Slovenia is one of the most beautiful countries globally, and the ideal way to discover its treasures and landscapes is to cycle everywhere. You can decide to rent a bike at the Tourist Information Centers or use Ljubljana’s city bikes BicikeLJ. Finally, my advice would be to bring your own bike, especially if it a mountain bike, to quickly get around the country and experience Slovenia’s beauty at its most.
Slovenia is very well adapted for bikes and cyclists. There are bicycle paths in Ljubljana’s streets, bike hikes in all the most exciting parts of the country, and a developed biking culture. If you bring your bike for your trip to Slovenia, you will not regret it.
As a tourist in Slovenia, biking will be a great way to travel around the country feeling free and see every little detail of the landscapes in the smaller roads and towns, which you could not if taking the train or the car. Let’s see why you should bring your bike to Slovenia.
Slovenians Are Bike Lovers
Slovenia is the country of bikes. It is the 8th country on the Copenhagenize Bicycle Friendly Cities Index 2017. It is also part of the top 20 bicycle-friendly cities in the world since 2015, ranking higher every year.
Here, everyone loves bikes and owns one. If you are a tourist in Slovenia, you will necessarily see people biking everywhere, whether they have city bikes or mountain bikes.
In Ljubljana, you will see graffitis about bikes everywhere and bike shops at every corner because of how popular bikes are. Two Slovenians even won the Tour de France in 2020. We could say they set the Tour de France on fire with their performances. Their race was awe-inspiring and represents very well how much Slovenians love cycling.
Slovenia is also a very green country, and adapting the land, and the capital for bikes is one of Slovenians ecological objectives. Ljubljana’s mayor put a lot of effort into making the city center entirely for pedestrians and bikers.
If you visit Ljubljana, you will very quickly see that biking is the easiest way to get around town, especially if you need to cross the city center.
Slovenians are always on their bikes. However, be careful! Bikers are given priority when you meet them, so you should get away from their path, or they will get annoyed.
Another thing you should know about is bike theft. Slovenia is an incredibly peaceful country, and people rarely steal. You could forget your laptop at a cafe and people would give it back to you or the waiters. Bikes are one of the only things Slovenians steal, so do not forget to attach it well when you leave it outside.
If you are staying in a private apartment in a complex building, chances are there will be a room made for bikes in the building. Nevertheless, you should tie your bike up even in those places, just in case.
Slovenia is so adapted for bikes that you can fix your bike for a very reasonable price in many stores in the main cities. You can also find many pumps to put air in your bikes’ tires in the gas stations.
Biking Everywhere in Slovenia: City Bike or Mountain Bike?
Bikes are ideal in Slovenia to discover the country and its beautiful landscapes. There are bike paths everywhere in the country to facilitate cycling for everyone. If you want to bring your bike to Slovenia, you will have to choose between bringing a city bike and a mountain bike.
If you plan to live in a big city in Slovenia and do not want to go for bike hikes outside the cities themselves, you can go for a city bike. Ljubljana is ideal for city bikes because the capital is relatively flat and is fully adapted for bicycles.
If you live somewhat close to the city center or near your workplace or university, a city bike can be perfect to avoid taking city buses across Ljubljana. In almost every street, you will find bicycle paths, and if not, drivers are very used to having bikers on the side of the road.
If your goal is to visit Slovenia’s nature, you should choose to bring your mountain bike. Slovenia is one of the most beautiful countries on earth, with hundreds of different landscapes to discover.
With a mountain bike, you could see the Adriatic coast, the forests, the rivers, the mountains, the plains, and the lakes without any issue. Slovenia is perfect for bike hikes, and there are many adapted even for amateurs and beginners.
Another good side of bikes in Slovenia is that the country is tiny. You can go everywhere smoothly. It is only 20,271 kilometers square, with Ljubljana in the center.
My advice would be to choose a mountain bike for your trip to Slovenia, this way you can bike both in town and the middle of nature without having to choose one activity over the other.
