mighty fortress set in a rock face
Highlights

Cycling tour highlights:

  • visit the famous sights of the capital, Ljubljana
  • head down into immense limestone caves
  • take a walk on the Italian side in historic Trieste
  • sip sumptuous red wine in a world of limestone
  • end your trip on the sunny Adriatic coast in ancient Piran

Cycling Emerald Tour

from 895 EUR
Departure
daily from March 23 to October 12, 2024
Duration
8 days / 7 nights
Starting Point
Ljubljana
Total Distance
234 - 272 km
Activity Level
2

Cycling down to the coast in seven days!

This popular cycling tour takes you through Slovenia's most famous historical attractions amid a stunningly diverse landscape. From the cultural capital through the undulating landscape of the limestone Karst, riddled with caves and dotted with castles and churches, to the sparkling Adriatic Sea; there is something for everyone.

As a pre-trip, have a look at our Lakes & Cities Short Tour starting at Lake Bled!

Itinerary

Day 1: ARRIVAL TO LJUBLJANA.

The Slovene capital: visit the historic old town and marvel at the ornate, old-world architecture sitting in the shadow of the Ljubljana Castle perched high on a hill and standing guard over the old town and city centre. From its 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.

Day 2: LJUBLJANA - VRHNIKA (↔ 39 km, ↑ 220 m, ↓ 230 m).

Your first cycling day will be a gentle ride across an immense 160-sq km marshy plain: the Ljubljana Moors (Ljubljansko Barje). The lovely Krim Mountain will dominate your view here. Head up to the hilltop church of Saint Ana for an amazing panoramic view of Slovenia. Along the way you can see the remnants of the world's highest railway viaduct in Borovnica. Before you arrive at your destination, be sure to visit the Technical Museum in Bistra Castle, where you’ll find an interesting exhibition of president Tito’s cars.

Day 3: VRHNIKA – POSTOJNA (↔ 34 km; 44 km with a side trip to nature reserve Rakov Škocjan, ↑ 590 m, ↓ 350 m).

Today you'll experience the real Slovenian countryside as you cycle past the beautiful Slivnica Mountain and the magical disappearing lakes of Cerknica and Planina, and marvel at this vast world of limestone. You can stop for a picnic lunch amid some of nature’s most incredible landscape formations, including two natural bridges, at the Rakov Škocjan nature reserve.

Day 4: POSTOJNA – ŠTANJEL AREA (↔ 42 km; 48 km with a side trip to Predjama Castle,↑ 410 m, ↓ 790 m).

Today you will start with a visit to the beautiful Postojna caves, the most extensive cave system in Slovenia, covering a total of 21 kilometers. The 1,5 hour tour will take you through a fairy tale world, full of large and colorful stalactites and stalagmites, not forgetting the unique “human fish”, a mysterious creature that lives in dark pools inside the caves. Then head to the impenetrable fortress of Predjama Castle, in a crevasse halfway up a 123-metre cliff-face; once home to a vivacious and daring knight. Erasmus kept a whole army at bay by utilizing the Predjama Caves to sneak out for supplies. 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.

Day 5: ŠTANJEL AREA– LIPICA – DIVAČA (↔ 48 km, ↑ 630 m, ↓ 370 m).

Today you'll cycle to the stud farm of Lipica where you can visit beautiful thoroughbred Lipizzaner horses, whose glistening white coats and gentle, graceful dancing have earned them a worldwide reputation. Take a tour in a traditional carriage, and visit them close up in their stables. You can also visit the unusual but very interesting “War Museum” set inside an old Venetian tower.

Day 6: DIVAČA – MUGGIA (↔ 38 km, ↑ 280 m, ↓ 700 m).

If you missed Postojna caves no worries, this morning you can visit Škocjan Caves; no less interesting but far less frequented. They are even listed as a UNESCO natural monument! You can take a diversion into the Italian town of Trieste - once an important port with its worldly flair and wonderful atmosphere. Visit Miramare Castle, the 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. The day ends in Muggia, south of Trieste, where you can enjoy a gelato ice cream in the old town.

