Best of Slovenia (Lake Bled to Piran) Self-Guided Cycling Holiday
Self-Guided | Individual | 11 days | 10 nights | £979 per person
Other durations available on request.
Full holiday prices by date are shown on the ‘Book Now’ tab.
Cycle Tour Highlights
• Swim in crystal clear mountain lakes
• Take a break at “The Triple Bridge” in Ljubljana
• Admire the majestic mountain ranges and stroll through colourful old towns.
• Visit Postojna or Škocjan caves, and the famous Lipizzaner horses
• Chill out with a cappuccino in the famous Piazza Unita, Trieste
• Stay on a vineyard, and sip the sumptuous Teran wine
• Small individual hotels, great food
Cycle Route: From the lakes of the North West to the Coast
This “Cross country tour” whisks you through the majority of Slovenia’s most famous historical places, along with the many natural wonders this diverse little country has to offer. It is suitable for cyclists with plenty of time and an average fitness level.
The approximate difficulty level for this tour
Day 1: BLED
Accommodation in 4* hotel.
You will arrive in Bled, a world famous town on the shore of a beautiful glacial lake. Defined by its unique island church sitting proudly in the middle of this immense body of water, surrounded by towering alpine mountains, and the castle perched high on a cliff standing guard over the town, Bled is one of Slovenia’s most popular tourist attractions.
Day 2: BLED – BOHINJSKA BISTRICA (BOHINJ VALLEY) (27 km (+ 16.5 km side trip to waterfal Savica).
An easy descent into the valley. Accommodation in 5* spa-hotel.
You will be taken by bus up to the high plateau at Pokljuka. From here you can marvel at the stunning views before gliding down into the neighboring Bohinj Valley, the jewel in the heart of the Triglav National Park.
You will cycle through the many small alpine villages scattered across the valley until reaching the small settlement of Ribčev Laz (Fisherman’s Pass) lying next to the stunning Lake Bohinj. Wedged into the corner of this dead end valley, Bohinj is the largest and deepest lake in the national park, and is surrounded by shimmering mountain peaks.
The view across this lake from the bridge at Ribčev Laz is unrivaled. Cycle around the lake to Savica Waterfall, source of the Sava Bohinjka River, and then take the cable car up to Vogel Mountain for a spectacular view into the Bohinj Valley and of Mount Triglav, the highest peak in the Julian Alps.
Explore the forests surrounding the lake before spending the evening in one of the cosy village pubs and trying the local home made honey brandy. Cycling downhill, at the foot of Mount Triglav. Triglav National Park, very peaceful area.
Day 3: BOHINJSKA BISTRICA (BOHINJ VALLEY) – ŠKOFJA LOKA (49 km).
Accommodation 3* hotel.
Leaving Bohinj you cycle to the lovely village of Bohinjska Bistrica, where you can admire the picture-perfect backdrop. Then it’s up 750 m/2400 ft to the Jelovica high plateau (a “help out” lift to top of mountain pass is available for this part of the trip at extra cost of 20 EUR per person).
From the top the route takes you through a deep forest which soon drops off into the Selška Dolina Valley leading to the Škofja Loka hills. The first stop is at the little alpine village of Sorica, set among low green hills. This is the birthplace of the famous Slovene painter, Ivan Grohar. As you ride into the village his statue will greet you.
Visit his gallery where you’ll find a limited collection of his work. The next stop is at the historic iron-smelting town of Železniki, where you will find the remains of an old blast furnace dating from 1826.
Stop in one of the village inns along the way and try the delicious trout. Finally you arrive in the wonderful town of Škofja Loka, one of the oldest towns in Slovenia. If you are not too tired you can cycle up to the castle on the hill overlooking town. Spend the rest of the evening wandering through the old streets of this historic medieval town.
Day 4: ŠKOFJA LOKA – LJUBLJANA (31 km). Flatlands, an easy biking trip.
Accommodation in 3* hotel.
Once settled into your hotel, you will visit the historic old town of Ljubljana and marvel at the ornate, old-world architecture and lovely “fin de siecle” mansions. Then it’s a short walk or ride up to the mighty Ljubljana Castle, perched high on a hill and standing guard over the old town and city center.
From its tower you get a commanding view of Ljubljana’s heart and soul. As the sun goes down you can choose between relaxing with a drink in the many outdoor bars/cafes beside the Ljubljanica River, or take an evening stroll, enjoying the lights and vibrant sounds of the city and its charismatic people. Or perhaps do both!
