2024 Slovenia – On The Sunny Side of The Alps

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  • Leader: Jill Weldon 604-943-7962
  • Co-leader: Larry Weldon 604-943-7962
  • Tour Contractor: Sitnica Travel Agency
  • Trip Dates: Tue, 10 Sep 2024 -- Tue, 24 Sep 2024
  • Trip Classification: Intermediate/Advanced
  • Trip Fee: $100 CAD
  • Trip Numbers: minimum 10 , maximum 18
  • Trip Registration Opens: Wed, 17 Jan 2024 8:00 AM (pacific time)
  • Registration Lottery Ends: Sun, 21 Jan 2024 5:00 AM (pacific time)
  • Trip Registration Closes: Sat, 24 Aug 2024 12:00 AM (pacific time)
Ride Description:

Tour Cost :  2500 EUR 
Single Supplement :  600 EUR
The trip Registration Fee of $100(CAD) will be refunded to those not selected and to those selected if funds are not used for the tour.

Slovenia, this small European country is one of exceptional geographic diversity and natural beauty - from the iconic islet chapel in Lake Bled to a resort town in the Julian Alps to the  seaside port of Piran. Slovenians are a friendly people - and very proud of their country, its long history, its natural beauty, the fine wines, their unique cuisine.

And cycling is a perfect way to experience all this! We will cycle river valleys, the Pannonian lowlands, vine-terraced hillsides, old railway routes and a stunning mountain pass in the Julian Alps.  We’ll have time to explore its capital city, Ljubljana, as well as medieval towns and points of cultural and historic interest along the way. The mysterious karst regions of caves and the emerald blue of Slovenia’s rivers and lakes are unforgettable. And first, we will have two days to enjoy neighboring Croatia and Zagreb, its capital city.

About the tour company: 
Alen Augustin, the owner/operator of Sitnica Travel Agency, lives in Croatia. He has offered many tours for CCCTS members in past years including Croatia, Munich to Venice, Portugal, Spain and Prague to Budapest. Alen and those working with him have done a fantastic job with every tour they have led for our club and our club members.
When we tour, Alen is on the bike!

Bike rentals are available through Sitnica Travel Agency at a cost of EUR 300 for a hybrid bike and EUR 600 for an E bike.

Accommodation Reservations:

The tour includes 14 nights of accommodation in 3- and 4-star hotels, guest houses plus a night at a winery. All breakfasts are included, as well as two lunches and six dinners.

Costs are based on two people sharing. The single supplement is 600E and this option may be limited due to hotel room constraints. If you are traveling solo and would like a roommate, we will attempt to find one for you after the lottery closes. Please note at the time of registration whether you want a single room or are looking for a roommate.  

Riding Conditions:

Our riding is on secondary highways, country roads or rail trails. There are some longer distances (90 km) and some steep climbing including the Vršič Mountain Pass, the highest pass in the Julian Alps! But remember, we have van support. Daily mileage and elevation gain are listed in the itinerary. 

The tour has flexibility in both pace and the number of stops along the way. In order to enjoy this flexibility, each cyclist or group of cyclists should be able to navigate the route with Ride with GPS.  Alen is most often leading the group and the support vehicle is at designated refreshment stops along the way.

Fee Includes:

 

  • Accommodations
  • 6 dinners and 2 lunches and all breakfasts
  • Support van and luggage transport (also bike boxes). (Note that the support van is not available for riders just because they may be tired but only in the case of illness, bike breakdown, or emergency.)
  • Water, fruit, snacks on the van
  • Alen, our English speaking cycling guide, plus a driver
  • Routes on Ride with GPS, to be downloaded by riders
  • Transfer, as mentioned
  • Sitnica liability insurance - each participant should also  have their own medical insurance
  • Technical bike assistance to a certain level
  • One tour fee for Tour Coordinator
  • Credit card stripe fee (3%) for registration fee

 

Fee Does Not Include:

  • All other meals not listed in this tour description
  • Bike rental
  • Transfers on free days
  • Arrival or departure airport transfers
  • Medical insurance
  • Travel cancellation insurance
  • City guide Ljubljana (if desired)
  • Tips for contractor guides/staff

Itinerary:

Day 1  -  September 10, 2024  
Zagreb, Croatia
          This is where our tour starts. We’ll meet with Alen, our guide, introduce ourselves, receive a tour briefing and organize the rental bikes. There is a welcome dinner at a local restaurant.

