Slovenia

Secrets of Slovenia Cycling

Trip code: C07SN 4.9 (9 reviews)

Self-guided cycling

7 nights,
hotel-to-hotel

Level: 2+
Moderate plus

24.0Kg CO2e

Headwater
Navigation App

Optional
e-bike hire

SUMMARY

  • Turquoise Lake Bled, emerald Soča river, white peaks of the Julian Alps
  • Goriška Brda, the 'Tuscany' of Slovenia; hilltop villages, orchards and vineyards
  • Medieval stonemason settlement of Stanjel
  • UNESCO Škocjan caves and Lipica, cradle of Lipizzaner horses
  • Venetian coastal towns of Koper and Piran

WHAT'S INCLUDED?

  • 7 nights accommodation
  • All continental breakfasts and 1 evening meal
  • Bike fitting and briefing at the start of your holiday
  • Headwater navigation app
  • Bike hire included
  • Luggage transfers between hotels
  • Train transfer Day 3; Car transfer Day 5

TRIP DESCRIPTION

Discover the 'Secrets' of Slovenia, cycling through scenic countryside which changes with every turn of the pedal. From the turquoise waters of Lake Bled and the white peaks of Julian Alps to the emerald Soča river and green Karst vineyard, finishing at the blue Adriatic Sea.

Cycle through traditional villages around Lake Bled before taking a scenic railway journey to Kanal from where you'll reach Goriška Brda, the 'Tuscany' of Slovenia. Explore the local vines and wines before discovering the Karst region and visiting the hilltop village of Štanjel, a medieval stonemason settlement with narrow, stone alleys that wind among the buildings built on terraces and the UNESCO-listed Škocjan caves. Next stop is Lipica, home of the original Lipizzaner horses with the stud farm dating from 1580 to the time of the Hapsburg. It is possible to join a guided tour to see the horses before cycling on to the edge of the border with Italy for views out to the coast towards Trieste in Italy and your destination. the city of Koper. A scenic path takes you along the Parenzana railway line to Koper from where you cycle on to Piran - looking back to the distant mountains gives you a great feeling of achievement.

The places where you will stay vary from a large lakeside property in Bled, to a renovated homestead in Smartno, and the Maestoso Hotel in Lipica, where you'll find the Lippizaner stud farm.

Terrain

Distances vary, and parts of the countryside are fairly hilly, so you can take your time on the steeper climbs and admire the wonderful long distance views. Routes mainly follow tranquil lanes and traffic-free cycle trails. There are some short sections on busier roads and on gravel tracks and on some sections there is a choice of route depending on your preference.

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DAY-BY-DAY ITINERARY

 

Day 1: Arrive in Bled

Arrive at your 4 star hotel on the promenade of Lake Bled. Enjoy some of the hotel facilities before heading into Bled for dinner.

You stay at Hotel Park.

hotel details

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Hotel Park, Bled

HOTEL WEBSITE      TRIP ADVISOR

Mastercard
Visa
Pool
Hairdryer
WiFi
TV
Minibar
Aircon
Safe


Overlooking Lake Bled, Park Hotel - Sava Hotels & Resorts features a wellness centre with a large indoor pool and a gym. All rooms have balcony with either lake view or park view.

Day 2: Lake Bled Circular Cycle (30km/18.6mi)

Today's ride takes you on a circular route from Bled passing through pretty Slovene villages. There is an optional detour to visit Grad Kamen Castle. The route then brings you back into Bled along the shores of the Lake.

elevation

Day 3: Lake Bled (Kanal) to Smartno (33km/20.5mi)

An early start today with a scenic train journey along one of the most picturesque railway lines in the area with 28 tunnels, five galleries and 68 bridges. Your cycle route starts in Kanal and soon you'll be joining a newly built cycle path, following the emerald crystal clear Soča river to the sun-kissed wine country, Goriška Brda. The local wines and culinary delights will help you get your strength back after a lovely trip.

elevation

You stay at Hisa Marica.

hotel details

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Hisa Marica, Smartno

HOTEL WEBSITE      TRIP ADVISOR

Hairdryer
WiFi
TV
Aircon


Set in a traditional stone house, Hisa Marica is decorated in rustic style with wooden beams, all rooms are fitted with solid wooden furniture. You can enjoy a garden view from all the rooms. There is a restaurant serving traditional cuisine and a bar with charming terrace.

