Historic and scenic riding among vineyards, mountains, and lakes. 

There’s a lot of history involved in this cycling and multi-sport tour, with a focus on the years during and between the two World Wars. The itinerary also echoes the Mitteleuropean past of the area (on both sides of the boarder), when it was under the Austro-Hungarian Empire ruled by the Habsburg family, a real crossroads between cultures.  Our visit to the WWI Museum in Caporetto-Kobarid is the best way to get to know the history and the geography of these two regions.

Both Friuli and Slovenia are big wine producers, especially of white wines, and it’s interesting to taste the same grape varietal cultivated in different soils and climates. Friuli’s wine regions of Collio and Colli Orientali del Friuli will be the backdrop of our cycling ride towards Slovenia, and in Slovenia we pass through the wine areas of Goriska Brda, Kras and Vipavska Dolina. In September you can witness the peak of the grape harvest and the beginning of the winemaking process.

Rolling vineyards, lush, green forests and snowcapped mountains form the backdrop for much of our riding along smooth, uncrowded roads and bike paths. The views are just as spectacular when we are off the bikes enjoying a variety of multisport activities, including river rafting, hiking, paragliding and much more.

This program has a spectacular ending on Lake Bled and in the charming capital city. Ljubljana is one of the prettiest capitals in Europe. 

 

Book Online

 

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[fa icon="plus"] Highlights
  • Two countries: from Friuli to Slovenia with the Alps as the backdrop

  • Scenic, quiet roads without traffic

  • Outdoor activities: cycling, river rafting, hiking & more

  • Wine tasting at a Friulian producer 

  • Enchanted Radovna Valley and Vintgar Gorge in Slovenia

  • Ljubljana and Cividale del Friuli (UNESCO World Heritage Sites)

  • Visit of WWI museum with English speaking guide
  • Grado's golden beaches
  • Aquileia, an ancient Roman powerhouse 
[fa icon="plus"] Day by Day

Day 1

Where: Grado - Aquileia
Terrain: Flat
Ride: 
13 mi or 22 km
Meals: L, D

A private shuttle will take you to our hotel on an island-village on the Adriatic. Grado is Friuli’s lagoon city, a town with 1600 years of history, which can still be experienced by strolling the calli (streets) of the ancient city center. Grado was the first port of entry for ships headed upstream to nearby Aquileia, a powerful Roman city on the river Natisone.

After some lunch and presentations, we ride inland to Aquileia. The colony was founded in 180BC and served as a strategic frontier fortress at the northeast corner of Transpadane (on the far side of the Po river) Italy. 

Back at the hotel, you will receive an overview of the tour program followed by dinner.

Hotel: Hotel Villa Bernt

 

Day 2

Where: Collio Hills
Terrain: Rolling
Ride: 
30 mi or 48 km
Meals: B, D

After fine tuning our bikes some more, we ride along the Natisone river and we reach Gorizia for a short visit and some lunch. Once a favorite spot of the Hapsburg nobility, since 1947 Gorizia has been split in two, with Nova Gorica developing on the other side of the Italian–Slovenian border. We are in the dramatic Carso area with its limestone formations, grottoes, and underground rivers. La Subida is a charming country hotel and the hospitality of the Sirk family is legendary. Tonight, we will have dinner at l'Osteria, which is part of the La Subida Estate. La Subida is a place that makes our guests feel at home and relaxed. It's unique. 

Hotel: La Subida

 

Day 3

Where: Cividale Loop
Terrain: Hilly
Ride: 
28 mi or 45 km
Meals: B, L

Today's ride leads us northward to Cividale del Friuli (UNESCO site). We will be pedaling through the Collio and Colli Orientali del Friuli wine area for about 30 mls of easy and rolling terrain. Cividale del Friuli will be our lunch stop and then we will head back to La Subida from a different road. Before reaching the hotel, we will stop at a local winery for lunch and wine tasting. The family-owned Grillo winery is in the center of the Schioppettino wine production (very rare and hard to find anywhere else in Italy). Relax back at La Subida before dinner. 

