Crossing borders: cycle routes between Italy, Slovenija and Austria

Published on:  | Last updated: 3 November 2018

I spent part of the Summer of 2015 riding in Friuli-Venezia-Giulia and I was intrigued by the possib­il­ities for cross-border tours between Italy, Slovenija, and Austria. This article brings together inform­ation about websites, guides and maps that I've found while researching a visit this summer. If you know of any other resources please drop me a line.

Jump to Austria section

Slovenija

The Emerald Trails

The Emerald Trails is a project to promote cycling routes in the Friuli-Venezia-Giulia region of North-East Italy, and western Slovenija (partic­u­larly the Dolina-Soče and Gorizia areas and the Triglavski Narodni national park. In particular there's a circular route linking Kobarid, and Tolmin in Slovenija with Gorizia and Cevedale del Friuli in Italy.

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

The website is bike-alpeadria.com (slo/​ita/​en/​de). There are also as well as some inter­esting mountain bike and road routes in the 'famil­i­ar­isation tours' and 'connecting tours' sections of the site.

Screenshot from bike-alpeadria.com

Screenshot from bike-alpeadria.com

You can also get the site as an app but under the name BiMobIS (BiMobIS iOS app | BiMobIS Android app. Screenshots from the BiMoBis Android app:  screenshot 1 and  screenshot 2

There's a guide to the Emerald Cycling Trails and a map available from the Dolina-Soče tourist promotion organ­isation website: dolina.com or soca-valley.com (Cycling Literature page) (languages: sl/​en/​it/​de/​fr). There's also a guide and map of the AdriaBike cycle route.

The map (by kartografija.si )is excellent. Unfortunately, the pdf gets a little blurry when you enlarge it. You can get paper copies from tourist offices in the area or by emailing the helpful people in the Tolmin Tourist Information Office (or the Slovenian Tourist promotion offices in your country if there is one).

Detail from the Emerald Cycling Trails map (not shown actual size)

Detail from the Emerald Cycling Trails map (not shown actual size). Click to enlarge.

AdriaBike

The AdriaBike route has three sections, each designed to be ridden in a week, and three weeks in total:

  • it starts at Tarvisio ( where it connects with the Ciclovia Alpe-Adria Radweg near the border with Austria) and makes an arc through Slovenija before reaching the coast at Portorož on the Croatian coast ;
  • it then follows the Adriatic coast from Portorož via Trieste to Venezia;
  • and from Venezia it heads for Padova and then Ravenna.

AdriaBike overview map:

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

The website for the route is adriabike.eu. There's an excellent roadbook (available in English, German and Italian) that gives an overview and description of the whole route. It's available from the AdriaBike website ( AdriaBike roadbook). It's also available from turismofvg.it.

Pages from the Adria Bike roadbook

Pages from the Adria Bike roadbook

And (you're probably ahead of me here) there's an app: InterBike iOS app. There should also be an Android app, but the link I had for it no longer works, and I haven't been able to find a new link..

Emerald Trails maps on display in Kobarid TIC

Emerald Trails maps on display in Kobarid Tourist Information Centre

Other resources for tour planning

There public­a­tions page of the website slovenia.info has links to a number downloadable guides including some useful maps showing cycle routes. These are generally available in English, German, Italian and of course Slovenian.

Things get a little confusing as there are different versions of the same public­ation depending on whether you download direct from slovenia.info or you go to isuu.com. To get the direct version you need to click on pdf, if you click on 'online' you go to the document on isuu.com.

Another resource that looks like it's well worth exploring, is the Slovenian section of tripedia.info which offers 'travel guides written by locals'.

Guides

Cycling in Slovenija is a guide to the different areas of Slovenija. While it seems to be aimed mainly at people looking to base themselves in one part of the country it could be useful for touring cyclists.

Cover of the Cycling in Slovenia guide showing cyclist in the Slovenian wine country

Cover of one of the Cycling in Slovenia guides. Available to download from slovenia.info: public­a­tions page

There's another pdf download/​leaflet also called Cycling Slovenia available from slovenia.info: public­a­tions page . This has a map on one side showing cycle routes, including 8 long-distance road and MTB routes, and on the other side a guide to various destin­a­tions with a listing of bike-friendly campsites and other accom­mod­ation.

The website also has a 2011 version of the map and guide with a different set of routes. These seem to be mainly local routes, but it also shows joining routes so it would be easy to use it to put together longer-distance routes. The main advantage of this version is that it is less blurry when you zoom in on the detail.

