Day 5 of the Trans Slovenia biking tour starts with a morning ride across the Ljubljana Marshes, an area of natural wetlands and peat bogs, which is known for its rare animal and plant species and for the remains of prehistoric pile dwellings listed under the UNESCO World Heritage. Pile dwellings or crannogs were wooden settlements built on piles driven into a marsh ground or a lake bed. Due to the unique characteristics of the marsh soil and the bottom of the Ljubljanica river, the marshes have preserved evidence from all historical periods and cultures in the area. The most important find is the world’s oldest wooden wheel, which dates back to the period between 3,350 and 3,100 BC.
After exploring the flat terrain, the tour continues with a long climb to one of the most recognizable landmarks found near the Ljubljana basin, Mount Krim. From there, a forest descent leads to the enchanting village of Rakitna, quietly resting in the embrace of spruce forests. Rakitna is situated 800 metres above the sea level, at the heart of a large karst plateau surrounded by hills. The village is famous for its healthful climate, which is due to the mixing of air currents coming from the Mediterranean area and the Alps.
The road interchanging asphalt and unpaved surface provides for a descent towards and a scenic ride along Lake Cerknica, one of the largest intermittent lakes in Europe. The lake appears every year on the karst field of Cerkniško polje. With the lake disappearing during the dry season, the terrain allows paddling, fishing, hiking and grass mowing within the same area in a single-year period. The lake normally stays on the Cerkniško polje field for approximately eight months in a year. When the bed is full, it becomes the largest lake in Slovenia.
Along with the Rakov Škocjan valley, which is the next station of the tour, and the Križna jama cave, Lake Cerknica was given the title of a wetland of international significance, being proclaimed both a Ramsar Site and a Natura 2000 Site due to its importance for the preservation of endangered birds.
As part of the day full of natural attractions, the final stop is located just above the entrance to the world-famous Postojna Cave.
Distance: 72 km
Elevation: 1550 m
Gravel: 22 km (30%)
Asphalt: 43 km (60%)
Single trail: 7 km (10%)