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8 Days Heart of Europe Cycling Holiday in Croatia, Austria, Slovenia, and Italy

Trieste, Italy; Goriška Brda - Ljubljana - Kranjska Gora - Bovec, Slovenia; Grožnjan, Croatia

Road Cycling Holiday Austria, Italy, Croatia, and Slovenia

Cycle the quiet scenic roads of four countries at the heart of Europe. You will be riding through Italy, Croatia, Austria and of course, Slovenia. You can put your mind at ease and enjoy the care of professional guides. This is a holiday like no other where you can see and do as much in such a short period of time.

Key information

  • Trip type: Guided
  • Lodging: Point-to-point
  • Difficulty level: Moderate (cyclist needs to have a good level of fitness, terrain is mostly hilly or unpaved but they will ride on flat terrain sometime,31-45 miles per day) to challenging (cyclist needs to have high level of fitness, must be an active rider, the terrain includes really challenging climbs/or 46-80 or more miles per day)
  • Total distance: 240 miles / 386 kilometers
  • Vacation type: Road cycling
  • Type of bike: Road bike (available at 200 USD per week)
  • E-bike: Available to rent at 400 USD per week or 75 USD per day

Highlights

  • Scenic cycling rides
  • Interesting and fascinating routes
  • Enjoy the spectacular views of the Julian Alps
  • Cycle through Italy, Slovenia, and Austria border points
  • 7 nights accommodation
  • Complete van support
  • Daily breakfast

Styles


6 days with instruction
The maximum participants in the group is 14
Airport transfer included: Venice Marco Polo Airport
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Accommodation

On this holiday, you will be staying for seven nights in a range of comfortable, welcoming local accommodations, including traditional guest houses, small hotels, and a boutique hotel. A single supplement is an additional charge for a private room for guests traveling alone.

On the first night, you will stay in Trieste, Italy, and on the second night, you will stay in Goriška Brda, Slovenia. The third night will be spent in Grožnjan, Croatia, while the fourth night will be spent in Ljubljana, Slovenia. The fifth and sixth nights will be spent in Kranjska Gora, Slovenia, while the seventh night will be spent in Bovec, Slovenia.

Program

Start your journey in the beautiful city of Trieste with a typical Italian dinner. Discover the unknown mountain passes of the Julian Alps and cool down after a ride in the incredible Soča river. Cycle through vineyards reminiscent of the Italian Tuscany during one day and visit the beautiful mountain lakes on the other. A tasty meal and a cozy room await you at the end of every day.

You will have the services of an expert English-speaking guide with extensive local knowledge, who go above and beyond to cater to your every need, as well as a complete van support every mile of the way to enjoy your vacation at your own pace. It is recommend following a general training in the weeks leading up to your trip.

Your guide will be very happy to give you some bike skills training during your trip to help improve your confidence and your enjoyment of your bike adventure.

Guides

Your adventure guides are local and experienced professionals who have a real passion for outdoor activities and for the culture and landscape.Your safety is their number one priority, closely followed by your enjoyment of the tour. They will always be on-hand to answer any questions or requests you may have throughout your trip.

Bike Hire Tours chose their guides for their expertise in outdoor activities. They are experts in their fields.

Daily itinerary

Day 1: Arrival at Venice Airport (VCE)

Upon arrival at Venice Airport (VCE), you will be met by a Bike Hike Tours representative and then be driven to Trieste, an Italian coastal town on the border with Slovenia. Your accommodation here will be a comfortable boutique hotel. After checking into the hotel, the guides will run a short briefing so you will know exactly what to expect in the days to follow.

Then, you will go for a short stroll around the city center and have a dinner in a local Italian restaurant with traditional Mediterranean specialties. The first day will be a relaxing one to help you adjust to the time zone. Transfer time is one and a half hour.

Day 2: Introductory ride towards the wine regions of Slovenia (40 miles / 65 kilometers)

A short transfer will take you out of the city where you will find yourself on the Italian coast of the Adriatic Sea. The guides will help you set up your bikes, and after you have geared up, you will start cycling following the coastline towards Slovenia. The Italian roads are typically filled with cyclists of all ages and styles and it is easy to see how cycling has been a part of their culture for a very long time.

The flatlands of Italy will soon be replaced with small hills full of vineyards as you approach Goriška Brda, the wine region of Slovenia, renowned for spectacular wine and food. You will stay in one of the many small hotels in the region, overlooking the beautiful countryside. Transfer time is one hour.

Day 3: Traversing the Karst region and heading towards Croatia (50 miles / 80 kilometers)

While the wine region alone could keep you occupied for a few days, there is still plenty to see on this trip. You will ride your bike towards the sea again, leaving the views of the distant mountains behind you for a while. A network of small local roads will take you through the Karst region, well known for its wine, prosciutto, and rough landscape.

You will cycle through Istria, where the vineyards get replaced by olive trees. Empty roads will lead you past Slovenian coast and across the Croatian border. You will end the day in Grožnjan, a picturesque Istrian stone village, typical of the area. Transfer time is 30 minutes.

