'd recommend coming by car! It's really a very pleasant green campsite, they need an overhaul in restaurant staff mind!
Adults ..................... Euro10,90
Children (7-14) ........Euro 8,90
El. 220V .......... ... Euro 3,70
Ice box ................... Euro 2,50
Tourist tax ............... Euro 0,50
Bungalows can be hired. 74 Euros during low-season and 84 euros during low season, plus an additional 34(hb)/39(fb)or 39/46 euros per person in the summer.
# Tennis court (1 hour) ..... Euro 6,50
# Volley-ball (1 hour) ........Euro 6,50
1 hour ... ...... .. Euro 2,20
5 hours .. ..Euro 4,50
1 day ........... Euro 8,50
Situated in the south-west of Slovenia, in the Notranjska region.