Whisper it quietly, but there are few countries on earth that are as green and naturally beautiful as under-appreciated Slovenia. This captivating land boasts turquoise lakes, stunning architecture, Venetian-like coastline, jaw-dropping mountains, magical subterranean caves and epic views for days. More than half of this tiny country is covered in forest, making it a pure paradise for outdoor lovers. So grab your bike and prepare for Slovenia’s raw beauty to quite literally take your breath away.
There is no better place to begin an adventure than the Triglav National Park in the north-west of Slovenia. Home to the majestic Julian Alps, the infamous Lake Bled and many more sensational natural sights, bicycle tour lovers of all abilities have plenty to sink their tires into here.
Of course, Lake Bled is Slovenia’s crown-jewel attraction. The bluish-green lake surrounds a delightful island in the middle, home to a church, while an 11th-century castle stands atop a rocky outcrop and the Julian Alps are your backdrop. It is quite simply magnificent and naturally, cycling the surrounding area of Bled offers exquisite views, plus the chance to explore cute Slovenian villages.
Riding deeper into Triglav National Park, you can spot eagles, hawks and rare birds. Naturally, hiking opportunities are rife here and it is well worth taking the chance to admire Lake Bohinj before grabbing your hiking boots. Heading up to the infamous Seven Lakes will lead you through peaceful woodland, along tricky rock faces and past aqua glacial lakes, while the limestone cliffs loom in front of you.
For the hardy amongst you, tackling the Vršič Mountain Pass at 5,285 ft may prove too irresistible. Luckily, a number of mountain huts offer respite, while the views of the Soča Valley and the Soča River are also worth every turn of the wheels. Depending on the weather, a dip into the freezing but refreshing water is a must.
However, if you prefer a calmer pace for your bicycle trips, then heading to Slovenia’s unheralded but exquisite wine regions are a must. There are many to choose from but Goriska Brda stands out and given it shares a border with Italy, it is unsurprising this area is known as Little Tuscany. Gorgeous green hills, flowing vineyards, olive groves, cherry orchards, and fig trees adorn many of the old twisting streets. It feels like stepping back in time, and you can lose days here exploring and tasting wines.
And that is the beauty of Slovenia, whatever pace you desire for a bike trip here, it can provide it in its own spectacularly unique way. Whether it is pedaling through the never-ending hop fields of the verdant Lower Savinja Valley and enjoying its famous beer fountain, lapping up the intriguing capital of Ljubljana or riding through the lovely Venetian-like architecture, beautiful beaches and rolling hills of Slovenia’s Istrian peninsula, there really is something for everyone here in this wonderful country.