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Cycling From Lake Bled to Venice 44

Cycling From Lake Bled to Venice

Overview

From the Slovenian Alps to the Adriatic, this cycling adventure will reveal you the iconic natural sites of Slovenia, as well as the charming country roads and villages of Italy’s Friuli Venezia Giulia region. Along the way you will be able to marvel at the alpine scenery above Lake Bled and Lake Bohinj, enjoy the local hospitality and cuisine, as well as learn about the turbulent history of the border region between today’s Slovenia and Italy. The route’s most challenging climbs can be shortened by a car transfer, so the tour is suitable to both beginner and intermediate cyclists.

Highlights:

  • Cycling on some of the most scenic roads of Slovenia
  • Lake Bled
  • Lake Bohinj
  • Exploring the countryside of Friuli Venezia Giulia

Click to view map

Itinerary

Day 1: Lake Bled

Once you arrive, you can dip your feet in the beautiful glacial Lake Bled, famous for its distinctive island church and the clifftop castle all backed by the beautiful Karavanke Mountains. You can take a stroll around the western side of the lake for some of the best views and photographs, and then have lunch and the locally famous cream cake (Kremšnita) on the eastern lakeside while watching the sunset over the mountains.

Accommodation: Hotel Triglav or similar

Day 2: Bled – Bohinjska Bistrica | 24 km

A short car transfer leaves you on the high plateau at Pokljuka. From here you will cycle through alpine villages to Lake Bohinj, the jewel of the Triglav National Park. Encircled by tall mountain peaks, Bohinj is the largest and deepest lake in the national park. A cable car runs up to Vogel Mountain, where you can get a spectacular view into the Bohinj Valley and Mount Triglav, the highest peak in the Julian Alps.

Accommodation: Eco Hotel Bohinj or similar
Cycling for the day: 24 km (or 43 with a side trip)

Day 3: Bohinj – Tolmin | 56 km

In the morning you’ll have two options. Your route will take you via the Sorica Pass over the Julian Alps, but if you want to skip the climbing section, you can take a short train ride through the Bohinj tunnel to Podbrdo. Then you peddle off through a narrow valley and follow the beautiful emerald-green Soča River as it rushes out of the mountains and into the western side of the Julian Alps. Just before reaching your destination, you’ll have a chance to dive into its supernatural waters or visit the only monument in the world dedicated to military cooks.

Accommodation: Hotel Dvorec or similar
Cycling for the day: 56 km (or 35 km with a side trip)

Day 4: Tolmin – Šmartno / Dobrovo | 34 km

You will be transferred by car to Kolovrat Saddle – a spectacular viewpoint high above the Soča Valley. Once the site of heavy fighting during WWI, it’s now an open-air museum. Cycling the ridges above the two valleys, you’ll reach your day’s destination – Šmartno v Goriških Brdih, located amid an abundance of lush vineyards. A recent and beautifully restored medieval village of narrow streets with Mediterranean houses, you can stretch your legs here, sip cool white wine and chat with locals in an authentic village pub.

Accommodation: Hotel San Martin or similar
Cycling for the day: 34 km (or 46 with a side trip)

Day 5: Šmartno – Grado | 67 km

After leaving the Brda wine region, you’ll reach the town of Gorizia, which was once the dividing point between Italy and Yugoslavia, where you can visit the Curtain museum. Further along the border, you’ll come to the smallest military museum in the world, a historic Yugoslav border outpost, and the ancient Kostanjevica Monastery, burial place of the last French King. Turning south and entering Italy, you’ll soon reach the Adriatic sea. You will spend the afternoon in the Friuli Venezia Giulia region, passing by rivers, canals and ancient Roman towns. Your destination will be Aquileia, with its Roman excavations, or Grado, a lively historic resort town on a lagoon island.

Accommodation: Hotel Diana or similar
Cycling for the day: 67 km

Day 6: Grado – Portogruaro | 84 km

This morning you will head back inland a bit, leaving the sea behind you. You will pass through a multitude of “Valli da pesca” (stretches of lagoon enclosed by earthen dikes where extensive fish farming is practised) and “casoni”
(constructions used by fishermen in the past during the fishing season). Your destination is the town of Portogruaro, one of the region’s main centres in the period of the “Serenissima Republic of Venice”, which is still impressive even today with its glorious “Palazzi” or “palaces”.

Accommodation: Hotel Spesotto or similar
Cycling for the day: 84 km (or 59 if shortened by a train ride)

Day 7: Portogruaro – Lido Di Jesolo | 67 km

From Portogruaro you can look forward to a wonderful easy cycle westwards along the beautiful beaches of the Adriatic Coast. There are numerous opportunities to relax and swim so be sure to pack your swim gear. You will stay overnight in one of the two towns along this famous coastline, depending on availability.

Accommodation: Hotel Bali or similar
Cycling for the day: 67 km

Day 8: Departure

Departure on your own after breakfast. Jesolo is a gateway to Venice, from here you can easily travel onward to the airport or old city on the lagoon.

What to Expect

Accommodation

Accommodation is in double/twin rooms in 3 or 4-star hotels, all 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

Hotel Triglav, Eco Hotel Bohinj, Hotel Dvorec, Hotel San Martin, Hotel Diana, Hotel Spesotto, Hotel Bali

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 local meals, or you can also try the other local restaurants on the route. When no restaurant location is available on the cycling sections, lunches and snacks should either be bought from local shops, or packed lunch can be pre-ordered from your hotel the night before. We have tried to choose accommodations that offer friendly service, clean and comfortable rooms and local flavour.

Difficulty & terrain

We grade this trip as moderate, with routes ranging from 27 to 67 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 late March and mid-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: Ljubljana or Venice.

By train or bus

Inclusions

Included

  • 7 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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