Hotel: La Subida 

 

Day 4

Where: Bovec
Terrain: Rolling Hills
Ride: 
46 mi or 74 km (shorter option available)
Meals: B, D

Today's ride takes us out of Friuli, heading northeast to the border of Slovenia. We will notice the landscape changing as we ride through the lowest mountain pass of the Alps, a long, easy smooth climb that takes us to the former border between Italy and Slovenia. Entering Slovenia we will find ourselves in a lush, green landscape with the typical vegetation of a mountain region, with rivers, waterfalls, and forests. Silence and very few cars make this and the next rides heavenly. Our lunch stop is in Caporetto/Kobarid and we have planned a visit to the WWI museum, a small but very complete and interesting house where the people from Caporetto have collected pictures and objects through which they tell the history of WWI as it was lived by the soldiers and civilians in that valley where we bike during our tour. In the afternoon we cruise to Bovec following the Soča river valley. You'll have time to explore Bovec on your own ant to enjoy a cold beer while watching the sunset behind the high mountains that surround the valley where Bovec is nestled. A short walk to the center of Bovec and we will find our dinner table ready at a local Gostilna, a simple, typical ‘trattoria’ style restaurant where we can enjoy our Slovenian meal.

Hotel Hotel Alp

 

Day 5

Where: Bovec
Terrain: Rolling Hills
Ride: 
23 mi or 37 km 
Meals: B

Bovec is known as the adventure capital of Slovenia, and we have a full day here to rest and enjoy a wide range of outdoor activities: kayaking, rafting, canoeing, paragliding, mountain biking, hiking and more. Kayaking in the emerald waters of the Soca River while immersed in the landscape of high peaks, forest and waterfalls is an unforgettable experience not to be missed. For those who like hiking there are some interesting trails with historical traces of WWI and WWII just outside of Bovec, with a war cemetery, two old forts and some bunkers and tunnels dating back to the Napoleon era and WWI. A bike ride will also be available if you want to explore the countryside up to the edge of Triglav National Park, in a remote little valley where only sheep and cows are witnesses to our slow-paced ride through paradise. Dinner is on your own.

Hotel: Hotel Alp

 

Day 6

Where: Fusine Lake to Bled
Terrain: Rolling Hills
Ride: 
37 mi or 59 km 
Meals: B, L, D

Today we’ll go across the Alps to reach Tarvisio, a town on the border where Italy, Austria and Slovenia meet. A bus will shuttle us and our bikes over a mountain pass and down to the enchanting Fusine lakes where an easy and flat bike path starts. We’ll follow the bike path along the valley, once again immersed in a beautiful forest and with mountains all around us. Past the town of Kranjska Gora we’ll leave the main path and enter a secondary valley, now riding on an unpaved (but smooth) bike path.  This valley, the Radovna Valley, is the most beautiful, magical and enchanting place of the whole tour. Streams, small waterfalls, tall trees, water mills, a few old farmhouses and some cows are what we will see during the almost 10km of riding in this heavenly valley. Once we leave the valley we will be very close to Bled and if time and weather permit we can take a detour to admire the Vintgar Gorge, a canyon carved by the Vintgar River. A boardwalk runs along the gorge and from there we can view waterfalls and rapids.

Bled is our final destination today. We’ll bike along the lakeshore to reach Hotel Astoria in the center of Bled. Dinner will be at a castle overlooking Lake Bled. If time allows it, you can visit the interesting museum inside the Bled Castle.  

Hotel: Hotel Astoria Bled

 

Day 7

Where: Ljubljana
Ride: 
 None
Meals: B, D

Today we’ll transfer by private bus (about 1 hr) to Ljubljana. Upon arriving, you will have a guided visit of the town center of this UNESCO-recognized gem. You will have some free time in the afternoon to explore on your own and to do some shopping. We will enjoy our final dinner at one of the finest restaurants in town.

Hotel: Allegro Garni Hotel

 

Day 8

Where: Ljubljana
Terrain: Departure
Ride: 
None
Meals: B

After breakfast, we’ll provide a transfer to the Ljubljana airport.

