Slotrips signature tours

CYCLING TOUR · PRIVATE · GUIDED

Slotrips signature tours

Gourmet Bike Tour
Slovenia & Croatia

Bike, wine & dine through the best of both countries

A Unique Cycling Trip in Slovenia & Istria

BOUTIQUE HOTELS · UNIQUE EXPERIENCES · CULINARY DELIGHTS · FROM LJUBLJANA TO ROVINJ

Come and experience the combined beauty of Slovenia and its neighbor Croatia on this truly unique bike tour. Cycle through some of the finest scenery these two countries have to offer and experience the real culture and beauty of the sunny side of the Alps. This journey takes you from the quaint Slovene capital, across a gorgeous limestone plateau, and down the beautiful Istria Peninsula. Along the way, we promise an adventure to really write home about.

This is not your usual run-of-the-mill cycling holiday.
We know that there are plenty of Slovenia & Croatia bike tours out there, but that is where ours differs. We don’t like to be conventional either. Therefore, our expert local team has put together a cycling holiday unlike any other.

Authentic, Immersive, Local

Join us on a journey that avoids the chaotic tourist traps and instead whisks you along peaceful, idyllic countryside roads and small villages. The people you meet on this trip won’t be locals who are tired, bored, and fed up with visitors. Instead, you’ll get to know the real local people who love to welcome visitors, share their customs, and can’t wait to fill your hungry bellies with their authentic field-to-fork culinary delights.

There’ll be no rushing on this bike tour. We take things nice and slow as we explore this fascinating region. Local winemakers, prosciutto producers, olive oil freaks, cheese wizards, and truffle experts will tantalize your taste buds with their home-grown produce. To top it all off, we’ll stay in cozy, small boutique hotels!

Old Towns, Wine Country, Caves & the Adriatic Sea

Nowhere else in the world will you find so much diversity in such a small place. We start in Ljubljana, the vibrant and lively capital of Slovenia. Ljubljana was voted Europe’s best destination in 2022. From here we head south-west through the lush Vipava valley and across the spectacular limestone Karst region, where we’ll also explore the dramatic Skocjan Caves on foot. Along the way, we will bike one of the most attractive cycling destinations in Slovenia. At the Slovenian Adriatic coast, we’ll visit the lovely old seaside town of Piran before catching the sea breeze and letting it sail us across the border into Croatia.

On the Croatian Istria Peninsula, we’ll peddle over rolling inland hills, stop in picturesque hilltop villages and finish at the charming coastal town of Rovinj.

If you are an active food lover, this bike tour in Slovenia & Croatia will be a trip you will talk about for ages! We promise!

Do you have an extra day or two? Add a biking day at Lake Bled or other alpine destinations!

A group of biking travellers having a break and enjoying a glass of local wine in the vineyards in Styria region in Slovenia

Boutique Hotels

We have hand-picked the best small boutique properties between Ljubljana and Rovinj. Comfortable, charming, family-run places where you'll feel at home.

Authentic Local Experiences

You will dig into Slovenian & Croatian culture, learn about the local way of life, traditions, customs, and come away with a deeper understanding of what this region is all about!

Wine & Dine

Forget Michelin star fine dining, this bike tour offers much more than that. It is about meeting local producers, chefs, and farmers. Learn about what they do and taste their regional specialities!

Day 1: Welcome to Ljubljana

Start your Slovenia & Croatia bike tour in one of the coolest European capitals – Ljubljana! Settle in at a lovely hotel in Ljubljana’s medieval center, then head up to the hilltop castle for the best view of the city and the distant Alps. Back down below, have a relaxed walk across the many interesting city bridges, soak up the vivid life of the old town and sip a glass of wine beside the Ljubljanica (river of love).

In the afternoon you’ll meet with your trip leader, check the bikes & equipment, and then discuss all the details of the upcoming trip over a delicious welcome dinner; your first encounter with the delectable Slovene cuisine!

