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Bikepacking Slovenia — the West Loop in five days

Erik

Bikepacking Slovenia — the West Loop in five days

Bike Touring Collection by Erik

5

Tours

26:44 h

265 mi

30,275 ft

Slovenia is half the size of the Netherlands yet has a huge variety in landscape. From sloping wine regions and vast lakes to steep rock faces with stunning alpine cols in between, Slovenia has it all. About two years ago, the 420 km (261 mi) Slovenia West Loop route caught my eye.

Actually, the plan was to do this route last summer, but because of the bad weather forecast we opted for the Dolomites instead. This year we finally did it and, together with my friend Anne-Marie, I enjoyed every second of it.

We had no idea beforehand how long the route would take. Most people take six to eight days for the West Loop. Afterwards, we spoke to someone who took more than 15 days. We opted for long days in the saddle and completed the route in five days. Based on the original route (which can be found via the link below), I’ve made my own version with komoot.

The green landscape here reveals just how much it rains in Slovenia. Remember to take this into account when you plan this trip and pack your waterproofs. We discovered that July and August are the driest months, which made the summer period the most suitable for us.

To save weight, we left our tent at home, as many of the campsites en route hired out tents. We also used hostels and figured that, as a last resort, we could always knock on a door somewhere to find a night's stay. The latter never happened, because everything in this country seems to be so perfectly organised.

We rode the route on our cyclocross bikes, which are similar to gravel bikes. Our bikes were equipped with 40 mm tyres with a good profile. I wouldn’t recommend you go much narrower as most of the route is over well-rideable gravel strips, but occasionally there is a short single track and occasional sections with a poor road surface. On the steep sections, extra grip is definitely beneficial. The route was created by mountain bikers and so is also suitable for hardtails.

The complete and original route can be found via this link: komoot.nl/tour/464196837.

If you have any questions about our experience or route, feel free to comment on this Collection or via my Instagram: instagram.com/erikmus.

On The Map

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Tours & Highlights

  • 05:17
    61.5 mi
    11.6 mph
    5,600 ft
    5,025 ft

    Vrhpolje is a very small wine village with hardly more than a church, pizzeria and some winegrowers, one of which has a small campsite (Kamp Vrhpolje). We parked the car here and started here, so that we could enjoy the local wines when we returned.The day started immediately with a nice, smooth asphalt climb, the last part of which …

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  • 05:43
    48.0 mi
    8.4 mph
    7,000 ft
    6,225 ft

    Thanks Mitja! It’s beautiful 😍

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  • 04:54
    53.9 mi
    11.0 mph
    5,225 ft
    5,650 ft

    After a relaxing day in Bled it is time to drive further into the Julian Alps, with the Vrsic pass on the program today. This is the highest pass in Slovenia with an average gradient of 8.2% over a length of 9.2 kilometers.It is of course quite a climb, but in comparison with the steep unpaved climbs it is …

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  • 05:03
    40.8 mi
    8.1 mph
    6,525 ft
    4,975 ft

    After a pleasant descent along the Soca River we arrive at the foot of the Stol, a mountain pass that I was really looking forward to. The 12 kilometer long climb is mostly unpaved, with a gradient of 7.5%. From the top follows an unpaved descent of 11 kilometers with the most beautiful views from the many hairpin bends. With …

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  • 05:48
    60.4 mi
    10.4 mph
    5,925 ft
    8,275 ft

    The last day had already arrived. After our great overnight stay there was only one stage to go where we would descend more than 2500 meters. We started with a climb to Livek to the highest point of the day. From here we gradually rolled over 30 kilometers down into a wine region. The mountains became noticeably lower along the …

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Questions and Comments

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Collection Stats

  • Tours
    5
  • Distance
    265 mi
  • Duration
    26:44 h
  • Elevation
    30,275 ft

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Bikepacking Slovenia — the West Loop in five days