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Duration
8 days
Activities
  • self guided cycle
Accommodation
  • 7 nights in 3 star hotels and B&Bs
Meals
  • 1 Dinner
  • 7 Breakfasts

Price

$1890USD

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Overview

Trip Code: SPZ

Trip highlights


  • Discovering the lakes, mountains, rivers and caves of Slovenia by bike, raft and on foot
  • Cycling the length of the Parenzana historic rail route from Trieste to Porec
  • Exploring interesting towns brimming with character and history
  • Delighting in the fine cuisine and hospitality of your accommodation providers

Slovenia encompasses a wealth of stunning natural features from the high peaks of the Julian Alps to the incredible limestone caves, mountain lakes and traditional countryside. This cycle journey has been carefully designed to take in all of these highlights and then continue along an old disused railway line now catering to cyclists and walkers, the Parenza Rail Trail, from Trieste in Italy to Porec in Croatia. From the delightful lakeside town of Bled, the cycle route takes you around the Julian Alps before swapping pedals for paddles with a white water rafting experience on the vivid blue waters of the Soca River. In the Karst region visit the massive Skocjan Caves with its impressive underground gorge and fascinating landscapes before cycling to Trieste and the start of the Parenzana (derived from Parenzo, the Italian name for Porec) which will take you past olive groves and vineyards on your way to the ancient Roman town of Porec on the stunning Croatian coast. Along the way there is time to appreciate the unique culture and culinary delights in every country you visit.

Trip Grading

moderate

More info about grading system

Traveller Rating

 

On arrival in Ljubljana you will be transferred to Lake Bled. The lake is immersed in natural beauty. It is renowned for its climate, thermal lake waters and the surrounding mountains. It is worth hiring a boat to visit Otok island where the eleventh century castle is located, together with the ninth century church. We recommend you cycle around the lake to Mlino where a boat can be hired. If the weather is good it is well worth hiking up to the viewpoint on Osojnica where many of the classic images of Bled Lake and the castle are taken. Overnight Lake Bled.

Meals:  Nil

The first big cycle of the trip takes you from Bled through the Radovna Valley to the Slovenian ski resort town of Kranjska Gora located near the border with Austria and Italy. The scenery continues to be dramatic as you leave behind Bled and circle around to the northern edge of the range. The majority of the route is uphill with around 340m ascent over the distance, so an early start is recommended. Located in the Upper Sava Valley the pretty ski town is surrounded by mountains. There is a new dedicated scenic cycle route from Mojstrana to Kranjska Gora which will be an option today. On arrival you will be transferred to your hotel in Bovec, which will take about an hour. Bovec is surrounded by mountains and is based on the acquamarine Soca River. It is the adventure capital of Slovenia with many options for adrenaline sports. Overnight in a small hotel in Bovec.

Meals:  B

After cycling along its banks, today is an opportunity to take in some white water rafting on a section of the Soca river (the best rafting in Slovenia!). At the drop-off point, your bikes will be waiting for you to continue the cycle to Kobarid. En route, pass by small towns and settlements on the undulating but largely downhill cycle. From Kobarid or Tolmin, a taxi will transfer you to the Brda wine growing area, close to the Italian border. Overnight Brda region with wine tasting and dinner.

Meals:  B,D

This morning you will have a transfer to the Karst region of Slovenia. Guided visit of the spectacular Skocjan caves which house a deep underground canyon complete with a roaring river and unique limestone formations. Following the visit to the caves, continue cycling across the border into Italy and the town of Trieste, once the only sea port of the Hapsburg Empire. Trieste has a lot to offer in the way of attractions such as Piazza dell'Unità d'Italia which has the widest opening to the seafront of any Italian square. Overnight hotel in Trieste. Note: your bikes will be swapped to mountain bikes for the next 3 days on the Parenzana Trail

Meals:  B

This morning you cycle south along the old Parenzana rail line. By mid morning you will have crossed over into Slovenia. Take the time to visit the Istrian holiday town of Koper with its 15th-century Praetorian Palace located on the city square. Continuing along the coast you pass by Izola on the Istrian Peninsula, whose links to tourism date back to the 1820's when a thermal spring was discovered. You will finally arrive in Portorož, a town renowned for its spa and beach facilities. Take the time to visit nearby Piran (6km/3.5mi return), another important town which was ruled for a long time by the Venetians with an impressive historic centre on the sea. Overnight Portorož.

