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Touring

Bike Slovenia Green: Gourmet Cycling Holidays

Duration

12 Days

Category

Touring, Gravel

Fitness level

Medium

Tour type

Guided, Self-Guided, Tailor-Made

Technical difficulty

Medium

Length & elevation

423km, 5.060 - 5.090m

Paved

90%

Unpaved

10%

Description

The Bike Slovenia Green Gourmet Cycling tour is the perfect itinerary for adventurous, eco-conscious travelers who demand everything: great cuisine, pleasure, adventure, and responsibility. Combining food, Slovenia Green-certified destinations, beautiful and varied landscapes, challenging and safe cycling routes, and “the world’s most sustainable country,” the Bike Slovenia Green Gourmet Cycling tour has something for everyone but never forgets its routes – the communities scattered across this beautiful and magnificent Central European nation.

The cycling tour explores Slovenia, the European Region of Gastronomy 2021 and visit only green-certified destinations, promising an authentic taste of Slovenia’s renowned cuisine and wine, including potential stops at Michelin-awarded restaurants.

The Bike Slovenia Green Gourmet Route begins in Slovenia’s capital, Ljubljana, from there transfer is organized to the Soča Valley. Cyclists then pedal to Brda and  Vipava Valley, roll into the Karst Region, and then take another train back to Ljubljana and furthermore towards the east. After discovering the Sava River region, travelers go north to Ptuj, along the Drava River, to Maribor.

The Bike Slovenia Green Gourmet Cycling tour 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.

 

Discover the greenest gourmet bike tour in Slovenia: 

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Itinerary

DAY 01

FROM LJUBLJANA TO SOČA VALLEY

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

From Slovenia’s main city, you’ll have a transfer organized to Soča Valley, where the cycling adventure will begin on the next day. Soča Valley has been recognized with a Slovenia Green certification.

Cyclists will overnight in Kobarid, which is one of the region’s most important towns and the site of the Kobarid Museum. Besides being another magnet for cycling tours, 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 three Michelin Stars in Slovenia. 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

FROM KOBARID TO BRDA

DistanceDistance: 55 km
DistanceElevation: 680 m

You’ll start your second day with a bike ride to Tolmin. From there you’ll cycle along rivers Soča and Idrijca to the train station Most na Soči. A train will take you to Kanal and from there you’ll firstly be cycling on the local roads on the right riverbank of river Soča and a picturesque cycling trail along the Soča River to Plave and on to Solkan.

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

For a short time after reaching Solkan the cycling route leads you through the Italian side of Goriška brda, climbing through the Oslavje and Števerjan villages. You then reach Slovenia again very soon and cycle a bit more uphill towards the village of Hum.

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.

After cycling through the border villages the cycling route passes the view tower in Gonjače which stands tall in the Goriška brda and offers a fantastic, panoramic view. On the east, you’ll see the Vipava Valley, the next stage of your cycling adventure.

Reaching the Gonjače view tower means you’re almost finished with your first day of cycling. From there you reach Šmartno village in a very short time and you can finally enjoy a well-deserved break with a view over the vineyards. The final destination of the day, the village of Šmartno, 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.

In case you’d like to choose a harder route variant for the second day, we’ve also prepared this option. It goes from Kobarid steeply upwards to Livek, past Nebesa and Livške Ravne high up to the Kolovrat ridge where an open-air museum Kolovrat is located. This First World War Museum stands right on the spot of the third Italian defense line from the First World War. After taking a look around the outside museum, moderate cycling continues through Lig, Kambreško, and just under the peak of Korada to Gonjače. After reaching Gonjače the route’s ending is the same as with the easier option of the trail.


DAY 03

FROM BRDA TO THE VIPAVA VALLEY

DistanceDistance: 57 km
DistanceElevation: 600 m

Though it is difficult to pull yourself away from the Goriška brda Region, the next stage of your bike trip 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.”

This stage of your cycling vacation, which is about 56 km long, passes the Italian side of Goriška brda for a short time at the beginning of the day. It goes to the center of Gorica (or Gorizia), which is on the Italian side of the border. In Gorica, you cross the border and shortly afterward join the cycling route on the outskirts of the Slovenian city Nova Gorica, which is a green destination with a golden Slovenia Green mark. 

Nearby, Europe Square which connects the cities Nova Gorica and Gorica or Gorizia, symbolizing unity and connection between neighboring nations – a unique experience on your bike tour of Slovenia.

