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Cycling in Slovenia: a different way to sightsee

Cycling is one of the most versatile outdoor activities that you can do with the whole family. Slovenia is very cyclist-friendly and offers the perfect environment for cycling. Slovenia, despite its small size, has an extremely diverse landscape that makes it perfect for all kinds of activities on two wheels, from adrenaline filled cross-country cycling and mountain biking, to road cycling Slovenia or touring the cities with your kids while admiring the colorful nature and cultural sights of this geographically and culturally rich region.

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Bohinj cycling trail, bridge across river Sava Bohinjka (www.slovenia.info, photo: Mojca Odar, Turizem Bohinj)

Cycling is extremely popular in Slovenia, so you can take part in many different cycling activities throughout the country and take one of the Slovenia bike tours. You can rent trekking and touring bikes, mountain bikes or electric bicycles in all major sports centers, as well as online, and you can also rent a city bicycle (the service is called BicikeLJ) in several spots in the nation's capital, allowing you to take a tour of Ljubljana by bike. The best thing about this is that you can leave your rented bike at a different location from where you got it and continue your way by bus or on foot.

Cycling the city: tour of Ljubljana on bikes

Cycling through the nation’s capital is a great idea, since Ljubljana is extremely bike-friendly. You can see the whole old town of Ljubljana which is otherwise closed for all traffic except bikes and pedestrians; it is also possible to take the bike up to the Ljubljana Castle. A ride through the beautiful Tivoli Park is definitely a wonderful experience, especially in the summertime; it lets you escape the heat of the concrete, while staying in the very heart of the city. We highly recommend taking a ride to the very edge of the city, to the Barje Nature Park, where the remains of thousands of years of pile-dwellers culture have been found.

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Cycling in Ljubljana city center (www.slovenia.info, photo: Iztok Medja)

Cycling activities in Slovenia

Slovenia is a cycling enthusiast’s dream, since there are many cycling events to choose from. If you're a serious cyclist, you shouldn't miss the world famous Franja Marathon, a three day recreational competition with the longest running cycling event in Slovenia. The longest route takes you on a 156 kilometer journey, but there are shorter routes to choose from as well. For the bravest and most enduring professional cyclist, the Tour of Slovenia is an experience of a lifetime – a countrywide marathon with a great venue to see for those who love to bike. If you're a fan of mountain biking, Slovenia has the perfect landscape for it. One of the most popular ascents is the Ride to the top of Vršič, a quite difficult ascent to the highest mountain pass in Slovenia.

For those who love cycling, but wish to go at their own pace, Slovenia has many cyclist-friendly roads and cities, so you can go practically anywhere on a bike. Taking a Slovenian trip on bike is a wonderful way to sightsee and enjoy the breathtakingly colorful Slovenian nature.

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Most popular Slovenia bike tours and trails

  • A ride to Velika Planina, Slovenia’s highest mountain plateau, located in the Gorenjska region. This is one of the very few places in the whole of Europe where you can still find herdsmen settlements and also a place of pure serenity and spectacular views of the region.
  • A sunny ride along the old Istrian rail route Porečanka on the Slovenian coast, past the Sečovlje Salt Pans Landscape Park, which is, with its Mediterranean feel, probably one of the most charming routes that the whole family will enjoy.
  • If you feel like escaping the heat, we advise you to cool down in the alpine environment of Triglav National Park. Take a tour from Bohinj to Bled and witness some of the most treasured natural gems that Slovenia has to offer; from alpine springs and waterfalls to breathtakingly beautiful lakes, both at the starting point and end of your journey.
  • The region of Lendavske Gorice offers many wonderful cycling routes for the whole family, but the biggest attraction in this region is certainly the Vinarium Observation Tower, the highest in the country, from where you will have the most amazing view in the whole country – from this spot you can see three of Slovenia’s neighboring countries – Austria, Croatia and Hungary.
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Cycling in Seča, Porečanka (www.slovenia.info, photo: Tomo Jeseničnik)

Mountain biking – a Slovenian national sport

The mountain biking culture is really at home in Slovenia, since the naturally hilly landscape offers many opportunities for mountain biking, so whenever you are in the mood for a little more adrenaline, you can find countless trails and bike parks, fit for mountain biking. There are also organized mountain bikingcamps that children and youth can attend as well as regular downhill and enduro races. If you feel like trying out your own mountain biking skills, there are several bike parks in Slovenia that offer a great experience, safe and well kept trails and, in most cases, bike and gear rentals. Visit one of the bike parks in Kranjska Gora, Krvavec, Cerkno, Pohorje, Vogel, Golte, Rogla or Ljubljana.

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Cycling in Soča Valley (www.slovenia.info, photo: Tomo Jeseničnik)

Bike rentals in Slovenia

No gear? No fear! There are many bike rentals places in Slovenia where you can rent your equipment for any kind of cycling or biking. Rent a bike in Ljubljana and take a tour of the city, or rent a mountain bike in Kranjska Gora. Bike rentals at Lake Bled , as well as guided bike tours, are offered just like many other popular tourist destinations in Slovenia. So you can choose whether you want a guided tour, a nice ride along the local roads on a city bike or an adrenaline-filled experience on one of the many mountain trails.

Cycling gives you a unique opportunity to discover and experience the unspoiled nature in its full glory, while also making sure that it stays that way. It is a fun, healthy and eco-friendly way to discover all of the beauty that lies beyond the roads and cities that man has built. Please make sure that our beautiful forests, fields and lakes stay as pristine as they are – take your own waste with you, don't have open fires and respect the plants and wildlife.

Besides the few suggestions covered in this article, Slovenia has an excessively wide variety of beautiful cycling routes and parks, where you can enjoy the views of the many natural treasures that this country has to offer.

Read also – hiking in Slovenia

Read also – rafting in Slovenia