Day 2     
Zagreb – Zagorje county – Vuglec Breg  
60 km (distance)  +571m (elevation gain). ∆8.5% (= max grade)

Our bicycling begins in Zagorje, an area of green hillsides dotted with the castles and manor houses of Croatia’s feudal past. The old village of Kumrovec, an open air museum and Tito's birthplace, is one of the sights we will cycle to. Lunch there! We will enjoy dinner and spend the night in the stunning “tourist village”
of  Vuglec-Breg, www.vuglec-breg.hr

Day 3   
Vuglec-Breg – Ptuj   
61 km  (+771m   ∆11.6%)
          Today we pedal along the valley of the Sutla River, eventually leaving Croatia. Welcome to Slovenia! …. and to the green lowlands of the Pannonian Plain and to Ptuj, its oldest town – a medieval maze of red roofs and winding streets.

Day 4   
Ptuj – Ormoz – Jeruzalem     
42 km  (+391m  ∆11.7%) 
           It’s a short ride, heading out along the Drava River bike path and then winding through the terraced hillsides of Jeruzalem-Ormoz wine country. We’ll enjoy wine tasting at Puklavec Winery after the cycling and a lunch of local delicacies, then take a transfer back to Ptuj, allowing time to wander this delightful Slovenian town.

Day 5
Jeruzalem – Celje     
70 km  (+774m  ∆12.2%) 

We are in the quiet and very green region of Savinjska today.  Expect to see wooded mountainous terrain, but our cycling is mainly through the fertile Lower Savinja River valley. We stay just outside Celje, the ancient home of the Counts of Celje. The well-preserved castle and remains of a medieval wall are reminders of its rich history.

Day 6 
Celje – Ljubljana    
90 km  (+945m  ∆11.5%)
         Our first town today is Zalec, still in the glacial Savinja Valley with its fields of hops. Alpine and karst landscapes meet as we approach Ljubljana. But first we cycle through the town of Kamnik, its former glory evident in the old city center, with Zaprice Castle (Grad Zaprice) and Little Castle (Mali Grad).

Day 7
Free day in Ljubljana 
         This is Slovenia's capital - its name sounds like ‘beloved’ in Slovene (Ljubljana–ljubljena)!  Stroll the cobbled Old Town with its busy square, Jože Plečnik architecture and the beloved Dragon Bridge; enjoy al fresco coffee along the Ljubljanica River; visit a museum, a gallery, a boutique, the botanical garden or the city market. A climb to Ljubljana Castle is a must! Bicycle-friendly, there are four themed cycle routes around the city (230 km total).

Day 8  
Ljubljana – Bled    
63 km  (+762m  ∆8.5%)
          We start riding through picturesque villages along the Sava River valley, stopping for lunch in beautiful Kranj, settled 6000 years ago. In the afternoon we enter Slovenia’s alpine world, again cycling green valleys and through dense woods. Our destination is Bled with its iconic islet in the middle of Lake Bled and Bled Castle towering above.

Day 9 
Bled – Bohinj Lake – Bled circular  tour    
67km  (+1,235m     ∆12.5% )
          This is a day to enjoy the natural beauty of the only national park in the country, named after Slovenia's highest mountain, Triglav (2864 m), which towers in the background. We will cycle winding roads past small farms and fields of goats and typical houses in the alpine meadows of this little valley. 

We also pedal around stunning turquoise Lake Bohinj, which may the  day's highlight, and perhaps enjoying a picnic at the water's edge.  

 

Day 10 
Bled – Kranjska Gora     
40 km  (+725m  ∆12.4%)    
          We start riding in the Zgornja Radovna valley, with homesteads scattered on the slopes of the Pokljuka and Mežakla plateaus. After Mojstrana, our route to Kranjska Gora is on a bicycle path, part of an old railroad route.
          Free afternoon in Kranjska Gora. Time to wander this resort town and perhaps enjoy a spa experience! 

Day 11 
Free day in Kranjska Gora
          This small alpine town, at the triple border of Slovenia, Italy and Austria, started as a herdsmen settlement in the 14th century. It is now a popular outdoor-oriented alpine destination. We have choices today to hike in the Kranjska Gora area and lake, explore the nature reserve or cycle to the famous ski jump area of Planica to experience the Nordic Center there. A walk across the border into the town of Tavarisa, Italy is also possible!(2nd night in Kranjska Gora)

Day 12 
Kranjska Gora – Trenta/Soca Valley  – Kobarid                    
68km ( +1,233m   ∆15.5%)
          The King of the Climbs today! Vršič Mountain Pass (1,611 metres) is the highest road pass in the Eastern Julian Alps. This high-mountain road from Kranjska Gora through Vršič Mountain Pass to Log in Trenta has 50 serpentine twists, 24 on the way up and 26 on the descent. (The climb can be done with van support OR experience the thrill of summiting on your bike!!)  And there are fantastic viewpoint stops along the way. After that, dreaming through the Soca Valley! The upper part of the valley is home to picturesque Trenta, with its botanical alpine garden. The museum in Kobarid depicts the two years of brutal mountainous fighting of World War I. 

