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Trip

The Balkans - Croatia & Slovenia

Mountain Bike

Trip The Balkans
Sorry, this trip is sold out
$3,250 $2,850
Questions? Let us help! Call us at 1-866-386-1590
Ride through 3 countries and experience the Slovenian Alps, Istrian Mountains of Croatia and the Mediterranean. 
 
Forested singletrack meets old-world-charm on this ride through history in one of the most fascinating areas of Europe with our partners at Sacred Rides. Once a crossroads for cultures from all over Europe and Asia - the Balkans are now a crossroads for travelers looking for something beyond the typical European experience. This guided Balkans mountain bike trip spans Slovenia, Austria, and Croatia delivering an amazing riding and cultural experience.

Since the end of the Balkan War in the 90s, Slovenia and Croatia have been two of the hottest travel destinations in Europe, and it's easy to see why. Slovenia is an outdoor lover's paradise, with beautifully preserved wilderness and stunning mountain peaks as far as the eye can see. Meanwhile, Croatia's coastline is quickly becoming a playground for the world's gliteratti, and its Istria's mountains are home to olive groves, vineyards, charming medieval towns, and beautiful mountain bike trails. On this trip, you will travel through Slovenia, Austria, and Croatia! 

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Itinerary
Itinerary
  • 1
    Welcome to Slovenia! Transfer to our alpine lodge in the Karawanke Range of northern Slovenia, near the Austrian border, located approximately 2.5 hours north-east of Ljubljana. Our home for the first 3 nights is a charming Austrian-style guesthouse on an organic farm, high in the mountains. "Sound of Music" scenery surrounds us on all sides, as we ride miles and miles of singletrack. Dixi is our local host here. We’ll dine on fresh food from Dixi’s farm tonight while reviewing what this incredible week of adventure has in store.
  • 2
    We’ll rise and shine to enjoy a home-cooked group breakfast. Our first day starts off with a short climb, overlooking green fields and spectacular peaks. It features singletrack, fire roads, and some dirt roads. Smooth singletrack, abandoned tractor trails, awesome views, and manageable climbs make it the perfect warmup for the days ahead. After lunch, we’ll start off with a little climbing, taking us to remarkable singletrack for a perfect end to the day. After riding, we'll return to our alpine lodge for another delicious meal prepared fresh from the farm.
  • 3
    Across the valley from our alpine lodge is a network of gorgeous singletrack, accessed by cable car. We’ll start with a fun trail straight from our base, followed by a 1-hour ride on fire roads (with a wee bit of pavement - but it will be worth it!) that takes us into Austria to the slopes of Peca Mountain. We’ll load ourselves and our bikes in a cable car, which will take us up to 5500 ft above sea level. Enjoy a short rest and then descend down on riveting singletrack back to Slovenia. Lunch will be served at an authentic mountain hut, situated near the church of Saint Helena. After lunch, we'll start down some epic ridge singletrack which will take us down to the valley.
  • 4
    Start the day with a mile or so of gravel road uphill, with a beautiful meadow on top. The descent is a combination of road changing to breathtaking narrow singletrack down to the valley. After a short technical section, we pop out on a gorgeous meadow trail with marvelous views of the village of Crna wrapped in the surrounding valleys. After a short steep and technical climb, the final, breathtaking, leg of the ride takes us to an open hill ridge trail down to the town of Crna. Next, we take a 5-mile ride through a centuries-old mine shaft. It's an otherworldly experience and one of the coolest things you'll ever do on a mountain bike! After the ride, we will stop for lunch in Mezica, then head to southern Slovenia, where we'll check into our mountainside farmhouse in the town Sinjivrh.
  • 5
    After breakfast in the village of Sinji Vrh, we'll experience one of the trip's most stunning trails. Head up the Vipaya Valley (the Valley of the Wind) for a grueling but scenic climb to a spectacular lookout over the Postojna Valley. The descent is rocky, fun, and long. We'll stop for lunch at a beautiful riverside restaurant in the village of Vipava, then sample some local wines at a nearby wine tasting shop. After a little more riding this afternoon, we take the van and cross the border into Croatia, arriving at the beautiful hilltop town of Motovun where we’ll check into our rooms and head out for dinner.
  • 6
    After breakfast, we’ll transfer from our hotel to Groznjan, a small unique, Medieval town, known today for its arts and music culture, boasting upwards of 20 art galleries. Today we start right from town, the ride will cover some of the trails used in the local Enduro and XC races. These immaculate mountain bike trails flow through small trees and the meadows of Istria. After riding, we’ll pack up the shuttle and head out for Lim Fjord, about a 1-hour drive. We’ll have a well-deserved lunch before hopping in a boat to Rovinj where we’ll check into our rooms and head out for dinner.
  • 7
    This morning, we’ll enjoy our breakfast in the village of Rovinj. For the last day of our ride, we will bike to the scenic end of the Istrian Peninsula. Kamenjak Peninsula is a natural resort, offering scenic singletrack in wild Mediterranean nature. While riding, we can take a few stops to dip into fresh Mediterranean water, and - for the brave - cliff jumping will be possible at several spots. We’ll stop for lunch in Premantura. Tonight, we head back to Rovinj for our final dinner where we’ll celebrate our week of adventure!
  • 8
    After our final group breakfast, we’ll load up the van and head back to Ljubljana Joze Pucnik Airport by 2:00 p.m. High five your new riding pals and say your goodbyes until next time.
Trip Package Includes
  • 7 nights accommodation in fantastic local lodges and hotels
  • All transportation during the trip, including airport pick-up and drop-off
  • 7 breakfasts, 6 lunches, and 4 dinners showcasing authentic Slovenian and Croatian cuisine
  • 6 days of riding including underground riding in Slovenia and a 4:1 guide ratio
  • Boat trip on the Lim Fiord
  • Bike tools and maintenance kit at your disposal
  • Ice-cold microbrews and local beverages at the end of each day's ride
  • 20% discount code at evo.com (exclusions apply)
Not Included
  • Round trip air to/from Ljubljana Joze Pucnik Airport (LJU)
  • Travel insurance (we recommend World Nomads)
  • 2 dinners & 1 lunch
  • Mountain bike
  • Guide gratuity
Questions? Call or email us
Area Information
The Balkans