[fa icon="plus"] Other Info and Cost

How to Get There

Airport/s - Venice (VCE) 

The international airport of Venice (airport code VCE) is the best hub to get to the starting point of the tour. 

 

How to Depart

Airport/s - Ljubljana (LJU) 

Private transfer by Tourissimo to the airport. Upon request, guests can be taken elsewhere (additional cost).

 

Tour Level

Recreational/Active/Athletic - Recreational: 15 to 40 mi a day along rolling and hilly terrain.

 

Tour Price

Tour price per person in double room is USD 4,195

Private room surcharge is USD 600

Book Online

 

Please contact our office if:

- The tour you are interested in is scheduled to start within 90 days

- You would like to make this tour private 

- You would like to choose your own dates

 

Climate Data 

In September, temperatures average 13C (56F) low / 25C (77F) max - precipitation probability 30%.

 

Info about food and wine, and Slow Food products

We've put a strong emphasis on the food and wine of Friuli and Slovenia in our tour.

The cuisine of Friuli reflects the varied cultures that surround this region and the focus is on simple, homemade products.  Pasta, an Italian staple, is eaten in many different forms: lasagna noodles are topped with poppy seeds and gnocchi can be mixed with goulash or smoked ricotta.  Polenta is served with meat, game or cheese.  A wide variety of soups (an influence from Central Europe) are consumed with different types of dumplings.  Friuli is known for its Prosciutto di San Daniele DOP, a cured ham with a sweet, aromatic flavor that is served with bread, melon or figs, and is paired with local white wine.  Speaking of wine, the Collio region is a land of big white wines like Pinot, Tocai Friulano, Sauvignon and Collio Bianco. A smaller production of red wines includes Cabernet, Merlot and Collio Rosso.

The Slow Food presidia in Friuli Venezia Giulia are strictly linked to the traditional Friulian lifestyle of farming and cooperation. Among the Slow Food recognized products we have Garlic from Resia, Radìc di mont, Formadi frant, Pan di sorc, Pestàt from Fagagna, Cheese from the rotational dairies.

The pan di sorc (sorc means maize flour in Friulian), is a sweet and spicy bread, rich in transalpine influences. The locally grown cereals, called cinquantini, grow and ripe in a period of 50 days at the most, even then managing to do a complete cycle also in the chill and rainy Gemona area.

The pestàt from Fagagna is a very peculiar seasoning created to preserve the scents and flavors of autumn vegetables and herbs in pork lard. Its production, on a family level, occurs during the slaughter of pigs, from November to March. The lard, coming from local pigs bred in a semi-wild manner with natural feeding, is minced and mixed with chopped vegetables and spices, put into natural casings and matured in damp and cool cellars.

Producing cheese from the rotational dairies was an economical and easy way of managing the milk, suitable for the small-scale dairy production of Friuli's territory, with many farmers in every village. The milk of many families was put together and processed together. The cheese produced, simply called "latteria,” is aged for up to one year.

Just as in Friuli, Slovenia’s cuisine is influenced by the countries that surround it: sausage, Weiner Schnitzel and strudel from Austria, pasta, gnocchi, pizza and risotto from Italy, and goulash from Hungary. The focus is on home cooked food that is simple and hearty. 

The vineyards of the Italian Collio continue into the Slovene Brda, where the rolling hills create several different microclimates.  Unlike many of the major wine regions of Europe, Slovenia's winemaking history predates the Romans, and can be traced back to the early Celtic and Illyrian tribes who began cultivating vines for wine production sometime between the 5th and 4th centuries BC.  Under Communist rule winemaking traditions were lost, but recently a generation of post-Soviet era vintners are rediscovering them, and since Slovenia’s 2004 entrance into the European Union, their wines are being more widely distributed.  Some popular varietals are  Refosk [Refosco], Sauvignon Blanc, Ribolla Gialla, Pinot Gris, Malvasia and an indigenous grape called Pinel.

  

[fa icon="plus"] Hotel Highlights
La Subida_1

La Subida (Italy)

Villa_Bled
Vila Bled (Slovenia)