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Touring

BIKE SLOVENIA GREEN: Gourmet Route • cycling tour

Duration

11 days

Category

touring, e-bike, gravel

Fitness level

medium

Tour type

guided, self-guided, tailor-made

Technical difficulty

MEDIUM

Length & elevation

359-479 KM, 3190-6430M

The Bike Slovenia Green Gourmet Route (BSGGR) is the perfect itinerary for ever-evolving global travelers who demand everything: pleasure, adventure, and responsibility. Combining food, Slovenia Green-certified destinations, beautiful and varied landscapes, challenging and safe cycling, and “the world’s most sustainable country,” the BSGGR has something for everyone but never forgets its roots — the communities scattered across this magnificent Central European nation.

The route, which only visits green-certified destinations, crisscrosses nearly all of Slovenia, which was named the European Region of Gastronomy for 2021. The path provides all the information cyclists need to discover Slovenia along forest roads and quaint streets. The Bike Slovenia Green Gourmet Route makes food and wine a top priority and visits Michelin-starred restaurants (Michelin awarded Slovenia its first stars in 2020), great local bistros, farmers, and wineries.

The itinerary was created to give travelers all the information necessary to drink in this country’s rich wine history and learn more about its expansive food culture.

The Bike Slovenia Green Gourmet Route begins in Slovenia’s capital, Ljubljana, and utilizes the country’s convenient train system to the Soča Valley, framed by the Alps. Cyclists then pedal to the Vipava Valley, roll into the Karst Region, and then take another train east. After discovering the Sava River region, travelers go north to Ptuj, along the Drava River, to Maribor.

The BSGGR is a route that travels at human speed and makes nature, food, great wine, and green-certified destinations its main must-see activities. But, perhaps the most important aspect of the new itinerary is that it makes the people along the trail its most important asset.

Gallery

Itinerary

DAY 01

LJUBLJANA TO SOČA VALLEY

DistanceDistance: 23 km
DistanceElevation: 190 m

After reaching Ljubljana, take a deep breath and get ready for the adventure ahead.

From Slovenia’s main city, cyclists will start their adventure on a train, which will led them through the heart of the Alps to the Soča Valley, which has been recognized with a Slovenia Green Gold certification.

The Soča Valley was the first destination in Slovenia to earn the title of the European Destination of Excellence due to its sustainable development in tourism. Heading out of town, the cycling route, which begins with a short 23-kilometer premier stage.

The sweeping roads take riders first to Tolmin, one of the great adventure travel destinations in Europe and home to the nearby Tolmin Gorges, which form the southern entrance to the Triglav National Park.

Cyclists can sleep in Tolmin or continue on to sleep in Kobarid, which is one of the region’s most important towns and the site of the Kobarid Museum. Besides being another magnet for biking, hiking, fishing, and kayaking, Kobarid is also the location of the restaurant Hiša Franko and its chef Ana Roš, who is the only recipient of two Michelin Stars. Hungry cyclists will find that many of the restaurants in the area place a priority on responsible methods and use only local ingredients.


DAY 02

THE SOČA VALLEY TO GORIŠKA BRDA

DistanceDistance: 23-52 km
DistanceElevation: 180-1350 m

Leaving the emerald waters of the Soča River the route discovers a different sort of richness: wine. Heading south for just over 50 kilometers, and paralleling the Italian border, the BSGGR rolls into the Goriška Brda Region, which is actively developing its sustainable tourism offer all year round.

In the place of alpine meadows, vineyards dominate the new landscape. In every direction, grapevines methodically line fields into the distance and drop behind the horizon.

For many travelers, these gentle, rolling hills recall visions of Tuscany. The region and its wineries are famous for their hospitality, but they are now becoming increasingly well known across the globe for their high-quality vintages.

The cycling route passes the view tower in Gonjače, which sits in the middle of the region and provides a fantastic, panoramic view. On the east, the Vipava Valley, the route’s next stage, awaits.

The final destination of the day, the village of Šmartno, which is home to some of the most prominent wine growers in the region, offers the chance to end the day with some excellent wine tasting and a hearty local meal.


DAY 03

GORIŠKA BRDA TO THE VIPAVA VALLEY

DistanceDistance: 58-64 km
DistanceElevation: 520-760 m

Though it is difficult to pull yourself away from the Goriška Brda Region, the next stage offers another full and rewarding day of excellent cycling and top-end gastronomy.

Lonely Planet wrote this about this beautiful area of Slovenia: “The [Vipava] Valley is green and beautiful, the food and wine are of superior quality. A perfect destination for a relaxed and at the same time active vacation.”

