|Type of tour:||Self-guided|
|Distance:||28 Miles/day average|
|Dates:||Daily: Apr 12- Oct 18, 2014|
|Start city:||Bled, Slovenia|
|End city:||Piran, Slovenia|
This "cross country tour," focuses on visiting Slovenia's main attractions and countless natural points of interest.
Beginning in Bled, known for its beautiful setting and island church, you cycle towards the Bohinj valley high in the Juliun Alps. From there you will cycle to such sites as the Triglav National Park, the Pokljuka high plateau, the capital city of Ljubljana, vineyards in the Karst region and Lipizzaner horses.
Along the way you will pass through vineyards, beautiful countryside and small villages as you make your way to the coast. Such a combination reveals the best that Slovenia has to offer!
Day 1: Arrival to Bled
You will arrive in Bled, a world famous town on the shore of a beautiful glacial lake. Defined by its unique island church sitting proudly in the middle of this immense body of water, surrounded by towering alpine mountains, and the castle perched high on a cliff standing guard over the town, Bled is one of Slovenia’s most popular tourist attractions.
Overnight in Bled.
Day 2: Bled - Ribcev Laz (Bohinj) (12 miles/19 km or 20 miles/32 km with a side trip)
An easy descent into the valley. You will be taken by bus up to the high plateau at Pokljuka. From here you can marvel at the stunning views before gliding down into the neighboring Bohinj Valley, the jewel in the heart of the Triglav National Park. 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. 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.
Overnight in Ribcev Laz (Bohinj).
Day 3: Ribcev Laz (Bohinj) – Skofja Loka (33 miles/53 km)
Leaving Bohinj you cycle to the lovely village of Bohinjska Bistrica, where you can admire the picture-perfect backdrop. 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 15 EUR per person; payable upon arrival and needs to be reserved at least 2 days ahead). 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. If you are not too tired you can cycle up to the castle on the hill overlooking town. Spend the rest of the evening wandering through the old streets of this historic medieval town.
Overnight in Skofja Loka.
Day 4: Skofja Loka - Ljubljana (19 miles/31 km)
Flat lands, easy biking trip. Once settled in to your hotel, you will 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!
Overnight in Ljubljana.
Day 5: Ljubljana - Vrhnika (23 miles/37 km or 36 miles/58 km with a side trip)
A nice easy first day across the historic and richly diverse plains surrounding the capital. As the morning sun begins to rise high in the sky, you will be 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 that is now home to some of Europe’s rarest forms of bird, plant and insect life.
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. Just before arriving in Vrhnika, you can visit the Technical Museum of the Republic of Slovenia housed in Bistra Castle, where you’ll find a great hunting collection and an interesting exhibition of Tito’s cars.
Overnight in Vrhnika.
Day 6: Vrhnika - Postojna (24 miles/38 km or 27 miles/44 km with a side trip)
Hilly day, side roads. A slightly more demanding day over gentle hills, forest roads and a typical Carst polje (field). 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 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.
Overnight in Postojna.
Day 7: Postojna - Stanjel (28 miles/45 km)
Hilly, one long descend afterward. 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 11⁄2 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. 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.
Overnight in Stanjel.
Day 8: Stanjel - Lipica- Divaca (30 miles/48 km)
Rolling terrain with flat sections. 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.
Overnight in Divaca.
Day 9: Divaca - Ankaran (28 miles/45 km)
Initially rollign terrain, then a long downhill. 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 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 toen of Muggia or relax on one of many beaches. The daytrip ends in a climatic resort of Ankaran.
Overnight in Ankaran.
Day 10: Ankaran - Piran (19 miles/30 km)
Easy trip. 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.
Overnight in Piran.
Day 11: Departure from Piran
Daily: Apr 12- Oct 18, 2014
Please note on Day 3 there is a lift to the Jelovica high plateau that is not included in the tour. It costs 15 EUR per person and is payable upon arrival to the lift. It does need to be reserved at least 2 days ahead. If you would like to have us reserve that through the tour company in advance, let us know on your booking form in the Comments section.
These are sample hotels and may vary based on availability.
