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Bikepacking the Slovenia West Loop – the Soča Variation

Tristan Bogaard

Bikepacking the Slovenia West Loop – the Soča Variation

Bike Touring Collection by tristanbogaard

10

Tours

30:51 h

239 mi

21,950 ft

Belén and I had been looking forward to the Slovenia West Loop for a long time. Now that we've finally ridden it, we hope you'll choose Slovenia for your next cycling adventure, too.

The West Loop was created by Joe Cruz and takes in the peaks of Triglav National Park, the banks of the Soča River (one of the last free-flowing rivers in Europe) and the vineyards and forest areas of south-west Slovenia.

In my opinion, this more than 385 kilometre (240 mi) route passes through the most beautiful regions of Slovenia. With plenty of water taps, supermarkets and restaurants along the way and, of course, the most beautiful viewpoints and major tourist attractions, the route makes perfect sense. Add to that the countless fairytale landscapes that can almost only be admired on a bicycle, the Slovenia West Loop is an absolute must!

First of all, a small note: the original route takes a big hurdle at the Soča Valley, where instead of following the river on technical (single) tracks, you climb two high mountain ridges with a total of about 2,000 metres (6,562 ft) elevation gain. From various reactions on the internet about this route, it appeared that there was a demand for an easier alternative. So we decided to map and ride the ‘Soča variant’, so named due to the slight diversion.

You will also notice, when you study the routes, that there are some short back and forth sections occasionally. Belén and I sometimes drive back for a recording. Don't let this put you off, if you follow our route exactly. In our Tours, you will also find our wild camping spots and images of difficult sections, as well as a taste of the views and water points you will encounter along the way.

As we carry a lot of extra recording material, it took 10 days to cycle. If you don't carry as much weight, you can cycle the Slovenia West Loop in six to eight days. Check out our Tours for tips in this Collection and download the Soča variant of the Slovenia West Loop from the following link: komoot.nl/tour/436707287. The original route by Joe Cruz from bikepacking.com can be viewed here: komoot.nl/tour/528750857.

Finally, I made three video episodes of the West Loop. To give you an even better idea of the adventure, you can watch the first one below. Enjoy!

On The Map

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'Slovenia West Loop' - Soča Variant

238 mi

23,325 ft

23,325 ft

Last updated: April 26, 2022

Tours & Highlights

  • Slovenia West Loop - Day 1

    01:18
    7.80 mi
    6.0 mph
    1,500 ft
    475 ft

    Day one! After making our way to Ljubljana by train from Milano, with the Interrail passes we're using to stitch routes together by train, we had a huge lunch at Loving Hut (comes highly recommended) and made our way to the Tivoli park to start riding the West Loop.

    

    Joe has chosen to take you through

    by tristanbogaard

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  • 01:09
    9.35 mi
    8.1 mph
    625 ft
    1,550 ft

    Day two! Waking up in the Slovenian hills, climbing up to the first church of the route and having breakfast with 360 degree views was a huge pleasure! The climb up to the church is a little steep and you'll have to get off your bike to push the last part but it's worth the extra effort. It's also a

    by tristanbogaard

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  • 02:56
    15.7 mi
    5.4 mph
    3,125 ft
    1,525 ft

    Day 3! A rough yet rewarding day out on the West Loop route. We started comfortably in Škofja Loka after waiting out the rain from the previous day, pretty much immediately climbing up to the castle in town. It's an unnecessary climb and descend, but scenic and recommended. There's a nice cafe by the

    by tristanbogaard

  • 03:10
    24.9 mi
    7.9 mph
    1,700 ft
    1,975 ft

    Day 4! Today we woke up at Jamnik, probably the most scenic church in Slovenia. We had breakfast out at the wooden tables before hitting the asphalt road down to Kropa in the valley–the orginal bikepacking route would put you on some serious singeltrack that we really weren't in the mood for, and you

    by tristanbogaard

  • 03:18
    19.0 mi
    5.7 mph
    3,250 ft
    700 ft

    Day 5! Starting with a rather steep push out of the Radovna valley, we made our way down to Mojstrana quickly and had breakfast by the river with a nice view on the bridge. This is where a great bike lane started for us, allowing one to cycle all the way to Kranjska Gora with beautiful views alongside

    by tristanbogaard

  • 03:23
    31.7 mi
    9.4 mph
    1,425 ft
    5,450 ft

    Day 6! Waking up in a cloud was never so scenic. Our morning ride up the rest of the excellent alternative to main road up to Vršič pass was quiet, peaceful and full of foggy views. There's something really special about foggy forest scenery and we couldn't stop taking pictures.

    

    Having cycled over the

    by tristanbogaard

  • 02:30
    21.5 mi
    8.6 mph
    1,200 ft
    1,600 ft

    Day 7! After a comfy night camping out at Kamp Trnovo (€14 per person) we hit the road to get back on our Soča variant to the West Loop. A nice start of a very sunny and lovely day, seeing the river and famous Kobarid bridge, discovering rural towns and making it a sport to stay away from main road and

    by tristanbogaard

  • 04:02
    34.5 mi
    8.6 mph
    2,650 ft
    2,875 ft

    Day 8! Starting it by descending down a nice narrow road on the eastside of the Soča valley and rolling into Avce for breakfast at a communal space outside of town was a lovely start to this long day. Fueled up by porridge and coffee, we hit the last stretch of the Soča variant @belletoscan designed

    by tristanbogaard

  • 05:30
    41.3 mi
    7.5 mph
    4,425 ft
    2,850 ft

    Day 9! After having a sweet porridge and coffee breakfast at the cemetary by the church, we set out to cover the 600m climb that was awaiting us near Adjovščina, which is a mix of asphalt and gravel. This climb is a really steady one, but was a challenge for me since I was struggling with dizziness on

    by tristanbogaard

  • 03:35
    33.4 mi
    9.3 mph
    2,050 ft
    2,850 ft

    Day 10! The final day of our West Loop adventure. We woke up in the grasslands near Cerknica and rode into town early that day, did some groceries and rode the last climb of the West Loop. There's something incredibly gratifying about a last climb, and it was on asphalt too! Where Joe Cruz, the designer

    by tristanbogaard

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Questions and Comments

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Collection Stats

  • Tours
    10
  • Distance
    239 mi
  • Duration
    30:51 h
  • Elevation
    21,950 ft

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