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Gravel

Slovenia Backcountry Gravel Bike Tour

Duration

9 days

Category

Gravel, E-Bike

Fitness level

Medium - High

Tour type

Guided, Self-Guided, Tailor-Made

Technical difficulty

Medium

Length & elevation

320km, 8.510m

Paved

40%

Unpaved

60%

Description

Biking along the Austrian border, the Slovenia Backcountry Gravel Bike Tour leads from the eastern to the western part of Slovenia. It crosses various scenic mountain massifs and picturesque Alpine valleys full of fun gravel trails and pristine nature. This Slovenia bike trip begins in the second most populated city in Slovenia, Maribor. It is located just next to the Pohorje mountain range and as such serves as a perfect starting point. While gravel biking through the vast spruce forests of Pohorje, you pass by the Črno jezero (Black Lake), Rogla and Kope Resort before ascending towards the Koroška region. Awesome gravel roads continue towards Jamnica Single Trail Park and soon after it is time for one of the highlights of the tour – underground biking through abandoned mine tunnels. From the underground, you climb to the panoramic road leading above the famously beautiful Logarska Valley, which offers impressive views over the Kamnik–Savinja Alps.

After crossing a mountain pass, you reach the glacial valley of Jezersko, from where a steep trail leads into the heart of the Karavanke mountains. This part, taking the harder option, includes riding across mountain pastures under Košuta, the longest mountain ridge in Slovenia. The trails of Karavanke open up great vistas of Lake Bled, the symbol of Slovenia’s beauty. The last part of the Slovenia cycling holidays takes you across the Sava Valley to Bled, the Slovenian tourist gem at the foot of the Julian Alps.

*Note: From Bled as a tour ending point, there are numerous possibilities of extending your adventure even deeper into the Triglav National Park and Julian Alps region, visiting Pokljuka Plateau, Bohinj Lake or alpine town of Kranjska Gora with Planica and Tamar valley close by.

 

Highlights

  • Diversity of gravel roads through remote landscape.
  • Gravel biking in Pohorje, Karavanke mountain range, and the Kamnik-Savinja Alps.
  • Vast, remote, and wild forests of Pohorje massif.
  • Riding through abandoned mine tunnels (optional).
  • Solčava panoramic road above Logarska Valley.
  • Lake Bled.

Online presentation of our gravel tours:

Map of Slovenia Backcountry Gravel Tour
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Itinerary

DAY 01

Arrival to the capital

The tour starts at Slovenian capital of Ljubljana.

We recommend you plan enough time to explore this vibrant city. As one of the smallest and greenest European capitals, Ljubljana is also one of the most livable cities. It’s never crowded – but also never boring. 50.000 university students give it its youthful appeal, and as an economic and cultural hub of Slovenia, it has a lot to offer to locals and visitors alike. Car traffic is restricted in the center, leaving the leafy banks of the Ljubljanica River free for pedestrians and cyclists.


DAY 02

Maribor - Rogla: THE LUSH FORESTS OF POHORJE

DistanceDistance: 51 km
DistanceElevation: 1600 m

The day starts with a  transfer from Ljubljana to Maribor. Pohorje is a 1543 meters high natural oasis with vast forests, clearings and pastures, unspoiled waters, the largest butterfly in Europe and other precious animal species. This lush area represents the main recreational area for many locals and other Slovenians. It is especially popular among bikers.

The city of Maribor is situated at the foothills of Pohorje. Biking starts along an unpaved road towards the upper station of the Pohorje cable car. You can also shorten the stage by using a cable car from the valley.

Long and remote gravel roads take you past the Areh and Ruška koča mountain huts to Osankarica close to the natural reserve of Črno jezero (Black Lake). The first stage of this Slovenia bicycle tour comes to an end at Rogla ski center.

Paved: 15%
Unpaved: 85%


DAY 03

Rogla – Slovenj Gradec: ANOTHER DAY ON POHORJE MASSIF

DistanceDistance: 49 km
DistanceElevation: 930 m

After a rather demanding first stage, the day after starts and continues in a more relaxed way. It opens with a descent below the Rogla ski resort and continues along remote gravel roads on the northern side of Pohorje massif. The trail eventually climbs past Ribniška koča hut and soon after reaches the highest peak of Pohorje, Mt. Črni vrh (1.543 m), which reveals majestic views over the surroundings. This is followed by a challenging ride across an open and scenic grass ridge gradually down to the Kope Ski center.

The descent continues along a beautiful gravel road almost to the bottom of the Mislinja River valley, ending at a picturesque farm stay close to the city of Slovenj Gradec, the unofficial center of the Slovenian Carinthia.

Paved: 5%
Unpaved: 95%


DAY 04

Slovenj Gradec - Jamnica: ON TO CARINTHIA

DistanceDistance: 49 km
DistanceElevation: 1200 m

Day starts with a short and pleasant descent leaving the Pohorje massif behind. Soon after you pass by the city of Slovenj Gradec and leave the Mislinja River behind in order to climb over some remote and hilly gravel roads while the route continues towards the Drava Valley. After a short ride just above the Drava River, the route turns upwards again. The gravel bike adventure of the day ends in Jamnica, right next to the Jamnica Single Trail Park.

Paved: 50%
Unpaved: 50%


DAY 05

Jamnica- Podolševa: THROUGH TUNNELS TO THE BEST VIEWS

DistanceDistance: 48 km
DistanceElevation: 1400 m

The third day of this gravel bike tour starts with a short descent from Jamnica. When you return to the valley, it is time to go underground. Biking from one valley to another through the abandoned tunnels of the Mežica mine is unforgettable (organized guided trip, optional).

