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Julian Alps to the Adriatic Cycling

Julian Alps to the Adriatic Cycling

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  • Holiday typeSelf-guided cycling
  • Duration10 nights
  • Accommodationhotel-to-hotel
    , , , and
  • Activity level
  • From $2755per person, tour only
  • Departures
    Saturdays and Wednesdays from 1 May '19 to 28 Sep '19
  • What your holiday price includes
  • 10 nights hotel-to-hotel accommodation in a mix of , , , and hotels
  • All continental breakfasts and 4 evening meals
  • Management by your local Headwater-appointed agent
  • GPS route directions and maps
  • RideWithGPS navigation app
  • High quality bikes
  • Luggage transfers between hotels
  • Entrance to the Slovenian Alpine Museum
  • Optional Upgrades
  • Room upgrades and extra nights at selected hotels
  • City break add-ons in Venice
  • Excellent choice for
  • Food lovers, wine lovers, flora & fauna, art & history, couples, lake & river routes
      from 53 reviews

Mrs Barton says...
First half of journey was through magnificent mountain scenery on well maintained and exciting trails, including old train tracks, tunnels and bridges. ...
Read reviews »

Gallery

Julian Alps to the Adriatic Cycling

  • Gentle, easy-paced cycling through wonderfully scenic countryside - vines, lush forests, sun-soaked hamlets
  • Rich natural beauty: magical lakes and cobalt blue Adriatic Sea
  • Mediaeval villages, Renaissance towns, Venetian squares, historic hilltop castles
  • Rolling river valleys, dramatic limestone peaks, sweeping 360° views
  • UNESCO-listed Aquileia - immense early Roman Empire site

This relaxed cycling holiday explores the very heart of Central Europe, beginning in Slovenia on the shores of magical Lake Bled, passing by Austria before heading south through Italy and on to the Adriatic.

Throughout, there is a very distinct and multi-cultural feel, evident in the local language, culture and cuisine. A richly preserved regional heritage reveals a complex and tumultuous past; visit colossal archaeological sites like Aquileia, with its remains of a Roman city and early Christian cathedral; mediaeval Udine, full of artistic masterpieces, and the restored fortress town of Venzone, reflecting the Renaissance Utopian ideals of a bygone era.

The area is one of outstanding natural beauty too. With the dramatic limestone peaks of the Julian Alps providing a formidable backdrop to your route, it's picture-postcard views all the way through lush forests, rolling meadows and pretty hamlets hemmed in by well-tended vineyards and shimmering mountain streams. On your final cycling stretch, the Adriatic seascape opens before you as you make a dramatic descent across the lagoon and on to the sun-kissed island of Grado with its sandy beaches lapped by crystal-clear waters.

The places we've chosen for you to stay in are among the best in the region. Hotel highlights include beautiful lakeside views from the luxurious 4-star Hotel Triglav in Bled; an alpine lodge in Tarvisio, and the 4-star Grand Hotel Hannover overlooking Grado's pretty harbour and just 200m from the Adriatic Sea.



We're here to help

If you have any questions about this holiday call our sales team on 1-800-267-3347, use our live webchat or email usa@exodustravels.com

Day-by-day itinerary



We're here to help

If you've any questions about this holiday call our sales team on 1-800-267-3347 , or email usa@exodustravels.com

Day 1 - Arrive in Bled

Arrive at your stunningly located 4-star hotel overlooking Lake Bled, its romantic island and mountains beyond. Time for a refreshing dip, sauna or massage before sampling chef Andrej Rovan's gastronomic cuisine - we promise that dining here for the next 2 nights will be a real treat! (Staying at Hotel Triglav, Half Board)

Day 2 - Lake Bled Circular Cycle 32km/20mi or 41km/26mi

Your circular warm-up ride takes you first along the shore of Lake Bled and then through a series of sleepy Slovenian hamlets and on to C12 Kamen Castle. Explore its Gothic and Renaissance keeps, and climb the preserved Roman tower - great views from the top. Picnic at the peaceful Zavrsnica Reservoir then cross the white-water Sava Dolinka River back towards Bled. We strongly recommend the short uphill detour to its castle - the oldest in Slovenia - with towers, ramparts, moat and viewing terrace. (Staying at Hotel Triglav, Half Board)

Day 3 - Lake Bled to Tarvisio 36km/22.5mi

After breakfast, we take you (25 mins) to Mojstrana, a gateway village to the Triglav National Park. You can almost reach out and touch the jagged limestone pinnacles of the Julian Alps on the one side, and the contrasting rolling hills of the Karawanken mountains on the other, as you start your cycle west through the valley. Birdlife here is prolific so look out for eagles, hawks and rare birds of prey as you approach charming Kranjska Gora, a pretty alpine ski village and fantastic lunch spot. A pine-scented stretch then leads you across the border and down to the gorgeous 4-star Hotel Edelhof, just 5 minutes' walk from the village centre. (Staying at Hotel Edelhof, Half Board)

