Interested in a cycle tour of Slovenia?

In this article, we speak to John Vincent, who has completed many cycling tours in Europe. In his opinion, Slovenia is one of the great cycle touring secrets of Europe. He and his wife, Darlene, absolutely loved their Slovenia cycling tour, which took them in a spectacular loop from Ljubljana to Lake Bled and around the stunning Triglav National Park.

While cycling in Slovenia is still relatively unknown, word is getting out and it is attracting more cyclists each year.

In this article John shares his tips for planning a cycle tour of Slovenia, including the itinerary he and his wife rode, tips for where to stay and what to see off the bike. They rode e-bikes, but this route is of course suited to regular bikes too (it’s almost entirely paved, so a suitably geared road or touring bike would be a good choice). Enjoy!

Looking for day rides in the Slovenian Alps? Check out our guide to cycling Slovenia’s Julian Alps, here.

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Where is Slovenia’s Triglav National Park?

Triglav National Park is located in Slovenia, in the Julian Alps. It is the only national park in the country and covers an area of approximately 880 square kilometres.

The park is named after Mount Triglav, the highest peak in Slovenia, which is also the symbol of Slovenia. Triglav National Park is known for its stunning alpine scenery, crystal-clear rivers, and diverse wildlife, making it a popular destination for nature lovers. And cyclists!

Map of Slovenia

Map of Slovenia – you can find Triglav and the Julian Alps in the northwest corner of Slovenia

Why bike tour in Slovenia?

Cycling Slovenia’s Triglav National Park was an unforgettable experience. Slovenia is perfect for a self-guided cycle tour as it has rambling countryside with charming villages and historic towns, that are neat, tidy and picturesque to cycle through. There are also challenging climbs and spectacular views in Triglav National Park.

We found lots of similarities between biking in Slovenia and Bavaria in Germany and the Tirol region of Austria.

Why did you focus on Triglav National Park?

Triglav National Park, in Northwest Slovenia, is the best of the best for a challenging cycling tour in Slovenia.

Triglav National Park is home to breathtaking landscapes that display the true beauty of the Slovenian Alps. Lush green forests, crystal-clear lakes, and towering mountains create a picturesque setting that is nothing short of stunning. The National Park is dotted with gorgeous alpine villages, meadows, wildflower fields, and cascading waterfalls that add to the charm of the surroundings.

The towering peak of Mount Triglav, the highest mountain in Slovenia, stands majestically. The landscapes in Triglav National Park are a paradise for nature lovers and outdoor enthusiasts, providing a perfect backdrop for cycle touring.

How to plan a multi-day Slovenia bike tour route?

How much time do you need for a Slovenia bike tour?

How long have you got?!

Of course some people choose to just do a one day bike tour, while others opt for a long multi-day tour.

Seven days gave us a good flavour of Slovenia’s Julian Alps and Triglav National Park, but there was a still a lot of the country we didn’t touch at all! We could easily have spent more time seeing all the natural attractions the Park has to offer, such as hiking, biking, swimming and climbing endless trails in the mountains.

We would love to come back and explore some of Slovenia’s famous long-distance cycling routes. See the information below for more details.

What are the cycleways and roads in Slovenia like?

This route includes a combination of cycleways and back roads through Triglav National Park.  There were a few short sections of gravel. For the most part it was all paved asphalt. The roads we rode were not particularly busy and the drivers were courteous.

The route includes long sections of relatively flat terrain and other relatively long sections with steep climbs, especially crossing the Vrsic pass, the highest pass in Slovenia. See the route information below for more details on each section.

Pick your terrain

Slovenia has an amazing mix of terrain. The Julian Alps in the north offer rugged peaks and picturesque alpine scenery. In contrast, the Karst region in the southwest is characterised by limestone plateaus, caves, and underground rivers. The top spots for family bike trips are in the country’s east. This area features mostly flat terrain, with fields, farms, and vineyards, with roads that offer easy cycling and are not busy.

The terrain on our cycle tour through Slovenia’s Julian Alps, was tough. Being a mountainous region, we rank it as moderate to difficult for cycle touring.  Cycling touring on e-bikes was a distinct advantage for us.

