Cycling Highlights of Slovenia
- Slovenia, an undiscovered gem and Europe’s best-kept secret with limitless cycling opportunities and friendly locals that amaze with their hospitality.
- Ljubljana, the capital of Slovenia, traces its roots to the ancient Roman city of Emona and was the European green capital in 2016. It is an oasis of parks and leafy open-air libraries scattered along the bridges and banks of the Ljubljanica River, which snakes lazily through the winding cobblestone streets of the medieval old town and around the hill that lifts its 11th century castle high above the bustling city.
- Cycling through the heart of the majestic Julian Alps in the Triglav National Park, which is rich with alpine meadows, grazing cattle and century-old farms offering homemade shepherd’s cheese and other local delicacies.
- Enjoyable cycling adventures in pristine nature on scenic, safe and well-maintained roads on flat to rolling terrain and optional challenging climbs for those wishing to add extra miles.
- Visiting the picture-perfect alpine Lake Bled, which is watched over by a medieval castle perched high atop a cliff. While visiting the lake’s tiny storybook islet and its 12th century church you can make your every wish come true by ringing the bell of wishes.
- Marveling at the serene waters of Bohinj Lake, surrounded by lush green forests and limestone peaks.
- Exploring the charming village of Kranjska Gora, a ski resort only a 10-minute drive from the Italian and Austrian border that hosts many World Cup Alpine Ski races and offers a unique blend of Slovenian, Austrian and Italian culture and gastronomy.
- Conquering the 24 switchbacks of Slovenia’s most scenic mountain road through Vršič Pass, which offers breathtaking views of snow-topped mountain peaks.
- The emerald-green Soča River, whose turquoise waters never fail to inspire awe. Once the scene of the legendary WWI Isonzo front that inspired Hemmingway’s A Farewell to Arms, today the river’s pristine waters and beautiful surroundings make it one of Slovenia’s greatest natural treasures.
- Opt for a tasting dinner at Hiša Franko, the family-run countryside restaurant and inn that is the home of Ana Roš, Slovenia’s best chef, whose appearance in Netflix’s Chef’s Table gained her well-deserved worldwide fame. It’s no accident that she was named the World’s Best Female Chef 2017 and gained the first Slovenian 2 Michelin stars in 2020!
- The sunny vineyards of Goriška Brda, a region abounding with cherries, peaches, apricots, olives and world-renowned wines, similar to Tuscany but spiced with a dash of Mediterranean flair.
- Homegrown seasonal vegetables, farm-to-table cuisine, homemade cheese, smoked meat, honey, wine and so much more.
- Ride along the Parenzana trail, a former narrow-gauge railway line that ran between Trieste in Italy and Porec in Croatia between 1902 and 1935. Today it connects people and countries as the Route of Health and Friendship.
- Explore the idyllic coastal town of Piran, which gained its wealth and power in the Venetian times from precious salt and trading routes dating back to ancient Greece.
- Comfortable nights in carefully chosen boutique hotels.
- Safety and comfort come first, with our versatile and reliable local guides adapting to your pace and fitness level.
- Sep 18 - 25, 2021
- Please contact us for a PRIVATE CUSTOM departure or a SELF-GUIDED option, available from May to October.
· 6 lunches (picnic or in a traditional restaurant)
· 3 gourmet dinners
· wine tasting in Brda
· 6 days cycling
· Supported with a vehicle
· Daily route extensions for more biking
· bike rental: Marin or Trek hybrid bike with panniers (male frame)
· navigation device rental: Garmin or similar
|Day 1||Arrival to Ljubljana|
|Day 2||Ljubljana - Karavanke Alps route - Lake Bled|
|Day 3||Bled - Pokljuka mountain plateau - Lake Bohinj - Bled|
|Day 4||Bled - Radovna Valley - Kranjska gora|
|Day 5||Kranjska gora - Vršič mountain pass - Soča Valley|
|Day 6||Soča Valley - Kolovrat - Brda Wine Country|
|Day 7||Brda Wine Country - Piran|
|Day 8||Transfer to Ljubljana and Ljubljana airport or nearby airports (optional). End of tour.|
DAY 1 Arrival to Ljubljana
Arrive to Ljubljana, the cosmopolitan capital of Slovenia (30-minute transfer from airport to the city center). Ljubljana has become one of the most vibrant cities in Europe, with trendy neighborhoods and vintage bicycles swooshing through the old city center, which is reminiscent of Prague. Ljubljana, the 2016 European Green Capital, is a city full of beauty and inspiration, an oasis of lush green parks, open-air libraries, winding cobblestone streets and countless bridges crossing the lazy waters of the Ljubljanica River. Explore the ancient stories of the city in Ljubljana’s 11th century castle and immerse yourself in this unique city.