Detail from the cycling Slovenija pdf map.

Detail from the Cycling Slovenija pdf map. Not shown actual size. Available from slovenia.info: public­a­tions page

Both guides include a listing of Cycling Information Centres who can provide further inform­ation about routes in their area.

Both of these guides are in a fold-up leaflet format. To complicate things more there's also a brochure, also called Cycling in Slovenia but this time with the sub-title cycling accom­mod­a­tions and destin­a­tions. The title doesn't really need further explan­ation. Again, go to slovenia.info: public­a­tions page .

Map showing some of the long-distance cycle routes in Slovenija. From the guide Cycling in Slovenia (accommodations and destinations).

Map showing some of the long-distance cycle routes in Slovenija. From the guide Cycling in Slovenia (accom­mod­a­tions and destin­a­tions). Download from slovenia.info: public­a­tions page .

There are a whole bunch of other pdf downloads with general tourist inform­ation. Of most interest for tour planning are the listings of campsites and farm stays Camping in Slovenia and Farm stays in Slovenia. Note to GPS users: the camping guide includes GPS coordinates, some of these aren't correct so it’s best to double-check.

If you’re inter­ested in wine or just fancy the idea of cycling through the wine-producing areas you might find the Slovenian Wine Roads guide worth a look.

Other maps

There are (at least) three road maps showing the whole of Slovenija at a scale that’s still useful for cycle-touring:

kartografija.si also produce a lot of maps aimed at hikers, but which might be useful for mountain­biking.

Detail from the Freytag & Berndt 1:200,000 map of Slovenija.

Detail from the Freytag & Berndt 1:200,000 map of Slovenija. Not shown actual size.

Kartografija Avtokarta (Road map) of Slovenija. 1:270,000.

Kartografija Avtokarta (Road map) of Slovenija. 1:270,000. For more inform­ation go to kartografija.si

Austria

National websites and resources

The national website about cycle touring in Austria radtouren.at (de/​cz/​it/​en). Has an extremely useful page with links to resources about cycle tours in Austria: radtouren.at: Radtouren in Österreich. The Cycle Tours in Austria leaflet/​brochure gives useful overview of the 14 cycle-touring routes in the country  radtouren.at: Cycle Tours in Austria: the Top 14 Cycle Tours altern­ative link:  brochures.austria.info: Cycle Tours in Austria: the Top 14 Cycle Tour

Map of major cycle touring routes in Austria

Map of major cycle touring routes in Austria. Source: . PDF download: radtouren.at: Cycle Tours in Austria: the Top 14 Cycle Tours

If you're planning an inter­na­tional tour involving Austria, Italy and Slovenija, then you might want to check out the Ciclo-Tour Senza Confini brochure/​poster which has a nice overview of the major cycle routes in Friuli Venezia Giulia, Kärnten (Carinthia) Austria and western Slovenija. You can still download it from tarvisiano.org — direct download link:  Ciclo Tour Senza Confini (5.5Mb). (Please let me know if that link stops working!)

Map from the Ciclotour Senza Confini (cycle tour without borders) leaflet/brochure

Map from the Ciclotour Senza Confini (cycle tour without borders) leaflet/​brochure. Not shown actual size. Source: tarvisiano.org ( pdf download).

The Drauradweg and the Ciclovia Alpe-Adria Radweg

Both the Drauradweg and the Ciclovia Alpe-Adria Radweg have dedicated websites:

alpe-adria-radweg.com home page

The alpe-adria-radweg.com: home page. Click on the picture for two further screen­shots

There are also a couple of useful apps - their most useful feature is the ability to save the maps for the sections you are inter­ested in:

The region also produces a paper map of the Drauradweg with an accom­mod­ation listing. There's no pdf download, but you can order it from the carinthia.it brochures page

Cycle routes in Kärnten (Carinthia) and Tyrol

If you're looking for inform­ation about cycling in the Kärnten (Carinthia) region then there is a very useful tour planning resource at touren.kaernten.at which includes (for example) the inter­esting-but-challenging Drei Laender Tour (three countries tour) which takes in Austria, Italy and Slovenija.

For the neigh­bouring Tyrol region see tyrol.com: cycling. There's a page dedicated to the
Drau cycleway tyrol.com: Drau Cycle Path as well as inform­ation about other long-distance cycle routes in the region tyrol.com: Cycle Paths

Check my Pinterest board for Slovenija

Follow Italy Cycling Guide's board Slovenija on Pinterest.


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.

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