Europe's biggest Bike Park.. Green Slovenia has it all for Bikes
To put it simply, our village of Landol is surrounded by biking paradise! We have lots of fantastic stone tracks which are perfect for mountain biking and quiet country roads to suit all levels of ability.
We have a list as long as your bike pump of local routes to try! From Lipizzaner Lodge you can ride directly into the forest, countryside, along a river or up into the mountains. You can explore a Roman fort, ride to the world famous caves of Postojna or Skocjan and we even have a secret route direct to Predjama castle.
Check out "Blog" items on bikes, with loads of photos of a fab 2-3 hour loops via the pre historic Celtic hilltop fortress and another to the black cave! (to come)
There is an even longer list of places we can drop you off at or you could drive yourself to, then jump on a bike and have a cycletastic day out. For example, you could choose from the Slovene, Italian or Croatian coasts. You could cycle in the Slovene Alps, alongside stunning lakes or up into mountains. You could zig zag from castle to castle.
You could also combine a bike ride with a visit to a vineyard, following the quiet & easy routes through wine country. There are also many crystal clear rivers to cycle alongside all around Slovenia!
Disused railways have been converted into cycle paths, farmers tracks can be followed into the countryside or used for navigating your way up into the mountains and loggers tracks will help you cut your way through the forest. You can even take a bike trip down a disused mine for a fab day out.
But the really exciting things about Slovenia, are that you can see so many of these places in one day's cycle and there is a different cycle ride for every day of the year.
We can recommend a route for you depending on how long you want to go for and what type of terrain you prefer. The choice is yours, go for just 30 minutes, 3 hours or the whole day! We can also send you on routes where there is a cafe or restaurant on the way, so you could stop off and really make a day of it.
You could bring your own bike, rent a mountain bike from us, or hire one where you will be cycling for the day. We have 9 high quality XL, L, M and S, Slovenian made Cult Bikes, which have disc brakes and front adjustable suspension and 2 conventional touring bikes if you will be more on the road.
The Cult mountain bikes are like tractors on 2 wheels and really good for the different types of terrain you can find here. We have gotten very good feedback from our guests about them. Rental is €6 for up to 4 hours and €9 for the full day. We can also drop you off for a day's biking and pick you up at the end of the trek.
Accompanied Bike Rides
• If you like, we can go with you on local rides, (any excuse for some fresh forest air)!
• Our local Postojna bike club guides can also take you into the forest and beyond.
• Tiina organises several guided Bike Trips in some of Slovenia's "secret places".
• Andrej of Rekreatur can lead 2 fantastic rides around lake Bohinj or along the Sava river.
• Tevz of Watermelon Tours can take you for a "behind the scenes" tour of Ljubljana
So many cyclists come through Landol, that we decided to create some extra facilities for them en route. We built a shower room with sink, toilet and changing area in our new stables building and we are calling it our BIKE STOP.
Cyclists can stop off, freshen up and maybe get some help with repairs, some air in the tyres or a dab of oil on the chain. Our all day cafe facilities will also be available for refreshments.
Massage and Sauna
And what better way to ease those tired legs than by enjoying a sports massage or relaxing sauna at the end of your day! See more about this on our Facilities page.
Slovenia is just great for Bikes!
There are already lots of organised bike rides for both mountain and road bikes and races all around Slovenia. As you would expect, there are also mountain bike parks and some quite hairy world class downhills.
We have also found a great guy, Andrej, who organises a series of unique Tour de France style Slovenian races with a difference, that you might be interested in?
These races are for teams of amateurs who want to ride in a Tour de France atmosphere, but the winners are those that get closest to the average time of all the teams!. Each Summer month he plans to have a race in a different region of Slovenia, so your team can select their race based on terrain and best date for you.
There is a Tour de France style start and finish and at each checkpoint you get to sample some of Slovenia's culinary delights and to meet lots of friendly locals. There are 4 days of racing and 4 nights of parties! Fabulous. Here is the link to the Rekreatur website and Lipizzaner Lodge is proud to be featured on the site.
Every Summer there is also a 2 day "Race Around Slovenia" aka, "RAS", road race around the whole of the country. See road race around Slovenia. We had a team of 7 Austrians staying in our apartment before competing in the last race and then, 48 hours later, they returned, completely exhausted, after the race. And they slept and slept and slept!
Their team had 2 riders who did 4 hours cycling alternately around the whole of Slovenia and 5 in the support team, as the race goes non-stop through the day and night. The guys, riders and support team, said it was the toughest thing they had ever done!
Slovenia is already the biggest mountain bike park in Europe, but we would be delighted to be your base for discovering some of the fantastic purpose built mountain bike parks around Slovenia, all between 30 -90 minutes from the Lodge.
Here is a link to a website showing 4 bike parks. Don't worry too much about the tricky names and locations, we can help you find them when you get here! Bike park slovenia
One of these bike parks near Maribor hosts a very demanding world cup downhill race that a serious mountain bike downhiller should really try out! Check out this link! maribor world cup downhill
Some Cycling stories..
