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Julian Alps Loop, Guided Mountain Bike Trip

MOUNTAIN BIKING TOUR · PRIVATE · GUIDED

Julian Alps Loop

Bike along the dynamic trails surrounded by abundant natural beauties

Mountain Biking Adventure in Triglav National Park

LAKE BLED · TRIGLAV NATIONAL PARK · JULIAN ALPS · SOCA VALLEY · LAKE BOHINJ · LJUBLJANA

Get ready for an amazing point-to-point cycling adventure encircling the Julian Alps & the Triglav National Park. We are biking on a mix of gravel trails, low-traffic paved roads, and easy single trails, which makes it great either for a mountain bike or a gravel bike. You will be challenged by some long uphills, but will also enjoy some easier days. And your guide always has some detours and surprises to keep you engaged, if this is your style.

We will start the trip by exploring Lake Bled and its picturesque surroundings. The guide will get to know your abilities and adapt the rest of the itinerary to your wishes. You will circumnavigate the Julian Alps in a counter-clockwise direction passing the ski town of Kranjska Gora and climbing the stunning Vrsic Pass before a long descent to the beautiful Soca Valley.

You will enjoy the emerald river pools and bike the WWI trails. Hop on a train for a short ride and swim in the alpine waters of picturesque Lake Bohinj. End this trip in Ljubljana, sipping local beer in one of the riverbank cafes, and reliving the long-lasting memories of this fabulous biking trip in Slovenia.

Great local food? Yes, of course!

This epic 8-day mountain biking tour takes you on a pedal-pushing adventure through the most beautiful parts of the Alps. Placed in one of the greenest countries in the world with the World Legacy Award by National Geographic, this tour pursues a sustainable lifestyle and green experience travel.

A well-thought selection of diverse and well-developed biking trails, gravel and paved back roads will take you to the stunning natural and cultural sights of the Julian Alps. Along with conquering its slopes and passes, you’ll be rewarded with beautiful views of the wooded valleys with sparkling waterways, set against seriously stunning mountain backdrops. Yet all who like to explore off the bike as well will discover the original features of the regions in-depth too.

On this tour, you’ll travel on the bike from one overnight location to the next, while your main luggage is being transported.

Since love goes through the stomach in Slovenia, you’ll taste some delicious home-made food and drink!

Day 1: Welcome to Slovenia

Upon arrival at Lake Bled, just 30 min from the Ljubljana airport, you’ll already notice the only island in the country. You can admire this most resilient rock brushed by the ancient Bohinj glacier with a 6 km long and relaxing walk around the lake, owned by graceful swans. Yet to explore the island, where fairies lived once upon a time, take the boat across and walk the 99 stairs to the bell of wishes. Put the good health wishes into action with a sip of the thermal water with a beneficent effect on your organism.

In the evening, you’ll get to know your bike guide over a welcome dinner, as well as talk about the trip in detail.

Let us know if you need any help arranging the transfer to Lake Bled.

Overnight: 3* hotel or local guesthouse at Lake Bled
Meals included: dinner

 

Day 2: Lake Bled & Around

In the morning you’ll start your Big Julian Alps biking loop by exploring one of the nominees for the New Seven Wonders of the World, the Lake Bled. Imagine the scenery, knowing it’s located in the first country in the world to be declared a green destination.

You’ll immerse in the region with a warm-up ride across meadows, through beech, spruce, and fir forests, as well as flamboyant villages around Bled. Throughout several stops, amongst which you’ll visit the famous Vintgar Gorge, have a beer in the medieval town of Radovljica, meet a local beekeeper, and hike to an amazing viewpoint above Lake Bled. Thus let go and enjoy a multi-active day, covering what we consider the very best of the picture-perfect Lake Bled!

Biking: 30 km / elevation gain +400 m, -400 m / additional 2 hours on foot
Overnight: 3* hotel or local guesthouse at Lake Bled
Meals included: breakfast

 

Day 3: Lake Bled to Kranjska Gora

Today you’ll set to the Alpine Slovenia, the Julian Alps with its Kingdom of Zlatorog (the Goldenhorn), where outstanding natural beauty and remarkable cultural heritage, constitute the first UNESCO biosphere in Slovenia.

The route will take you around the Triglav National Park, one of the oldest national parks in Europe, to the upper Sava valley, while spectacular deep-cut Alpine valleys and crystal clear whitewater rivers line up along the way.

Initially, you’ll head northwest along tranquil asphalt side roads to Vrata valley, the biggest glacial valley on the north side of the Julian Alps. Here you’ll make a short stop for a hike to the countries youngest waterfall, the Pericnik, which with its spectacular water curtain makes for an awesome refresher.

