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Tucked into a corner between Italy and Austria lies Triglav National Park. It surrounds and protects Slovenia's highest peak, the Triglav (a name meaning 'three-headed' - its shape as seen from the southeast.) So important is the Triglav that it's featured on the country's flag. Explore the region's most intimate valleys and tiny alpine villages, places no cars can access. Climb the ridge-tops of the Julian Alps. Stay at lakeside inns with views rivaling Italy's most glorious. The best thing about this tour? Anyone can do it - it's all on electric-assist mountain bikes.
E-mountain biking is one of the hottest trends in Europe. Why? Because it gets you into remote areas you might never visit on your own power. Places where there are few roads and even fewer cars. You don't have to be a super-athlete either: If you can ride a bike, you can do this trip. From bike paths to forest roads to the occasional paved road, an e-assist mountain bike is the perfect way to see this region.
Fly into Trieste, Italy, Klagenfurt, Austria or Ljubljana, Slovenia - your choice. Meet us at any of the three for transfer to the ski resort town of Kranjska Gora in the Julian Alps. This afternoon: enjoy dinner, meet your guides and get and an overview of the week.
Fly into one of 3 airports - Trieste, in Italy; Klagenfurt in Austria; or Ljubljana in Slovenia. Meet us at any of the three for transfer to the ski-resort town of Kranjska Gora, tucked into the Alps near the Austrian and Italian borders. Spend the afternoon soaking up the sun and strolling the riverside. Over dinner tonight, meet your guides and fellow guests for an overview of the week to come.
Ride the Vrata Valley to 'The Wall,' the north face of Triglav and a national symbol of Slovenia. Continue along the bike paths through the Radovna Valley to Lake Bled.
Ride from Kranjska Gora through two valleys today. First up: the gorgeous Vrata Valley, right out the door of the inn. Ride through the valley, stopping off to visit the Peričnik waterfall. Continue riding to its north point, where the valley ends abruptly at 'The Wall' - Triglav's North Wall, that is. At 1,000 metres tall / 4,000 meters wide, 'The Wall' is one of the biggest faces of the eastern Alps and a national symbol of Slovenia. Time for a photo and a break. Afterward, continue riding the bike path into the woodlands of the Radovna Valley, an iron-rich region dotted with farms and rimmed by the peaks of the Alps. Finish at Lake Bled, Slovenia's most popular resort. "With its emerald-green lake, picture-postcard church on an islet, a medieval castle clinging to a rocky cliff and some of the highest peaks of the Julian Alps and the Karavanke as backdrops, it's every bit as lovely in real life," crows Lonely Planet. A dip in the lake makes a perfect end to an amazing day. Stay here tonight.
Route: 45km; 700 meters of climb - 70% gravel paths and fire roads, 30% tarmac.
Ride from Lake Bled right into the heart of Triglav National Park. Ride the ridge line, then down into Bohinj, one of the most beautiful spots in Slovenia. Stay here tonight.
From lake Bled, ride into the heart of Triglav National Park this morning. Ride the bike path up to tiny Rudno Polje, a popular start point for climbers and hikers ascending Triglav. Climb onward, through the alpine meadows of Zajamniki and Uskovnica, dotted with former shepherds' huts that now serve as weekend cabins. Stop for a snack, a drink and a breather at the mountain hut in Uskovnica. Soak up captivating views of the Julian Alps and Bohinj Mountains: meadows, forests, crisp-edged peaks and deep valleys. From here, descend via gravel road to Lake Bohinj, one of the most beautiful spots in this captivating country. Time for a swim! Stay here in Bohinj tonight.
Climb up to the Soriska Plain today on an old WW1 military route.
From Bohinj, climb up to Slovenia's only train-accessible ski resort, the town of Kobla. Continue on to the family-run ski resort of Soriska Planina, then onward via an old WW1 military road. After climb we have great 800 meters long descent to Podbrdo, a railway town where there was a border crossing between the Kingdom of Italy and the Kingdom of Yugoslavia between World Wars I and II. Continue on to Kobarid, known for the 1917 Battle of Caporetto, where the Italian retreat was documented by Ernest Hemingway in A Farewell to Arms. Spend tonight here in Kobarid.
Today: Canyoning outside Kobarid. Then take some time to shop, explore the town and enjoy one of its terrific restaurants.
Kobarid ('a place where there are goats') lies close to the border of Italy. Dating to prehistoric times, the town is probably best known as the theatre of the Battles of the Isonzo between Italy and Austria-Hungary; it was nearly completely destroyed between 1915-1917. Today it's a tourist destination and especially well known for its restaurants. Explore one of the nearby river canyons today on an exciting expedition guided by a local outfitter.
Ride high above the Soca Valley today. Then follow the river back to Kobarid.
After morning coffee in Kobarid, it's time to ride Kobariski Stol, a great MTB route hgh above the Soca valley. Hop in the van for a shuttle up the tarmac road. Hop out of the van and onto the bike for an hour and a half steady climb up a fire road to the mountain pass. Pause at the top to take in soaring views of the Adriatic Sea and Kanin Mountains. Snap a few photos for bragging rights; cruise along the ridge line, then it's time to head down a disused military alpine road from World War I, all the way to the village of Podbela and a cooling dip in the Nadiža River. Dry off, then follow the Nadiža back towards Kobarid for a second night here.
Ridge ride. Start in Livek Village, riding the Kolovrat Ridge on the border between Italy and Slovenia. Then cruise downhill beside to Tolmin for a well-earned beer.
This morning, shuttle up to Livek on the border of Italy. This tiny alpine town was used as a strategic base by Erwin Rommel in World War I and has existed under the various flags of Italy, Austria and now Slovenia. On the bike, climb the tarmac to Kolovrat Ridge. Descend, following a combination of fire roads and singletrack trails to Tolmin, where you'll find castle ruins dating back over a thousand years. After well deserved beer, follow the fire roads along the Soča river back to Kobarid for a lazy afternoon. Stay another night here.
Last riding day: Ride the Soča Valley, then climb up and over Vršič Pass - also known as the Russian Road - the highest pass in Slovenia. Breathtaking!
Following the magically aquamarine Soča River, the Soča Valley reaches from Triglav National Park to Nova Gorica. It's a hugely popular area for rafting, hiking and skiing, but as in other parts of this border region, there are dozens of historical sights connected to WWI. Van to the end of the Soča Valley to ride from the river's source in the Trenta Valley. Climb up to Vršic Pass, the highest in Slovenia and the eastern Julian Alps (1,611 metres/5,285 ft). An early trade route, the road - now known as Russian Road - was built up for military purposes in the early 19th century. The views of the surrounding peaks from the summit will take your breath away! Descend back down to Kranjska Gora via an old road through the Mali Tamar Valley. Back in Kranjska Gora, spend this last lazy afternoon at nearby Lake Jasna to recharge and take in the views of the surrounding mountains you've explored. Spend one last night here in Kranjska Gora, raising a glass to toast the beauty and adventure of this amazing week.
After breakfast this morning, it's off to your airport of choice (Lubljana, Klagenfurt or Trieste). It's been an amazing week!
After breakfast in Kranjska Gora, we'll take you to your airport of choice - Lubljana, Slovenia; Klagenfurt, Austria; or Trieste, Italy. Thank you for letting Bicycle Adventures share this incredible adventure with you!
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As an optional extra, a person traveling solo on any inn-to-inn trip may reserve a room for his or her exclusive use. This will guarantee you a private room and private bath every night. Unlike other tour companies, if you're willing to share a room, there is no extra charge for coming solo, no matter when you sign up for the tour - even if you wind up with a private room by default.