Headwater - Julian Alps to the Adriatic Cycling

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11 days
from
£1,899
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Trip code: 
C10SV
Way to Travel:
Self-Guided
Activity:
Cycling
Min age:
8

Our 10 night holiday takes you from the turquoise waters of Lake Bled, nestled below Slovenia's jagged Julian Alps, along the Alpe Adria Trail, passing into Italy.

This relaxed cycling holiday explores the very heart of Central Europe, beginning in Slovenia on the shores of magical Lake Bled, passing by Austria before heading south through Italy and on to the Adriatic.

Highlights

  • Gentle, easy-paced cycling through wonderfully scenic countryside - vines, lush forests, sun-soaked hamlets
  • Rich natural beauty: magical lakes and cobalt blue Adriatic Sea
  • Mediaeval villages, Renaissance towns, Venetian squares, historic hilltop castles
  • Rolling river valleys, dramatic limestone peaks, sweeping 360° views
  • UNESCO-listed Aquileia - immense early Roman Empire site

Key information

  • 10 nights hotel-to-hotel
  • 6 Days cycling
  • All continental breakfasts and 4 evening meals
  • Management by your local Headwater-appointed agent
  • Route directions and maps 
  • High quality bikes
  • Luggage transfers between hotels 
  • Entrance to the Slovenian Alpine Museum

What's included

  • All accommodation
  • All continental breakfasts and 4 evening meals
  • Management by your local Headwater-appointed agent
  • Route directions and maps 
  • High quality bikes
  • Luggage transfers between hotels 
  • Entrance to the Slovenian Alpine Museum

What's not included

  • Visas and vaccinations
  • Travel insurance
  • Single supplements
Call for general departures:
020 8772 3936
Call for tailormade trips:
+44 (0)20 8772 3874
Trip Notes

Click on the button below for detailed Trip Notes containing all the particulars about this trip, including kit lists and practical information.

Note: these can vary by departure; you can check out the specific Trip Notes for your chosen adventure on the dates & prices page.

6

Days of Cycling
Terrain:

The suggested cycling mainly follows tranquil lanes and traffic-free cycle trails.

Day by day breakdown
Day 241.0km/26.0miles
Day 336.0km/23.0miles
Day 565.0km/41.0miles
Day 650.0km/32.0miles
Day 831.0km/20.0miles
Day 930.0km/19.0miles

Responsible Travel

At Exodus we believe in the power of Responsible Travel.

Every time we travel, we are part of a global movement that creates jobs, builds more sustainable societies, encourages cultural understanding and safeguards common natural and cultural heritage. To learn more about what Responsible Travel means to Exodus click here

Itinerary

London
to
London
  • Day 1

    Arrive in Bled

    Arrive at your stunningly located 4-star hotel overlooking Lake Bled, its romantic island and mountains beyond. Time for a refreshing dip, sauna or massage before sampling chef Andrej Rovan's gastronomic cuisine - we promise that dining here for the next 2 nights will be a real treat! (Staying at Hotel Triglav, Half Board)

    Meals included: Dinner
  • Day 2

    Lake Bled Circular Cycle

    Your circular warm-up ride takes you first along the shore of Lake Bled and then through a series of sleepy Slovenian hamlets and on to C12 Kamen Castle. Explore its Gothic and Renaissance keeps, and climb the preserved Roman tower - great views from the top. Picnic at the peaceful Zavrsnica Reservoir then cross the white-water Sava Dolinka River back towards Bled. We strongly recommend the short uphill detour to its castle - the oldest in Slovenia - with towers, ramparts, moat and viewing terrace. (Staying at Hotel Triglav, Half Board)

    Meals included: Breakfast Dinner
  • Day 3

    Lake Bled to Tarvisio

    After breakfast, we take you (25 mins) to Mojstrana, a gateway village to the Triglav National Park. You can almost reach out and touch the jagged limestone pinnacles of the Julian Alps on the one side, and the contrasting rolling hills of the Karawanken mountains on the other, as you start your cycle west through the valley. Birdlife here is prolific so look out for eagles, hawks and rare birds of prey as you approach charming Kranjska Gora, a pretty alpine ski village and fantastic lunch spot. A pine-scented stretch then leads you across the border and down to the gorgeous 4-star Hotel Edelhof, just 5 minutes' walk from the village centre. (Staying at Hotel Edelhof, Half Board)