Day 4 - At Tarvisio

Widely regarded as the 'jewel in the crown' of the Julian Alps, the twin glacial lakes of Fusine are breathtakingly beautiful. Alternatively, if you're up for a longer cycling challenge, it's an exhilarating ride over the border to the Austrian alpine town of Arnoldstein where a chairlift whisks you to the tripoint where Austria, Italy and Slovenia meet - a fabulous experience and undoubtedly one of the best photo opportunities of the week! (Staying at Hotel Edelhof, Half Board)

Day 5 - Tarvisio to Venzone 65km/41mi

A longer but totally undemanding cycling route today packed with interest, colour and natural beauty. After a 400m descent (great fun!) into the wooded Fella Valley, your traffic-free cycle trails wind through cheery mountain communities - often criss-crossing the river below - en route to Venzone, a jaw-droppingly pretty mediaeval walled town, famous for its lavender. (Staying at Locanda al Fogolar, Breakfast only)

Day 6 - Venzone to Udine 54km/31.5mi

As the sun rises the valley lights up and the mountain silhouettes come to life; you coast effortlessly along tranquil lanes, passing fruit orchards, vineyards and remote churches nestled in the rolling foothills of the Friuli hills. Lots of traditional villages - Tavagnacco, Treppo Piccolo and Osoppo - will tempt you for lunch before you continue on through gentian-carpeted meadows to the historic regional capital, Udine. (Staying at Astoria Hotel Italia, Breakfast only)

Day 7 - At Udine

The birthplace of acclaimed C17 artist, Giambattista Tiepolo, Udine's honeycomb of brightly coloured, portico-lined squares between Piazza Liberta, known as 'the most beautiful Venetian piazza on the mainland' and Piazza Matteotti, boast fine shops, historic cafes and traditional osterias and are the very essence of this friendly city. For a longer day out Venice can be reached (90 mins) by train. (Staying at Astoria Hotel Italia, Breakfast only)

Day 8 - Udine to Palmanova 31km/19.5mi

If you fancy the idea of gentle pedalling from one pretty wine village to the next - with lots of traditional tasting trattorias thrown in - then this is the day for you! Enjoy lunch in mediaeval Pavia di Udine then it's on through sun-dappled cornfields and swaying vines to the C16 star-fort citadel of Palmanova. (Staying at Hotel ai Dogi Palmanova, Breakfast only)

Day 9 - Palmanova to Grado 30km/19mi

The highlight of today's cycle is, without doubt, the UNESCO-listed, ancient Roman city of Aquileia, a self-standing masterpiece of sacred art and historical treasure. Discover its immense archaeological site, magnificent C14 mosaics and dominant patriarchal basilica before heading down the spectacular Adriatic lagoon to the island town of Grado where the elegant 4-star Hotel Hannover overlooks the charming port, and is just 200m from the beach. (Staying at Hotel Hannover, Breakfast only)

Day 10 - At Grado

It's easy to see why Grado is known as the 'Sun Island' and you may well be tempted to spend the day relaxing on its sandy beaches simply soaking up the lovely views over the sea to Croatia and Slovenia! But do make time to stroll the calli e campielli (lanes and courtyards) of the well-kept historic town. Here you'll find winding alleys, pretty little squares and traditional cason (old fishermen's houses clustered together almost one on top of the other). There is the option to cycle along the coast through the Cavanta nature reserve to the delta of the River Isonzo too. (Staying at Hotel Hannover, Breakfast only)

Day 11 - Leave Grado

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.

Where you stay

During your holiday you stay at the following hotels. If you'd like to extend your time at any of these or, if you'd like to enhance your stay with an upgraded room, just let us know at the time of booking. If you'd like to keep your bikes with you for any extra nights we can arrange this for you for just £25 per adult per day.

To find out more call our sales team on 1-800-267-3347, use our live webchat or email usa@exodustravels.com

Grand Hotel Toplice, Bled

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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.

Find out more on the hotel website and read customer reviews on Tripadvisor.

Room upgrades are not available at this hotel.

Please contact us for extra night prices.

Hotel Triglav, Bled

Swimming Pool IconHair dryer iconNEARBY:

The Hotel Triglav is a historic hotel sitting above beautiful Lake Bled, dating back to 1903 it has an interesting history through the times of communism and the break-up of Yugoslavia. It has in recent years become renowned for its innovative take of Slovenian cuisine.

All rooms are of a good size, there is also a lovely terrace where you can view the lake and enjoy a glass of wine from its extensive cellar. The hotel has a swimming pool and sauna both adding to the comfort.

Sitting opposite the town of Bled you can follow a lake path to either visit the town or the impressive castle which towers over the lake.

Read customer reviews on Tripadvisor.

DatesSuite
02/05/2018 - 30/09/2018£26

All prices shown above are valid from 12/04/2018. Prices are per person per night based on 2 people sharing.{Break} Suites offer extra space with seating area.

Please contact us for extra night prices.

Hotel Edelhof, Tarvisio

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Sitting just a short walk from the centre of Tarvisio and at the foot of the winter ski slopes the Hotel Edelhof takes its influences from bordering Austria in its design and feel.

