From alpine lakes to a sun-drenched coast packed with mountain views, immense bodies of water and flowing wine
Starting at the fairy-tale world of Lake Bled, a glacial lake famed for its beautiful island church and clifftop castle, your ride will take you first through alpine Slovenia’s most beautiful mountain vistas, over a high pass, along cool flowing rivers and out into a valley laden with vineyards.
Castles and hilltop churches will dominate your view, along with great local wine and food in the Karst region (a beautiful limestone plateau). Finally, the sunny coast awaits with lazy promenades and beautiful Venetian architecture. This is the perfect cycling holiday for lovers of diverse landscape, good food and great local wine, and people who would like nothing more than to soak their feet in the warm sea after a long journey by bike.
8 day Slovenia cycling holiday highlights:
• visit a stunning alpine national park
• swim in fresh, cool alpine lakes
• follow the emerald coloured Soča river
• sip local red wine in a world of limestone
• sample great traditional food in Karst villages
Itinerary for 8 day Slovenia cycling holiday
Day 1: ARRIVAL at Lake Bled. (**** hotel). As a pre trip, check our Salzburg to Lake Bled.
To begin with, you can dip your feet in the beautiful glacial Lake Bled. This shimmering body of water is famous for its distinctive island church and the clifftop castle all backed by the beautiful Karavanke Mountains. Bled is one of Slovenia’s most popular tourist attractions. 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.
Day 2: BLED – BOHINJSKA BISTRICA
(27km / 43km with side trip). (**** hotel).
A short car transfer leaves you on the high plateau at Pokljuka. From here you'll 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. Savica Waterfall is the source of the lake and the Sava Bohinjka River. A cable car runs up to Vogel Mountain, where you can get a spectacular view into the Bohinj Valley and of Mount Triglav, the highest peak in the Julian Alps.
Day 3: BOHINJ – TOLMIN (*** hotel).
(56km; or 35km if taking train to Podbrdo).
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 save some climbing 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.
Day 4: TOLMIN – ŠMARTNO / DOBROVO
(34km / 46km without lift up). *** hotel.
You will be car-transferred to Kolovrat Saddle - a million dollar viewpoint high above the Soča Valley. Once the site of heavy fighting during WW1, it's now a very interesting open-air museum. Reaching the first village, Mrs. Josephine, who lives all alone in an intact old-fashioned pub, will be overjoyed to welcome you in her shady garden. Cycling the ridges above two valleys, you'll reach your day's destination - Šmartno v Goriških Brdih, 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.
Day 5: ŠMARTNO / DOBROVO - KODRETI / ŠTANJEL
(53km). *** guesthouse.
After leaving the Brda wine region you'll reach "Southern Berlin". The Iron Curtain once split the town of Gorizia between Italy and Yugoslavia. At the railway station that stands right on the border, one can visit the very interesting Curtain museum. Cycling further along the border you'll come to the smallest military museum in the world - a historic Yugoslav border outpost. Overlooking the border is the ancient Kostanjevica Monastery, where the last French King is buried. Turning inland, you'll soon reach the vineyards of the Vipava region. Your host Vid will be happy to provide you with samples of the best wines in the beautiful rural setting of his small karst village.
Day 6: KODRETI / ŠTANJEL - DIVAČA
(48km). *** hotel.
Today you'll cycle to the stud farm of Lipica, where you can visit beautiful thoroughbred Lipizzaner horses, whose gentle, graceful dancing have wowed many a visitor. Take a tour in a traditional carriage, and visit them close up in their stables. You can also visit the unusual but nonetheless interesting “War Museum” set inside a lovely Venetian tower - see what a collector's passion can really mean. The small town hotels belongs to a butcher's family, but the young master is a wine expert too and he'll present you the best red wines of karst region.
Day 7: DIVAČA – TRIESTE / MUGGIA
(46km). *** marina resort hotel.
In the morning you can visit the fascinating UNESCO Škocjan Caves. Then follows one last descent with magnificent views of the Adriatic Sea before reaching the southern outskirts of Trieste - the old seaside village of Muggia, where your cycling day and tour end. Park your bikes and take the city shuttle boat to the worldly port city of Trieste and visit Miramare Castle, the cathedral or Piazza Unita central square where you can relax with a cappuccino or a gelato with Trieste Bay in full view.
Day 8: DEPARTURE FROM TRIESTE / MUGGIA. After breakfast your tour ends. However, you can prolong your stay and continue cycling by taking our Croatia Istrian Coastal Tour down to Pula.
8 day Slovenia cycling holiday is available any day between 20.3. to 20.10.2021
Price per person:
Low season: March 20 to May 8 and September 9 to October 12, 2021: 670 EUR per person based on two people sharing
High season: May 9 to September 8, 2021: 715 EUR per person based on two persons sharing