Total tour distance: 199 miles
Daily tour distance: 28 miles
Difficulty: 50 / 100
This "Cross Country Tour" whisks you through the majority of Slovenia's most famous historical places and along the many natural wonders this diverse little country has to offer. It is suitable for cyclists with some of time and an average fitness level.
Cycling tour highlights:
• Swimming in crystal clear Alpine mountain lakes.
• Taking a break at "The Triple Bridge" in Ljubljana.
• Visiting Postojna or Škocjan caves and the famous white Lipizzaner horses.
• Chilling out with a cappuccino on the famous Piazza Unita - Trieste.
• Sipping the sumptuous Teran wine.
• Staying in small independent hotels, great food.
Day 1: BLED (**** family 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 (27 km / 43 km with a side trip). (***** spa hotel).
You will be taken by bus up to the high plateau at Pokljuka. From here you will glide down through alpine villages to Lake Bohinj, the jewel of the Triglav National Park. Bohinj is the largest and deepest lake in the national park, and is encircled by shimmering mountain peaks. Visit 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.
Day 3: BOHINJSKA BISTRICA – ŠKOFJA LOKA (49 km). (*** family hotel).
Leaving Bohinj you cycle to the largest village in the valley: Bohinjska Bistrica. Then it’s up 750 m/2400 ft to the Jelovica high plateau (a “help out” lift to the top of the 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 a wilderness valley, leading to the lush green Škofja Loka hills. Stop in the historic iron-smelting town of Železniki before arriving in one of Slovenia's oldest and most charming towns, Škofja Loka.
Day 4: ŠKOFJA LOKA – LJUBLJANA (31 km). (*** city hotel).
Today you'll ride to the Slovene capital: Ljubljana. Here you can take a short ride up to the mighty Ljubljana Castle, perched on a hill overlooking the old town. 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.
Day 5: LJUBLJANA - VRHNIKA (39 km (57 km with a side trip)). (*** town hotel).
Your first day will be a gentle ride across an immense 160-sq km marshy plain: the Ljubljansko Barje. This incredible landscape is home to some of Europe’s rarest forms of bird, plant and insect life. Visit the picturesque Iški Vintgar gorge, carved deep into a stunning limestone plateau, and the Technical Museum, in Bistra Castle, where you’ll find an interesting exhibition of Tito’s cars.
Day 6: VRHNIKA – POSTOJNA (32 km (44 with a side trip)). (**** hotel).
Today you'll experience the real Slovenian countryside as you cycle past the beautiful Slivnica Mountain and the magical disappearing lake of Planina. Stop at Slovenia's oldest landscape park for a picnic lunch: a stunning limestone gorge containing some of nature’s most incredible landscape formations, including two natural bridges.
Day 7: POSTOJNA – KODRETI / ŠTANJEL (45 km). *** family guesthouse (agritourism).
Today will start with a visit to the beautiful Postojna caves, the most extensive cave system in Slovenia, through a world of large and colourful stalactites and stalagmites, and the unique “human fish”. Then head to the impenetrable fortress of Predjama Castle, in a crevasse halfway up a 123-meter cliff-face. Here lived a vivacious and daring knight. Erasmus kept a whole army at bay by utilizing the Predjama Caves to sneak out for supplies. 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: KODRETI / ŠTANJEL – LIPICA – DIVAČA (48 km) (*** family hotel).
First stop is at the lovely 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. Take a tour in a traditional carriage, 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 a lovely Venetian tower.
Day 9: DIVAČA – ANKARAN (45 km). (*** antique villa).
If you skipped Postojna caves, don't fret, because this morning you can visit Škocjan Caves – just as interesting but far less frequented. You can take a slight diversion into the Italian town of Trieste. Visit the castle, cathedral and Piazza Unita central square. Stop for a cappuccino or a gelato in the old harbour town of Muggia. The trip ends in the climatic resort of Ankaran.
Day 10: ANKARAN – PIRAN (30 km). (*** charming old town hotel).
For your last day you'll cycle along the coastal road on a new cycling path following the old railway line. Enjoy great vistas of Slovenia's modest, yet lovely coast, and Trieste Bay. A stop in the trendy resort of Portorož is a must. The trip ends in the gorgeous little Venetian harbour village of Piran.
Day 11: DEPARTURE. After breakfast your tour ends. However, you can prolong your stay in Piran, take a one way boat trip or daycruise to Venice or continue cycling by taking our Croatia Istria trip.
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