Ljubljana to Piran – Emerald Route
Explore Slovenia’s most famous attractions on this self-guided cycling holiday. Follow the Emerald Route from Ljubljana to Piran, starting at the famous “Triple Bridge” in Ljubljana.
Visit the Postojna or Škocjan caves, see the famous Lipizzaner horses and ride through beautiful countryside and past lush vineyards. Stay for an unforgettable evening on a vineyard and sip typical Teran wine, and then end your trip in Piran, a picturesque harbour village with far-reaching views of Trieste Bay.
From £1245.00 P/P
Main attractions: Slovene capital, old town center, and lovely “fin de siecle” mansions. Mighty fortress above the city. We liked: relaxing with a drink on the bank of Ljubljanica river. Evening walk, enjoying lights and sounds of the city. Accommodation in 4* hotel.
A nice easy first day across the historic and richly diverse plains surrounding the capital. c As the morning sun begins to rise high in the sky, you will be cycling across an immense 160-square kilometer marshy plain. The Ljubljansko Barje was once a great lake until it dried up 6000 years ago, leaving behind an incredibly diverse landscape that is now home to some of Europe’s rarest forms of bird, plant and insect life.
Along the way you can take a short walk into the picturesque Iški Vintgar gorge nature reserve, carved deep into a stunning limestone dolomite plateau, and visit the remnants of the world’s highest railway viaduct in Borovnica. In hot summer months you can even freshen up in a typical Carst Lake of Podpec. Just before arriving in Vrhnika, you can visit the Technical Museum of the Republic of Slovenia housed in Bistra Castle, where you’ll find a great hunting collection and an interesting exhibition of Tito’s cars.
Circling the Höri peninsula you will get you to the spa town of Radolfzell where you can visit the Radolfzell Minister, home to the highest church tower on Lake Hilly day, side roads. A slightly more demanding day over gentle hills, forest roads and a typical Carst polje (field). Accommodation in 3* hotel. On this day the roads will take you away from the main tourist routes and off the beaten track. You will experience the real Slovenian countryside as you cycle past the beautiful Slivnica Mountain and the intermittent lake of Planina, and marvel at the wonders of this vast world of limestone. You can stop for a picnic lunch in the Rakov Škocjan nature reserve, where the Rak River has carved out a stunning gorge containing some of nature’s most incredible landscape formations, including two natural bridges.
Hilly, one long descend afterward. Accommodation in 3* guesthouse. So far nearly 30 million tourists have visited this stunningly beautiful underground Postojna cave formation, carved deep into the heart of the limestone hills. This is the most extensive cave system in Slovenia, covering a total of 21 kilometers. The 1½ hour tour will take you through a fairy tale world full of large and colorful stalactites and stalagmites, not forgetting the unique “human fish”, a mysterious creature that lives in dark pools inside the caves.
You can also take a short detour to the impenetrable fortress of Predjama castle, wedged tight into a crevasse halfway up a 123-meter cliff-face protruding dramatically into the surrounding basin. Here lived a vivacious and daring knight. Erasmus kept a whole army at bay by utilizing the secret of the Predjama Caves to sneak out for supplies, which included freshly picked cherries which he used to throw at his adversaries to taunt them. Take the tour and learn how Erasmus met his untimely demise in less than poetic circumstances, as he was literally caught with his pants down.
First stop is perhaps at the botanical garden in Sežana, then it’s on to the stud farm of Lipica, where you can visit these beautiful thoroughbred Lipizaner horses whose glistening white coats and gentle, graceful dancing have earned them a worldwide reputation.
The history of the Lipica horses is closely linked to the Vienna riding school. Take a tour in a traditional carriage, watch them perform and visit them close up in their stables. This will be a day to remember. If you have the time for a couple of side-trips, you can also visit the unusual but very interesting “War Museum” set in the village tower of Lokev.
If you skiped Postojna caves – this morning you can visit Škocjan Caves – no less interesting but way less frequented Karst Caves – even listed as UNESCO natural monument! You can take a diversion into the Italian town of Trieste – once an important port with its worldly flair and wonderful atmosphere. Visit the castle, cathedral and Piazza Unita central square.
Trieste was once part of Slovenia whilst under the rule of the Austrian monarchy. Relax with a cappuccino in the many old-fashioned cafes. The daytrip ends in Muggia – south of Trieste. After days’ cycling it is time to enjoy a gelato in old center of town or relax on one of beaches.
Route Map (For guidance only):
Routes maybe subject to change or alteration. All route notes, maps and day-by-day information will be given to you upon arrival at the first hotel or at the welcome meeting. GPS/GPX Files are available for most our the cycling holidays we offer. Please ask us for details.
Total distance cycled: 236 km
Starting point of the cycling holiday: Ljubljana
- Accommodation in 3* / 4*hotels and guesthouse in two bedded room with WC and shower, on basis of bed & breakfast.
- Standard Bike Hire
- Luggage transport between hotels (one piece per person).
- Information package including text road book and maps (one per booking party).
- Backup service (hotline) during the trip.
- bike hire with pannier and bottle holder
- Flights to/from the start and finish
- Evening meals (unless stated)
- Local daily taxes (Payable at the hotel)
- Water Bottles
- Travel Insurance
- Bike Insurance (unless stated)
- Welcome Meetings (unless stated)
- Transfers (unless included)
We have put a calendar of events together that will provide you with some inspiration of what you can expect on your holiday, and when the best time to jet off is. Now’s your chance to travel further than you can by foot and be part of a memorable and exciting two-wheel journey with us.