Lake Bled to the Adriatic Cycling Holiday
Start / FinishBled / Piran
Distance233 miles/375 kms
A wonderful cycling holiday through Slovenia, from stunning Lake Bled in the Julian Alps to the pretty port of Piran on the Adriatic Coast. Slovenia may be a relatively small country but it packs a lot of history, culture and natural beauty within its borders and this cross-country cycling holiday takes in most of them.
Enjoy the picturesque setting of Lake Bled with its unique island church and alpine backdrop. Freewheel into the beautiful Bohinj valley, past tiny alpine villages before spending the night on the shores of beautiful and pristine Lake Bohinj. Climb to the Jelovica plateau and then recover with a cooling ride through a green forest and a night in the enchanting medieval town of Škofja Loka.
Cycle to Ljubljana, Slovenia’s capital, and spend the night in this vibrant and laid back city before riding on across open marshland and nature reserves. Go underground in Postojna to marvel at the extensive caves and visit the once impenetrable Predjama Castle. Cycle to Lipica to admire the world-famous Lipizzaner horses and watch them in training.
As you near the Adriatic make a quick detour across the border for a gelato and a walk around the Italian port town of Trieste before riding on along the coast to your final stop, the medieval port of Piran.
This cycling holiday consists of mainly rolling or flat terrain however on three separate days you will encounter slightly more hilly sections.
Itinerary & Map
This cycling holiday consists of mainly rolling or flat terrain, however on three separate days you will encounter more hilly sections.
Day 1: Arrival in Lake Bled
Check into your hotel and then get out to explore this beautiful area. The glacial lake is ringed by green forested hills with an alpine backdrop. Bled Castle stands guard on a bluff overlooking the lake and the view from the terrace is well worth the 15 minute steep climb. You can also ask one of the boatmen to row you out to the charming island church in the centre of the lake where tradition states that if a groom can carry his bride up the 99 steps then the couple are assured of a happy life together.
Day 2: Bled – Bohinj Valley, 17 to 28 miles/27 to 44 kms
Your first day’s cycle ride starts with a transfer by bus to a high plateau above Bled. From here you can enjoy stunning alpine scenery as you freewheel down into the beautiful Bohinj Valley. The quiet road will lead you along the valley past charming mountain villages to Lake Bohinj and the pretty village of Ribčev Laz. If you wish you can continue on around the lake to a waterfall and then take the cable car up Mount Vogel from where superb views across the Julian Alps can be enjoyed. In the evening we highly recommend sampling the locally made honey brandy in one of the cosy bars.
Day 3: Bohinj Valley – Škofja Loka, 31 miles/49 kms
This morning you cycle first along a beautiful, quiet valley away from Lake Bohinj to the pretty village of Bohinjska Bistrica then its an uphill ride (750m/2400ft) to the Jelovica plateau, where your efforts are rewarded with a cooling ride through a shady forest. (An optional ‘lift’ is possible at a charge of €20, payable on the spot and if pre-booked at least 2 days in advance). After a while you reach the alpine hamlet of Sorica the birthplace of Ivan Grohar, a famous Slovenian painter who’s work is on display in a small gallery. There’s a perfect spot for a picnic stop near the statue of the painter just after the church – the view is wonderful! Continue down the pleasant valley alongside a mountain stream to Železniki a town that used to be known for its iron smelting works – an old furnace is still on display paying homage to the town’s past. Another 12 kilometers easy cycling down the valley brings you to the charming medieval town of Škofja Loka. If you still have some energy you could climb to the castle overlooking the old town. In the evening the ancient narrow streets are a delight to explore on foot.
Day 4: Škofja Loka – Ljubljana, 19 miles/31 kms
Today you have an easy ride along flat terrain to Ljubljana, the capital of Slovenia. After settling into your hotel we recommend a visit to the old town to admire the ornate old mansions. Take a stroll up to Ljubljana Castle for a commanding view over the city. In the evening why not indulge in a spot of people watching in the many outdoor riverside bars. Ljubljana is a fun and vibrant city and you’re sure to enjoy your stay here.
Day 5: Ljubljana – Vrhnika, 25 to 36 miles/39 to 57 kms
After leaving Ljubljana you cycle across a large area of marshland called the Ljubljansko Barje. Once an immense lake, the region is now home to a wide variety of waterfowl and other bird life. If it’s hot a swim break at the small freshwater lake may appeal. Just before Vrhnika you can stop at Bistra Castle to see an interesting exhibition of Marshal Tito’s automobiles.