Day 7: MUGGIA – PIRAN (↔ 37 km; 48 km with a side trip, ↑ 320 m, ↓ 330 m).

For your last day you'll cycle along the coastal road on a new cycling path following the old railway line. Enjoy great vistas of Slovenia's modest, yet lovely coast, and Trieste Bay. A stop in the trendy resort of Portorož is a must. The trip ends in the gorgeous little Venetian harbour town of Piran.

Day 8: DEPARTURE.

After breakfast your tour ends. However, you can prolong your stay in Piran, take a one-way boat trip or day cruise to Venice or continue cycling by taking our Croatia Istrian Coastal Tour down to Pula or Bike and Boat tour of Kvarner bay.

Price

Price per person based on two people sharing:

Low season: March 23 to May 3 and September 21 to October 12, 2024: 895 EUR
High season: May 4 to September 20, 2023: 940 EUR

(Currency converter)

Price includes:
•    seven nights accommodation in hotels 3*/4* and guesthouses in a two bedded en-suite facilities room, on basis of bed & breakfast
•    luggage transport between hotels, one piece per person, max 23 kg / 50 lb. Lufthansa dimensions Every additional piece 60 EUR, payable on the spot
•    tour description and maps in GUIBO application electronic form
•    welcome meeting and bike handover
•    local tourist and other taxes
•    backup service (hotline) during the trip

Optional extras:
•    single traveler 460 EUR, applies when a person travels alone
•    single room 265 EUR in low season, 290 EUR in high season, applies when a person in traveling together with other persons in party
•    upgrade  to 4* hotel in Ljubljana city center 80 EUR per person per night in a double room, 120 EUR in a single room
•    bike rental 90 EUR, classic touring bikes are equipped with 24 gears, helmet, one pannier per bike, one lock, one repair set per couple /pair of bikes - one long lock, one spare inner tube, one set of Allen keys, tire levers and a basic puncture patch set. Every additional rental day: 25 EUR per bike. Bike rental period starts at 9:00 on day 2 of the tour and ends at 18:00 on day 7.
•    electric bike rental 230 EUR
•    printed information package including route notes and corresponding maps delivered upon arrival - 30 EUR per set

Additional nights:
•    4* Hotel in Ljubljana (mid-ring) 95 EUR per person per night in a standard double room, B&B. Single room 150 EUR
•    4* Hotel in Ljubljana (city historic center) 110 EUR per person per night in a standard double room, B&B. Single room 190 EUR
•    4* Hotel in Muggia 80 EUR per person per night in a standard double room, B&B- Single room 130 EUR
•    4* Hotel in Piran old town 95 EUR per person per night in a standard double room, B&B. Single room 170 EUR
•    3* Hotel in Štanjel area 65 EUR per person per night in a standard double room, B&B. Single room 90 EUR

Discounts:
•   children up to 12 years when sharing room with parents up to 40% discount on basic price
•   third adult in the room 10% discount on basic price

Not included: entrance fees, lunches, dinners, drinks with meals, saunas and massages in hotels

Transfers:

Ljubljana Airport to Ljubljana
1–3 persons: 60 EUR
4–8 persons: 75 EUR

Trieste Airport to Ljubljana
1–3 persons: 180 EUR
4–8 persons: 220 EUR

Piran to Trieste City
1–3 persons: 140 EUR
4–8 persons: 180 EUR

Piran to Trieste Airport
1–3 persons: 145 EUR
4–8 persons: 180 EUR

Piran to Ljubljana City
1–3 persons: 190 EUR
4–8 persons: 230 EUR

Piran to Ljubljana Airport
1–3 persons: 240 EUR
4–8 persons: 290 EUR

All prices per transfer, one way. No pooling permitted. Price includes transport of bikes.

Route profile

Total Length: 234 km / 272 km with side trips

Waytype: 80% regional country roads, 13% cycleways, 7% main road (city approach sections).

