Slovene hilltop village with a church
Highlights

Cycling tour highlights:

  • visit a stunning alpine national park
  • swim in fresh, cool alpine lakes
  • follow the emerald coloured Soča river
  • sip local red wine in a world of limestone
  • sample great traditional food in Karst villages

Cycling Vistas & Wines

from 850 EUR
Departure
daily from March 25 to October 14, 2023
Duration
8 days / 7 nights
Starting Point
Lake Bled
Total Distance
265 km
Activity Level
2

From alpine lakes to a sun-drenched coast packed with mountain views, immense bodies of water and flowing wine.

Starting at the fairy-tale world of Lake Bled, a glacial lake famed for its beautiful island church and clifftop castle, your ride will take you first through alpine Slovenia's most beautiful mountain vistas, over a high pass, along cool flowing rivers and out into a valley laden with vineyards. Castles and hilltop churches will dominate your view, along with great local wine and food in the Karst region (a beautiful limestone plateau). Finally, the sunny coast awaits with lazy promenades and beautiful Venetian architecture. This is the perfect cycling holiday for lovers of diverse landscape, good food and great local wine, and people who would like nothing more than to soak their feet in the warm sea after a long journey by bike. 

As a pre-trip, why not consider our Salzburg to Lake Bled. 

Itinerary

Day 1: ARRIVAL IN Lake Bled 

To begin with, you can dip your feet in the beautiful glacial Lake Bled. This shimmering body of water is famous for its distinctive island church and the clifftop castle all backed by the beautiful Karavanke Mountains. Bled is one of Slovenia’s most popular tourist attractions. You can take a stroll around the western side of the lake for some of the best views and photographs, and then have lunch and the locally famous cream cake (Kremšnita) on the eastern side while watching the sunset over the mountains.

Day 2: BLED–BOHINJSKA BISTRICA (↔ 27 km; 43 km with a side trip, ↑ 110 m, ↓ 810 m)

A short car transfer drops you off on the high plateau at Pokljuka. From here you'll cycle through alpine villages to Lake Bohinj, the jewel of the Triglav National Park. Encircled by tall mountain peaks, Bohinj is the largest and deepest lake in the national park. Savica Waterfall is the source of both the lake and the Sava Bohinjka River. A cable car runs up to Vogel Mountain, where you can get a spectacular view into the Bohinj Valley and of Mount Triglav, the highest peak in the Julian Alps.

Day 3: BOHINJ–TOLMIN (↔ 56 km; or 35 km if taking train to Podbrdo, ↑ 1.210 m, ↓ 1.530 m)

In the morning you'll have two options. Your route will take you via the Sorica Pass over the Julian Alps, but if you want to save some time and climbing you can take a short train ride through the Bohinj tunnel to Podbrdo. Then you paddle off through a narrow valley and follow the beautiful emerald-green Soča River as it rushes out of the mountains and into the western side of the Julian Alps. Just before reaching your destination you'll have a chance to dive into its supernatural waters or visit the only monument in the world dedicated to military cooks.

Day 4: TOLMIN–ŠMARTNO–SOLKAN (↔ 46 km; or 46 km without lift up, ↑ 690 m, ↓ 1.600 m)

You will be car transferred to Kolovrat Saddle - a million-dollar viewpoint high above the Soča Valley. Once the site of heavy fighting during WW1, it's now a very interesting open-air museum. Reaching the first village, Mrs. Josephine, who lives all alone in an intact old-fashioned pub, will be overjoyed to welcome you in her shady garden. Cycling tour ridges above the two valleys, you'll reach your day's destination - Šmartno v Goriških Brdih, amid an abundance of lush vineyards. A recent and beautifully restored medieval village of narrow streets with Mediterranean-style houses, you can stretch your legs here, sip cool white wine and chat with locals in an authentic village pub. Cycling the ridges above two valleys, you'll reach Šmartno v Goriških Brdih, amid an abundance of lush vineyards. A recent and beautifully restored medieval village of narrow streets with Mediterranean houses, you can stretch your legs here, sip cool white wine and chat with locals in an authentic village pub. On the way to your days destination you will cycle a uniquie “corridor road” that cuts through Italy and see the bridge with largest stone arch in the world!