Meet your guide in the afternoon for a trip overview and welcome dinner.
Accommodation in Ljubljana.
DAY 2 Karavanke Alps route and Lake Bled
Ride – easy, 22mi (36km), elevation gain 2000ft (600m)
Transfer from Ljubljana to Kranj where you start cycling. To make sure you will be riding safely and comfortably we first make sure the bike fits you properly and then warm up before riding to the Alpine part of Slovenia. We cycle on flat to rolling terrain on paved side roads with little traffic. Pass Begunje, the home of the Avsenik family, world-renowned ambassadors of traditional Slovenian folk music. Pause for a picnic lunch set up by your guide on one of the alpine meadows before continuing to Bled, one of Europe’s most scenic spots. Bled’s picture-perfect setting is centered around the lake, where a 12th-century pilgrimage church rises proudly from a tiny storybook islet in the midst of its waters, guarded by the medieval castle perched high atop the cliffs. We spend the afternoon exploring Lake Bled and enjoying the spectacular views while strolling past Vila Bled, the former residence of Yugoslav president Tito.
Our small boutique hotel is filled with antique furniture that reflects its 110-year-long history, but also offers a modern swimming pool and spa area where you can regain your strength.
Accommodation in Bled.
DAY 3 Pokljuka plateau and Bohinj Lake
Ride – easy, 13.6mi (22km), elevation gain 720ft (220m)
(optional morning climb to Pokljuka Plateau ads 9.3mi/15km and 2500ft/750m)
Challenge yourself with a morning climb to the Pokljuka Plateau (optional) or simply relax with a cappuccino by the lake and let us drive you to the top of the hill to save energy for the rest of the day. We cycle on forest trails, passing green meadows with grazing cattle where you can pause to take a photo of the wooden cottages that look like something straight out of a fairy tale. Pause for a refreshment before you descend to Bohinj Lake, passing secluded mountain villages, traditional hayracks, and orchards of apples, pears, plums and apricots. While approaching Bohinj Lake take a moment to enjoy the sweeping views of the surrounding Julian Alps. Take a break for a swim in the lake and a well-deserved lunch, where you can try some traditional dishes of the upper Carniola region.
After lunch we bike or drive back to Bled where you can enjoy a leisurely afternoon at the hotel or continue exploring the sights and surroundings of this picturesque town. In the evening we drive to the old town of Radovljica, where medieval houses spin the wheel of history as you stroll down the main street. For dinner we enjoy traditional Slovenian cuisine, tasting hearty regional dishes that marry the tastes of alpine Slovenia with influences of the former Austro-Hungarian Empire, resulting in dishes such as porcini mushroom soup, sauerkraut and turnip, baked potatoes, pork roast, cheese dumplings and much more. You’ll also learn about the 200-year-old tradition of making lect hearts – elaborately decorated honey-bread cookies that were once a cherished gift among lovers and remain one of the region’s most recognisable traditional products. This evening will offer a great opportunity to exchange cultural experiences and see how fondly local people still practice their traditional crafts.
Accommodation in Bled.
DAY 4 Radovna Valley and Kranjska Gora
Ride – easy, 20.5mi (33km), elevation gain 1960ft (600m)
After a hearty breakfast we slowly climb towards the foothills of the Pokljuka Plateau into the remote Radovna Valley, a marvel for all nature lovers. An easy and flat ride leads you past a 400-year-old linden tree as well as an abandoned ironworks and water saw that were some of the first industrial plants in the Alpine region. We stop at one of the farms to try a local specialty called “ajdovi krapi” (buckwheat dumplings filled with ricotta cheese) and hear the unique dialect that is still very much alive here. In the afternoon we continue to Mojstrana, home to the first Slovenian Alpine Museum (optional visit). From there a flat bike path takes you into the heart of the charming village of Kranjska Gora, a ski resort that hosts many World Cup Alpine Ski races and is only a ten-minute drive from the Italian and Austrian border.
Accommodation in Kranjska Gora.
DAY 5 Vršič mountain pass and Soča Valley
Ride – easy to moderate, 18mi (30km), elevation gain 2400ft (750m) and descent 6800ft (2100m)
(optional morning climb to Vršič pass ads 9.5mi/15km and 1804ft/550m of elevation gain)
In the early morning we ride up Vršič Pass (5316ft/1611m – optional), gradually conquering the 24 switchbacks of what is considered to be one of the most scenic and most challenging mountain roads for cyclists in Europe. This winding mountain road, following the twists and turns of an earlier trading route, was built for military purposes by Russian prisoners of war during the First World War. The border between Italy and Yugoslavia used to run through Vršič Pass and nowadays the road sets the bar of endurance for eager road cyclists. Pause at the top to take some photos and regain your energy with a tasty picnic lunch before descending past 26 switchbacks following the stream of the untamed Soča River, famous for its turquoise waters. Soča is one of the few unspoiled rivers in the European Alpine region and its tumultuous waters even provided the backdrop for some of the most climactic scenes in the second instalment of the Chronicles of Narnia movie series.
