Cycling Vistas and Wine, 8 days
– From the Alps to the Mediterranean Coast
– Departure: any day between 16th March and 12th October
– Between 27 and 46 km per day
– Onward tour: Istria Coastal Tour
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 / DOBROVO – KODRETI / ŠTANJEL (53km). *** family hotel. 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). *** family 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.
655 € per person in low season 16.3. – 26.4. and 21.9. – 12.10.2017
695 € per person in high season: 27.4. – 20.9.2017
No departure from 19th to 25th July and 2nd to 8th August due to public events.
Included in price: Accommodation in hotels 3* / 4* hotels and guesthouse in two bedded room, on basis of bed & breakfast, luggage transport between hotels (one piece per person), information package in English including road book and corresponding maps (one per booking), personal welcome meeting and bike handover upon arrival, backup service (hotline) during the trip, GPS data.
Supplements: Single room 110 EUR, seven dinners 125 EUR (three course meal), bike rental 80 EUR (Price includes delivery and pick up). Electric bike 200 EUR. Helmet rental 12 EUR per week. Three wine tastings: in Brda, Kodreti and Divača. Each time three samples of best local wines with cheese 30 EUR.
Extra night and transfers on request.