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Mountain Biking recommended route

Mountain bike exploration of the hidden corners of the Kanalski Kolovrat Ridge and the valley of the Idrija River

Mountain Biking · Littoral
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  • Kanal
    Kanal
    Photo: Andreja Križnič, Turizem Dolina Soce
m 700 600 500 400 300 200 100 30 25 20 15 10 5 km
A delightful tour for all mountain bikers seeking remote and secluded trails. This demanding cycling tour is routed through the remote hamlets on the Kanalski Kolovrat Ridge to the village of Kambreško. From there you will descend into the valley of the bordering Idrija River, which awaits rediscovery just like the Sleeping Beauty.
difficult
Distance 33.4 km
5:40 h
1,090 m
1,090 m
646 m
102 m
Start your tour in the town of Kanal and cycle in the direction of the town of Tolmin until you reach the village of Ajba. Turn left, pass the Napoleon’s Bridge and continue uphill along the gravel cart track until you reach the paved road which will take you to the village of Kambreško. When you reach the village you can replenish your water supply at the old trough next to the road and visit the Lukčeva hiša House a little bit higher in the village. There are numerous artefacts, books, documents and photographs displayed in this house showing the life on the Kanalski Kolovrat Ridge. Its specific feature is the preserved fireplace which made the house an ethnological monument. Descend from Kambreško in a pleasant shade into the valley of the Idrija River. If you would like to refresh yourself in the crystal clear and cold pool you have to slow down just before you reach the end of the descent and find a narrow trail on the right leading to a wonderful and pretty large popular pool. Cross the bridge leading to the Italian side of the valley when you reach the end of the descent. You can also refresh yourself in the Idrija River on the Italian side of the valley if you turn at the bridge and continue along the cart track on the right. Cycle along the Italian side of the valley towards the former border crossing Britof. Pass the Church of St. Cantianus and ascend to Britof where you can find the Okrepčevalnica Britof restaurant offering delicious dishes. Continue from Britof towards the village of Lig until you reach the turn for the village of Melinki. When you reach the village you can visit the rich ethnological-carving collection of Franc Jerončič. You will discover how life in the valley of the Idrija River looked like in the past, the period of the World War I and the numerous carving creations by Franc Jerončič. Continue your tour past the museum and along the cart track leading past the pastures. Below and all around you will be able to enjoy in views of the valley of the Idrija River, secluded hamlets on the Italian side of the valley and the mountains in the background. You will soon arrive to another pretty abandoned village of Kostanjevica and later to the main paved road. Continue to the hamlet of Gorenje Nekovo where the tarmac ends. Cycle along the gravel road routed in a in a pleasant shade of the forest which will take you to a junction which you reached on your ascent from Ajba. From here on descend past the hamlet of Potravno to Ajba and return to Kanal. You can refresh yourself in Kanal, turn to the beach between the bridge and Kamp Korada or visit the old borough centre Kontrada, Riko Debenjak Gallery, fishing exhibition or the Church of the Assumption.

Author’s recommendation

During the summer months we recommend you to start the tour early in the morning or in the middle of the day if you would like to freshen up in the pools of the Idrija River. Except for the section of the tour leading along the main road to Ajba all other sections of the tour are quite unbusy. You can find restaurants in Britof and Kanal. Especially in hot summer days you should bring a sufficient amount of water. On your return you can refresh yourself in the Soča River in Kanal. The tour is appropriate for mountain bikes.
Profile picture of Andreja Križnič
Author
Andreja Križnič
Update: November 07, 2021
Difficulty
difficult
Stamina
Experience
Landscape
Highest point
646 m
Lowest point
102 m
Best time of year
Jan
Feb
Mar
Apr
May
Jun
Jul
Aug
Sep
Oct
Nov
Dec

Track types

Show elevation profile

Safety information

In dry conditions the road is easily drivable in all seasons. Caution due to traffic and unclear sections is only required when cycling along the main road between Kanal and Ajba. You should also be cautious when crossing the road next to the dam.

Tips and hints

You can find the closest bicycle service in the town of Solkan.