Overnight: Hotel Heritage in Ljubljana’s old town
Meals included: dinner

 

Day 2: Vipava Valley Cycling

Leaving the hotel after breakfast, we drive 40min south-west where we start today’s bike ride. We will explore the backroads that wind through the lush Vipava Valley – a rising star on the Slovene wine & dine travel map. Our ride takes us across the rolling vineyard-terraced hills and through charming limestone villages where you will meet local winemakers and get to taste some of the most delicious local cheeses. Lunch here in this very relaxed setting will be the perfect warm-up for what is to come.

The day will finish with a strong uphill ride to the Karst plateau. Our home for the next two days is a small organic hotel run by a lovely family. This is a place where sustainability and care for Mother Nature come first!

Biking: 40 km / elevation gain +650m, -900m
Overnight: Organic Hotel St. Daniel 4*
Meals included: breakfast, lunch
Transfer time: 45 min

 

Day 3: Karst Gourmet Biking Loop

Today we explore the astonishing Karst region, doing a loop ride from our hotel’s doorstep. The Slovenian Karst is a landscape that has been shaped by the gusty Bora wind. It is covered with vineyards, limestone, oak forest and unique vistas. The great hospitality of people living here is second to none. It is not a particularly long ride, and we will take several breaks along the way to learn about the region’s geography, history, and culinary treasures.

We will visit a local stonemason in his workshop, take a break at our friends’ place and try their first class jams, and get to know Stanjel – one of the most beautiful karst villages. Of course, we won’t miss the exceptional karst prosciutto.

This place feels a lot like Italy. No wonder really, since it is so close to the border and for many years in the past this entire area was under Italian control.

Biking: 35 km / elevation gain +500m, -500m
Overnight: Organic Hotel St. Daniel 4*
Meals included: breakfast, lunch
Transfer time: /

 

Day 4: Walking Skocjan Caves & Cycling the Adriatic Coast

This morning we explore one of the most unique places and biggest natural treasures in Slovenia: Skocjan caves – Unesco World Heritage Site. On a 2-hour long walking tour, a private guide takes us through this intricate cave system with numerous dripstones and other underground limestone formations. The incredible size of the cave, the underground river canyon, and the daring trails which were built by the first explorers are simply mind-blowing. This marvellous display of Mother Nature’s awesome power is one of the highlights of this trip.

Moving on towards the south we’ll have lunch with a family that produces bio-dynamic wine and other goods. When ready to move on, we hop on our bikes and cycle the hilly roads in Slovenian Istria all the way to the snug coastal town of Piran!

A gelato or gin-tonic later we will jump in the van, cross the border into Croatia and finish the day in our lovely hotel in a pretty hilltop village in Croatian Istria.

Hiking: 4 km
Biking:
20 km / elevation gain +200m, -400m
Overnight: Hotel Palazzo Angelica 4*
Meals included: breakfast, lunch
Transfer time: 1h30 min

 

Day 5: Istrian Countryside: Hilltop Towns, Olive Oil & Truffles

Cycling is without doubt the best way to explore the Istrian countryside. Again we will forget about the car and do a circular ride from the hotel. Be ready for some rolling hills on the quiet roads, passing some isolated towns surrounded by olive groves and vineyards, stopping in charming old hilltop towns, sipping coffee with a view, or finding your favourite gelato flavour.

Our first Croatian lunch is in a typical “agriturismo” – farm-to-table restaurant offering tasty home-grown products. You will also get to know the secrets (and tastes) of the most famous local aphrodisiac – truffles! Join a local truffle hunter and see how it is done!

Biking: 45 km / elevation gain +700m, -700m
Overnight: Hotel Palazzo Angelica 4*
Meals included: breakfast, lunch
Transfer time: /

 

Day 6: From Inland Istria to the Adriatic Sea

After breakfast, we drive 1h 20 min to the south of the Istria Peninsula where our bike ride starts today. But before you start spinning your wheels, we will visit a very special goat cheese farm! Meet the shepherds, see what goat herding is all about and dig into the secrets of their first-class Istrian goat cheese.

