Friuli Venezia Giulia cycleways and cycle routes

Published on:  | Last updated: 4 March 2017

International and national cycle routes

There's a point near Tarvisio where the borders of Austria, Slovenija and Italy meet. It's more than a geographical meeting point, but a meeting point of languages and cultures. If you're looking for a cross-border tour then this is a perfect place. Add into the mix the fact that there are excellent connec­tions on cycleways and quiet roads, and some of the lowest border crossings in the Alps, and Friuli Venezia Giulia makes a great gateway to Italy as well as a destin­ation in its own right.

The two major inter­na­tional routes that pass through Friuli Venezia Giulia are the FVG1 and the FVG2. The FVG1 forms part of the Ciclovia Alpe-Adria Radweg that starts in Salzburg and heads to Grado on the Adriatic coast. The FVG2 is part of the eurovelo 8 route that crosses Italy with France at one end and Croatia at the other.

As well as the two major inter­na­tional routes there are two less well-known routes that will of of interest to inter­na­tional travellers:

  • the FVG3 is part of the Ciclovia Pedemontana cycle route that follows the arc of the Alps across northern Italy
  • the FVG4, which starts on the border with Slovenija and heads west via Cividale del Friuli, Udine and Pordenone before reaching the Veneto near Sacile,

Overview map

A map showing the FVG1, FVG2, FVG3 and FVG4.

  Map:  FVG-overview-FT-mapshow map in overlay    |  FVG-overview-FT-map  show map in new window 

If you're thinking about a cross-border tour taking in Slovenija and Italy then there are two inter­esting new projects:

  • AdriaBike. The Adria Bike route starts at Tarvisio (where it links with the FVG1/​Ciclovia Alpe-Adria Radweg) and heads through Slovenija before heading to Trieste and following the Adriatic coast to Venezia and Ravenna
  • BiMobIS (Bike Alpe Adria) project offers a circular route linking Gorizia cividale del Friuli with Kobarid and Bovec 

FVG1

The FVG1 is probably Friuli-Venezia-Giulia's best known cycle route: it forms part of the Ciclovia Alpe-Adria Radweg which runs from Salzburg to Grado on the Adriatic coast.

FVG1 at a glance
  • Distance (Villach-Grado): 205 kms
  • Terrain: mainly flat or downhill (if you go north-south)
  • Traffic: mainly traffic-free cycleways or quiet roads
  • Surface: mainly tarmac but some short unsur­faced sections
  • Signs: generally well signed but there are sections where a detailed map would be essential

There has been a lot of investment in the route over the last two or three years meaning that there are long stretches of high-quality traffic-free cycleway in the north from the border along the old rail via Tarvisio to Resiutta, and in the south between Cervignano del Friuli and Grado. The rest of the route mainly uses quiet roads which can include dirt roads. The route is deservedly very popular. See the detailed guide to the FVG1(Ciclovia Alpe-Adria Radweg).

As well as the FVG1 there's the FVG1A - another high-quality cycleway on an old rail line that takes you to the border with Slovenija where it continues (as the D2) onto Kranjska Gora and Jesenice {distance}. I would highly recommend this either as a side-trip to Kranjska Gora or as part of a tour into Slovenija (see inter­na­tional connec­tions below). 

  Map:  FVG1-FT-mapshow map in overlay    |  FVG1-FT-map  show map in new window 

FVG1A cycleway near the border with Slovenija

FVG1A cycleway near the border with Slovenija

FVG2

The FVG2 follows the coast, linking Trieste with the coastal resorts of Grado and Lignano Sabbiadoro. The FVG forms part of the eurovelo 8 and AdriaBike inter­na­tional cycle routes. Read more: Islands and Lagoons of the Adriatic Coast and eurovelo 8 in Italy.

