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MTB

TRANS ALPE ADRIA ● mountain bike tour

Duration

14 days

Category

MTB

Fitness level

HIGH

Tour type

GUIDED, SELF-GUIDED, TAILOR-MADE

Technical difficulty

MEDIUM

Length & elevation

646 KM, 15.190 M

trans alpe adria map

The Trans Alpe Adria tour is the ultimate mountain bike adventure. It is an upgrade of our all-time favourite Trans Slovenia 01 tour, which starts in the Austrian Alps and ends on a sunny island in the Adriatic. 

This incredible bike tour combines the best Slovenia cycle routes with fun trails in Austria and Croatia. The cycling holiday begins with some flow trails at Bad Kleinkirchheim. After visiting the town of Villach, crossing the Austria-Slovenia border, and exploring the Alpine town of Kranjska Gora, you arrive at the wonderful Soča Valley, a true paradise for outdoor sports. You continue biking in Slovenia through pristine forests before reaching Ljubljana, one of the greenest capitals in Europe. The last part of the route is all about sea and sun, as the hilly inland gives way to the Adriatic coast

The Trans Alpe Adria mountain bike tour can be split into more stages or combined with other Trans Croatia routes. It is suitable for all levels, as all stages have different variations. 

HIGHLIGHTS

  • Bad Kleinkirchheim with the longest flow trail in Europe 
  • Diverse mountain biking in three different countries – Austria, Slovenia, and Croatia
  • The green capital Ljubljana and its MTB trails
  • Unspoilt forests of the Kočevsko region
  • Sunny Adriatic coast

Gallery

Itinerary

DAY 01

Bad Kleinkirchheim – Villach

DistanceDistance: 55 km
DistanceElevation: 1100 m

The MTB journey sets off at Bad Kleinkirchheim, a famous winter sport and thermal spa centre situated in the Austrian Alps. You are greeted by a 15-kilometre flow trail, one of the longest in Europe. You can either bike down a section of the trail or take a cable car to the top and complete the entire trail.  

When you descend to the valley, you soon reach the pretty Feldsee Lake and then eventually arrive to the town of Villach, which captivates the visitor with impressive architecture, tasty local cuisine and an easy-going beat. 


DAY 02

Villach – Kranjska Gora

DistanceDistance: 44 km
DistanceElevation: 1000 m

Cycling continues along the valley towards the town of Arnoldstein, which is situated just next to the Austria’s southern border. The next part of the stage is all about the triple border (Dreiländereck), where the territories of Slovenia, Italy and Austria come together in a single point. The triple border offers majestic views of the Julian Alps, the Gailtal Alps, the Gurktal Alps, the High and Low Tauern, and the western part of the Karavanke mountains. 

An exciting downhill ride leads to Kranjska Gora, the final stop of the day and a popular ski resort located at the foot of the Julian Alps.


DAY 03

Kranjska Gora – Bovec

DistanceDistance: 52 km
DistanceElevation: 1200 m

Trans Alpe Adria mountain bike trip continues past Lake Jasna and across the Vršič mountain pass, the highest positioned road pass in the Eastern Julian Alps with an altitude of 1611 metres. Riding down the Vršič pass, you arrive to one of the most remote, but also most captivating places in Slovenia, the Trenta Valley. Here you enter the central area of the Triglav National Park and the upper part of the famous Soča Valley.

The emerald green Soča is considered to be of the most beautiful European rivers. In addition to a plethora of stunning natural sites, the valley features the shocking heritage of World War I. The route follows the river to the small town of Bovec, known as the centre of outdoor activities such as rafting, kayaking and hiking.


DAY 04

Bovec – Kobarid

DistanceDistance: 47 km
DistanceElevation: 1200 m

More MTB Slovenia joy awaits. Passing the first sight of the day, the majestic Boka waterfall, you come to the border between Slovenia and Italy. From here, a former mule-track road leads to the scenic peak of Mt. Stol. On clear days, the view reaches all the way to the sea. Biking along the mountain ridge is definitely the highlight of the day. Next, a steep single trail leads into the forest and soon you are back at the banks of Soča.

