March 20, 2024 3 min read

Embark on an unforgettable journey through the Slovenian Peaks with ALMSTHRE ambassador Sofia Schugar. Discover breathtaking landscapes, thrilling descents, and hidden gems along the way. Sofia, a seasoned cyclist and coach, shares her firsthand experiences and expert tips to elevate your bikepacking adventure. Get ready to explore, get lost, and find your next great adventure with ALMSTHRE.

The border between Italy and Slovenia blurred as we zipped down a freshly paved bike path winding its way along the foothills of Tarvisio. Knobby tires glided along the smooth tarmac littered with remnants of "GO ROGLA" from the previous year's Giro Italia; the echoes of Slovenian spectators welcomed us as we meandered up our final Italian pass, Passo Predil, which quickly turned into the descent into Slovenia. Here we were greeted with some of the best on and off-road riding of our entire bikepacking adventure, and we want to share with you some of the peaks you CANNOT miss.

Passo Predil
9.1mi/14.8km & 2522ft/769m- Paved

This one is an out-and-back, but it can’t be missed! Climb a little further to the top to Lago del Predil and enjoy a snack by the lake, or descend back into Italy. However, the best part of this pass was the descent into Slovenia. It's steep enough for you to race friendly motorcyclists, with turns wide enough that you don’t have to slam on the brakes. Be sure to pack some snacks because the café that is usually at the top of this climb is temporarily closed!
Lago Perdil and out Friulian Wine

Viršič pass from Soča
14.6mi/13.6km & 3848ft/1173m- Paved + Cobbles 

This climb begins along the end of the crystal-clear, bright blue Soča River. If you are a few days into a longer journey, stop to soak your legs in this icy river. You’ll begin a long but rewarding ascent up to the peaks of the Julian Alps. We recommend approaching this climb from the Soča Valley, then descending into Kranjska Gora. There are 25 hairpin turns to conquer as you ascend this beast. The summit is a beautiful spot to enjoy the sunset, which may mean you need a place to spend the night.
The Postman’s Lodge, known in Slovenian as Poštarski dom na Vršiču, is a lovely family-owned lodge offering beds and dinner. If you are skipping the sleepover, it is still a great place to grab a beer and celebrate your accomplishment! It is located slightly off the main path, with a hike-a-bike of 5 minutes or a 3-minute ride easily accomplished on a gravel bike.

The Julian Alps, better in person.

Friends making sure the cobbles were tasty.

Stol Pass from Žaga
7.5mi/12km & 3000ft/914m- Chunky but doable on a gravel bike

We recommend approaching this climb from Žaga, the northern side of this pass. Doing it this way ensures that as you are climbing, there is generous tree coverage and a more gradual gradient. Through the foliage, more of the Julian Alps are visible, and at the very top, you have a lovely view of the Slovenian countryside. The descent is chunky and may require a few brakes if you are not riding a bike with suspension. It can be made easier by sharing a bottle of wine that you lugged to the top of the mountain (*see photos). The climb itself is very enjoyable, and the Slovenian countryside is a nice treat. If you have brought a change of clothes, you can try and dine at Hiša Franko or continue on into the Kobaird and try some SLO Wine.
Sharing some snacks before a bumpy descent.
Views into some Slovenian valleys and the descent ahead.
Other Tips:
  • Bovec is an outdoorsman’s hub; paragliding, kayaking, biking, you name it; they’ll have guides, rentals, and a good cup of Slovenian-style iced coffee.
  • As you bike around Slovenia, look for self-service fridges that have Slovenian yogurt and other dairy products. Their quality is unmatched; my favorite dairy product is skuta.
  • Talk to the locals! Slovenians are out of this world friendly and can always point you in the direction of a good time.
Spending a few hours in Bovec at the Soča.

Jenna Bullbrook
Jenna Bullbrook

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