FVG2 at a glance
  • Distance: 141 kms
  • Terrain: flat - with some hills around Trieste
  • Traffic: mostly on quiet roads with some stretches of traffic-free cycleway
  • Surface: generally asphalt 
  • Signs: partly signposted

  Map:  FVG2-FT-mapshow map in overlay    |  FVG2-FT-map  show map in new window 

Part of the FVG2 cycleway near Grado (Friuli-Venezia Giulia)

Part of the FVG2 cycleway near Grado (Friuli-Venezia Giulia)

FVG3

The FVG3 follows the arc of the Alps. It links Gorizia, Cividale del Friuli and Gemona del Friuli. It is predom­in­antly on quiet tarmac roads. The route is signposted (either as the FVG3 or as the Itinerario Pedemontana Pordenonese). 

FVG3 at a glance
  • Distance: 162kms
  • Terrain: flat
  • Traffic: mainly quiet roads
  • Surface: mainly asphalt
  • Signs: signposted

  Map:  FVG3-FT-mapshow map in overlay    |  FVG3-FT-map  show map in new window 

FVG4

The FVG4 runs east-west from the border with Slovenija via Cividale del Friuli, Udine , Pordenone and on to Sacile and the neigh­bouring region of the Veneto.

FVG4 at a glance
  • Distance: 138kms
  • Terrain: flat
  • Traffic: mainly quiet roads
  • Surface: some unsur­faced sections
  • Signs: not signposted

There are two critical points on the route where it crosses over the Torre and Tagliamento rivers and you have to cross the river on the main strada statale. Coming into Pordenone the bridge is narrow and busy.

The FVG4 links to the BiMobIS cross-border route linking Tolmin and Kobarid in Slovenija with Cividale del Friuli. See inter­na­tional connec­tions below.

  Map:  FVG4-FT-mapshow map in overlay    |  FVG4-FT-map  show map in new window 

Cycleway, Friuli-Venezia-Giulia

Cycleway, Friuli-Venezia-Giulia

International connections

The FVG1 is part of the Ciclovia Alpe-Adria Radweg. At Villach the route also connects with the Drauradweg (the two coincide as far as Spittal an der Drau). You could follow the Drau cycleway to Maribor in Slovenia or, back into Italy, to Tolbach (Dobbiaco) in the the Südtirol (eurovelo 7).You can also use it to connect to the extensive network of cycle routes in the Kärnten (Carinthia) region of Austria. See also: Through Austria along the River Drau from Toblach to Tarvisio

  Map:  CAAR-Drauradweg-FT-mapshow map in overlay    |  CAAR-Drauradweg-FT-map  show map in new window 

AdriaBike

There are two linked projects promoting cycle tours across the Italy-Slovenija borders.

AdriaBike is a cycle route that's intended to be ridden in three weeks starting from Tarvisio and heading from there to Jesenice before taking the train to the station at Most na Soči, before looping up the valley of the river Soča to Bovec, and then heading south-east towards Portorož on the Slovenian coast. From there it follows the coast to Trieste and on from there to Venezia and Ravenna. At Portorož the route meets the eurovelo8 (Slovenian D8) which heads south into Croatia.

AdriaBike overview map:

  Map:  AlpeAdriaBike-FT-mapshow map in overlay    |  AlpeAdriaBike-FT-map  show map in new window 

The route is supported by a useful website (adriabike.eu), iOS and Android apps and 53-page roadbook available as a pdf. I'm assuming that this will also be available in paper form from tourist offices.

There is a road between Kranjska Gora and Bovec that goes through the Triglavski Narodni national park (en.wikipedia.org: Triglav National Park), over the Vršič Pass (1,611m) en.wikipedia.org: Vršič Pass. It has the reputation for being very beautiful, but with an average gradient of over 8 per cent (993 metres altitude gain over 1.82 kilometres) it defin­itely counts as 'challenging' and you can see why the route designers omitted it from the route.

