Total tour distance: 200 miles
Daily tour distance: 30 miles
Difficulty: 40 / 100
Day 1: BLED
Accommodation in 4* hotel. You will arrive in Bled, a world famous town on the shore of a beautiful glacial lake. Defined by its unique island church sitting proudly in the middle of this immense body of water, 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.
Day 2: BLED – BOHINJSKA BISTRICA (BOHINJ VALLEY) (27 km (+ 16.5 km side trip to waterfall Savica).
An easy descent into the valley. Accommodation in 4* hotel.
You will be taken by bus up to the high plateau at Pokljuka. From here you can marvel at the stunning views before gliding down into the neighboring 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. Wedged into the corner of this dead end valley, Bohinj is the largest and deepest lake in the national park, and is surrounded by shimmering mountain peaks. The view across this lake from the bridge at Ribčev Laz is unrivaled. 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 downhill, at the foot of Mount Triglav. Triglav National Park, very peaceful area.
Day 3: BOHINJSKA BISTRICA (BOHINJ VALLEY) – ŠKOFJA LOKA (49 km).
Accommodation 3* hotel.
Leaving Bohinj you cycle to the lovely village of Bohinjska Bistrica, where you can admire the picture-perfect backdrop. Then it’s up 750 m/2400 ft to the Jelovica high plateau (a “help out” lift to top of mountain pass is available for this part of the trip at extra cost of 20 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. 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 arrive in the wonderful town of 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.
Day 4: ŠKOFJA LOKA – LJUBLJANA (31 km).
Flatlands, an easy biking trip. Accommodation in 4* hotel.
Once settled into your hotel, you will visit the historic old town of Ljubljana 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 center. 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. Or perhaps do both!
Day 5: LJUBLJANA - VRHNIKA (39 km (+18 km optional side trip to Iski Vintgar Valley)).
A nice easy first day across the historic and richly diverse plains surrounding the capital. Accommodation in 3* hotel.
As the morning sun begins to rise high in the sky, you will be cycling across an immense 160-square kilometer marshy plain. The Ljubljansko Barje was once a great 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 remnants of the world’s highest railway viaduct in Borovnica. In hot summer months you can even freshen up in a typical Carst Lake of Podpec. Just before arriving in Vrhnika, you can visit the Technical Museum of the Republic of Slovenia housed in Bistra Castle, where you’ll find a great hunting collection and an interesting exhibition of Tito’s cars.
Day 6: VRHNIKA – POSTOJNA (32 km (+12 km optional side trip to nature reserve Rakov Skocjan)).
Hilly day, side roads. A slightly more demanding day over gentle hills, forest roads and a typical Carst polje (field).
Accommodation in 4* hotel. On this day the roads will take you away from the main tourist routes and off the beaten track. You will experience the real Slovenian countryside as you cycle past the beautiful Slivnica Mountain and the intermittent lake of Planina, and marvel at the wonders of this vast world of limestone. You can stop for a picnic lunch in the Rakov Škocjan nature reserve, where the Rak River has carved out a stunning gorge containing some of nature’s most incredible landscape formations, including two natural bridges.
Day 7: POSTOJNA – ŠTANJEL (42 km (+6 km optional side trip to Predjama Castle).
Hilly, one long descend afterward. Accommodation in 3* guesthouse.
So far nearly 30 million tourists have visited this stunningly beautiful underground Postojna cave formation, carved deep into the heart of the limestone hills. This is the most extensive cave system in Slovenia, covering a total of 21 kilometers. The 1½ hour tour will take you through a fairy tale world full of large and colorful stalactites and stalagmites, not forgetting the unique “human fish”, a mysterious creature that lives in dark pools inside the caves.
You can also take a short detour to the impenetrable fortress of Predjama castle, wedged tight into a crevasse halfway up a 123-meter cliff-face protruding dramatically into the surrounding basin. Here lived a vivacious and daring knight. Erasmus kept a whole army at bay by utilizing the secret of the Predjama Caves to sneak out for supplies, which included freshly picked cherries which he used to throw at his adversaries to taunt them. Take the tour and learn how Erasmus met his untimely demise in less than poetic circumstances, as he was literally caught with his pants down.
Day 8: ŠTANJEL – LIPICA – DIVAČA (48 km) Rolling terrain with flat sections. Accommodation in 3* hotel.
First stop is perhaps at the botanical garden in Sežana, then it’s on to the stud farm of Lipica, where you can visit these beautiful thoroughbred Lipizaner horses whose glistening white coats and gentle, graceful dancing have earned them a worldwide reputation. The history of the Lipica horses is closely linked to the Vienna riding school. Take a tour in a traditional carriage, watch them perform and visit them close up in their stables. This will be a day to
remember. If you have the time for a couple of side-trips, you can also visit the unusual but very interesting “War Museum” set in the village tower of Lokev.
Day 9: DIVAČA – MUGGIA (38 km). Initially rolling terrain, then a long downhill. Accommodation in 4* hotel.
If you skiped Postojna caves – this morning you can visit Škocjan Caves – no less interesting but way less frequented Karst Caves – even listed as UNESCO natural monument! You can take a diversion into the Italian town of Trieste - once an important port with its worldly flair and wonderful atmosphere. Visit the castle, cathedral and Piazza Unita central square. Trieste was once part of Slovenia whilst under the rule of the Austrian monarchy. Relax with a cappuccino in the many old-fashioned cafes. The day-trip ends in Muggia - south of Trieste. After days' cycling it is time to enjoy a gelato in old center of town or relax on one of beaches.
Day 10: MUGGIA – PIRAN (37 km (+11 km optional side trip to salt pans Seca)). Easy trip. Accommodation in 3* hotel.
Cycling along the coastal road on new cycling path following former railway line. Enjoy great vistas of Slovene coast and Trieste Bay. A coffee stop in fashionable resort of Portorož is a must. The trip ends in the gorgeous Venetian little harbor village of Piran. Accommodation in 3* hotel.
Day 11: Departure from PIRAN.
End of trip after breakfast.
SUMMARY: "Best of Slovenia" tour, emphasis on main Slovene attractions and many natural points of interest. Suitable for cyclists with average fitness.
Daily arrivals between 27.3. - 12.10.2021
Price per person based on two people sharing: Low season: March 20 to May 8 and September 18 to October 12, 2021: 915 EUR
High season: May 9 to September 17, 2021: 995 EUR
• accommodation in country inn and hotels 3*/4* in a two-bed room with WC and shower, on a bed & breakfast basis
• luggage transport between hotels, one piece per person, max 20 kg / 45 lb
• personal welcome meeting and bike fitting upon arrival
• information pack including text road notes and corresponding maps
• GPS data
• local tourist and other taxes
• backup service (hotline) during the trip
• single room 220 EUR
• upgrade to city historic center 4* hotel 60 EUR
• bike rental 130 EUR classic touring / trekking bikes are equipped with 21 gears, 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 kit per couple / pair of bikes. Every additional day: 15 EUR per bike. Additional odometer 20 EUR, payable on the spot. Bike rental period starts at 9:00 on day two of the tour and ends at 18:00 on day ten.
• electric bike rental 260 EUR
• “Help out lift” to top of the pass on day three - 20 EUR per person
• helmet rental 18 EUR