The Emerald Route (Ljubljana to Piran)
Self-Guided Cycling Holiday
Self-Guided | Individual | 8 days | 7 nights | £619 per person
Other durations available on request.
Full holiday prices by date are shown on the ‘Book Now’ tab.
Cycle Tour Highlights
• Trip starts at the famous “Triple Bridge” in Ljubljana
• Visit Postojna or Škocjan caves, see the famous Lipizzaner horses
• End in Piran at the harbour village with views of Trieste Bay.
• Stay on a vineyard, sip typical Teran wine
• Small individual hotels, great food
• Family friendly cycling holiday
Cycle Route: Tour from the capital to the coast
This classic Slovene bike trekking trip takes you through Slovenia’s most famous historical attractions and many natural points of interest. It can be done individually as a self guided trip or as a group tour with our guide. Suitable for cyclists of average fitness.
The approximate difficulty level for this tour
Day 1: ARRIVAL TO LJUBLJANA.
Main attractions: Slovene capital, old town center, and overly “fin de siecle” mansions. Mighty fortress above the city. We liked: relaxing with a drink on the bank of Ljubljanica river. Evening walk, enjoying lights and sounds of the city.
Accommodation in 3* hotel.
Day 2: 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 3: 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 4: POSTOJNA – ŠTANJEL / KODRETI (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 5: 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 6: DIVAČA – ANKARAN (46 km (+19 km optional side trip to Trieste)). Initially rolling terrain, then a long downhill.
Accommodation in 3* hotel.
If you skiped 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.
Cycling along the coast there is time to stop for a gelato in old town of Muggia or relax on one of many beaches. The daytrip ends in a climatic resort of Ankaran, back on Slovenia side of the border.
Day 7: ANKARAN – PIRAN (29 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 harbor village of Piran.
Day 8: DEPARTURE FROM PIRAN
End of trip after breakfast or extension with our Istrian Coastal Tour.
Where is the starting point of the holiday?
This cycling holiday starts in Ljubljana, Slovenia
By plane: Closest airport is Ljubljana (LJU). Several airlines serve it.
By train: Ljubljana is the main railway hub of Slovenia, well served from all sides. The standard first hotel is 2 km away, you’ll need to take a taxi.
By car: The city of Ljubljana is very centrally located in Slovenia and all our motorways go through it
At the end of the tour
By plane: Closest airport is Trieste, 50 km NW (served by Ryanair to many destinations).
By train: Koper railway station is 1 km away from hotel. Trains leave from here to Ljubljana. If you wish to travel onwards to Rijeka (Croatia) you need to change in Pivka, however, only few trains cross the border! There are no train connections to Italy, you’ll need to travel first to Trieste
By boat: There are ferries operation to Greece and seasonal sailings along Slovene coast to Croatia
By car: If your car is in Ljubljana, you can return there by bus or train.
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.
The Emerald Route (Ljubljana to Piran) 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 hotels 3* / 4* hotels and guesthouse in two bedded room, on basis of bed & breakfast.
– Luggage transport between hotels (one piece per person).
– Information package including road book and corresponding maps (one per booking).
– Wine tasting in Štanjel (three samples of wine).
– Backup service (hotline) during the trip.
– With group tour: English / German speaking tour guide who cycles with the group. He / she takes care of tour organization, bikes, luggage transfer, organizes visits and picnics.
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.
The Emerald Route (Ljubljana to Piran)
8 days, 7 nights
All prices are per person and include bike hire.
2017 Cycling Holiday Prices:
Prices are based on seasonal date bands
Season 1: 25.03. – 13.05.2017 | 16.09. – 14.10.2017
Season 2: 14.05. -15.09.2017
Category A: Prices per person including bike hire
Season 1: £619 | Book online here >>
Season 2: £629 | Book online here >>
Single Room Supplement: £109
Half Board Upgrade: £119
Electric Bike Upgrade: £99
Hotel Category Descriptions Accommodation in hotels /* in two bedded room with WC and shower, on a bed & breakfast basis.
Single supplements apply.
Any local tourist taxes are not included in the holiday price and are payable at the hotel.
Holiday Price: £619
Single Supplement: From £109