Leaving Goriška Brda, cyclists will come to Nova Gorica, a Slovenia Green Gold destination. From there the route follows the crystal clear and magical Vipava River, which is famous for its trout and unparalleled fishing. Placing a toe into the beginning of the Karst region, the ride will continue into another incredible — and incredibly unheralded — wine region. This is the home to the largest number of indigenous wine varieties in Slovenia.

The day ends in Vipava, a Slovenia Green Gold destination with its historic castle ruins, incredible wine, and food, which has earned a Michelin Star. Cyclists can also carry on to Ajdovščina, which is the second largest town in the valley and a Slovenia Green Silver destination. With wonderful restaurants focused on dishes created with local ingredients, craft beer, and, of course, great wine, this is the perfect spot to celebrate the end of another great stage and get ready for the days ahead.


DAY 04

VIPAVA VALLEY TO KOMEN/ŠTANJEL

DistanceDistance: 27-38 km
DistanceElevation: 430-810 m

Like with the Goriška Brda Region, leaving the Vipava Valley will be difficult. As is the case with every region in Slovenia, there is always the sensation that you could just stay where you are for a few more days to cycle, eat, explore, and just take in the majesty of the scenery. Once you’ve pulled yourself away and finished that cup of coffee while enjoying the lush green panorama, get on the bike to pedal into the Karst Region.

Heading south, the trail eventually rides along and crosses the Vipava River before also crossing the Močilnik Stream and rolling west to the Karst landscape that acts as a connection between the Alps, vineyards, green valleys, and the Adriatic Sea. This region is famous for its incredible caves, open landscapes, horses, and mouthwatering — and locally sourced — food.

The route is a rolling terrain and easy-to-moderate riding. The day and 38-kilometer stage kicks at the end with a climb up to Štanjel, or — if you’re feeling strong — another 10 kilometers down the road in Komen. Among the many exciting discoveries that gourmet cyclists will discover is that this is both wine AND prosciutto (called pršut here) country. Between the towns, the Ščuka family estate, in the village of Kobjeglava, produces some of the best pršut anywhere … and welcomes guests.

In Štanjel, cyclists are rewarded with a wonderfully picturesque perched medieval village, where architecture, culture, and heritage merge. The views across the karst landscape are worth the ride alone. The real magic here happens while taking in an art gallery, seeing the castle, or visiting the Ferrari Garden. As dusk falls, relaxing in the main square with a top-end meal and bottle of wine will make anyone glad they stopped.

Just down the road, Komen is another Instagram-worthy perched village. This is also where the Slovenia Green Gourmet Route intersects with the Walk of Peace walking path, which pays homage to the First World War front line that once ran across this stretch of land. History and respect meet in Komen, a beautiful place where excellent food, wine, and cycling have also intersected.


DAY 05

KOMEN/ŠTANJEL TO DIVAČA

DistanceDistance: 31-48 km
DistanceElevation: 390-680 m

Cycling deeper into the Karst Region gives cyclists another day and stage — this one approximately 48 kilometers — to get to know one of the most important, beautiful, and fragile areas of both Slovenia and Europe.

The Karst region has a mind-blowing amount of natural diversity where forests, rocks, and water creates their own climate. The result of this crossroads between culture, crafts, and climate creates, as one might expect, a fantastic growing zone for fruits, vegetables, and grapes for world-class wine.

Traveling south and east from Komen, riders meander their way to the town Lipica. This is the site of the famous stud farm, where the white, thoroughbred Lipizzan horses have been bred since the 16th century.

Turn due east, cycle through the town of Lokev to the end of the day’s route in Divača.

About four kilometers away, the Škocjan Caves have been on the UNESCO World Cultural and Natural Heritage lists since 1986. As its website describes, the incredible system “is a broad network of underground caves, passages, collapse dolines, natural bridges and swallow holes. It was created by the Reka River which, after flowing for 50 km on the surface, disappears in this location into the karst underground and reappears in water sources near the Gulf of Trieste.


DAY 06

DIVAČA TO LJUBLJANA

DistanceDistance: 13 km
DistanceElevation: 30 m

At this stage, you’ll take a train with your gear back to the capital city of Ljubljana, which is both a Slovenia Green Gold destination and arguably not just the greenest capital in Europe but also one of the most welcoming places to enjoy great food outside in the town center among visitors and locals alike.

After replenishing your energy you can get to know Ljubljana in a different light by heading on one of the guided tours, where learning about culture is intertwined with tasting food, beer, and wine. One such walk is the Moustache Tour. Other culinary outings visit the growing number of gourmet spots scattered across the metropolis.

Before lunch, you can take a trip to the Ljubljana Marshes, which can be reached by bicycle or on foot.

