Headwater - Julian Alps to the Adriatic Self-Guided Cycling

11 days
from
$4,749 NZD
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Cycling
Suitable for:
Age 8+
Activity level:
Leisurely / Moderate
Activity Rating - Leisurely/Moderate
Trip code: 
C10SV
Way to Travel:
Self-Guided Holidays
Activity:
Self-Guided Cycling
Min age:
8

Our 10 night holiday takes you from the turquoise waters of Lake Bled, nestled below Slovenia's jagged Julian Alps, along the Alpe Adria Trail, passing into Italy.

This relaxed cycling holiday explores the very heart of Central Europe, beginning in Slovenia on the shores of magical Lake Bled, passing by Austria before heading south through Italy and on to the Adriatic.

Highlights

  • Gentle, easy-paced cycling through wonderfully scenic countryside - vines, lush forests, sun-soaked hamlets
  • Rich natural beauty: magical lakes and cobalt blue Adriatic Sea
  • Medieval villages, Renaissance towns, Venetian squares, historic hilltop castles
  • Rolling river valleys, dramatic limestone peaks, sweeping 360° views
  • UNESCO-listed Aquileia - immense early Roman Empire site

Key information

  • 10 nights hotel-to-hotel
  • 6 Days cycling
  • All continental breakfasts and 4 evening meals
  • Management by your local Headwater-appointed agent
  • Route directions and maps 
  • High quality bikes
  • Luggage transfers between hotels 
  • Entrance to the Slovenian Alpine Museum
  • Countries visited: Slovenia, Italy

What's included

  • All accommodation
  • All continental breakfasts and 4 evening meals
  • Management by your local Headwater-appointed agent
  • GPS Route directions and maps 
  • High quality bikes
  • Luggage transfers between hotels 
  • Entrance to the Slovenian Alpine Museum

What's not included

  • Visas and vaccinations
  • Travel insurance
  • Single supplements
Call for general departures:
0800 643 997
Call for tailor made trips:
0800 643 997
Trip Notes

Click on the button below for detailed Trip Notes containing all the particulars about this trip, including kit lists and practical information.

Note: these can vary by departure; you can check out the specific Trip Notes for your chosen adventure on the dates & prices page.

6

Days of Cycling
Terrain:

The suggested cycling mainly follows tranquil lanes and traffic-free cycle trails.

Day by day breakdown
Day 241.0km/26.0miles
Day 336.0km/23.0miles
Day 565.0km/41.0miles
Day 650.0km/32.0miles
Day 831.0km/20.0miles
Day 930.0km/19.0miles

Responsible Travel

At Exodus we believe in the power of Responsible Travel.

Every time we travel, we are part of a global movement that creates jobs, builds more sustainable societies, encourages cultural understanding and safeguards common natural and cultural heritage. To learn more about what Responsible Travel means to Exodus click here

Itinerary

Bled
to
Grado
  • Day 1

    Arrive in Bled

    Arrive at your stunningly located 4-star hotel overlooking Lake Bled, its romantic island and mountains beyond. Time for a refreshing dip, sauna or massage before sampling chef Andrej Rovan's gastronomic cuisine - we promise that dining here for the next 2 nights will be a real treat! (Staying at Hotel Triglav, Half Board)

    Meals included: Dinner
  • Day 2

    Lake Bled Circular Cycle

    Your circular warm-up ride takes you first along the shore of Lake Bled and then through a series of sleepy Slovenian hamlets and on to 12th century Kamen Castle. Explore its Gothic and Renaissance keeps, and climb the preserved Roman tower - great views from the top. Picnic at the peaceful Zavrsnica Reservoir then cross the white-water Sava Dolinka River back towards Bled. We strongly recommend the short uphill detour to its castle - the oldest in Slovenia - with towers, ramparts, moat and viewing terrace. (Staying at Hotel Triglav, Half Board)

    Meals included: Breakfast Dinner
  • Day 3

    Lake Bled to Tarvisio

    After breakfast, we take you (25 mins) to Mojstrana, a gateway village to the Triglav National Park. You can almost reach out and touch the jagged limestone pinnacles of the Julian Alps on the one side, and the contrasting rolling hills of the Karawanken mountains on the other, as you start your cycle west through the valley. Birdlife here is prolific so look out for eagles, hawks and rare birds of prey as you approach charming Kranjska Gora, a pretty alpine ski village and fantastic lunch spot. A pine-scented stretch then leads you across the border and down to the gorgeous 4 star Hotel Edelhof, just 5 minutes' walk from the village centre. (Staying at Hotel Edelhof, Half Board)