If you’re a foodie you can take the opportunity and take a taxi to nearby Kobarid to visit Hiša Franko, the exclusive family-run inn and restaurant that is home to the gourmet creations of Ana Roš, whose appearance in Netflix’s Chef’s Table gained her well-deserved worldwide fame and placed Slovenian cuisine on the global culinary map. She also received the title of World’s Best Female Chef in 2017! Ana’s philosophy is to use seasonal homegrown and local food, prepared with great attention to detail and spiced with her strong character. While dinner is being prepared we taste some of the best wines that sommelier Valter, Ana’s husband, collects in his wine cellar. It is no surprise that their restaurant was ranked among the top 50 restaurants of the World in 2018 and gained 2 Michelin stars in 2020.
We finish the day in Bovec, the adventure capital of Slovenia.
Accommodation in Bovec.
DAY 6 Kolovrat outdoor museum and Goriška brda
Ride – easy, 25mi (41km), elevation gain 1900ft (600m)
This morning don’t forget to try some delicious home-made herbal tea before we drive to the westernmost part of Triglav National Park, the Kolovrat ridge. This was one of the main settings for the fierce battles of the Isonzo front during the First World War, which were vividly described in Ernest Hemingway’s novel A Farewell to Arms. In the open-air museum you can visit the well-preserved trenches and enjoy the sweeping views of the Alps on the one side and Adriatic sea on the other. We head south along the Idrijca River on rolling terrain surrounded by chestnut forests, towards the picturesque vineyards and rolling hills of Goriška Brda. In a day’s worth of cycling you trade the magnificent Alpine views for the incredible scenery of sun-kissed vineyards and idyllic hilltop villages. This hilly region borders the Collio Goriziano region of Italy and resembles Tuscany with a Mediterranean flair. It is justifiably famous for growing the finest fruit and wine in the country.
We visit local wine producers to taste and enjoy some of best world-renowned Slovenian wine, including Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot and Rebula, the indigenous grape dating back to 13th century. Sit down to enjoy some mouth-watering farm-to-table food like home-cured prosciutto and other cold meats, a variety of local cheeses, wild asparagus, olives and home-made olive oil, cherry brandy and blackcurrant jam that you simply can’t say no to. Enjoy the company of your charming hosts, who possess that unique blend of Italian and Slovenian temperament and culture that is unique to the region.
Accommodation in Goriška brda.
DAY 7 Adriatic coastline and Venetian town of Piran
Ride – easy, 25mi (37km), elevation gain 1900ft (360m)
Being so close to Italy it would be a shame not to hop across the border for a cup of Italian cappuccino. So this morning we drive to Muggia, a vibrant Italian seaside town that is the perfect starting point for a day of seaside cycling. Stroll the cobblestone streets and try some of the best coffee and gelato that Italy has to offer as your bikes are prepared for the day ahead. The landscape has changed even more drastically as now you will be riding the Parenzana, a former narrow-gauge railway line that ran between Trieste in Italy and Poreč in Croatia between 1902 and 1935. Now it connects people and countries as the Route of Health and Friendship. Ride along the Adriatic Coast past pebble-stone beaches, pine and juniper trees, and olive groves until you reach the seaside town of Koper at the end of the Istrian peninsula. Choose your lunch at the local market where you’ll be spoiled for choice by local vegetables, fruit, and fresh grilled seafood that will make your mouth water. Continue riding on and off the bike path, on flat to rolling terrain, passing farms and sleepy villages. Soon we enter the Piran, a small coastal Venetian town that gained its wealth and power with precious salt and trading routes dating back to ancient Greece.
In search of some unique souvenirs? Stroll the narrow medieval streets of the old town, where the famous composer Giuseppe Tartini was born. Find some of the finest olive oil and products made from raw salt, which is still being produced at the nearby salt pans. Dark chocolate with salt is one of our favorites! Gather in the evening for an aperitif and a special farewell dinner of seafood delicacies. After all, all those miles on the road deserve a final toast.
Accommodation in Piran.
DAY 8 Transfer to Ljubljana (optional Trieste or Venice Airport)
After enjoying one last cappuccino by the seaside, transfer to the city of Ljubljana (optional Ljubljana, Trieste or Venice Airport). If want to cover more miles on your bicycle in beautiful surroundings, you can extend your holidays in Croatian Istria. Take a look at our Blue & Green Istria Cycling Tour.
PRICE of tour on request
- guaranteed departure with a minimum of 2 guests,
- price pp dbl occ – varies depending on the size of the group – please contact us for more information.