Day 4: At Smartno (19km/11.8mi)

You'll spend the day exploring the Brda wine growing region. Following the so-called 'peach' route you will be cycling through the charming landscape covered with vineyards, orchards and olive groves. Cycling through small hilltop villages and past renaissance manors will tempt you for lunch with a view.

elevation

Day 5: Smartno (Stanjel) to Lipica (41km/25.5mi or 60km/37.3mi)

After breakfast. we take you (45 min transfer) to the village of Štanjel. Štanjel is a place of countless unique stories, where you'll become acquainted with stonemason Karst architecture. This region is the home of Teran ruby wine and tasty air-dried Karst prosciutto. Your destination for today is Lipica - home of the famous Lipizzaner white horses. Extend your day by cycling to the Škocjan caves, considered to be one of the most beautiful underground gems and a UNESCO World heritage site.

elevation

You stay at Hotel Maestoso.

hotel details

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Hotel Maestoso, Lipica

HOTEL WEBSITE      TRIP ADVISOR

Mastercard
Visa
Hairdryer
WiFi
TV
Aircon


Hotel Maestoso is set in the heart of the Lipica stud farm, home to over 300 Lipizzaner horses. The hotel blends naturally with the traditional elements of Lipica and has modern rooms as well as a restaurant. Your evening meal is included here and is usually a varied buffet.

Day 6: Lipica to Koper (40km/24.9mi)

Before you set off, take the opportunity of a guided tour of Lipica Stud farm, a unique green estate home to the white Lipizzaner horses (book and pay locally). Once you set off cycling the scenery changes as you leave the Karst region behind and the view opens up to the Adriatic sea. You'll head into Italy for a short time today and join the famous Parenzana coastal trail which runs on the former narrow-gauge between the Italian city Trieste and Poreč in Croatia. Your final two nights are spent on the coast in the medieval town of Koper, linked to the Venetian republic until the end of the 18th Century.

elevation

You stay at Grand Hotel Koper.

hotel details

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Hotel Grand Koper, Koper

HOTEL WEBSITE      TRIP ADVISOR

Mastercard
Visa
Hairdryer
WiFi
TV
Minibar
Aircon
Safe


Situated in the Old Town of Koper, on the seafront, Grand Hotel Koper has been recently renovated. Rooms feature a seating area, a TV, and a phone and overlook the town or the sea. The hotel also has a bar and à-la-carte restaurant with a spacious terrace.

Day 7: At Koper (38km/23.6mi)

The Parenzana trail runs along the coast, takes a turn among vineyards and partly runs through tunnels. It will take you through Portorož, a lively tourist town with sandy beach, to Piran. This worldly town, which developed under the influence of Venice, is considered to be one of the most authentic and most photogenic towns on the Adriatic coast. Return to Koper.

elevation

Day 8: Leave Koper

Please note that cycling helmets are compulsory in Slovenia for all customers under 15yrs. As we are unable to provide these, we strongly recommend that you bring your own.

Please see our Planning your holiday page for full details.

Extending your holiday

If you'd like to extend your trip with extra hotel nights we recommend: Grand Hotel Toplice, Bled; Grand Hotel Union, Ljubljana.

hotel details

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Grand Hotel Toplice, Bled

HOTEL WEBSITE      TRIP ADVISOR

Bank
Mastercard
AmEx
Pool
Hairdryer
TV
Minibar
Aircon


The hotel has a pleasing open aspect looking out over Lake Bled, there is a lakeside promenade accessed directly from the hotel.

All rooms have a balcony.

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Grand Hotel Union, Ljubljana

HOTEL WEBSITE      TRIP ADVISOR

Shops
Bank
Mastercard
AmEx
Pool
Hairdryer
WiFi
TV
Aircon


The Grand Hotel Union is one of Ljubljana's most prestigious hotels. Built at the turn of the century it was considered one of the finest hotels in Europe at this time with its lift, central heating and telephones (a rarity in 1905). Its hall was used as the city's concert hall for many years and its clientele has traditionally been associated with the arts. The hotel has hosted many famous pianists and singers over the years.

The rooms are all furnished in a contemporary style with satellite television, telephone and air-conditioning. The hotel has a swimming pool on the top floor that has an appealing glass roof dome.