Day 5: SOLKAN–ŠTANJEL AREA (↔ 40 km, ↑ 340 m, ↓ 270 m)

After leaving the Brda wine region you'll reach "Southern Berlin". The Iron Curtain once split the town of Gorizia between Italy and Yugoslavia. At the railway station that stands right on the border, one can visit the very interesting Curtain Museum. Cycling further along the border you'll come to the smallest military museum in the world - a historic Yugoslav border outpost. Overlooking the border is the ancient Kostanjevica Monastery, where the last French King is buried. Turning inland, you'll soon reach the vineyards of the Vipava region. Your host Vid will be happy to provide you with samples of the best wines in the beautiful rural setting of his small Karst village.

Day 6: ŠTANJEL AREA–DIVAČA (↔ 48 km, ↑ 600 m, ↓ 330 m)

Today you'll cycle to the stud farm of Lipica, where you can visit beautiful thoroughbred Lipizzaner horses, whose gentle, graceful dancing have wowed many a visitor. Take a tour in a traditional carriage, and visit them close up in their stables. You can also visit the unusual but nonetheless interesting “War Museum” set inside a Venetian tower - see what a collector's passion can really mean. Your small-town hotel belongs to a butcher's family, but the young master is a wine expert too and he'll present you the best red wines of the Karst region.

Day 7: DIVAČA–TRIESTE / MUGGIA (↔ 38 km, ↑ 280 m, ↓ 690 m)

In the morning you can visit the fascinating UNESCO Škocjan Caves. Then it's one final descent with magnificent views of the Adriatic Sea before reaching the southern outskirts of Trieste - the old seaside village of Muggia, where your cycling day and tour end. Park your bike and take the city shuttle boat to the worldly port city of Trieste and visit Miramare Castle, the cathedral or Piazza Unita central square, where you can relax with a cappuccino or a gelato with Trieste Bay in full view.

Day 8: DEPARTURE FROM TRIESTE / MUGGIA

After breakfast your tour ends. However, you can prolong your stay and continue cycling by taking our Croatia Istrian Coastal Tour down to Pula.

Price

Price per person based on two people sharing:

Low season: March 26 to May 6 and September 16 to October 14, 2023: 850 EUR
High season: May 7 to September 15, 2023: 895 EUR 
(Currency converter

Price includes:
•    accommodation in hotels 3*/4* and country guesthouse in a two-bed room with WC and shower, on a bed & breakfast basis
•    luggage transport between hotels (one piece per person, max 20 kg / 45 lb). Every additional piece 10 EUR, payable on the spot
•    transfers on days two and four
•    tour description and maps in electronic form
•    personal welcome meeting, detailed briefing and bike fitting upon arrival

•    GPS data
•    local tourist and other taxes
•    backup service (hotline) during the trip

Optional extras:
•    single traveller 320 EUR
•    two wine tastings in Brda and Divača. Each time three samples of best local wines with cheese 25 EUR
•    bike rental 90 EUR 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 Every additional day: 18 EUR per bike. Additional odometer 20 EUR, payable on the spot. Bike rental period starts at 9:00 day 2 of the tour and ends at 18:00 of day 7
•    electric bike 220 EUR
•    helmet rental 12 EUR per tour
•    “Help out lift” to top of the pass on day 3 30 EUR per person
•    printed information package in English including route notes and corresponding maps delivered upon arrival 30 EUR

Additional nights:
•   4* Hotel in Bled 105 EUR per person per night in a standard double room, B&B. Single room 170 EUR
•   4* Hotel in Bohinj 75 EUR per person per night in a standard double room, B&B. Single room 105 EUR
•   3* Hotel in Štanjel area 65 EUR per person per night in a standard double room, B&B. Single room 90 EUR
•   4* Hotel in Muggia Beach 70 EUR per person per night in a standard double room, B&B. Single room 100 EUR