Hotel Triglav, Bled
Hotel Kristal, Ribcev Laz
Minihotel, Skofja Loka
M Hotel, Ljubljana
Hotel Mantova, Vrhnika
Hotel Sport, Postojna
Penzion Grca, Stanjel
Hotel Malovec, Divaea
Interested in visiting other areas before or after your tour? Visit our hotels page to learn more about lodging options.
Bikes available to be rented (in advance at the time of booking) include:
All above bike rentals will be equipped with the following at no additional charge:
The bikes will have FLAT pedals. If you want to bring your own pedals, please bring your own shoes and also the necessary equipment to change the pedals.
Helmets are available to be rented for 18 Euros. We recommend, for safety and hygiene reasons, that you bring your own helmet.
This tour takes you from the Julian Alps to Ljubljana, the capital of Slovenia. This portion is primarily downhill towards Bohinj with one big hill (a lift is available). From there, the route is downhill all the way to Postojna, where there is a slight uphill climb. From Stanjel you continue cycling downhill to the coast.
Approximately 70% of the tour is on quiet roads, 25% on roads shared with traffic, 3% on dirt or gravel roads and 2% on dedicated bike paths. The maximum daily elevation gain on the tour is 2,200 feet (700 m), while the maximum percentage of any grade for any climb is 7%.
Nearest airport: Ljublijana, Slovenia
Nearest train station: Beld, Slovenia has two main stations, Lesce-Bled station (located 2 miles/4 km south of Bled) and Bled Jezero.
It is best to take a taxi to Bled from Ljublijana airport. If you wish to use public transportation, you will first need to travel to Ljublijana or Kranj and take a local bus to Bled. Lublijana airport has no train connection to the Bled.
Nearest airport: Trieste, Italy; Pula, Croatia; or Ljubljana, Slovenia
Nearest train station: Koper, Slovenia (there is no train service to Piran)
Available transfers (prices are per person, 1-way, minimum of 2):
Tips for getting to and from your tour >
Weatherspark.com offers information on average weather conditions at most destinations throughout the globe. Type a destination in the search box, and select "Averages," and you'll find a range of information such as average high and low temperatures, precipitation, cloudy days, humidity and wind speed/direction. Of course, if your tour is coming up in the next week, you can also select "Forecast" to get the most current information on upcoming conditions.
Slovenia's location in Eastern Europe allows you to travel from the Alps to the Mediterranean without crossing any borders. Natural wonders include Lake Bled, Mount Triglav, and Postojna Cave. A tour between Slovenia's many castles can be a great way to navigate the country, or you can plan to stop at the many white wine vineyards. Whether you want to sunbath or hike, bird watch or listen to a philharmonic, tiny Slovenia carries a sizable impact for visitors.
Helia Travel Agency is the leading bicycle and multisport adventure tour operator in Slovenia. Based in Lake Bled, a famous resort in the northwest part of the country, they have been offering adventure travel in our homeland since 2002, expanding their cycling and hiking tours in Slovenia every year.
Helia deal with clients on personal level. Their good selection of tours enables clients to discover Slovenia and its specialities. They make sure they are alwasy prepared and available for clients if anything is needed through the entire process from the pre-tour preparations to the tour itself. As Helia says: "Discover our beautiful country from bike or hike: welcome to Slovenia!"
Cancellations must always be made in writing and are applicable only on the day received by Helia Travel.
The following cancellation terms apply:
- Up to 56 days prior to holiday start date = 20% of total holiday cost
- 35-55 days prior to holiday start date = 40% of total holiday cost
- 28-35 days prior to holiday start date = 70% of total holiday cost
- 1-27 days prior to holiday start date = 90% of total holiday cost
Cancellation costs are calculated in percentage of final payment amount on invoice issued. No cancellation fee will be applied to bike hire.
Helia covers damage on rented bikes (normal wear and tear) up to value of 10 EUR per bike. Bikes are not insured against theft. Clients are invited to take out travel insurance covering such events. As of 1.1.2011 in Slovenia helmets are obliged for cyclist. From Januray 1, 2012 this law will strictly be enforced by Slovene police. Clients may hire helmets from Helia or bring their own.