Self-Guided Cycling Tours
Emerald Tour in the Karst region, 8 days
– From Ljubljana, through the Karst region to the Adriatic coast
– Suitable for cyclists with average fitness
– Between 30 and 60 km per day
– Between 16th March until 12th October
– Onward trip: Istria Coastal Trip
Day 1: ARRIVAL IN LJUBLJANA.
Slovene capital, with a lovely old town center. Accommodation in a 3* hotel.
Day 2: LJUBLJANA – VRHNIKA (39 km; + 18 km of a detour to Iški vintgar valley).
An easy first day across the historic and rich plains surrounding the capital. Accommodation in a 4* hotel.
You will start your day cycling across an immense 160-square kilometer marshy plain. The Ljubljansko Barje was once a great lake until it dried up 6000 years ago, leaving behind an incredibly diverse landscape. You will pass the picturesque Iški Vintgar Gorge nature reserve, carved deep into a stunning limestone dolomite plateau, and the highest railway viaduct in Borovnica. Just before arriving in Vrhnika, you can visit the Technical Museum at Bistra Castle, with a great hunting collection and an interesting exhibition of classic cars including Tito’s personal cars, one a Rolls Royce offered by Queen Elizabeth II.
Day 3: VRHNIKA – POSTOJNA (32 km+ 12 km to Rakov Skocjan nature reserve).
Hilly day, smaller side tracks. A slightly more demanding day over gentle hills, forest roads and a typical Karst field. Accommodation in a 4* hotel.
You will be cycling through the real Slovenian countryside past the beautiful Slivnica Mountain and the magical disappearing lake of Planina. You can stop for a picnic lunch in the Rakov Škocjan nature reserve, where the Rak River has carved out a stunning gorge.
Day 4: POSTOJNA – ŠTANJEL(42 km + 6 km of a detour to Predjama castle).
Easy routes, one long descent, a few hills. Accommodation in a 3* country guesthouse.
The Postojna cave 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 take a short detour to the impenetrable fortress of Predjama castle, wedged tightly into a crevasse halfway up a 123-meter cliff-face protruding dramatically into the surrounding basin.
Day 5: 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 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.
Day 6: DIVAČA – ANKARAN (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. Visit the castle, cathedral and Piazza Unita central square. Trieste was once part of Slovenia whilst under the rule of the Austrian monarchy. 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 7: ANKARAN – PIRAN (29 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 fashionable resort of Portorož is a must. The trip ends in the gorgeous Venetian little harbor village of Piran.
Day 8: Departure
An easy return trip is possible by train to Ljubljana. Additional nights may be booked in Koper.
– 640 € per person in low season: between 16th March until 10th May and between 21st September and 12th October
- 660 € per person in high season: between 11th May and 20th September
Included in the price: Hotel accommodation in 3*or 4* and country inn, twin bedded room with WC and shower, based on bed & breakfast, luggage transport between hotels (one piece per person), information package in English, personal welcome meeting and bike handover upon arrival, GPS data.
Supplements: Single room 130 EUR, half board 125 EUR (6 x 3 course diners in the hotels or nearby restaurant), bike rental 80 EUR (price includes delivery and pickup), helmet rental 12 EUR per week, electric bike 190 €, entrance fees. Extra nights and transfers on request.