Slovenia is half the size of the Netherlands yet has a huge variety in landscape. From sloping wine regions and vast lakes to steep rock faces with stunning alpine cols in between, Slovenia has it all. About two years ago, the 420 km (261 mi) Slovenia West Loop route caught my eye.
Actually, the plan was to do this route last summer, but because of the bad weather forecast we opted for the Dolomites instead. This year we finally did it and, together with my friend Anne-Marie, I enjoyed every second of it.
We had no idea beforehand how long the route would take. Most people take six to eight days for the West Loop. Afterwards, we spoke to someone who took more than 15 days. We opted for long days in the saddle and completed the route in five days. Based on the original route (which can be found via the link below), I’ve made my own version with komoot.
The green landscape here reveals just how much it rains in Slovenia. Remember to take this into account when you plan this trip and pack your waterproofs. We discovered that July and August are the driest months, which made the summer period the most suitable for us.
To save weight, we left our tent at home, as many of the campsites en route hired out tents. We also used hostels and figured that, as a last resort, we could always knock on a door somewhere to find a night's stay. The latter never happened, because everything in this country seems to be so perfectly organised.
We rode the route on our cyclocross bikes, which are similar to gravel bikes. Our bikes were equipped with 40 mm tyres with a good profile. I wouldn’t recommend you go much narrower as most of the route is over well-rideable gravel strips, but occasionally there is a short single track and occasional sections with a poor road surface. On the steep sections, extra grip is definitely beneficial. The route was created by mountain bikers and so is also suitable for hardtails.
The complete and original route can be found via this link: komoot.nl/tour/464196837.
If you have any questions about our experience or route, feel free to comment on this Collection or via my Instagram: instagram.com/erikmus.
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Colección de cicloturismo by Belén Castelló (belletoscan)