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.
Not sure if you can do it? Contact us to schedule a call about how demanding the rides are. E-bikes and E-wheels available.
May 24 - May 31, 2020
Ask for custom dates
Private room (single supplement) USD 600
8 days (7 nights)
The Friuli and Slovenia tour was a delight. We recommend this trip to cyclers of all ages.
Ellen Siegler and Devereaux Barnes Friuli and Slovenia Plus tour[fa icon="quote-right"]
Grado - Aquileia - 21
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.
Grado - Gorizia - 47
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.
Collio hills - 30
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
Cormons - Bovec - 42
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.
Bovec loop - 25
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
Lake Fusine - Bled - 30 or 33
Today we’ll go across the Alps to reach Tarvisio, a town on the border where Italy, Austria
Bled is our final destination today. If you chose to add 3 miles to the ride, you’ll bike along the lakeshore to reach Hotel Astoria in the center of Bled. Dinner is at one of our favorite restaurants on Lake Bled.
• All accommodations
• All breakfasts, three lunches, and six dinners
• Two experienced guides to provide local knowledge, support,
• Tastings of wine and local specialties
• Snacks and drinks for each day’s ride
• Logistical support during the tour and luggage transfer
• Commemorative cycling jersey
• Shuttle at the beginning and at the end of the tour
• All activities mentioned in the day-by-day description
• Bianchi bike rental (road or hybrid); Ebikes available at extra cost
• GPS navigation and maps (digital)
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
The Slow Food
The pan di
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 "
Just as in Friuli, Slovenia’s cuisine is influenced by the countries that surround it: sausage, Weiner Schnitzel
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