Pick your time of year

Our tour of Slovenia was during May.

For cycling, I’d say it’s best to aim for late spring (May), summer (June to August), or early autumn (September) to avoid the cold, especially in the high mountains.

In spring you’ll find blooming meadows and warm weather, perfect for enjoying the alpine lakes and rivers after riding. Summer gets hot, so ride early or late to dodge the midday heat, and use this time for swimming or exploring Triglav National Park. Also be aware that there can be thunderstorms in July and August. Autumn brings mild temperatures and beautiful forest colours, with long enough days for evening rides.

Remember to bring layers like gilets and jackets for morning rides and cooler days.

A 7 day Slovenia bike tour itinerary


Our cycling route through Slovenia was a combination of cycleways and roads, essentially all paved.  We planned it ourselves using Komoot.

Our route started and finished in Ljubljana, Slovenia’s capital. It is a city worth spending several days cycling in and around.  The old town along the Ljublljancia river is lovely for wandering about, with several tourist attractions and numerous restaurants and cafes.  Here is a short list of attractions within walking distance of the centre of Ljubljana.

Points of interest

  • Triple Bridge
  • Dragon Bridge
  • Central Market
  • Ljubljana Castle
  • Tivoli Park

Where to stay in Ljubljana

There are tons of accommodation options in Ljubljana, but we stayed with family so are not in a position to suggest one over another.

Ljubljana to Bled

Starting from the Dragon Bridge in central Ljubljana, it is 57 km to cycle from Ljubljana to Bled, with 600 metres of easy to moderate climbing. The route is nearly all paved on a combination of cycleways, roads and streets.

We enjoyed a stop in Kranj for a coffee and lunch break.

Ljubljana to Bled cycling route route

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Where to stay in Bled

Hotel Lovec

Things we liked:

  • Good location
  • Nice rooms
  • Great breakfast
  • Indoor pool and sauna
  • Secure bike storage

Things to be aware of:

  • Buffet dinner fair but you may prefer to check out the restaurants by Lake Bled

Bled day ride

This day ride from Bled is somewhat challenging, at 62 km with 1,070 metres of moderately difficult climbing. But it’s a good warmup for the climbing days to follow!

As you’re in the Triglav National Park, it’s a very scenic ride with towering snow-capped mountains. We’d really recommend a stop at Lake Bohinjsko Jezero (Lake Bohinj for short). It’s a pretty spot with very little development, crystal clear water and lush green mountain sides (see the first photo in the gallery below).

The route is essentially all paved, mostly on lightly travelled roads with some cycleways.

The park by Lake Bohinj made a good stop – where you’re after coffee, lunch or just an ice cream.

Bled day ride cycling route

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Bled to Tolmin

The ride from Bled to Tolmin is 75 km with a total of 1,220 metres of moderately steep climbing, primarily on paved roadways. The first 20 km out of Bled are relatively flat.  The next 13 km is a steady climb of 780 metres with an average grade of 9%. The remaining 43 km is relatively easy up and down mostly on a road following along the Baca river, eventually joining the Soca river before arriving in Tolmin.

There are several stops en route for coffee or lunch and the route through the mountains was very beautiful.

We found the traffic a bit busy leaving Bled and arriving in Tolmin; but relatively light through the mountains.

Bled to Tolmin cycling route

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Where to stay in Tolmin

Hotel Dvorec

Things we liked:

  • Central location
  • Nice rooms
  • Recently renovated
  • Good breakfast
  • Secure bike storage

Things to be aware of:

  • Bike storage down stairway in basement

Points of interest

  • Tolmin gorge
  • Hiking
  • Soca river rafting
  • Soca canoe and kayak

Tolmin to Soca

The ride from Tolmin to Soca is 47 km with 690 metres on paved roadway of relatively easy climbing, as the route follows the Soca River upstream. There are numerous gorgeous stops along the river for a picnic lunch; this is one of the joys of a Slovenia cycling holiday as the country’s commitment to nature means there are plenty of tranquil spots you can sit outside and enjoy nature.