    Meals included: Breakfast Dinner
  • Day 4

    At Tarvisio

    Widely regarded as the 'jewel in the crown' of the Julian Alps, the twin glacial lakes of Fusine are breathtakingly beautiful. Alternatively, if you're up for a longer cycling challenge, it's an exhilarating ride over the border to the Austrian alpine town of Arnoldstein where a chairlift whisks you to the tripoint where Austria, Italy and Slovenia meet - a fabulous experience and undoubtedly one of the best photo opportunities of the week! (Staying at Hotel Edelhof, Half Board)

    Meals included: Breakfast Dinner
  • Day 5

    Tarvisio to Venzone

    A longer but totally undemanding cycling route today packed with interest, colour and natural beauty. After a 400m descent (great fun!) into the wooded Fella Valley, your traffic-free cycle trails wind through cheery mountain communities - often criss-crossing the river below - en route to Venzone, a jaw-droppingly pretty medieval walled town, famous for its lavender. (Staying at Agriturismo Casali Scjs, Breakfast only)

    Meals included: Breakfast
  • Day 6

    Venzone to Udine

    As the sun rises the valley lights up and the mountain silhouettes come to life; you coast effortlessly along tranquil lanes, passing fruit orchards, vineyards and remote churches nestled in the rolling foothills of the Friuli hills. Lots of traditional villages - Tavagnacco, Treppo Piccolo and Osoppo - will tempt you for lunch before you continue on through gentian-carpeted meadows to the historic regional capital, Udine. (Staying at Astoria Hotel Italia, Breakfast only)

    Meals included: Breakfast
  • Day 7

    At Udine

    The birthplace of acclaimed 17th century artist, Giambattista Tiepolo, Udine's honeycomb of brightly coloured, portico-lined squares between Piazza Liberta, known as 'the most beautiful Venetian piazza on the mainland' and Piazza Matteotti, boast fine shops, historic cafes and traditional osterias and are the very essence of this friendly city. For a longer day out Venice can be reached (90 mins) by train. (Staying at Astoria Hotel Italia, Breakfast only)

    Meals included: Breakfast
  • Day 8

    Udine to Palmanova

    If you fancy the idea of gentle pedalling from one pretty wine village to the next - with lots of traditional tasting trattorias thrown in - then this is the day for you! Enjoy lunch in medieval Pavia di Udine then it's on through sun-dappled cornfields and swaying vines to the 16th century star-fort citadel of Palmanova. (Staying at Hotel ai Dogi Palmanova, Breakfast only)

    Meals included: Breakfast
  • Day 9

    Palmanova to Grado

    The highlight of today's cycle is, without doubt, the UNESCO-listed, ancient Roman city of Aquileia, a self-standing masterpiece of sacred art and historical treasure. Discover its immense archaeological site, magnificent 14th century mosaics and dominant patriarchal basilica before heading down the spectacular Adriatic lagoon to the island town of Grado where the elegant 4 star Hotel Hannover overlooks the charming port, and is just 200m from the beach. (Staying at Hotel Hannover, Breakfast only)

    Meals included: Breakfast
  • Day 10

    At Grado

    It's easy to see why Grado is known as the 'Sun Island' and you may well be tempted to spend the day relaxing on its sandy beaches simply soaking up the lovely views over the sea to Croatia and Slovenia! But do make time to stroll the calli e campielli (lanes and courtyards) of the well-kept historic town. Here you'll find winding alleys, pretty little squares and traditional cason (old fishermen's houses clustered together almost one on top of the other). There is the option to cycle along the coast through the Cavanta nature reserve to the delta of the River Isonzo too. (Staying at Hotel Hannover, Breakfast only)

    Meals included: Breakfast
  • Day 11

    Leave Grado

    Meals included: Breakfast
Trip Notes

Click on the button below for detailed Trip Notes containing all the particulars about this trip, including kit lists and practical information.

Note: these can vary by departure; you can check out the specific Trip Notes for your chosen adventure on the dates & prices page.

Essential Info

Visas

Vaccinations

Slovenia

There are no specific health risks.