    Meals included: Breakfast Dinner
  • Day 4

    At Tarvisio

    Widely regarded as the 'jewel in the crown' of the Julian Alps, the twin glacial lakes of Fusine are breathtakingly beautiful. Alternatively, if you're up for a longer cycling challenge, it's an exhilarating ride over the border to the Austrian alpine town of Arnoldstein where a chairlift whisks you to the tripoint where Austria, Italy and Slovenia meet - a fabulous experience and undoubtedly one of the best photo opportunities of the week! (Staying at Hotel Edelhof, Half Board)

    Meals included: Breakfast Dinner
  • Day 5

    Tarvisio to Venzone

    A longer but totally undemanding cycling route today packed with interest, colour and natural beauty. After a 400m descent (great fun!) into the wooded Fella Valley, your traffic-free cycle trails wind through cheery mountain communities - often criss-crossing the river below - en route to Venzone, a jaw-droppingly pretty mediaeval walled town, famous for its lavender. (Staying at Locanda al Fogolar, Breakfast only)

    Meals included: Breakfast
  • Day 6

    Venzone to Udine

    As the sun rises the valley lights up and the mountain silhouettes come to life; you coast effortlessly along tranquil lanes, passing fruit orchards, vineyards and remote churches nestled in the rolling foothills of the Friuli hills. Lots of traditional villages - Tavagnacco, Treppo Piccolo and Osoppo - will tempt you for lunch before you continue on through gentian-carpeted meadows to the historic regional capital, Udine. (Staying at Astoria Hotel Italia, Breakfast only)

    Meals included: Breakfast
  • Day 7

    At Udine

    The birthplace of acclaimed C17 artist, Giambattista Tiepolo, Udine's honeycomb of brightly coloured, portico-lined squares between Piazza Liberta, known as 'the most beautiful Venetian piazza on the mainland' and Piazza Matteotti, boast fine shops, historic cafes and traditional osterias and are the very essence of this friendly city. For a longer day out Venice can be reached (90 mins) by train. (Staying at Astoria Hotel Italia, Breakfast only)

    Meals included: Breakfast
  • Day 8

    Udine to Palmanova

    If you fancy the idea of gentle pedalling from one pretty wine village to the next - with lots of traditional tasting trattorias thrown in - then this is the day for you! Enjoy lunch in mediaeval Pavia di Udine then it's on through sun-dappled cornfields and swaying vines to the C16 star-fort citadel of Palmanova. (Staying at Hotel ai Dogi Palmanova, Breakfast only)

    Meals included: Breakfast
  • Day 9

    Palmanova to Grado

    The highlight of today's cycle is, without doubt, the UNESCO-listed, ancient Roman city of Aquileia, a self-standing masterpiece of sacred art and historical treasure. Discover its immense archaeological site, magnificent C14 mosaics and dominant patriarchal basilica before heading down the spectacular Adriatic lagoon to the island town of Grado where the elegant 4-star Hotel Hannover overlooks the charming port, and is just 200m from the beach. (Staying at Hotel Hannover, Breakfast only)

    Meals included: Breakfast
  • Day 10

    At Grado

    It's easy to see why Grado is known as the 'Sun Island' and you may well be tempted to spend the day relaxing on its sandy beaches simply soaking up the lovely views over the sea to Croatia and Slovenia! But do make time to stroll the calli e campielli (lanes and courtyards) of the well-kept historic town. Here you'll find winding alleys, pretty little squares and traditional cason (old fishermen's houses clustered together almost one on top of the other). There is the option to cycle along the coast through the Cavanta nature reserve to the delta of the River Isonzo too. (Staying at Hotel Hannover, Breakfast only)

    Meals included: Breakfast
  • Day 11

    Leave Grado

    Meals included: Breakfast
Trip Notes

Click on the button below for detailed Trip Notes containing all the particulars about this trip, including kit lists and practical information.

Note: these can vary by departure; you can check out the specific Trip Notes for your chosen adventure on the dates & prices page.

