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Active recreation / The loveliest cycling trails on the Slovenian coast

Would you like to spend your holiday on the Slovenian coast in an active way? Why just lie on the beach if you can soak up the warm sunrays while you enjoy natural and cultural sights in the nearby towns and spend a fun day outdoors on your bicycle!

Cycling on the Slovenian coast

The Slovenian coast is intertwined with many marked and unmarked cycling trails of various difficulty levels. You can take your family on a lovely trip on well-tended and paved trails, whereas the more adventurous can venture on unpaved gravel trails or through woods, tackling various ascents and thrilling descents.

Easy: a cycling trail for recreational cyclists

The most known cycling trail is the easy, marked and well-tended trail from Izola to Sečovlje. This route is suitable for anyone who enjoys cycling: recreational cyclists, young families and also older cyclists. We start in Izola, on the crossroad between Leninova and Prešernova street, and head towards the hills, where we quickly see the marking for the cycling trail. We continue towards Strunjan and then Portorož, passing through the lighted tunnel Šalet. Then we follow the marking of the cycling trails and pedal easily through olive groves and vineyards in the direction of Portorož, passing through Dobrava and then Strunjan. Here we pass through another tunnel, the 550 m long Valeta tunnel, and continue our way on the descent towards Lucija. We can continue towards Seča, where we cross the main road and pass Parecag before arriving in Sečovlje.

Moderate: the cycling trail around Tinjan

Families with older children, young sports enthusiasts and recreational cyclists can venture on the cycling trail around Tinjan, which is of moderate difficulty and offers various ascents and descents. The trail starts in Koper and takes us past the Port of Koper towards Ankaran. From here we continue till Debeli rtič, where we merge onto a unpaved gravel road at the end of our descent. We continue up a steep hill to the town of Moke, where we turn left towards the village Barizoni. We proceed with a slight ascent to the church of Saint Brigitte and then turn right towards Hrvatini. At the crossroad for Jelarje we take the steep road down the hill and continue along the road Trieste-Koper, where for a short time we merge onto the cycling trail Parenzana, which takes us to Italy. We pedal through Italian towns, first through Rabuiese and an industrial area, then through Nogheredo until Crociata, where we return to Slovenia. We ride through Mlinarji and Katinara to Osp, where we can have a short break and rest. When we are back on our bicycles, we have another ascent through Gabrovica near Črni kal, which is followed by a descent towards Rižana. After approximately two kilometres, we turn left and continue along the river Rižana, where we find ourselves again on the cycling trail Parenzana. In Bertoki we cross the bypass road and continue till the roundabout near the Port of Koper, from where we return to our starting point in Koper. The route around Tinjan takes approximately two to three hours, but you can make more stops to visit the local sights, have something to eat or just rest.

Strenuous: an interesting adventure in Izola’s hinterland

The picturesque cycling route through Izola’s hinterland is 53,9 km longand it starts at the camping site in Izola. It takes us over Belvedere, along the brink of cape Ronek and then it descends to Strunjan. From here the route is on the main road and it takes us along the saltpans of Strunjan to Salinera and then uphill to Beli Križ. The ascent is approximately 2,5 km long and it is followed by a descent towards Bernardin. From here the route continues on the main road to Portorož, where we will find the cycling path again. We continue through Lucija till Malija, and up an easy hill towards Korte, where you’ll find a picturesque panorama of the vineyards and surrounding towns. The cycling adventure continues in the direction of Šmarje and descends gradually towards Dragonja, where we go uphill again towards Sv. Peter and Nova vas. From here we descend towards Šmarje and continue through Gažon, along the road Markovec till Semedela. The last uphill part is up the hill Markovec, from where we descend back to Izola and the starting point of our route.

Strenuous: cycling in ship shape along the valley of river Dragonja

The second more strenuous cycling trail covers a distance of 43,12 km and takes us on main roads and unpaved gravel roads and paths along river Dragonja. The route starts in Seča where it quickly joins the well-known cycling trail Parenzana. We head towards Sečovlje, where we turn left before the border crossing of Dragonja. The route is quite busy with traffic, so we recommend some extra caution in this section. We pass through the settlement Dragonja, the villages Križišče and Mačujek along the valley of the Dragonja river. The gravel road takes us past vineyards and despite a slight ascent we can enjoy the peace and quiet surrounded by beautiful nature. We continue uphill for a while towards Babiči, then through Pomjan, where the route levels out a bit and takes us to Šmarje. From here we descend till the roundabout with the main road for Koper. We turn left on the roundabout and continue uphill towards Gažon and then Šared. We proceed past Mailja and through Korte, the largest town in Izola’s hinterland. At the crossroad we turn left and descend on a narrow road to Pacug, from where we return to Seča, where we started our cycling adventure. This route is suitable for cyclist who are in very good shape.

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