Slovenia is an excellent cycling destination and the reasons for that are manifold. It might be one of Europe’s smallest countries, but Slovenia boasts a very diverse landscape, packed with towering mountains, endless forests and rolling hills, stunning valleys, picturesque villages and modern towns that merge into multiple regions, adorning Slovenia with very favourable cycling conditions.
This unique geographical predisposition coupled with quality roads (some even purposefully built exclusively for cycling), light traffic and a large network of off-road mountain bike trails translates into an amazing cycling destination.
It therefore comes as no surprise that Slovenia has a strong cycling tradition. Slovenes are avid cyclists who engage in this sport collectively (families, tours), as solo riders enjoying the sport as a pastime or a sustainable means of getting around, and professionally as top athletes (Primož Rogljič, Tadej Pogačar) competing for the most prestigious titles in the game.
But in this post, we’re going to focus on the type of cycling in Slovenia that’s truly gaining international acclaim, and that’s mountain biking.
MTB Slovenia: When riding becomes pure joy on two wheels
Slovenia is criss-crosses with countless MTB trails that run through our country’s most spectacular regions and are accompanied by surreal vistas. Cart tracks, steep routes leading to upland plateaus, speedy narrow forest runs with challenging twists and turns, or easy flat trails through the countryside – there’s something here for every type of mountain biker.
But why choose Slovenia over a more famous MTB country?
Because you can experience an incredible change of terrain and scenery in the shortest amount of time. Because MTB trails in Slovenia are accessible and always come with an awesome blend of options for advanced and beginner riders. Because Slovenia is affordable, safe and mountain-bike-friendly to the core.
When is the best time to go mountain biking in Slovenia?
The MTB season in Slovenia stretches from March to November, and if you’re planning on hitting the trails in the sunny region near the Adriatic Sea, mountain biking can be done all-year-round.
Like for most sports, the peak season for mountain biking is in July and August. It’s when temperatures are the warmest and rain is the least likely to spoil the fun. The downside of summer is that holidays are in full swing, which can result in slightly more crowded trails. To avoid the rush, autumn and spring are also wonderful, with overall nice weather and convenient accommodations.
Where to go mountain biking in Slovenia?
We’ve decided to answer this question with a list of top 5 MTB tours Slovenia has to offer.
1. Velika Planina
Located on the edge of the Karawank mountains, a stone’s throw away from the capital city of Ljubljana, Velika Planina is a high mountain plateau that promises superb MTB runs. The trail with its alternating dirt surface and rough pastoral parts leads through forests and wide-open pastures with grazing livestock, autochthonous shepherd’s huts, and views to die for. The Velika Planina tour involves technically quite demanding sections, but our electric-assist bikes help those with slightly less stamina tackle the steeper parts with ease.
2. Pokljuka Plateau
Slovenia’s Triglav National Park, which covers most of our Julian Alps, is home to the most remarkable natural splendour and numerous exciting MTB trails. The Pokljuka Plateau is a textbook example of such a location. No asphalt in sight, Pokljuka’s terrain, promising a combination of steep downhill runs and more flat sections that lead across idyllic mountain pastures, is excellent for pros and beginners alike. Pokljuka lies above the famous Alpine lakes Bled and Bohinj, both of which also represent fantastic biking destinations.
Did you know that besides being a vibrant, culture-packed capital, Ljubljana doubles as a super cool MTB destination? Besides its expansive marshes and hilly outskirts, Ljubljana offers a MTB trail that ascends from its very centre and leads up a forest-covered hill where it joins a network of varied runs, from extremely demanding ones to more lightweight variants. This MTB tour is perfect for those rides who want a day’s worth of biking to escape the city crowds, only to re-join them again later for some night-time festivities.
4. Kranjska Gora
Slovenia’s famous Alpine sports hub of Kranjska Gora is not only immensely attractive for hiking, skiing and rafting, the town is located in some very high-quality MTB spots. The Triple Border Trail takes you up to an area between Austria, Italy and Slovenia. Passing the spring of the Sava River and the emerald wonder of Zelenci (a nearby hilly, swampy natural reserve), the tour has extremely diverse sections that may be quite physically demanding, but are also exceptionally rewarding in terms of stunning views. Kranjska Gora with its surroundings is arguably the best MTB destination for beginners, as they can practice on more level ground before aiming to master the tougher slopes and jumps.
Did you know mountain biking can also be done below the Earth’s surface? Slovene mountains provide a subterranean MTB trip like no other. Thanks to its rich mining history, Carinthia, the northern region of Slovenia, allows exploration of its underground tunnels that lead through a local mountain. It’s an undemanding but nonetheless fascinating MTB ride with a fun twist.
Extended MTB holidays in Slovenia
If you’re up for a longer stay and want to combine sightseeing with some excellent bike riding, then we welcome you to consider these two fascinating MTB holiday options.
The first is a multi-day bike packing adventure that takes you from Ljubljana to the mountains and valleys, alongside the emerald Soča River, zig-zagging through Slovenia’s wine country, all the way to the Karst region and back again. It’s the perfect way to experience the country’s extraordinary diversity up-close-and-personal.
The second is a single-track tour de Slovenia. It’s a mountain biking holiday focused on enduro MTB enthusiasts who can spend every day of their visit exploring the amazing single trails that run through Slovenia’s most scenic regions. Every possible terrain is included and an exhilarating time guaranteed.
Organised MTB tours in Slovenia are a win-win
In this day and age, travelling has become a luxury many can afford and most can go at it alone. However, the most optimal approach to discovering top-notch MTB trails around Slovenia is by joining an organised tour.
Whether you’re in Slovenia for a short break and would like to add some MTB fun to the mix, or you’re bent on visiting our pretty country with the sole purpose to ride like the wind while taking in Slovenia’s captivating countryside, remember that Slovenia Activities has your back.
We’ll provide you with professional bikes and expert local MTB guides who will take you up and down the most epic MTB trails this side of the Alps!
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Slovenia is an excellent cycling destination and the reasons for that are manifold. It might be one of Europe’s smallest countries, but Slovenia boasts a very diverse landscape, packed with towering mountains, endless forests and rolling hills, stunning valleys, picturesque villages and modern towns that merge into multiple regions, adorning Slovenia with very favourable cycling...
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