Trekking and cycling are activities where we feel at home. How couldn’t we, since we are local experts with over 22 years of experience as a tour operator in Slovenia and Croatia. Since our last blog post was oriented toward hut-to-hut hiking in the Julian Alps, we devote this one to cycling and mountain biking. Hiking and cycling are definitely one of the best ways how you can explore the destination, connect with locals, discover trails of the beaten track and have a unique experience. And despite that short description make you think that are a lot of physical activities, you are enjoying your active vacations in the best hotels on your comfortable adventure.
Discovering a destination or mountains area on foot is a bit slower, but that can not be said for traveling by bicycle. The speed and distances are greater, especially if you enjoy the descent during your daily stage. More about cycling, needed gear, type of cycling tours and how to choose it, the best time for cycling in Croatia and Slovenia, and a glimpse of our tours, we will write in the following. Why cycling in Slovenia and Croatia should be next on your bucket list, with 10 reasons you will be able to read in our next blog.
What will you see on your cycling tour in Slovenia or Croatia
The places you will see on your cycling tour in Croatia and Slovenia differ from the program, but you can still expect to see the highlights of each country depending on the tour you choose. Explore hidden south of Slovenia as a picturesque gem of our country by bike. Cycle through the southeast part of Slovenia and the enchanting country of Bela Krajina. Start your day by cycling through the canyon of Kolpa river, a secluded pearl of the southeast part of Slovenia that borders Croatia. Enjoy cycling in the shadows of the trees growing in virgin forests and enjoy well-deserved gelato in picturesque villages. Try ˝pršut˝ with homemade bread, cheese with home grown herbs and cycle along the vineyards. If you prefer to ride mountain bike than you should look up for mountain bike heaven in Slovenia. Ride on the mountain bike tracks in pristine nature, discover towns of Bled, Bohinj and Ljubljna, the capital city of Slovenia. Continue your mountain bike heaven trip with discovering trails in Soča valley and enjoy garment dinner in Casa Franko, home of 7. best chef on the world Ana Roš. Ride along vineyards in Goriška Brda, taste the quality of the local vines, head to the Adriatic coast and enjoy the cozy town of Piran. Are you thinking more about discovering Istrian peninsula? It’s not a surprise Istrian peninsula is called the mediteranian pearl. Discover blue and green Istria by bike. Cycle and discover medieval hilltop towns. Make a stop in Motavun, a town world-famous for its amazing truffles and taste top quality virgin olive oil in Bale. Experience Brioni island and enjoy stroll on paved streets of beautifully preserved old Venetian town of Rovinj.
Have you heard of Juliana trail in Slovenia? Long distance trail goes around Julian Alps and give you opportunities to experience Julian alps from a valley view. Cycling Juliana loop is perfect cycling tour for everyone who enjoys observing mountain tops. Additional to great scenery you can swim in lake Bohinj, kayak in emerald Soča river and enjoy the unique experience of passing Julian Alps under the surface. On the way try proscutto, traditional Bohinj cheese and carniolian sausage that will give you energy for cycling Juliana loop. In case you are not sure cycling Juliana loop is challenging enough for you, we advise you to look for cycling hilights of Slovenia. Cycle in the hearth of Julian alps inside Triglav national park. Discover lake Bled and enjoy Pletna boat ride. Spend a night in charming alpine village of Kranjska Gora, paddle over our highest road mountain pass and enjoy the dining experience at Casa Franko, Slovenia’s only two-Michelin-starred restaurant. Relax in the comfort vineyards in the Goriška Brda and enjoy a swim in the Mediterranean sea in the idyllic coastal town of Piran.
Which type of bike tour suits you best?
When we are talking about types of cycling tours, we have in mind self-guided, guided and fully supported cycling tours. Types of cycling tours vary. The type of cycling tour depends on your preferences and travel style. Let’s take a look at the types of cycling trips. Let’s start with a self-guided cycle tour.
