Fast and condensed Slovenian highlights. This 8 day cycling tour of Slovenia visits the main Slovene attractions and many natural points of interest.
For lovers of the fast lane, this “Cross Country Tour” whisks you through the majority of Slovenia’s greatest historical places, along with the many natural wonders this diverse little country has to offer from the majestic peaks of the Julian Alps to the hot, sunny seaside towns of the Adriatic coast. It is suitable for cyclists with plenty of time and a very good fitness level.
8 day cycling tour of Slovenia – highlights:
• swim in crystal clear alpine lakes
• take a break in one of Europe’s loveliest capitals
• visit fascinating caves carved deep into limestone hills
• pop into Italy and chill out with a cappuccino
• sip the sumptuous red wine of the Karst region
• stay in small independent hotels, great food
8 day cycling tour of Slovenia: Itinerary
Day 1: BLED
Individual arrival to Bled. Your chosen hotel is in in a quiet part of the town, above the lake. Bled is known for it’s beautiful setting, lake, castle on the rock above the lake and a pilgrimage church on the island. (4* hotel).
Day 2: BLED – BOHINJSKA BISTRICA (43 km).
You will cycle through the many small alpine villages scattered across the valley such as 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. (4* hotel)
Day 3: BOHINJSKA BISTRICA – ŠKOFJA LOKA – LJUBLJANA (78 km).
Leaving Bohinj you cycle to the lovely village of Nemski Rovt, where you can admire the picture-perfect backdrop. Then it’s up 750 m/2400 ft to the Jelovica high plateau. 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. Once settled in to your Ljubljana hotel, you can visit the historic old town 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! (4* hotel)
Day 4: LJUBLJANA – VRHNIKA – POSTOJNA (70 km (+18 km optional side trip to Iski Vintgar valley)).
A short walk into Iski Vintgar gorge nature reserve, remains of the world highest railway viaduct in Borovnica, Technical Museum of republic of Slovenia – there’s a great hunting collection and an exhibition on Tito’s’ cars (3* hotel). You will experience the real Slovenian countryside as you cycle past the beautiful Slivnica Mountain and the magical disappearing 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. (4* hotel)
Day 5: POSTOJNA – ŠTANJEL / KODRETI (34 km).
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. (3* Guest house).
Day 6 : ŠTANJEL – LIPICA – DIVAČA (42 KM).
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. 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 (3* hotel).
Day 7: DIVAČA – ANKARAN – PIRAN (75 km)
If you skipped 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 slight 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. Cycling along the coast there is time to stop for a gelato in old town of Muggia or relax on one of many beaches. The day-trip ends in a climatic resort of Ankaran. An optional side trip to the lively port of Trieste is possible. Once it was an important port with its worldly flair and atmosphere. All world cultures have once left a mark in this city. Visit the castle, cathedral and Piazza Unita central. Cycling along the coastal path 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 (3* hotel).
Day 8: DEPARTURE from Piran. End of 8 day cycling tour of Slovenia after breakfast.
Price per person based on two people sharing:
Low season: March 20 to May 8 and September 9 to October 12, 2021: 670 EUR
High season: May 9 to September 8, 2021: 715 EUR