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  • Slovenia trip – experiences and suggestions
  • ahsat
    Full Member

    We have three weeks (!!!) at the end of August/start of Sept and are thinking of driving the camper van down to Slovenia with the downcountry/trail (!) mountain bikes!  Any suggestions of places to visit, campsites or other places to go?  Also, anything en route as it’s a decent drive?  Many thanks @ahsat and @p20.

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    Lovely place, Kranske Gora (sp?) is stunning, the area around Tolmin is brilliant. Very friendly people and lots of great ice cream.

    No problem as an English speaker, I can muddle through in German, have even worse Italian and no Slovenian but English was all I needed. I would usually ask if the person I wanted to speak to could speak English, German or Italian and they would almost always say ‘yes, which would you prefer?’

    Anyway, route planning will be required. Slovenian access laws lag way, way behind what we have here in the UK, loads of places you just aren’t allowed to ride (best analogy I can think of is it’s like greenlaning in your Landrover here, very limited and you have to know where to go) Whether you get spotted if you were out of the way and stuck to rule 1 I cant comment. I was there in 2016, it may have changed since, I got chatting to a guy (in perfect English) who was campaigning to legalise MTB riding and he was quizzing me on the Scottish right to roam rules.

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    Electronic vignettes. Don’t forget to buy the online one or its a €150 fine via number plate recognition.

    Also, interesting history here:

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    give me a week and i will let you know, as me and two friends fly out on Sunday to spend a week with .

    I am very much looking forward to the Black Hole Trail :)

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    I came here specifically to say Tolmin and surrounding areas. We stayed several days at Camp Labcra last year, and spent an entire day out biking. More ‘big day out’ than trail centre, but none the worse for it. The Laško afterwards was well deserved.

    The Slovenia vignette’s already been covered, but that you’ll need an Austrian one as well. First fuel station either side of the border is fine. You can buy it online these days, but I like having the stickers.

    Slovenia is lovely. We need to go back.

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    @rickmeister – you’ve just sent me down a rabbit hole of Yugoslav design and now I want to repurpose a K67 booth to be a bike shed.

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    Restaurant: Strela. It’s in the castle in Ljubliana and is really good.

    Free Member

    Kranska Gora bike park is ok for a day, not much more.

    Soca valley is nice. Some big rides around Kobarid where you can have a look at the trenches and bunkers from WW1 high up on the hill.

    Matajur mountain has a brilliant, never ending natural singletrail. Bit of a slog to ride up, mind.

    The motorway toll is stupidly expensive for any vehicle over (I think) 1.9m high. If you’re going to Soca valley, Kranska Gora or Kobarid you don’t really need it. Just take the A roads.

    Met a group of Slovenians last year in Les Arcs. They didn’t have many positive things to say about mountain biking in Slovenia.

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    Did a week last year in Slovenia, I won’t name the company but we as a group were generally disappointed.

    There seems to be a huge animosity between the locals (farmers/hunters ergo pretty much everyone) and mountain bikers. Although we rode in an area destined for local enduro events we were shouted at, and the guides had to appease the locals. I know this isn’t just a Slovenian issue-but as other posters have mentioned it seems way behind other European countries in this respect.

    Many of the alpine trails just don’t get that much use, so require a fair bit of maintenance making any longer ride a bit of a chore. Outside of the alpine stuff we had no issues-I think Pogacar has done more for the acceptance of cycling in a couple of years than any government could. But for me, if I were to return it’d be for a road cycling jolly!

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    Spent a couple of days in Slovenia last year. Big storms in August ruined any bike plans I had but Postojna caves were amazing, definitely worth a day trip.

    If you like beer head to Zalec where they grow the hops. There are beer fountains in the middle of the town where you can sample 6 local beers from different breweries.

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    White water rafting on the Soca and canyoning were superb. We also met Chris Morris as an unexpected bonus. Stayed around Bovec on a farm breeding Lippizaners but was a long time ago. Coast is small and nothing to write home about, but Piran is a nice Italian+type town.

    Food was a great mix of Austrian and Italian – pizza, ice cream, strudel, dumplings.