Predjama Castle Bike Adventure
We have teamed up with Tine, a top Slovenian bike guide, to offer a new cycle trip direct from Lipizzaner Lodge to Predjama castle and along some of the beautiful undiscovered cycling tracks in this area. We took our bikes into the sunshine for a 5 hour cycle to test this new tour and have decided upon an easy to medium route and a longer, medium to hardish route, with a few more uphills and forest tracks involved.
Tine offers several other trips around some other special parts of Slovenia, all of which are on offer to Lipizzaner Lodge guests! He was very keen to open a new and exciting Predjama castle tour in our area and we were very happy to help.
The new tour takes you through forests, along winding country roads, across a river, over farmland, through pretty villages and includes 2 visits, firstly to the one of the most beautiful castles in the world, Predjama castle and secondly to a fascinating local museum. You also get 2 "PopStops" for a taste of local food and the chance to put some energy back into your legs!
First we cycled direct from Landol along a forest track perfect for mountain bikes, which brings you out directly under this fairy tale castle built into the side of a cliff, with a special vista of one of Slovenia's top tourist destinations, (not seen at all by the many tourists who arrive by bus). We then biked along country roads and through pretty villages until we reached the "Toplar" museum, which is an impressive wooden hayrack building, now converted into a museum, showing how Slovenian people lived from the land and forests for centuries and the tools they used.
You can taste Serbian sausages, (cevapcici) here and then we took the pretty road towards the world famous Postojna caves, (due to time, these can be visited on another cycle trip). We jumped off the road onto cycle tracks and explored the villages of "Big Island" and "Little Island" so named after they survived flooding many years ago. We had to survive our own water adventure next as we had to cross the "Little Nanos" river.
We then headed into the forest through some really beautiful scenery and along country tracks. (The longer tour now takes you to the village of "Little Nut" to visit the old deserted castle and take an extra forest route, whilst the shorter route takes you off to a friendly pizzeria for some slices of the best pizza in town).
Energised, we crossed the main road and went through 2 more pretty villages, one with lots of ancient wells on the side o the road and then we joined another marvellous cycle track which wound back to the mini Nanos river, where there was a very nice riverside spot to have a well deserved swim before a short cycle back to Landol along the river. Close to here is a haven protected for the rare corn crake bird, but you probably won't see any as they hide in the long grass, maybe you will hear one?
Back at the lodge, there were lots of hot cups of English tea filled with sugar and cakes awaiting to aid our recovery after a wonderful day out!
And Tine offers several other exciting days out cycling around different secret places in Slovenia. You can go to Slovenia's Jeruzalem, so named by the Crusaders who appreciated the incredible beauty of this wine growing area. Or you can explore the rocky Karst region, covered in rich vines, bursting with grapes, or maybe try another trip around the marshes of Ljubljana or bike to the source of some hot natural springs, which will literally take your breath away.
50km Guided Mountain Bike Trip
There are 2 guided mountain bike rides each year around the Pivka area with it's 17 disappearing lakes, really close to Lipizzaner Lodge. One is in the spring and another at the start of autumn. We were the only foreigners on this autumn ride, but it was so fantastic, we really hope our guests will join us and take part in future rides.
This was a beautiful, but tough 50k ride. Slovenes are excellent tour guides, so the 60 or so participants were stopped for regular updates on where we were in the forest and to have drinks and refreshment breaks. An experienced rider stayed at the back of the field also to ensure that noone was left behind and the party only went forward when everyone was accounted for.
We first stopped off at the museum of the 17 disappearing lakes and then we went up.. and up and up. Wow, the first 20km was pretty much up all the way. It hurt, but the scenery was very very beautiful and we were so happy to be following a route that we were very unlikely to find on our own.
We climbed to around 1000 metres until we reached the castle walls of Mašun. And then the downhills began and what a relief, but you still have to be careful on these stone tracks as you whizz round corners. Even the main guide got lost at one stage and we had to turn around and back up a small hill, but when he found the correct track down we were whizzing down and down this amazing stone track, better than any man made mountain bike track.
Our Cult Slovenian made mountain bikes were like tractors coming down these slopes and we actually grew in confidence and started cruising past other cyclists with thinner tyres. It was great.
The terrain changed all day, through forest, grass track fields, alongside some disappearing lakes and also some tarmac stetches. The views were magnificent and we had a really fantastic day, spending about 5 hours in the saddle, making new friends and digging into some delicious pasta at the restaurant on the finish line.
We now know this amazing route and if you are into mountain biking, quite simply, you must try it.
Bike Trip to Skocjan Caves
This one is a rocktastic! You can do a full day or half day at one of Slovenia's best secret locations. The difficult to say "Skocjan" caves are unesco protected and incredibly beautiful. They are just a 25 minute drive from Lipizzaner Lodge.
We have some friends, Mojca and Rado, close to the caves, who run a lavender farm and a small guest house. They have plenty of bikes, so we went there after lunch, jumped on the bikes and were soon cycling along beautiful stone tracks through forest and tiny villages to the caves.