The breakfast room and restaurant are more akin to an Austrian Stube and the rooms are delightfully decorated, a mix of elegance with an Austrian mountain feel.

The food though is distinctly Italian with great local choices and good wines, the hotel has a small spa area (pay locally) and a garden terrace.

Find out more on the hotel website and read customer reviews on Tripadvisor.

Room upgrades are not available at this hotel.

Please contact us for extra night prices.

Agiturismo Casali Scjs, Venzone

NEARBY:

The Agriturismo Casali Scjs is a quaint farmhouse in a rural setting. There is a restaurant next door or it's around 400m into Venzone. A national monument, Venzone is a great example of architectural renovation. The Tiere Motus is a museum that retraces the history of the town and especially of the earthquake and the subsequent reconstruction work.

Find out more on the hotel website.

Room upgrades are not available at this hotel.

Please contact us for extra night prices.

Astoria Hotel Italia, Udine

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The Astoria hotel sits on one of the squares in the centre of the old town of Udine, the hotel building dates back to the 14th century and has been owned by many noble families.

The rooms are large and offer all modern amenities, the large breakfast room opens out into a small garden where breakfast can be taken in good weather.

The city's historic quarter is on your doorstep with a huge choice of restaurants, and the train station is just a 20 minute walk away.

Find out more on the hotel website and read customer reviews on Tripadvisor.

DatesSuperior RoomJunior SuiteSuite
02/05/2018 - 30/09/2018£7£39£61

All prices shown above are valid from 18/11/2017. Prices are per person per night, based on 2 sharing. The superior room offers more space, the Junior Suite offers more space with lounge area and the Suite offers more space with a separate lounge.

Please contact us for extra night prices.

Locanda al Fogolar, Venzone

The Locanda al Fogolar is a recently renovated bed and breakfast, with nice sitting areas including a veranda style room perfect for apertivos! The rooms are of a good size and have a clean, modern feel.

It is situated just a two minute walk from the historic centre of Venzone a town completely rebuilt from original stones after an awful earthquake in the seventies.

The hotel has an Osteria attached to it which offers great local cuisine, there are a good choice of restaurants in the town.

Room upgrades are not available at this hotel.

Please contact us for extra night prices.

Hotel Ai Dogi Palmanova, Palmanova

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This lovely 3 star hotel is in a quiet spot in the corner of the piazza which is the heart of the geometric perfect town.

With the square on your doorstep, there is a great choice of restaurants and bars, and it is easy to explore the town. It has one of Italy's best pizzerias.

The rooms are nice and modern and the hotels small breakfast area has a well-stocked buffet.

Find out more on the hotel website and read customer reviews on Tripadvisor.

Room upgrades are not available at this hotel.

Please contact us for extra night prices.

Hotel Hannover, Grado

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The Hotel Hannover is in the perfect position for visiting the town of Grado, situated looking over the harbour and on the edge of the charming old fishing quarter.

It has good sized rooms some with balconies, others with views of the harbour, and a nice breakfast room and harbour side outside terrace.

The restaurants of the town are within easy walking distance of the hotel.

Find out more on the hotel website and read customer reviews on Tripadvisor.

Room upgrades are not available at this hotel.

Please contact us for extra night prices.

Extending your stay

If you'd like to extend your trip with extra nights at the start or end, or if you'd like to arrange a stop off point en-route, then we recommend the following hotels.

Grand Hotel Union, Ljubljana

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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.

Find out more on the hotel website and read customer reviews on Tripadvisor.

Room upgrades are not available at this hotel.

Please contact us for extra night prices.

Savoia Excelsior Palace, Trieste

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This stunning 19C palazzo has been beautifully converted into an elegant 4 star hotel which simply oozes sophistication. It blends contemporary facilities with classical elegance - expect to see marble columns and ceilings with the original stucco detail as you wander round the luxurious public rooms. The hotel boasts a superb location too, on Trieste's pretty sea front, just a few minutes' stroll from the town's historic centre. There are fantastic views over the Gulf of Trieste, especially from the hotel's panoramic bar. Other facilities include a fitness centre and restaurant.

Find out more on the hotel website and read customer reviews on Tripadvisor.

DatesSuperiorDeluxe

All prices shown above are valid from 03/10/2017. Superior rooms come with a view over the Gulf of Trieste as well as bathrobe, slippers, kettle and espresso machine Deluxe rooms are larger with private terrace with view, and come with bathrobe, slippers, kettle and espresso machine Rates available on request.

Please contact us for extra night prices.

Hotel Kette, Venice

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The Hotel Kette is set in the heart of Venice, a short distance from Teatro La Fenice, from via XXII marzo, the elegant shopping street, 2 minutes from piazza San Marco and only 10 minutes from Ponte di Rialto. So this is an excellent base for exploring the many delights Venice has in store.

The 63 en suite rooms are immaculately furnished and are fully worthy of the four-star rating.

It is possible to reserve a non-smoking room (please contact us and we will request this for you).

Find out more on the hotel website and read customer reviews on Tripadvisor.