The unique underground experience is nicely contrasted by the second half of the day. The route leads from Črna na Koroškem towards Mt. Raduha and eventually reaches a beautiful panoramic road high above the Logarska Valley. You might want to take a short break here and enjoy the views over the mighty peaks of the Kamnik–Savinja Alps. The stage ends in the tranquil village of Podolševa.

Paved: 50%
Unpaved: 50%


DAY 06

Podolševa – Jezersko: A SHORT VISIT TO AUSTRIA

DistanceDistance: 36 km
DistanceElevation: 820 m

Biking on day 5 carries on along the panoramic road for a while before you gently ascend to the Pavličevo sedlo mountain pass. A scenic asphalt road then crosses the Austrian border, but soon after riding across another mountain pass, Jezerski Vrh, the route comes back to the Slovenian side. The trail continues down to the high glacial valley of Jezersko. Among Slovenia cycle routes, this is one of the lesser-known ones. With its untouched nature, authentic culture, and limited numbers of tourists, the valley is a true hidden gem.

If you are eager for more biking, you should finish the day with a round trip past the crystal-clear Planšarsko Lake to the Ravenska Kočna Valley.

Paved: 65%
Unpaved: 35%


DAY 07

Jezersko - Tržič: THE KARAVANKE MOUNTAINS

DistanceDistance: 51 km
DistanceElevation: 1550 m

Day 6 of this Slovenia Backcountry Gravel Bike Tour is all about challenging and adventurous gravel biking in the Karavanke mountains. Taking the harder route, this stage includes biking across the pastures below Košuta, Slovenia’s longest mountain ridge. On clear days, the views from here reach all the way to the highest peak of Slovenia, Mt. Triglav, as well as the Ljubljana basin. A stop at the Kofce mountain hut is highly recommended if you want to try the best “štruklji” dumplings in the country.

In the second leg of the day, the route runs along the Tržiška Bistrica stream towards the spectacular Dovžan gorge. A visit to the gorge is almost like a journey through time since its walls hold fossilized remains from 300 million years ago. The final stop of the day is the town of Tržič.

Paved: 25%
Unpaved: 75%


DAY 08

Tržič - Bled: THE POSTCARD IMAGE

DistanceDistance: 36 km
DistanceElevation: 1010 m

On the last day, the route turns back to the hills. First, you ride past the village of Podljubelj and then climb the high slopes of Mt. Begunjščica, just to be rewarded with a delicious meal at the Preval mountain hut.

A thrilling descent with numerous incredible viewpoints awaits you in the next part of this gravel Slovenia stage. Reaching the final destination of the day, the famous Bled, it would be a shame not to visit the tiny island in the middle of the lake, explore the Bled Castle overlooking the town, and taste the famous Bled cream cake known to locals as “Kremšnita”.

Paved: 55%
Unpaved: 45%

*Note: From Bled as a tour ending point, there are numerous possibilities of extending your adventure even deeper into the Triglav National Park and Julian Alps region, visiting Pokljuka Plateau, Bohinj Lake or alpine town of Kranjska Gora with Planica and Tamar valley close by.


DAY 09

Departure day

The tour ends with breakfast and transfer back to the tour starting point – Ljubljana.


Pre-scheduled dates

  • May - September *TAILOR MADE, SELF-GUIDED

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

Prices

GUIDEDfrom 2.320 €What’s included?

We highly recommend our guided gravel bike tours to everyone who seeks complete relaxation with a singular focus on enjoying cycling in Slovenia. Our expert guides will handle everything else – from seamless navigation through Slovenia’s scenic routes to providing interesting local insights and comprehensive technical support.

These gravel bike tours are not just about exploring new terrains; they’re perfect for connecting with other enthusiastic cyclists from around the globe and forging lifelong friendships. Experience the best of Slovenia cycling tours with us, where every pedal stroke brings a new adventure.

The price for a guided Slovenia Backcountry Gravel Bike Tour includes:

  • 8 nights accommodations in 3-4 star hotels/guesthouses.
  • 8 breakfasts and 8 dinners; Meals include typical local food.
  • Fully qualified and experienced bike guide for the duration of your trip.
  • Baggage transfer between stages.
  • Extensive Tour Booklet.
  • Transfer from Ljubljana to the route starting point and from the route ending point back to Ljubljana.

Rates are valid per person, based on double occupancy.

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 gravel tour, you should consider the following to make sure this type of trip is the right fit for you. Our self-guided gravel 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 gravel 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 1.990 € 1.690 € 1.600 € 1.550 €

 

The price for a self-guided Slovenia Backcountry Gravel Bike Tour includes:

  • 8 nights accommodations in 3-4 star hotels/guesthouses.
  • 8 breakfasts.
  • Baggage transfer between stages.
  • Navigation pack: Ride with GPS Tour Experience Package, including detailed Guide and complete off-line navigation data (tracks, maps, POI), Online briefing.
  • Transfer from Ljubljana to the route starting point and from the route ending point back to Ljubljana.
  • Helpline for emergencies during the tour.

Optional:

Price excludes:

  • Travel and activity insurance.
  • Personal safety and cycling equipment.
  • Lunches, dinners.
  • Any beverages consumed with meals that are included in the package.
  • 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 tour starts and ends in Ljubljana.

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

Our tours are mostly operated through small towns and villages. We always make an effort to select the most authentic and visitor-friendly accommodation and dining arrangements available. 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 people.
  • On guided 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.

FAQ

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

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