Day 1: Your starting point is Maribor, Slovenia’s second largest city. The town is located on the bank of the Drava River and is home to one of the country’s few town castles. The castle houses the Slovenian fashion museum that boasts an excellent collection of costumes and uniforms, the most prestigious being a military uniform worn by Tito. Stay overnight in a 3-star hotel.
Day 2: Cycle from Maribor to Ptuj across scenic fields and the bank of Drava. Follow the Drava river as it meanders across vineyards and orchards. The route is fairly flat. (B). Stroll through the streets of Ptuj and soak up the 2000 years of history as you marvel at the rich, elaborate architecture. Stop-off at the Ptuj Wine Cellar, which has its own shop and tasting room. Visit the Monday morning market and sample some more wines of this region in the Haloze Hills. Stay overnight in a 4-star spa hotel.
Day 3: Cycle 40 kilometers across flat plains, with a short hilly section from Ptuj to Jerusalem. Stop off in the village of Ormož for a lunch in one of the wine cellars. Ormož is the border town with Croatia, so you can pop across the Drava Bridge and pay a quick visit! (B)
From Ormož you will cycle northwards along the famous Ormož to Ljutomer wine road. Although this is the smallest of Podravje’s wine growing districts, it’s also one of the most famous. You will cycle through a landscape of terraced vineyards where the sound of the Klopotec, a wooden wind powered rattle designed to scare off birds, will fill the air. Your day will end at the hilltop village of Jerusalem, named by the crusaders who passed through the region and loved the wine so much they named the settlement after the holy city. Stay overnight in a 4-star mansion set within a vineyard.
Day 4: Today you will cycle 45 kilometers from Jerusalem to Moravske Toplice. Continue along the wine road, on a clear day you can see as far as Hungary. Stop-off at one of the many wine cellars and taste the best white wines of the region. (B). Visit the floating mill of Veržej before crossing the Mura River into the most eastern region of Slovenia, Prekmurje. The black pottery workshop in Filovci and the modern church in Bogojina are just two of the places you visit before arriving in Moravske Toplice. Stay overnight in a 4-star hotel.
Day 5: You can take the day off and immerse yourself in the healing powers of the thermal spa that Moravske Toplice is most famous for. Otherwise take a short cycling trip out to the border of Hungary. Visit Bukovnica Lake, said to have bio-energetic healing effects! Along the way you’ll see the many L-shaped farmhouses and the beautiful white storks nesting on the rooftops. (B). Cycle a couple of kilometers and cross into Hungary and visit a typical market in the border town of Lenti. Enjoy a coffee in Lendava and try the local specialty, gibanica; a sweet pie containing apple, walnut, poppy seeds and cottage cheese. Lendava is Slovenia’s most easterly town and has a sizable Hungarian population. Once refueled you can then take a leisurely ride through the vineyards of the Lendava Hills back to your hotel.
Day 6: Today cycle 41 kilometers to Cerkvenjak. As you head westward stop-off at Murska Sobota castle. See the regional museum that houses an exhibition if the culture and traditions of the Prekmurje region. Afterwards cross the River Mura on an old-fashioned float before cycling through the low green hills, stopping for a picnic lunch by the lake. End the day in the small settlement of Lenart, set amidst the center of the Slovenske Gorice Hills. Stay overnight in a 2-star country inn that was voted as the most hospitable hotel of 2011. (B, L).
Day 7: Cycle 35 kilometers to Maribot, covering some hilly parts. Take a leisurely ride through vineyard adorned hills and quaint rural villages. Join the Malenik wine road that leads into Maribor. Stop-off at the small village of Vodole and savor a lunch of grilled blood sausages with sauerkraut. Stay overnight in a 3-star hotel. (B, D).
Day 8: Depart from Maribor. (B)
Also see tour packages in:
Europe Slovenia Outdoor: Land Rambler Bicycle Touring
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