Day 1: Arrival to Ljubljana
After arriving in Ljubljana, Slovenia's capital, make sure to visit the old town center, lovely “fin de siecle” mansions and mighty fortress above the city. Relax with a drink on the bank of Ljubljanica river or take an evening walk, enjoying the lights and sounds of the city.
Overnight in Ljubljana
Day 2: Ljubljana – Vrhnika (24 miles/39 km or 36 miles/57 km with side trip to Iski Vintgar Valley)
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 3: Vrhnika – Postojna (20 miles/32 km or 27 miles/44 km with side trip to nature reserve Rakov Skocjan)
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 4: Postojna – Štanjel/Kodreti (26 miles/42 km or 30 miles/48 km with side trip to Predjama Castle)
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 1.5-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 Štanjel
Day 5: Štanjel – Lipica – Divača (30 miles/48 km)
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 6: Divača – Muggia (23 miles/38 km)
If you skipped 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 town of Muggia or relax on one of many beaches.
Overnight in Muggia
Day 7: Muggia – Piran (23 miles/37 km or 30 miles/48 km with side trip to salt pans Seca)
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.
Overnight in Piran
Day 8: Departure
End of tour after breakfast.