Room upgrades are not available at this hotel.

Please contact us for extra night prices.

Grand Hotel Toplice, Bled

Swimming Pool IconHair dryer icon

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.

Find out more on the hotel website and read customer reviews on Tripadvisor.

Room upgrades are not available at this hotel.

Please contact us for extra night prices.

Travel

Transfers included from Ljubljana airport at 16:45, and back to Trieste airport at 10:30.

Please call our sales team on 1-800-267-3347 or email usa@exodustravels.com to arrange connecting flights.

Reviews

Everyone who goes on a Headwater holiday will be emailed a link to our post-holiday questionnaire where they can give us an honest assessment of all aspects of their holiday - everything from how quickly we answer the phone to how clean the hotels were - plus an overall rating and comments about their holiday.

Any feedback collected is posted to our website, so that people can make an informed decision based on past experiences before heading off on holiday. We don’t edit the reviews, the only thing we do is proofread them and alter any typos, where necessary, to ensure they are easy to read for everyone. All reviews will be published (except in certain extreme circumstances), and a member of the Headwater team will respond to any constructive criticisms/comments under the reviews, at their discretion. So, for the real tales, twists and turns of our holidays, look no further than the reviews from our previous travellers.


Mrs Barton, 26/09/2018

First half of journey was through magnificent mountain scenery on well maintained and exciting trails, including old train tracks, tunnels and bridges. Would liked to have spent longer there, but the latter journey to the Adriatic is an enjoyable contrast, culminating in a dip in the sea.


Mr Bennett, 16/09/2018

Scenic cycling through a wide range of terrain. Good options to reach off-track sights. Nice sense of achievement to cycle from the Alps to the seaside.


Miss Saxby, 23/08/2018

We are a family of six, with kids 18, 15, 13 and 10. All of the cycling is completely doable on this route, with the longest day being the nicest cycling day that we have every done. We stopped at waterfalls, swam in rivers and generally glided down hill for about 50km! Nice and varied route, but the early days were my favourites up in the mountains. This is our fourth Headwater holiday and we always enjoy them immensely. The guide (Miroslav) was fantastic, really detailed induction all of which was helpful, came and changed a bike for us very promptly, and tried to help us with flight issues too.


Mrs Latchford, 08/08/2018

Lovely cycling holiday with changing landscapes from Lake Bled and the Mountains down to Grado by the sea. Opportunities to swim in lakes, rivers and the sea. Mainly well signposted dedicated cycle paths. Excellent Hotels and food. Definitely recommend this trip!


Mrs Roe, 05/08/2018

We enjoyed the holiday overall, but felt that it wasn't the most picturesque, having been on various other cycling holidays like the Carinthian Lakes. We did not enjoy the long day's cycle under and around motorways and through endless tunnels, some of which were pitch black and pot holey. Miroslav and his team were excellent and replied to my emails very quickly. We would really have appreciated getting our bikes and having the briefing on the first day, particularly as we arrived very early and could have cycled around the lake. We had our briefing at 0930 on the second day, which meant that we couldn't start cycling that day until 11am, and it was really hot. The other disappointment was that the Hotel Triglav did not have an outside seating area, apart from the small terrace for dinner. We absolutely loved Lake Bled and it was wonderful to have a day on the beach in Grado which was delightful.


Mr Richardson, 31/07/2018

Lovely scenery and easy cycling (even for less experienced cyclists).


Mrs Light, 28/07/2018

Great varied holiday with beautiful scenery in the mountains and easy cycling in the main. Nice hotels, friendly welcoming staff. Cable car trip at Camporosso was fantastic on our day at Tarvisio. Route easy to follow using FVG1 signs with occasional reference to the written notes. Bike panniers were very good and bikes comfortable. Havng to change flghts in Germany made for a long journey at each end. Everywhere we went was very cycle friendly and lots of people out cycling on the route. All in all a lovely holiday.


Mrs Morison, 08/07/2018

Very varied and beautiful scenery, excellent and varied hotels. Really enjoyable holiday.

Route notes generally very clear, just got a bit lost a couple of times.


Mrs Town, 23/06/2018

A well balanced holiday. A good insight into Slovenia, and the part of Italy South of it. Worth researching the areas that you will travel through as they have survived some amazing changes. The cycling at the start of the holiday was more interesting than the last few days but there were still some wonderful sites to see. We had a great holiday!


Mr Isles, 18/06/2018

We have been on 9 Headwater holidays and enjoyed them all but this one was the best. We really enjoyed the scenery in the Julian Alps. As we headed south we cycled through interesting countryside and visited places we would never otherwise have seen. The hotels were all very good, with friendly and helpful staff. The holiday definitely lived up to its “billing“ in your brochure.


Mrs Helps, 16/06/2018

A beautiful trip through the Julian Alps visiting places I had never really heard of. Stunning and varied scenery from the mountains to the coast on largely safe cycle ways. fabulous hotels and food.


Mr Pratt, 12/06/2018

Fantastic Holiday with 'Wow!' locations and good accomodation.


