Trans Slovenia TRANS SLOVENIA 01
The Trans Slovenia 01 biking tour combines the landscapes of the Julian Alps and those of the Mediterranean in only 7 days. It starts with a winding ascent to the Vršič mountain pass, which is the highest lying road pass in the eastern part of the Julian Alps. The high-mountain road features 50 sharp turns, of which 26 on the descent towards the Soča valley. The tour continues along the Soča river, which has a distinct emerald green colour and is considered one of the most beautiful rivers in Europe. The Soča valley was the first destination in Slovenia to earn the title of the European Destination of Excellence (EDEN) due to its sustainable development in tourism.
Make no mistake – the many “detours” are taken to reach the peaks offering majestic views and tonnes of biking pleasures are guaranteed. Mt Stol, which stands at the edge of the high Julian Alps, offers a splendid view over the sea. The descent is taken along a single long epic trail through the woods. The stunning two-hour descent from Mt Matajur is one of the highlights of the tour. It leads to Italy, where the group will take a break and try some delicious ice cream.
After that, the tour leaves the mountains and enters the land of gentle, rolling hills covered in orchards and vineyards and dotted with small, secluded villages – the region of Goriška Brda reminds of Tuscany. The wine growers of Goriška Brda are famous around the world for their high quality wine, and any wine connoisseur would recognise many of the names displayed along the road winding through the landscape. Wine tasting is obviously inevitable here.
Did you know that the noble white Lipizzaner horses originate from Slovenia? The original stud farm has been set in Lipica, in the Karst region, since 1580. This is where the tour makes a stop after passing most of the Karst region and before descending towards the town of Piran, a small slice of Venice in Slovenia.
“Slovenia for most riders is still a relatively unknown land, with stunning and varied landscapes between the striking Julian Alps, the romantic Soča valley, the lovely Brda wine region, the unique karst area and the sunny Adriatic coast – all connected with many old Military streets from the First World War and magical, completely unknown trails. Trans-Slovenia is a new, not too heavy, exclusive TransAlp Tour for mountain bikers in five to seven stages, with many variations to suit all tastes – on gravel or trail, from easy to difficult, an orientation tour with a high enjoyment factor, a perfect combination of adventure, hospitality and fun.”
By Uli Stanciu, pioneer of Bike magazine, Trans Alps tourism, BIKE Festivals Riva del Garda and Willingen and owner of www.bike-gps.com.