We have already been on the tour of the caves, which is quite breath taking, so we cycled up to Skocjan village, which is full of tiny individual museums telling the story of the caves, geology and life in these parts. (You would certainly want to visit the caves).
There are amazing views in all directions from up here, but we were really blown away when we cycled down from the church to the next village and looked back to the caves and the church sat on top of the cliff. Wow, what a view! We climbed down the stone stairs towards the cave exit and each footstep presents a new vista. This secret route is so often missed by tourists visiting the caves, which is a real shame, because it is one of the most beautiful sights you will see in your lifetime, (no exaggeration).
We cycled back another route through the forest on bumpy tracks that were really great fun and then we went out into more open countryside, but all on really great stone tracks. We got back after about 3 hours and had some delicious Slovenian meats and cheeses, (Slovenian Tapas), with a glass of locally produced wine. What a fantastic afternoon out!
If you visit the caves, (which we recommend massively), maybe have some lunch in the village or take a pick nick and see a couple of the museums to make an amazing day out. These guys also have a swimming pool and sauna, so on returning from your bike ride, you are welcome to jump in! We use their lavender products at Lipizzaner Lodge, so they can also show you how lavender oils are produced and even buy some gifts if you like.
Some other Bike Trips to Try..
Time 1 hour: Ride out of Landol down stony track to river, ride along river and up along forest stone road. Ride through forest and come out onto uphill into farmland on single tarmac road until reach Hrašce. Cycle through village, lovely church, when get to main road turn onto sidetrack with gravel base cycle next to road and then head inland through open farmland towards Postojna.
At Mali Otok, (Little Island) turn left at the crossroads through the village and down a steep single and bumpy tarmac road to the river crossing, (see piccy above) cross river, rock by rock and bear right out of forest onto grass tracks opening onto wide fields until reach Veliki Otok, (Big Island). Cycle up through village and out onto main road to Predjama castle, this is a downhill so take a rest, but when see "cycle route 2" sign, turn left off road and along stone track for a few clicks through farmland, forest on your right, (Nanos mountain now in front so you know you are heading the right way home).
Continue to Zagon. Bit of a climb here up into the village, but the Cult bike has plenty of gears to help you out. Cycle through the village and up to the main road, turn left and you get a gradual downhill and then steeper freewheel downhill until the road bends left. (You can stop here for a drink at the forest cafe, if you like) (From the cafe you can cycle through the forest direct to Landol, but we would prefer to guide you on this as the forest has great tracks, but so easy to get lost) So, instead we stay on the road and now the hard work really starts as you get an uphill of 8% gradient into the forest, but feels great when you get to the top as can turn left and pretty much freewheel for about 5 mins all the way down to Landol and a refreshing shower. Luvvly jubbly!
And here is a coastal ride to try, Piran to Koper and the Big Tunnel
Drive down (45 mins) to Piran, the pearl of Slovenia's coastline. Park in the multi storey car park at the edge of the town. Bring one of our bikes or hire one from local bike shop. Cycle along the Adriatic coast path to Portoroz, Slovenia's seaside capital. Plenty of places to stop for an ice cream. Proceed along the coast past the marina and up to the hill, (excellent viewpoint up here where you can see the 3 countries, Italy, Slovenia and Croatia!)
Once over the hill, continue along coast to the salt fields (these are the ones recommended by Jamie Oliver for producing excellent quality cooking salt.) You are now at the old Croatian border. Maybe visit the salt museum and shop, but then do U turn back into Portoroz, at the Lido turn right, up into the town. There is a steep climp up along residental streets to find a tunnel entrance. This used to be the Imperial railway line between Trieste in Italy to Croatia, now disused and turned into a fantastic cycle route, (great news for bike fans), called the D8, (don't ask why!)
You then cycle some km along the old tunnel which cuts through the hillside and opens out at Izola, (island) another beautiful island coastal town. Now head for the sea again and cycle the few km along the coast road to Koper, Slovenia's main port. The cycle path goes along directly next to the sea and you get a great crystal clear vista this direction of the port, Koper old town and Trieste, Italy in the distance.
Once you reach Koper, visit the old town, maybe go up the church tower for the view, visit the market, have coffee or lunch and cycle the route back to Piran to drop the bikes off. You are then free to visit Piran and explore the tight Venetian alleys and streets by foot, you could stop off at a cafe or restaurant overlooking the sea or get changed and jump in for a salty swim, depending on your schedule!
The cycle to Koper and back is about 2 hours, but with stops it can easily be a full day out or half day. For example you could stop off to visit the very pretty seaside town of Izola, (Island). The bike shop charges 12 Euros for the day's hire, 8 for half day, but say they are flexible if you are a little over the half day timing.
There are many places to stop and visit or to detour along the way to make this a full day out cycling, it all depends on your preferences and schedule. In Izola there is an artists quarter to explore and we also have a partner vineyard with a Vinoteka there, where you can stop off for a wine visit.
The Slovenian coast has a mediterranean feel and this is an all year round trip, so do it when you want!