The Kranjska Gora region pressed between the beautiful Julian Alps and Karavanke Mountains offers a wide range of amazing biking experiences whether you are a road rider, adrenline seeking mountain biker or just a casual rider looking for a pleasant cycling route. The area offers some of Slovenia’s best mountain biking trails along with a world class bike park and great routes for day trips and tours - including the wonderful cross border Mojstrana - Tarvisio 'Jure Robič' path. It may be in the heart of the mountains and home to one of Europe’s most challenging mountain ascents but actually there are a wide range of options to suit all abilities of bikers. Riding in the area is a delight with paths ascending breathtaking mountains, wending though picturesque valleys, and taking in forests and pastures.
Here are links to a detailed guide and map showing various tours and trails in the area.
The Kranjska Gora Bike Park is a mountain bike rider's oasis, formerly the home of the MTB Downhill European Championships, the park is packed with trails for beginner through to advanced level riders. Located amongst the ski slopes of Kranjska Gora and open from May to late October, the park stretches from top of the Vitranc 1 chairlift down to the edge of town (a 350m vertical descent) with 60 structures to negotiate including tables, seesaws, wallrides and length / depth jumps - basically everything you’d expect from a top class modern bike park. Trails combine and crossover so bikers can create their own route based on the jumps which suit their ability best. No run ever need be the same twice!
More info (trail maps, prices, etc.,) can be found at www.bikepark.si
The former railway line from Jesenice to Tarvisio (Trbiž in Slovene) has been transformed into a bike path, named after the late Slovenian cycling champion Jure Robič, and cyclists should rejoice because it is truly a spectacular ride. The route takes in stunning natural scenery with non-stop spectacular mountain views as it wends its way through alpine forests and alongside the Sava River, connecting villages all the way along the Upper Sava Valley, passing the source of the Sava River at the Zelenci Nature Reserve and traversing the border town of Rateče, whilst over the border in Italy the route passes close by the beautiful Fusine (Belopeški) alpine lakes finishing (or starting for that matter) at the Tarvisio train station. Riding the whole route (about 90km return trip) in a day is probably best left to serious cyclists, though for a more relaxed time of it you can always just ride part of the route Kranjska Gora to Rateče for example is a very pleasant ride which won’t take the whole day. Between Jesenice and Mojstrana the trail is the trickiest with certain sections being unpaved, of steeper gradients and occasional stretches along busy roads. Between Mojstrana and Tarvisio the path is generally very good, almost entirely paved and with not very challenging gradients.
Slovenia's highest mountain pass Vršič (1,611m) is one of Europe's most challenging ascents - from Kranjska Gora its over 11km of almost constant climbing to the summit, some 800m above the town - though a rich reward await the daring with breathtaking views from the summit. Actually there are breathtaking views along the entire route though with 24 hairpin bends and very steep gradients you might not be able to enjoy them. The pass is a landmark of cycling in Slovenia and plays host to the annual Assult of Vršič race.
From the border village of Rateče a small road heads north through open meadows, before entering forests that extend almost to the summit of Peč where Slovenia, Italy and Austria meet. Its a pleasant climb, not too steep, with excellent views from the summit to reward all your efforts. The road itself is quite nice and smooth up to the mountain lodge, with sign posts marking the way. The last bit of the route from the lodge to the summit, just 50m higher on the mountain, is more challenging with steeper gradients and unpaved path - though you can always park the bike at the lodge and do the last bit on foot.
The first cycle route in the Triglav National Park connects Mojstrana and Bled via the tranquil Radovna Valley. The ride is about 16km each way though there are some challenging gradients to manage on route with the ride taking about 5 to 7 hours round trip.