The tiny country of Slovenia is an undiscovered gem for biking. Nestled between the Alps and the Adriatic Sea, Slovenia has a wealth of uncrowded roads, wonderful walking trails, fantastic scenery and friendly people. Mountain lakes and pastoral farmland sit juxtaposed with medieval castles and vineyards dating back to Roman times. Comfortable lodgings, hearty local food and tasty local wines add to this unforgettable biking adventure!
Price: €2000 Euros/pp (double occupancy)
Single Supplement: €300 Euros
International flights, Bike rental (hybrid bike rental/€100 Euros or road bike rental/€120 Euros), lunches, gratuities for local guide & driver.
Slovenia is a moderately hilly country and each day you can expect 40 to 65 km of riding. Additional distance can also be arranged for riders who want an extra challenge. A support vehicle is always available for any riders wishing a lift or a rest day.
Perhaps the first question that most people ask before coming on our Slovenia Bike Tour is “Where is Slovenia?” This tiny country is located on the sunny side of the Alps between Austria, Italy, Hungary and Croatia. Here, one finds a land of fantastic scenery and natural beauty; alpine peaks tower above pastoral farm valleys and mountain lakes reflect the alpenglow of sunset. Vineyards dominate the eastern portion of the country and medieval castles emerge from tree-covered hillsides and echo a rich past. The rural character of Slovenia makes it a natural for cycling.
Slovenia has a fascinating history influenced by numerous empires and conquering nations. It existed under the Hapsburg dynasty from the early 14th century until the end of WWI, and by the middle of the 20th century became part of Yugoslavia. In 1991, Slovenia declared its independence and has remained a prosperous, peaceful nation that tourists are just beginning to discover. Formally recognized by the European Community in 1992, it was admitted into the European Union in 2004. Slovenian people are friendly, industrious, easy going and many speak English, making travel rather easy.
The dry weather and warm sunny days of late summer make this the perfect time for cycling, and with the seasonal harvest underway, there will be plenty of fresh produce and good local wines to treat the palate. During the tour, we will use a comfortable van to connect a few of the more distant areas of the tour. This tour crosses a large part of Slovenia and visits the most unique and interesting places to highlight the diversity, history and beauty of this little known country.
So, the next time someone asks, “Where is Slovenia?” you can say, “It’s that little country where I’m going on my next vacation!” We hope you will join us on this fun cycling adventure in one of Europe’s most undiscovered regions.
Arrival in Bled, a picturesque town that is surrounded by mountain peaks and borders a gorgeous lake. Bled’s medieval castle is perched atop a steep cliff overlooking the lake and was the seat of power for South Tyrolean bishops for over 800 years. It now houses a small museum dedicated to the area’s history. Hotel in Bled. We will meet in the late afternoon for a bike fitting, trip orientation followed by dinner.
We begin with a van transfer to Kranjska Gora, a lovely alpine village in the Julian Alps. This is a popular year around sports region that is famous for its World Cup skiing and jumping competitions. The ride begins with a gentle downhill through the river valley, climbs over a small pass, levels out and ends with a downhill into Bled. This picturesque town is surrounded by mountain peaks and borders a gorgeous lake. Bled’s medieval castle is perched atop a steep cliff overlooking the lake and was the seat of power for South Tyrolean bishops for over 800 years. It now houses a small museum dedicated to the area’s history. Hotel lodging in Bled.
The ride starts with a climb to the top of the Pokljuka Plateau, (or take an optional transfer by our van) and then enjoy a magnificent downhill to the romantic Bohinj Valley. From the shore of scenic Lake Bohinj you can see Slovenia’s highest peak, Mount Triglav. Hotel lodging in Bohinj.
Our van swiftly transfers us to Sorica pass (those who like to climb hills can ride), and the hidden Alpine village of Sorica, where we start an unforgettable downhill cruise through a beautiful mountain valley to Skofja Loka. In medieval times, this was an important trade and industrial craft center where many famous artists, writers and scientists worked to create a rich cultural environment. The old town still preserves many of its 14th century buildings. After visiting this tidy little town, we continue on to Valburga for the night. Hotel lodging in Valburga.
We warm up on a relatively flat route that passes through Kamnik where the narrow streets in the old town center have homes still decorated with medieval and Baroque facades. The day’s challenge is climbing Crnivec Pass (our support van will be standing by). A scenic downhill follows through the Podvolovjek Valley into Luce. The ride finishes with a splendid ride into the Loganska Valley. Country Inn lodging in Loganska Dolina.
The day begins with a transfer to Lenart where we enter the outstanding Jeruzalem-Ljutomer wine region. Numerous vineyards grace the hillsides, and you will hear the sound of the ingenious wind-driven rattles that keep birds off the ripening grapes. Rolling terrain and grand vistas lead us up the wine road to Jeruzalem for a comfortable night’s rest. Country Inn lodging in Jeruzalem.
Today’s stage begins with a scenic ride through the vineyards as we leave Jeruzalem. Our route winds through the famous Haloze wine region as we head to the gorgeous riverside town of Ptuj, Slovenia’s oldest city. Tonight we visit our favorite restaurant overlooking the Drava River. Hotel lodging in Ptuj.
Today’s undulating ride takes us from the wine region surrounding Ptuj to the castles of southeastern Slovenia. The route passes along the Croatian border, and a short climb ends in the town of Olimje where we find a Minorite Monastery with one of the oldest pharmacies in Europe. Hotel lodging in Olimje.
