I live on a island. Not my own island, but an island none-the-less, so the thought of riding my mountain bike in three different countries on the same mountain bike holiday already fills me with intrigue and excitement, before even thinking about the rest of the delights that journeying through Slovenia, Austria, and Italy will offer our intrepid group of mountain bike adventurers!
It’s June in the UK and we are departing for mainland Europe and the alpine playground of Slovenia. It’s 4am and the sun is already up as we head to the airport with our trusty Yeti SB66s in tow, check them in, and head for some breakfast: coffee and a pastry.
The flight is on time, bags arrive, and the air is hot when we arrive in Ljubljana at mid-day. We meet our local guide, Danijel, and the rest of our group, pack the van, and head to Bohinj Lake. Upon arrival we get stuck straight into our welcome meeting, have some lunch, build bikes, then head off up onto the Pokljuka plateau for our first ride of the tour: nothing too technical or challenging, but truly a feast for the eyes.
Within 20 minutes of riding the group gets glimpses of what this adventure is going to deliver… we descend a short section of double track and burst out onto a high alpine meadow, strewn with chalets, wild flowers, and 1.5km-deep valleys–and this is just the warm up ride!
This trail drops us around 700m down to the valley floor and back to the shores of Bohinj Lake and our accommodations for the first two nights. This has been a real crowd-pleaser, and everyone is smiling and furiously chatting about what the rest of the week will deliver if this is only day one! We keep quiet and leave everyone guessing.
As the days progress ,we feel more and-ore like we’ve been dropped into the set of “The Sound of Music.” It is truly incredible how this corner of the Alps is exactly how your mind’s eye imagines it! And it is quiet, not filled to bursting with hikers, but clear, wide open singletrack to be enjoyed:
Slovenia is 70% forested, so a lot of the riding here is, well, in the forest, but when you open out onto an alpine plateau, or ride a slender piece of singletrack that hugs a rugged mountainside, the views will literally take your breath away–not to mention stop you in your tracks and force you to take a picture… or two!
On these high alpine plateaus we come across a select number of community-led cheese-producing farms, so we stopped by to enjoy fresh bread, cheese, local meats, and a coffee to finish it all off. All of this at 1600m up a mountain with a 12km descent ahead of us:
From high in the Julian Alps we have a number of 12km descents that deliver us to the valley floors of Slovenia, Austria, and Italy during our week of mountain biking through these three countries, and the region better know as “the sunny side of the Alps.”
Along the way from mountain to coast, we pass through a number a stunning Slovenian and Italian towns, eat some outstanding local cheese, and sample a few glasses of local wine on our way to our final destination: the coastal town of Piran and the end of our singletrack adventure in Slovenia, Austria, and Italy.
And to finish the week’s adventures we street ride into the Venetian town of Piran on our bikes that have taken us through three countries, through 12km descents, vineyards and along emerald colored waters… all the way to the Adriatic coast and seafood washed down by the local white wine. Bliss!
This mountain bike adventure through the three countries of Slovenia, Austria, and Italy was delivered by H&I Adventures. They specialise in the art of hand-crafted mountain bike adventures around the world and “Slovenia, Austria, and Italy” is their latest exciting offering.
Website – www.mountainbikeworldwide.com
Tour web page – www.mountainbikeworldwide.com/bike-tours/slovenia
Supported by – Haglöfs, Oustanding outdoor equipment http://www.haglofs.com
Phone – 0044 (0) 1463 231441 or Toll free from the USA and Canada 1-888-228-50-35
Dates: Be the first to ride this new tour 13th – 20th June 2015
Price: $2,380 USD / £1,400GBP per person