Cyclists on the D2 cycleway in Slovenija near Kranskja Gora

Cyclists on the D2 cycleway in Slovenija near Kranskja Gora

BiMobIS (Bike Alpe Adria)

The BiMobIS project is promoting a circular 140-kilometre route via Tolmin, Kobarid and Nova Gorica in Slovenija and Gorizia and Cividale del Friuli in Italy. I rode the section between Cividale and the border and it was well signposted, mainly on quiet secondary roads with a section of unsur­faced cycleway and track. I'm hoping to ride the whole route in 2016), but in the meantime there's plenty of inform­aiton on the project website bike-alpeadria.com and app. It also produces an excellent (paper) map 'The Emerald Roads' available from tourist offices. 

  Map:  BiMobIS-circular-FT-mapshow map in overlay    |  BiMobIS-circular-FT-map  show map in new window 

As well as the main circular route the website offers inform­ation about 5 'famil­i­ar­iz­ation tours'. Four of these offer variations on the main circular tour, while another Around Kanin is a circular tour links Bovec in Slovenija with Resiutta on the FVG1: one option via Sella Nevea involves a 26-kilometre climb with an altitude gain of 880m, while the other involves a 14-kilometre climb with an average gain of 8 per cent (1114 metres altitude gain over 14.51 kilometres).

  Map:  bimobis-around-kanin-FT-mapshow map in overlay    |  bimobis-around-kanin-FT-map  show map in new window 

Overview Map of the BiMobIS circular and familiarisation routes

  Map:  BiMobIS-FT-overview-mapshow map in overlay    |  BiMobIS-FT-overview-map  show map in new window 

Regional and local routes

Friuli-Venezia-Giulia's location means that it's an important gateway for cyclists coming to Italy, but it's also a great destin­ation in its own right.

The province of Udine and Pordenone both have a network of local routes, and websites to promote them.The site for the provincia di Udine is terradeipatriarchi.it which has inform­ation about 11 routes around the area. The routes are mainly on mixed surfaces and concen­trated in the less mountainous areas. However there is an inter­esting and more challenging road route. Here is an overview map for the routes on the site. For more inform­ation click on the route and then follow the link.

  Map:  terra-dei-patri­archi-FT-mapshow map in overlay    |  terra-dei-patri­archi-FT-map  show map in new window 

The website for the Pordenone area is pordenonewithlove.it (en/​de/​it)

  Map:  Pordenone-routes-FT-mapshow map in overlay    |  Pordenone-routes-FT-map  show map in new window 

Other regional routes

A few years ago the region published a booklet Friuli Venezia by Bike describing the 8 regional routes. As well as the FVG1, FVG2, FVG3 and FVG4, these include four shorter routes: the FVG5, FVG6, FVG7 and FVG8.

FVG5

The FVG5 follows the Isonzo river from the coast to Gorizia. It is predom­in­antly
on quiet roads - both surfaced and unsur­faced.

The Isonzo (Soča) river has its source in the Julian Alps in Slovenija, and you can continue to follow it north towards Bovec.

  Map:  FVG5-FT-mapshow map in overlay    |  FVG5-FT-map  show map in new window 

FVG6 - The Ciclovia del Tagliamento

The FVG6 follows the Tagliamento river from Pinzano al Tagliamento to Lignano Sabbiadoro. It offers an altern­ative route to the coast to the southern half of the FVG1.

  Map:  FVG6-FT-mapshow map in overlay    |  FVG6-FT-map  show map in new window 

FVG7

The FVG7 is a short (30-kilometre) route along the Livenza river from Budoia to Portobufolè. 

FVG8

The FVG8 has three branches connecting Paluzza, Ampezzo, and Ovaro in the mountains with Tolmezzo and Venzone. The route is on quiet, surfaced, secondary roads.

If you are inter­ested in these routes you can download Friuli Venezia Giulia by Bicycle from the Italian Tourist Office in Sweden (download link  ). (Thanks to Khiem for sending me that link).

Signs on the Ciclovia Alpe-Adria Radweg near Valbruna

Signs on the FVG1 (Ciclovia Alpe-Adria Radweg) near Valbruna

Get in touch

Please get in touch if you find any errors in the information, or if there’s anything, good or bad, that you’d want other cyclists to know.


Join the mailing list?

If you’ve found this site useful why not sign up to the mailing list for occasional updates about new routes.