This was a very scenic ride, with the Triglav mountain range rising up on each side of the Soca River. You could carry on past Soca to Trenta, although accommodation becomes harder to find. Also, Soca is a good starting point for the next day, the climb over the Vrsic Pass to Kranjska Gora.

Tolmin to Soca cycling route

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Where to stay in Soca

Hotel Gostisce-andrejc

Things we liked:

  • Small laid back guest house
  • Reasonably priced
  • Good breakfast
  • Dinner served
  • Close to river walks
  • Secure bike storage

Things to be aware of:

  • Isolated

Soca to Kranjska Gora

The route from Soca to Kranjska Gora is relatively short at 34 km but with 1,150 metres of relatively challenging steep climbing. It is on roadways over the Vrsic Pass, the highest pass in Slovenia at 1,611 metres. The first 13 km continues the scenic ride along the Soca River with a gradual climb of modest grade.   From there it is 9 km of continuous switchbacks with a challenging climb of over 800 metres, and grades over 10%. For more information on cycling the Vrsic Pass, read this article.

The panoramic views at the top demand a photo stop, but there are several stops worth making on the way down. The first is Erjavčeva koča na Vršiču (on Google Maps), a restaurant and pensione with accommodation. The food is great and the views of the mountain peaks spectacular. It is worth considering to stay for a night or two if you’d like to spend time hiking in the mountains as well.

Another stop on the way down is Ruska Kapelica (Russian Chapel) dedicated to the Russian POW’s who died building this road, referred to as the Russian Road, in 1916. From there it is a fast downhill ride to Kranjska Gora.

Soca to Kranjska Gora cycling route

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Places to stay in Kranjska Gora

We did not stay in Kranjska Gora, but rather continued cycling onward to Bled. However, being an alpine resort there is a lot of accommodation at every price level (this is the page for Kranjska Gora).

Like most resorts there are many shops to browse through and numerous restaurants. It is also worth staying here if one wishes to cycle back to Ljubljana directly the following day as discussed in the route below.

Kranjska Gora to Bled

Although the climb over the Vrsic Pass to Kranjska Gora is challenging, it is only an additional 39 km with 220 metres of climbing to continue on to Bled. It is a combination of paved cycleways and roads.

Kranjska Gora to Bled cycling route

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Places to stay in Bled

While Hotel Lovec is the place we’d suggest staying on a “best value” basis, if you want to go upscale and treat yourself, we stayed at Penzion Berc and can recommend it highly.

Things we liked:

  • Large lovely rooms
  • Beautiful pension and grounds
  • Great breakfast
  • Great multi-course dinner in garden
  • Secure bike storage
  • Great hosts

Things to be aware of

  • We found it a bit pricey

Kranjska Gora to Ljubljana

The ride from Kranjska Gora to Ljubljana is 88 km with 360 metres of easy climbing and 880 metres of descent, making it a relatively easy downhill route. The first half is primarily on a paved cycleway. It then joins a combination of paved cycleways and roads along the same route previously cycled from Ljubljana.

A good place to stop for coffee or lunch is Kranj.

Kranjska Gora to Ljubljana cycling route

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Do you need an organised tour to cycle in Slovenia?

You can plan your own route and book your own accommodation, carrying your own gear or have a bike tour operator do any part or all of it for you.

Tips for where to stay in Slovenia (for cyclists)

Slovenia Outdoor runs an accreditation system for bike hotels and camps. This lets accommodation providers earn one to three bicycle symbols, which show the level and quality of services they provide to cyclists. The program is quite rigorous.

Cyclist-friendly accommodation like hotels, hostels, and apartments are marked with bicycle signs, showing they offer services for cyclists. You can find out more about the scheme here.

Please note that wild camping is forbidden in Slovenia.

Tips for cycling Slovenia

Most Slovenians speak excellent English, so don’t worry too much about that.

We spotted quite a few bike shops in the main towns.

Food is easily available. Some of our favourites included

  • Potica – this is protected under the traditional speciality scheme in Slovenia. It is a rolled pastry and you can find it with more than 120 different types of sweet or savoury fillings.
  • Bled cream cake – somewhat unique to Bled, and very delicious.
  • Ljubljana štrukelj – a rolled dumpling made from leavened buttery dough and filled with apricot jam and candied orange peels.

