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Cycling the Slovenian Wine Country

Cycling the Lakes and Historic Towns of Slovenia

Overview

Slovenia is a country of stunning alpine landscapes, pristine mountain lakes, cosy small towns and cities preserving the genuine Austro Hungarian architecture, and we are inviting you to explore its highlights on a short biking trip. This is an active holiday, which will let you experience the natural and cultural riches of Slovenia, as well as enjoy comfortable hotels and local hospitality. The cycling part is on secondary country roads with less traffic, as the daily distances are suitable for both beginner and intermediate cyclists. The trip ends in the capital city Ljubljana, so there are plenty of options in case you would like to extend your journey after the pleasant cycling days.

Highlights:

  • Cycling on some of the most scenic roads of Slovenia
  • Lake Bled
  • Lake Bohinj
  • The historic town of Škofja Loka
  • The capital city, Ljubljana

Itinerary

Day 1: Arrival at Lake Bled

You will arrive in Bled, a world famous town on the shore of a beautiful glacial lake. Known for its unique island church sitting proudly in the middle of the crystal-clear lake, surrounded by towering alpine mountains, and the castle perched high on a cliff standing guard over the town, Bled is one of Slovenia’s most popular tourist attractions for a reason.

Day 2: Lake Bled – Lake Bohinj

You will be taken by bus up to the high plateau at Pokljuka, from where you can marvel at the stunning views before gliding down into the neighbouring Bohinj Valley, the jewel in the heart of the Triglav National Park. You will cycle through the many small alpine villages scattered across the valley until reaching the small settlement of Ribčev Laz (Fisherman’s Pass) lying next to the stunning Lake Bohinj. Cycle around the lake to Savica Waterfall, source of the Sava Bohinjka River, and then take the cable car up to Vogel Mountain for a spectacular view into the Bohinj Valley and of Mount Triglav, the highest peak in the Julian Alps. Explore the forests surrounding the lake before spending the evening in one of the cosy village pubs and trying the local home-made honey brandy.

  • Cycling distance for the day: 19 km or 32 km (with a side trip)
  • Accommodation: Eco Hotel Bohinj or similar

Day 3: Lake Bohinj – Škofja Loka

Leaving Bohinj you cycle to the lovely village of Bohinjska Bistrica, where you can admire the picture-perfect background. Then it’s up 750 m to the Jelovica high plateau (a “help out” lift to top of mountain pass is available for this part of the trip at an extra cost of 15 EUR per person). From the top the route takes you through a deep forest which soon drops off into the Selška Dolina Valley leading to the Škofja Loka hills. The first stop is at the little alpine village of Sorica, set among low green hills. This is the birthplace of the famous Slovene painter, Ivan Grohar. As you ride into the village his statue will greet you, and you can visit his gallery where you’ll find a limited collection of his work. The next stop is at the historic iron-smelting town of Železniki, where you will find the remains of an old blast furnace dating from 1826. Stop in one of the village inns along the way and try the delicious trout. Finally you will arrive in Škofja Loka, one of the oldest towns in Slovenia. If you are not too tired you can cycle up to the castle on the hill overlooking town. Spend the rest of the evening wandering through the old streets of this historic medieval town.

  • Cycling distance for the day: 53 km
  • Accommodation: Mini hotel or similar

Day 4: Škofja Loka – Ljubljana

Once settled into your hotel, you will visit the historic old town and marvel at the ornate, old-world architecture and lovely “fin de siecle” mansions. Then it’s a short walk or ride up to the mighty Ljubljana Castle, perched high on a hill and standing guard over the old town and city centre. From its tower you get a commanding view of Ljubljana’s heart and soul. 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 the city and its charismatic people.

  • Cycling for the day: 31 km
  • Accommodation: M Hotel or similar

Day 5: Departure

After breakfast you depart on your own. Slovenia offers endless possibilities for exciting outdoor activities, so we will be happy to offer you an extension of your trip.

Hotels

Accommodation is as listed in the itinerary, in 3 or 4-star hotels 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.

Sample hotels*: Triglav HotelKristal Hotel, Mini hotel, M Hotel

*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 of which there are plenty on the route. When no restaurant location is available on route, lunches and snacks should either be bought from local shops, or packed lunch can be pre-ordered from your hotel the night before.

Travel

Recommended arrival and departure airport: Ljubljana.

 

Flight information can change rapidly and not all flights run daily. Please do check directly with the airlines’ websites or Skyscanner before finalising any booking with us. Please do not book your flights before we have confirmed your booking.

Transfers to/from Airports

Transfers from  Ljubljana to Bled are available by public transport or by a private transfer (upon request).

Trip Info

Difficulty Grade: Easy to Moderate

We grade this trip as Easy to Moderate, with routes ranging from 20 to 57 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).

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. Bike rental period starts at 9:00 on day 2 of the tour and ends at 18:00 of day 4.

Route Navigation

We provide individual information package upon arrival, including city guides, maps, programme and route description. We can also provide GPX files with all the tracks, which you can load on your smartphone app or GPS device. The road signage is good so navigating between the towns is quite easy.

When to Go

The tour can depart on each day between late March and mid October. Weather is best in July and August, still accommodation availability is limited in these months, so better book well in advance.

Weather

The climate in the region is continental, cold and temperate. Depending on location and altitude, temperatures vary, but, in the May-September period, the daily averages are 15 – 25C. Spring and autumn are cooler with occasional rain.

BLED WEATHER

What to Bring

Main luggage is limited to 20 kg. On the cycling days when changing hotels, your main luggage is transported to the next accommodation. For your daily essentials, you should bring a comfortable rucksack or panniers which you can mount on your bike rack.

Below is a non-exclusive list of what you should bring to this trip. If you need further advice, please contact a reputable outdoor retailer or us.

  • Several t-shirts (synthetic or preferably breathable/fast drying);
  • Packable waterproof and windproof jacket with hood;
  • Synthetic mid layer or warm fleece;
  • Trainers and/or sandals – to relax and wear inside accommodation;
  • Sunglasses, sunscreen and lip salve;
  • Helmet;
  • Personal First Aid kit (wet wipes, flu remedies, stomach remedies).

Included

  • Four overnights in 3 and 4-star hotels, in double/twin rooms with en-suite facilities
  • Breakfast each morning
  • Luggage transfer – one piece, max 20 kg / 45 lb (every additional item 10 EUR, payable on 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 upon arrival
  • 24/7 phone support by our local office/representative in Bled

Supplements

  • Where individual members of a group require a single room, a single room supplement is applicable
  • This holiday is available for solo travellers
  • Optional extra nights before or after the tour

Options and Extras

  • Bike rental (standard trekking bike or E-Bike)
  • “Help out lift” to top of the pass on day 3: 20 EUR (payable on spot, needs to be reserved latest on welcome meeting)

Excluded

  • Flights
  • Airport transfers
  • Lunches and dinners
  • Travel insurance
  • Personal expenses such as drinks, phone calls, extra transfers, tips, etc.
  • Any items not explicitly mentioned as ‘included’ in the programme

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