Start in lovely Ljubljana, one of Europe’s greenest capital cities.
Cycle all the way to the warm waters of the Adriatic coast.
Discover immense limestone caves, plunging gorges and dramatic hilltop castles.
Dip into Italy to enjoy a cappuccino in Trieste and marvel at its Miramare Castle.
End your trip in the stunning coastal village of Piran.
Self-guided cycling holiday: from Ljubljana to Piran
Slovenia’s Emerald Cycling Tour takes you through the country’s most famous historical attractions amid a stunningly diverse landscape. From the green and cultural capital, Ljubljana, you will cycle through an undulating karst limestone landscape. This is a countryside riddled with dramatic caves and gorges and dotted with hilltop castles and churches. Your cycle route takes you all the way to the sparkling Adriatic Sea and ends in picturesque Piran, one of the most beautiful villages on the whole Adriatic coast. This is the perfect place to unwind after your week of cycling with some delicious fresh seafood and chilled white wine!
As with all of our self-guided cycling tours, this trip includes luggage transportation and very comfortable accommodation.
|8 DAYS / 7 NIGHTS||From €699 per person sharing*
*A single supplement charge will apply for solo travellers.
|BIKE RENTAL||If you don’t bring your own, you can rent a bicycle from us.
Classic touring / trekking bikes are equipped with 21 gears, one back, side pannier per bike, one cycling odometer, one lock, one spare inner tube, one set of Allen keys and a basic puncture repair kit per couple / pair of bikes.
Bike rental period starts at 9:00 of day two of the tour (the day you leave Ljubljana) and ends at 18:00 on day seven, when you arrive in Piran.
Bike hire prices (weekly rates)
|ACCOMMODATION||In 3*/4* hotels and country guesthouse in a two-bed room with WC and shower, on a bed & breakfast basis.|
|AVAILABILITY||You can start on any day of the week, subject to availability, between March 26th and October 15th.|
|DIFFICULTY||The difficulty level of this trip is rated as moderate overall. There are some hilly sections, especially on the middle stages, but distances are manageable. Many days have shorter and longer cycling options. The trip is suitable for cyclists of average fitness. You will cycle mainly on side roads and quiet country roads. You will be provided with detailed route notes, maps and GPS tracks so you can easily find your way.|
Day 1: Arrival in Ljubljana
You will have a personal welcome meeting and bike fitting upon arrival.
If you arrive in time, you can visit the historic old town. Marvel at the ornate, old-world architecture in the shadow of Ljubljana Castle, perched high on a hilltop and standing guard over the old town. From the castle tower, you get a commanding view of the city and surrounding mountains.
Enjoy a meal in the old town and then round it off with a beer beside the Ljubljanica River, or on a riverboat ride.
Overnight: Ljubljana. Accommodation in a central 4* hotel.
Day 2: Ljubljana - Vrhnika
Distance: 39 km (+18 km optional side trip to Iski Vintgar Valley). A nice and easy first cycling day across the marshy plains surrounding the capital.
As the morning sun begins to rise high in the sky, you will be cycling across an immense 160-square kilometre marshy plain. The Ljubljansko Barje was once a great lake until it dried up 6000 years ago, leaving behind an incredibly diverse landscape that is now home to some of Europe’s rarest forms of bird, plant and insect life. Along the way you can take a short walk into the picturesque Iški Vintgar gorge nature reserve, carved deep into a stunning limestone dolomite plateau, and visit the remnants of the world’s highest railway viaduct in Borovnica. Just before arriving in Vrhnika, you can visit the Technical Museum in Bistra Castle, where you’ll find an interesting exhibition of Tito’s cars.
Overnight: Vrhnika. Accommodation in a 3* hotel.
Day 3: Vrhnika – Postojna
Distance: 32 km (+12 km optional side trip to nature reserve Rakov Skocjan). A slightly more demanding day over gentle hills, forest roads and a typical limestone landscape.
Today’s cycle takes you away from the main tourist routes and off the beaten track. You will experience the real Slovenian countryside as you cycle past the beautiful Slivnica Mountain and the disappearing lake of Planina, and marvel at the wonders of this vast world of limestone. You can stop for a picnic lunch in the Rakov Škocjan nature reserve, where the Rak River has carved out a stunning gorge containing some incredible rock formations, including two natural bridges.
Overnight: Postojna. Accommodation in a 4* hotel.
Day 4: Postojna – Štanjel
Distance: 42 km (+6 km optional side trip to Predjama Castle). A hilly day, with one long descent.
Today will start with a visit to the beautiful Postojna caves, the most extensive cave system in Slovenia, carved deep into the heart of the limestone hills. An optional 1½ hour tour will take you through a fairy tale world full of stalactites and stalagmites. Look out for the “human fish”, a mysterious creature that lives in dark pools inside the caves.
Also recommended is a short detour to the impenetrable fortress of Predjama castle, wedged tight into a crevasse halfway up a 123-meter cliff-face. Here lived a vivacious and daring knight named Erasmus, who kept a whole army at bay by sneaking out through the Predjama Caves to sneak out for supplies, including freshly picked cherries which he used to throw at his adversaries to taunt them!
Overnight: Štanjel area. Accommodation in a 3* guesthouse.
Day 5: Štanjel – Lipica – Divača
Distance: 48 km. Rolling terrain with flat sections.
Today’s first stop is perhaps at the botanical garden in Sežana. Then it’s on to the stud farm of Lipica, where you can visit these beautiful thoroughbred Lipizaner horses whose glistening white coats and gentle, graceful dancing have earned them a worldwide reputation. The history of the Lipica horses is closely linked to the Vienna riding school.
If you have the time, you can also visit the interesting “War Museum” set in the old Venetian tower of Lokev.
Overnight: Divača. Accommodation in a 3* hotel.
Day 6: Divača – Muggia
Distance: 38 km. Initially rolling terrain, then a long descent.
If you skipped the Postojna caves, then you will have a chance this morning you can visit Škocjan Caves. These are no less interesting but much less frequented Karst Caves and are listed as UNESCO natural monument.
You can take a diversion to the lively Italian port town of Trieste, to visit the castle, cathedral and Piazza Unita central square. Trieste was once part of Slovenia whilst under the rule of the Austrian monarchy. You can relax with a cappuccino in the many old-fashioned cafes.
Today’s route ends in Muggia, south of Trieste. After your days’ cycling it is time to enjoy a gelato and enjoy the view over the Adriatic.
Overnight: Muggia. Accommodation in a 4* hotel.
Day 7: Muggia – Piran
Distance: 37 km (+11 km optional side trip to the Seca salt pans). An easy coastal route.
For your last day you’ll cycle along the coast on a new cycling path which follows a former railway line. Enjoy great vistas of the Slovene coast and the Gulf of Trieste. A coffee stop in the fashionable resort of Portorož is a must.
The trip ends in the stunning little Venetian harbour village of Piran. The pearl of the Slovene Riviera, Piran is one of the most beautiful villages on the whole Adriatic coast.
Overnight: Piran. Accommodation in a 4* hotel.
Day 8: Departure from Piran
Your trip comes to an end after breakfast this morning unless you have booked any additional services with us. If you would like an additional night in Piran then just let us know at the time of booking.
You can return to Ljubljana by train or bus, or take a ferry across the Adriatic to Venice.