Surface: 95% asphalt and paved, 5% unpaved

Difficulty: medium - for those who, for example complete daily trip to the market by bike in nice weather and consider cycling should be fun but not training. Gentle hills or stretches on gravel paths do not cause any difficulties. Average daily elevation gains between 100 and 500 meters

Accommodation

Helia supports responsible travel. On our trips we therefore use small, authentic hotels and guesthouses with character operated by locals or their families. Here you can find the list of standard accommodation we primarily use on the trip. The actual hotels may differ from this list, depending on time of booking and rooms availability.

Day 1 4* M-Hotel in Ljubljana

Day 2 3* Hotel Mantova in Vrhnika

Day 3 4* Hotel Kras in Postojna

Day 4 4* Guesthouse Hisa Posebne Sorte in Stanjel area

Day 5 3* Hotel Malovec in Divaca

Day 6 4* Hotel Marina San Rocco in Muggia

Day 7 4* Hotel Piran in Piran

Travel options

Starting point of this trip is Ljubljana, Slovenia's capital.

Getting there...

By plane: closest airport is Ljubljana (LJU). Several airlines serve it. From the airport you can travel to Ljubljana by minivan shuttles, by bus or book our transfer - Ljubljana Airport to Ljubljana Downtown or vice versa - please ask us for a favorable quote.

By bus: several Flixbus lines stop in Ljubljana

By train: Ljubljana is the main railway hub of Slovenia, well served from all directions. Our standard first hotel is two km away.

By car: the city of Ljubljana is centrally located in Slovenia and all motorways go there.

.... and away

By plane: closest airport is Trieste, 50 km NW (served by Ryanair from many origins). We can best arrange you a transfer- please ask us for a favorable quote. Next is Ljubljana (LJU). You can return to Ljubljana by bus, train or our transfer - please ask us for a favorable quote.

By bus: a few Flixbus lines depart from Koper, 18 km from Piran.

By train: Koper railway station is 20 km away from Piran. Trains leave from here to Ljubljana. If you wish to travel onward to Rijeka (Croatia) you need to change in Pivka, however, only a few trains cross the border! There are no train connections into Italy, you'll need to travel first to Trieste.

By boat: check out ferries to Venice. There are also ferries operating to Greece and seasonal sailings along the Slovene coast to Croatia.

By car: if your car is in Ljubljana, you can return there by bus or train. Our transfer - please ask us for a favorable quote.

Your bike

Helia bikes are available in different sizes in unisex model:

Touring bike 24-gear Shimano Deore
Touring Ebike 4 electronic gears / 9 mechanical gears Shimano

Features:

  • aluminium frame
  • mudguard
  • rear rack
  • comfort gel saddle
  • anti-puncture Continental tires
  • ergonomic bicycle grips

All rented adult bikes are equipped with:

  • Vaude one-sided saddlebag
  • combination bike lock

Only for self-guided tours: one repair kit per two bikes: one spare inner tube, glue, patch, a pump, two allen keys and tyre levers

Other available rental bikes

First hand experience

We stayed at Hisa Posebne Sorte with our cycle tour of Slovenia (we went with Helia - fantastic by the way). This charming guesthouse is nestled in a tiny village in the heart of wine country, the accommodation is large, comfortable, clean, and every need catered for. The views are outstanding. What makes this place truly special is two things, firstly, the hospitality truly is outstanding. The hosts have a wonderful personal touch, and we are truly grateful to them. Secondly the restaurant, lovingly handmade, and then the food, exceptional. In fact, it was so special that we got engaged here! It is a very popular location for weddings, so we may be back. Highly recommend for a weekend away, a relaxing stay, or a wedding!


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Travel Agency L.T.D

Trubarjeva cesta 8
SI-4260 Bled  Slovenia
Tel.: +386 4 57 65 600
Fax.: +386 4 57 65 601
Cell Phone: +386 31 544 544

Skype: helia.travel.agency
e-mail to: info@helia.si

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