Extra nights: Please contact us for details.

CHOOSE A DEPARTURE DATE

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These tour only prices are based on two people sharing. Single supplement from £415.

These flight inclusive prices are based on two people sharing. Single supplement from £415.

OPTIONAL UPGRADES
  • Alternative flights, including regional departures
  • Business/club/first class fares
  • Electric bikes
  • Room upgrades and extra nights at selected hotels
TRAVEL DETAILS

Our aim is to provide holidays that are unbeatable for choice and flexibility. We've listed our most popular travel options below, however you aren't limited to these - we can tailor-make virtually any holiday to suit.

Air prices include our standard flights/transfers
Out: BA Heathrow to Ljubljana and transfer to hotel 40 minutes Return: Transfer to airport 1 hr 30 minutes then BA Ljubljana to Heathrow

Business/club/first class seats are available on request.

Alternative transfers
If you require alternative transfers (because you will be arriving at a different time to our standard flights), then we can usually arrange these for you (there may be an additional charge).

To find out more about the travel options available call our sales team on 01606 720199, use our live webchat (we open again 9am tomorrow) or email sales@headwater.com

Should you require overnight airport accommodation, airport parking or even a uniformed chauffeur to take your car from your departure terminal and park it for you, we can arrange this for you through Holiday Extras. You can book airport parking, airport hotels and executive lounges through their website or contact us for further details. Early booking is recommended to obtain the best availability and prices.

REVIEWS

Great holiday; fun cycling; beautiful country; English spoken everywhere; fantastic wines. Roads are in really good condition compared to UK made cycling more comfortable.

GPS worked really well but would suggest wearing earbuds when in traffic to hear instructions. We took paper instruction too which helped at times.

Electric bikes were a good decision! Plenty of charge left in the batteries at the end of a day. We could have charged every other day.

Sarah Nichols, 22 May 2024

 

We had a fantastic holiday. We were very impressed with the company.

Catherine Mcgowan, 15 May 2024

 

Mapping app was brilliant. Routes well planned for max use of cycle paths. Especially enjoyed last route ending right outside hotel at Koper, and two nights at this v good hotel.

Vivienne Smyth, 13 Sep 2023

 

I really enjoyed my cycling holiday around Slovenia . The scenery is wonderful, The accommodation 90 percent was good The App works well.

I question just one stay at Lipica

Jane Laidlaw, 30 Aug 2023

 

An all round great trip, well organised, taking us through beautiful Slovenia. First time self-guided. Directions and app were perfect. Loved it!

Bernadette Casey, 22 Jul 2023

 

Had a wonderful time. Self-guided tour with friends was a real success.

David Hobday, 22 Jul 2023

 

What a great holiday! Slovenia is a fantastic country. Very well set up for cyclists. Weather was variable- (we went in early June) be prepared for anything! Headwater organisation was great , as ever. Local rep was helpful and professional. Good bikes and equipment (we had eBikes). Used the App no problem. Well described holiday. Can thoroughly recommend. Nice to have the two nights most places- so we could explore around. Stress-free. It is hilly on some days, and was very hot when the sun came out, so was glad of the Ebikes.

NAYLON, 31 May 2023

 

Slovenia is a cycling holiday destination with great landscape variety, loads of local history, good food and wine growing regions all well supported by excellent cycling infrastructure. Small enough to be easily accessible but large enough to offer cycling touring contrasts (mountains, lakes, hills, vines, coastal paths)

Mr Mitchell, 5 Oct 2022

 

An excellent holiday giving us opportunity to discover the contrasting landscapes of Slovenia. Everybody we met in hotels and cafes was extremely hospitable. Our guide was very helpful too. However the rides involved long and many very steep hills so be prepared for getting off and pushing. Some gravel paths have very deep gravel. Although I'd ordered a manual bike, our guide offered a swap to E bike without which I would not have been able to complete the rides. I am a reasonably fit cyclist and was surprised that this holiday was only pitched a activity level 2. I think customers should be advised of the hills involved.

Mrs Wright, 14 May 2022

 


Self-guided cycling

7 nights,
hotel-to-hotel

Level: 2+
Moderate plus

24.0Kg CO2e

Headwater
Navigation App

Optional
e-bike hire

7 nights from £2149

CHOOSE A DEPARTURE

Call: 01606 720199

 

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