Even though many would choose the wide-open spaces of Medvednica over its dark and chilly underground, Veternica Cave merits a visit for many reasons!
With more than seven kilometers of branching canals, Veternica is the sixth cave in Croatia by size, and has constantly been growing in length growing through the discoveries of Zagreb speleologists. But “common” tourists can also, with our expert guide, visit the first 380 meters of the cave and explore some of its secrets.
Although at first glance it doesn’t seems as attractive as some other caves, Veternica boasts many details which can be rarely seen in the parts adapted for tourists. Your guide will show you oval erosion forms made by water vortexes, sand dunes, a jaw of the cave bear, fossil mud, the Stone Waterfall, the Wishing Well in the Concert Hall, the fossils of ancient shells and sea urchins, etc.
The cave was created in the karst “pocket” of the southwest part of Medvednica, by sinking of water from the area of Ponikve alongside the cracks in the rock. It can be regarded as the oldest archaeological site of Zagreb – its darkness kept the proof of the tempestuous life of the past millenniums, from the Neanderthal man, Roman soldiers and medieval robbers, to the contemporary adventurers and tourists.
The early inhabitants of Zagreb, Neanderthal hunters of the Mousterian culture, worshiped the cult of the cave bear, who frequently lived in the cave. Besides the cave bear, the other animals extinct long ago left their traces in the Cave, such as cave lion, leopard, cave hyena, rhinoceros, wild cattle and giant deer.
Now the lords of the dark channels of Veternica are the mysterious night fliers – the bats. There are even 18 species recorded, and the 12 of them permanently hibernate in Veternica. The Cave is closed during the winter period in order to protect the bats in the delicate period of hibernation – their winter sleep. The special bat friendly door at the entrance allows the bats to fly through, while protecting them from the undesired visitors and guarding these extraordinary small animals and their cave home.
For its overall values Veternica was protected as a geomorphological nature monument in 1979.
Therefore, if you wish to see Medvednica in the right light, don’t miss its dark side!
Opening hours for visitors
From April to the end of October on Saturdays, Sundays and public holidays (except Easter) the guides are expecting visitors from 10 am to 4 pm, last tour starts at 3:10 pm.
On weekdays the Cave can be visited only in groups of 20 visitors and more, in agreement with the Public Institution Nature Park Medvednica. More information on +385 1 4586317 (weekdays from 8 am to 4 pm)
Important notice: in case of really bad weather it is not possible to visit the cave!
- children: 20,00 kn
- students and retired citizens: 25,00 kn
- adults: 40,00 kn
- family ticket (family with children) 70,00 kn
- ticket for events per person: 20,00 Kn
It is not possible to visit the cave without a guide licensed by the PI Nature Park Medvednica. The guide is included in the ticket price.
Directions for visitors
The temperature in the Cave reads about 10C over the whole year, therefore it is necessary to carry warm, layered clothing even in the warm seasons. Sport shoes are also recommended because the approach is possible only by hiking trails, and there are also muddy patches in the cave. The entry into the underground is not recommended to persons suffering from claustrophobia. The visit to Veternica takes 45 to 60 minutes.
The nearest mountain lodge
Mountain lodge Glavica
Telefon: +385 95 858 8888 (Renato)
Radno vrijeme: except on Mondays open every day from 12 am to 6 pm and on weekends and public holidays from 9 am to 8 pm
Night accommodation: 30 beds
From the mountain lodge Glavica: it takes only a 5 minute walk downhill to Veternica on hiking trail no. 3!
Public transport/on foot: Bus no. 124 from Črnomerec to Gornji Stenjevec (about 15 minutes). Then walk by the Dubravica stream uphill to Veternica for about 20 minutes on hiking trail no. 3.
By car: From the Bologna Avenue turn north to Gajnice (by the gas station) in the Dubravica street, and continue on the Zelena magistrala until the end of the road, where you can park the car. Then walk on hiking trail no. 8 or 1M from Ponikve to the mountain lodge “Glavica” (an easy 15 minute walk through the woods), and then 5 minutes downhill on trail no. 3 to the Cave.
On the last Saturday in August in front of Veternica Cave and the mountain lodge Glavica the annual celebration of the International Bat’s Night takes place – the event in which bats are starring throughout Europe. These fans of darkness, little known and rarely acknowledged, have been gravely endangered everywhere, even though they are the significant indicators of the quality and preservation of environment.
Our star is Florijan the Bat, whom you can meet in our flyer. If you don’t know his story, you may still be nursing a prejudice against these fascinating nocturnal creatures. Don’t worry, we are going to help you to get rid of it gradually and painlessly in our amusing workshops and plays at the mountain lodge Glavica, and take you to visit their cave home – the Veternica Cave. Our expert guests from the Zagreb Zoo and Maksimir Park will tell you many interesting stories about these flying mammals, their habitat and the way of life, as well as about the factors that endanger them. Therefore come to Veternica Cave every year on the last Saturday in August, get to know Florijan the Bat and have fun with us!