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Mountain Biking in Slovenia

Your extensive guide to everything you need to know about mountain biking in Slovenia - find out about the top trails, the best time to visit, and more.
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Slovenia is a diverse and mountainous country dotted with trails, which makes it an attractive mountain biking destination. Unspoiled nature offering a chance of many spectacular views and adrenaline-inducing biking are why many cyclists prefer the mountain bike to the road one, and Slovenia has a lot of such opportunities to offer.

Whether you choose the high mountains in the north or the hilly areas in the eastern, central, and southern parts of the country, it is impossible to run out of climbs that will take you to some of the most secluded areas in Slovenia. Away from the tumult of the cities, mountain biking is the perfect way to explore the local landscape.

Easy trail biking above Bled
Diverse landscape with spectacular views

MTB Infrastructure in Slovenia

Any mountain-biking enthusiast might be licking their lips looking at the network of hiking trails in Slovenia. As a very hiking-oriented nation, they intersperse over most of the country.

However, mountain bikers need to be very careful when it comes to them.

Most of the trails are intended for hiking and walking, thus biking there is in the grey area of legality and good manners.

Mountain biking is among the few activities where local knowledge is essential, if not crucial. Knowing the trails and which ones are appropriate for biking will likely save you from unnecessary trouble.

Discover the local mountain biking paths

Some mountainous paths are not appropriate due to their technical difficulty. That includes the majority of routes situated in the Julian Alps, where the highest mountains in Slovenia are.

The other two mountain ranges found in the country, the Karawanks and Kamnik-Savinja Alps, offer more befitting options. The macadam roads in the lower parts of these two ranges provide an enjoyable cycling experience that will not push you to the limit of your abilities.

But if you are searching for something that will, many maintained bike parks and MTB centers across the country welcome such adrenaline-pumping endeavors. With increased interest in such activities, the locals are establishing many more of them in appropriate places.

It is vital to stick to trails designed for mountain biking while leaving the rest for hikers and runners, as there is an abundance of each, to make it safe for everyone who wants to enjoy the pristine nature of Slovenia.

Cycling above Tržič
Macadam roads in the Karawanks

Mountain Biking Areas in Slovenia

Touring Slovenia on electric mountain bikes

The perfect way to explore everything Slovenia has to offer is electric mountain biking. A network of macadam roads, countryside lanes, and forest trails gives you a chance to visit some of the most stunning locations in the country while avoiding the busiest tourist areas.

There is hardly a place that does not warrant a visit, but there are some highlights you should not miss, like Velika Planina on the southern edge of Kamnik-Savinja Alps. A vast picturesque mountain pasture where little authentic shepherd huts complement the mountain vista in the background. The gravel roads winding through are solid and fun to ride on.

Mountain biking on Velika Planina
Mountain biking on Velika Planina

Not far away is the Karawanks mountain range, boasting the lengthiest ridge in the country, the Košuta ridge. Just below it, there are many mountain pastures connected by a gravel road, ideal for a mountain bike experience in the presence of the mighty Alps.

There are also ample areas in the Julian Alps that are appropriate for a visit with a bike. Pokljuka Plateau offers more than just mountain biking in the shade of the imposing forest, but also picture-worthy locations like the Zajamniki mountain pasture, where you will surely want to be posing for a photo with the shepherd huts in the background.

Beside the plateaus, ridges, forests, and mountains, Slovenia also possesses many glacial valleys. Notched deep into the mountains, they reach up to the steepest and mightiest walls in the country. Equipped with roads, the valleys of Krma, Tamar, or Vrata take the mountain bikers deep into the pristine alpine environment, where the singing birds, flowing rivers, rustling leaves, and cracking twigs reign.

Cycling in forest
Mountain biking in the shade of the forest of Pokljuka Plateau

Biking in Slovenia is possible throughout the whole year

But come winter, some of the mentioned paths are not passable. In this case, the mountain bikers move towards the southern parts of Slovenia. The Karst region offers many such opportunities in this situation, as do the hills by the seaside. Albeit less known by the tourists, the locals know many a secret MTB track that maintains its shape throughout the year and provides the enthusiasts with an inspiring ride.

Some of those are also found in the central region, on the Golovec Hill near Ljubljana. Trails ranging in difficulty, appropriate for all levels of mountain biking skill and experience, are hardly abandoned at any time of the year. Spiced up with some breathtaking views of the capital Ljubljana, they will not leave anyone dissatisfied with his visit to Slovenia.