We avoid the busy road to Catez with a van transfer, and then enjoy a peaceful ride along the scenic Krka River to the Village of Otocec where we will stay in a magnificently restored 13th century castle on an island. Overnight lodging and farewell dinner in the castle.
After breakfast, we will transfer to Ljubljana by van and should arrive around 11 am. (NOTE: Hotel accommodations are not included for this night. Additional lodging in Ljubljana may be arranged with advanced reservations.)
You can expect a spirited mix of singles and couples in their 20′s to 80′s from all corners of the US and a few international locations as well. Many have accompanied us on numerous tours in the past. Most folks are recreational riders and all seem to share the common bond of an active lifestyle, an appreciation for the outdoors and a love for fun. We will gladly supply references and the make-up of any trip that you are interested in joining.
Yes! You bring the people and we will take care of all the details! This tour can be chartered as either a Guided Tour or Self Guided Tour. Call us for details and availability, 800-648-8488.
We will be staying in hotels and inns that serve great food! The meals are hearty and there is enough variety to please everyone. Vegetarian diets can be accommodated with advance notice. All breakfasts and dinners are included beginning with dinner on Day 1 through breakfast on Day 10. You are on your own for lunches and snacks and we will suggest local restaurants.
Weather can be changeable, so be prepared for riding in both sun and showers. Daytime temperatures are 60º to 80º and nights are 50º to 65º. There is always the chance of rain, so to insure your personal comfort please make sure you have a good quality rain jacket with a hood and rain pants, too. For the sunny days, we recommend using SPF 30 sunscreen and lip screen. If you are really sun sensitive, we suggest sun-blocking clothing.
We rent good quality hybrid and road bikes with a bike bag, a water bottle cage and flat pedals without toe clips and straps. You are welcomed to bring your own pedals and seat. We will supply full mechanical support during the tour. NOTE: You will need to provide your own water bottle and helmet.
It is not necessary to be able to speak Slovene, and many Slovenians speak English fairly well. A small dictionary is handy and some creative sign language will usually get your point across.
The currency of Slovenia is the Euro. You will need Euros for lunches, meals before and after the tour, beverages, shopping, snacks, and tips for the Italian guide. We suggest starting with a minimum of €200 Euros (more if you like to shop and sample the local wine and ice cream).
On the tour: we suggest $125 per guest to cover our local guide and various service people at the lodges during the tour. On your own: most restaurants include a service charge, but an additional 5-10% for exceptional service is always appreciated. We suggest a small amount for baggage and taxi service.
US CASH: bring only NEW bills with NO tears. You can exchange money at the airport and in major towns. CREDIT CARDS: bring 2 or more Visa or Master Cards in case you have trouble with one. There are ATMs in most of the towns on the tour. To use your Credit Card to get Euros at an ATM, each Credit Card will need a PIN#. Be sure to activate the PIN# and check that it works BEFORE you begin your travels. We also suggest contacting your credit card company prior to your trip to inform them of the countries where you will be traveling and the dates. We do not recommend bringing Travelers Checks because some places do not accept them, exchange rates vary widely and they require a bank to exchange them.
U.S. citizens must have a current Passport to enter Italy. Make sure your PASSPORT DOES NOT EXPIRE WITHIN 6 MONTHS OF THE COMPLETION OF YOUR TOUR. These requirements do vary from country to country, but just to be safe, we recommend going by the 6 month standard, because it’s definitely better to be safe than sorry when it comes to international travel!
Make copies of your passport! We recommend making 2 photocopies of your passport’s photo page and any other valuable documents you might carry with you on the tour. Travel with one copy stored separately from your passport. Leave the other copy at home with a relative or friend (ideally the same person you gave as your emergency contact). In the event that any of your documents are lost or stolen, this will greatly assist the process of replacement.
Let us know if you would like us to make additional hotel reservations for you before or after the tour.
THIS TRIP BEGINS AND ENDS IN LJUBLJANA. Flights from US cities can be booked on Lufthansa Airlines (a partner of the Star Alliance) directly into Ljubljana. Adria Airways, Slovenia’s national carrier, and Easy Jet, one of Europe’s top discount air carriers, offer regularly scheduled flights from many major European cities.
You can reach Slovenia by direct train from Italy, Austria and Hungary. Trains from Venice, Italy, to Ljubljana take about 3½ hours. If you are bringing your bike in a bike case, you will need to ask at the train station if the train has room for your oversized baggage. You do not need to make advance train reservations. Check out European Train Schedules (http://www.raileurope.com) for schedules.
Nichols Expeditions is not responsible for any costs you may incur due to travel delays or other contingencies we are unable to control. For international flights, arrive at least 2-3 hours prior to departure (check with your air carrier for their requirements) and allow ample time between connecting flights. If you miss your flight and you need a special shuttle to meet up with the group, you will be responsible for the cost.
To protect yourself against life’s uncertainties, we highly recommend purchasing a travel insurance policy!
Slovenia officially the Republic of Slovenia, is a nation state in southern Central Europe at the crossroads of main European cultural and trade routes. It borders Italy to the west, Austria to the north, Croatia to the south and southeast, and Hungary to the northeast. It covers 20,273 square kilometers (7,827 sq mi) and has a population of 2.05 million. It is a parliamentary republic and a member of the European Union and NATO. Its capital and largest city is Ljubljana.. ~ Wikipedia