    If at all interested in military history the WW1 museums are very good. It was a really grim theatre and you can still see the trenches and support lines snaking up the dolomite peaks.

    We plan to go back.

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    We did a few days a couple of years ago after months of riding in the alps on the way to Croatia.

    We also stayed near Bovec. Rafting the Soca was excellent, really enjoyed it.

    We took the cicerone guide for slovenia but only did one short ride out of it, most were pretty big rides and it was very hot so didn’t fancy it!

    If riding is the main motivation I feel like there is better places. If you want to go somewhere lovely then Slovenia is definitely that!

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    Did Ride Slovenia a few years ago .. .. they were excellent.

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    Been out with JT at ride slovenia alot.

    Place it’s self is stunning. As in postcard pretty.

    You going for the riding or sight seeing?

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    A few years back we passed through on a big trip. Hit some of the classics. Lake Bled was beautiful, but busy. If I recall, the castle was just a big gift shop. The valley up near Vogel was also very nice. I think there was some biking to be had in the resort.

    The Postojna Caves were incredible, and has ruined Blue John Cavern for me forever.  Predjama Castle is close, and also pretty special, being built into the cliff face.

    Ljubljana is a beautiful city, very clean and friendly. Just had a nice time mooching about.

    I’d love to go back with a bit more time, have very positive memories of Slovenia.

    Free Member

    Did SSEC there a good few years back. Can’t beat the Soca valley, beautiful place. The race base was at kamp rut, again great. Also try and find some alpine coasters in Austria on the way, great fun.

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    I mean this to be helpful rather than to pee on your bonfire, but I’d recommend really thinking through the amount of travelling involved.

    We have just got back from a two and a half week campervan trip to the Trento area, (Google suggests that Lake Bled is currently 40 mins  further).  It was stunning (and the people and food were lovely), but we spent a considerable amount of our precious holiday driving. And far more time than Google suggested.

    To be fair we weren’t particularly lucky with traffic, travelling through Austria was horrendous for delays, hours literally ebbed away.  We also had a lot of rain which reduced both legal and sensible speed limits.

    It has also cost a fortune in various tolls, fuel and vignettes. We went out through Germany and Austria, came back through the French Alps.  My favourite part of the trip was actually the Serre Chavallier valley and in hindsight I think we may have had a better holiday if we had just gone there.

    Obviously, Slovenia is a different country and people above have had great experiences, which may make the journey worthwhile. As for our trip, I don’t regret going.  We have spent a lot of time in the Western Alps so we scratched the itch of going further afield.  I’d just recommend really thinking through the route in detail and being very realistic with actual timings rather than relying on Google’s estimates.

    Full Member

    Thanks all for the replies (sorry it has taken me a bit to do so – life stuff happened). Sounds like we have quite a few things to think about/look into.

    You going for the riding or sight seeing?

    Normally holidays for us are park up in one place for a few days and explore it by biking and hiking. Quality of ride can inform that decision. Not very good at general sight seeing – needs to largely involve exercise.

    – thanks. This is a valid point and something we have talked about but not looked at in detail. We are fortunate to have 3 weeks this year, hence wondering about doing so (we’ve already used up our self imposed one flight this year going to Mallorca). Will take a proper look/think.

    Free Member

    I have been a couple of times. Once with Ride Slovenia and then 6 months later with the family, doing my own thing. I would say the riding back then (2015/6) was pretty fresh and natural, more like the lake district than Inners. Very rocky. The scenery was sublime and you will immediately see how clear the rivers are – so beautiful and blue. Some man made, groomed trails in the woods just outside Ljubljana, but pretty short. Cerkno ski resort has some man made DH trails. There was another lift assisted bike park up near Ride Slovenia, but cant remember the name. We lapped the DH trail, which was one of the best we did with RS. Vogel Ski resort has a bike park, but also a really good natural descent to the lake (Bohinj). Speakng of which, the lake is a stunning place and great for a day or 2 with the family. Its also not far from Bled, which you should go to for photos. Other things to do and see – Soca valley rafting and bridge jumping into the river! Thats awesome. Canyons around Tolmin. The Caves at Postojna in the south are huge! Petzen bike park just inside Austria in North has a massive flow trail and there were other trails being built.

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