Experience the Julian Alps on this intermediate mountain bike tour. You'll swim in Slovenia's famous lakes and hike through Triglav National Park and the Soča Valley, biking the area's roads and trails throughout. Meet friendly locals, sample Slovenian cuisine, and jump into waterfalls: there are adventures waiting around every (mountain) bend.

Highlights

  • Cruise through the countryside to medieval Radovljica
  • Cross into Italy and visit the glacial lakes of Laghi di Fusine
  • Rock climb at Mount Vogel after riding to Lake Bohinj
  • Relax at the outdoor cafés lining the Ljubljanica River

Brief Itinerary

Day Highlights Overnight
Day 1 Arrive in Bled Bled
Day 2 Bike Tour of Lake Bled Bled
Day 3 Bike from Lake Bled to Kranjska Gora Kranjska Gora
Day 4 Bike from Kranjska Gora to Bovec Bovec
Day 5 Bike from Bovec to Tolmin Tolmin
Day 6 Bike from Tolmin to Bohinj Bohinj
Day 7 Bike from Bohinj to Bled, Return to Ljubljana Ljubljana
Day 8 Depart Ljubljana  

Detailed Itinerary

Day 1: Arrive in Bled

Explore Bled Castle for clifftop views

Welcome to Slovenia! Upon arrival to Ljubljana, you'll be picked up from the airport and transferred to Bled. Once settled, meet your private guide and begin your journey on the scenic shores of Lake Bled, where you will check over your rental equipment and prepare for the road ahead.

Spend the afternoon exploring the lakeside, where you can climb up to the castle and tour its smithy (blacksmith's workshop) and wine cellar. From here, rent a rowboat (or stand-up paddleboard) and make your way across the placid waters towards the fairytale island at the lake's center. 

Don't forget to sample the signature Bled cream cake along the way at the Park Hotel or Slascicarna Zima bakery, but leave room for your welcome dinner in town. 

Day 2: Bike Tour of Lake Bled

Venture through the Vintgar Gorge walkways

Warm up your muscles with some stretching after breakfast and then start today's bike ride through the pastures, forests, and villages near Bled. The craggy walkways and waterfalls of the popular Vintgar Gorge are just 2.5 miles from town, and there are opportunities for plenty of other pit stops.

In the afternoon, enjoy a beer in the medieval town of Radovljica, meet with local beekeepers, and/or climb to one of the many scenic viewpoints above Lake Bled. Return to town for dinner on your own in one of the many restaurants, either overlooking the lake or nestled in town. The traditional restaurant at Bled Castle is worth treating yourself to.

Biking distance: 18 miles

Day 3: Bike from Lake Bled to Kranjska Gora

Up close with the Upper Peričnik waterfall

After breakfast in Bled, cycle off to Triglav National Park, home to Slovenia's highest peak. You'll travel northwest on trails through the glacial valley of Vrata with mountains on all sides, leading up to the Peričnik waterfall. A 30-minute walk brings you up close for a unique view from behind the waterfall before you continue to the famous Kranjska Gora ski resort.

Depending on how energetic you're feeling once you arrive, you can continue to the source of the Sava River, visit the new ski jumping center in Planica, or ride across the border to the beautiful glacial lakes of Italy's Laghi di Fusine. Or stay in and explore the year-round charms of Kranjska Gora, where snowy ski slopes become hiking trails, an Alpine slide, and local fairytale-themed attractions. The cozy restaurants inside the local inns are your best dining bet, particularly Gostilna Pri Martinu.

Biking distance: 28 miles 

Day 4: Bike from Kranjska Gora to Bovec

Enjoy Vršič Pass views while you ride

Today's challenging ride takes you over the Vršič Mountain Pass (5,285 feet / 1,611 m). You'll climb up one of Slovenia's highest roads, built by the Russian prisoners during the First World War, as you wind up through the heart of the Julian Alps enjoying unforgettable views of the mountains and vertical limestone walls along the way.

You'll then descend down the spectacular valley of the Soča River, also known as the emerald river due to its dramatic brightly-colored water, making several stops to soak up the scenery. It's also home to the famous Soča trout, sought after by fishermen from all over the world. Sample one without having to catch it yourself at the Dobra Vila restaurant in Bovec, where you'll spend the night. 

Biking distance: 30 miles

Day 5: Bike from Bovec to Tolmin

See the colors of the Soča river

Make your way south along the banks of the Soča after breakfast. If you'd prefer a break from the bike, you can also raft your way down the river for a new and refreshing aquatic perspective.

Once you've emerged from the river, head out on a 30-minute walk toward the grotto of the Kozjak waterfall, followed by a visit to the historic town of Kobarid. As the home of the WWI Museum, Kobarid offers the opportunity to learn of the tragic events that occurred in this region during the war. Continue down the riverside to end the day with dinner in a cozy farmhouse near Tolmin.

Biking distance: 29 miles

Day 6: Bike from Tolmin to Bohinj

Dive into Lake Bohinj

A brief post-breakfast bike ride brings you to the train, where you'll hop onboard for the trip to Lake Bohinj. Spend a day relaxing on the shore where you can swim, canoe, or stand-up paddleboard.

If you'd like to stay out of the water, there are plenty of hidden corners all the way up Mount Vogel to explore. There are countless walks in the area for all ability levels; you choose one that suits you best or go vertical with rock climbing instead. Don't forget to pay a visit to the statue of the Zlatorog, or Golden Horn, a mythical stag believed to live in the mountains.  As the sun sets, explore the streets of the town of Ribčev Laz and be sure to try the local dairy products or stop at Fransko for a burger.

Biking distance: 10 miles

Day 7: Bike from Bohinj to Bled, Return to Ljubljana

Classic cottages on the Pokljuka Plateau

Take an early climb up the Pokljuka Plateau to visit its beautiful alpine pastures and sample fresh dairy products with a picnic in typical Slovenian style. Linger along the fields before you spend the afternoon cycling from the Triglav National Park back to Bled for a final dip in the lake.

After you dry off, make your way back to Ljubljana, where you can wander the winding cobblestone streets before your farewell dinner. Saunter down the main street along the banks of the Ljubljanica river, stopping in whatever small boutique, outdoor cafe, or wine bar terrace strikes your fancy as you breathe in the fresh air of one of the continent's greenest cities. A classic European castle, parks, and churches are all on offer as you wind your way around by foot or bicycle. 

You'll notice the legacy of modern architect Jože Plečnik around the city at worthwhile stops such as the National Library, Central Market, Triple Bridge, and Plečnik's own home turned museum, all under the watchful eyes of the city's many signature dragons. The Central Market is also a key site for sampling local cuisine at its many stalls.

Biking distance: 28 miles

Day 8: Depart Ljubljana

Spend a day walking along the Ljubljanica River

It's time to say goodbye to Slovenia! Savor one more local breakfast and make sure to visit any corners of the city you may have missed. When it's time to depart, you'll be transferred to the airport for your return flight home.

Map

Map of Ultimate Bike Tour in the Julian Alps - 8 Days
Map of Ultimate Bike Tour in the Julian Alps - 8 Days