Catering services along the tour

   - Kanal: Fontana Kanal, Gostišče Križnič, Okrepčevalnica Rafaelo, Bar & picerija Cafe Libero, Okrepčevalnica Pirih

   - Britof: Okrepčevalnica Britof

Other offer along the tour (Kanal):

   - Kanal Cheese Dairy (cheese and milk products made from local milk)

   - Kanal Market (local products)

 Cultural and natural heritage along the tour:

   - Melinki: Museum collection of Franc Jerončič

   - Kanal: Park Pečno, Kanal Bridge, Riko Debenjak Gallery, Gothic House, Kontrada Square, Fishing exhibition, Museum Collection 1914-1917

Sacral heritage along the tour:

   - Kanal: Church of the Assumption, cave with the Lourdes statue

   - Lig: Marijino Celje Pilgrimage Centre (temple)

   - Britof: Church of St. Cantianus

Other sights:

   - Walk of Peace

   - Connecting Path of the Three Temples

   - Juliana Trail

   - Juliana Bike Trail

Start

Kanal (110 m)
Coordinates:
DD
46.087098, 13.634961
DMS
46°05'13.6"N 13°38'05.9"E
UTM
33T 394468 5104630
w3w 
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Destination

Valley of the Idrija River

Turn-by-turn directions

Start your cycling tour in the town of Kanal and continue along the main road towards the town of Tolmin until you reach the hydroelectric power plant dam. On your left you will be able to notice a narrow and very steep paved road along which you have to continue uphill until you reach the first houses. The narrow road will take you between the houses to a steep concrete descent. Turn left when you reach the end of this descent. Cycle past the tennis court and the Napoleon’s bridge, which is closed due to the danger of rockfall. Continue straight ahead, pass the turn for the Church of St. Paul, cross the stream and turn onto the second gravel road on the left which will take you steeply uphill between the houses. You will soon arrive to the intersection of two roads. Continue straight ahead onto a somewhat poor cart track which continues to ascend steeply. Keep cycling along the main trail and, after a couple of bends, turn right at the abandoned hay barn. When you reach the paved road, turn right and descend shortly to the village of Kambreško and continue towards the village of Srednje. You will soon be able to notice the sign Podravno, Rog directing you downhill to the left onto a gravel cart track. Descend to the Idrija River along the cart track which will take you across the bridge to the Italian side of the valley. Turn left, cycle along the gravel road and continue along the paved road to an intersection leading left across the former border crossing Britof. Return along the paved road past the abandoned buildings to the Slovenian side of the valley and ascend along a few hairpin bends to the village of Britof. From there on ascend steeply in the direction of Lig to the turn for the village of Melinki. Behind Melinki the road levels up a little and turns into a stony cart track. Cycle along the cart track to the village of Kostanjevica and join the paved road which will take you to the Kanalski Kolovrat Ridge. When you reach the intersection, turn towards the hamlet of Gorenje Nekovo and continue along a narrow paved road. Turn left before you reach the houses onto a well-worn gravel cart track which will turn into a paved road after a couple of kilometres. Turn downhill to the right on the spot which you already reached on your ascend from Ajba. Cycle along the same cart track until you reach the abandoned hay barn. Continue straight ahead and descend shortly along a steep descent where the terrain is poor to the hamlet of Potravno which only comprises a few houses. From there on descend along the steep concrete road until you reach the gravel road where you cycled along on your ascend. Continue to Ajba and return to the town of Kanal along the main road.

Note


all notes on protected areas

Public transport

Public-transport-friendly

Information on transportation of bicycles by train:

here >>

Timetable and purchase of tickets. You can find the railway station in the town of Kanal.

Getting there

You can reach the town of Kanal by train. By car, you can reach Kanal along the main road Nova Gorica-Tolmin or Most na Soči.

Parking

Parking is available next to the market and post office in Kanal (direction of Avče). Parking is also available at the gas station (next to the main road Nova Gorica–Tolmin) and at the Kanal Railway station.

Coordinates

DD
46.087098, 13.634961
DMS
46°05'13.6"N 13°38'05.9"E
UTM
33T 394468 5104630
w3w 
///championed.cubed.booksellers
Arrival by train, car, foot or bike

Equipment

Cycling equipment. Basic bicycle and tyre repair tool kit, spare tyre and air pump.

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Difficulty
difficult
Distance
33.4 km
Duration
5:40 h
Ascent
1,090 m
Descent
1,090 m
Highest point
646 m
Lowest point
102 m
Public-transport-friendly Circular route Scenic Refreshment stops available Cultural/historical interest Insider tip

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