The Slovene capital: Visit the historic old town and marvel at the ornate, old-world architecture and lovely “fin de siecle” mansions all sitting in the shadow of the Ljubljana Castle, perched high on a hill and standing guard over the old town and city centre. From its tower you get a commanding view of Ljubljana’s heart and soul.
Day 2: Ljubljana - Vrhnika (39 km (57 km with a side trip)). *** town hotel.
As the morning sun begins to rise high in the sky, you will be riding across an immense 160-sq km marshy plain, the Ljubljansko Barje, home to some of Europe’s rarest forms of bird, plant and insect life. Visit the picturesque Iški Vintgar gorge, carved deep into a stunning limestone plateau. Just before arriving in the lively little town of Vrhnika, you can visit the Technical Museum, in Bistra Castle, where there's an exhibition of Tito’s cars.
Day 3: Vrhnika – Postojna (32 km (44 km with a side trip)). **** hotel.
Today you will cycle past the beautiful Slivnica Mountain and the magical disappearing lake of Planina, and marvel at the wonders of this vast world of limestone. You can stop for a picnic lunch amid some of nature’s most incredible landscape formations, including two natural bridges, at the Rakov Škocjan nature reserve.
Day 4: Postojna – Štanjel / Kodreti (45 km). *** family guesthouse (agritourism).
Today will start with a visit to the beautiful Postojna caves, the most extensive cave system in Slovenia, through a world of large and colourful stalactites and stalagmites, and the unique “human fish”. Then head to the impenetrable fortress of Predjama Castle, in a crevasse halfway up a 123-meter cliff-face. Here lived a vivacious and daring knight. Erasmus kept a whole army at bay by utilizing the Predjama Caves to sneak out for supplies. 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.
Day 5: Kodreti / Štanjel – Lipica – Divaca (48 km). *** family hotel.
First you stop at the lovely 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. Take a tour in a traditional carriage, and visit them close up in their stables. You can also visit the unusual but very interesting “War Museum” set in a lovely Venetian tower.
Day 6: Divaca – Ankaran (46 km (additional 18 km side trip to Trieste). *** antique villa.
This morning you can visit the UNESCO Škocjan Caves – just as interesting as Postojna, but far less frequented. Then it's off to the Italian town of Trieste. Visit the lovely Miramare castle, cathedral and Piazza Unita central square. Relax with a cappuccino or a delicious gelato in the old town of Muggia. The day ends in the quaint resort of Ankaran.
Day 7: Ankaran – Piran (30 km). *** old town hotel.
For your last day you'll cycle along the coastal road on a new cycling path following the old railway line. Enjoy great vistas of Slovenia's modest, yet lovely coast, and Trieste Bay. A stop in the affluent resort of Portorož is a must. The trip ends in the gorgeous little Venetian harbour village of Piran.
Day 8: Departure from Piran. End of trip after breakfast.
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Europe Slovenia Outdoor: Land Rambler Bicycle Touring Cultural Journey
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