A few kilometres of pedalling more and you arrive to the lively tourist hub of Kobarid of Kobarid, best known for the 1917 WWI Battle of Caporetto, where the Italian retreat was documented by Ernest Hemingway in his novel A Farewell to Arms.


DAY 05

Kobarid – Tolmin

DistanceDistance: 37 km
DistanceElevation: 1390 m

Ready for more mountain bike adventures? The ascent to Krn and then onto the Pretovč mountain pasture makes this part of the tour the most challenging one. The effort is awarded by an exciting downhill ride to the Tolminka river valley. You pass by the Memorial Church of the Holy Spirit, a monument dedicated to the First World War. You also get the opportunity to visit one of the most breath-taking spots in the region, the Tolmin gorges. The stage ends with a short section above the Tolminka river, which leads to Tolmin.


DAY 06

Tolmin – Cerkno

DistanceDistance: 32 km
DistanceElevation: 1000 m

During the first part of the day, you ride next to Soča to the town of Most na Soči, where a hydro plant has caused the river water to accumulate into a beautiful lake. The route then starts following the shallow Idrijca river and soon enters one of the most forested regions of Slovenia. 

When mountain biking in Slovenia, you will discover many remote trails and secluded farms, especially during this stage. After crossing the Šentivška plateau you enter the hilly landscape of Cerkno, which features a modern ski center and hosts the world-famous Cerkno Jazz festival every year.


DAY 07

Cerkno – Škofja Loka

DistanceDistance: 51 km
DistanceElevation: 1500 m

The remoteness of Cerkno was crucial for the existence of the main landmark of this place – the WWII Franja Partisan Hospital, which has been placed on the UNESCO Tentative List of World Heritage. You can visit this a cultural monument of national importance, before you continue cycling through the wilderness.

Fun trails and gravel roads ultimately lead to one of the oldest Slovenian towns, the medieval Škofja Loka. The town provides countless stories of all types of creativity: from artistic and handicraft to culinary.


DAY 08

Škofja Loka – Ljubljana

DistanceDistance: 34 km
DistanceElevation: 950 m

The next stage involves several ascents and descents across the Polhov Gradec hills. You might expect that, by approaching Ljubljana, the MTB character of the tour would be lost. But the truth is quite different, as endless trails lead over the hills directly into the city centre. Ljubljana is in fact the only European capital that has direct access to some of the top MTB trails in the country. 

As one of the smallest and greenest European capitals, Ljubljana is also one of the most liveable 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 centre, leaving the leafy banks of the Ljubljanica river free for pedestrians and cyclists. We recommend you to take a day off here and explore the city.


DAY 09

Ljubljana – Bloke

DistanceDistance: 59 km
DistanceElevation: 1400 m

It is time to leave the urban area of Ljubljana behind and return to the forest. Cycling south, you first pass through the Ljubljana Marshes Nature park, a true gem of biodiversity and the holder of UNESCO-inscribed remains of prehistoric pile dwelling. Next, you climb to Mt. Krim and then turn towards Rakitna, which is well-known for its healthful climate. From here, you descend into the hidden Zala river gorge. During the last leg of the stage, you follow quiet asphalt and gravel roads all the way to Bloke, where you can chill by a small lake.


DAY 10

Bloke – Kočevje

DistanceDistance: 64 km
DistanceElevation: 1200 m

On the next day, the route enters a land of primeval forests and bears. Peaceful gravel roads surrounded by tall trees take you to the dense-forests of the Kočevsko region. You even pass by the Krokar virgin forest, another UNSECO-protected site. 

Kočevsko is one of the few areas in the world where one can still observe the brown bear, wolf and lynx in their natural environment. Of about 500-600 bears living in Slovenia, most live in the Kočevsko region. There is of course no need to worry – bears are cautious animals that avoid people.

