Why go cycling in Slovenia?

Cycling in Slovenia is an absolute pleasure. It has a widespread network of cycling infrastructure and a cycling culture that very much fits its eco credentials. Slovenia has been recognised as “Europe’s most sustainable country” and the government actively encourages cycling in Slovenia as a form of tourism.

Slovenia is a small country, sandwiched between Austria, Croatia, Hungary and Italy. What it lacks in size, it makes up for in sporting prowess; Slovenia’s cycling is currently in the spotlight due to its wealth of pro road cycling talent (more on that here).

Slovenia’s geography is very diverse: from the Slovenian coast, to Lakes Bled and Bohinj, the high mountains of the Julian Alps and the Tuscan-like wine-growing region of Goriška Brda and Vipava Valley. This offers a wide variety of cycling with a long season in all but the high alpine regions. One of the pleasures of visiting Slovenia is that you can easily experience the different landscapes and scenery in a short period of time.

Cycling Slovenian Alps

We visited the Julian Alps around Triglav National Park (including the Soča Valley, Kranjska Gora, Bohinj and Lake Bled).

You can read our in-depth guide to cycling the Slovenian Alps here. It contains our pick of the best cycling routes in this part of Slovenia, as well as information on where to stay and bike hire. This multi-day tour of Triglav National Park and the Julian Alps might also be useful.

If your motive is challenging, spectacular climbs over high alpine passes, the Julian Alps are a natural destination.

Cycling Vipava Valley

Vipava Valley’s tourism board is keen for cyclists to visit. This region, close to the border with Italy, is absolutely stunning and a great combination of terrains – from mountains to more rolling routes. Medieval towns, pristine nature and endless meadows teeming with wildflowers are also a big attraction.

We worked with the tourism board to create a guide to cycling the Vipava Valley, which you can find here.

Other great regions for cycling in Slovenia

We’re told that cyclists that love their road biking should also consider the following areas of Slovenia:

Alpine foothills

For example Škofja Loka, Idrija, Žalec, Rogla, Pohorje.

These rolling hills offer a mixture of rides from flat trails to rolling hills, on and off the road.

Vineyard hills and Eastern plains

For example Ptuj, Posavje, Bela Krajina Kočevsko.

These areas offer remote local roads through vineyards and authentic hamlets in the regions of Štajerska with Prekmurje (around its largest city of Maribor) and Prlekija (between the Drava and Mura rivers). In the Dolenjska region, you can ride the endless quiet and hilly backroads, finishing your day with a soak in the thermal baths and a glass of the local Cviček wine.

Mediterranean Slovenia (Brda, Karst, Nova Goriška, Šmartno)

This area has diverse terrain, with plains and river valleys surrounded by hilly uplands. Expect quiet roads and sweeping views to the high mountains and the sea.

We haven’t yet visited these parts of Slovenia, but hope to do so soon!

Mountain biking in Slovenia is also big news and bike parks are dotted throughout the country. The gravel-riding scene is also taking hold. Outside of the heavily regulated Triglav National Park, where cycling is only allowed on certain categorised roads, the numerous marked cycling trails and forest tracks provide many superb options for gravel-riding adventures.

Bike on Mangart's Saddle SloveniaMangart’s Saddle Pass in June
Lake at bottom of Vrisc Pass on one of our Slovenia cycling routesLake at the bottom of the Vršič Pass in Kranjska Gora
Cyclist on a bridge out while cycling slovenian alpsSoča River

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