Mr Clark, 20/10/2017

The Julian Alps cycling holiday is an amazing trip. We thoroughly enjoyed it and would highly recommend it to anyone. The cycle routes are amazing through the Alps and down to the Adriatic and for approximately 95% of the time we were on traffic free routes, away from cars in the beautiful, peaceful countryside.


Mr Morris, 10/10/2017

We really enjoyed the cycle from The Julian Alps to the Adriatic. The scenery was stunning , it felt very untouristy and we got to see the real Italy. Every location was an interesting place to visit and we loved the variety of moving from place to place. The cycle paths were excellent as we're the route maps. We will definitely be booking another cycling holiday with Headwater!


Dr Brech, 08/10/2017

This was our 8th cycling holiday and was certainly the most dramatic in terms of different scenery. From the snow-topped peaks of the Julian Alps through the fertile vineyards to the sea was certainly an unforgettable experience and the 65-km run from Tarvisio to Venzone was eminently easy with a more than 500-metre drop in altitude to assist! As pensioners, we were concerned that this holiday might be hard for us but we had no difficulty at all and it was certainly a lot easier than Headwater's previous Lot Valley and Jura routes.

We were unfortunate in getting a spell of 'very unusual' September wet weather. On Day 3, the wind-lashed rain and temperature of just 3 degrees persuaded even the hardiest of us to travel in the van and the excellent Miroslav was happy to organise this, even stopping off to ensure we didn't miss the planned Alpine Museum visit. We used the rest day in Tarvisio to retrace the route as far as Kranjska Gora so we didn't miss much at all (and we could admire the snow not much higher than us!) Again, on Day 8, we got very wet between Udine and Palmanova but we had turned down the option of taking the train as we had assumed, wrongly, that it couldn't rain all day.

The hotels were varied in their accommodation and comforts but all were clean and welcoming (particularly at Palmanova where the arrival of 10 very wet cyclists was just greeted with laughs and loads of towels). Breakfasts were usually excellent as also were the supplied dinners.

The route notes could do with some improvement (as noted by most people in the Grado blue book) but the FVG1 signs were all that we actually needed.


Mr Mackrill, 07/10/2017

This was a fantastic holiday! In fact it was our best ever holiday. It was full of contrasts, starting with beautiful Lake Bled in Slovenia and then through into Italy on very safe dedicated cycle paths stopping at great hotels. The route was either downhill or flat as we cycled down from the alps towards the Adriatic coast. The scenery was marvellous and the people we met were very kind and friendly. Weather was mixed, including four days being cold and wet but overall it was all very very good!


Mr Robertson, 03/10/2017

This was our first cycle holiday on a supported basis, as we usually travel alone. Very good experience and we felt we were left on our own as much as we wanted and yet knew luggage etc was well organised. Arrangements for transporting us and luggage was very good. All Minibus drivers were interested and interesting. Good conversations and pleasant company. Cycling was not demanding and the scenery was just perfect, in fact we will return to Slovenia. Just a perfect location and not one bad word or thought about those Slovenians we met. Great advert for their country and for Headwater.


Mrs Lee, 29/09/2017

The early part of the holiday in the mountainous areas of Slovenia and Italy was spectacular. We loved being away from busy roads and using the old railway line dedicated cycle paths. You can't beat Italian food!


Mr Farrer, 25/09/2017

Excellent holiday, Great route even though we were not blessed with the best weather. The hotels were great , so were the bikes and the luggage was transported without any problems.


Mr Bingham, 11/09/2017

Great family holiday with views second to none. Highly recommend the location and activity.


Mrs Mullan, 23/08/2017

Headwater never fails to deliver in putting together a great cycling trip. The holidays offer wonderful variety in terms of the scenery, locations and things to see and do . They also provide places to stay which are varied , high in quality and usually with a unique charm. Added to this the level of service provided by the staff both at head office and the reps on site is first class. This explains why so many of us return to book with Headwater time and time again!


Mrs Emmett, 15/08/2017

This is our third trip with Headwater. The organisation was excellent and the hotels all superbly located and of a good standard. We enjoyed the route immensely, cycling in beautiful countryside with a good mix of mountain and lowlands and coast with amazing scenery.


Mr Reed, 15/08/2017

This was a wonderful holiday, the best of several good holidays that we have done with Headwater. The variety of landscapes, routes, and hotels, taking us from the stunning landscapes of Lake Bled and the Julian Alps down through the plains of Friuli Venezia Giulia to the lagoons and coastal islands around Grado, with a variety of fascinating places to visit en route, provided for a wonderful experience. The cycling was superb - the majority on cycle tracks and lanes, with the sections on the Alpe-Adriatica long-distance route often being of a very high quality - sections are gradually being improved and tarmacked each year & hopefully it won't be too long before some of the remaining gravel sections are renewed. My anxieties concerning 'too steep uphill/too steep downhill/too long distances' proved totally unfounded. The local agent, Miroslav, was wonderful. His briefing was thorough, full of advice and illustrated with images on his laptop. We were able to easily contact him when necessary - as on the day that it looked as if thunderstorms and heavy rain forecast would continue into the afternoon, thus would making cycling difficult - he was able to advise on alternatives; in fact the B&B owner had already produced a train timetable and driven Gordon. to the station to show him the route & correct platform, how to get tickets etc - typical of the friendliness and help received throughout the trip. Miroslav also suggested and organised for us to spend a few hours in central Ljubljana before returning to the airport. We also took the train to Trieste from Udine, an interesting city and well worth the visit (having arrived in Udine earlier than expected, by train, the previous day). Thank you Headwater and Miroslav for setting up such a fantastic holiday!