Day 6: Vrhnika – Postojna, 20 to 28 miles/32 to 44 kms
Today you have a more demanding cycle ride along forest roads and over undulating hills. The route leads you deep into rural Slovenia past Mount Slivnica and the ever-fluctuating Lake Planina. Take a break at the serene Rakov Skocjan nature reserve where the Rak river has carved incredible and unusual formations from the soft limestone before cycling on to Postojna where you spend the night.
Day 7: Postojna – Kodreti/Štanjel, 27 or 30 miles/42 or 48 kms
After breakfast visit the magnificent Postojna Caves on the outskirts of the town to experience an incredible underworld of cathedral-like caverns and chambers. Following your subterranean excursion we recommend a short detour to the remarkable Predjama Castle. This medieval fortress, which looks like it is growing out of a huge cave, used to be the home of a daring knight who’s noble tale has a rather unfortunate ending. The rest of the day’s ride, like yesterday’s, is a little hilly but the wonderful scenery and picturesque villages make it all worthwhile. You’ll spend the night in the hilltop village of Štanjel or the nearby village of Kodreti.
Day 8: Štanjel – Lipica – Divača, 30 miles/48 kms
Cycle along a pleasantly undulating valley passing through small villages to the botanical garden at Sežana. From here you cycle on to Lipica, home to the famous Lipizzaner horses whose sleek white coats and skillful dressage have earned them world-wide fame. Visit the stud farm where you can watch the horses go through their paces and see them close-up in their stables. Afterwards, en-route to Divača, you may also want to stop at the excellent War Museum in Lokev. Spend the night in the town of Divača.
Day 9: Divača – Muggia, 24 miles/38 kms
If you missed the caves at Postojna you can visit the nearby, less famous but still impressive Škocjan caves before cycling on towards the coast. Today’s route starts off a little hilly but the pay off is a marvellous, long freewheel downhill. Cycle across the border into Italy for a look around the port town of Trieste. Enjoy a gelato whilst people-watching in Piazza Unita or maybe relax with a cappuccino at one of the many street cafes. Afterwards, follow the Adriatic coastline to the southern end of the bay to where you will spend the night in the charming Italian village of Muggia.
Day 10: Muggia – Piran, 23 or 30 miles/37 or 48 kms
Today’s cycle ride is easy and highly enjoyable as you follow a dedicated cycle path around the coastline to the beautiful, medieval town of Piran. On the way you will pass coastal villages and be treated to wonderful sea views. We recommend a small detour to delightful Portorož for a coffee and a stroll around before making a triumphant entrance into Piran for the final night of the holiday.
Day 11: Departure
After breakfast its time to checkout and head for home or your next adventure
Dates & Prices
|2019 Arrival Dates|
|Arrivals daily between 01 April and 6 October|
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|Deposit per person||£175|
10 x Breakfast
Maps & route information
GPS route data
Bike hire (see supplements)
Helmet (see supplements)
Optional lift to Jelovica high plateau, day 3 (€20 payable locally)
E-bike cash deposit €100 deposit on arrival, payable locally
Extra night Bled, double/twin, superior (£77)
Extra night Bled, single, superior (£132)
Extra night Ljubljana, double/twin, superior (£77)
Extra night Ljubljana, single, superior (£103)
Extra night Piran double/twin, superior (£64)
Extra night Piran, single, superior (£93)
Transfer Ljubjana Airport - Bled (min 2 pax) (£31)
Transfer Piran - Ljubjana Airport (min 2 pax) (£77)
Transfer Piran - Ljubjana downtown (min 2 pax) (£67)
Transfer Piran - Bled (min 2 pax) (£93)
Transfer Piran - Trieste Airport (min 2 pax) (£62)
Transfer Piran - Trieste downtown (min 2 pax) (£41)
Bike with pannier & lock. See practical information (£133)
Electric bike with pannier & lock (£266)
50% for children 2-6 years sharing with 2 adults
30% for children 7-12 years sharing with 2 adults
The bikes provided on this tour are classic trekking models with 21 speeds and comfortable saddle with upright riding position.
The bikes also come equipped with a rear pannier and per room one lock, a repair kit and one odometer.
Electric bikes are also available. €100 ‘cash only’ deposit to be paid on arrival. This will be refunded when bike is returned in good shape.
We suggest you bring your own helmet for safety and hygiene reasons. Alternatively, helmets are available to rent at the time of booking. Please note that it is compulsory to wear a helmet in Slovenia.
Superior: Good quality hotels and guesthouses.
Some hotels have started to charge a local/tourist tax. These taxes are not included in the sale price of the tour and must be paid directly by you at check-in or checkout at the hotels. This fee varies and is ever changing but as a guide, you may be asked to pay between €1-€4 per person per night.
