Slovenia and Italy are the perfect pairing of countries to combine into one exhilarating bike tour. What’s to like? Slovenia is bordered by Italy, Hungary, Austria and Croatia and has been influenced in its cuisine, art and culture. The country is small with dramatic scenery, quiet roads to bike and some wonderful hotels. Starting in Ljubljana, you will have a full day to see the many sites of this city, with its Old World Plazas, baroque churches and dramatic castles. Then Bled, with its wondrous turquoise lake, and island monastery, and divine cycling, some along new dedicated bike paths that wind majestically through bucolic countryside and past aqua-marine lakes. If you need assistance over the Vrsic pass, we’re there for you with assistance. But don’t miss the unending descent down the Soca valley, following the serpentine Soca river towards Italy. In Friuli, Italy, you will ride through vineyards and orchards, and in Unesco World Heritage town of Cividale, you will, as we did, find heaven on earth. Did we mention the food is some of the best in Europe? We’ve got a treasure trove of ‘off-the-beaten path’ restaurants, wine tasting opportunities and other discoveries to share. This will surely become one of our most popular trips –go soon, before the secret is out.

Only Great Explorations:

  • Small groups, extraordinary guides, and authentic experiences
  • A ride you will never forget: from Vrsic pass to Bovec
  • Order off the menu at restaurants you won’t find in guidebooks
  • Distinctive, charming hotels too small for larger groups
  • Wine included at first and final night receptions
  • We design and operate our own trips so there are only good surprises



Ljubljana, Slovenia

Day 1



Day 2+3



Day 4



Day 5+6+7


Venice, Metropolitan City of Venice, Italy

Extension: Day 7+8

What’s Included in the Cost of Your Trip?


Services of one or more experienced Great Explorations guides
Support vehicle
6 nights lodging
All breakfasts, 2 lunches, and all dinners but 1
Wine included at reception on first and final nights
Wine tasting in Cividale
Entrance fees for selected tastings, historical sites and museums
Detailed map and route instructions
All baggage transportation
Gratuities for all meals, hotels etc. are included; tips for Great Explorations guide(s) are additional and at your discretion




Jun 4-10
Jun 11-17
Jul 2-8
Jul 9-15
Jul 16-22
Jul 30-Aug 5
Aug 13-19
Aug 20-26
Aug 27-Sep 2
Sep 2-8


Jun 3-9
Jun 10-16
Jul 1-7
Jul 8-14
Jul 15-21
Jul 29-Aug 4
Aug 12-18
Aug 19-25
Aug 26-Sep 1
Sep 2-8

Trip can start at any date. Custom trips also available. Call or email for details.


4-16 participants


7 days / 6 nights


Ljubljana / Venice


30-55 km daily (20-40 miles)
Van supported


Slovenia is moderately hilly and there is the opportunity to challenge yourself on two mountain passes. Friuli, Italy is less so. See elevation gains in itinerary.


Land Cost:
US $2,950
Includes 6B/2L/5D

Single Supplement:
US $750

Bike Rental:
US $280

E-Bike Rental:
US $480*

*E-bikes are generally available but are on an ‘on request basis ‘ and will be confirmed on receipt of your booking registration. Rental rates include delivery to the first hotel and pick-up from the last hotel. E-bikes provided are the best rentals available in the region. Our regular fleet of hybrid and race bikes are fun to ride and light and fast, but if having an e-bike will make your trip, we’ll do our best to provide. E-bike rentals are non-refundable. 

Optional: Extension Venice US $495 pp
Single sup: US $150
Includes 2 nights hotel with breakfast daily and a 1/2 day guided walking tour.

Please note: Final itinerary is subject to revision; any changes made are done so in an attempt to provide the best possible trip given route conditions and available services. Due to the nature of our business and exchange rates, prices are subject to change. All prices quoted are U.S. dollars but we gladly accept payment in Canadian dollars also. Due to cancellations and waiting lists, trip availability fluctuates daily. If you have any questions or would like to confirm space on this trip before making your reservation, please contact us at or by telephone at 604.730.1247.

Getting there

Ljubljana: You can fly into Venice, Italy or directly into Ljubljana, Slovenia and back out of Venice. If flying into Venice, it takes approximately 2 hours by bus to reach Ljubljana.


Day 1


Described as one of Europe’s most livable cities, with pedestrian and bike-friendly streets, and  an active cultural scene. Surely one of the most beautiful cities in Europe, but without crowds (yet). We recommend arriving late afternoon in time to walk along the emerald green Ljubljanica River which is lined with vibrant cafes and then have dinner at the acclaimed Gostilna na Gradu, situated in the castle above town ; it will be the first of many memorable meals.