Continue with the last ride of this trip that takes us along tranquil countryside roads to the amazing little town of Bale. Have a glass of local Malvasia wine and sample Istria’s “liquid gold” – one of the most recognizable Croatian products – olive oil. Olives have been cultivated on the Istria Peninsula since Roman times and the oldest tree can be found in the Brijuni National Park. The tree is over 1600 years old.

Our lunch is going to be at the small family-owned “konoba”. You can finish your ride there or continue along gravel roads all the way to your hotel in Rovinj – unarguably the most beautiful Croatian seaside town.

Biking: 35 km / elevation gain +300m, -300m
Overnight: Hotel Spirito Santo, Rovinj
Meals included: breakfast, lunch
Transfer time: 1h40 min

 

Day 7: Rovinj – Kayak, Sail, Swim, Relax

There are so many options today and we want you to tell us what you like! You can swap your bike for a kayak and go for a half-day sea-kayaking trip around the Rovinj archipelago. Alternatively, drive to Pula, explore its Roman amphitheatre, walk & swim in the Kamenjak peninsula nature reserve, or visit Brijuni National Park.

Would you fancy a fun Istrian cooking class in a local setting in the olive groves, or a drive to Lim fjord to taste some of the best Adriatic oysters?

How about going sailing, rock climbing, or simply relax in Rovinj old town and chill out under a pine tree with your feet in the cool blue Adriatic!

In the evening, we wind up our tour with a fun night at our secret dinner spot. Let’s celebrate!

Overnight: Hotel Spirito Santo, Rovinj
Meals included: breakfast, dinner
Transfer time: 0 – 1h

 

Day 8: End of Your Slovenia & Croatia Bike Tour

After breakfast, we say goodbye with the hope that this was truly an unforgettable adventure for you, and that our paths will cross again sometime soon. 

Let us know where you are headed and we will organize your transfer there. The nearest airports are Pula (30min), Trieste (2h), Ljubljana (2h 30min), Zagreb (2h 45min), Venice (3h).

Meals included: breakfast

Price per person:

4-5 travelers: 3,950 €
6-7 travelers: 3,440 €
8-10 travelers: 3,150 €

Inclusions

  • English-speaking tour leader throughout the trip.
  • 7 nights with breakfast in beautiful 4* hotels as mentioned in the itinerary. Double rooms.
  • 2 amazing dinners & 5 awesome lunches.
  • Gourmet experiences during the rides: wine tasting, olive oil tasting, presentation of truffle hunting, cheese experiences, meeting local farmers & producers, and tasting their products.
  • Private tour of Skocjan Caves.
  • E-bike & helmet rental.
  • All transfers between Ljubljana and Rovinj.
  • Support vehicle during your bike rides.
  • Organization, 24-hour holiday service & support.

Exclusions

  • International flights.
  • Airport transfers to Ljubljana and from Rovinj.
  • Meals not specified in the itinerary.
  • Travel insurance.
  • Personal expenses.
  • Guide gratuities.
  • Other services not specified in the Inclusions.

Activity Level 2-3 – EASY TO MODERATE

Expect to bike approx. 40 km (25 miles) per day. We are doing leisurely bike rides, enjoying the countryside, and doing several stops along the way. 

You will bike rolling hills with occasional steep or longer ascents. That’s why we recommend e-bikes. If you feel strong and want to get some more exercise, we can also provide a regular hybrid bike or gravel bike

We can also alter the route and extend the bike rides! This is a private trip and everything can be customized!

This Slovenia & Croatia bike tour is doable between March and October. To avoid the peak tourist season, we recommend doing it outside of July & August. 

What is the weather usually like?

We just love this trip in April, May, early June, September & October! It is not as hot and there are fewer other travelers around – especially in the most popular places, like Rovinj.

At this time, you can expect temperatures around 20-30 degC (70-85 degF). In the peak summer months (mid-June to early September) the temperatures easily exceed 30 deg C (90 deg F) and you’ll need to be ready for the heat.