Italy

There are no specific health risks.

Eating and Drinking

All continental breakfasts and 4 evening meals.

Slovenia’s cuisine reflects its rich heritage. Neighbours Austria, Italy and Hungary influence most dishes on the menu. In the mountains, Austrian style salamis (klobasa) prevail. You’ll often find them seasoning the hearty soups served in the Alpine huts. Kruha juha is the best - you get to eat the bowl too as it’s made out of bread! The Hungarian influence is seen in the spicy meat dishes.  Pleskavica (steak with herbs and paprika) is a good one to try.  On the coast, you’ll find Italian fayre, like rizota (risotto) with fresh mussels or zkilofri (Slovenian ravioli). And if you are still hungry, indulge yourself in a slice of potica (a creamy Swiss roll with walnuts). 

Slovenia has been making wine since pre-Roman times, and boasts the oldest vine in the world, that has grown for four centuries. In the Vipava Valley, the stone villages are full of velbani hrami (vaulted wine cellars) where you can taste Teran (a heavy red best drunk with the local prsut or ham) or Rebula (a dry, crisp white). In the mountains look out for the bewildering variety of schnapps made from wormwood, blueberries, honey and even pine needles!

 

Weather

Slovenia has a mixed alpine climate with summer temperatures in the range of 18 to 25ºC. In the mountains cool mornings are normally followed by warm pleasant days, with temperatures in the Alps being ideal for walking. During summer months afternoon showers of rain cool down the humidity, giving way to clear skies and pleasant temperatures.

Is this trip for you?

Cycling Conditions

Classification: Self-Guided
Average daily distance on move on days: 37km (23 miles). 
No. of days cycling: 6 
Terrain and route: The suggested cycling mainly follows tranquil lanes and traffic-free cycle trails.
Vehicle Support: This is a self-guided trip for those who prefer to cycle independently, but with our assistance to take out the stress of the logistics and planning. We arrange your accommodations, provide you with a map and route notes so that you can cycle at your own pace. A representative will be there to meet you, make sure the bikes are all set up and will be on call throughout the trip should you need.

It is important that you are happy reading maps and following route notes, we make these as accurate as possible and they are regularly checked. 

As this is a self-guided holiday there is no group and no leader. There maybe others on the same departure date as you, but you will not be organised together. The route notes contain a 24-hour emergency assistance telephone number should you need it and in emergencies, the local representative is normally able to dispatch a taxi or pick you up themselves. They may wish to charge for this service.

Throughout, there is a very distinct and multi-cultural feel, evident in the local language, culture and cuisine. A richly preserved regional heritage reveals a complex and tumultuous past; visit colossal archaeological sites like Aquileia, with its remains of a Roman city and early Christian cathedral; mediaeval Udine, full of artistic masterpieces, and the restored fortress town of Venzone, reflecting the Renaissance Utopian ideals of a bygone era.

The area is one of outstanding natural beauty too. With the dramatic limestone peaks of the Julian Alps providing a formidable backdrop to your route, it's picture-postcard views all the way through lush forests, rolling meadows and pretty hamlets hemmed in by well-tended vineyards and shimmering mountain streams. On your final cycling stretch, the Adriatic seascape opens before you as you make a dramatic descent across the lagoon and on to the sun-kissed island of Grado with its sandy beaches lapped by crystal-clear waters.

Call for general departures:
0800 643 997
Call for tailor made trips:
0800 643 997
Trip Notes

Click on the button below for detailed Trip Notes containing all the particulars about this trip, including kit lists and practical information.

Note: these can vary by departure; you can check out the specific Trip Notes for your chosen adventure on the dates & prices page.

Accommodation

Hotels

The places we've chosen for you to stay in are among the best in the region. Hotel highlights include beautiful lakeside views from the luxurious 4-star Hotel Triglav in Bled; an alpine lodge in Tarvisio, and the 4-star Grand Hotel Hannover overlooking Grado's pretty harbour and just 200m from the Adriatic Sea.

Call for general departures:
0800 643 997
Call for tailor made trips:
0800 643 997
Trip Notes

Click on the button below for detailed Trip Notes containing all the particulars about this trip, including kit lists and practical information.

Note: these can vary by departure; you can check out the specific Trip Notes for your chosen adventure on the dates & prices page.

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Dates & Prices