Electric mountain biking holidays in Slovenia are a perfect way to explore every corner of one of Europe’s pearls in a dynamic and fun way.

Single trail mountain biking in Slovenia

Being an adrenaline-inducing sport, MTB attracts all kinds of stunt maniacs. Slovenia has them covered. We already acknowledged Golovec Hill as a noteworthy spot for any mountain biker with its biking paths of various technical difficulty levels, and it is only one among the many. 

The berms of Golovec bike trail
Single trails on Golovec hill

The Kočevje bike park is one of them, and it is among the fastest-growing in the country. The local enthusiasts developed fifteen kilometers of pure mountain biking downhill bliss in the land of the brown bear. Regularly maintained, it is a joy to descend on.

We find one of the most popular bike parks on the slopes of the Krvavec mountain in the Kamnik-Savinja Alps. It usually serves as a skiing center when dressed in white, but it does not get abandoned even during the summer as it transforms into a place for all kinds of adrenaline sports. Equipped with a gondola and many chair-lift stations, it offers the possibility of hitching a ride to the top of the slope and saving up your energy for the descent.

Jumpline in Kočevje trail center
Jumpline in Kočevje trail center

Single trails can be found outside bike parks too!

Apart from the parks, there are other viable options in the Alps or other hilly areas. In their case, however, local knowledge is required as these single trails are rather hard to locate and demand a higher level of technical skill.

One of them is Mt. Matajur, located in the Julian Alps on the Italian border. A technical descent follows a fairly long and strenuous ascent. Only the more experienced mountain bikers are ready for such an undertaking.

Not far from there, some mountain biking single trails are hiding in the Karst region. The local experts are well-versed in helping you locate them, and choosing the right option for you.

If you wish to pump some adrenaline through your veins during your visit, the ultimate single trails MTB holidays in Slovenia will sound like the perfect choice.

Technical trails on the Slovenian Coast
Technical trails are found outside bike parks too

Mountain Biking Season

The climate in Slovenia is predominantly continental, except for the Alpine climate in the northwest and the sub-Mediterranean climate in the southwest. Therefore, the mountain biking season usually lasts from the beginning of May to late October.

Outside of this period, the trails in the Alps can still be under a blanket of snow and therefore impassable, so biking is mostly done in the more southern parts of the country when it is not too cold.

During July and August, the roads and bike parks can get slightly busier because of the tourists. Focusing on mountain biking in the less popular areas of the country is a good solution during this time. Luckily, there is a lot of those, and with the help of local guides who know how to avoid the busiest places, it is no hassle.

The temperatures also peak during those two months, so if you prefer a chillier climate, you should consider visiting in May or June.

Parenzana cycling route 1
With snow in the north during winter, biking is mostly done in the southern parts of the country

Daily weather

Daily weather is an incredibly important factor to consider. It can vary on a day-to-day basis, depending on the season you will be mountain biking in. That is especially true when you are in the mountains. The weather is changeable in those regions, and storms are unpredictable during the summer. Getting caught in one can be a dangerous affair.

Caution is requisite, therefore you should be checking the weather forecast regularly. ARSO is a local forecasting portal that is the most precise for Slovenia on a daily basis. The only downside is that it is only available in the Slovenian language, but you can help yourself with the images or Google translate.

Getting a Local Mountain Biking Guide

Mountain biking presents a delicate situation if you are doing it in a foreign country you do not know well. Avoiding needless trouble of taking the wrong trails, getting misled, or poorly predicting the weather can all result in having botched holidays.

Views from Zajamniki 1 1
Mountain biking with an experienced guide

Fortunately, these are all issues you can avoid by finding a local expert that knows the ground well and will see to it that your vacations run as smoothly as possible. Consequently, you will be able to focus on enjoying mountain biking while not having to worry about technicalities like difficulties on the trail, weather conditions, or encountering an unsuspecting hiker on a dangerous section of the descent.

Based on our experience working in the industry for many years, we prepared plans for some of the best mountain biking holidays in Slovenia.

We will take you to some of the most popular mountain biking areas in the country and show you some of the less-known ones. All in all, we will do everything we can so that your time in Slovenia will be unforgettable.

In case you did not find anything that is in line with what you are looking for, contact us and we can devise mountain biking holidays in Slovenia based on your personal wishes.

Experience the diverse landscapes of Slovenia on a bicycle with Slovenia Cycling Holidays, an up-and-coming incoming travel agency.
Portfolio company of World Discovery.