A self-guided bike tour in Slovenia and Croatia is considered to be a great option for everyone who is looking for a tailored cycling tour where we make sure we understand your interests. With that, we can offer you a costum itinerary that would be planned according to your preferences, fitness level and type of comfortable adventure you would like to experience. After that we provide you with outlined itinerary and arrange all lodging and private transfers for your cycling adventure. Upon arrival to Slovenia or Croatia you are welcomed by our representative for a trip orientation and you get also a complete trip dossier, maps of the area and GPX routes and tips from our guide. Benefit of having trip orientation in Ljubljana is also a chance to have a perfect cup of specialty coffee at Tri Marije specialty coffee in Ljubljana central market.
If a guided cycle tour itself is different from a guided and supported cycling tour, there are only minor differences between the two. In principle, the tours follow a pre-arranged program, which you can find on our website. This differs from the type of cycling, where we mean the difference between road cycling and mountain biking. A good example of road cycling is cycling hilights of Slovenia and montain bike heaven as an example of a mountain bike tour. However, in the case of a private departure, the program itself can be tailored to the requirements of the group and personal preferences. The essential difference between a guided and a supported cycling tour is the involvement of the group leader in the cycling. On a guided cycle tour the guide cycles with the group, where as in a supported cycle tour the guide is more of an assistant and support to the cyclists. Our guide supports you from the car or van and ensures that the cyclists are fully assisted during the tour. In case of tiredness or if you want to rest for a day, you can join him in the vehicle and support the group together. There is nothing better than some additional chearing from a close friend. In both cases, the support vehicle is equipped with bicycle service equipment. If, for example, a tire needs to be replaced during the tour, the escort vehicle has all the necessary equipment and the guide has the necessary knowledge and experience to repair it.
Best time for your cycling trip in Croatia and Slovenia
Best time for riding bikes in Slovenia and Croatia is from the end of April till mid November. From May to June and from September to October are being the best months. Before and after this period you can still cycle but expect colder temperatures and there’s a higher chance of rain. Although the roads are clear and possible to ride on, with exception of mountain passes where you may encounter snow on the road. Similar goes for august, where cycling is possible but expect higher temperatures and since that is the time of the peak in summer season in Slovenia and specially in the coastal areas of Croatia you can expect higher prices.
Mandatory gear you need for your comfortable cycling adventure
There’s no cycling trip without a bike and essential cycling equipment. More about bike rental and essentials you should have in your panniers, while your comfortable adventure in Slovenia and Croatia, we discussed in the following.
It depends on of the type of your cycling trip but we can offer you a road bike, hybrid bike, e-bike or a mountain bike. For more details you can check our web site dedicated to our bike rentals or feel free to contact us. When you decide for bike rental with us, have in mind that along with bike rental come bike panniers (where applicable), cyclometer, helmet, quick fix pouch, pump and a lock. We also offer easy to use GPS navigation device.
Essential to have in your panniers
Personal gear that you need on your comfortable cycling adventure depends on type of cycling tour you will do. In case you will choose for a self-guided cycling tour in Slovenia or Croatia expect to have a few extra things in your panniers for the daily tour. When on guided and supported tour can or van will be always close to you and some needed personal essentials can be easily excisable from the supported vehicle. A water bottle or hydration pack is definitely one of the most important personal essentials you have to have on your cycling adventure.
The same goes for smartphones or GPS devices and route maps. A smartphone is a great asset for navigation but as mentioned before is also your best friend for documenting your cycling adventure for storytelling to your family and friends. Sunglasses, sunscreen, an energy bar or a bag of nuts for energy bust is a must-have in your panniers. It doesn’t matter if you are discovering blue and green Istria or the hidden south of Slovenia, you should wear a bike helmet all the time. Cycling jerseys, bike shorts and shoes, socks and cycling gloves will help you with comfortless while cycling and at the same time make you visible. Don’t forget to pack waterproof gaiters and waterproof jacket in case of rain. Chance, you will use it in the summer months is low, but rain can happen on your cycling adventure in Slovenia and Croatia. And don’t forget personal documents and a basic first aid kit.
So, there you have it. Travel by bike, it’s a perfect way of traveling in Slovenia and Croatia for discovering new places and savor everything there is to offer, while not rushing through the magnificent surroundings.