Meals:  B

Today's cycle takes you through the salt mines of Secovlje, a large Slovenian town where a unique habitat has formed for halophytic plants and animals and migrating birds. Soon after you will cross the Croatian border and ascend to the hilltop town of Buje. Known as the "sentinel of Istria" the town is situated in a strategic hilltop location about 10km/6mi from the Adriatic coast. Take in the views and walk through this medieval town which dates back to prehistoric times. Buje (or Buie in Italian) was ceded to Italy from 1918 to 1945 and has Roman and Venetian legacies. The cycle continues ascending to Grožnjan (Italian: Grisignana) which is the only Croatian settlement to have a majority of ethnic Italians. This is a great place to stop for lunch before a 20km/12.5mi downhill cycle to Livade, the last town before your destination of Motovun. A final 5km/3mi ascent takes you up to the medieval hilltop town with its breathtaking position commanding views of the four corners of Istria. It is known as the city of the fictional character Veli Jože, a gentle giant looking out for the people of Istria. After settling in to your hotel we recommend you walk around the fortifications, taking in the exceptional views and absorbing the history of this picturesque town. Overnight Motovun.

Meals:  B

The trail today takes you past olive groves and vineyards through towns such as Vižinada and Visnjan and past old railway stations. Your destination is Porec, the tourism capital of Croatia. You should take the time to see its Eufrasian Basilica, which was declared Patrimony of Humanity by UNESCO in 1997. Overnight Porec.

Meals:  B

This morning you will have a transfer back to Ljubljana where you will pick up your main luggage. Trip concludes on arrival in Ljubljana. Alternatively your trip can conclude in Porec after breakfast. This must be pre-arranged (ie when you book). In this case your main luggage will be waiting for you in Porec on day 7. No discount is provided for this option.

Meals:  B


Inclusions

  • 7 breakfasts - continental breakfasts are served and usually consist of breads, jams, coffee and tea
  • 1 dinner with wine tasting in the Brda wine region
  • 7 nights accommodation in 3 star hotels and B&Bs on a twin share basis with ensuite facilities
  • Bus from Kranjska Gora to Bovec
  • Transfer from Ljubljana airport or a Ljubljana hotel to Bled on day 1, Tolmin or Kobarid to Brda on day 3 and from Brda to Skocjan Caves on day 4
  • Welcome briefing
  • Information pack including route notes & maps per room booked
  • Good quality rental bike with panniers & helmet -a hybrid bike for the first section and mountain bike for the Parenzana Trail
  • Emergency hotline (we recommend you carry a mobile phone with you on this trip)
  • White water rafting on Soca River
  • Škocjan cave entrance fee
  • Tourist tax and vat
  • Return transfer to Ljubljana - alternatively we can arrange for your main luggage to be waiting for you in Porec.

  • Transport to arrive and depart from Ljubljana
  • Daily luggage transfer (daily needs are carried by cyclists in panniers provided)
  • Lunch and dinner daily (except dinner on day 3) and all beverages (allow 10-25 EUR per meal)
  • Items of a personal nature including beverages, laundry, phone calls etc
  • Travel insurance - mandatory
  • Guide - this is a self guided trip

Bike information


Grading

moderate  

MODERATE – GRADE 3 This trip is designed for keen cyclists with a few challenges. A good level of fitness is required and preferably experience road cycling with light traffic is advisable. There are numerous ascents and descents with a couple of sustained ascents to test your thighs! The route is on a combination of narrow mountain roads and rural roads where you will encounter some light traffic – drivers in Slovenia tend to be polite when passing cyclists. Some days you will cycle in main towns such as Nova Gorica and Ljubljana. The cycle along the Parenzana is mostly on dedicated cycle paths with more gradual inclines and descents. Weather conditions may be harsh at times (even in summer), and you will need to be comfortable cycling in such conditions. We suggest up to one hour of exercise 2-3 times a week.


Departure dates

Daily from 1 May to 29 Sep

Notes

H
High Season
DN1
High season is from 15 Jun to 15 Sep - supplement applies.

Want to organise a private group?

Fundraising events, sporting groups, family treats; learn how you can organise a Private Group from just 6 travellers.

Total Priceper person from

$1890USD

Options & Supplements*
  • Single SupplementUSD$220
  • e-bike supplementUSD$340
*Prices listed are per person

Trip reviews


Why travel with us

Making Europe Affordable

We offer different levels of accommodation and comfort so that even the most budget conscious can treat themselves to active holidays on Europe's most celebrated tracks and trails. Our trips are great value for money because you only pay for what you want.  

Self-Guided Specialists

Our wide range of self-guided itineraries embody the UTracks philosophy of exploring Europe your way. We handle the logistics so all that's left for you to do is enjoy exploring Europe at your own pace. Most depart daily with a minimum of two people, meaning maximum flexibility.

Our Wide Range

With close to 400 trips in almost 50 countries, including the largest range of bike & boat holidays in Europe, we're confident that we can organise an Alps walk, Camino de Santiago or Via Francigena experience, Food Lovers' trip or a tour in a lesser-known pocket of Europe that you will love. 

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