Mr Hotchkiss, 11/08/2017

This was our 7th Headwater cycling holiday and by far the best in terms of overall satisfaction - cycling, routes, variety of countrysides(not circular), choice of hotels, prearranged dinner and personally arranged dinners. Previously we have booked gastronomic itineraries but this holiday surpassed our expectations.


Mr Booth, 08/08/2017

its a great way to see places in an area of a country, soaking up the atmosphere and enjoying different foods, whilst achieving a level of exercise and time to relax


Mrs Flenley, 04/08/2017

active, cultural, sociable, reasonably paced , good relaxation Thank you Headwater


Mr Browne, 30/07/2017

Beautiful, varied scenery. Easy cycling most days and some fabulous places of interest, especially if interested in Roman history. The mosaics at Aquilea were fascinating and the audio guide was most interesting. The proprietors of the B @ B at Venzone were so helpful and kind. One of the valves on the tyre of our proved faulty and resulted in a flat tyre. They drove us to a neighbouring town to a cycle repair shop to try to get it fixed. Unfortunately it was a Monday, so all the shops were shut! Miroslav came to our rescue after a couple of hours.


Mr Waterfall, 25/07/2017

Excellent route and great scenery


Mrs Bacon, 25/07/2017

This was a first rate cycling trip, with overnight stops at interesting places. Excellent weather helped tremendously and allowed full enjoyment of the amazing mountain scenery as we passed through the Julian Alps. With large sections of the route on an old railway line, it made for relatively easy cycling. The hotels were very varied but quality standards were consistently high. We enjoyed all the overnight stops but especially that in Palmanova, such a fascinating small town.



Having done several Headwater holidays over the years, we would give this holiday our highest marks for variety and quality.


Mr Harrison, 14/07/2017

We thoroughly enjoyed the stunning scenery and the experience. The cycle paths were excellent and the route was very well signposted. We enjoyed the suggested days off . This was one of the best Headwater Holidays that we have been on.


Mr Tate, 07/07/2017

An excellent trip for the novice of 'non hardcore' cyclist. Route and cycle paths are excellent - scenery stunning. Accommodation good considering where the route goes.


Dr Wigham, 20/11/2016



This was our third cycling holiday with Headwater. Our first and second were excellent, but this was the best ever. Indeed this holiday now sits on our list of best holidays ever.

Everything about the trip excelled. The bikes were new, comfortable and well set up. The hotels were all excellent, each offered a first class welcome and service. Whilst being very different, from large chain hotels to small family units typical of a B and B, each was special and offered a memorable experience. But most of all what made this holiday was the cycling. The Alp Adria trail is something to behold. 200 miles of dedicated cycle track. Track that is off road for most of the route and as wide as a country road. Because of this the cycling was stress free, and you were able to take in the magnificent countryside in all its glory. Starting in the mountains and finishing at sea level meant that a good proportion was downhill.

The scenery all the way was outstanding. From the mountains of Slovenia, Kranski Gora being particularly memorable. To the salt water marsh areas of Grado. The contrasts were astonishing. The towns passed through were every one interesting with their own history (ancient in most cases). Also very quiet which suited us. Even in July/August, you never felt like a tourist. You just fit in to their normal life.This meant that we were also afforded the opportunity to practice our languages (most spoke English when needed).

We added two days to the end of our trip in Venice. What can be said about Venice. NOthing except that it needs to be on everyones Bucket list.

Overall a fabulous trip, We recommend unreservedly to anyone contemplating a cycling holiday but are maybe not in the best of shape, right up to an experienced cyclist. There is something for everyone on this trip.

I hope this comment communicates how much we loved our holiday. Thank you Headwater for introducing us to this part of the world and to the Alp Adria trail. The rest of Europe, indeed the world should take a good long look at this piece of engineering,it should be a model to all and duplicated by all.

Chris and Liz, Cardiff

Headwater response:
Dear Dr Wigham,
Thank you for taking the time to share your holiday experience with us, it sounds like you had a memorable holiday. I am sure your comments will inspire future customers to try this holiday and hope they enjoy it as much as you did.
Kind regards,
Headwater Customer Service team


Mr Lamb, 05/10/2016

Another fantastic Headwater cycling holiday! The scenery was amazing, hotels were all high quality and in excellent locations. The cycling was undemanding and very enjoyable, linking up lots of interesting and attractive places. We are already thinking about next year's holiday!


