Slovenia & Istria (Road Bike) Self-Guided Cycling Holiday
Self-Guided | Individual | 8 days | 7 nights | £839 per person
Other durations available on request.
Full holiday prices by date are shown on the ‘Book Now’ tab.
Cycle Tour Highlights
• Visit the picturesque Iski Vintgar gorge nature reserve
• Visit the War Museum in the village tower of Lokev
• Take a tour through the medieval village of Umag
• Enjoy the mighty Pula Arena
• Chill out with a cappuccino in the fashionable resort of Portoroz
The approximate difficulty level for this tour
Day 1: ARRIVAL TO LJUBLJANA.
Main attractions: Slovene capital, old town center, and lovely “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 – POSTOJNA (71 km).
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.
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 3: POSTOJNA – DIVAČA (70 km).
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.
Next stop is perhaps at the 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 4: DIVAČA – PIRAN (72 km)
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. Cycling along the coast there is time to stop for a gelato in old town of Muggia or relax on one of many beaches.
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 5: PIRAN – POREČ (68 KM)
Today you will cycle past the vast saltpans of Sečovlje. Get there early enough to catch the beautiful morning light. From here you head across the border to Croatia and into the heart of Istria, across a slightly hilly terrain to the village of Umag.
Once a Roman colony, within its town walls and across its gated drawbridge lies a town steeped in history. Take a tour through the medieval centre and visit the beautiful city tower. Once again you cycle across some low hills to Novigrad (Cittanova), another medieval walled town.
As well as its rich history, Novigrad is also renowned for its gastronomy, and is listed as one of Istria’s top gourmet destinations. Next stop is Poreč, where you can visit the UNESCO listed Euphrasian Basilica, a diverse mix of baroque, Gothic and Romanesque buildings.
Day 6: POREČ – ROVINJ (50 KM)
Today you head to Istria’s gem. Rovinj remains one of the last true Mediterranean fishing ports. The high bell tower of the Euphemia Church built on the highest spot of Rovinj is its most noticeable feature, standing proud and dominating the view no matter which direction you approach.
You can also cycle to Zlatni rt (also known as Golden Cape), a peninsula, where you’ll find a park in a nature reserve.
Day 7: ROVINJ – PULA (45 km)
The last day on your “expedition“ leads you to Pula on the peninsula’s southwest tip. Pula is the oldest town on Istria and its commercial and cultural centre.
Enjoy your last day of the tour amongst various antiquities, including the mighty Pula Arena, the only remaining Roman Amphitheatre to have four side towers with all three Roman architectural orders entirely preserved.
Day 8: Departure after breakfast.
Where is the starting point of the holiday?
This cycling holiday starts in Ljubljana, Slovenia
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.
The Slovenia & Istria (Road Bike) 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 transfers – One piece, max 20 kgs. Every additional item 10 EUR payable on spot
– Information package including text road notes (in simple English) and corresponding maps, one per booking. Every additional set 20 EUR.
– Personal welcome meeting, and bike handover upon arrival.
– 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.
Slovenia and Istria (Road Bike), 8 days, 7 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 – 11.05.2018 | 22.09 to 13.10.2018
Season 2: 12.05 – 21.09.2018
Arrival Saturdays, Sundays and Tuesday
Hotel Category Descriptions
Accommodation in 3* / 4* hotels and guesthouses in two bedded room, on a bed & breakfast basis.
Any local tourist taxes are not included in the holiday price and are payable at the hotel.
Holiday Price: From £839
Single Supplement: From £139