Day 1: Ljubljana
Along the old trade route you are biking from the capital city to the Adriatic Sea. This tour is rich in contrasts: from the lively baroque city Ljubljana, to the historic city of Trieste to the calm karst villages embedded in beautiful vineyards. You may visit the grotto of Postojna and the stud of Lipica. The magical castle of Predjama is worth a visit as well.
Arrival in Ljubljana
The main attraction in this wonderful Slovene capital is the old town centre with it's lovely 'fin de siecle' mansions. You might also like to visit the mighty fortress above the city or if you prefer to relax with a drink on the bank of the Ljubljana River. Take an evening walk enjoying the lights and sounds of the marvellous and historic city. Accommodation in 3* hotel.
Day 2: Ljubljana - Vrhnika (approx 37 km or 58km with detour)
Today you will cycle 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 of the Republic of Slovenia housed in Bistra Castle, where you’ll find a great hunting collection and an interesting exhibition of Tito’s cars.
Day 3: Vrhnika - Postojna (approx. 38 or 44km with detour)
Today is a slightly more demanding day over gentle hills, forest roads and a typical 'karst polje' (field).
Today, the roads will take 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 magical 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 of nature’s most incredible landscape formations, including two natural bridges.
Accommodation in a 4* hotel.
Day 4: Postojna - Štanjel (approx. 45 km or 55km with detour)
So far nearly 30 million tourists have visited this stunningly beautiful underground Postojna cave formation, carved deep into the heart of the limestone hills.
This is the most extensive cave system in Slovenia, covering a total of 21 kilometers. The 1½ hour tour will take you through a fairy tale world full of large and colourful stalactites and stalagmites, not forgetting the unique “human fish”, a mysterious creature that lives in dark pools inside the caves. You can also take a short detour to the impenetrable fortress of Predjama Castle, wedged tight into a crevasse halfway up a 123-metre cliff-face protruding dramatically into the surrounding basin.
According to legend, a vivacious and daring knight. Erasmus kept a whole army at bay by utilising the secret of the Predjama Caves to sneak out for supplies, which included freshly picked cherries which he used to throw at his adversaries to taunt them.
Take the tour and learn how Erasmus met his untimely demise in less than poetic circumstances, as he was literally caught with his pants down!!
Accommodation in a 3* guesthouse.
Day 5: ŠTANJEL – LIPICA – DIVAČA (48km)
The first stop today is at the lovely botanical gardens in Sežana, then it’s on to the stud farm of Lipica, where you can visit the 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.
Take a tour in a traditional carriage, watch them perform and visit them close up in their stables.
If you have the time for a couple of side-trips, you can also visit the unusual but very interesting “War Museum” set in the village tower of Lokev.
Day 6: Divaca - Ankaran (aprox. 45 km)
If you skipped the Postojna Caves – do take the chance to visit the Škocjan Caves & Karst Caves today – listed as a UNESCO natural monument!
You can take a slight diversion into the Italian town of Trieste - once an important port with its worldly flair and wonderful atmosphere.
Visit the castle, cathedral and Piazza Unita central square. Trieste was once part of Slovenia whilst under the rule of the Austrian monarchy.
Relax with a cappuccino in the many old-fashioned cafes. Cycling along the coast there is time to stop for a gelato in the old town of Muggia or relax on one of many beaches.
The day trip ends in the climatic resort of Ankaran.
Accommodation in a 3* hotel.
Day 7: ANKARAN – PIRAN (30 km)
Today you will be cycling along the coastal road on new cycling paths following the former railway line. Great views of Slovenian coastline and Trieste Bay. Take a coffee stop in fashionable resort of Portorož before the trip ends in the gorgeous Venetian little harbour village of Piran.
Accommodation in a 3* hotel.
Day 8: DEPARTURE FROM PIRAN
Time to head back home after breakfast.
You are welcome to schedule your homeward transport for any time.
If you decide to spend more time in Slovenia, we can offer an extension in a city or on the coast - do get in touch and we can make some suggestions