- Enjoy alpine views in Triglav National Park
- Cycle along the emerald green Soča River
- Cross into Italy for gelato and pizza
- Sample local wines in Goriška Brda
- Explore the charming seaside town of Piran
|Day 1||Bike to the Meeting Point of Three Countries||Kranjska Gora|
|Day 2||Vršič Mountain Pass to Soča Valley||Bovec|
|Day 3||Cycle from Bovec to Kobarid||Kobarid|
|Day 4||Cycle from Kobarid to Tolmin||Tolmin|
|Day 5||Cycle from Mount Matajur to Šmartno via Friuli||Šmartno|
|Day 6||Cycle from Šmartno to Lokev, Stopping in Lipica||Lokev|
|Day 7||Cycle from Lokev to Piran||Piran|
Day 1: Bike to the Meeting Point of Three Countries
The tour begins with your arrival in the Alpine town of Arnoldstein situated at Austria’s southern border between the Carnic Alps and the Karavanke mountain range. Meeting in Arnoldstein is followed by a warm-up uphill ride to Mt. Peč and a thrilling descent to Kranjska Gora. The highlight is the triple border (Dreiländereck), where the territories of Slovenia, Italy, and Austria come together in a single point. The peak offers a spectacular view over the Julian Alps, the Gailtal Alps, the Gurktal Alps, the High and Low Tauern, and the western part of the Karavanke mountains. Various detours are taken to reach the peaks offering majestic views and tones of biking pleasures are guaranteed.
Cycling distance: 15.5 miles (25 km)
Elevation: 3,400 feet (1,040 m)
Day 2: Cross the Vršič Mountain Pass to Soča Valley
Follow the road from Kranjska Gora past the gorgeous Lake Jasna and through the Krnica glacial valley to the Vršič Pass. Vršič is the highest road pass in the eastern Julian Alps and provides one of the most scenic ascents in this part of Europe. You'll stay on gravel trails for most of the time, avoiding the main road.
The descent from Vršič Pass leads to the remote Trenta Valley in the heart of Triglav National Park. This breathtaking valley is also the source of the emerald-colored Soča River, considered by many people to be one of the most beautiful rivers in Europe. You'll ride along the river to the village of Bovec, which is also the center of outdoor sporting activities in the area. Opt for a zip-lining session, paddle down the white water, or take the rest of the day to explore your idyllic surroundings on your own.
Cycling distance: 30.5 miles (49 km)
Elevation: 3,600 feet (1,100 m)
Day 3: Cycle from Bovec to Kobarid
Start your day gazing at the tallest waterfall in Slovenia, the majestic Boka, before ascending to the village of Žaga. You'll follow the concrete road up to the Slovenia-Italy where you'll pick up a former mule-track road to reach the top of Mount Stol. Take a break and enjoy the incredible views of the Soča Valley below. On a clear day, you can even see the Adriatic in the distance.
Then continue along a limestone ridge where you'll be treated to unforgettable vistas at every glance, before descending along a steep trail into the forest. You'll come to the banks of the Soča River in the village of Trnovo, and from here just a short distance along a winding road will bring you to the town of Kobarid. Once the setting for a major Italian front in World War I (documented by Ernest Hemingway in his novel A Farewell to Arms), Kobarid is now a charming hub for visitors to this part of Slovenia.
Cycling distance: 25 miles (40.5 km)
Elevation: 3,940 feet (1,200 m)
Day 4: Cycle from Kobarid to Tolmin
Get ready to tackle the most challenging stretch of the trip today. You'll make a long, steep ascent from Kobarid to the village of Krn before heading up to the Pretovč mountain pasture. But after all this hard work, you'll be rewarded with an exhilarating descent towards the Tolminka River Valley, passing by the elegant Memorial Church of the Holy Spirit, built as a monument to fallen soldiers in WWI.
The tour then comes to the lowest elevation in Triglav National Park—the Tolmin Gorge. If you're up to it, take a break to explore this enchanting natural wonder before riding on to the town of Tolmin.
Cycling distance: 23 miles (37 km)
Elevation: 4,560 feet (1,390 m)
Day 5: Cycle from Mount Matajur to Šmartno via Friuli
Today you'll pedal to the top of Mount Matajur at the Slovenian border with Italy. Take in views of the Soča Valley, the Friulian plains, and surrounding peaks before making the stunning two-hour descent. You'll cross into Italy pedaling through the charming woods to the picturesque town of Cividale del Friuli where you can take a rest and reward the morning's efforts with a pizza or gelato.
Leaving the Alps behind, enjoy an easy ride through the vineyards of Collio before crossing the border back into Slovenia to the village of Šmartno. This Tuscany-like part of Slovenia, known as Goriška Brda, has gently rolling hills covered in orchards and vineyards dotted with small, historic villages. It's one of the country's main wine regions, and you'll get a chance to sample some locally-produced wine.
Cycling distance: 50 miles (80 km)
Elevation: 7,900 feet (2,410 m)
Day 6: Cycle from Šmartno to Lokev, Stopping in Lipica
Today will mark your longest day of the tour, as you explore Slovenia's famous karst landscape. This limestone-based phenomenon features caves, ridges, towers, and sinkholes as a result of years of erosion. Slovenia has over 8,000 recorded caves and new ones are discovered each year.
The fertile karst soil also makes for excellent wine-growing with a unique flavor, and today you'll bike along the Karst Wine Route, which boasts over 100 wine cellars. You'll pedal past endless vineyards and ancient hilltop villages with traditional stone houses as you work your way toward Lipica. Home to the famous white Lipizzaner horses, the original stud farm has been located in Lipica since 1580, and the noble animals are a source of great pride to the region. You might like to join a tour to learn about the history of the breed and its place in Slovenian culture.
End your ride in Lokev, a charming village known for its traditional fare made from locally sourced ingredients, and take the rest of the afternoon to explore your surroundings. A stone's throw away is the magnificent UNESCO-listed Škocjan Caves. Here you can go underground and take a walk along the boardwalks that lead you through the specialized ecosystem of one of the world's largest known subterranean caverns. Alternatively, indulge the senses and relax in one of the region's wineries to sample the local Teran varietals.
Cycling distance: 54.5 miles (87.5 km)
Elevation: 5,050 feet (1,540 m)
Day 7: Cycle from Lokev to Piran
Get an early start this morning to complete your biking tour. The route will lead you up a hill to reach Socerb Castle that overlooks the sparkling Gulf of Trieste. This medieval castle was built on the ruins of an Illyrian fort and offers panoramic views of the area stretching out to the sea. You'll descend a steep set of stairs to the Osp Valley, which serves as a passageway through the karst region and to the romantic countryside of the Istrian Peninsula.
The trail then descends to sea level as you approach the coastal city of Koper, where you'll continue to pedal along the Rižana River, following the Parenzana Track, a now-defunct railway track, through some tunnels to reach the Venetian-style city of Piran. Set at the tip of a narrow peninsula, Piran's Old Town is one of the best-preserved in the Adriatic. Celebrate the end of your journey with a refreshing dip in the sea and a delicious seafood dinner.
The following morning you’ll be transferred back to the tour starting point in Arnoldstein after breakfast, bidding farewell to a memorable week of discovery.
Cycling distance: 41 miles (66 km)
Elevation: 4,690 feet (1,430 m)