If you are in the city on a Friday, you have to visit the Open Kitchen or Odprta Kuhna in Slovenian. From 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. dozens of chefs cook dishes from nearly every tradition and nearly every continent to an eager audience of gourmands, who have known for years what the world is starting to discover: the Slovenian capital is a gourmet capital.


DAY 07

HRASTNIK TO SEVNICA

DistanceDistance: 27-50 km
DistanceElevation: 160-480 m

Taking in the eastern half of Slovenia makes the Bike Green Gourmet Route a truly country-wide experience.

After opening the day with a train ride east from Ljubljana, riders will deboard in Hrastnik and jump on their saddles. From here, cyclists will follow a narrow canyon to Podkraj on the Sava and into the welcoming Posavja Valley.

Today’s stage, around 27 kilometers in length, is all about relaxed, easy cycling and great wine along quiet roads surrounded by vineyards on excursions like the Castle Wine Stories of Posavja.

What often intrigues travelers here is how little they know about this part of the country. The next thing many visitors notice is how much the region stays true to the values that have made it a land of rich bounty for so many centuries.

Though the scenery is stunning for the entire ride, staying overnight in Sevnica and the incredibly dense cultural history here make this stage worth it all by itself. A few key must-sees include the Sevnica Castle, which dates to the 1300s, the 5th-century Ajdovski Gradec archaeological site, and the Railway Museum. And this is to say nothing of the delicious fruit and grapes producing wines like the region’s famous Blaufränkisch variety.

Wine and food events and festivals happen throughout the year and make the Posavja Valley and Sevnica one of the next great destinations in Central Europe.


DAY 08

SEVNICA TO PODČETRTEK/ROGAŠKA SLATINA

DistanceDistance: 57-63 km
DistanceElevation: 750-950 m

The next day — a hearty 56-kilometer stage — is slightly more challenging, but no less beautiful as it rambles south and then east until it eventually straddles the Croatian border and then heads north.

Approximately midway into the ride, cyclists come upon the 12th century Rajhenburg Castle — one of some half dozen castles in the Posavja Valley that are worth visiting the region for.

The route turns due north in the town of Krško makes its way to Podčetrtek — a town and Slovenia Green Gold destination surrounded by nature, spas, gourmet experiences, and a chance to interact with forest and mountain wildlife in a unique way.

This area is known for numerous attractions, and nearly all fit perfectly with a cyclist’s priorities when the day’s ride is through.

If you are feeling energetic after the day’s ride, continue riding another 10 kilometers up the road to the town of Rogaška Slatina. This gold-stamped Slovenia Green destination is one of the country’s oldest spa sites. The mineral water, which produces the well-known Donat Mg water, has the world’s highest content of magnesium.

But, Rogaška Slatina isn’t only about spas and springs. There is also a wonderful wine road here. As well, the town has a long history, dating back to 1655, of glass production and with the artistry of its creation being some of the most impressive on the planet.


DAY 09

FROM PODČETRTEK/ROGAŠKA SLATINA TO PTUJ

DistanceDistance: 60 km
DistanceElevation: 420-540 m

Relaxed and recovered with a massage and some wildlife bonding, you’ll wake ready for the next stage, which covers approximately 62 kilometers of rolling terrain. Today’s route continues north to the ancient, yet thriving Ptuj, which is Slovenia’s oldest town. Visitors marvel at Ptuj’s magical lake, buzzing cobbled streets, castles, and festivals showcasing outstanding wine, food, and art.

Perhaps not surprisingly, Ptuj, which straddles the Drava River, is a magnet for visitors — especially active travelers. A tradition of wellness and spa possibilities along with a full calendar of events make this a premier stop for cyclists along the Slovenia Green Gourmet Route.


DAY 10

FROM PTUJ TO MARIBOR

DistanceDistance: 30 km
DistanceElevation: 50-150 m

This stage takes you on easygoing asphalt and gravel sections along the Drava River. Today’s trail, which is about 32 kilometers long, follows Drava Cycling Route and makes all of the area’s incredible and lush strengths immediately available the way only bicycling can.

As riders roll to the end of the Bike Green Gourmet Route and the final destination of Maribor — a city with Slovenia Green Bronze certification — they will discover the world’s oldest vine, which has its house and museum. Make sure to relax with great food and wine as your BSGGR pedaling odyssey comes to a close. The city is a hub for excellent and Michelin-recognized restaurants and bistros.

But Maribor is more than just a city with a beautiful river and wine. The city has museums, theaters, and art galleries to explore between escapes to hiking trails with panoramic photo-ops of the Drava River. Take advantage of the opportunity to enjoy Slovenia’s second-biggest city and the main metropolis in the east.


