|Type of tour:||Self-guided|
|Distance:||27 Miles/day average|
|Dates:||Daily: Apr 12- Oct 18, 2014|
|Start city:||Bled, Slovenia|
|End city:||Bled, Slovenia|
This Pearls of Slovenia bike tour takes you to the most beautiful Slovene tourist attractions and many natural points of interest. Beginning at Lake Bled, featuring a beautiful island church, you cycle through the Bohinj Valley, the jewel in the heart of Triglav National Park.
You continue past waterfalls, mountains, plateaus and gorges. Scattered throughout the breathtaking landscape are the quaint and charming villages that serve as your nightly stops. Ribcev Laz, on the shores of Lake Bohinj, Skofja Loka, on the of oldest towns in Slovenia, and Preddvor, located in the shadows of the Kamnik-Savinja Alps are just a few of the villages you will visit.
While this tour cycles in the mountains of Slovenia, it is suitable for cyclists of average fitness and especially for photographers, who aim to capture wonderful mountian landscapes!
Day 1: Arrival to Lake 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.
One of our Helia representatives will meet you and take you for a welcome drink, deliver your information pack and ensure you have everything you need for your trip. For the rest of the day you can choose between a number of leisure activities in Bled. Visit the island church and marvel at the ornate golden altar and ring the church bell and make a wish, it might come true. Hike up to the castle for a spectacular view of this glacial valley. In the evening try the local speciality – the cream cake – in one of the great little tea shops beside the lake, or sample the many bars and restaurants.
Overnight in Bled.
Day 2: Bled- Ribcev Laz (12 miles/20 km + possible side trip of 6 miles/10 km)
You will be transferred up to the high plateau at Pokljuka (8 miles/12 km). From here you can marvel at the stunning views before gliding down into the neighbouring 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.
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.
Overnight in Ribcev Laz.
Day 3: Ribcev Laz - Skofja Loka (35 miles/57 km)
Mostly flat with a slow climb up to Jelovica High plateau, pass of 2,400 feet (750 m). Leaving Bohinj you cycle to the lovely village of Bohinjska Bistrica, where you can admire the picture-perfect backdrop. Then it’s up 2,400 feet (750 m) 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). 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. 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 - Preddvor (21 miles/33 km)
Cycling across flatlands. Leaving Škofja Loka you will head across the great Sora plain with the majestic peaks of the Kamnik-Savinja Alps as your backdrop. The route will take you past Kranj, Slovenia’s fourth largest city. Stop for lunch in Glavni Trg, the main square framed by its interesting gothic architecture.
As you continue northeast you’ll come across Brdo Castle, renowned as Slovenia’s most elegant presidential palace. The day ends in Preddvor where your hotel is set close to a small lake sitting in the shadow of the beautiful Kamnik-Savinja Alps. If the weather is warm enough, you can take a swim here in the pure, refreshing alpine water before having dinner.
Overnight in Preddvor.
Day 5: Preddvor - Begunje (26 miles/42 km)
Mostly flat with a few small hills. A ride through history. This route will take you along the edge of the Kamnik-Savinja Alps to Radovljica with its beautifully preserved old town and an interesting beekeeping museum. Your route will also take you through the fascinating little village of Kropa where you will find the iron forging museum dedicated to the history of the town’s blacksmith trade. You can even learn how to make your own nail, and ether add it to the current collection of over 100 types, or take it home with you. We suggest lunch in small restaurant near the castle in Radovljica.
Overnight in Begunje.
Day 6: Begunje - Kranjska Gora (27 miles/44 km)
An easy, very slow climb 1,000 ft (300 m) over 25 miles (40 km). This route will take you along the edge of the Kamnik-Savinja Alps to the historic village of Begunje. It was in this small settlement where one of Slovenia’s darkest moments took place. Visit the Museum of Hostages and learn how thousands of men, women and children were beaten and executed during the German occupation in WW2. On a lighter note, Begunje is also the hometown of the famous Slavko Avsenik / Oberkrainer band.
A short distance down the road are the ruins of Kamen Castle. As the sun illuminates the mountains your route will take you on cycling path that goes between the ranges of the Julian Alps and the Karawanke Mountains to Kranjska Gora, a popular alpine town famous for its ski resorts, but also a great base for many summer activities. Along the way you can take a short side trip to the lookout point for Spik Mountain, regarded as the one of Slovenia’s toughest peaks to climb. If you arrive in plenty of time you can take a ride up to the Planica Valley, location for the world famous ski jumping championships. It’s here that many of the longest jumps have been achieved, including the current world record.
Overnight in Kranjska Gora.
Day 7: Kranjska Gora - Bled (25 miles/40 km)
A nice downhill ride with one pass of 500 feet (150 m) For your final day you will head back into the heart of the Triglav National Park. The route takes you alongside the Sava Dolinka River as it cuts its way south to join the Sava Bohinjka, where it becomes the Sava River, the longest in Slovenia. From Mojstrana you will head into the Krma Valley. This lush green valley leads through a peaceful forest littered with WW2 monuments and traditional farmhouses, one of which has been adapted into a museum.
You can have lunch in the mountain hut at the foot of Triglav, the mightiest mountain in the Julian Alps, and enjoy the breathtaking scenery deep in the heart of this beautiful alpine landscape. From here you will head through the Radovna Valley between the Pokljuka and Mežakla plateaus. As you exit the valley, take a short detour to the stunning 1 mile (1.6 km) Vintgar Gorge, carved 492 feet (150 m) deep into the mountains by the Radovna River. The gorge was discovered by chance by the town mayor in 1891, who then set to work building walkways to open the gorge up to the public. We recommend you try the trout dinner at the entrance to the gorge before heading into Bled.
Overnight in Bled.
Day 8: Departure from Bled
Daily: Apr 12- Oct 18, 2014
These are sample hotels and may vary based on availability.
Day 1: Hotel Triglav Bled, Bled
Day 2: Hotel Kristal, Ribcev Laz
Day 3: Hotel Mini, Škofja Loka
Day 4: Penzion Zaplata, Preddvor
Day 7: Hotel Triglav Bled, Bled
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 12 Euros. We recommend, for safety and hygiene reasons, that you bring your own helmet.
This tour cycles through gently rolling and flat terrain. Approximately 55% of the tour is on quiet roads, 25% on roads shared with traffic, 10% on dedicated bicycle paths and 10% on dirt or gravel roads. The maximum daily elevation gain for this tour is 2,500 feet/750 m, but you will have a whole day to the do climb on a quiet road and a help-out life can be ordered. The maximum percentage of grade is 7%. The tour is appropriate for hybrid and mountain bikes, though it is not a mountain bike tour.
This tour is rated Moderate and is for cyclists in good physical condition.
Tour start and end
Nearest airport: Ljublijana, Slovenia
Nearest train station: Bled, 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.
Available transfers (prices per person/way, minimum of 2):
- Ljubljana Airport - Bled: €15
- Klagenfurt Airport- Bled: €65
Tips for getting to and from your tour >
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.