SLOVENIA TOP SIGHTS
Slovenia lies at the heart of Europe, where the Alps and the Mediterranean landscapes meet the Karst and the Pannonian plains. It takes an hour or two of driving to get from the capital city of Ljubljana to either high mountains, the coastline, the Pannonian plains or the Soča, which is one of the most beautiful European rivers. Slovenia has become the world’s first country to be declared a green destination based on the international Green Destinations criteria. Furthermore, the country boasts the title of the European Region of Gastronomy and has nine wine-growing regions.
The Slovenia Top Sights bike tour is designed for those who like exploring the natural sites and attractions by bike, while also enjoying the local cuisine, home-grown wine and a pleasant atmosphere. Majority of the largest Slovenian tourist attractions located in very diverse environments, which, despite the pleasantly undemanding daily tours offer great biking enjoyment, are packed in just one week.
The capital city of Ljubljana is one of the greenest as well as the most vibrant and popular European capitals, and a full day is dedicated to exploring this lovely city. Many visitors to Slovenia say they have never seen a lake more beautiful than Bled – until they see Lake Bohinj, the largest natural lake in Slovenia, which is located in a glacial valley just 26 km southwest from Bled. The programme includes the tour around both of the two lakes, while there is also plenty of time available to visit the panoramic mountains for those who would like to enjoy the scenic views.
The group arrives to the Soča Valley, the European Destination of Excellence, by train on one of the most beautiful European railway lines, which runs through as many as 28 tunnels. From the high mountain and the emerald Soča, it takes only a few short hours of biking to reach a completely different landscape, i.e. Goriška Brda, which is reminiscent of Tuscany. The villages scattered across the hills above the Italian Friuli region are virtually packed with top winemakers!
The tour then turns back towards the inland, to the city of Postojna, most famous by the Postojna Cave, which is the most appealing and the largest tourist cave in Europe. The cave has its equally interesting counterpart only a few kilometres away, where more than 800 years old impregnable Predjama Castle once owned by knight Erasmus of Lueg is built into a 123-metre cliff. Next on the list is Castle Socerb, overseeing the Gulf of Trieste for centuries and offering fantastic scenic views. After the descent to the Italian town of Muggia, the trail leads over the hills of Slovenian Istria to the harbour city of Koper and then follows the Parenzana railway track, a now defunct narrow gauge railway. Passing through some tunnels on the way, the tour finally reaches the city of Piran, which, according to Lonely Planet, is a small slice of Venice in Slovenia, and its Old Town, which is one of the best-preserved historical towns anywhere on the Adriatic, is a gem of the Venetian Gothic architecture.
The beautiful and undemanding daily tours leave enough time for other activities that each place has to offer (i.e. the cable car ascent to the Vogel hill, a visit to the medieval village of Šmartno etc. Visits to the main tourist attractions such as the Bled Castle and the Postojna Cave are included in the tour.