10 Spectacular Places to Cycle in Slovenia
A cycle path│© breki74/Flickr
The natural beauty of Slovenia makes cycling a popular activity in the country. All over Slovenia, well-marked cycling trails are available, making it easy to explore the natural attractions and historical landmarks. Slovenia’s trails are suitable for those looking for an easy family friendly ride or those looking for the next challenge on a harder trail. Culture Trip has selected 10 spectacular places to cycle in Slovenia.
Cycling is an excellent way to discover Ljubljana Marsh. Besides its versatile nature, Slovenia’s largest marsh, is well known for its history. In prehistoric times the first settlers built pile-dwelling (or stilt house) settlements and made the Ljubljana Marsh their home. Today the Marsh is a Nature Park and is home to various animals and plants. The Iška River Meander Nature Trail in the park is a three km trail on which visitors explore nature, visit Iška Gorge, and cycle across the Ljubljana Marsh.
Iška Gorge, 44-, Iška 45, 1292 Ig, Slovenia
Hiking, horseback riding, and bicycling trails in Slovenian Istria help visitors stay active while enjoying their vacation at the seaside. The main coastal cities are a starting point to eight organized cycling trails. One of the trails runs through the area where Istria’s traditional wine, Refošk, is produced. The Trail Along the Land of Refošk Wine starts in Koper and takes cyclists over the hills of the Istria region where they can enjoy beautiful views of the Gulf of Koper. Along the way, the trail passes vineyards and the small wine cellars where Refošk wine is produced.
Gulf of Koper│ | © eutrophication&hypoxia/Flickr
Three Valleys (Mežiška Valley, the Dravska Valley, and the Mislinjska Valley) and three mountain ranges (Pohorje, the Karavanke, and the Savinja Alps) make up the northern Slovenian region of Koroska. Six cycling trails are marked in the region. However, it is the Trail Around Mt. Peca (2125m) that stands out from the others. More than five out of fifty kilometers of this trail are located underground. The underground part of the trail runs through old lead and zinc mines and can be accessed with a tour guide. The trail is classified as easy and is suitable for families.
Forest in Koroška│ | © Kaja Avberšek /Flickr
The Slovenian Alps offer several long-distance cycling routes appropriate for experienced cyclists in excellent physical shape. The Circular Tour starts in Kranjska Gora and via the 232 km long trail connects the starting point with Bled, Bohinj, and the Soča Valley. When cycling on the Trail to Mountain Vršič (1611 m), cyclists can enjoy spectacular views of the Slovenian Alps. The longest trail in the area is part of The Three Countries Tour, it is 410 km long, and it connects Austria, Slovenia, and Italy.
Kranjska Gora surroundings│ | © Brigitte/Flickr
Logar Valley is one of the most beautiful valleys in Slovenia. Covered in pastures and surrounded by mountains, it almost feels like paradise on earth. There are four biking trails in this area. The easiest of the trails is 14km long and leads to Rinka Waterfall. The trail starts on an asphalt road, and later runs over the pastures, through the forest, and ends at the mountain hut Rinka. From there, cyclists must continue on foot for 10 minutes to reach Rinka Waterfall.
Rinka Waterfall, 3335 Logarska Dolina, Slovenia
The banks of the Mura River, in the northeast part of Slovenia, offer five different trails. Two of the trails start in the Austrian town Sicheldorfu, from where cyclists can cycle either towards Hungary or towards Croatia. On both trails, a small detour to the nearby towns of Murska Sobota or Beltinic is recommended. The third trail on the banks of the Mura river runs through Gornja Radgona, Radenci, and Banovci. Cyclists can also choose to take the trail amid the vineyards or experience the off-road trail which is suitable for more experienced cyclists.
Mura River│ | © Miran Hojnik/Flickr
The Dolenjska region in the south of Slovenia offers fourteen cycling trails. The Trail to the Family Farm Šeruga allows cyclists to enjoy the beautiful nature of the area and to experience the traditional food and drinks of Dolenjska. The trail starts in Šmarjeske Toplice and heads towards Castle Otočec. The castle on the river Krka is one of the most beautiful monuments in Slovenia. From the Otočec Castle, the trail continues to the Family Farm Šeruga. The Farm offers a calm environment for rest and delicious traditional food. After the visit to the farm, the trail heads back towards Šmarjeske Toplice.
A Rainbow in Dolenjska│ | © Gorupka /Flickr
Lower Savinja Valley
The Lower Savinja Valley is known as The Valley of Green Gold. It got this name as a result of the long hop growing tradition in the area. Overall the valley offers nineteen marked cycling trails. The Circular Trail is the longest (50km) and connects the valley’s municipalities. On the way, cyclists can enjoy views of the surrounding nature and what seems to be endless hop fields. Cycling trails are also an excellent way to see the main sights of the valley such as the Roman Necropolis, the Hell Cave, the Eco-Museum of Hop-Growing, and even a Beer Fountain.
Hell Cave, Zalog pri Šempetru, 3311 Šempeter v Savinjski dolini, Slovenia
Hop field in Savinja Valley │Courtesy of Steven Ball
Bela Krajina offers fifteen organized cycling trails. This region is well known for pristine nature and its rich cultural heritage. Damelj Cycling Path is 65km long and is the longest of all of Bela Krajina’s cycling trails. It starts in Črnomelj and takes cyclists over low hills, meadows, pastures, along Kolpa river, through the town of Vinica, and back to Črnomelj. The shortest of the cycling paths in the region is Lebica-Krupa Cycling Path. The trail starts in the town of Semič and crosses a shallow karst area, follows the Krupa river, and returns to Semič. On this trail, cyclists can observe beautiful Karst creations like sinkholes, smaller springs, and stone commons.
Bela Krajina│ | © Uroš Novina/Flickr
Bled is home to Slovenia’s most beautiful tourist attraction Lake Bled. However, the area offers much more to visitors than just beautiful views of the lake. Active visitors can spend time exploring the nature on a bicycle. The area has 10 marked trails varying from easy to hard. The Family Excursion Trail is ideal for families with young children. Those visitors who are looking for something more difficult should cycle on the Karavanke Challenge Trail. Whether hard or easy, all trails in the Bled area run through beautiful nature and provide an excellent option for an active vacation.