From there the route soon joins and follows the crystal clear and magical Vipava River, which is famous for its trout and unparalleled fishing. As your bike tour enters the Karst region, you’ll continue into another incredible wine region – home to the largest number of indigenous wine varieties in Slovenia.

Vipava is certified as a Slovenia Green certified  destination with its historic castle ruins, incredible wine, and food. On the way, cyclists will pass Ajdovščina, which is the second-largest town in the valley and a Slovenia Green Silver destination.


DAY 04

FROM VIPAVA VALLEY TO ŠTANJEL

DistanceDistance: 30 km
DistanceElevation: 500 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, it’s time to start your cycling adventure in the unique Karst region.

Heading south 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 fourth day of the bike tour is characterized by rolling terrain and moderately difficult riding because you’ll have to gain some altitude to reach the Karst plateau from the Vipava Valley. But since we’ve prepared different route versions for this day that vary in difficulty, we can adjust it to your physical condition. The easier variant includes less ascent while the hardest variant on the other hand includes ascending to the beautiful and high Karst ridges that offer fantastic panoramic views.

The day ends with a climb to Štanjel, where 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.


DAY 05

FROM ŠTANJEL TO LIPICA

DistanceDistance: 40 km
DistanceElevation: 550 m

Cycling deeper into the Karst region gives cyclists another day and stage 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 create 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.

Gourmet cyclists will be thrilled to discover that this is wine AND prosciutto country (called pršut here)! Between the village of Štanjel and the town of Komen, the Ščuka family estate, in the village of Kobjeglava, produces some of the best pršut anywhere … and welcomes visitors for tastings. This makes it a perfect stop during your cycling vacation.

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 hiking trail, 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 intersect.

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


DAY 06

FROM LIPICA TO LJUBLJANA

DistanceDistance: 17 km
DistanceElevation: 220 m

The Škocjan Caves, which have been on the UNESCO World Cultural and Natural Heritage list since 1986, are only about ten kilometers away. This breathtaking system features underground caves, passages, collapsed valleys, natural bridges, and swallow holes carved by the Reka River. It’s a must-visit for anyone fascinated by natural wonders on their cycling trip in Slovenia.

After visiting this magnificent Karst phenomenon you’ll head towards Divača and 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 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.

If you are in the city on a Friday, 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 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.

As an additional cycling trip for day 6, you can optionally do the circular Plečnik cycling route which lasts for 2 hours and leads you to Plečnik’s heritage in Trnovo, the center of Ljubljana, Žale graveyard, and Tivoli Park.


DAY 07

FROM LJUBLJANA TO KRŠKO

DistanceDistance: 51 km
DistanceElevation: 450 m

Exploring the eastern half of Slovenia adds another dimension to the Bike Green Gourmet Route, making it a truly comprehensive cycling  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 cross the Sava River and then follow a narrow canyon to Radeče and further on into the welcoming Posavje Valley.

Today’s stage, around 51 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 Posavje. The only exception to easy cycling is the short, but steep final climb from Krško to Tri lučke.

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 at Krško makes this stage worth it all by itself.


DAY 08

FROM KRŠKO TO PODČETRTEK

DistanceDistance: 45 km
DistanceElevation: 850 m

The next day — a hearty 45-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.

At the beginning of this day’s route, you’ll cycle above Krško with perfect views back down to the Sava valley and afterward, after some longer climbs, reach Kozjansko. On top of a longer ascent and just above the small city called Podsreda the Podsreda castle is located. This is the most medieval castle among Slovenian castles and an information center for Kozjansko Regional Park is located in its basement. Kozjansko Regional Park is the largest Slovenian protected area and has earned a golden Slovenia Green Park mark.

The route then 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 boasts numerous attractions, perfect for a cyclist’s getaway.


DAY 09

FROM PODČETRTEK TO PTUJ

DistanceDistance: 62 km
DistanceElevation: 600 m

Wake up ready for a scenic 62-kilometer stage on rolling terrain. Soon after 10 km along the nice asphalt cycling path, you’ll reach the town of Rogaška Slatina. This 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.

After Rogaška the 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.

To spice up your day on the bike tour, add an optional short but steep climb through Haloze. The reward? Breathtaking views of Ptuj’s wine-growing hills, fields, and shimmering lake. Perfect for those seeking a bit more challenge on their cycling trip.


