A short bike tour over steep roads and through lush green valleys

May 2004

We first followed the bike path along the Drava River to Maribor - ideal to get started as the stretch for the first day is basically flat. From Maribor we continued south to Lesicno in the Spominski Park at the border to Croatia. There we visited the castle Grad Podsreda - the small road leading to the castle had slopes of at least 20%!

Bike tour Slovenien 2004 on a bigger map

An overview of our round-trip throughout Slovenia starting and ending in Villach (Austria)

From Lesicno we then took our way via Sevnica, Trebnje, and Zuzemberk though the typical chalky formation landscapes of south Slovenia to the lake Cerknisko jezero. In summer this lake disappears into the underground river systems, and only in spring time it is actually a lake. After visiting some of the famous caves of south Slovenia and the cave castle Predjamski Grad, we approached the Julian Alps and the Triglav National Park. However, due to a bad weather day, we descended down to the Vipava valley for one day to escape the fresh snow at 1000 m elevation and rather enjoy sunny 26°C in Slovenia's wine country. The following day we then took the road from Ajdovscina to Predmeja, a 1100 m ascend with an average slope of 10%. Above 1000 m we rode through fresh snow... The hard work of the long ascend was rewarded by a long and steep downhill stretch to the Idrijca and Soca valley reaching Most na Soce. We followed the Baca valley to Podbrdo and the again crossed a pass of 1211 m leading to Bohinjska Bistrica.

Our first stop for some short hikes was at the lake Bohinjsko jezero, the biggest permanent lake of Slovenia. While the waterfall of the Savica at the east end of the lake was a bit disappointing (very touristy and costs even entrance...), we enjoyed ascending the steep rock walls surrounding the lake. Unfortunately, this year spring time was unusually cold, so that we found a continuous snow cover still at elevations above 1200 m, making hiking not much of a pleasure. From the Bohinjsko lake we then rode to Bled via Stara Fuzina following the Sava valley. From Bled we took a small road through the Radovna valley and then ascended into the Krma valley as far as the road would take us. In the Krma valley we had the most amazing views of crocus meadows, just below the snowy peaks of the Julian Alps.

From Kranjska Gora we then took the road across the Vrsic pass (1611m) into the Soca valley. The Soca river is one of the most amazing rivers we have ever seen - it has a perfectly turqouise color and the river bed consists of perfectly white limestone... After a day-ride on a really nice trail along the Soca river from Cezsoca (near Bovec) to Trnovo we left Slovenia via the Predel Pass (1156m). From Tarvisio we re-entered Slovenia and visited the world's largest ski-jump facility in the Planica valley. We returned to Villach via the Wurzenpass (1021m), not very high but very steep (18%), especially on the Austrian side.

Altogether we have covered almost 1000 km in a small but charming and diverse country - we surely will come back for the high mountains in the Triglav Park!