There are more options for rain in March, April & October. July and August are usually dry, but a storm can surprise you anytime.

This Slovenia & Croatia bike tour is not only a culinary tour. For your comfort and relaxation, we have also selected small boutique hotels that we love. They have a central location (Ljubljana and Rovinj) or are located in beautiful countryside villages. The countryside hotels also have a pool!

This is our selection, but it all depends on the availability at the time of booking:

Hotel Heritage in Ljubljana’s old town.

Organic Hotel St. Daniel 4* in a small village on Karst, Slovenia.

Hotel Palazzo Angelica 4* in a small hilltop village in Istria, Croatia.

Hotel Spirito Santo in the center of Rovinj.

Katja Pretnar
Slotrips trip designer & lead guide

Katja, Slotrips trip designer and hiking guide

As a young girl, I was frequently visiting my grandma at the hotel in my hometown Bled, where she was working. I absolutely loved the company of foreigners and being exposed to different cultures and languages. Life took me abroad, exploring horizons, living in different countries, and working as a hiking & biking guide around the globe for many years. But I was always returning home to my roots. Here I am now, in love with nature, culture, people, and sport. Always curiously looking for the secret corners of this beautiful world to share it with others, chasing sunsets and sunrises on two wheels or on foot, skiing fresh snow, foraging healthy herbs & flowers, and making bonfires by the rivers.
 

Meet the team

“We are back in Calgary and back to reality after our wonderful week in Slovenia!

Thank you so much for the wonderful tour and the taste of what Slovenia has to offer! It was all perfect! We loved the locations we visited, the rides, the food, the hotels, and our guide Aljaz couldn’t have been any more accommodating. What a pleasant young man to spend a week with! I also wanted to thank you and Aljaz for making Don’s 60th birthday such a memorable and special day! The champagne-filled picnic basket on the rocks during our whitewater rafting was so special! Thank you for everything! We hope to visit Slovenia again and when we do we will definitely be in touch!”

Don & Sue Finley
from Canada

More reviews

Can you tell me a bit more about Slovenian food?

Sure! Check this insightful piece about Slovenian food!

What are the roads like?

Mostly we bike on low-traffic village roads and avoid bigger roads as much as possible. There are also some sections of hard-packed gravel.

What is the maximum group size?

This is a private trip and will be adapted to your wishes. Groups bigger than 8 pax will have 2 guides.

Can I rent a regular bike instead of an e-bike?

Sure! We can provide road bikes, hybrid bikes, or gravel bikes.

Is the trip doable with a gravel bike?

Definitely!

Price

from 3,150 € per person

Photos by Slotrips and Jost Gantar, Ciril Jazbec, Jaka Ivancic, Tomo Jesenicnik, Marijan Mocivnik (STO)

Need to make some changes to the itinerary?

Why Take a Bike Tour in Slovenia & Croatia With Slotrips?

Because we care! We love & live in the region, we breathe the great outdoors and are passionate about delivering authentic, fun & immersive bike tours in Slovenia & Croatia. You can count on us!

Designed with love

We love our jobs! And go above and beyond to design carefully-crafted itineraries with great attention to detail. You will feel it!

It is all about you

Your pace, your interests, your special requests. We listen carefully, add our passion & knowledge and deliver tailor-made experiences just for you.

The guides

Genuinely friendly, passionate experts, well-traveled globetrotters, and knowledgeable locals. We will proudly show you our homeland: Slovenia.

Great value

Slotrips cycling tours are designed and run in-house. With no middle-men or big overhead costs, you are truly getting the most for your money.

GO BESPOKE

Maximize your travel time and value for money, with a tailor-made walking holiday in Slovenia covering every aspect of your wishes, needs and interests.

Price: from 3150 €
An elevation profile of 3 day Alpe-Adria trail, between Tonkina koca and Kekec Homestead
An elevation profile of 3 day Alpe-Adria trail, between Kranjska Gora and Tonkina koca
An elevation profile of 3 day Alpe-Adria trail, between Kekec Homestead and the town of Bovec

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