The Word 'Balkan' Comes From Turkish, Meaning "Chain of Wooded Mountains." The Balkan countries of Slovenia and Croatia are just that sort of place, with the Slovenian Alps and Istrian mountains of Croatia providing the perfect terrain and spectacular backdrop for epic mountain biking. On the southwestern side of the Balkan Penisula lies the Adriatic Sea, the northernmost arm of the Mediterranean. With its crystal clear warm water and gorgeous coastline, the Adriatic is a must-visit for anyone who wants to explore the Balkans.

Trip Planning

Trip Planning

The weather in the Slovenian mountains can be cool, especially in the evenings, with lows in the upper 40’s to low 50’s, so we recommend you bring long pants and a jacket for the evenings. Daytime highs are usually quite warm, especially in the Istrian region of Croatia. Although rain is rare in the summer months, it isn't unheard of, so we recommend you bring some sort of rain gear or shell.

A well maintained, well functioning mountain bike with front suspension is mandatory. An all-mountain bike with at least 4-5" of travel, and no heavier than 30 pounds is highly suggested to get the most out of this mountain bike experience. Although there may be some parts available locally, we recommend you bring the parts listed below. Shimano and SRAM are generally available in all our locations, but Magura levers, for instance, might not be available everywhere.
Riding Gear
Other Clothing
Personal and First Aid
Miscellaneous
Tools
Spare Components
FAQ
FAQ
  • Is my departure guaranteed?
    Yes, this trip is guaranteed to run, but please wait for confirmation of your booking from evo and Sacred Rides before you book your flights.
  • What are the accommodations like?
    We will be staying at small, locally-owned accommodations throughout the trip. Including on a working organic farm with purpose-built singletrack at your doorstep! Prices are based on double occupancy, single supplements are based on request and availability at $400 USD (subject to change based on the European exchange rate).
  • Is this ride for me?
    This ride is for you if: You like tight, forested singletrack mountain bike trails that open up to spectacular views. You can handle moderately rooty and rocky singletrack. You can pedal for an average of 4.5 hours per day, multiple days in a row and can handle one fairly big day of climbing 4260 ft. You're into history and visiting 1000-year-old medieval towns and villages. You love exploring other cultures and enjoy authentic culinary experiences.
  • What skill/experience level is required for this trip?
    This trip is rated as a strong intermediate level. This means you should be comfortable riding a variety of singletrack which may include tight trees, mud, loose rocks and sand and are comfortable doing so on more challenging terrain. You should be comfortable and confident with a front-wheel lift and rear-wheel lift to get up and over larger obstacles (up to 6 inches) such as roots and rocks that are not rollable. If you have ridden a bike park, you are comfortable on all green trails and blue trails, you’ll be able to handle the mountain biking in Croatia and Slovenia.
  • What kind of technical bike skills are required for this trip?
    You are confident and successful executing the following bike handling skills on a variety of singletrack: Shifting - you anticipate hills by shifting gears often and smoothly. Climbing - you shift your bodyweight forward in efforts to keep traction on your front wheel. Climbing is typically successful, unless technical roots, rocks or corners have you walking a short section. Descending - you are comfortable and balanced standing up off of your seat and can maintain level pedals for the entire descent. You are comfortable with speed and letting go of your brakes as long as you can see the exit or end of the descent. Speed Control and Braking - you use momentum to climb rolling terrain and are comfortable using both your front and back brakes when required. Cornering - you understand effective cornering techniques although still need to work on your timing and coordination.
