What to expect
Cycle southwards through Slovenia from the romantic village of Bled, through karst mountain scenery, to the coastal town of Piran. Touring across diverse terrain for nine days, be prepared for a few gentle inclines. Flatter sections and easy downhills let you ease off in between and an optional uplift is possible for one of the most moderate days.
The scenery of rocky limestone peaks, waterfalls and river rapids is astounding – and, towards the middle of the tour, you’ll step inside the most visited cave system in the world. As you cycle beneath forested slopes and along green valley floors, you’ll stop off to swim in clear mountain lakes, pass tiny alpine villages and see spectacular castles. The rich city culture in Slovenia’s capital adds an extra dimension and Piran's blue Mediterranean waters make an alluring place to finish.
Read about Catherine's experience of this wonderful tour in her trip report.
At a glance
- Spectacular castles and captivating culture in Bled and Ljubljana
- Dramatic karst scenery, green valleys, caves and glistening lakes
- Alpine villages and idyllic towns show an authentic slice of Slovenia
- Diverse terrain with both gentle inclines and flatter sections plus optional uplift for the most moderate day
Arrive in Bled
Discover the beautiful town of Bled, on the shore of a glacial lake. Visit the castle which dates back to 1111 and the island chapel. Go for a trip in a traditional rowing boat, or relax in a cafe with a delicious Slovenian cream cake.
Bled - Bohinjska Bistrica (Bohinj)
17 miles (27km) + optional 10 mile (16.5km) detour to waterfall
Transfer to the Pokljuka high plateau before descending past spruce trees to the beautiful Bohinj Valley, stopping off at tiny alpine villages, such as Ribčev Laz.
Bohinjska Bistrica (Bohinj Valley) - Škofja Loka
30 miles (49km)
Set off on flat terrain before climbing slowly up to Jelovica Plateau* (or opt for the transfer at €20pp). Ride down into the beautiful open Selška Dolina Valley leading to the Škofja Loka hills. Visit the picturesque hillside village of Sorica, birthplace of the impressionist painter Ivan Grohar. Pass through Železniki village, a former iron smelting centre where the remains of old furnaces can still be seen. Arrive in Škofja Loka, one of Slovenia's oldest towns, and stroll around the charming medieval centre.
Škofja Loka - Ljubljana
20 miles (31km)
Enjoy a long downhill ride followed by an easy crossing through the Sora flatlands. Arrive in the capital of Ljubljana and admire the stunning hilltop castle of this small city.
Ljubljana - Vrhnika
24 miles (39 km) + optional 11 miles (18km) to Iski Vintgar Valley
Cross the flatlands of Ljubljansko Barje, stopping off for a short walk into the Iski Vintgar Gorge, which is characterised by a rapid river, sandbanks, river pools and steep walls of rock. Continue to Vrhnika, passing Borovnica village and a karst landscape of sinkholes, underground caves and waterfalls. Don't miss the extensive collection of Tito's cars in the Technical Museum in Bistra Castle!
Vrhnika - Postojna
20 miles (32km) + 7 miles (12km) optional detour to nature reserve
Prepare for some hillier sections, as well as flat terrain across typical karst fields. This is real Slovenia, away from the tourist routes and off the beaten track. For a picnic lunch, stop off in Rakov Škocjan nature reserve.
Postojna - Štanjel
26 miles (42km) + optional 4 miles (6km) detour to Predjama Castle
Discover the Postojna Caves – the most visited cave system in the world, with a unique habitat that’s home to the world’s only flesh coloured fish. Take an optional detour to Predjama Castle – a beautiful Renaissance building in the mouth of a cave. Stay in beautiful Stanjel – a picturesque Karst settlement with beautiful old houses and artist studios.
Štanjel - Lipica - Divaca
30 miles (48km)
Cycle along mostly flat terrain with some rolling sections. Stop off at the botanical garden in Sežana and the unusual war museum in the village tower at Lokev. Arrive in Lipica village and discover the area’s famous horses, taking a tour in a traditional carriage or watching them perform.