The stage between Bloke and Kočevje comes to an end in a highly exciting way – with some action-packed rides in the MTB trail centre Kočevje.


DAY 11

Kočevje – Kolpa

DistanceDistance: 37 km
DistanceElevation: 850 m

The last stage of mountain biking in Slovenia is shorter, wchich gives you enough time to return to the MTB trail centre in the morning. The path turns back to the forest and after a while you reach the Kolpa river, the natural border between Slovenia and Croatia. Kolpa is popular for swimming due to its clear water and pleasant temperature.


DAY 12

Kolpa – Fužine

DistanceDistance: 69 km
DistanceElevation: 1500 m

After crossing the entire territory of Slovenia, you are now ready to explore Croatian trails. You first cycle along Kupica river to the Natural reserve Zeleni vir, where you enter a stunning gorge with a waterfall. Next, a long and steady ascent leads to the heart of Gorski Kotar mountainous region, also known as the lungs of Croatia due to its lush forests.

After passing through the town of Delnice, long single trails take you to the serene Lokve Lake. The day is wrapped up at Fužine, an alluring little highland town in the midst of unspoiled nature.


DAY 13

Fužine – Krk

DistanceDistance: 65 km
DistanceElevation: 900 m

The final part of this epic mountain bike takes you all the way to the sunny Adriatic coast. You bike on diverse trails and gravel roads along the slopes of Ličko polje and come to the steep ridge above the Bay of Rijeka. Here, you can already feel the Mediterranean influence and smell the soothing aroma of pine trees.  

A long gravel descent is followed by crossing the famous bridge connecting the Krk island with the mainland. Krk was named the “Golden island” back in the ancient times due to its mild climate, strategic geographical position and a variety of picturesque natural sites. With fantastic single trails and spectacular views over the sea, the nearby islands and the Velebit mountains, it attracts many mountain bikers and other sun seekers.  

The Trans Alpe Adria MTB tour comes to and end at the main settlement on the island, the town of Krk. Biking through vineyards, olive groves, and authentic little villages is a pleasant way to end almost two full weeks of fantastic biking.


Price for guided Trans Alpe Adria tour includes:

  • 14-night accommodation in 3 or 4-star hotels/guesthouses
  • 14 breakfasts and 14 dinners; Meals include typical local food
  • Fully qualified and experienced MTB guide for the entire trip
  • Baggage transfer between tour stages
  • Navigation pack: GPS track, maps, tour booklet
  • Transfer from the route ending point to the route starting point
  • 24/7 hotline number (support​)
Rates per person are 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.

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. Please contact us for the offer.

Price for self-guided Trans Alpe Adria tour includes:

  • 14-night accommodation in 3 or 4-star hotels/guesthouses
  • 14 breakfasts and 14 dinners; Meals include typical local food
  • Navigation pack: GPS track, maps, tour booklet, Skype call
  • Baggage transfer between tour stages
  • Transfer from the route ending point to the route starting point
  • 24/7 hotline number (support)

Rates per person are 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.

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 the Alpine town of Bad Kleinkircheim in Austria and ends in the town of Krk, on Krk island by the Adriatic coast.

GETTING THERE

Two airports closest to Bad Kleinkirchheim are Klagenfurt (56 km) and Salzburg (172 km) with transfer times of around 45 minutes and 1 hour 50 minutes respectively. Driving to Bad Kleinkirchheim from Vienna (324 km) or Munich (341 km) airport takes over 3 hours. We are happy to arrange airport shuttles from any of these airports upon request.

Bad Kleinkirchheim area is also well connected by rail. From Munich and Salzburg trains run to Spittal and Villach, from where it is only about 30 km to Bad Kleinkirchheim. You can take a bus or a taxi.

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

ACCOMMODATION

Our tours are mostly operated through small towns and villages. We always make 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 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.

 

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