Mr Norman, 01/10/2016

route notes could be better but otherwise great scenery and people


Mr Evans, 24/09/2016

Stunning scenery, good food and wine and safe cycleways


Mr Mitchell, 20/09/2016

Excellent. The best cycling holiday we have done. Fantastic scenery and excellent food.


Mrs Thompson, 18/09/2016

Very pleased; we really enjoyed it!


Mr Close, 04/09/2016

This was undoubtedly the most spectacular holiday of our 15 with Headwater. The scenery coming down from the Julian alps along the line of the old railway was unsurpassed.


Mrs Frank, 31/08/2016

A perfect holiday for cycling softies, we loved the fact that most of it was on beautiful scenic paths, (we certainly wouldn't have enjoyed cycling on Italy's busy roads). We loved the days in between visiting historic villages and sites and really enjoyed the changing landscape as we descended from the alps in Slovenia to the coast in north east Italy. The handbook provided by Headwater was very useful when looking for things to do and visit on the non cycling days.


Mr Twiss, 25/08/2016

The ride down from Bled to Grado was a great trip. Except for the two short days at the end of the trip our days were full of wonderful scenery and beautiful towns. The majority of our hotels exceeded expectations being in great locations with good service and food. Stopover destinations were interesting and Udine, Palmanova and Grado were especial delights. Support from the Slovenian team was good and as usual the Headwater experience was one we will repeat.


Mrs Rawle, 19/08/2016

Very good cycling with very few up-hill stretches, lots to see and do en route - we would gladly do the holiday again. Bikes were comfortable and easy to use. The routes are largely on cycle paths that kept us feeling safe from traffic. All the hotels made us feel very welcome. Everyone seemed to understand pidgin Italian or German, or English so communication was rarely a problem. M Tours reps were reliable and helpful.


Mrs Fleming, 09/08/2016

Thoroughly enjoyed the holiday. Quite sad when it finished. Could easily have kept going

The routes were lovely, mostly on cycle tracks which was great and well planned mileages.

Especially enjoyed Slovenia. Would like to go back.

Hotels generally of a very good standard although next time we would make requests eg. for a quiet room or room with good outlook


Mrs Pollard, 25/07/2016

If you are a beginner cyclist the route is great but the bikes make it feel hard as they are too heavy and too highly geared. Otherwise the route is fantastic and well signed. The scenery is great all of the way.


Mrs Lorimer, 14/06/2016

A break that takes you off the beaten track to meet the people who live in the region, rather than just other tourists. A holiday that slows you down to the speed you can cycle including the most amazing 60km down hill ride!


Mrs Collins, 25/09/2015

We have been on 3 previous Headwater holidays, but this one was the most enjoyable of them all. The cycling was wonderful, though it wouldnt suit those who dislike cycling mainly on flat terrain. The cycle paths much of the way to Grado were amazing and Italy in particular is very much geared towards the cyclist. The hotels ranged from quite posh to comfortable, located centrally and excellent. Four of the dinners were included in our holiday and were very good and not having to go and find somewhere to eat in those two hotels was a fortuitous because of the inclement weather. However we enjoyed having the freedom to find our own restaurants subsequently.



The tour operator was very reliable with excellent English.



The route notes were challenging and there were times when we were directed right instead of left. My husband has offered to 're-write' them since they could be modified to make it much less likely to have to retrace your pedaling.



On our second day, our tour guide asked us if we wanted to cycle because it was raining quite heavily with the forecast of no let up all day. I asked him if there was a choice and he offered to transport us to our next destination in the car. We had no idea that this was an option, but foolishly or not, we declined and arrived at our next hotel, very wet and bedraggled. However we were allocated the most wonderful room, with loads of space to dry off all our dripping clothing and bags. What a silver lining that was. Sadly we didnt see much of that day's route since the rain was relentless.



I would definitely like to do this trip again.


Mr Hadfield, 18/09/2015

Enjoyable; well managed; good variety of scenery and places; lots of fresh air and opportunities to enjoy tasty regional cooking.


Mr Fisher, 23/07/2015

Despite having to opt out of cycling, thanks to the help given by M Tours we had a most enjoyable holiday. (We had flu just before departure)


Ms Fraser, 07/07/2015

This cycle trip from the Julian Alps to the Adriatic was really excellent - beautiful and varied countryside, interesting towns and cities on route, well-chosen hotels (and some excellent food) and a very good route using well established cycle track most of the way. The highlight for us was a couple of days cycling on the route of a former railway through the mountains of Slovenia and northern Italy. Miroslav and the team looked after us beautifully throughout. Thank you for a great holiday!


Mrs Laing, 01/07/2015

Biking from Slovenia to the Adriatic provided us with diverse scenery and conditions ,which we enjoyed.However it was by no means easy and two 50 km bike rides back to back was fairly challenging .




Mrs Cartwright, 26/06/2015

Highly recommend tis holiday. Slovenia was new to us. Especially enjoyed all the cultural highlights of Udine, Palmanova and Aquiliea.