Later continue along dedicated bike paths all the way to the winter sports hub, the Kranjska Gora town. Depending on your wishes and fitness level, you can call it a day here or continue to Zelenci Nature Reserve, the source of the Sava river, which is the longest river in the country. Fans of the winter ski jumping should tag to ski jumping hills in Planica, whereas riding to the Italian Laghi di Fusine lakes is for fans of mountain reflections bedecked by nature.

Are you more into single trails? Let us know!

Biking: 45 km / elevation gain +800 m, -450 m / additional 30 min on foot
Overnight: 3* hotel or local guesthouse in Kranjska Gora
Meals included: breakfast

 

Day 4: Kranjska Gora to Bovec

Joy in all its meanings will own this day! The ride will take you across the Vrsic Mountain Pass, which is the highest road pass in Slovenia and a popular Alpine stage for road bikers. Yet you’ll rather climb the historic road, built by the Russian prisoners during the First World War. The gravel and forest road winds through the heart of the Julian Alps, among Slovenia’s highest mountains and their immense limestone walls.

Once further from the guard between the Sava and the Soca river valley, you’ll only enjoy a lot of wind in your hair. As you’ll descend the sunny slopes along an asphalt road to the Soca valley, you’ll struggle with keeping your eyes on the road. Enthralled by the emerald river cutting a sparkling ribbon through the wooded valley set amongst immense peaks, you’ll make several stops to soak up the beauty and dip your feet in.

Your ride ends in the town of Bovec, Slovenia’s perky white water & adventure recreation paradise. Since one of the Europes’ most beautiful rivers runs just by, the place makes for the best rafting in the country, yet the biggest Zipline park in Europe and breathtaking canyoneering adventures call for an extra day here. Let us know should you add it.

Biking: 50 km / elevation gain +1100 m, -1500 m
Overnight: 3* hotel in Bovec
Meals included: breakfast

 

Day 5: Bovec to Tolmin

This day takes you biking further south of the Soca valley. Since you’ll go through the village where pouring cats and dogs gives a whole new dimension to heavy rain, take on our recommendation to opt for rafting. It’s just more fun riding rivers by raft. While you enjoy rafting the Soca river, your bikes are delivered to the end of the rafting trip, from where you’ll bike to the historic town of Kobarid.

The charming town’s impression is greatly influenced by the First World War and captured in the Farewell to arms by the Ernest Hemingway. Kobarid might feel more Mediterranean than Alpine, but once you’ll be pushing towards the stunning Kozjak waterfall, you’ll know you’re being surrounded by mountains.

Long tranquil side roads will lead to your final destination of the day. The town of Tolmin is the largest town in the Soca valley. Today it’s a paragliding and music festivals hub, wherein 13th-century one was rich with Tolminc (cheese), thus the Tolminska frika frittatas will still keep you going for days.

Biking: 40 km / elevation gain +600 m, -850 m / additional 30 min on foot
Overnight: 3* hotel or local guesthouse in Tolmin
Meals included: breakfast

 

Day 6: Tolmin to Lake Bohinj

A hearty breakfast will power you up to conquer the longest and the most challenging ascent of the trip. You’ll climb the foothills of Mt. Vogel, nestled in the Southern Bohinj mountain range, to admire waters running towards the Adriatic sea, whereas enjoying those that contribute to the Black sea on the other side later that day.

The best reward for the effort is beautiful views, but on this fairy tale mountain meadow, you’ll savour the famous ‘štruklji’ too. It’s a traditional local dish with mountain cottage cheese, which tastes best amongst such enchanting natural beauty. Therefore you’ll enjoy stretching your legs here some more before tackling a fun descent along old WWI trails back to the valley.

From Soca valley, you’ll head to Bohinj region by train through the Alps. Once on the other side, you’ll bike the paradise Bohinj valley to the lake. The Bohinj Lake is the country’s largest natural lake, which embraced by the Julian Alps within the Triglav National Park, makes for an idyllic location for the night.

Biking: 50 km / elevation gain +1600 m, -1600 m / 40 min train ride
Overnight: 3* hotel at Lake Bohinj
Meals included: breakfast

 

Day 7: Lake Bohinj to Lake Bled

The day brings mostly gravel road biking through extensive spruce forests, among the high peat bogs, many karst potholes, and little valleys to beautiful alpine pastures. Along the way, you’ll pass charming alpine meadows and a stunning viewpoint of Lake Bohinj, where a camera calls for a full battery.

