The future is tourism embedded in sustainability. The world is now realising the importance of it and many countries are now aiming to move towards it. Slovenia is one such country; and way ahead in its game. With schemes like Slovenia Green, the country now has 48 certified green locations. Supported by tourism operator Visit GoodPlace and funded by the European Union, the country’s ministry of economy has administered a unique cross-country cycling trail that takes you across these locations from the Alpine areas to the Mediterranean side of Slovenia. The trail, ‘Bike Slovenia Green’ will begin on November 1, 2019, and take cyclists through 7 important Slovenia Green certified locations.
Wineries, boutique family owned hotels and quiet country paths and roads will be the highlight of the trail; not to mention the spectacular views of nature that the country has worked hard to maintain. These areas maintain strict international standards of sustainability and tourism development. The experience seems irresistible.
The trail begins at the Julian Alps in Kranjska Gora. Carpeted with lush greenery, Kranjska Gora is an area with high mountains in Northwest Slovenia. Banked on the Sava Dolinka river, the place is also known as the winter sports town. Lined with fir trees and offering stunning natural views, the area is close to the Austrian and Italian borders.
Cyclists will continue on to Bled, a town known for its namesake lake consisting of crystal blue-green waters. The lake attracts thousands of tourists every year. While summers bring out the beauty of the serene waters in which one cannot resist a quick dip, winters freeze the lake providing the ideal ground for ice skating. Additionally, one can see the Assumption of Mary church on an islet, where tourists ring the bell for good fortune. A grandiose castle sits atop a rock on the bank of the lake. People are seen here hiking, trekking, golfing and obviously, cycling.
Bohinj is the next destination to visit after the path rolls through the Triglav National Park (the largest protected area and the only national park in the country). Another location known for a lake of the same name, Bohinj’s water body itself is also a charming crystal green. The difference, however, between Bohinj and Bled is that the former is lesser known and in turn, not as commercialised. Some say that this gives the lake a more authentic feel.
The path will then take the cyclists to Brda and Soca valley. The area is also called Slovenian Tuscany, since it is reminiscent of the Italian region. These hillsides are prominent wine-producing areas, lined with vineyards and orchards. Other items found in abundance are fruit, cheese, olive oil and cherries. Soca valley is also known for its emerald-green Soca river.
Moving on, through the town of Smartno, the trail goes on to Komen. Much less extravagant than the previous destination, Komen is a small settlement on Karst Plateau. The area, however, is historically significant. People can expect good hospitality, delectable local cuisine and calming paths for walking and cycling.
At this milestone of the itinerary, the countryside of the country unfolds before the cyclists. Lipica is a destination well-known for its stud farm. The Lipica stud farm is the origin of Lipizzan horses and is a dynamic site full of excitement. Apart from the stud farm, the area also offers an experience submerged in art and history with its galleries and historic sites.
The final destination of the journey is the Adriatic hub of Koper. A port with a small town rooted in the medieval times, the views are rather humble. However, the spirit of the town is infectious and comforting and makes for a brilliant end point.