Discounts:
•   children up to 12 years when sharing room with parents 30% discount on basic price
•   third adult in the room 10% discount on basic price

Not included: optional train ticket on day 3 if you would like to shorten the day trip; entrance fees, lunches, drinks with meals, saunas and massages in hotels

Transfers:

Ljubljana Airport to Bled
1–3 persons: 75 EUR
4–8 persons: 105 EUR

Ljubljana City to Bled
1–3 persons: 100 EUR
4–8 persons: 140 EUR

Villach to Bled
1–3 persons: 140 EUR
4–8 persons: 160 EUR

Klagenfurt Airport to Bled
1–3 persons: 190 EUR
4–8 persons: 230 EUR

Lesce Bled Raiway Station to Bled
1–3 persons: 20 EUR
4–8 persons: 30 EUR

Trieste Airport to Bled 
1–3 persons: 230 EUR
4–8 persons: 290 EUR

Muggia to Trieste Airport
1–3 persons: 140 EUR
4–8 persons: 170 EUR

Muggia to Trieste Center
1–3 persons: 80 EUR
4–8 persons: 110 EUR

Other transfer routes prices on request

Route profile

Total Length: 255 km
Terrain: xx% asphalt, x% unpaved

The tour has a few ascends and downhill sections, but this is all due the views you can see just from there. Once you start nearing the coast line the altitude becomes lower, and this leg of the tour is more flat, then the start of the tour. Suitable for cyclist with average fitness.

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* Hotel Triglav / Hotel Park Bled

Day 2 4* Hotel Kristal Ribčev laz / Bohinj

Day 3 3* Hotel Dvorec Tolmin

Day 4 3* Hotel Sabotin in Solkan

Day 5 4* Guesthouse Hiša posebne sorte Kodreti 

Day 6 3* Hotel Malovec Divača 

Day 7 4* Hotel San Rocco Muggia / 3* Hotel Roma Trieste

Travel options

Starting point of this trip is Bled in NW Slovenia.

Getting there...

By plane: closest airport is Ljubljana (LJU). Several airlines serve it.  From the airport you can travel to Bled by bus (change once, takes about two hours) or book our transfer: Ljubljana Airport to Bled (faster - 20 min) - please ask us for a favorable quote!

By bus: several Flixbus lines stop at Lake Bled.

By train: Bled has two railway stations: Lesce Bled station on the Villach - Ljubljana mainline, 4 km away from town centre, need to take a bus. The other is station Bled Jezero on the Jesenice - Nova Gorica sideline only a few trains a day. Two km away from town centre.

By car: take exit Lesce on the A1 motorway Ljubljana - Jesenice, Karavanke. Please consult us about parking possibilities.

.... and away

By plane: Trieste airport (TST) or Ljubljana (LJU). Several airlines serve them. You can book our transfer: Trieste to Ljubljana Airport - please ask us for a favorable quote!

By train: several trains go daily from Trieste to Venice, one per day to Ljubljana.

By boat: there are boats operating from Trieste along the Adriatic Coast and ferries from Piran in Slovenia to Venice.

By car: if your car is in Bled we can transfer you - please ask us for a favorable quote!

Your bike

Helia bikes are available in different sizes in unisex model:

Touring bike 27-gear Shimano Deore
SCOTT E-bike 4 electronic gears / 9 mechanical gears Shimano

Features:

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

All rented adult bikes are equipped with:

  • cycle computer
  • 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

I have been meaning to write you an email for months, but life continues to get away. We absolutely loved the tour you put together for us this fall!!! We started with a small hiccup with the bikes, however despite your recommendations we took the road bikes and it turns out the tour you arranged for us was perfect for advanced road bikers. I could understand the steep grades wouldn't be appropriate for everybody, but being from the mountains we did not have any difficulty. We loved every second of it. Your choice of hotels was perfect, the maps and the luggage transfers were all seamless. Thanks again for making our bike trip so special. Hopefully we can use your company again in the future. I just recommended a friend to you today.

- E.M Colorado USA


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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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