Total tour distance: 270 miles
Daily tour distance: 40 miles
Difficulty: 70 / 100
This fast "Cross Country Tour" whisks you through the majority of Slovenia's most famous historical places, along with the many natural wonders this diverse little country has to offer. It is suitable for fit cyclists with plenty of time and a good fitness level.
Cycling tour highlights:
• Swimming in crystal clear mountain lakes.
• Taking a break at "The Triple Bridge" in Ljubljana.
• Visiting Postojna or Škocjan caves, and the famous Lipizzaner horses.
• Chilling out with a cappuccino in the famous Piazza Unita, Trieste.
• Sipping the sumptuous Teran wine.
• Staying in small independent hotels, great food.
Day 1: BLED (**** family hotel). Arrival in Bled.
Your chosen hotel is in a quiet part of the town, above the lake. Bled is renowned for its beautiful setting: glacial lake, clifftop castle and a pilgrimage church on the island.
Day 2: BLED – BOHINJSKA BISTRICA (43 km). (***** spa hotel)
Your cycling day starts by a climb up to high plateau Pokljuka (700 meters / 2300 ft over 12 km). From moutain meadows you will then descend 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 glistening mountain peaks. 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.
Day 3: BOHINJSKA BISTRICA – ŠKOFJA LOKA – LJUBLJANA (78 km). (*** hotel)
Leaving Bohinj you cycle up 750 m / 2400 ft to the Jelovica high plateau, which then drops off into a lush wilderness valley leading to the Škofja Loka hills. Stop in the historic iron-smelting town of Železniki and one of Slovenia's oldest and most charming towns, Škofja Loka, before finally arriving in Ljubljana, the Slovene Capital. Visit the 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.
Day 4: LJUBLJANA – VRHNIKA – POSTOJNA (70 km + 18 km optional sidetrip). (**** hotel)
A gentle ride across an immense 160-sq km marshy plain: the Ljubljansko Barje, home to some of Europe’s rarest forms of bird, plant and insect life. Then 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 5: POSTOJNA – ŠTANJEL(34 km + 9 km sidetrip). (*** 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 6 : ŠTANJEL – LIPICA – DIVAČA (42 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. You can also visit the unusual but very interesting “War Museum” set in a lovely Venetian tower.
Day 7: DIVAČA – ANKARAN – PIRAN (75 km + 19 km sidetrip to Trieste). (*** old town hotel).
If you skipped Postojna caves, don't fret, because this morning you can visit Škocjan Caves – just as interesting but far less frequented. Then head into the Italian town of Trieste. Visit the castle, cathedral and Piazza Unita. Stop for a cappuccino or a gelato in the old harbour town of Muggia. Then 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 8: DEPARTURE from Piran. 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.