What to expect
Cycle through three countries following the medieval merchants' route from the Slovenian capital of Ljubljana, through flat marshlands and karst mountain scenery, to the coastline of Croatia. On your first week, as you cycle in Slovenia beneath forested slopes and along green valley floors, you’ll see stunning castles and beautiful horses. The scenery of rocky limestone peaks, waterfalls and river rapids is astounding plus you’ll step inside one of the world's most visited cave systems. This is real Slovenia, away from the tourist routes but with welcoming villages to stop at.
On your second week, cycle the length of Slovenia’s tiny coastline before pedalling across the border into Italy, for a brief exploration of the Italian city of Trieste. Cross into Croatia to enjoy beaches, towns and nature reserves. There is history at every turn, including a Roman drawbridge in Umag and a spectacular amphitheatre in Pula. Expect a few undulations along the way as you follow the Adriatic shoreline past ports, vineyards and karst hills, stopping to sightsee and sleep in fishing villages and historic towns. Cycling between each town, you’ll pass hilltop villages, see shimmering saltpans and can take an optional detour to the Zlatni rt peninsula coves. To pack even more in, an optional rest day gives you the chance to sail to the Brijuni archipelago to experience its pine-cloaked island.
At a glance
- 2 for 1 hybrid bike hire
- Leisurely cycling from central Slovenia to the coast through authentic villages and towns which show a slice of real Slovenia
- Enchanting streets of Slovenia’s compact capital
- Undulating cycling past the coast and hills of western Istria & castles, churches, spa towns and Roman relics & optional rest day to the Bruni islands and Lim Channel
Arrive in Ljubljana
Arrive in Slovenia’s capital of Ljubljana and visit the daily market (not Sundays), hilltop castle or relax with a drink by the riverside.
Ljubljana - Vrhnika
24 miles (39 km) + optional 11 mile (18km) detour to Vintgar gorge
Cycle across Ljubljansko Barje and ride through a flat, former marshland area to reach the town of Vrhnika. Stroll to the Iski Vintgar Gorge to see the rapids, sandbanks and steep rock walls. Continue behind the village of Borovnica to a karst landscape with sinkholes, underground caves and waterfalls. In hot summer months you can even freshen up ina typical Carst lake of Podpec. Just before arriving in Vrhnika, you can visit the technical museum of the Republic of Slovenia housed in Bistra Castle, where you'll find a great hunting collection and an exhibition of Tito's cars.
Vrhnika - Postojna
20 miles (32km - +12 km optional side trip to nature reserve Rakov Skocjan)
Ride across hillier landscapes with some flat sections over typical Karst fields. This is real Slovenia, away from the tourist routes and off the beaten track. Make an optional stop for a picnic in the Rakov Škocjan nature reserve, where the Rak River has carved out a stunning gorge containing some of naturer's most incredible landscape formations, including two natural bridges.
Postojna - Štanjel /Kodreti
26 miles (42 km) + optional 4 miles (6km) to Predjama Castle
Discover the Postojna Caves – the most famous and visited cave system in the world. Take an optional detour tothe impenetrable Predjama Castle – a beautiful Renaissance building in the mouth of a cave.
Štanjel - Lipica - Divaca
30 miles (48 km)
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 - Ankaran
29 miles (46 km) + optional 12 miles (19km) to Trieste
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 Ankaran in Slovenia for an afternoon on the beach.
Ankaran - Piran
19 miles (30 km + 11km optional side trip to the saltpans sea)
Cycle along the coast on 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.
Piran – Umag
22 miles (35 km)
Ride past the vast Sečovlje saltpans then pedal across the border to Croatia. The terrain becomes a little hillier as you near your destination of Umag – a former Roman colony with historic town walls, a gated drawbridge and medieval centre with a beautiful city tower.
Umag – Porec
28 miles (45 km)
Cycle across low hills to the walled town of Novigrad – one of Istria’s top gourmet destinations, it’s worth stopping for lunch. Continue your ride to Poreč, arriving with enough time to experience its UNESCO-listed Euphrasian Basilica and mix of Baroque, Gothic and Romanesque buildings.
Porec (rest day by the sea)
Take a day-off and hop on a boat to the fjord-like Lim Channel National Park and Veli Brijun island – the main island in the Brijuni archipelago, Veli Brijun was a summer residence of the Yugoslav leader Tito.
Porec – Rovinj
34 miles (55 km)
Ride to Rovinj – one of Istria’s last true Mediterranean fishing ports. An iconic bell tower stands high above the town and, if you’re legs aren’t too tired, it’s certainly worth climbing up for the view. You could also detour to the beautiful Zlatni rt peninsula and swim off its beautiful pine-fringed coves.
Rovinj – Pula
34 miles (40 km)
Your final stage leads you to Pula on Istria’s southwest tip. The peninsula’s oldest town, it’s a lovely place to finish with its historic buildings and the only remaining Roman amphitheatre to have four side towers with all three Roman architectural styles preserved.
Depart from Pula
Start making your way home after breakfast, or extend your stay in Istria.
3 & 4* Hotels and Guesthouses
We use a pool of 3 and 4* hotels and guesthouses 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.
- A mix of 3* & 4* hotels and guesthouses
- Breakfast included
- Luggage transferred each day
- Secure bike storage
Dates & Prices
Please click on a departure date for price options at a glance
- 2 for 1 hybrid bike hire
- 12 nights in 3 and 4 star hotels and guesthouses
- Board basis: Bed and breakfast
- Luggage transportation (one bag per person)
- Maps and route information
- Welcome meeting
- Local contact number for assistance
- Free parking at first hotel on request only - must be confirmed at time of booking
- Flights and transfers
- Bike hire
- Cycle helmets
- Child (up to 2 years) 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%)
Bike Hire & Extras
Bikes come with a pannier, a small repair kit and lock all included at no extra cost.
21 geared hybrid bike
You can add these when you price your trip
Transfer from Pula to Pula airport can also be pre-booked: 20 euros per person, payable locally (one-way, minimum 2 people)
Board upgrade (B&B included)
How to Get There
Fly to Ljubljana
Taxis are available at the airport to the first hotel in Ljubljana.
Transfers can be booked from Ljubljana aiport to Ljubljana on arrival day.
Fly from Pula
News, Reviews & FAQs
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Why are the hotels not listed in the itinerary?
We use a pool of hotels to maximise availability for you.