Samograd Špilja

Samograd Cave - Samogradska Špilja

Useful Information

Location: Kaniža bb, 53202 Perušić.
2.5 km southwest of Perušić. From the hamlet Kaniža 750 m/15 minutes walk.
(44.6429890, 15.3559334)
Open: MAR to MAY daily 9-17.
JUN to 15-SEP daily 10-18.
16-SEP to NOV daily 9-17.
Fee: JUN to AUG: Adults EUR 13, Children (5-18) EUR 8, Children (0-4) free, Students (-27) EUR 8, Seniors EUR 10.
Groups (10+): Adults EUR 10, Children (5-18) EUR 5, Students (-27) EUR 5, Seniors EUR 8.
MAR to MAY, SEO to NOV: Adults EUR 10, Children (5-18) EUR 6, Children (0-4) free, Students (-27) EUR 6, Seniors EUR 8.
Groups (10+): Adults EUR 8, Children (5-18) EUR 5, Students (-27) EUR 5, Seniors EUR 6.
Classification: SpeleologyKarst cave
Light: LightIncandescent Electric Light System
Dimension: L=223 m, VR=54 m, T=7-10 °C, A=675 m asl.
Guided tours: L=466 m, D=30 min, VR=54 m, St=474.
V=10,000/a [2021]
V=12,580/a [2022]
Bibliography: Nenad Buzjak, Neven Bocic, and Mladen Pahernik (2014): Geomorphological map as a tool for visualisation of geodiversity -example from Cave Park Grabovaca (Croatia), Geophysical Research Abstracts, Vol. 16, EGU 2014-8803, 2014, EGU General Assembly 2014.
Address: Cave Park Grabovača, Trg popa Marka Mesica 2, 53202 Perušić, Tel: +385-53-679-233, Tel: +385-99-212-7587. E-mail:
As far as we know this information was accurate when it was published (see years in brackets), but may have changed since then.
Please check rates and details directly with the companies in question if you need more recent info.


1835 graffiti by officers visiting the cave.
1850 first described by J. Fras, the school supervisor of Karlovac borderland.
05-AUG-1889 cave lit for the first time, paths in the cave first mentioned.
1903 cave developed and prepared as a show cave.
1910 first survey of the cave.
1911 first plan of the cave published in the News of the Geological Commission by the Jugoslavian Academy of Science and Arts, together with the first cadastre of 156 caves of Lika and Krbava County.
1990 paths renovated and electric light with diesel generator installed.
2006 Cave Park Grabovaca established.
2013 Geoeducational centre (GEC) started by the Cave Park and the Department of Geography, University of Zagreb.


First plan of the cave published 1911 in the News of the Geological Commission by the Jugoslavian Academy of Science and Arts. Public Domain.

Samograd Špilja (Samograd Cave) is said to be one of the most important and impressive show caves of Croatia. It is located on the eastern slopes of Mt Grabovaća (772 m asl), 2.5 km west of Perušić. To reach it you first drive southeast 1.5 km to the hamlet Kaniža, from here it is a 15 minutes walk. Follow the single lane road to the west, first through a meadow where you already can see the huge doline of the cave entrance, then through forest. The cave entrance is located in a doline, which was formed by the collapse of a part of the cave. It is called vrtaca or ponikva.

The cave is a single passage, 233 m long and 54 m deep. The path is leading down to the deepest point, then up again 29 m meters to the end of the cave. At the deepest point, the passage is 30 m high. As there is no other exit, you will have to go back to the same route. This means a total height difference of 83 m and 470 steps, which requires some physical fitness. The cave is lighted electrically, powered by a diesel generator at the entrance.

The cave has numerous speleothems. Extraordinary are green stalactites and stalagmites, and two so-called sinter bridges. These are places where the path was built through huge formations of flowstone, and so the visitor walks virtually under a bridge of sinter.

The huge doline with the cave portal was easy access to the cave for centuries. So the cave was visited continually over centuries by the villagers. Today, as a show cave, it is protected by a gate. On one occasion, officers from the so-called military border visited the cave and left their names, together with the year number 1835. Today we would call this graffiti and vandalism, but because of the age it is now called archaeological and historical evidence.

The whole area forms the Pećinski park Grabovača (Cave Park Grabovača), a protected area of 6 km², which covers 25 % of all protected speleological objects in Croatia. Beneath Samograd cave there are several others. They may be visited by speleologists after appointment, and the organization of cave trekking tours is planned. The other caves are Medina Špilja (Bear's Cave, L=63 m), Amidžina Cave (L=60 m), Velika Kozarica (Large Goat Pen, L=30 m), Mala Kozarica (Small Goat Pen, L=12 m), Tabakuša (L=50 m), and Slipica Jama (Slipica Hole, VR=40 m). Most of the caves are pretty easy to visit, some even have some stairs and paths. Nevertheless, it is not possible to visit any cave without a guide. The last one is a vertical cave and is used for cave trekking tours including abseiling.