Divača  (Italian: Divaccia) is a town and municipality in the Coast and Karst region of Slovenia. It is known for the many limestone caves in the area, included the UNESCO listed Škocjan Caves .
The exit of the Škocjan Caves
Divača is on the main train line from Ljubljana to Trieste (Italy) and onto Venice. There are quite frequent trains between Ljubljana and Sezana (on the Italian border) but trains through to Trieste are less frequent. If travelling from Trieste or elsewhere in Italy it's best to take a bus from Trieste to Sezana (about 20 minutes, 1 euro) and then a connecting train to Divača. Hikers or those who fancy a walk could simply to a bus to Bazovica in Italy and walk from there (about 7km).
Buses running between Ljubljana/Postojna and Koper/Piran pass by Divača. If heading directly towards the Skocjan Caves, you can ask to be let off at the junction 3km south of Divača, a 1.5km downhill walk away from the ticket office.
Divača is on the main A1 highway between Ljubljana and Koper.
The Škocjan caves are about 4km from the town center and railway station. The administration runs a free shuttle bus from the Divača train station to the ticket office before tours, and back again about an hour after each tour. There is a spottily signposted footpath (35 min) connecting the two, or you can try to hitch a bus ride to the highway A1 exit 1.5km from the caves.
During the summer months it is possible to hire bicycles from a store near Divača train station which will allow you easy access to the caves and other areas in this part of Slovenia and Italy.
There are several caves in the area. These include:
- Škocjan (see below)
- Škocjan Caves Regional Park (Slovenian: Regljski park Škocjanske jame), (4km south of Divača, take the Divača exit from the highway and follow the signs), ☎ +386 5 763-2840 ([email protected], fax: +386 5 763-2844), . The park's main attraction is its cave system that includes the highest cave hall in Europe, a massive gorge, waterfalls and a small but high bridge over the gorge. The caves have beautiful stalactite and stalagmite structures. All told, there are eleven chambers that stretch for about six kilometers and the landscape was considered so unique that the caves are listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
Admission to the caves is by tour only, an easy guided walk that lasts about 90 minutes and takes you through two chambers: the Silent Cave and the Murmuring Cave. Tickets are sold half an hour before each tour. It's a good idea to bring decent shoes, wear a light coat (it's chilly and drippy inside) and be prepared to walk up and down hills.
Also of interest is the river Reka, which flows straight into Škocjan Caves and disappears into the cave tunnels, only to resurface some 20 km west near the Adriatic Sea. A separate path alongside the underground Reka is open from June to September, and guided tours are available for the route in April, May, and October.
Photography is technically forbidden, so if you want to take photos, stay toward the end of the tour where the guide can't see you, and carry a camera that you can sneak in stealthily. Ensure the flash is off to avoid getting caught.
The park also has 3 small museums showing the natural history, geography and history of the area. €15/11/7 (adult/concession/children) for either tour, €20/15/10 for a combined ticket. edit
There is some hiking in the area:
- Within the regional park, there are a few trails including some that bring you to a view point. The longest is the Škocjan Education Trail, a 2 km trail that passes through forest and around various features of a Karst landscape.
- The Slovene Mountain Trail passes to the east of town and through the regional park.
Cave related souvenirs (books, postcards, trinkets, etc.) are available in the gift shop at the Škocjan Caves.
There are some basic restaurants around the train station, and a cafe/restaurant in the regional park. There are also some restaurants in the village of Lokev, a few kilometers west of Divača.
- Gostilna s prenočišči Malovec, Kraška cesta 30a, ☎ +386 5 763 12 25. Local restaurant that serves Slovenian dishes. edit
Accommodation within Divača is limited to a couple of small guesthouses. Surrounding villages also have rooms for rent (look for the Sobe or Zimmer sign).
- Inn Malovec, Kraška cesta 30a, ☎ +386 5 763 12 25. checkin: 14.6.2008; checkout: 15.6.2008. Guesthouse with 16 rooms attached to a restaurant. €20-25 per person. edit
- Penzion Risnik, Kraška cesta 34, ☎ +386 5 763 12 25 (fax: +386 5 763 00 08). Small guesthouse in Divača. €16-20 per person. edit
- Motel Kozina Campground, Bazoviška 23, Kozina, ☎ +386 5 680 26 11 ([email protected], fax: +386 5 680 13 95), . Motel and campground located one exit west of Divača on the A1 highway. €22-27 per person for motel, €6.70 per person for campground (tourist tax not included). edit
- Hostel Kozina, Istrska ulica 2, Kozina, ☎ +386 5 680 13 26 ([email protected]). Small guesthouse, private parking. English and italian speaking staff. On the E61 road Triest - Rijeka and A1 highway. min/max.20-25€ per person. edit
The following places are all a short ways away from Divača:
- Lipica, home of the Lipizzaner horses is about seven kilometers to the west
- Postojna and its cave system is a short drive east on the A1
- The Slovenian coastal towns of Koper, Izola, Piran and Portorož are 40-60 minutes away by car heading west on the A1.
- Trieste (Italy) is barely 14km away (30 minutes by train and bus) and with frequent buses to the Slovenian and Croatian coast and boats to small towns on the Italian, Slovenian and Croatian coast it may be a good base for exploring the area.