Published on: 31 March 2016 | Last updated: 4 January 2020
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.
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.
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.
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).
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:
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.
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’.
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.
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.
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 .
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.
There are (at least) three road maps showing the whole of Slovenija at a scale that’s still useful for cycle-touring:
- Reise Know-How (1:185,000)
- Freytag and Berndt Slovenia (1:200,000)
- Kartografija’s Avtokarte (1:270,00)
kartografija.si also produce a lot of maps aimed at hikers, but which might be useful for mountainbiking.
National websites and resources
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!)
The Drauradweg and the Ciclovia Alpe-Adria Radweg
Both the Drauradweg and the Ciclovia Alpe-Adria Radweg have dedicated websites:
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:
- Drauradweg: iOS version | Android version
- Ciclovia Alpe-Adria Radweg: (app name: “Alpe Adria Biketour”) iOS version and Android version ).
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