Fly to Ljubljana or Trieste
We are happy to arrange a transfer from Ljubljana or Trieste airport to your first hotel in Bled or you can use public transport. Details provided on request.
- Date - 27/06/2018
- Name - Trevor Almack
- Service rating - 4.0
- Service comment - Well organised. Prompt responses to e mail. Good advice on GPS.
WOULD recommend and use again.
- Product rating - 4.0
- Product comment - The local agent, Helia, handled the transfers efficiently and on time. The handover of the bikes and equipment was a little over the top in terms of the dangers of cycling in Slovenia. Overall, we had a great holiday with friendly locals, good weather and tasty food. The cycling was as described and well within our capabilities. Please see following comments re: holiday and hotels.
On most days the signage is inadequate in terms of location, size and frequency. The colours are also not the clearest. You would soon get lost if you were relying on their signs. Directions and maps ok when used in conjunction with GPS maps.
I think that the cost of hiring the bikes should include insurance and not be told that you will have to pay for the bike if it gets stolen. Each bike should be provided with spare inner tube and repair kit in case couples want to go off and do their own thing sometimes.
It is clearly not compulsory to wear bike helmets in Slovenia. Don’t take one if you don’t wear one normally.
Hotels in Slovenia
1. Lake bled hotel Kompas
Large clean friendly. Facilities ++ not tested. Good location close to restaurants and lake. Room was clean and average size. Good breakfast.
2. Bohinj eco hotel @ bohinjska bistrica
Large clean hotel. Facilities ++ not tested. Good dining room. Ate at local restaurant. Very good room. Nice bathroom. Good breakfast. Friendly helpful staff. Secure parking facilities.
3. Mini hotel @ skofja loka
Little bit out of town centre. Little bit dated but clean and comfortable. Sports facilities on site? More basic than other hotels. No AC. Ok for 3 star. Good basic breakfast.
4. M hotel @ Ljubljana
Large chain hotel. Too far out of town, especially when helia recommend that you do not take your bikes into town as they will inevitably get stolen. I can understand why we were not closer to the centre last night due to the lack of alternatives but surely there are more conveniently located places to stay in Ljubljana. Disappointing choice.
Secure parking and good modern room.
Would recommend an extra night in Ljubljana as not enough time to see the place.
5. Montova hotel, Vrinka
Good location, easy to find, friendly staff. Good restaurant attached to hotel. Room slightly dated. Limited choice for breakfast.
6. Kars hotel, Povoskya
Clean modern hotel central location. Large AC room with good en suite. Good breakfast.
7. His a Posebne Sorta @ Kodreti
Guest house with 4 rooms and 4 apartments in a rural location. Warm welcome, clean and comfortable. Evening meal at the hotel (which was very good home cooked food- 3 courses with wine € ) unless you have transportation. Poor/ no internet during our stay.
8. Hotel Malovec @ Divaca
Large bright room with balcony. Secure underground parking. Attached to restaurant serving mostly traditional Slovenian food. Not much to do in Divaca.
9. Hotel SAN Rocco @Muggia
Modern hotel, near the sea front almost 1 km from the town square. Secure garage parking. Good reception and room. Outdoor swimming pool. Good breakfast.
10. Hotel Tartini @ Piran
Very good location in the town square. Near to all amenities. Recently refurbished in industrial/ minimalist style. Will look nice when it’s finished and there are places to put your things on etc. Secure parking. Lovely terrace with sea and town views. Good restaurant on site. Unfortunately they only have 3 twin rooms and they gave ours away to someone else!
Hotel told us they had advised Helia, who did not inform us.
Otherwise a lovely holiday. Thanks for your help in arranging it.
- Flexitreks response - Service rating : Many thanks Trevor we appreciate the recommendation.
Product : Many thanks for taking the time to provide such detailed feedback Trevor. Bike insurance is something that very few bike operators offer. We are told it is quite hard to come by and those that do offer it tend to fund and run the scheme themselves. Your comments about the signage have been fed back to our local operator and I'm glad the GPX tracks we supplied were put to good use.
- Date - 24/09/2017
- Name - Anonymous
- Service rating - 5.0
- Service comment - The pre service booking was excellent. We dealt with Ally. She was prompt with her answers to all our questions
- Product rating - 3.0
- Product comment - The route was very good. However, some of the hotels were a disappointment in terms of the quality and location. The hotels were supposed to be superior class and some of them we would not even consider comfort class. Also the standard of bikes need to be improved. Hybrid bikes are suitable for the road conditions but they need to be newer and better maintained. The rear brake on one of our bikes was not attached properly when we picked it up.
- Date - 16/09/2016
- Name - Anonymous
- Service rating - 5.0
- Product rating - 5.0
- Product comment - Helpful and responsive people