Day 4: Scenic ride outside of Ljubljana (40 miles / 65 kilometers)

You will head back to Slovenia after breakfast and visit the world-famous Postojna Cave and Predjama Castle. An easy start of the day and a short drive are just perfect for regenerating after the first two days in the saddle. You will get to Ljubljana in the early afternoon and have plenty of time for a spin on the nice roads around Ljubljana, used by the locals as training grounds or for their regular Sunday escapes.

There will be a couple of climbs on the route to get you ready for the days in the mountains. After you finish the ride, you will have some time to explore the city center by foot and visit the best cafeteria in town. The day’s ride will be rewarded with a tasty dinner in a small restaurant with a great selection of local wines. Transfer time is two hours.

Day 5: The Alps (30 miles / 50 kilometers)

It is time to head for the mountains. You will leave Ljubljana after breakfast and drive towards Bled, another must-see when visiting Slovenia. The guides will gear up your bikes while you are enjoying the famous Bled cake and after that, the route will take you to Kranjska Gora.

You will see how the landscape and architecture changes as you progress deeper into the mountains. The accommodation for the day will be in a nice hotel in a small village just outside of Kranjska Gora where you will also enjoy dinner and wake up to amazing mountain views. Transfer time is one hour.

Day 6: Three countries in one go (40 miles / 65 kilometers)

This is the only time on this trip that you will be staying at the same place for two nights in a row. You will be able to get a better rest and only focus on cycling. The hotel is stationed just below a mountain pass leading towards Austria, and it would be a shame not to use this opportunity to cycle over there and do some cycling on the other side of the border.

From Austria, you will continue your way towards Italy and use an abandoned railroad, which was transformed into one of the nicest cycling paths in these parts to return to the hotel.

Day 7: The highest pass in Slovenia and a meal to remember (40 miles / 65 kilometers)

Bike Hire Tours has saved the very best for the final day in the saddle. Vršič Pass is the highest mountain pass in Slovenia and its top lays at the elevation of 1,611 meter. One switchback at a time, you will rise above Kranjska Gora and be rewarded with an amazing view of the Trenta Valley.

The World War II has heavily affected this area and the guides will gladly tell you more about its history and other interesting facts. You will continue or way towards Bovec, following the emerald Soča river, a white-water activity enthusiasts’ paradise. You will finish the ride in front of a comfortable small hotel, your accommodation for the night.

You can spend a couple of hours exploring or even do some white-water activities like rafting or canyoning. If you feel like having an extra adventure, ask the guides and they will help accommodate any of your wishes.

In the evening, you will visit Hiša Franko and be hosted by Ana Roš, a world-famous chef who was recently featured in the Netflix series, Chefs Table. You will have a spectacular dinner to end an amazing trip in style.

Day 8: Departure

This day marks the end of the tour, but if you wish to also visit the famous city of Venice (Italy) known by its labyrinth of canals, bridges and spectacular architecture or Vienna (Austria), let Bike Hire Tours know at the time of the booking.

Location

This cycling holiday will be held in Austria, Slovenia, Croatia, and Italy. In Italy, you will visit Trieste, and in Croatia, you will visit Istrian town Grožnjan. In Slovenia, the tour will cover places including Goriška Brda, Ljubljana, Bled, Kranjska Gora, Vršič Pass, and Bovec.

Food

Daily breakfast is included. The meals will be served in a group setting. Your guide will also be with you during these scheduled meals. During the meals that are not included in the itinerary, you are free to choose where you would like to dine. Your guide will advise you the best places to dine for these meals.

You can choose to join with others and decide to dine together somewhere, or if you desire some independent time, you are also always welcome to do your own thing.

The following meals are included:

  • Breakfast

The following dietary requirement(s) are served and/or catered for:

  • Vegetarian
  • Regular (typically includes meat and fish)
If you have special dietary requirements it's a good idea to communicate it to the organiser when making a reservation

Things to do (optional)

On the seventh day in the emerald Soča river, you can spend a couple of hours exploring or even do some white-water activities like rafting or canyoning.

What's included

  • All cycling tour mentioned
  • Return to Venice airport shuttle
  • 7 nights accommodation
  • Daily breakfast
  • Services of an expert English-speaking guide
  • Complete van support
  • Pick up and drop off before and after tour from convenient locations
  • 2 guides on tour (one fully qualified mechanic)
  • Snacks and food supplements including electrolytes during tour
  • Farewell dinner on final night (drinks excluded)
  • Entrance fees to historic sites and natural parks

What's not included

  • Airfare
  • Food and drinks
  • Travel and activity insurance
  • Tips are optional and not included in price

Cancellation Policy

  • A reservation requires a deposit of 14% of the total price.
  • The deposit is non-refundable, if the booking is cancelled.
  • The rest of the payment should be paid 90 days before arrival.
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