MOUNTAIN BIKING TOUR · SELF-GUIDED

Julian Alps Loop

An exciting mountain biking journey encircling the Julian Alps

Inn-to-Inn Mountain Biking Trip in the Julian Alps

LAKE BLED · JULIAN ALPS · VRSIC PASS · SOCA VALLEY · LAKE BOHINJ · TRIGLAV NATIONAL PARK

This epic 7-day mountain biking tour takes you on a pedal pushing adventure through the most beautiful parts of the Slovenian Alps. Placed in one of the greenest countries in the world, this tour pursues a sustainable lifestyle and a green travel experience.

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. Suitable for e-bikes or gravel bikes, which are available for rent as well.

Do you prefer to go guided? Check this trip

Mountain biking in Slovenia

Day 1: Arrive to Bled

Welcome to beautiful Slovenia! Reach the town of Bled by car or train, if you need some help arranging an airport transfer, just let us know. Go for a relaxing walk around the picturesque lake and climb up to the best lookout for that famous Lake Bled photo before taking a swim in the refreshing waters. Finish the day with a Bled cream cake on the lakeshore.

Your bikes will be delivered in the late afternoon so you’ll have time to set them up for the upcoming adventure.

Overnight: 3* hotel or local guesthouse at Lake Bled

 

Day 2: 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 in Kranjska Gora
Meals included: breakfast

 

Day 3: 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 4: 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 of 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 5: 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 taking a train ride 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 6: 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 the 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 back to Bled for another enjoyable swim and complete the Julian Alps Loop.

Biking: 47 km / elevation gain +1300 m, -1500 m
Overnight: 3* hotel or local guesthouse at Lake Bled
Meals included: breakfast

 

Day 7: Departure

The tour finishes after breakfast. Let us know if you need any help with your onward travel arrangements or transfers.

Meals included: breakfast

Inclusions

Exclusions

  • Arriving to and from Bled.
  • Drinks, lunches & dinners.
  • Travel insurance.
  • Personal expenses.
  • Other services not specified in the Inclusions.

Optional

  • Single traveler supplement: 390 €
  • Hardtail mountain bike & helmet rental for the whole trip: 180 €
  • E-Bike & helmet rental for the whole trip: 270 €
  • Gravel bike & helmet rental for the whole trip: 270 €
  • Rafting on Soca River: 50 € per person

Activity Level 3 – MODERATE to STRENUOUS mountain biking

Expect to bike approx. 50 km (30 miles) and 1000 m (4000 ft) elevation gain on most days. You will 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.

Do you prefer an e-bike? We’ve got you covered!

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.

Miha Gantar
Slotrips founder, trip designer & guide

Miha Gantar, Slotrips' founder, trip designer & guide

I was born in Slovenia’s lovely capital city of Ljubljana but had set the avid hiker and biker in me aside for a while to study civil engineering in Germany. It was there where I met my wife, my cute Spanish girl. Together we traveled the world and finally settled in my homeland, Slovenia in 2007. Since then I have been (re)discovering the hiking trails, biking backroads, hidden natural treasures, and best dining spots all over the country. I am in love with Slovenia’s landscape, diversity, and cultural variety and will proudly show you my “backyard”.

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

How do your self-guided tours work?

You will be surprised! We have done (and are still doing) a ton of work to make sure your independent active holidays in Slovenia (and across the borders) are flawless, fun, and hassle-free. With the implementation of modern technology and our extensive local knowledge, we believe we are on the right way of delivering exceptional hiking & biking experiences that you are able to enjoy at your own pace. Read more about our “self-guided added value”.

Do you organize luggage transfers?

Of course! Luggage transfer is included between all accommodations. You are not biking with any extra weight on your bike. Unless you want to. 🙂

How does the e-bike work?

It is the same as the regular bike. You need to pedal to keep moving, but you can control the help you get from the electric motor. We recommend using as little e-power as possible, but of course, use that extra boost on those steep uphills. It makes the ride enjoyable even if you don’t feel fit or haven’t biked a lot lately. Keep in mind that the e-bike is heavier than a normal bike. You will notice it when getting on and off the bike. No big deal. You’ll get used to it in no time.

How do we navigate on our own?

We provide super easy-to-use customized navigation in a smartphone app. We also provide a phone case to attach it to the handlebar and you will hear voice messages similar to Google car navigation.

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

940 € per person

Photos by Slotrips and Tomo Jesenicnik (STO)

Need to make some changes to the itinerary?

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Because we care! We love Slovenia, we breathe the great outdoors and are passionate about delivering authentic, fun & immersive self-guided holidays in Slovenia. You can count on us!

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Price: 940 €
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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