Best Bike Hikes in Ljubljana
In Ljubljana, there are so many bike hikes you can do. It will convince you to bring your bike for your trip.
The Trail of Remembrance and Comradeship
First, you can bike around the city following POT. It is 21 miles long (or 33 kilometers) and 13 feet wide (4 meters).
It is called Trail of Remembrance and Comradeship (Pot spominov in tovarištva), the Trail Around Ljubljana (Pot Okoli Ljubljane), and the Green Ring (Zeleni prstan). It is both a memorial and a recreational hike.
The path dates back to World War II when Fascist Italy circled the city with barbed wire to prevent communication between Liberation Front activists.
Crossing Pot ob žici on foot can be a great experience. Nevertheless, Ljubljana is an ideal city to cycle, and the Green Ring is the best place to begin your Slovenian bike experience.
There are 4 kilometers of ascent and descent in the hike, so if you want to be entirely comfortable, a mountain bike is the best option.
The Ljubljana Marshes
South to Ljubljana, you will find the Ljubljana Marshes or Barje. When you enter the Marshes, you will feel like you are in the middle of the countryside, hours away from the capital, but you are less than half an hour away.
Biking tours are among the most famous and most common modes of transport because the Marshes are very flat. However, the view is splendid. For your entire journey in the Ljubljana Marshes, you will be surrounded by mountains.
During a bike hike in the Marshes, you can visit the Trnulja Estate, the Iški Vintgar gorge, and Lake Podpeč. There are also lovely chapels everywhere for you to see and little hills to climb up with a mountain or trekking bike.
A bike in Marshes is the ideal mean of transport. On foot, it would be too long to get anywhere, and by car, you would not have access to all of the small paths that lead to some of the most beautiful landscapes of the swamp.
Bicycle Tours in Ljubljana
Considering how popular biking is in Ljubljana, there are many tours organized for tourists that you will enjoy if you have a cyclist’s soul.
Some of the tours organized are Exploring Ljubljana by Bicycle, A Bicycle Tour through Plečnik’s Ljubljana, and the Moustache Tour.
For some of the tours, like the Moustache Tour, you will not even need a bike of your own because the price includes a bike rental. With this tour, you will also get the opportunity to visit the Križanke, Brivnica, Plečnik’s House, the National Gallery, Cankar’s Room at Rožnik, and the International Centre of Graphic Arts (MGLC) atelier.
Bike Tour Map of Ljubljana
There are three other main trails for biking inside of the city, which are effortless to find. They are called Gozdna POT, Obvodna POT, and Plecnikova POT. These bike hikes will be the best option to discover the city quickly and entirely.
Here are the different routes you can take:
- Obvodna POT: A roundabout tour from Fužine Castle, along the river Ljubljanica, through the old town, and to Špica Park. This route is perfect for discovering the city center. I would recommend doing it the first day when you arrive in Ljubljana to discover the sights uniquely.
- Plecnikova POT: Plečnik’s Ljubljana connects elements of the famous architect’s heritage around the city and ends at his former home in Trnovo. Plečnik is very important in Slovenia, and especially in Ljubljana. He built the entire town. Cycling along this trail will teach you a lot about Plečnik’s masterpieces and art.
- Gozdna POT: The forest route will take you along the edge of Rožnik, from Tivoli Park to Mostec. Finally, this third route is ideal if you are looking for some fresh air inside the city. Tivoli is an immense park less than ten minutes away from the city center on foot. It is a green gem in the city and the heart of Ljubljana.
With this trail, you will get to discover many beautiful aspects of Tivoli Park. At the end of the course, you can even climb up the ski jump in Mostec for one of the most beautiful viewpoints on the city ever.
You Do Not Have a Bike? Take Ljubljana’s Bikes!
Even though the best thing for you would be to bring your bike to Slovenia, sometimes it is not possible, or maybe you do not have a bike. In this case, do not worry. You will still have the possibility to enjoy a bike tour of Ljubljana and its surroundings if you rent a bike at the Tourist Information Center of Ljubljana or take a BicikeLJ bike.
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