  • What if I need to cancel?
    evo will refer to Sacred Ride’s cancelation policy. You may cancel your reservation and get 100% of your money back within 14 days of booking. If you have placed a deposit and cancel before 60 days prior to the trip your deposit will remain as a credit for a future sacred rides trip, please contact evo and Sacred rides for more info. If you need to cancel within 60 days of your scheduled departure, you will be forfeiting the full amount of your ride, including your deposit. We therefore strongly urge you to purchase trip cancellation/ interruption insurance, we recommend World Nomads. If an emergency occurs, and you need to depart the Sacred Rides trip early, we cannot provide any type of refund for leaving the trip early. We highly recommend you purchase trip interruption insurance to cover you for emergencies and unexpected travel costs if needed.
  • When and how do I meet up with the group?
    This ride starts on Day 1 of the itinerary at Ljubljana Joze Pucnik Airport (LJU) or Hotel Park in downtown Ljubljana. The starting point of this trip (the farm) is located approximately 2.5 hours outside of Ljubljana, therefore we cannot offer individual pick-ups outside of the following two pickup times: 3:00 p.m Hotel Park, downtown Ljubljana (for riders arriving early and spending the night in Ljubljana, please book any extra hotel nights directly with Hotel Park. 4:00 p.m.Ljubljana Joze Pucnik Airport (LJU), at the bar in the airport lobby (there is only one bar). If you are arriving prior to Day 1 of the itinerary, and will not be staying at the Hotel Park, you will need to get to either the Hotel Park or the Ljubljana Joze Pucnik Airport (LJU) at the times listed above in order to join one of the two scheduled pick-ups.
  • What will the food be like?
    Sacred Rides takes care to select restaurants that are well-regarded for their cleanliness, in order to avoid food-borne illnesses and provide the best dining experience. In Slovenia, all the water is drinkable. In Istria, bottled water is supplied. On this trip, all breakfasts and lunches, as well as some dinners, are included in the trip price. Other dinners are taken in local restaurants. You should budget $20-$35 USD per dinner (depending on the quality of the restaurants you choose).
  • Can you accommodate dietary restrictions?
    Food in the region is excellent and often there are options for those with restrictions. Meals consist of cereals, dairy products, meat (especially pork), sea and fresh-water fish, vegetables, beans, olives, and grapes. If you have dietary restrictions please let evo and Sacred Rides know. We suggested that you bring your own snacks in case you can’t find anything at a particular restaurant.
  • What is the guide to guest ratio?
    There are 4 guests to one guide on this trip.
  • Do you have a packing list?
    Yes, please see above and a complete packing list will be provided to you after booking.
Testimonials
Just wanted to let you know how impressed I was with this trip...I love the farm, Anej and his family are wonderful, the scenery is out of this world, the weather was perfect and the riding was fantastic!!! It really makes a difference to be able to stay at a locally run farm and really experience the culture!
Lesley Barbour
Trip Guest

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$$$$$ $$$$$
Sorry, this trip is sold out
Questions? Let us help! Call us at
1-866-386-1590