This eight-day mountain biking affair in Slovenia takes full advantage of the country’s enviable position in southern Central Europe embracing the majestic Julian Alps and shimmering Adriatic coast.
from $2,384 pp 8 Days/7 Nights $298/Day
LJUBLJANA | SORICA & VRŠIČ PASS | JULIAN ALPS | TRIGLAV NATIONAL PARK | PIRAN
3 countries, 2 wheels, 1 week: A european mountain biking odyssey.
This eight-day mountain biking affair in Slovenia takes full advantage of the country’s enviable position in southern Central Europe, bordering Austria, Croatia, Hungary and Italy, and embracing the majestic Julian Alps and shimmering Adriatic coast. Over the course of this week-long, cross-border mountain bike adventure, you'll ride from Slovenia into Italy and Austria, experiencing the subtle cultural differences in each of these neighboring European countries while viewing unbelievable mountain and coastal vistas. This is truly the ultimate mountain bike tour this side of the Atlantic.
Slovenia boasts both Alpine and Mediterranean climates, and is one of the most densely forested and water-rich countries in Europe. This unique combination creates the most stunningly beautiful landscapes—perfect for exploring by mountain bike! Each day on the trail will inspire your sense of adventure, and fuel your passion for exploring the world on two wheels, from the free-flowing singletrack of the Julian Alps to the verdant forests of the Triglav National Park and the crystal clear waters of Bohinj Lake. You’ll re-live the history of the region as you pedal along old mule tracks used in World War I, and scale Monte Maggiore in Italy, where some of the harshest fighting of the war took place.
TRIGLAV NATIONAL PARK
On the first day you will be met by a local guide at the airport. From there, you'll journey to the foot of the Julian Alps for lunch and getting set up on your bike. Warm up with a short ride in the Pokljuka region to stretch your travel-weary legs. Today’s ride is an easy introduction to Alpine riding, there will be a mix of gravel roads and singletracks that will see you sweeping through secluded meadows and vast forests. The end of day one will involve a long downhill that will deliver you to Bohinj Lake in Triglav National Park—your base camp for the next two nights. This small, family-run hotel on the shores of the lake, (complete with an indoor pool and sauna) is the perfect place to get introduced to Slovenian culture. Enjoy dinner in a local restaurant that specializes in traditional dishes made from seasonal, organic produce including: venison, asparagus, trout, porcini mushrooms, wild berries, and buckwheat dumplings.
Distance cycled: 20km
On your first full day in Slovenia will cut right to the chase. Embark on a truly breathtaking mountain bike ride on Vrh Bace Mountain. Start off with a lift before mounting your steed and finishing the remaining 1,300-foot ascent by pedal power alone. This trail consists of World War I mule tracks that have a fantastic gradient for mountain biking, with a relatively easy ascent. After taking in the view and having a picnic lunch, descend on a mixture of mule tracks, gravel tracks, and pristine Slovenian singletrack to the opposite side of Vrh Bace. After a refreshing beer at a local cafe, load the bikes onto the train to travel back through the mountain. Tuck in to a fantastic dinner of typical mountain village grub: local meats from the grill accompanied by vegetables and some of the local schnapps.
Distance cycled: 35km
Kranjska Gora and the Vrsic Pass
Day three marks a big ride. Start early to gain momentum up Vrsic Pass on a road that is considered one of the most beautiful mountain roads in the whole of Europe. You will be surrounded by Dolomite-style peaks reaching high above you, to a height of around 8,000 feet. The rock face of a mythical Pagan lady will be your guide for the day, etched into the sheer rock of Prisank Mountain. Slowly and with lots of stops for photos, you'll climb to the pass reaching a peak elevation of 5,300 feet. Just imagine the views! You will have lunch on the pass in a typical alpine mountain hut, before three incredible descents back down valley to Kranjska Gora.
Distance cycled: 40km
Kranjska Gora to Tromeja: 3 countries in 1 day
Kick off day four in the breathtaking town of Kranjska Gora, the Slovenian World Cup ski centre. You will pedal to the Austrian border where you will start the real climb towards Tromeja, which literary means ‘three borders’ or trig point between Slovenia, Italy and Austria. You can actually stand with one foot in Austria, one in Italy and your bike in Slovenia. The ride will take around two hours, but fear not, there is a fabulous mountain hut on the Austrian side where you can scarf down a well-earned coffee and lunch. From there you will ride along the Karavanke Mountain ridge to get the best views over the Julian Alps. Your friends won’t fail to be impressed when you tell them you had breakfast in Slovenia, lunch in Austria and coffee in Italy!
Distance cycled: 30km
Bovec to Kobarid Over The Mountains
Begin pedaling within the Italian border, with a climb up an old Italian road leading to high alpine pastures with amazing views over the whole of the Julian Alps, the Soca river below, and the mountain ridge of Kanin. On a clear day you can even see as far as the Dolomites. For lunch, you'll join some local shepherds at Planina Bosca for fresh local cheese specialities. After lunch, it's back on the bike for another 9-mile descent that will have you laughing, whooping, and grinning all the way to the valley floor and beyond. Once you're finally down, enjoy a refreshment on the banks of the emerald Soca River before taking one last trail that will lead to the adventure town of Kobarid and your exclusive country inn. Tonight you’ll be staying at Casa Franko and eating in their award-winning restaurant where they specialize in creating inventive dishes from seasonal local produce accompanied by locally-produced organic wines. Yum.
Distance cycled: 40km
Kobarid to Collio
After a hearty breakfast, continue to the small village of Livek. From here you'll bike to the summit and mountain hut of Monte Maggiore. Monte Maggiore is located on the border with Italy and was one of the places where the harshest fights during the WWI Isonzo front took place. From the top of Monte Maggiore, spin down a breathtaking 7-mile downhill on the Italian side of the mountain. You will get to see the change between the rough alpine environment and the lush green hills of the south and wine growing region. Your hotel this evening sits high above the vineyards, and you’ll get to soak your muscles in the stunning infinity pool with views across the valley. Stretch out your legs with a walk to a local restaurant that makes its own organic wine from local grapes to accompany a delicious menu of meat, cheeses, vegetables, and scrumptious desserts.
Distance cycled: 20km
Days 7, 8
Goriska Brda to Piran
Fuel up with a breakfast of local ham, cheese, and home made yogurt, then leave the wine growing region behind and head for the coast. You'll climb one final summit at 3,372 feet where you will catch a glimpse of the sea far below. Look back over the wine growing region and on to the mountains where you have been riding all week before embarking on your final and truly epic descent. It starts as a flow-trail feast, then the trail takes a turn away from the ridge onto the coastal facing slope and becomes a little more rocky, but still has great flow. At the foot of the mountain, weave through the village to finish the ride at a local craft brewery for lunch and a well-earned tasting. Relax in one final base camp with sweeping views over the coast, main square, and harbor, where you'll have dinner watching the sun set over the Adriatic Sea. With tired legs, filled-to-the-brim memory cards, and memories for a lifetime, you'll begin the journey home, already planning your return adventure.
Distance cycled: 40km
WHY GO ON THIS TRIP
- Visiting a vineyard and, of course, sampling their wines
- Relaxing in a pool overlooking a landscape of vines
- Tasting artisan cheeses made by local shepherds in the mountains
- Watching the sun set over the Adriatic
- Riding and eating in three countries in one day!
- Learning about the wartime history of this part of Europe
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