The Pokljuka Plateau is around 1200 m above sea level, making biking very much enjoyable even in summer, far more for its clear and fresh mountain air. Add some lovely shepherds settlements, chilled cattle, and the chance to taste excellent local dairy products to that and you’ll want to be there instantly.

From the high karst plateau, you’ll bike to Bled for another enjoyable swim. Afterward, you’ll make the transfer to the capital city of Slovenia, Ljubljana, to explore its car-free old town, enjoy its cuisine and feel the charming atmosphere.

Biking: 47 km / elevation gain +1300 m, -1500 m
Overnight: 3* hotel in Ljubljana
Meals included: breakfast, dinner

 

Day 8: Ljubljana and departure

After breakfast and an easy morning in Ljubljana, this trip ends. Yet if you have a few more days, extend your biking tour to the lovely wine hills. They make for great biking in May, June, September & October, but might be too hot in July & August.

Meals included: breakfast

Price per person:

2 travelers: 2,680 €
3-4 travelers: 1,960 €
5-6 travelers: 1,640 €
7-8 travelers: 1,430 €
9-10 travelers: 1,280 €

Inclusions

  • English speaking mountain bike guide throughout the trip.
  • 7 nights with breakfast in nice 3* hotels or local guesthouses. Double or twin rooms.
  • 2 dinners.
  • Luggage transfer between accommodations.
  • Transfer from Bled to Ljubljana on Day 7.
  • Train ride on Day 6.
  • Organization, 24-hour holiday service & support.

Exclusions

  • International flights.
  • Airport transfers.
  • Drinks.
  • Meals not specified in the itinerary.
  • Travel insurance.
  • Personal expenses.
  • Guide gratuities.
  • Other services not specified in the Inclusions.

Optional

  • Single room supplement: 280 €.
  • Quality hardtail mountain bike rental: 140 €.
  • Quality hardtail e-bike OR Gravel bike rental: 245 €.
  • Rafting on Soca river: 50 €.

Activity Level 3 – MODERATE biking

Expect to bike approx. 50 km (30 miles) and 1000 m (4000 ft) elevation gain on most days. We spend most of the day biking and stopping along the way to visit waterfalls, swim in the rivers and lakes, and get to know local culture & cuisine. You need to be a keen mountain biker and an outdoor junkie with a good fitness level to fully enjoy the trip. Keep in mind that we can customize everything to your wishes.

Of course, you can always opt for an e-bike to get the extra boost.

 

What are the trails like?

Mostly we bike on gravel roads and side asphalt roads. There are also some short and easy single-trail sections. You have to be comfortable on long descents and also on roads with some traffic. In the Soca Valley, there are some sections where we can not avoid riding on the regional asphalt road.

The Julian Alps Loop mountain bike trip is doable between mid-May and October. To avoid the peak tourist season, we recommend doing it outside of July & August. 

 

What is the weather usually like?

In summer (from June to early September) the weather is usually hot, with temperatures around 25-30 deg C (75-90 deg F). In peak season (August) you can expect a heatwave with temperatures likely exceeding 35 deg C (95 deg F) as well as a significant temperature drop in the mountains on a cloudy, windy, or rainy day.

May and especially October are cooler and you should bring gloves and warmer layers as well.

You’ll stay in selected nice and clean centrally located 3* hotels or local guesthouses, in double or single rooms with en-suite bathroom.

According to your wishes, we can also arrange charming boutique hotels.

Tomaz Policar
Slotrips biking guide

Tomaz Policar, Slotrips biking guide

On my travels across all continents, I realized the wealth that Slovenia has to offer to nature lovers and mountain bikers and for that reason have dedicated myself to guiding groups around Slovenia for the past 5 years. Since I live in Bled, my playground is the Alpine part of Slovenia, where I mountain bike for the past 15 years. Yet I also feel at home in the hills around Slovenia’s capital Ljubljana, moreover, am a licensed mountain bike guide, who speaks Slovene, English, and German, thus confidently take groups on multi-day tours between the Alps and the Adriatic.

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

What is the maximum group size?

Our mountain biking trips are private. For this trip, we accept up to 10 travelers per guide.

Can I rent an e-bike?

Of course!

Is the trip doable with a gravel bike?

Definitely! With some small changes, it makes a perfect gravel biking trip.

Price

from 1,280 € per person

Photos by Slotrips and Tomo Jesenicnik (STO)

Need to make some changes to the itinerary?

Why Bike in Slovenia With Slotrips?

Because we care! We love Slovenia, we breathe the great outdoors and are passionate about delivering authentic, fun & immersive cycling holidays in Slovenia. 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 hiking 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.

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