Essential Info

Visas

Slovenia

Most European nationals, and nationals of Australia, New Zealand, USA and Canada do not require a visa for Slovenia.

Vaccinations

Slovenia

There are no specific health risks.

Eating and Drinking

All continental breakfasts and 4 evening meals.

Slovenia’s cuisine reflects its rich heritage. Neighbours Austria, Italy and Hungary influence most dishes on the menu. In the mountains, Austrian style salamis (klobasa) prevail. You’ll often find them seasoning the hearty soups served in the Alpine huts. Kruha juha is the best - you get to eat the bowl too as it’s made out of bread! The Hungarian influence is seen in the spicy meat dishes.  Pleskavica (steak with herbs and paprika) is a good one to try.  On the coast, you’ll find Italian fayre, like rizota (risotto) with fresh mussels or zkilofri (Slovenian ravioli). And if you are still hungry, indulge yourself in a slice of potica (a creamy Swiss roll with walnuts). 

 Slovenia has been making wine since pre-Roman times, and boasts the oldest vine in the world, that has grown for four centuries. In the Vipava Valley, the stone villages are full of velbani hrami (vaulted wine cellars) where you can taste Teran (a heavy red best drunk with the local prsut or ham) or Rebula (a dry, crisp white). In the mountains look out for the bewildering variety of schnapps made from wormwood, blueberries, honey and even pine needles!

 

Weather

Slovenia has a mixed alpine climate with summer temperatures in the range of 18 to 25ºC. In the mountains cool mornings are normally followed by warm pleasant days, with temperatures in the Alps being ideal for walking. During summer months afternoon showers of rain cool down the humidity, giving way to clear skies and pleasant temperatures.

Is this trip for you?

Cycling Conditions

Classification: Self-Guided
Activity Level: 2 (Leisurely/moderate)
Average daily distance on move on days: 37km (23 miles). 
No. of days cycling: 6 
Terrain and route: The suggested cycling mainly follows tranquil lanes and traffic-free cycle trails.
Vehicle Support: This is a self-guided trip for those who prefer to cycle independently, but with our assistance to take out the stress of the logistics and planning. We arrange your accommodations, provide you with a map and route notes so that you can cycle at your own pace. A representative will be there to meet you, make sure the bikes are all set up and will be on call throughout the trip should you need.

It is important that you are happy reading maps and following route notes, we make these as accurate as possible and they are regularly checked. 

As this is a self-guided holiday there is no group and no leader. There maybe others on the same departure date as you, but you will not be organised together. The route notes contain a 24-hour emergency assistance telephone number should you need it and in emergencies, the local representative is normally able to dispatch a taxi or pick you up themselves. They may wish to charge for this service.

Throughout, there is a very distinct and multi-cultural feel, evident in the local language, culture and cuisine. A richly preserved regional heritage reveals a complex and tumultuous past; visit colossal archaeological sites like Aquileia, with its remains of a Roman city and early Christian cathedral; mediaeval Udine, full of artistic masterpieces, and the restored fortress town of Venzone, reflecting the Renaissance Utopian ideals of a bygone era.

The area is one of outstanding natural beauty too. With the dramatic limestone peaks of the Julian Alps providing a formidable backdrop to your route, it's picture-postcard views all the way through lush forests, rolling meadows and pretty hamlets hemmed in by well-tended vineyards and shimmering mountain streams. On your final cycling stretch, the Adriatic seascape opens before you as you make a dramatic descent across the lagoon and on to the sun-kissed island of Grado with its sandy beaches lapped by crystal-clear waters.

Call for general departures:
020 8772 3936
Call for tailormade trips:
+44 (0)20 8772 3874
Trip Notes

Click on the button below for detailed Trip Notes containing all the particulars about this trip, including kit lists and practical information.

Note: these can vary by departure; you can check out the specific Trip Notes for your chosen adventure on the dates & prices page.

Accommodation

Hotels

The places we've chosen for you to stay in are among the best in the region. Hotel highlights include beautiful lakeside views from the luxurious 4-star Hotel Triglav in Bled; an alpine lodge in Tarvisio, and the 4-star Grand Hotel Hannover overlooking Grado's pretty harbour and just 200m from the Adriatic Sea.