Day 13 
Kobarid- Vipava    
88 km (+1,147m  ∆11.7%)
          Starting off in the Soca Valley, we climb to the village of Cepovan and the adjoining smaller hamlets, then downhill to Nova Gorica, which shares a border with Italy. Next into the fertile Vipava Valley with its dramatic karst landscapes, medieval castles towering over pretty villages and vineyards. It is home to excellent wines from several indigenous varieties which go perfectly with the many delectable dishes of the Vipava Valley which we will enjoy this evening!

 Day 14 -
Vipava – Piran   
86 km  (+973m  ∆7.7%) 
           Leaving the Vipava Valley most of the day is spent on the KRAS, the Slovenian Karst with its many caves. Then down to the Adriatic along the Parenzana biycle trail, once an old narrow-guage railway line. Our final destination is the seaside town of Piran with its Venetian architecture, ancient walls, swimming beach!… and great seafood!   
        Farewell dinner tonight as the sun sets over the Adriatic.

Day 15  September 24, 2024
            Enjoy breakfast before saying goodbye to new friends
                                        and to sLOVEnia!

The closest airport is in Trieste, Italy (about 2 ½ hours by train) where you might easily spend an extra day, or you might add on a visit to Venice (5 ½ hours by train).

 

 

Registration and Participant Selection:

Registration will be on the CCCTS website on the dates shown. 

A computerized lottery system with a waitlist will be utilized in the event that the tour is oversubscribed.
A $100 CAD payment is required at the time of registration. The lottery signup will run for 5 days, after which the Ride Coordinators will review the results.

The selection process will consider the following criteria in evaluating candidates:
            ⦁ fitness and riding ability and experience required for the tour,
            ⦁ a history of demonstrating safe riding practices,
            ⦁ acceptable social behavior.
The Tour Coordinators may interview tour applicants or others who know them to verify their suitability for the tour. The Tour Coordinators will have the ultimate decision on whether someone is accepted for a tour and may reject applicants after discussion with the Tour Director.

The Coordinators will notify registrants of their selection status. If the ride is not filled to capacity, registration will continue until August 24, 2024.

 After notification that you have been selected for the tour, you will be given instructions on how to make the following payments to Sitnica Travel Agency

Dates and Amounts re tour payments:   

    • 20 % May 1, 2024                            Eur   500
    • 60 % July 1, 2024                            Eur 1500
    • 20 % upon arrival (in cash)         Eur    500

Cancellation policy :
Cancellations must be made in writing to the Tour Coordinators and to Sitnica Travel Agency sitnica@pu.t-com.hr  or info@sitnica.tcloud.hr

The amount of payment that will be forfeited if you cancel and if no replacement can be found are: 
• 60 – 46 days before departure  - 10%  (July12 – July 26, 2024)
• 45 – 29 days before departure  - 30%  (July 27– August 12, 2024)
• 28 – 15 days before departure  - 60%  (August 13– August 26, 2024)
• less than 15 days before departure  - 100%   (August 27 – arrival )

 

View from our 
accommodations 
in the Vipava Valley

 

 

COVID Information:
The CCCTS Communicable Illness Plan takes into consideration regulations and recommendations from Public Health Agency of Canada, BC Centre for Disease Control and Public Health Ontario. See the CCCTS website regarding the plan.

 Air Travel Emissions
A return flight from Vancouver to the start of this tour (Zagreb) is 17,300 km or more and will produce about 3.4 Tonnes of total emissions per person. For comparison, one year of driving a gasoline-powered car produces 2.0 tonnes of total emissions. For more information on the impact of those emissions on climate change and extreme weather events see. https://cccts.org/club-document/air-travel-emissions-from-cccts-tours/ 

 

Participants:

Danielle Amerongen, Tricia Anderson, Fay Baker, Robert Baker, Daniel Carey, Elaine Carpenter, Richard Carpenter, Laurie Cole, Peter Coumbis, Rosanne Coumbis, Bill Eberlein, Charlotte Eberlein, Linda Hensman, Robin Howe, Bruce Underwood, Jill Weldon, Larry Weldon, Brenda Worden

Wait List (in priority order):

Berni Koppe, Marjorie Mooney, Jim Galloway, Delores Franz Los