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Cycling the Winelands of Slovenia

Complete Slovenia on Wheels

Overview

From the Julian Alps’ soaring peaks and the vast undergrounds of Postojna and Škocjan caves to the sparkling emerald-green Bled and Bohinj lakes and the beautiful coastline along the Adriatic Sea, Slovenia really does have it all. We are happy to invite you on an 11-day cycling adventure that will take you to all the highlights this small country has to offer. Riding along the countryside, you will be able to enjoy the surrounding alpine landscapes, genuine local architecture, sophisticated cuisine and Venetian-style coastline. Besides your cycling experience, you will also have the opportunity to explore the world-famous caves of Škocjan and Postojna and the capital Ljubljana, known as one of Europe’s greenest cities.

Highlights

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Itinerary

Day 1. Arrival in Bled

Arrive in Bled, the beautiful town located on the shore of Slovenia’s landmark glacial lake. Depending on of your arrival, you can enjoy the area for the rest of the day.

Day 2: Bled – Bohinjska Bistrica | 27 km

In the morning a bus ride will take you to the high plateau at Pokljuka, where you start cycling down the road to the neighbouring Bohinj Valley. Along the way, you will pass through many small alpine villages scattered across the valley until you reach the small settlement of Ribčev Laz (Fisherman’s Pass) lying next to Lake Bohinj, the jewel in the heart of the Triglav National Park. From there you can cycle around the lake to Savica Waterfall and take the cable car up to Vogel Mountain for a spectacular view of the Bohinj Valley and Mount Triglav, the highest peak in the Julian Alps.

  • Cycling for the day: 27 km (mostly downhill) + 16.5 km optional side trip to waterfall Savica
  • Accommodation: Bohinj Eco Hotel 4* or similar

Day 3: Bohinjska Bistrica – Škofja Loka | 49 km

You start cycling uphill to the Jelovica high plateau, located at 750 m (possible “help out” lift to the top of the mountain pass), from where you continue through a deep forest down into the Selška Dolina Valley leading to the hills of Škofja Loka. As you cycle you can have a break in the little alpine village of Sorica, where you can spend some time visiting the gallery of the famous local painter Ivan Grohar. Later you can also stop at some of the village inns along the way and taste the delicious local trout. Your cycling finishes at Škofja Loka, one of the oldest towns in Slovenia, where you can cycle up to the castle on the hill overlooking the town. You can spend the rest of the evening strolling the old streets of this historic medieval town.

  • Cycling for the day: 49 km
  • Accommodation: Mini Hotel 3* or similar

Day 4: Šofja Loka – Ljubljana | 31 km

Today you cycle to the capital of the country, Ljubljana. Having settled in your hotel, you can spend the day visiting the historic centre and the beautiful castle on the nearby hill, from where you will get the best view of the city. As the sun goes down you can choose between relaxing with a drink in the many outdoor bars/cafes beside the Ljubljanica River, or take an evening stroll, enjoying the lights and vibrant sounds of this charismatic city.

  • Cycling for the day: 31 km, mostly flat
  • Accommodation: M  Hotel  4* or similar

Day 5: Ljubljana – Vrhnika | up to 57 km

Today you cycle across the plains surrounding the capital, passing through Ljubljansko Barje, once a large lake until it dried up 6000 years ago, leaving behind an incredibly diverse landscape that is now home to some of Europe’s rarest forms of bird, plant and insect life. Along the way you can take a short walk into the picturesque Iški Vintgar gorge nature reserve, carved deep into a stunning limestone dolomite plateau, and visit the world’s highest railway viaduct in Borovnica.

  • Cycling for the day: 39 km + 18 km optional side trip to Iski Vintgar Valley
  • Accommodation: Mantova Hotel  3* or similar

Day 6: Vrhnika – Postojna | up to 44 km

Today you will explore the Slovenian countryside, cycling past the beautiful Slivnica Mountain and the lake of Planina. You can stop for a picnic lunch at the Rakov Škocjan nature reserve, where the Rak River has carved out a stunning gorge with incredible landscape formations such as its landmark two natural bridges.

  • Cycling for the day: 32 km + 12 km optional side trip to nature reserve Rakov Skocjan. A slightly more demanding route over gentle hills, forest roads and a typical Carst polje (field).
  • Accommodation: Kras Hotel  4* or similar

Day 7: Postojna – Štanjel | up to 48 km

Today you can visit one of the landmark natural sites of Slovenia: the beautiful underground Postojna cave, carved deep into the heart of the limestone hills. As you continue along the cycling route for the day you can also take a short detour to the spectacular fortress of Predjama castle, wedged tight into a crevasse halfway up a 123-meter cliff-face.

  • Cycling for the day: 42 km + 6 km optional side trip to Predjama Castlem. Mostly undulating and finishing with a long descent.
  • Accommodation: Hiša Posebne Sorte or similar

Day 8: Štanjel – Lipica – Divača | 48 km

You can make the first stop of the day at the botanical garden in Sežana and than visit the farm of Lipica, where you can see the beautiful locally-bred Lipizaner horses.

