Castles in Slovenia to visit on a bike
Slovenia is not only an outdoor paradise, but it is also rich in cultural heritage and has plenty to offer to history buffs. Over 500 castles present the majestic remnants of the long, rich, and often turbulent history of the area. They were built during the medieval, Renaissance, and Baroque periods, mainly in times of Habsburg’s presence in Slovenia. While time got the better of many castles, dozens have been preserved and today serve different purposes. You can visit them to admire art and museum exhibitions, enjoy concerts or fine dining, experience a fairy-tale wedding, or even spend a night. And lucky for us cycling fans, most of the castles are easily accessible by bike.
Cycling Slovenia invites you to discover stories hidden within the thick castle walls and the beautiful views of the surrounding landscape. Let’s check out some of the most interesting castles found along the Slovenia cycle routes.
According to written sources, Bled Castle is the oldest castle in Slovenia. It was first mentioned already in 1011. Perched atop a steep cliff rising 130 meters above the charming Lake Bled, it is a symbol of Bled, as well as the entire country. Castle terraces offer spectacular views of the lake and its island, the Karavanke mountain range, and the Julian Alps. The vistas can also be enjoyed from one of the best restaurants in Slovenia, where you can taste local delicacies and excellent wines. Various Slovenia cycle routes give you the opportunity to discover Bled Castle.
Visit Goodplace cycling tours such as Bike Slovenia Green, Salzburg to Venice, and Around Triglav National Park take you to the Bled and its magical castle, to name just a few.
Cycling Slovenia often takes you close to and beyond the borders of neighboring countries. It is no different on our Trans Slovenia 01 cycling tour best seller, where Slovenia cycle routes take you from the Julian Alps to Brda on an epic ride along the border with Italy.
Crossing over from Nova Gorica to Italian Gorizia, you can visit the city’s ancient heart – the Gorizia Castle, which dates back to the 11th century and provides an amazing panoramic view over Gorizia and its surroundings. The castle was bombed during WW1 but then renovated in the 1930s. Today, it offers a rich cultural program.
The beautiful Dobrovo Castle is located in the heart of Goriška Brda, a region known for rolling hills covered in vineyards and great Slovenia cycle routes. Built at the beginning of the 17th century, it has since changed many owners but has been conserved in almost original shape. Today the castle houses a permanent exhibition of gothic frescoes and many historic paintings.
Our favorite parts of the castle are its yard and of course – the cellar. Under the stone arches, you can taste and buy some marvelous wines from the Brda region.
An amazing cycling tour which enables you a long and well-deserved break at this romantic castle is the Epic Slovenia Gravel tour.
The castle of Idrija is somewhat special. It was built in the 16th century for the needs of defense, mining administration, and storage of mercury from a local mine. Its picturesque Baroque frescoes are sure to impress. Nowadays, the castle is home to the Idrija Municipal Museum, telling the history of the mercury mine and the town of Idrija. Cycling Slovenia should include the visit of this pretty castle, whispering secrets about the life of miners and the snow-white lace their wives and daughters made for extra income.
The Trans Slovenia 02 mountain bike tour takes you on Slovenia cycle routes through green forests straight to Idrija.
Castles usually had the most beautiful vantage points, and the Ljubljana Castle is no exception. Standing on a hill above the city for about 900 years, it is Ljubljana’s main attraction. Its panoramic tower rises 400 meters above sea level, offering a view of a third of Slovenia. It houses a museum exhibition on Slovenian history, a puppet museum, different art exhibitions, a café, a nightclub, and two restaurants. It also serves as a venue for cultural events, dance evenings, and open-air film screenings.
The castle can be quickly reached by funicular railway, on foot or on a bike. Cycling Slovenia often starts or ends in Ljubljana, where you have the opportunity to explore this landmark.
Mighty Predjama Castle is the only completely preserved cave castle in Europe. It is perched halfway up a 123-meter cliff, where it has stood for more than 800 years. The castle also appears in the Guinness Book of Records as the largest cave castle in the world. Its uniqueness has not escaped the notice of the film industry. It even featured a film starring the action hero Jackie Chan.
One of its most famous residents of Predjama Castle was the rebel knight Erazem Predjamski, who also knew of a hidden tunnel in a karst cave behind the mighty castle, which led to the surface. Legend has it that his ghost now haunts the castle.
You can visit this unique castle on our Trans Slovenia 04 mountain bike tour.
When cycling Slovenia, it would be a real pity to miss these stunning historic sights. Fortunately, our Slovenia cycle routes take you straight to some of the most impressive ones, where you can feel truly royal.