From the big mountains to the Adriatic sea, this trip was a long time coming. In 2020, I originally planned to ride the Slovenia: West Loop by Joe Cruz in full, but the plan was postponed due to the pandemic. Fast forward two years, that route was still front of mind and I really wanted to tick it off my list, but add a twist - by linking it up with another one of Joe Cruz' routes; the Adriatic Crest.
It's amazing, how much general knowledge you have at your finger tips on Komoot, with other adventurer's experiences and opinions specifically on the Slovenian West Loop. As I wasn't sure about the southern section, as I'd read that it wasn't quite as spectacular as the northern part of the route, and to keep this trip tough, challenging and most importantly fun, I decided to take that hint and be creative with the how I connected both established bikepacking routes at their closest points. The result didn't disappoint.
This trip was one of the toughest yet enjoyable exploration trips for me to date. I got to ride two routes that had really captured my attention, everyone I met was welcoming and had lots of questions about my bike setup, using a mountain bike to cover great distances, the time of year I've chosen to do this trip and more.
The main highlight of this trip was catching the ferry from Split to visit Porco Rosso's (not so secret) hideout in Stiniva Cove, on the little Adriatic Island called Vis. Studio Ghibli fans will know!
Throughout this trip I boarded two trains, one coach, a dozen ferries to get me and my bike across seven islands and visited three different countries along the way. These transfers are included in the Tours.
Kilometres pedalled: 904 (562 miles)
Metres climbed: 10,010 (32,842 feet)
Time: 47 hours 36 minutes
Technical issues: 0
Fun: a zillion!
I used Croatia Ferries to cross between the Adriatic Islands (croatiaferries.com) and Flixbus to travel from Trieste in Italy to Rijeka in Croatia (flixbus.co.uk/coach/croatia).
The first day on any trip is always nerve racking and with the dark grey clouds looming over Ljubljana, I already knew I was in for a hard day in the saddle. It turned out that I was heading straight into a flash snow storm that lasted all day. Fun!
It was very cold and visibility was poor, so my mindset…
The forecast today was completely different from the day before, thankfully. Sun and blue skies awaited, with an ever present chill coming from the mountains.
It was super, having the sun on my face as I raced to my breakfast pit stop, on a bench by Lake Bled, before continuing my way towards Triglav…
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Waking up in Kamp Korita was amazing; the view right outside my camping pod door on the landing was insane, with snowcapped mountains and jagged rock-faces. I just wanted to stay for another day... I had the time, but kept it moving as I wanted to stay ahead of my schedule.
At this point of the trip the…
From the minute I woke up I knew that this day was going to be mega! Setting off by the coast, t-shirt weather, cycling through somewhere new and full of culture, sea views and mountains ranges as far as the eye could see.
I was at the start of my second route of the trip. The first task was to ride…
Time to catch another ferry, which by this point was my lifeline! If I missed one that would've been a whole day wasted, waiting for the next one, or one more day in paradise! Rab truly was the best island I managed to visit.
There was a short 20 minute crossing back to the mainland, then a 20 kilometre…
The hottest day of the trip, I was now looking forward to getting to Split, as I had never been and had heard great things.
It was at this part of the ride that I thought to slow down and take it in, as this was the last full day. Split was always the destination (though I knew I was heading to Vis the…
Finally, the day that I'd been pedalling towards had arrived. After a very wholesome night in Split, I was on yet another ferry - this time to Vis, to see the most famous fictional anime character's (not so secret) hideout IRL!
I worked out it'll be a 30 minute hack each way to get from the harbour to…
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