Highway code and travel information

As ever, it’s a good idea to check current travel information before you book and travel. For UK visitors, the UK government travel information pages for Slovenia are here.

You should also read and follow Slovenia’s highway code.

Getting to and from Ljubljana

Our itinerary started from Ljubljana, the capital city of Slovenia. It can be easily reached by various modes of transportation.

If you are travelling from afar, you can fly into Ljubljana Jože Pučnik Airport, which has connections to many cities around the world.

If you are already in Europe, you can also reach Ljubljana by train, bus, or even by car. The city is well connected to neighbouring countries, making it a convenient destination to visit.

Want more inspiration for multi-day cycling holidays in Slovenia?

Here are some other long-distance cycling routes in Slovenia that would make excellent multi-day guided or self-guided bike tours. Many of them are routes that just have one section in Slovenia; so perfect if you’re looking to explore some of Slovenia’s neighbouring countries too.

  1. The Drava Biking Trail, an integral segment of an international pathway that starts at the source of the River Drava in Italy. Within Slovenia, the trail takes cyclists alongside the River Drava, offering a combination of leisure and challenge as it stretches from the Libeliče or Vič border crossings to Maribor, further extending to Ptuj and Ormož, culminating in a total distance of 129 km. Classified as medium difficulty, the route predominantly navigates local asphalt roads.
  2. The Porečanka (Parenzana) long-distance biking trail traces the historical railway line from Trieste (Italy) to Poreč (Croatia), spanning 130 kilometres. The Slovenian segment between Koper and Sečovlje Saltpans affords explorers a glimpse into Slovenian coastal towns and a section of the Istrian hinterland.
  3. The Jure Robič Biking Trail (D2) stands as one of the most picturesque biking trails, commencing in Rateče and weaving through Kranjska Gora, Gozd Martuljek, and Mojstrana before reaching Jesenice. Spanning approximately 28 kilometres, this trail at the base of the Julian Alps, largely follows a decommissioned railway line and offers stunning alpine vistas.
  4. Bike Slovenia Green route introduces cyclists to an eco-friendly tourism option, highlighting cycling as a sustainable outdoor activity. This green-themed cycling tour traverses from the Julian Alps to the Adriatic Sea, spotlighting destinations renowned for their commitment to sustainable practices. Bike Slovenia Green is marketed as the world’s first sustainable bike tour.
  5. The Amazon of Europe Bike Trail offers a 1,250-kilometre cycling route across five Central European countries, linking three major rivers – the Mura, the Drava, and the Danube. It takes in the pristine natural landscapes of the Mura-Drava-Danube Biosphere Reserve, a transnational UNESCO Natural Heritage Site. The Slovenian portion of this route includes a 20-kilometre journey along the Mura River, through Prekmurje’s plains, and picturesque villages celebrated for their rich culinary tradition.
  6. The Slovenia Green Capitals Route is a comprehensive long-distance cycling route that connects three of Slovenia’s greenest destinations: urban Ljubljana, the expansive Kočevje Forest, and the culturally rich Bela Krajina. Cyclists can experience the dynamic atmosphere of Ljubljana, the tranquility of Kočevje, and the cultural fusion in Bela Krajina.


And finally, check out our cycling Slovenia page for more guides to cycling in this fantastic country, including the Vipava Valley region as well as the Julian Alps.


A huge thank you to John and Darlene for these insights on their trip to Slovenia. It sounds like they had a fantastic time! If you’ve cycled in Triglav National Park or anywhere else in Slovenia, share your experiences in the comments below.


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John Vincent is a retired tech entrepreneur. He continues to mentor young entrepreneurs and is a guest lecturer at universities on entrepreneurship. His wife, Darlene Horne, is a retired teacher.

They are both avid cyclists. They live in British Columbia, Canada, which allows them to cycle on their conventional road bikes year around when at home.  They cycle tour on e-bikes during the spring and autumn months in Europe. Their view is that while many cyclists go on vacation to cycle, they prefer to cycle on vacation.

Last Reviewed: 30 April 2024

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