DAY 11

MARIBOR TO LJUBLJANA

DistanceDistance: 10-38 km
DistanceElevation: 70-490 m

Before taking the train back to Ljubljana, spend the day investigating the cycling routes around Maribor. There are urban paths, mountain bike trails, and connections to larger networks. In all, the city is the headquarters for hundreds of kilometers of cycling itineraries through the area, region, country, and extending into Europe.

Before boarding a train back to the capital Ljubljana, wave goodbye to the Slovenia Green Gourmet Route — the world’s first all-green-certified gourmet cycling itinerary — and congratulate yourself for being a responsible traveler who knows that the destinations most important ingredients are its food, culture, and the people who produce them.


Dates

  • May - October *SELF-GUIDED, TAILOR MADE

*In season, tour can be organised on any date. Please contact us for individual offer.

We recommend guided cycling tours to everybody who seeks complete relaxation and wants to have only one thing on their mind – great cycling. Our guides will take care of everything else – navigation, interesting local insights and technical support. Guided tours are also perfect for meeting other enthusiastic cyclers from around the globe and creating life-long friendships.

Price for the guided BSGGT tour includes:

  • 11-night accommodation in 3/ 4-star hotels or guest houses
  • 11 breakfasts and 11 dinners; all meals include typical local food
  • Fully qualified and experienced cycling guide for the entire trip
  • Train from Divača to Ljubljana
  • Train from Ljubljana to Sevnica
  • Baggage transfer between tour stages
  • Navigation pack: GPS track, maps, tour booklet
  • 24/7 hotline number (support)

Rates are valid per person, based on double occupancy on pre-scheduled departures. For individual departures feel free to contact us for the offer.

Optional:

Price excludes:

  • Travel and activity insurance
  • Personal safety and cycling equipment
  • Lunches
  • Any beverages consumed with meals that are included in the package
  • Any other items not mentioned as included

We recommend self-guided cycling tours to everybody who knows how to navigate a map or a GPS device and has previous experience in self-guided cycling. If you think you don’t fit this description, maybe a guided cycling tour would be a more enjoyable option for you.

The price of a self-guided tour depends on the number of people in the group. See prices per person based on double occupancy below.

# 2 4 6 8
price 1.470 € 1.300 € 1250 € 1.220 €


Price for the self guided
BSGGT tour includes:

  • 11-night accommodation in 3/ 4-star hotels or guest houses
  • 11 breakfasts
  • Baggage transfer between tour stages
  • Navigation pack: GPS track, maps, tour booklet
  • 24/7 hotline number (support)

Optional:

Price excludes:

  • Travel and activity insurance
  • Personal safety and cycling equipment
  • Lunches and dinners
  • Any other items not mentioned as included

Would you like to customize this tour? Are you worried you are not prepared enough physically? Would you like to select a different starting or ending point, or perhaps have a day off before, after or during the tour? Send an e-mail to [email protected].

Logistics

The adventure starts at Kobarid, small village by the Soca river and ends in the town of Maribor in the northeastern part of Slovenia.

GETTING THERE

Three airports closest to Kobarid are Trieste (63 km), Ljubljana (100 km) and Venice (160 km) with transfer times from 1-2 hour respectively. We are happy to arrange airport shuttles from any of these airports upon request.

Kobarid area is also connected by rail. From Ljubljana trains run to Most na Soci, from where it is only about 20 km to Kobarid. Local transfer can be arranged upon request.

If you are traveling by car, parking is possible at the tour starting point.

Three airports closest to Maribor are Maribor airport (small airport 15 km from the city), Graz (70 km), Ljubljana (130 km), the closest international airport is Vienna (260 km). We are happy to arrange airport shuttles from any of these airports upon request.

Maribor is also well connected by rail. From Ljubljana trains run to Maribor city center.

If you are traveling with car and you leave the car at the tour start (Kobarid), return transfer can be arranged upon request.

ACCOMMODATION

We always make effort to select the most authentic and visitor-friendly accommodation and dining arrangements available at your accommodation or within walking distance. This way the tour groups can enjoy local hospitality and great food on the entire route.

ADDITIONAL INFORMATION

  • One guided group can include a maximum of 8-10 people.
  • On guided tours a briefing session is organized every evening. During briefing, the guide(s) reveal details about the next day’s cycling stage, including the altitude, length, difficulty etc.
  • On most cycling stages alternative trail variations can be chosen according to the specific requirements of the group.
  • The meeting instructions and final trip arrangements are sent to participants two weeks before the tour start date at the latest.

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