DAY 10

FROM PTUJ TO MARIBOR

DistanceDistance: 30 km
DistanceElevation: 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 the 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 Bike Slovenia Green: Gourmet Cycling tour 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 LOOP

DistanceDistance: 36 km
DistanceElevation: 490 m

Before taking the train back to Ljubljana, we’ll spend half a 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, perfect for a short cycling trip or a longer cycling adventure.

An interesting cycling leads you from Maribor to the popular viewpoint on St. Urban. From there, a beautiful panorama of the second-largest city Maribor opens in front of your eyes. The cycling route then leads past the village Gaj nad Mariborom to Zgornja Kungota where an excellent, Michelin star-rated restaurant Hiša Denk is located. After having a delicious multi-course meal you can slowly start returning to Maribor. You can choose either to cycle along the gradual cycling trail and local roads or you can opt for an automobile transfer to the route’s starting point.

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 destination’s most important ingredients are its food, culture, and the people who produce them.


DAY 12

Departure day

The Bike Slovenia Green Gourmet Route cycling tour ends with breakfast in Ljubljana.


Download a free online brochure
Bike Slovenia Green: Gourmet Cycling Holidays:

It contains descriptions of the day's stages with distance and elevation, as well as tips for great restaurants, local dishes and wines with which to toast after cycling.

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Slovenia Green

Pre-scheduled dates

  • Jun 13 - 24, 2024 GUIDED
  • Sep 12 - 23, 2024 GUIDED FULL
  • Sep 19 - 30, 2024 GUIDED LAST SPOTS!
  • May - October *SELF-GUIDED, TAILOR MADE

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

Prices

GUIDEDfrom 3.340 €What’s included?

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 bike tours are also perfect for meeting other enthusiastic cyclers from around the globe and creating life-long friendships.

The price for the guided cycling tour includes:

  • 11-night accommodation in 3/4-star hotels or guest houses.
  • 11 breakfasts and 11 dinners*.
  • Fully qualified and experienced cycling guide for the entire trip.
  • Prosciutto tasting.
  • Wine tasting in Brda & Ptuj.
  • Entrance fee to Škocjan Caves.
  • Transfer from Ljubljana to Soča Valley.
  • Train from Divača to Ljubljana.
  • Train from Ljubljana to Sevnica.
  • Baggage transfers between tour stages.
  • Extensive Tour Booklet.

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

*All meals include good local dinner arrangements, but not in Michelin-awarded restaurants. Awarded restaurants can be included in custom tours, upon request and according to availability.

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.

SELF-GUIDEDWhat’s included?

If you are considering a self-guided cycling tour, you should take the following into consideration to make sure this type of trip is the right fit for you. Our self-guided bike tours are ideal for individuals who have prior experience in self-guiding tours and have successfully navigated with a GPS device. Having a basic understanding of bikes is essential, this includes being comfortable with basic bike maintenance tasks such as fixing flat tires or making minor adjustments.

Individuals must be independent and can navigate and orient themselves using the information provided. 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 bike tour depends on the number of people in the group, the touring dates, and the time of booking/availability. Please contact us for the offer. See starting prices per person based on double occupancy below.

# 2 4 6 8
price 2.380 € 2.050 € 1.940 € 1.880 €


The price for the self-guided BIKE SLOVENIA GREEN: GOURMET CYCLING tour includes:

  • 11-night accommodation in 3/ 4-star hotels or guest houses.
  • 11 breakfasts.
  • Transfer from Ljubljana to Soča Valley.
  • Baggage transfers between tour stages.
  • Navigation pack: Ride with GPS Tour Experience Package, including detailed Guide and complete off-line navigation data (tracks, maps, POI), Online briefing
  • Helpline for emergency situations during the tour

Optional:

Price excludes:

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

TAILOR MADEWould you like to customize this tour?

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 cycling adventure starts and ends at Ljubljana, the capital of Slovenia.

GETTING THERE

Ljubljana has its own international airport which is 20 min drive away from the center of the city. Ljubljana is also surrounded by 6 international airports, those of Venice, Trieste, Klagenfurt, Treviso, Graz, and Zagreb, each of them within a 2-3-hour driving distance.

ACCOMMODATION

We always make an 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 cycling tours, a briefing session is organized every evening. During the 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.

FAQ

You can find answers to frequently asked questions here: FAQ.

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