Call for general departures:
020 8772 3936
Call for tailormade trips:
+44 (0)20 8772 3874
Trip Notes

Click on the button below for detailed Trip Notes containing all the particulars about this trip, including kit lists and practical information.

Note: these can vary by departure; you can check out the specific Trip Notes for your chosen adventure on the dates & prices page.

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Dates & Prices

An overview of flight options

Exodus is committed to making joining our tours as easy as possible, wherever you live. We generally only block book seats from London, but this certainly does not mean that you need to fly from there. Depending on the route and airlines available, there will usually be various options available for those who want to fly from their local airport.

This page aims to provide a useful overview of the options available to our clients. However, the best flight arrangements should be tailored to your personal requirements, so please contact our Sales team for expert advice.

 

What kind of options do I have ?

1. We can book for you: Flights from anywhere in the world - not via London  

Depending on the route, this may be direct or via an overseas hub like Amsterdam, the Middle East or elsewhere. On short haul routes there may be direct flights with low cost airlines, charter flights or scheduled airlines. Exodus can book most, but not all, of these for you. The most appropriate airline may be different to that which we use for the group flight from London, but many people now travel on different airlines and meet up with their fellow passengers at the destination.

Pros Cons
  • May be the most direct route
  • Often the extra fare compared to the London flight is minimal.
  • As you will be in the hands a single airline for your entire journey, the airline will be responsible for your bags and your connections.
  • You may not be able to join the group transfers. However, we can usually arrange private transfers, or book your flights to try and coincide with the group transfers. See notes on transfer arrangements below.

 

2. We can book for you: Connecting flights from your local airport to London

Exodus can book connecting flights to London so you can join the group flight there. Connecting times will be followed according to airline advice, or as requested by clients. There are two types of fares we can use for this option: a 'through-fare' or a 'published fare'.
 
a) A 'through-fare' is where you will be in the main airline's care throughout. You change planes, but your bags are checked all the way through to your final destination. 

b) A 'published fare' ticket is completely seperate from your onward ticket from London. It is usually cheaper than a through-fare but will need to be paid for and issued as soon as it is booked. This can be a problem if your tour has not yet reached minimum numbers. On 'published fares' neither airline is aware that you have connecting flights, so Exodus is responsible for timing your connection, not the airlines involved. The tickets are also usually non changeable and non refundable.

Pros Cons
  • Depending on the fare type, Exodus or the airline is responsible for flight connections.
  • Through fare tickets can be expensive.
  • On a published fare, tickets must be issued immediately; tickets on published fares can be very difficult to change if onward flight times change; bags are not checked though to your final destination.
  • Published fares are non-refundable.

 

3. Booking some or all of the flights yourself

You can also book connecting air travel yourself, either to London, or all the way to the start point. There may be certain airlines or routes we don't have access to, so this is always an option. However, if you make your own travel arrangements you become liable for any delays, cancellations or missed connections, and Exodus is not required to offer refunds if you have trouble reaching the start of your trip.

Pros Cons
  • You might find cheaper fares, or routes not available to Exodus.
  • You are responsible for any delays or missed connections, and the cost of the tour is not protected should you miss your flight be cancelled.

 

 Notes on transfer arrangements

Sometimes it is possible to travel on a different airline to the group flight from London. Where this is the case, we need to think about ensuring you meet up with the group with minimum extra cost and hassle.

  • On certain trips, it is easy to arrive on a different flight and still meet the group at the hotel with time in hand. We can usually arrange private transfers (at extra cost) or offer advice on taking a taxi to the start hotel.
  • On other trips (especially in Europe), the transfer meets the group flight and then travels some distance to the first night's accommodation. Where this is the case, our Sales team will try to arrange flights that arrive before (and depart after) the group. However, we do have to make it clear in your final documentation that if your flights are delayed, the transfer cannot wait for you. While Exodus or our local operators will do what we can to help you reach the start point of the tour, any additional costs must be paid by the client. 

 

Next steps? 

Call our Sales team on: 0203 733 0698

Email your query: [email protected]

Call us on 020 8772 3936