Mr Cross, 26/06/2015

After several good walking holidays with Headwater, this was our first cycling holiday, suggested by experienced cycling friends who accompanied us. The route is mainly downhill, but there are some longish steady uphill climbs, and we calculated an average of 50km/day (exc. Rest days) and did 64km on one day. Some beautiful Slovenian/Italian mountain scenery (albeit rarely out of sight or sound of roads) is succeeded by some very interesting Italian town stopovers (Venzone, Udine, Palmanova) and stopping at Aquilieia's basilica is highly recommended.


Dr Daniell, 17/06/2015

A really great and varied cycling itinerary, including fantastic scenery, sites of historic interest and interesting museums. Mostly traffic free or along cycle paths, starting in the mountains and cycling through plains to the coast. Would recommend adding a couple of days at Lake Bled and exploring the area by bike and foot. The hotel there is lovely with friendly staff and excellent food and Slovenian wines (an education!). Varied accommodation, but all clean & comfortable and in the right locations for a well paced cycle ride. We really enjoyed ourselves and were fully relaxed at the end.


Dr MacMillan, 23/05/2015

We were the first people on the Julian Alps holiday. We really enjoyed it. The concept is excellent, and achieved. We did find it quite hard, though we both cycle

(mountain bike) regularly. Some days were long, and hot. I think it was the hardest holiday we've done with you, though my husband thinks some days on the 'Discovering Secret Provence' holiday were harder, because there was more climbing. Don't think it would be for people who don't normally cycle ( though we are getting on a bit).

There was one day which couldn't be done as anticipated, because the cablecar didn't start running on the advertised date, so an alternative had been suggested, and arranged for us. I think this might not affect anyone else though; I think the cablecar starts this week.

Miroslav and Matej were really keen to help, and on the whole experience. Miroslav was a bit concerned that Locanda al Fogolar might not come up to our expectations as it isn't a hotel; but we loved it, and couldn't have been made more welcome, despite Fulvio having very little English, and us having very little Italian

We found that if you don't speak Italian, German is more useful than English in this part of Italy. English is fine in Slovenia.

Later in the year, it could get very hot; take plenty to drink.



Dates and prices

You can be confident that our pricing includes all the standard requirements of your holiday and many additional extras. Always ensure that you are comparing like for like when booking your holiday. Find out about The Headwater Price Promise to ensure you're getting the very best value for money.

For further details, or to check availability, speak to our sales team on 1-800-267-3347 or complete our holiday enquiry form (we'll contact you at a time that's most convenient for you).

To enquire about this holiday, or for further information, call our sales team on 1-800-267-3347 or complete our holiday enquiry form.

  • May
  • Jun
  • Jul
  • Aug
  • Sep
May 2019 Tour only Availability
1st May US$2755 Check availability
4th May US$2755 Check availability
8th May US$2755 Check availability
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22nd May US$2755 Check availability
25th May US$2875 Check availability
29th May US$2875 Check availability
Jun 2019 Tour only Availability
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12th Jun US$2875 Check availability
15th Jun US$2875 Check availability
19th Jun US$2875 Check availability
22nd Jun US$2875 Check availability
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29th Jun US$2915 Check availability
Jul 2019 Tour only Availability
3rd Jul US$2915 Check availability
6th Jul US$2915 Check availability
10th Jul US$2915 Check availability
13th Jul US$2915 Check availability
17th Jul US$2915 Check availability
20th Jul US$2915 Check availability
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Aug 2019 Tour only Availability
3rd Aug US$2925 Check availability
7th Aug US$2925 Check availability
10th Aug US$2925 Check availability
14th Aug US$2925 Check availability
17th Aug US$2925 Check availability
21st Aug US$2925 Check availability
24th Aug US$2875 Check availability
28th Aug US$2875 Check availability
31st Aug US$2875 Check availability
Sep 2019 Tour only Availability
4th Sep US$2875 Check availability
7th Sep US$2865 Check availability
11th Sep US$2865 Check availability
14th Sep US$2865 Check availability
18th Sep US$2865 Check availability
21st Sep US$2865 Check availability
25th Sep US$2865 Check availability
28th Sep US$2865 Check availability

The prices quoted for each individual departure supercede those published in our current brochures. Air prices are subject to change and we advise early booking to obtain the best prices. Please see our Planning your holiday and What's included in the price? pages for additional information.

Holiday details

Minimum group sizes
No minimum group size, however transfers are subject to at least 2 people (in total) booked on each departure.

Children
This holiday is unsuitable for children.

Holiday type
Self-guided cycling Managed locally by Headwater appointed agent.

Departures
Saturdays and Wednesdays from 1st May 2019 to 28th Sep 2019, for 10 nights.

Meals
All continental breakfasts and 4 evening meals

Tailor-made travel

Tour only
Transfers included from Ljubljana airport at 16:45, and back to Trieste airport at 10:30.

How to book

For further details, or to check availability, speak to our sales team on 1-800-267-3347 or complete our holiday enquiry form (we'll contact you at a time that's most convenient for you).

To enquire about this holiday, or for further information, call our sales team on 1-800-267-3347 or complete our holiday enquiry form.

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