Divaca – Muggia
24 miles (38 km)
If you missed the Postojna caves, stop off at the less frequented Skocjan Caves listed as a UNESCO natural monument. Otherwise, continue on the rolling terrain before enjoying a long downhill from the Karst Plateau to either reach the former port of Trieste in Italy to visit the castle, cathedral and Piazza Unita central square, or to ride directly to Muggia in Italy for an ice-cream in the pretty town or an afternoon on one of the beaches.
Muggia – Piran
23 miles (37 km) + optional 7 miles (11km) side trip to the salt pans
Cycle along the coast on a new cycling path following a former railway line enjoying wonderful views of the Slovenian coast and the bay of Trieste. Stop off at the fashionable resort of Portoroz before reaching the small and pretty Venetian harbour of Piran.
Depart from Piran
Make your way home from Piran, take the train back to Ljubljana or extend your stay with extra nights in Piran or Ljubljana.
Alternatively, take the ferry from Piran to Venice. A regular service operates on Saturdays between May and September and one-way or return tickets can be booked in advance. Please contact us for details.
3 & 4* Hotels
We use a pool of 3 and 4* hotels to maximise our availability for this tour, so regardless of the time of year we do our best to secure your dates of choice. The accommodation often has a lovely local flair, with a chance to experience local life with an authentic flavour of your destination.
- 10 nights in 4* & 3* hotels
- Breakfast included, half board available
- Secure bike storage
- Luggage transferred each day
Dates & Prices
Please click on a departure date for price options at a glance - please contact us for 2020 prices
- 10 nights in 4* & 3* hotels
- Board basis: Bed and breakfast
- Luggage transportation (one bag per person (max 20kg) & additional bags at extra cost)
- Maps and route information
- GPS tracks available on request
- Welcome meeting on day 2
- Transfer to the Pokljuka high plateau on day 2 after welcome meeting
- Local contact number for assistance
- Free parking at first hotel on request only - must be confirmed at time of booking
- Local tourist and other taxes
- Flights and transfers
- Bike hire
- Cycle helmets
- Transfer to top of the Jelovica Pass on day 3 - 20 Euro per person to pay locally
- Child (0-2yrs) sharing with 2 full paying guests (100%)
- Child (2-6yrs) sharing with 2 full paying guests (50%)
- Child (7-12yrs) sharing with 2 full paying guests (30%)
- 3rd adult sharing with 2 full paying guests (10%)
- Ljubljana - upgrade to a central 4* hotel - please enquire
Bike Hire & Extras
Each bike come with a pannier. An odometer, small repair kit, inner tube and lock all included (per pair of bikes) at no extra cost. An additional odometer is possible at £20.
21 geared hybrid bike
You can add these when you price your trip
Board upgrade (B&B included)
How to Get There
Fly to Ljubljana
Buses run from Ljubljana airport to Bled with one change and take approximately 2 hours. Alternatively, we can arrange a private transfer for you.
Take the bus from Piran to Trieste or Ljubljana.
Fly from Trieste or Ljubljana
News, Reviews & FAQs
Simply click on a question to reveal the answers
Why are the hotels not listed in the itinerary?
We use a pool of hotels to maximise availability for you.
What other customers have said
Been on this tour? Add your review!
Great pre-holiday service and introduction meeting. Hotels lovely & all different, scenic routes, bikes good. Slovenia beautiful, as were the local people. Fantastic adventure. Loved every minute.Samantha La Roche, UK, July 2019
Best of Slovenia was one of the most challenging bike tours we have been on but it was extremely enjoyable. From the beginning in the Julian Alps to the ending on the shores of the Adriatic Sea in Piran the scenery was dramatic and the route interesting. We rented e-bikes and were very pleased we did so as the route was hillier than we expected. The 13km climb on day two was actually fun and the coffee shop at the top was a welcome sight. We got lost a number of times as the route notes were unclear but always found our way to our next hotel after receiving helpful directions from friendly people. We are Canadians in our seventies and have enjoyed more than 10 bike tours in Europe. We have used several companies over the years and have always found Freedom Treks to be the best.Alison Barbour, Canada, July 2019