  • Cycling for the day: 48 km. Undulating terrain with flat sections.
  • Accommodation: Risnik guesthouse or similar

Day 9: Divača – (Trieste) – Muggia | 38 km

In the morning, you have the opportunity to visit the other major cave of Slovenia – Škocjan, less crowded but equally spectacular as Postojna, and listed as UNESCO natural monument. Later you can detour to the Italian city of Trieste where you can relax with a cappuccino in the many old-fashioned cafes. The day-trip ends in Muggia – south of Trieste. After the cycling, it is time to enjoy a gelato in the town’s old centre or relax on the beach.

  • Cycling for the day: 38 km: Undulating terrain, finishing with a long downhill.
  • Accommodation: San Rocco 4* or similar

Day 10: Muggia – Piran | 48 km

You cycle on a newly-built cycling path following the former railway line along the coast, enjoying the great vistas of the Slovene coast and Trieste Bay. The trip ends in the little Venetian harbour village of Piran.

  • Cycling for the day: 37 km + 11 km optional side trip to Seca.
  • Accommodation: Piran Hotel 4* or similar

Day 11: Departure

End of trip after breakfast, departure or extension upon request.

 

What to Expect

Accommodation

Accommodation is as listed in the itinerary, in 3 or 4-star hotels and guesthouses with en-suite facilities. We have carefully hand-picked all places and regularly monitor their quality. We have tried to choose accommodations that offer friendly service, clean and comfortable rooms and local flavour.

Click to view default hotels

Triglav Hotel, Bohinj Eco Hotel 4*, Mini Hotel 3*, M  Hotel  4*, Mantova Hotel  3*, Kras Hotel  4*, Hiša Posebne Sorte, Risnik guesthouse, San Rocco 4*, Piran Hotel 4*

Hotels are subject to availability. In case a particular hotel is fully booked for your desired dates we will replace it with a hotel of equal value and quality level. We will provide to you exact accommodation details upon booking confirmation.

Meals

Breakfast is included. In towns, each hotel has its own restaurant where you can taste international or Slovenian meals, or you can also try Slovenian cuisine in other local restaurants. When no restaurant location is available on the route, lunches and snacks should either be bought from local shops, or packed lunch can be pre-ordered from your hotel the night before.

Difficulty & terrain

We grade this trip as moderate, with routes ranging around 40 km per day, mainly on undulating low traffic roads and cycle paths. The routes are not technically difficult, however, you should be in a good physical shape in order to fully enjoy the cycling. You can also rent an E-bike with us, which makes the trip accessible to everyone (read more about difficulty grades).

When to go

The tour can depart on each day between 16th March and 12th October. Weather is best in July and August, and mind that accommodation availability is limited in these months, so better book well in advance. The climate is continental with cold winters and warm summers, but on the coastal areas, there is a pleasant submediterranean climate. The average temperatures are -2°C in January and 21°C in July.

Getting there

You can check FCO up-to-date travel advice here for Slovenia and here for Italy

Click to view travel options

By plane

Recommended arrival and departure airport is Ljubljana

By train or bus

Transfers from  Ljubljana to Bled and from Piran to Ljubljana are possible by public transport.

For up-to-date bus schedules, please check https://www.ap-ljubljana.si/en/
For up-to-date train schedules, please check  https://www.slo-zeleznice.si/en/

Inclusions

Included

  • 10 overnights in 3 and 4-star hotels, in double/twin rooms with en-suite facilities
  • Breakfast on each morning
  • Luggage transfer – one piece, max 20 kgs / 45 lb (every additional item 10 EUR, payable on the spot)
  • Information package including text road notes and corresponding maps (one per booking)
  • GPS tracks, that can be loaded on your device or smartphone application
  • Local tourist and other taxes
  • Personal welcome meeting and bike fitting (in case you have booked a rental) upon arrival
  • 24/7 phone assistance by our office/representative

Excluded

  • Airfare and connecting land transfers
  • Lunches, dinners, drinks and snacks
  • Travel insurance (required – get a quote online)
  • Personal expenses
  • Bike rental
  • Local tourist taxes and entry fees (payable on-site)
  • Any items not explicitly listed as included

Options, extras & supplements

  • A supplement applies to members of a group who require a single room
  • This holiday is available for solo travellers; a supplement will be charged as accommodation and luggage transfer costs are not shared (we never mix and match – solo travellers will be accommodated in single rooms)
  • Optional extra nights before or after the tour
  • Bike rental (standard trekking bike or E-Bike)

Bike Rental

We offer classic trekking bikes as well as E-bikes. All our bikes are well maintained and perfectly suitable for the roads you will cycle on. The rental rates include one back, side pannier per bike. One cycling odometer, one lock, one spare inner tube, one set of Allen keys and a basic puncture repair set per couple/pair of bikes.

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