Diverse terrain, well-maintained roads and light traffic make Slovenia superb for cycling. From picturesque country lanes, urban alleys and wide-open roads, to more demanding off-road mountain biking – there’s a bike tour out there for everyone.
Cycling in Ljubljana and its nearby marshland
Exploring the streets of Europe’s greenest capital by bike is a superb way of sightseeing. You get to see all the famous attractions, learn about the history and the people while getting a fair bit of exercise. Most of Ljubljana’s Old Town is a car-free zone and the city has wide network of bike lanes, which ensures easy cycling.
On the outskirts of Ljubljana there’s also a nature reserve and an anthropological wonder called the Ljubljana Marshes. The country’s largest marshland is home to incredible wildlife, a stunning gorge, and is packed with ancient history. In fact, it’s where Pillar-dwellers, the first known civilisation in these parts, used to live, and the oldest wheel dating back to 3,200 BC was found in the Ljubljana Marshes. Biking through the Ljubljana Marshes takes you into a tranquil haven you normally wouldn’t find on the doorstep of a capital city.
Sunlit vineyards and the Adriatic Sea
Cycling through the gorgeous rustic villages, miles of orchards and vineyards presents cyclists with the Mediterranean side of Slovenia. The Karst’s unique landscape is incredible to venture across by bike. Goriška Brda, also known as Slovenia’s Tuscany, is a fantastic place to go on a ‘bike & wine’ tour. It involves combining this wonderful sport with tasting Slovenia’s most prized beverage.
Slightly further south, the Adriatic coast presents the chance to cycle down the old seaside route from Koper to Izola. The salty air and pleasant climate are juts what the doctor ordered. Cyclists can stop at the Sečovlje Saltworks and Slovenia’s cutest seaside town of Piran. Slovenia’s coastline is quite short, so the journey only lasts a few hours and consists of easy flat trails, making it perfect for a family day trip.
A disappearing lake and glacial gems of the Alps
Slovenia’s wilderness is a fascinating. The tour down the Lake Cerknica trail takes you to one of Europe’s largest intermittent lakes. This relaxing cycling adventure also includes exploring the unbelievably charming karst valley of Rakov Škocjan where you can marvel at natural bridges and the lake’s resurgence location.
From the Karst to the mountains. The Zelenci Bike Tour takes place in the land of hilly terrain and breath-taking views. Zelenci translates to “Greens”, a most accurate description of the place. The emerald Fusine Lakes are home to one of the most scenic trails in Slovenia. Situated in a beautiful forested area, Zelenci offer amazing panorama of the Julian Alps. Although there’s a slight ascent toward the end of trail, most parts of the tour are flat. If you’re looking for a scenic cycling experience in the wild outdoors, this tour should be placed high on your list.
Less famous trails near the most famous lake in Slovenia
Lake Bled is Slovenia’s world-renowned Alpine landmark. Although cycling through the town of Bled and around its idyllic lake is a lovely experience, adding a trip into the surrounding countryside is an absolute must for cycling enthusiasts. Heading off the beaten path will introduce you to jaw-dripping views, mysterious forest trails, and refreshing riverside paths that give you an up-close-and-personal experience of this incredible region.
Mountain bike tours are all the rage
For adrenaline junkies, a colourful assortment of off-road trails can be found all over Slovenia. The pristine karst plateau of Pokljuka, with its endless pastures in the heart of Triglav National Park, is an excellent MTB tour.
Another high mountain plateau suitable for all levels of MTB thrill-seekers is Velika Planina. Vast pastures are dotted with grazing livestock and authentic shepherd huts. Bikers can have a break at one of the traditional cheese-making factories while enjoying the surrounding panorama.
Next on the list is Kranjska Gora, Slovenia’s most famous alpine resort. The route takes ascends high onto the “three-border” area between Austria, Italy and Slovenia. Despite being a relatively demanding run, the trail passes the spring of the Sava River and the aforementioned emerald jewel of Zelenci, affording incredibly rewarding views of the mountains.
The super fun fact about mountain biking in Slovenia is you don’t even have to travel deep into the countryside to do it. Awesome MTB trails can be found in Ljubljana. Trails run straight from the town centre up into the forested hills within the city limits. These routes are excellent for advanced mountain bikers who want to escape the hustle and bustle of the streets below.