Why Slovenia should be your next European destination
Slovenia is a cyclist’s paradise, with it’s blue-green waters, beautiful mountains, and friendly people. Photo by Richie Daigle.
The oldest wooden wheel found in the world was found in Slovenia. It is safe to say that Slovenians have been rolling for some time now.
Imagine riding through the valleys of the Julian Alps to the magical Lake Bled. A short ride around Lake Bled allows you to see the castles, one of which is on an island in the middle of the lake. The next day your ride through small villages nestled into virgin forest with rivers of clear and turquoise water flowing nearby.
I have some friends who have asked me to point out where Slovenia is on the map of Europe. When many North Americans hear “European vacation of a lifetime,” Slovenia is unlikely to be one of the countries that comes to mind.
Where is it?
Slovenia is to the east of Northern Italy and north of Croatia. It has a population of just over 2 million people and around 30% of the land in the country is national forest. The capital of Slovenia is Ljubljana and it is a fantastic place full of pedestrian walk ways, beautiful architecture, fabulous restaurants and more. From Ljubljana you can be either in the Julian Alps in around an hours drive, or on the coast of the Adriatic in an hour and a half.
More reasons to explore Slovenia on bike:
- Slovenia is a cycling paradise. It is rich with dedicated bike paths and low traffic back roads that connect small villages still untouched from the masses of tourists who have not yet discovered Slovenia.
- Slovenia also has great road cycling routes with climbs and views that rival any of the other major European road cycling destinations.
- The hills and mountains of Slovenia have single track trails galore for the mountain bike enthusiast.
- Cycling is alive and well in Slovenia. It is not uncommon to ride along a bike path and see competitive road cyclist on the way to the next mountain pass, enduro minded mountain bikers on the way to the next gnarly piece of single track, casual bikers and families enjoying an easy ride, and people bike commuting from home to work.
- The people of Slovenia are friendly, laid back and enjoy a good conversation. English is taught at an early age and spoken throughout Slovenia, making communication and travel easy in this country.
- So much more. The Julian Alps, old forests, clear and turquoise mountain rivers, quaint towns and villages, diverse food and beverage, warm and friendly people and amazing cycling routes are just a few of the reasons to visit Slovenia.