Discover Slovenia's diverse natural beauty on this thrilling week-long cycling trip from the Julian Alps to wine country to the seaside. Take in unforgettable views on this challenging ride through stunning terrain. You'll climb up mountain passes and follow emerald green rivers in Triglav National Park, go wine tasting in the vineyards of Goriška Brda, and swim in the Adriatic Sea in historic Piran.

Highlights

  • 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

Brief Itinerary

Day Highlights Overnight
Day 1 Bike to the Meeting Point of Three Countries Kranjska Gora
Day 2 Vršič Mountain Pass to Soča Valley Bovec
Day 3 Bovec – Kobarid Kobarid
Day 4 Kobarid – Tolmin Tolmin
Day 5 Mt. Matajur – Friuli – Šmartno Goriška Brda
Day 6 Šmartno – Lipica Lokev
Day 7 Lipica to Piran Piran

Detailed Itinerary

Day 1: Bike To The Meeting Point of Three Countries

Mountain views on the way back to Kranjska Gora
Mountain views on the way back to Kranjska Gora

Your tour begins with your arrival in the pretty alpine resort village of Kranjska Gora at the foot of the Julian Alps. You can take part in an easy hike around the area, or if you're keen to start biking, join a short tour of the meeting point of Slovenia, Italy, and Austria.

Take the shuttle to the village of Arnoldstein in Austria and mount your bicycle for a pleasant uphill ride to Mt. Peč, where you'll find spectacular views over the Alps. Then start your breezy descent back to Kranjska Gora.

Cycling distance: 15.5 miles (25 km)
Elevation: 3,400 feet (1,040 m)

Day 2: Cross the Vršič Mountain Pass to Soča Valley

Crossing the Soča River
Crossing the Soča River

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 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 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: Bovec – Kobarid

Following the beautiful Soča river
Following the beautiful Soča river

Start your day gazing at the tallest waterfall in Slovenia, Boka, before ascending to the village of Žaga. You'll follow the concrete road up to the Slovenia-Italy border before switching to a former mule-track road to reach the top of Mt. Stol. Take a break and enjoy the incredible views of the Soča Valley below. You can even see the sea 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: Kobarid – Tolmin

Your descent will take you past the Memorial Church of the Holy Spirit
Your descent will take you past the Memorial Church of the Holy Spirit

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: Mt. Matajur – Friuli – Šmartno

Friuli
Enjoy a relaxed ride through the vineyards of Italy and Goriška Brda

Today you'll pedal to the top of Mt. 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, stopping to try gelato or pizza in the picturesque town of Cividale del Friuli.

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: Šmartno – Lipica

The traditional stone houses of the Slovenian karst region
The traditional stone houses of the Slovenian karst region

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, sinkholes and more 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. End your ride in the village of Lipica, which is home to the country's famous white Lipizzaner horses. Feel free to simply admire these noble creatures, or even go a horseback riding excursion. 

Cycling distance: 54.5 miles (87.5 km)
Elevation: 5,050 feet (1,540 m)

Day 7: Lipica – Piran

Sunset in Piran
Sunset in Piran

Your route will lead you up a hill to reach Socerb Castle overlooking the Gulf of Trieste. The medieval castle was built on the ruins of an Illyrian fort and offers panoramic views of the stretching out to the sea. You'll descend down a steep set of stairs to the Osp Valley, which serves as a passageway through the karst region to the Istrian Peninsula

The trail then descends to sea level as you approach the coastal city of Koper. Follow the deserted Parenzana 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.

Cycling distance: 41 miles (66 km)
Elevation: 4,690 feet (1,430 m)

Map

Map of Slovenia Cycling Adventure - 7 Days
Map of Slovenia Cycling Adventure - 7 Days