Day 2


Bike lanes depart right from the center out of town  so if ever there was a city to ride from, this is it (no transfer needed). You will be soon be out in the countryside and enjoying the dramatic scenery of Slovenia. Lunch in the medieval village of Skofa Loka, with its castle and restored historical center. You will arrive to splendid Lake Bled along a little known bike path. The setting here is nothing short of spectacular. Take a dip, or take one of the pletnas out to the island to visit the monastery. We have several restaurants for you to choose between.
Distance: 40 km, elevation gain 620 m or 71 km, gain 1460 m.*


Day 3


Ride through Triglav National Park to Lake Bohinj, quite possibly even more beautiful than Lake Bled. Optional hike to the Savica waterfall, which at 60 m is one of the most impressive sights in the Julian Alps. On your return ride circling Lake Bled, stop at one of the beaches or at the rowing center, where world-class rowers train. Visit the enchanting castle above town.
Distance: 43 up to 84 km, elevation gain 445 up to 1610 m.*


Day 4


Leaving Bled, you will ride to Kranska Gora where you can enjoy lunch at a recommended gostilna. If you wish a lift up and over Vrsic Pass (at 1611 m), we have a shuttle option for you and you can enjoy the long descent into  the Soca River valley. The afternoon ride to Bovec will surely rate as one of the most spectacular of your life. With the Julian Alps high above, the Soca River below, and Triglav National Park all around, this dramatically situated village is one of the adventure centers of the country. Rafting is possible, either on the afternoon you arrive or next morning.
Distance: 41 up to 81 km, elevation gain 480 up to 1700 m.*


Day 5


From Bovec, you ride south towards Italy, but not so fast. We recommend having lunch at Hiso Franko before continuing on to Cividale (or Cormons for the luxe trip). Arriving to Cividale, you will discover a beautifully intact Unesco World Heritage site. Its central plaza is one of the most beautiful of any Italian city and yet devoid of tourists.
Distance: 48 km, elevation gain 725 m or 91 km, gain 2005 m.*


Day 6


For your last day in Friuli, we have designed options that range from flat to hilly. Our favourite ride dips back into Slovenia to wine taste and enjoy those quiet roads that wind through vineyards, past castles and quiet roads, with street-side fruit stalls and wine tasting opportunities abound. Finish your trip with a well-deserved dinner at Enoteca de Feo, an intimate wine bar & restaurant where “the music is jazz, the service professional, and the food impeccable” (Frommers). As you wash this down with the local wines, toast your journey that will have given you memories to last a lifetime.
Distance: 47 km, elevation gain 350 m or 67 km, gain 980 m.*


Day 7

Departure Day

Enjoy a last stroll in the village. Trains for Venice depart frequently. From Cividale you connect through Udine (travel time to Venice is 1h50).

*Distance and elevation gains may vary depending on hotels chosen for specific departure.


Day 7 & 8

Post-trip Extension in Venice

Add 2 days/2 nights to Venice, staying at our favourite hotel in Venice, with a 1/2 guided walking tour on day 2.

US $495 per person (single supplement US $150).

Lesar Hotel Angel, Ljubljana

This boutique hotel is located in the historical center, one block from the riverfront. Wifi, air-con and LCD. There is an entire floor dedicated for a lounge to relax in and a restaurant on site.

Hotel Astoria, Bled

This hotel, with its contemporary design and upscale furnishings is in a class of its own. The wellness centre is superb with Jacuzzi, sauna and massage services available. Air-con, Wifi and LCD.

Hotel Mangart , Bovec

Alpine style hotel with all amenities including air-con and wifi. There are beautiful views from the hotel.

Il Roncal, Cividale

IL RONCAL is a 20 hectare estate located on the Montebello Hill near Cividale del Friuli, a UNESCO World Heritage medieval town. The hotel, an ancient manor located on the top of the Montebello Hill has become the guest house of the estate.


Trip Reviews

October 28, 2022

“The sights were spectacular — especially the villages and the farmland. The trip itinerary was well thought out and the accommodations were excellent. But best of all, our guide was the best. A real pro. Very knowledgable, and helpful as well as a great guy and someone we all would gladly have as a guide again someday. Lodging and guide exceeded expectations. The people of Slovenia were wonderful. We also loved how our guide personally knew and trusted (and was trusted by) local business owners.”

May 22, 2016

The landscape of Slovenia. I had no idea what to expect, and was pleasantly surprised. And the people: the neatness of Germans, but more laid back like Italians.

May 9, 2016

Beautiful area. We loved the rolling countryside and enjoyed the surprises of steep Slovenian roads very much!

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