DAY 1: Arrive in Ljubljana
The Medieval city of Ljubljana is the starting point for your cycling adventure. This pretty capital is easily explored on foot, and you’ll be astounded by the number of cyclists that ride through the narrow cobbled streets with their ‘fin de siècle’ mansions. Take time to explore the impressive castle which occupies a lofty position overlooking the city, and stroll through the old quarter, visiting the famed ‘Triple Bridge’.
Ljubljana is easily reached with flights into the capital’s airport offered by various low-cost airlines. Alternatively, Ljubljana is an easy hour’s drive from the border with Croatia, Austria or Italy.
A welcome meeting this evening (6pm) means you are ready and set for the coming days ahead.
DAY 2: Cycle to Vrhnika
You start your journey through Slovenia with a scenic ride across the Ljubljansko Barje, once a great lake but now an immense 160 sq-km marshy plain which is home to some of Europe’s rarest birds, plants and insects.
Stop for a walk to the picturesque Iski Vintgar gorge, carved deep into a stunning limestone plateau. Take a look at the remains of the world’s highest railway viaduct in Borovnica. If you have time, visit the Technical Museum at Bistra Caste, where you’ll find a collection of Tito’s cars.
Cycle: 37 or 58km (choice of short/long route), ascent 330m, descent 340m
DAY 3: Cycle to Postojna
A hearty breakfast will prepare you for a day’s cycling over rolling hills and forest roads. Today you’ll be exploring off the beaten track as you take in the beautiful Slivnica Mountain and the disappearing Lake Planina, riding through an area carved from limestone.
The Rakov Skocjan nature reserve provides an ideal spot for some lunch, as you marvel at the stunning gorge which has been carved out by the Rak River, creating magical sculptures, including two natural bridges.
Cycle: 38 or 44km, ascent 700m, descent 440m
DAY 4: Postojna Caves and Stanjel
Next comes a highlight of the trip—a visit to the underground Postojna cave formation, carved deep into the heart of the limestone landscape. An incredible 30 million visitors have explored this natural wonder, covering a total of 21km. An optional 1h30 tour transports you through a fairy-tale world of stalactites and stalagmites. You’ll wander through Europe’s highest cave hall and cross the bridge over the gorge—a breath-taking experience. Learn about the ’human fish’; a mysterious creature that lives in the cave’s dark pools.
A short detour to Predjama Castle is recommended; this 700-year old fortress is wedged into a crevasse half-way up a 123m cliff face. A daring knight, Erazem, took delight in pelting his enemies with fresh cherries, smuggled in through a hidden cave (much to the annoyance of his foes).
Cycle: 45km, ascent 750m, descent 1130m
Overnight: Kodreti near Stanjel (agriturismo/farm stay)
DAY 5: Cycle to Lipica and Divaca
After breakfast, cycle to the charming old-world town of Stanjel and the lovely botanical garden in Sezana, then ride on to the stud farm of Lipica, where you can visit the beautiful thoroughbred Lipizzaner horses whose pristine white coats and graceful dancing have earned them a worldwide reputation. Their history is closely linked to the Vienna riding school.
If you have the time, you can also visit the unusual but very interesting “War Museum” set in the village tower of Lokev.
Cycle: 48 km, ascent 800m, descent 530m
DAY 6: Cycle to Muggia
Begin your day with an optional visit to the Skocjan karst caves—less visited but just as fascinating as the Postojna caves; they are listed as a UNESCO natural monument. If you would like to experience the hustle and bustle of an Italian port town, you can take a diversion to Trieste—with its castle, cathedral and Piazza Unita central square.
Cycling along the coast you’ll come across the delightful old town of Muggia—an ideal spot to end the afternoon with a gelato and enjoy the sea views.
Cycle: 40km, ascent 520m, descent 920m
Stay overnight in a 400-year old Italian villa which has comfortable rooms and a nice restaurant and outdoor terrace.
DAY 7: Cycle to Piran
Today you’ll be cycling alongside the coastal road with incredible views of the Slovene coast and Trieste Bay. Enjoy easy cycling on a new path which follows a former railway line. As you come closer to Piran, pause for a coffee in the chic seaside resort of Portoroz.
Finally reach the beautiful little Venetian harbour village of Piran. You’ll want to spend time here exploring the little alleyways and streets, as well as relaxing in a seafront café or restaurant. The holiday atmosphere here is simply wonderful!
Cycle: 30km, ascent 380m, descent 420m
DAY 8: Onward Travel
Your trip ends after breakfast, although you might want to extend your stay in Piran or perhaps take the ferry (departs specific days only) to Venice.
Transfers are available (supplement payable) to Ljubljana, or you can take a bus then train back to the capital. Alternatively, why not take a ferry on to Venice; contact us to check timetable arrangements as these vary from day-to-day.