This Julian Alps biking trip Slovenia-Italy is from fairy-tale Lake Bled through alpine scenery to Venice lagoon. 1 week Bled to Venice cycle tour from €760
What better place to start than the fairy-tale world of Lake Bled, its island church and clifftop castle? From here you’ll cycle onward through the majestic Julian Alps, over a high pass and down into the western valleys. The alpine meadows soon give way to terraced hills dotted with vineyards that lead you all the way into Italy and on towards the coast, where sleepy promenades and beautiful Venetian architecture await you. This is a Julian Alps biking trip Slovenia-Italy for people who want the perfect mix of amazing landscapes, great food and wine, and historic sights.
Bled to Venice cycle tour highlights:
• Lake Bled’s beautiful island church
• cool alpine lakes and stunning mountains
• great food & wine in historic villages
• sun-soaked beaches and promenades
Itinerary for Julian Alps biking trip Slovenia-Italy
Day 1: ARRIVAL at Lake Bled. (**** hotel).
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). (***** spa 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 (*** guesthouse).
(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). *** small family hotel with a view.
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 - GRADO
(67km). *** family hotel.
After leaving the Brda wine region you'll reach "Southern Berlin". The town of Gorizia was once the dividing point between Italy and Yugoslavia. While here, visit the very interesting Curtain museum. Further along the border you'll come to the smallest military museum in the world, a historic Yugoslav border outpost, and the ancient Kostanjevica Monastery, burial place of the last French King. Turning south and entering Italy, you'll soon reach the Adriatic sea. You will spend the afternoon in the Friuli Venezia Giulia region, passing by rivers, canals and ancient Roman towns. Your destination will be Aquileia, with its Roman excavations, or Grado, a lively historic resort town on a lagoon island.
Day 6: GRADO - PORTOGRUARO
(87km or 59km if shortened by train ride). *** family hotel.
This morning you will head back inland a bit, leaving the sea behind you. You will pass through a multitude of “Valli da pesca” (stretches of lagoon enclosed by earthen dikes where extensive fish farming is practiced) and “casoni” (constructions used by fishermen in the past during the fishing season). Your destination is the town of Portogruaro, one of the main centres in the period of the “Serenissima Republic of Venice”, which is still impressive even today with its glorious “Palazzi” or “palaces”.
Day 7: PORTOGRUARO – LIDO DI JESOLO
(67km). *** resort hotel.
From Portogruaro you can look forward to a wonderful easy cycle westwards along the beautiful beaches of the Adriatic Coast. There are numerous opportunities to relax and swim so be sure to pack your swim gear. You will stay overnight in one of the two towns along this famous coastline, depending on availability. Jesolo is a gateway to Venice, from here you can easily travel onward to the airport or old city on the lagoon.
Day 8: DEPARTURE FROM LIDO DI JESOLO. After breakfast, your Bled to Venice cycle tour ends. However, you can prolong your stay or continue your trip by visiting ancient Serrenissima - Venice.
Price of Julian Alps biking trip Slovenia-Italy is per person in a double room sharing:
Low season: March 20 to May 8 and September 18 to October 12, 2021: 760 EUR
High season: May 9 to September 17, 2021: 825 EUR
No departures in August