Self-Guided Cycling Tour
Best of Slovenia, 11 days
– The best of Slovenia: the Alps, the Karst region, Ljubljana, the Adriatic coast
– Between 25 and 50 km per day
– Onward trip: Istria Coastal Tour
– Departure: any day between 16th March and 12th October
Day 1: BLED Accommodation in 4* hotel. You arrive in Bled, a world famous town on the shore of a beautiful glacial lake. Bled is one of Slovenia’s most popular tourist attractions.
Day 2: BLED – BOHINJSKA BISTRICA (BOHINJ VALLEY) (27 km (+ 16.5 km side trip to waterfal Savica). An easy descent into the valley. Accommodation in 5* spa-hotel. You will be taken by bus up to the high plateau at Pokljuka. You will cycle through the many small alpine villages scattered across the valley until reaching the small settlement of Ribčev Laz (Fisherman’s Pass) lying next to the stunning Lake Bohinj. Bohinj is the largest and deepest lake in the national park, and is surrounded by shimmering 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. 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.
Day 3: BOHINJSKA BISTRICA (BOHINJ VALLEY) – ŠKOFJA LOKA (49 km). Accommodation 3* hotel. Leaving Bohinj you cycle to the lovely village of Bohinjska Bistrica. Then it’s up 750 m/2400 ft to the Jelovica high plateau (a “help out” lift to top of mountain pass is available for this part of the trip at extra cost of 20 EUR per person). 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. The next stop is at the historic iron-smelting town of Železniki. Finally you arrive in the wonderful town of Škofja Loka, one of the oldest towns in Slovenia.
Day 4: ŠKOFJA LOKA – LJUBLJANA (31 km). Flat area, an easy biking trip. Accommodation in 3* hotel. Once settled into your hotel, you will visit the historic old town of Ljubljana 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.
Day 5: LJUBLJANA – VRHNIKA (39 km (+18 km optional side trip to Iski Vintgar Valley)). A nice easy first day across the historic and richly diverse plains surrounding the capital. You will be cycling across an immense 160-square kilometer
marshy plain. Along the way you can take a short walk into the picturesque Iški Vintgar gorge nature reserve, carved deep into a stunning limestone dolomite plateau, and visit the remnants of the world’s highest railway viaduct in Borovnica. In hot summer months you can even freshen up in a typical Carst Lake of Podpec.
Day 6: VRHNIKA – POSTOJNA (32 km (+12 km optional side trip to nature reserve Rakov Skocjan)). Hilly day, side roads. A slightly more demanding day over gentle hills, forest roads and a typical Carst polje (field). Accommodation in 4* hotel. On this day the roads will take you away from the main tourist routes and off the beaten track. You will experience the real Slovenian countryside as you cycle past the beautiful Slivnica Mountain and the intermittent lake of Planina. You can stop for a picnic lunch in the Rakov Škocjan nature reserve.
Day 7: POSTOJNA – ŠTANJEL (42 km (+6 km optional side trip to Predjama Castle). Hilly, one long descend afterward. Accommodation in 3* guesthouse. 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 fairytale 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.
Day 8: ŠTANJEL – LIPICA – DIVAČA (48 km) Rolling terrain with flat sections. Accommodation in 3* hotel. First stop is perhaps at the botanical garden in Sežana, then it’s on to the stud farm of Lipica, where you can visit these beautiful thoroughbred Lipizaner horses. The history of the Lipica horses is closely linked to the Vienna riding school. 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.
Day 9: DIVAČA – MUGGIA (46 km (+19 km optional side trip to Trieste)). Initially rolling terrain, then a long downhill. Accommodation in 3* hotel. If you skiped 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 diversion into the Italian town of Trieste – once an important port with its worldly flair and wonderful atmosphere. Cycling along the coast there is time to stop for a gelato in old town of Muggia or relax on one of many beaches.
Day 10: MUGGIA – PIRAN (37 km (+11 km optional side trip to saltpans Seca)). Easy trip. Accommodation in 3* hotel. Cycling along the coastal road on new cycling path following former railway line. Enjoy great vistas of Slovene coast and Trieste Bay. A coffee stop in Izola is a must. The trip ends in the gorgeous Venetian little harbor village of Piran.
Day 11: DEPARTURE FROM PIRAN. End of trip after breakfast
SUMMARY: Fast / condensed “Best of Slovenia” tour, emphasis on main Slovene attractions and many natural points of interest. Suitable for very fit cyclists.
– 895 € per person in low season: 16.3. to 10.5. and 21.9. to 12.10. 2019
– 925 € per person in high season: 11.5. to 20.9.2019
Included in price: Hotel accommodation in 3* and 4*or country inns, double rooms with WC and shower, based on bed & breakfast, luggage transport between hotels (one piece per person), information package (in English) including text road book (one per booking party),backup service (hotline) during the trip, personal welcome meeting and bike fitting upon arrival, free parking in Bled at first hotel, GPS data.
Supplements: Single room 220 EUR, bike rental 130 EUR, electric bike 260 €, helmet rental 18 EUR, half board 180 EUR (eight dinners, no dinner possible in Škofja Loka and Muggia).
Extra nights and transfers on request.