Day 5: LJUBLJANA – VRHNIKA (39 km (+18 km optional 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.
In hot summer months you can even freshen up in a typical Carst Lake of Podpec. 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.
Day 6: VRHNIKA – POSTOJNA (32 km (+12 km optional side trip to nature reserve Rakov Skocjan)
Hilly day, side roads. A slightly more demanding day over gentle hills, forest roads and a typical Carst polje (field).
Accommodation in 4* hotel. 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 intermittent 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.
Day 7: POSTOJNA – ŠTANJEL (42 km (+6 km optional side trip to Predjama Castle).
Hilly, one long descend afterward. Accommodation in 3* guesthouse. 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 1½ 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.
Day 8: ŠTANJEL – LIPICA – DIVAČA (48 km) Rolling terrain with flat sections.
Accommodation in 3* hotel.
First stop is perhaps at the 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.
Day 9: DIVAČA – MUGGIA (38 km) Initially rolling terrain, then a long downhill.
Accommodation in 4* hotel.
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 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.
The day trip ends in Muggia – South of Trieste. After days of cycling, it is time to enjoy a gelato in old center of town or relax on one of the beaches.
Day 10: MUGGIA – PIRAN (37 km (+11 km optional side trip to saltpans Seca) Easy trip.
Accommodation in 3* hotel.
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 harbour village of Piran.
Day 11: DEPARTURE FROM PIRAN.
End of trip after breakfast, or extend the trip with our Istrian Coastal Tour.
Where is the starting point of the holiday?
This cycling holiday starts at Lake Bled, Slovenia
Bled lies in the extreme northwestern part of Slovenia, at the foot of the Julian Alps and between the Sava Bohinjka and Sava Dolinka rivers. It is accessible in all seasons.
The Lesce-Bled railway station (4 km) lies on the Villach – Jesenice – Ljubljana – Belgrade – Istanbul – Athens railway line. It is approximately 45 km from the national borders with Austria (Wurzenpass – Korensko sedlo) and Italy (Fusine Laghi – Rateče).
The nearest international airport is Ljubljana Airport at Brnik only 36 km away. You can also arrive by train from Trieste Airport in Italy with a change in Goriza (Italy/Slovenia).
You can transfer using public transport or via Go Opti Private Transfers
For more information about Slovenia and the various attractions along the route you will cycle, please visit Slovenia Tourism
Flights are not included in the price of the holiday
There is a choice of airline options into Slovenia. We recommend using Skyscanner to find the best prices and routes.
Tour Route Map
The Best of Slovenia tour stays in middle tier hotels and good guesthouses carefully chosen for their location, hospitality and proximity to your tour route.
Your stay includes the daily transfer of luggage to the next hotel and permanent assistance in case of problems.
- Accommodation in 3* / 4*hotels and guesthouse in two bedded room with WC and shower, on basis of bed & breakfast.
– Luggage transport between hotels (one piece per person max 20 kgs). Every additional piece 10 EUR payable on spot.
– Information package including text road notes (in simple English) and corresponding maps (one per booking). Every additional set is 20 EUR.
– Backup service (hotline) during the trip.
Some are commercially available models and others are custom built for cycling in Slovenia. All are made following high industry standards and are made using the best parts.
Bike are maintained in the workshop on a regular basis. The fleet is constantly renewed, but no bike is more than 2 years old.
Classic trekking bikes are equipped with 21 gears, cycling meter, lock, one pannier, set of Allen keys and basic puncture repair set. Price includes delivery and pick up.
Best of Slovenia (Lake Bled to Piran), 11 days, 10 nights
All prices are per person and include bike hire.
2018 Cycling Holiday Prices:
Prices are based on seasonal date bands
Season 1: 17.03 – 11.05.2017 | 22.09 – 13.10.2018
Season 2: 12.05. – 21.09.2018
Category A: Prices per person including bike hire
Season 1: £979 | Book online here >>
Season 2: £999 | Book online here >>
Single Room Supplement: £209
Half Board Upgrade: £179
Electric Bike Upgrade: £129
Hotel Category Descriptions
Accommodation in hotels 3*/4*/5* and country inn in two-bedded room with WC and shower, on a bed & breakfast basis.
Any local tourist taxes are not included in the holiday price and are payable at the hotel.
Holiday Price: £979
Single Supplement: From £209