Trip extension: Blue & Green Istria Cycling.
Lesley E., Calgary, Canada
Frequently asked questions
When is the best time to bicycle in Slovenia?
Best time for riding bikes in Slovenia is from the end of April till mid November (May-June, Sept-Oct being the best months). Before/after this period you can still somewhat 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).
What are the roads like?
Our trips run on local roads, with less traffic, and where possible, on cycling paths. We chose local roads that are safe to ride on. Some roads do not have a signalised shoulder to ride on, but car drivers are respectful of cyclists in Slovenia.
Am I fit enough to join the tour? How much riding do we do daily?
On Cycling highlights of Slovenia we do about 40km (25mi) daily and about 600m (2000ft) of elevation gain. The trip is market easy-moderate, as we mainly ride of flat to rolling terrain, with some moderate climbs along the way. For more challenging climbs, we offer shuttles, or you can opt do it yourself if you feel fit enough on the spot. We do suggest that you do some riding at home before joining our tour.
Can I bring my own bike?
Yes, you are welcome to bring your own bike. If traveling by plane, our guide can help you assemble it, but can not and will not take responsibility of assembling the bike himself alone (our guides know the basics of bike mechanics, but are not professionally trained bike mechanics). If needed, we can advise a couple of bicycle shops that have great mechanics where they can assemble the bike for you.
Can I rent a bike with you? What options do you offer? What additional gear do you supply?
Yes, you can rent a bike upon arrival, but we do ask you to make a reservation beforehand. You can choose between a road bike, hybrid bike, e-bike or a mountain bike. For more details, please contact us.
Along with bike rental come bike panniers (where applicable), cyclometer, helmet, quick fix pouch, pump and a lock. For a small additional fee, we also offer easy to use gps navigation device.
What do I need to “carry” with me on the bike? How is my luggage transported?
Your big luggage is transported between hotels. On a guided tour, you can always keep a small day backpack in the van. However, we advise that you have on you at all times a water bottle and a rain jacket, as our guide is not driving right behind you, but giving you freedom to ride peacefully and at your own pace. We also suggest to have with some pocket money, sunscreen, a snack bar and a camera, so you can take amazing shots along the way.
What does the price include?
Our guided trips: all lodging with breakfast, certain other meals and tastings (as specified in the itinerary), snacks between meals, certain entrance fees and museum guides (as specified in the itinerary), expert guidance of our guides, van shuttles to support various options of activities that we offer, gpx tracks, daily presentation of the activity and in depth explanation, luggage transfer.
Our self-guided trips: all lodging with breakfast, certain entrance fees and museum guides (as specified in the itinerary), gpx track, maps of the area, detailed pre-trip and on trip documentation, certain van shuttles to support various options (where specified), luggage transfer.
Can I book and pay with credit card?
At the moment payment is possible only with bank transfer upon issued pro-forma invoice. Please contact us for more information.
If I decide to do a self guided bike ride of the tour that you’re offering, what service, information and materials do I get if I book the trip with you (TrekTrek)?
First, we’ll make sure, that we understand your interests. Whether it is a pre-existing trip that we offer online that you like, or a custom itinerary that we would plan out with you individually, according to your fitness level, time of visit and your preferences.
At the time of booking, we provide you with outlined itinerary and arrange all lodging and private transfers for you. We also send you a suggested reading list, so you can start visualising some of the rides and day-dreaming about your next adventure (this is allowed even during Covid times). A month out before the start of your trip, we will send you additional trip information and a suggested packing list, so you can start preparing for your upcoming cycling vacation.
Upon arrival to Slovenia, you will meet with our representative for a trip orientation meeting and you get also a complete trip dossier, maps of the area and GPX routes (that you can import into your gps device – our guide can help you with that). What has worked best in the past on our self-guided trips, was the use of maps and navigation devices. A gps track is easy to follow and at the same time you can track the distance & elevation of your hike. Gps tracks can be uploaded to your personal navigation device or even smart phone (we advise you to bring an external portable power bank with a minimum of 10000mAh). You can ask all last-minute questions or anything else that comes to mind at the time.
What is the easiest way to come to Slovenia?
Slovenia is in the heart of Europe and easily accessible by car, train or flight. You can fly into Ljubljana airport (20min drive to Ljubljana city and 20 min drive to Bled Lake) or other nearby airports, like Venice (2.5 hours drive to Ljubljana), Trieste (1.5 hours to Ljubljana), Zagreb (1.5 hours to Ljubljana), or Vienna (3.5 hours to Ljubljana).
Where can I check the weather forecast?
Feel free to check the current weather forecast at the following links:
Triglav National Park (Julian Alps):
Bovec, Soca Valley: https://www.yr.no/place/Slovenia/Bovec/Bovec/
You can also check some live webcams here: