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Slovenia & Monte Zoncolan

Road Cycling Holidays in Slovenia

Road Cycling Holidays in the Dolomites

  • Experience stunning cycling in the breathtaking mountains of Slovenia, Italy and Austria
  • Flexible pace itinerary with two to three routes to choose from daily
  • Explore the Triglav National Park, cycle the Mangart Saddle and Vršič Pass
  • Includes the optional opportunity to cycle the infamous Monte Zoncolan climb
  • Comfortable and friendly 3* hotels with local cuisine geared to cyclists
  • Exceptional support from two expert, proactive, and fun Marmot guides, focused on making your holiday the very best it can be, with two customised support vans for full support on the road
  • Numerous flight connections to Venice Marco Polo airport

Days on the bike

6 days

This was my third trip with Marmot, and they have all been excellent. Looking forward to number 4 in a weeks time and number 5 next year. The itinerary is always excellent, the guides extremely knowledgable and friendly. You can't ask for a better trip.

A Hogben

Introduction

The mountainous region of Europe where Slovenia, Austria, and Italy meet is a delight for road cyclists looking for a week of spectacular riding away from the crowds. We have crafted this Marmot Classic style itinerary to make the most of the glorious landscape whilst also having opportunities for more time off the bike if that is your preference.

You’ll start the week exploring Slovenia’s magnificent Triglav National Park with its glacial lakes and towering limestone peaks, the highlights being the Vršič pass and the Mangart Saddle. We then head briefly into Italy and Austria to explore the border region on gravity-defying roads that were built to mobilise arms during the Great War. We end our week getting to know the beautiful but less explored eastern Italian Dolomites, and also the infamous Monte Zoncolan.

Assisted by two exceptional, proactive, and fun Marmot guides with fully equipped support vehicles, you can ride at your own pace, stop when you want, and make each day your own. This is an exceptional week of cycling in a magnificent location. It’s our goal to help you have an unforgettable cycling experience.

It is important to us that you book the correct road cycling holiday for you, so do download and read the Trip Notes for all you need to know on how this holiday works: food, accommodation, travel and so on…

For the latest travel advice from the Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office including security and local laws, plus passport and visa information, check www.gov.uk/foreign-travel-advice.

Departure Dates & Prices

Month
Departure
Amount
Single Room Supplement
Jun
14th Jun - 21st Jun
£1690.00
Single Room Sup. £340.00
29th Jun - 6th Jul
£1690.00
Single Room Sup. £340.00
Jul
6th Jul - 13th Jul
£1690.00
Single Room Sup. £340.00
13th Jul - 20th Jul
£1690.00
Single Room Sup. £340.00
Aug
24th Aug - 31st Aug
£1790.00
Single Room Sup. £380.00

We are pleased to offer some tempting discounts off the basic trip cost (not including extras such as single rooms or bike hire):

  • Book & pay your deposit more than 6 months in advance of the start of your holiday for our 5% early bookers discount
  • Get a group of 10+ people together for a 7.5% group discount and, as the group organiser, receive a £150 voucher for your next holiday
  • Be rewarded for your loyalty by receiving a 10% discount from your 3rd Marmot trip onwards

Please note that there is a maximum 10% discount on any holiday.

Map

Itinerary

Day 0: Arrival day

We offer included airport transfers (a journey of 1hr 30 min) at scheduled times during the day from Venice Marco Polo airport to our start hotel in Solkan on the Slovenian/Italian border.

Full travel advice (essential reading before booking your flights) and airport transfer timings can be found in our Trip Notes.

Check-in, assemble bikes and share a hearty meal in preparation for the adventure ahead!

Day 1: Solkan to Ribčev Laz

Our destination is the picturesque Lake Bohinj on the southern flanks of the Triglav National Park. Our Slovenian road cycling adventure starts relatively gently, undulating through unspoilt rural countryside to the base of Bohinjsko Sedlo (1277m). This is a cheeky little climb up through the forest with some changing gradients. From here you have the options of descending to our 4-star hotel on the lake and exploring the surroundings or extending your ride by heading down to Lake Bled (with its iconic island church).

For those wanting a taster of the gradients on Mt Zoncolan, nipping up to the monastery and viewpoint of Sveta Gora (630m) first thing in the morning is a good option.

Classic route: 87km with 1900m ascent [ride profile]
Challenge route: 136km with 2400m ascent [ride profile]

Day 2: Ribčev Laz to Bovec

Today is all about the Vršič Pass (1611m), a truly remarkable road on which to cycle a bike. It was built by Russian prisoners of war, so is often known as the ‘Ruska cesta’. Its northern flanks are epitomised by 24 hairpin bends, many of which are still cobbled! As the road meanders higher and higher it commands spectacular views of the Triglav National Park.  From the pass we descend into the lush green valley and onto the mountain town of Bovec, where we stay for two nights.

To get to the base of the climb, there are two good options. The first descends gently to Lake Bled, where we climb slightly before joining the valley road. Our ‘challenge’ route takes a more mountainous ride over the cross-country ski haven of Goreljek (1256m).

Classic route: 110km with 1600m ascent [ride profile]
Harder route: 109km with 1800m ascent [ride profile]
Challenge route: 108km with 2200m ascent [ride profile]

Day 3: Day ride from Bovec

The saddle of Mangart (2055m) is the highest surfaced road in Slovenia and our destination for today. We start by riding up through the deep green valley surrounded by an amphitheatre of limestone mountains. When we get close to the Italian border, we branch off on a narrow road that winds its way into the high pastures with constant breathtaking views, making this one of the most beautiful road cycling climbs in Europe. What goes up, must come back down and the descent is a true reward for your efforts.

The afternoon can be spent lapping up the ambience of Bovec or taking on the southern (steeper, but no cobbles!) side of the Vršic Pass (1611m)

Classic route: 53km with 1700m ascent [ride profile]
Harder route: 62km with 2000m ascent [ride profile]
Challenge route: 115km with 2900m ascent [ride profile]

Day 4: Bovec to Tröpolach

We start the day by following the pale blue waters of the Soča river, before heading west to bid Slovenia farewell and climb up the Sella Carnizza (1094m). Here we descend steeply into Italy and the town of Resiutta where we join a wonderful, surfaced cycle path on the bed of the old railway line up the deep gorge to the town of Pontebba. From there, we take on the Passo di Pramollo (1530m) and descend into Austria for the night.

Today’s Challenge route heads down the cycle path and then climbs up through a remote but beautiful valley to the Sella di Cereschiatis (1065m), before re-joining our Classic route at the base of the Passo di Pramollo.
This is quite a challenging ride, so there is the option of catching a lift in the van at various stages during the day.

Easier route: (Lift up the Fella valley) 65km with 1900m ascent
Classic route: 85km with 2150m ascent [ride profile]
Challenge route: 94km with 2800m ascent [ride profile]

Day 5: Tröpolach to Ovaro & Monte Crostis

We start the day in Austria, winding our way gently up a wide, glaciated valley, linking picture-perfect villages before climbing back into Italy over the Plöckenpass/Passo di Monte Croce Carnico (1358m). This well-constructed road has been used as a trade route since the Middle Ages, and was the scene of a long, gruelling battle during WW1, leaving the pass adorned with military remnants.

Following a technical descent, we climb over the beautiful Sella Valcalda (958m), no stranger to the Giro d’Italia, for lunch in Ravascletto. This is part of the Zoncolan ski area – we are getting close to the mighty beast! The afternoon can be spent relaxing in the grounds and wellness centre of the hotel or taking on Monte Crostis.

Not many people have heard of Monte Crostis (1982m), but those who have cycled it never forget it! The 14km narrow mountain road averages a relentless 10.1% and climbs 1420m, making it the climb with the most vertical ascent in Italy! If you have the energy, this beautiful climb (similar to the Gamoniteiro in Spain) will put an everlasting smile on your face!

Classic route: 74km with 1200m ascent [ride profile]
Challenge route: 103km with 2800m ascent [ride profile]

Day 6: Sella Ciampigotto & Monte Zoncolan

Monte Zoncolan (1735m) is by no means the highest, but is certainly the steepest climb in the area. Introduced into the Giro d’Italia cycle race in 2007 it quickly became a game-changer, mixing things up a bit in the Peloton. With 10.1km averaging 11.9% (including 6km at 15%) today is your opportunity to really give it a go! Fortunately, it is entirely optional, and our hotel is right at the base and a nice place to relax, so doing a U-turn if the going gets tough is always a possibility!

The 29km of the Sella Ciampigotto (1790m) are a wonderful journey, starting in villages with distinctive green-tiled church towers. You will pass through cross-country ski stations and over high Alpine pastures – the café at the top offers us a warm welcome and views towards the Dolomites. You can either return the same way or take a journey back in time over the Sella di Rioda (1800m) and down into the remote mountain community of Sauris. The valley now holds a deep reservoir, where we head over the Passo del Pura (1428m) before descending through Ampezzo to the valley floor. From there we gently climb back to the hotel to pack up bikes and relax.

Easier route: 62km with 1300m ascent [ride profile]
Classic route: 83km with 1680m ascent [ride profile]
Harder route: 92km with 2120m ascent [ride profile]
Monte Zoncolan option: adds 23km and 1250m ascent to any route

Day 7: Departure day

All good things must come to an end… we offer included transfers from Ovaro to Venice Marco Polo airport (2hrs) in the morning.